The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here’s the latest gossip and speculation.
TOP STORY: Cavani in for Aguero at Barca?
Barcelona have stepped up their pursuit of a striker in Sergio Aguero‘s injury-enforced absence, and they have identified Manchester United‘s Edinson Cavani as a potential target in January.
The Mirror writes that Cavani, 34, wants regular game time at this stage of his career, but he has made just two starts across all competitions this season, often finding himself on the bench after Cristiano Ronaldo arrived at Old Trafford.
The Blaugrana are preparing an offer of around £5 million to tempt him to Camp Nou during the winter transfer market, and they could face competition from Internazionale, who are also reported to be interested in his services.
Cavani’s contract is due to expire next summer after he signed a one-year extension in May.
Aguero, meanwhile, has not retired despite reports over the weekend claiming he had.
“What has come out about Aguero is not true,” Barca boss Xavi said on Saturday. “I spoke with him the other day. We will see how things evolve and if he can continue playing football, but it’s a medical issue.”
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08.54 GMT: Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is certain that defender Antonio Rudiger‘s ongoing contract talks with the club will not affect his performances on the field.
Rudiger, 28, is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning he can open talks with foreign clubs from Jan. 1. Chelsea are keen to keep the Germany international, but so far there has not been a breakthrough in negotiations.
Tuchel said of Rudiger, who scored in Chelsea’s 3-0 win over Leicester City on Saturday that keeps them top of the Premier League: “It was a very strong performance from Toni.
“He’s been outstanding from day one and he is getting better and better, on a very high level.
“The situation is the situation. We want him to stay — this is very clear and he knows it — but sometimes in these situations there is a certain delay.
“That can happen these days but it does not affect his mentality or his quality and it absolutely does not affect his behaviour. He is fully committed to Chelsea right now.
“He is in exactly the right spot – he is in the most competitive league and at a club where winning matters. That suits him perfectly. So, let’s be a bit patient and hopefully we have a happy end.”
08.00 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said it was time to “step aside” in a tearful farewell interview after Manchester United announced his departure as manager.
Solskjaer lost his job as manager on Sunday following Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Watford. Manchester United are on a run of five defeats in seven league matches and are six points off the qualification places for the Champions League.
Pressure on the manager increased after a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool that was followed by a one-sided 2-0 defeat to Manchester City.
“This club means everything to me and together we’re a good match, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the results we needed and it’s time for me to step aside,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“You know what this club means to me and what I wanted to achieve here. For the club, for the fans, for the players, for the staff. I wanted us to take the next step to challenge for the league, to win trophies and I only think it’s right that it comes from the horse’s mouth. I don’t want to answer all … there’s going to be journalists asking me about interviews but no, I’m not going to do any interviews.
“I want to get it out there, I’m going to leave by the front door, because I think everyone knows I’ve given everything for this club.”
– Dawson: Why Solskjaer’s tenure fell apart
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Tottenham Hotspur could make a move for Nicolo Zaniolo next summer, according to Calciomercato. The 22-year-old midfielder’s contract isn’t due to expire until 2024, but after being recently excluded by Jose Mourinho, the Premier League side have become alerted to the situation. It is reported that a fee of around €40 million would be required to allow Antonio Conte’s Spurs to discuss personal terms.
– Sport writes that Xavi is looking to recruit a player from his former club Al-Sadd as Barcelona look to acquire a striker in the winter transfer market. Baghdad Bounedjah has been identified as a target, with the 29-year-old forward finishing as the top scorer in the league last season while working under the Blaugrana’s new manager. He is also an Algeria international, scoring three times in his last four caps.
– Paris Saint-Germain are monitoring Marcelo Brozovic‘s contract situation, according to Le10Sport. The 29-year-old has been locked in contract talks with Inter Milan of late, but with no sign of an official announcement, the Ligue 1 club are ready to begin negotiations in January as they look to bolster their options in midfield. The Croatia international has made 13 appearances in the Serie A this season.
– Calciomercato reveals that AC Milan and Juventus could be the first teams to make a move for Driss Nasser, the Bordeaux youth star who has been referred to as the next Paul Pogba. The 17-year-old midfielder has had scouts following him for some time, with Europe’s top clubs impressed by his technical ability on the ball and physical strength.
– Paris Saint-Germain could step up their chase for Lorenzo Insigne with the 30-year-old winger in no rush to sign new terms at Napoli. Le10Sport writes that the Ligue 1 club are preparing to jostle with Inter Milan for his signature, with a queue beginning to emerge to acquire the Italy international on a free transfer.