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: Man City to offer Messi a contract in January
Of course Lionel Messi‘s massive salary could play a big part in this as the 33-year-old has made it clear that he’s keen to leave Camp Nou once his contract expires in 2021. The Argentine opted not to take the club to court in order to get his move this summer, but the Daily Telegraph reports that Manchester City are ready to offer him a pre-contract agreement in January to move to the Etihad on a free at the end of the season.
The 19-year-old has made it clear he won’t renew his contract with Man City and is free to leave in the summer when his own contract expires. Barca are reportedly ready to offer €8m to land him early, but City have been holding out for around €20m.
Barcelona have also 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.
13.28 GMT: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said he has a good relationship with Lionel Messi and he doesn’t agree with Quique Setien‘s assessment that the forward is “difficult to manage.”
Former Barca boss Setien, who was sacked in August, said in an interview with El Pais on Sunday that it was hard to coach Messi because of how accustomed he is to success.
“I respect everyone’s option but, for me, Leo is the best player in the world,” Koeman said in a news conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League game against Dynamo Kiev.
“I see the ambition he has and his winning character every day. He’s not a player I have difficulties with. He’s the captain and I speak with him every week about things on the pitch and things in the dressing room to [maintain] a good relationship with him.
“I see things differently and I am not in agreement with Setien, although I respect his opinion. If that’s what he says, that’s how it is for him.”
Either way, Fiorentina look set to lose one of their star defenders and interest from the Premier League is strong, while Atletico Madrid are also reported to be monitoring.
Kabak, 20, has emerged as one of the best young defenders in Europe and the Turkey international reportedly has a €45m release clause in his contract which becomes active in the summer of 2021.
Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider told WAZ: “Milan knocked at the very end of the transfer period in the summer, which was out of the question for us.”
The Spanish club were allowed to do the deal outside of the transfer window because of a special rule that meant they could replace Thomas Partey, who joined Arsenal when they paid his €50m release clause last month.
Agreement with @valenciacf_en over the transfer of Geoffrey Kondogbia. The midfielder has signed a contract until 2024.
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) November 3, 2020
11.11 GMT: What’s up with Paul Pogba at Manchester United?
Julien Laurens says he likes how accountable Paul Pogba was for Man United’s struggles in their loss to Arsenal.
09.50 GMT: When transfers go bad, part 345.
Koeman coached Joaquin at the Mestalla stadium in the 2007-08 campaign. The winger scored five goals in 49 games and won the Copa del Rey (though he was benched for the final), but Valencia finished 10th and Koeman was sacked in April.
“It wasn’t the most beautiful experience of my sporting career,” the former Spain international said on El Larguero. “It wasn’t nice to be honest. I don’t even want to talk about it because it pains me what happened there.
“I wouldn’t take Koeman not even as a kit man. Fortunately, he didn’t last long and we were able to rescue the season. I’m not going to salute him and neither will he. There’s no better time to face Barca than now.”
09.14 GMT: Corinthians are set to sign Brazilian defender Jemerson from Monaco for around R$4.5m (€700,000).
08.30 GMT: Former Melbourne Victory midfielder Josh Hope has decided to step away from professional football at the age of 22 because anxiety caused in large part by online abuse from fans had stopped him enjoying the game.
Hope, who was released at the end of last season after four years at Victory, said in an Instagram post on Tuesday he had decided to “call it in, for now” rather than pursue a move to another A-League club.
“It’s a constant battle with people who are supposedly meant to be supporting you,” he wrote. “Some of the things I would see not only regarding myself but others was nothing less than abuse. And I’m not talking football related!
“When it gets personal, to the colour of their skin, to how they talk, to a haircut … I don’t want to be a part of it.”
ESPN FC’s Kasey Keller assesses Christian Pulisic’s latest injury for Chelsea that could keep him out for weeks.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
Atletico Madrid register interest in Lamptey
This list had already included Bayern Munich and Sevilla, so the Seagulls might have a tough time keeping hold of the right-back.
Nevertheless, they are looking to keep him at the club and, despite the youngster having signed a three-year contract in January, they are set to offer him a new and improved deal.
It seems as though the youngster is going to have plenty of options ahead of the winter window.
Llorente is a wanted man
However, they could have a tough time getting him if Internazionale or Atletico Madrid make a move, with the two clubs also said to be showing interest.
The Spaniard has been almost anonymous since leaving Tottenham Hotspur, but he might be set to bag himself a big move late in his career.
– There are often winners and losers when a football club is taken over, and Phil Jones feels he could miss out if Burnley get new owners, reports The Mirror. The Manchester United defender has not made it into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad for the campaign, and it is reported Sean Dyche had pencilled in a loan swoop for him.
– Juventus have been trying to get Federico Bernardeschi off their books and it might finally happen, according to IlBiancoNero. The club wanted him to leave, either on loan or permanently, in January, but the 26-year-old refused to go, feeling he could turn things around at the Serie A champions. The report says that, after struggling once again, he is now willing to leave Allianz Stadium if a good offer comes in during the winter window.