PSG begin pursuit of Kessie as midfielder’s Milan contract winds down

The summer transfer window is closed for the top leagues in Europe! After a summer full of international football, countless clubs waited until the last minute to pull off their transfers. See all the major deals here and check out how we graded the biggest signings. But just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming.

TOP STORY: PSG begin Kessie pursuit

Tottenham Hotspur are showing an interest in signing AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, but according to Footmercato, the North London club could face competition from a side that has proven to be big hitters in the summer transfer market: Paris Saint-Germain.

The Parisians made great use of the free agent market, bringing in Lionel Messi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Sergio Ramos and Gianluigi Donnarumma without paying any transfer fees. And it seems as though they will be looking to use the same tactic next year, with Kessie’s contract coming to an end in 2022.

Footmercato states that PSG have already started work on a deal for the 24-year-old Ivory Coast international by offering a yearly salary of €9 million — €2.2m more than Milan’s latest proposal. They have also spoken to Rossoneri technical director Paolo Maldini, just in case the Serie A side try to offload the midfielder in January in order to avoid losing him for free in the summer.

It is suggested that Kessie could merely be using PSG’s interest in order to force Milan into giving him a better deal, but the intentions are very clear from the Parc des Princes.

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11.34 BST: Gerard Pique said his relationship with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola changed after he started dating the Colombian singer Shakira.

Pique re-joined Barca from Manchester United in 2008 and was part of the team that won three LaLiga titles and had two Champions League successes in the next four years under Guardiola. However, by the final year of Guardiola’s time on the Camp Nou bench, Pique said several factors had taken their toll on the relationship between the manager and his players.

“We reached a moment of tension with him, not just me but the dressing room in general,” Pique told La Sotana on Monday. “The rivalry with Jose Mourinho [at Real Madrid] wore us down a lot. Pep wanted absolute control over everything that was happening.

“I started dating Shakira and our relationship changed. Now, the relationship is perfect. But there was a lot of pressure on me then. I felt like I had to do everything in training perfectly. If there was a moment I thought about leaving Barca, it was that [2011-12] season. I struggled in that last season with Guardiola.”

11.00 BST: Mario Mandzukic was some player.



Gab & Juls remember Mario Mandzukic’s best moments as he calls time on his playing career.

10.20 BST: Liverpool, Barcelona and Bayern Munich are all interested in FC Salzburg forward Karim Adeyemi, says Bild.

Adeyemi, 19, scored on his debut for Germany in the 6-0 win over Armenia on Sunday and has 17 goals in 59 games for the club since arriving in 2019.

The forward played at Bayern during his youth career but has now attracted attention from some other top European sides.

09.26 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has revealed he tried to bring back Neymar to Camp Nou this summer.

The Brazilian star left Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2017 for a world-record €222m fee. Since then, Neymar has been constantly linked with a return to Barcelona.

“We tried to sign Neymar,” Laporta said. “We found out that he was crazy about coming. We interpreted the [financial] fair play differently, had we known then that we could not register [Lionel] Messi, we would not have tried to.”

Laporta, meanwhile, denied that his team received a €100m bid from a European club for teenage sensation Ansu Fati. Manchester United were among the clubs reportedly keen to sign the Spain international.

“We’ve never tried to transfer Ansu Fati,” Laporta said. “We try to keep the players that have a presented and good future at the club. Another thing is the rumours. I heard that there was a €100m offer, it came out in the papers. But at no time did we receive that [offer].”

08.41 BST: Donny van de Beek says he trusts Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he remains in the Manchester United manager’s plans, but says “I have to play more.”

Van de Beek has started just four Premier League games since arriving at Old Trafford from Ajax a year ago in a £35m transfer.

“I need to trust him,” Van de Beek told Rio Ferdinand on the Vibe with Five podcast. “If he doesn’t need me I think he will let me go. I think he has plans for me, I just need to work hard and I hope one day I can show the people what I can do.

“You can never promise a player if he will play or not but I agree that I have to play more. You can train hard every day but in the end you need game time to show you’re best shape. If you play once in a month you can’t show your best.”

The Netherlands international was speaking after his agent revealed there had been talks with Everton during the summer transfer window.

Guido Albers told Ziggo Sport: “We had conversations with Solskjaer and the board. We took the initiative to find a club and our search ended up at Everton. We opened talks with Marcel Brands and Farhad Moshiri.

“On Monday night [prior to deadline day] we received a call from Solskjaer and the club who told us that a transfer was out of the question and that he had to report himself to training the next morning.”

08.00 BST: Manchester United remain keen on West Ham United’s Declan Rice despite deciding against investing in a midfielder this summer, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward were aware of the clamour among supporters to sign a new midfielder during the transfer window, but sources have told ESPN that a winger and centre-back were identified as the club’s primary targets.

The summer budget was spent on winger Jadon Sancho and defender Raphael Varane, while a deal for forward Cristiano Ronaldo was financed with funds from outside the transfer pot.

Sources have told ESPN that a striker and a midfielder are on the list ahead of next summer with England international Rice among a number of options that will be narrowed down over the course of the next 12 months.

It is likely West Ham would have to lower their valuation of the 22-year-old — who is under contract until 2024 — which has stood at more than £80m.



Gab Marcotti debates why PSG ignored Real Madrid’s offer for Kylian Mbappe with only a year left on his contract.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Real Madrid may have been unable to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but this has not dimmed their ambitions ahead of entering the new Estadio Santiago Bernabeu. Marca reports that Los Blancos still want Mbappe, while aiming for him to also be joined by Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba. Marcelo, Isco and Gareth Bale are all out of contract at the end of the season and are expected to leave the club on free transfers, clearing significant space on the club’s wage bill.

Calciomercato has laid out a list of French players that Juventus are interested in, with Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara the latest to catch their eye — especially as the 21-year-old midfielder’s contract comes to an end in the summer. He is far from alone, though, as The Old Lady are also said to be considering Lyon pair Houssem Aouar and Rayan Cherki, as well as AS Monaco duo Aurelien Tchouameni and Benoit Badiashile.

– With Aleksandar Kolarov and Ivan Perisic‘s contracts both expiring at the end of the season, Internazionale are looking for players who could come in on the left side next season, reports Calciomercato. It is suggested that they could return to former targets and look at Chelsea’s Marcos Alonso, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Filip Kostic and VfB Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa.

Bayern Munich are set to sign 16-year-old Croatian wunderkind Lovro Zvonarek for an initial €1.8m, which could rise to around €5m, as has been reported by Sport Bild. The attacking midfielder already plays in the Croatian top flight for Slaven Belupo Koprivnica, where he will stay for now, as the youngster will join Bayern’s academy in January 2022 at the earliest.

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