The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond. Plus, check out all the latest major completed transfers across Europe.
TOP STORY: Liverpool eye loan move for Barcelona’s Dembele
As we brought you earlier, Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Watford forward Ismaila Sarr, while The Times reports that they are keen on Wolves’ Diogo Jota. However, Sport reports that the club have also made contact with Barcelona over a loan move for Ousmane Dembele.
Dembele, 23, hasn’t played competitively since November but is reportedly now fully recovered from his latest injury setback.
The Frenchman moved to Barcelona from Dortmund in 2017 for €105m, but only played nine times last season after suffering a hamstring tear and is viewed as surplus to requirements at Camp Nou.
Liverpool, of course, are well stacked with Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino up front but manager Jurgen Klopp is keen to add some squad depth at a cheap cost.
21.29 BST: Real Madrid maintain their interest in bringing in Kylian Mbappe, but the La Liga champions aren’t going to get in a bidding dispute with Paris Saint-Germain for the France star, sources have told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez.
Mbappe is under contract at PSG until June 2022 and reports have stated that the World Cup hero doesn’t plan to extend his time in Paris. PSG sporting director Leonardo is hopeful to convince the player to stay, knowing that Madrid is a very real destination.
The clubs share cordial relations, so Real president Florentino Perez is being careful not to ruffle any feathers at PSG and not intervene in any potential talks between Mbappe and his current club. Nonetheless, if Mbappe does bolt to Madrid, the hope is that the clubs maintain a productive relationship.
20.44 BST: Tired of Thiago yet? Sorry. Former Germany and U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann joined the ESPN FC team at the start of the Bundesliga today (stream matches live on ESPN+ in the U.S.). He offered his take on the move, saying, in part, that the fact Bayern let him go means the Bundesliga giants have a “Plan B” to deal with his departure.
Former USMNT and Germany coach Jurgen Klinsmann explains why Bayern were comfortable letting Thiago leave.
20.18 BST: Borrusia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho liked an Instagram post from Thiago following the completion of his move to Liverpool. Could this be a statement of intent that the England international is set to follow in Thiago’s footsteps and swap the Bundesliga for the Premier League? In a word, no. But given the amount of time Sancho has graced the pages of Transfer Talk in recent weeks and months, it’s a fun little tidbit!
19.52 BST: Southampton’s Danny Ings is not interested in leaving the club, with manager Ralph Hasenhuettl describing speculation regarding the striker moving away from St Mary’s as “absolute nonsense.”
Saints’ top scorer with 25 goals in all competitions last season, Ings has been linked with Tottenham Hotspur by British media ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash between the sides.
“I don’t know how often I spoke last season about Ings and how important he is,” Hasenhuettl told a news conference on Friday. “All I want to say is that there is zero interest from Danny to go anywhere.
“He is 100% happy to be here and, for us, it’s 100% not discussable that we (allow him to) leave. (He’s) one of the best strikers in Europe. Any rumours are absolutely nonsense.”
19.17 BST: An update on an item in our lead story here, with The Independent claiming Liverpool’s move for Wolves’ Diogo Jota is close to completion and will include a fee in “excess of £35m.” The report claims that Klopp is a long-time admirer of the Portugal international, who was held out of Wolves’ Carabao Cup loss to Stoke City on Thursday.
18.44 BST: More MLS news here as Minnesota United has acquired well-traveled forward Kei Kamara from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for an undisclosed amount of allocation money and a 2022 draft pick, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.
With the Loons corps of forwards depleted by injuries to Luis Amarilla and Aaron Schoenfeld, Minnesota was in need of attacking help. Kamara, currently the fifth highest goalscorer in MLS history with 129 goals, and a Sierra Leone international, fits the bill.
The Loons will mark the eighth MLS team for which Kamara has played. In addition to the Rapids the list includes the Columbus Crew SC (twice), the San Jose Earthquakes, the Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City, the New England Revolution and the Vancouver Whitecaps. His most prolific season came with the Crew in 2015, when he scored 26 league and playoff goals and was a finalist for the league’s MVP award.
18.12 BST: “I think I don’t have to explain anything.” That was Man City boss Pep Guardiola’s response when quizzed about a failed attempt to bring Lionel Messi to the Etihad from Barcelona. Messi tried to force an exit from Barca following a trophyless season for the Catalans, but ultimately he decided to stay after realizing the only way he could leave was to sue his lifelong club.
“Leo explained quite well his feelings, I don’t have anything to add. He’s a football player for FC Barcelona, the club I love, and there is nothing more to say.”
Right! Moving on then (for now).
17.40 BST: Talks between Newcastle United and Besiktas regarding U.S. international defender DeAndre Yedlin are ongoing, a source with knowledge of the talks tells ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle.
Yedlin, 27, has a year to run on his contract, but is open to a move after losing his starting spot last season to Javier Manquillo, who recently signed a new four-year contract with the Magpies. The source added that Besiktas are pushing to acquire Yedlin on a free transfer, something that Newcastle is resisting.
MLS is also known to be interested in having Yedlin come back to the league, especially if he can be acquired without a transfer fee. But a return to his hometown club the Seattle Sounders, where he made his professional debut and spent parts of two seasons, would involve overcoming some considerable obstacles. One source indicated that the Sounders are facing a crunch in terms of available salary cap space for next season, and they recently re-signed left-back Brad Smith.
Yedlin has spent the last four seasons with Newcastle, having transferred to the club from Tottenham Hotspur in 2016. He also spent a season on loan at Newcastle’s arch-rivals Sunderland. Yedlin has made a total of 116 league and cup appearances with Newcastle, scoring three goals.
