Edinson Cavani, Raheem Sterling, Timo Werner on Barcelona’s shortlist

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 is the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Barca tracking Cavani, Sterling, Werner

With Xavi Hernandez now at the helm, Barcelona are looking to strengthen in attacking areas, and Marca reports that three players have been identified as targets.

Due to their financial difficulties, Barca are going to look at loans in January, to give them the best chance of brining in quality without huge outlay.

Luuk de Jong‘s loan from Sevilla is likely to terminated in January, while Martin Braithwaite is recovering from injury and Sergio Aguero is out for at least three months with a heart issue.

Manchester City‘s Raheem Sterling has been widely linked with the Blaugrana in recent times, and he is the first name on show here.

The England international has not been pleased with his game time, having managed just 376 Premier League minutes of a possible 990 this term, and the feeling is that Xavi could offer him regular first-team football.

Next up is Manchester United‘s Edinson Cavani, who was also linked with Barcelona during the summer and is felt to be capable of filling the gaps up front for six months. His position has been marginalised by the return of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer.

Finally, Timo Werner has struggled since his move from RB Leipzig to Chelsea, and Barcelona showed interest in the Germany international even before his move to London. The 25-year-old’s lack of game time under Thomas Tuchel this term gives Barca hope they could get him on loan.

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10.48 GMT: Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen says he is close to signing a new contract with the European champions.

Christensen is out of contract at the end of the season, meaning he can agree a pre-contract with foreign clubs from Jan. 1. However, the 25-year-old is optimistic of extending his stay at Stamford Bridge.

When asked is he was nearing an agreement,” Christensen told the club’s official website: “Hopefully soon. I feel valued, I’m happy but I do not get into the contract situation. I do not know why everyone thinks it is a bad situation. Because I’m still happy and I enjoy playing football.”

The Denmark international, who has made 18 appearances for club and country this season, added: “I’m a player who right now enjoys playing football [at Chelsea] and the coach shows confidence [in me]. There is no bad relationship, there is nothing.”

10.10 GMT: Aston Villa have appointed Steven Gerrard as the club’s new manager, the Premier League side have confirmed.

The former Liverpool and England midfielder takes over from Dean Smith, who was sacked on Nov. 7 following a run of five consecutive defeats in the league.

Gerrard departs Scottish champions Rangers after guiding the club to their first league title in 10 years last season, as well as the club’s first ever unbeaten league campaign. He leaves Ibrox after a three-and-a-half year spell in charge, in what was his first senior managerial position since he retired from playing in 2016.

Gerrard, who made over 500 Premier League appearances across 17 seasons for Liverpool, will take charge of his first Villa match at home to Brighton on Nov. 20.

The Times reports that Villa are willing to pay Rangers £3m in compensation in order to appoint Gerrard, whose contract with Rangers still had almost three years to run.

09.23 GMT: Villarreal are looking to offer in-form midfielder Yeremi Pino a long.-term contract, according to COPE radio.

Yeremi helped Villarreal win the Europa League last season in his debut campaign with the first team. He has scored two goals in 15 appearances in all competitions for Villarreal this campaign and earned a spot in Spain’s national team.

Yeremi is under contract with Villarreal until June 2024. With Real Madrid among the clubs monitoring the Villarreal teenager, the Yellow Submarine are ready to offer the player an improved deal through June 2027. As part of the new deal, Yeremi’s release clause would increase to €80m.

08.30 GMT: The Daily Mail reports that Dean Henderson is ready to leave Manchester United in search of first-team football.

Henderson, 24, appears to have lost out to David De Gea to be United’s No. 1 goalkeeper, and he has also been dropped from England squad with Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale breaking through.

His only appearance this season came in the Carabao Cup defeat to West Ham United in September, and with four-and-a-half years left on his contract feels he must move to play regularly and progress.

However, the report says that United are unlikely to allow Henderson, who had two successful years on loan at Sheffield United, to move in January to leave them without cover.

Newcastle United are reported to be interested.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

– Super-agent Jorge Mendes is hoping to add Fulham teenager Fabio Carvalho to his list of clients, and then take the midfielder to Liverpool, according to the Daily Mail. The England youth international is in the final year of his contract at Craven Cottage, and it is felt that he could take the same route from west London to Merseyside as Harvey Elliott. Mendes has already alerted Barcelona and Real Madrid but got no interest.

Real Sociedad winger Adnan Januzaj’s agent has confirmed interest from Napoli in his client, which brings up questions around Lorenzo Insigne’s future, as reported by Calciomercato. The Italian’s contract comes to an end in the summer of 2022, and talks over an extension have stalled. Januzaj’s Sociedad contract ends at the same time and could be seen as the perfect replacement.

New York Red Bulls defender Kyle Duncan is nearing a move to Belgian outfit KV Oostende, as reported by MLSsoccer.com. NYRB tried to re-sign the 24-year-old, but he has long held ambitions of playing in Europe. He has also been linked with Stade Reims, while there were reports of interest from Anderlecht, Metz and Montpellier during the summer.

– With Juventus looking to strengthen their midfield, Nicolo Rovella could be recalled from his loan at Genoa in January, reports Calciomercato. Having signed from Il Grifone in January 2021, he was immediately sent back to them on loan and was supposed to stay there until the summer of 2022. However, Massimiliano Allegri could look to cut that agreement short.

– Contrary to previous reports, Marca have stated that Dani Alves will not be making a return to Camp Nou at the moment. While the Brazilian offered himself to the club, Xavi and Barcelona’s leaders want to give priority to younger players. Still, there is the possibility that the 38-year-old could have a future role upstairs.

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