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Liverpool, Chelsea latest big clubs in for Reading's Olise – Digitalfyme.com
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Liverpool, Chelsea latest big clubs in for Reading’s Olise

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The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

TOP STORY: Liverpool, Chelsea join clubs tracking Olise

Reading’s Michael Olise has attracted interest from some of Europe’s top clubs, and TEAMtalk suggests that Liverpool and Chelsea have now joined the winger’s list of admirers.

Olise, 18, has already been watched by Arsenal, Manchester City, Leeds United and Everton before Liverpool and Chelsea registered their own interest.

The France Under-18 international spent time at both City and Chelsea before joining Reading, where he has helped them climb to the top of the Championship table.

Olise has just over 18 months left on his contract and the Royals are aware of the mounting interest. The interest isn’t just confined to England either, with clubs such as Borussia Dortmund, AS Monaco and Napoli also chasing his signature. The winger has scored twice and added three assists so far this season.

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13.28 GMT: Barcelona have intensified their interest in Benfica striker Darwin Nunez as they search for a replacement for Luis Suarez, sources have told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.

Nunez, 21, was a target last summer in the weeks before Suarez left Camp Nou for Atletico Madrid. Barca held informal discussions on signing him and sending him on loan to Almeria in the Spanish second division.

However, those negotiations ended when Benfica emerged on the scene, with the Portuguese club eventually paying around €24m to sign the Uruguay international.

12.51 GMT: UPDATE – Bayern Munich are no longer prepared to negotiate a new contract with defender David Alaba (see 08.00 GMT) but, speaking at a news conference on Monday ahead of the side’s Champions League game against FC Salzburg, the player said it was a “special situation” and added that he had no plans for his future.

“What’s next, I don’t know right now. I have not made any plans for my future,” he said. “I am a player who really likes to play for Bayern. I am happy to be part of this team. Nobody official has contacted me. It’s difficult to say what the future will hold in store.

“After our last talk, I told them [the club] that I can’t make a decision in seven days, we played three times in those seven days. Bayern were the club I talked to. I did not have any contact to other clubs.

“I have always said that I would have wished for internal things to remain internal. It hurt and disappointed me that my position was portrayed the way it was, this was not the truth. The salary put out in media, it’s not like that. I was disappointed, it was not discounted from the hierarchy.”

Bayern manager Hansi Flick also expressed his disappointment at how the situation had been handled.

“I am far from pleased that this has been brought up in a week with two difficult games against Salzburg and Dortmund,” he said. “I’d be delighted if he were to remain at Bayern. He’s a top player, a top lad. I am convinced that he will continue to give it his all for Bayern.”

12.30 GMT: Chelsea are again being linked with a £60m move for Declan Rice in January and a reminder than sources told ESPN’s James Olley in October a deal could be done if West Ham show signs of softening their stance in negotiations.

Chelsea chose not to make any formal bid for the 21-year-old midfielder, who can also play as a defender, with West Ham demanding around £80m. The Blues instead opted to commit £220m on strengthening other areas of their squad.

However, sources said Rice remains a top target for Frank Lampard and Chelsea would be willing to make a move in January if conditions allow. A deal is more likely next summer but West Ham’s financial concerns are complicated.

12.06 GMT: Jose Mourinho started the week by claiming Gareth Bale is “arriving” at something approaching his old self at Tottenham. Now, after scoring in the 2-1 win over Brighton on Sunday, he’s arrived — but not quite in the way we imagined, writes James Olley.

Mourinho had flagged Bale’s progress behind the scenes in the build-up to Thursday’s dismal 1-0 Europa League defeat at Royal Antwerp. He was unable to lift Spurs out of their collective malaise in Belgium, lasting just 58 minutes before dropping to the bench here in one of nine changes to the starting lineup which also saw Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn, Carlos Vinicius, Davinson Sanchez, and Serge Aurier left out of the matchday squad altogether.

On Sunday, though, the Welshman provided substance to back up Mourinho’s words. Playing off the right with Kane through the middle and Son Heung-min on the opposite flank also provided an exciting flash of the triumvirate that seemingly offers so much — with Bale’s ability to drift into central areas and cause problems like this a useful asset.

11.13 GMT: AC Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu is available for free next summer, with Manchester United linked, but The Athletic reports that “the club are not understood to be in negotiations.”

The report says that Calhanoglu’s agent placed a call to United’s chief transfer negotiator, Matt Judge, but the Premier League club are not taking it any further.

The Turkey international will have plenty of suitors in the summer if he doesn’t agree new terms with Milan, but United are not looking to add more options in creative central midfield at this point.

10.26 GMT: What should Manchester United do with Paul Pogba?

Frank Leboeuf suggests Ole Gunnar Solskjaer bench Paul Pogba because he doesn’t know what to do with him.

