The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Man Utd eye Mbappe as Ronaldo replacement
Manchester United want to replace Cristiano Ronaldo with Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe, according to the Mirror.
Ronaldo’s time at Old Trafford looks to be ending following his explosive interview from earlier this week, where he criticised the club and manager Erik ten Hag.
With sources telling ESPN that Ten Hag recommended that Ronaldo shouldn’t play for United anymore, it now seems the Red Devils are setting their sights on PSG’s Mbappe.
United were reportedly looking to sign a new forward in the summer — when Ronaldo’s contract was set to end — but the fallout of his comments means it could become a January endeavour.
The club could have the financial capabilities to pay the £150 million or more that it would take to bring Mbappe from PSG, as well as paying his £500,000-per-week wages with significant performance-based bonuses. Mbappe extended his contract at PSG in the spring after constant links with Real Madrid.
Napoli‘s Victor Osimhen is also on United’s radar and possibly a more attainable option in January. Napoli, who remain unbeaten in Serie A going into the World Cup break, expect transfer offers for the Nigeria international when the winter window opens.
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08.44 GMT: Barcelona president Joan Laporta said on Tuesday that the club may not be able to sign players in the January transfer window due to LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
Barca’s accounts are “healthy” again, Laporta said, with an expected income this season of €1.23 billion ($1.27bn) and a budgeted profit of €274m.
“We had to make some levers, which were economic operations that saved the club from ruin, and now the club is in economic recovery,” Laporta told Spanish news agency EFE. “But despite that, according to the rules of financial fair play of the Spanish league, we can not sign.
“Us and some other LaLiga clubs are also trying to convince LaLiga to be more flexible, and allow us other types of interpretations that can make Barcelona even stronger.”
Barcelona recorded a profit of €98m for the 2021-22 financial year, they said in September. To offset losses and comply with LaLiga’s financial fair play rules, the club sold 25% of their domestic television rights and a 49% stake in Barca Studios for more than €700 million. That allowed Barcelona to spend more than €150 million in the close season on Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde.
08.00 GMT: Cristiano Ronaldo‘s rift with Manchester United will not derail Portugal’s World Cup campaign, according to Benfica midfielder Joao Mario.
The five-time Ballon d’Or or winner accused United of trying to force him out of the club in the summer in an explosive TV interview on Sunday, just one day before he arrived to the national team training camp in Oeiras, Lisbon.
“I don’t see a problem with the timing [of Ronaldo’s interview] so it’s fine for us,” Joao Mario told a news conference on Tuesday. “I don’t think it puts further pressure on him or on us. We’re used to dealing with great pressure.
“It’s not the first time that a player comes to the national team having a problem with his club. One of the advantages is that we put everything to the side when being here. When we get to the national team, it’s another working group and we try to focus on what’s most important.
“The headlines are always about him [Ronaldo]. Honestly, every time we come to the national team the first questions asked are always about Ronaldo.
“The focus is always on him, and we are used to that.”
Sources have told ESPN that United coach Erik ten Hag has told United bosses that Ronaldo should not play for the club again after his interview.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– United States midfielder Weston McKennie could leave Juventus in January amid Premier League interest, according to Calciomercato. Juventus’ priority is to strengthen in the wide areas but they could look at other transfer opportunities, which means they will need to offload some players with McKennie among those the Serie A outfit is willing to let go. McKennie has previously been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, among other sides.
– Belgium winger Eden Hazard has told Marca that he could leave Real Madrid during the summer transfer window. In an interview with the Spanish outlet, Hazard said: “In January it is impossible, because I have family and I like the city, but in summer it is possible that I go …I have one more year on my contract and it’s the club’s decision. If the club tells me ‘Eden, thanks for four years, but you have to go’, I have to accept it because it’s normal. But I would like to play more, show more that I can play, that I am a good player.”
– Florian Plettenberg has suggested that contract talks between Liverpool and Roberto Firmino are progressing well, although the deal isn’t in its final steps at this stage. The Brazilian’s current contract expires in the summer of 2023 but he can see himself extending the deal to stay past that, with it helping that the forward has positive relations with Jurgen Klopp.
– Atletico Madrid are interested in signing Girona midfielder Aleix Garcia as a free agent when his contract ends in the summer, reports AS. Atleti’s financial situation is fragile after their European exit in the group stages, which is leading them to look at the free market, although there could be competition from Barcelona when it comes to Garcia.
– Clubs from England, Spain and Portugal are watching Santos duo Angelo Gabriel and Marcos Leonardo, according to Ekrem Konur. Of the two teenagers, Gabriel has 10 goal contributions across all competitions this season while Leonardo has amassed 27 for the Brazilian club.