The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.
TOP STORY: Man City look to beat Barca to De Jong
Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong is one of Europe’s most wanted, and Premier League champions Manchester City are one of the clubs determined to sign him next summer according to the Daily Mail.
The Netherlands international fits the Pep Guardiola mould, so much so that he may see another club shaped by the City manager, Barcelona, as his ideal destination. But the Catalan boss will be hoping to lure him to the Etihad Stadium, and the prospect of working under such a highly respected manager could be appealing for the youngster.
Guardiola missed out on a player in this position last summer after Brazil-born Italian midfielder Jorginho chose to be reunited with Maurizio Sarri at Chelsea, so he will be in the market and ready to pounce should the opportunity arise.
De Jong is an accomplished central midfielder at just 21 and can also operate as a ball-playing centre back. This tactical versatility will suit a manager such as Guardiola, who is not afraid to change his formation from week to week.
10.30 BST: Maurizio Sarri has now had two months to have a good look at Alvaro Morata, and the Chelsea boss has decided he’s seen enough.
According to The Sun, the Italian coach wants Inter Milan forward Mauro Icardi to replace the misfiring Spain striker, despite him scoring in each of his last two appearances for the Blues.
09.30 BST: Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has told ESPN FC he was flattered to be a summer transfer target for Jose Mourinho, but insists he is more than happy at the Nerazzurri in a resurgent Serie A.
The Slovakia international, under contract until 2022, was one of two Italy-based players — along with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly — Mourinho had targeted to strengthen his defence at Manchester United last summer.
“When some coach like Jose says that he is looking for a player like me or somebody else, it’s always nice, but I don’t know why these rumours continue,” he told ESPN FC. “I’ve not said anything to anybody, just what you can see on the web.
“Even if Jose is one of the most famous, best, greatest coaches in the world, it’s not something I think of because I’m playing for Inter and am happy here at Inter.
“I’m happy in Milan, it’s a great city, even when my parents or friends come here, we have a look around and I’m happy here and relaxed here. When the results are going well too, it’s all even better.”
Arsenal target Under offer
Arsenal are in pole position to sign Roma’s Turkish star Cengiz Under according to reports in Italy. Corriere dello Sport offshoot ForzaRoma are reporting that the Premier League side are leading a race with Bayern Munich for the player’s signature.
The winger has impressed in flashes for Roma since joining from Istanbul-based side Basaksehir, with the Turkish club also due 20 percent of any transfer fee.
The Altinordu youth academy, Under’s first senior club, will also be due a cut, and the Turkish clubs are said to be encouraging a move in anticipation of their payoff.
The report states that a deal could be done in January, and that there is a real desire back in Turkey for their countryman to move to one of Europe’s top clubs.
Ancelotti wants Liverpool and Arsenal target Barella
Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on Cagliari and Italy midfielder Nicolo Barella, who is attracting interest from across Europe, including several Premier League clubs.
The Napoli boss is quoted as saying that the 21-year-old is “ideal for us, he’s better than I was,” on the front of the latest edition of Corriere dello Sport.
Barella recently won his first senior caps for Italy, which further increased his profile and reputation on the continent.
Arsenal and Liverpool appear to be the favourites to land the player, but Ancelotti has turned on the charm in an attempt to bring him to the San Paolo.
– Tottenham Hotspur have agreed terms with Boca Juniors defensive midfielder Wilmar Barrios, and he could move as soon as January according to journalist Luis Fregossi of Argentinian outlet Mundo Boca. The north London club will make an offer in the region of £20m for the 25-year-old who was part of Colombia’s World Cup squad.
– It could be one in one out at Spurs, as Juan Foyth eyes a move away on a temporary deal in search of first-team football. Fellow Argentine Marcelo Bielsa is interested in bringing him on loan to Leeds United, according to AS Argentina.
- Jose Mourinho would “love” to sign Eden Hazard for Manchester United, but admits it is unlikely Chelsea would ever allow the Belgian to move to Old Trafford.