09.24 GMT: Everton’s brilliant start to the Premier League has come off the rails somewhat and manager Carlo Ancelotti was asked about speculation linking the club with a swoop for Real Madrid star Isco,

“Isco is a fantastic player and [I have] a fantastic memory of him but now I am not, honestly, focused there,” Ancelotti told reporters. “I am focused on an important week we are going to have to recover players and to be well prepared for the game against [Manchester] United.”

Ancelotti signed Isco for Real Madrid in 2013, with the forward caught on camera complaining about his limited role in the team under coach Zinedine Zidane last Saturday.

08.55 GMT: Atletico Madrid are set to announce the signing of Geoffrey Kondogbia after the midfielder passed his medical in the Spanish capital on Sunday, sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.

The club finally agreed a complex deal with Valencia for the 27-year-old on Saturday after weeks of negotiations.

Under La Liga rules, Atletico had 30 days to find a replacement for Thomas Partey after Arsenal paid his buyout clause, meaning they can register Kondogbia outside the transfer window.

The French midfielder hasn’t met up with his new teammates yet, arriving after they’d already flown to Moscow for Tuesday’s Champions League match with Lokomotiv.

08.00 GMT: Bayern Munich are no longer prepared to negotiate a new contract with defender David Alaba, club president Herbert Hainer has said. The 28-year-old now looks set to leave the Champions League winners on a free transfer next summer, and he can sign a pre-contract at a new club from Jan. 1 2021.

“We have a new situation since this weekend,” Hainer said on BR Blickpunkt Sport on Sunday. “Quite a while ago, we made David and his agent what we find was a very good offer.”

However, the club also set Alaba and his agent, Pini Zahavi, a deadline which they failed to meet. Hainer said: “We wanted to have clarity until the end of October. It’s a crucial position for which we want planning security.”

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Serie A giants Juventus and Inter Milan are monitoring the situation.

Alaba has played at Bayern Munich for all of his professional career, aside from a short loan stint with TSG Hoffenheim in the second half of the 2010-11 season. He is nearing his 400th competitive appearance for the Bundesliga champions. The Austria international has so far appeared in 394 games for Bayern, scoring 31 goals and providing a further 49 assists.

“We did not hear back from his camp until yesterday,” Hainer said. “Our sporting executive Hasan Salihamidzic chased the agent, but he replied that the offer was still unsatisfactory, and we should continue to think about it. Based on this, we decided to completely take the offer off the table. This means: An offer does not exist anymore.”

Bayern Munich reportedly offered Alaba a five-year deal with an annual salary of around €11m, which could have gone up to €15m with bonuses.



ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti breaks down what he’s seen from Juventus so far this season.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Khedira to reach agreement to leave

Clubs tracking World Cup winner Sami Khedira have been boosted by the news that Juventus are pushing ahead on plans to try and terminate the midfielder’s contract ahead of the January transfer window, reports Calciomercato.

In fact, though he’s under contract until June 2021, Juventus have told him that he must reach an agreement to leave.

And therein lies the problem, for Khedira still believes he has something to offer Andrea Pirlo’s team, despite his lack of form and fitness.

The Bianconeri are desperate to free up Khedira’s salary, and the Germany midfielder has been sidelined for some time.

Madrid to send Jovic on loan in January?

The Sunday Mirror (p61) reports that Real Madrid are contemplating letting Luka Jovic leave on loan in January, with West Ham United and Leicester City keen to bring him to the Premier League.

It would appear that Zinedine Zidane has had enough of Jovic, despite spending €60m to bring him to the Spanish capital in 2019, and could be tempted into allowing him to leave permanently in order to recoup some money to spend on new players in January.

Jovic has previously been linked with a move to Manchester City and Arsenal, as well as several clubs in Italy.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers reportedly wants the 22-year-old Jovic to provide competition for Jamie Vardy, particularly given that the Foxes face a serious fixture pile-up thanks to their progress in the Europa League.


– Rangers boss Steven Gerrard is keeping tabs on Jacob Murphy‘s contract talks at Newcastle United, reports the Daily Record. Gerrard was hoping to sign the winger in the summer and even though no move materialised, and despite Murphy impressing Steve Bruce this season, Gerrard is hoping he can tempt the player to Scotland by offering him more game time. Murphy is out of contract next summer, and Gerrard is keeping tabs in the hope he can make a pre-contract offer in January.

Everton, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and Newcastle are all interested in signing Djed Spence from Middlesbrough, according to TEAMtalk. Boro are aware they face a battle to keep Spence at the club beyond January, his splendid form for Neil Warnock’s side making him a target for numerous clubs in the new year. Spence joined Boro from Fulham in 2018 and broke into the side under Jonathan Woodgate. And now, due to his sparkling form this season, he is being watched every week by a seemingly growing list of clubs.

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Sunil Kumar

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