17.06 BST: We already brought you the news earlier in the day that Gonzalo Higuain is joining MLS side Inter Miami from Juventus, but how will the Argentina international transition to life in North America’s top flight? The FC crew discuss whether or not he’ll find success in MLS.
Taylor Twellman is joined by Matthew Doyle and Stu Holden to debate whether Inter Miami’s Gonzalo Higuain will be a hit in MLS.
16.31 BST: Pep Guardiola has said he will be happy with his Manchester City squad even if there are no new arrivals before the transfer deadline.
The club have been working on bringing another defender to the Etihad Stadium to add to the £60m already spent on Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake, but Guardiola insists more new faces will not make or break their season.
“I’m more than satisfied with what I’ve had and I know the club does everything to do their best, not just for me for the team,” Guardiola told a news conference. “If we have to stay with the players I’ll be happy. I’ve never before or in the future will I complain. I’m lucky to have these players and that’s all.”
16.00 BST: Liverpool have completed the signing of midfielder Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich, the club have announced.
ESPN reported on Thursday that Liverpool had beaten rival interest from Manchester United to seal a deal worth an initial £20m.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 18, 2020
Thiago told Liverpool’s website: “I think it’s an amazing feeling. I was waiting for this moment for a long time and I am very, very happy to be here. When the years are passing, you are trying to win as much as you can — and when you win, you want to win more. I think this club describes what I am as well; I want to achieve all of the goals, win as many trophies as possible.
“It also [has] this kind of family [feeling] that I need because we [like to] have a very close relationship with the club and I think I will feel this, I will have this feeling, with this club as well.”
15.41 BST: Some of the young USMNT guys joined Taylor Twellman on ‘Banter’ this week to share a joke over Weston McKennie‘s friendship with Cristiano Ronaldo after his move to Juventus.
USMNT players Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna and Josh Sargent dish on Weston McKennie joining Juventus.
15.25 BST: Liverpool defender Ki-Jana Hoever is set to join Wolves for £10m, says the Daily Mail.
Hoever, 18, is highly rated but hasn’t broken into the first-team and Liverpool are looking to raise funds despite the fact the Dutchman signed a new long-term contract last summer.
15.01 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Leicester are set to sign Turkey winger Cengiz Under on loan, with an obligation to buy for €27m next season, after the Roma player completed a medical.
The club are also keen on bringing in a new centre-back and have targeted Saint Etienne’s Wesley Fofana and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah.
Leicester have already made a €29m bid for Fofana and are waiting to hear back, though the Ligue 1 club are not keen to open talks.
14.40 BST: Gareth Bale is at Tottenham’s training ground ahead of his loan move from Real Madrid.
Gareth Bale had time to take a selfie with a Tottenham fan while on his way to re-sign for the club 📸
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 18, 2020
14.27 BST: After successfully appealing their Champions League ban over alleged financial fair play irregularities, Manchester City have been battling back against a belief held by some clubs and agents that they are prepared to go on a major spending spree in the transfer market, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
City are interested in adding another centre-back to Pep Guardiola’s squad before the transfer deadline, but have baulked at the fees quoted for Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Atletico Madrid’s Jose Gimenez. Koulibaly is available for around €80m, while Atletico point to Gimenez’s €120m release clause when any interested club make contact.
City walked away from deals for Alexis Sanchez and Harry Maguire because they were not prepared to pay the money Manchester United offered. Sanchez left Arsenal for United in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January 2018, earning around £350,000-a-week before bonuses. Maguire left Leicester for Old Trafford for £80m last summer.
Sources told ESPN that City will stop negotiating again if prices do not come down before the window closes on Oct. 5.
14.04 BST: Former Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain has become the next star to join David Beckham’s Inter Miami FC.
Without further ado…
Welcome to Inter Miami, Gonzalo Higuaín! pic.twitter.com/tZ8uPkbqeq
— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) September 18, 2020
The two sides agreed personal terms earlier this week, with sources confirming a report in Tuttosport that Juventus and Higuain had reached an agreement on a payout for the final year of his contract. The outlet also reported that Higuain will receive is less than 50% of the $8.9m owed.
Higuain joins former Juventus teammate Blaise Matuidi in Miami, and he will also be playing in the same league as his older brother, Federico Higuain, who plays for D.C. United.
13.52 BST: Chelsea are closing on a £20m deal to sign Rennes goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, with his agent telling Senegalese newspaper Stades yesterday: “The two parties have come to an agreement. All that’s left is the formalisation. It could even be done tomorrow, if all goes well.”
But it’s doubtful he’ll sign by Sunday so will Kepa Arrizabalaga start against Liverpool?
Craig Burley considers the possibility Frank Lampard will bench Kepa ahead of their match vs. Liverpool.
13.30 BST: Barcelona striker Luis Suarez turned down an offer from Inter Miami this summer that would have seen him become Major League Soccer’s highest-paid player of all-time, sources told ESPN’s Moises Llorens.
Suarez, 33, has been told he can leave Camp Nou and was offered a way out by Miami. The franchise, co-owned by David Beckham, were prepared to offer a four-year deal with a salary worth around €8m net annually, surpassing the all-time salary record held by Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he banked $7.2m a year while at LA Galaxy.
Sources told ESPN that Suarez does maintain an interest in playing in MLS before retiring, but that he didn’t feel the timing was right at the moment. If he does end up leaving Barca — with the club threatening to banish him to the stands if he stays — he would like to play for a top European side.
Suarez has flown to Italy to take an exam that would see him granted Italian citizenship ahead of a proposed move to Juventus.
13.05 BST: Mikel Arteta has confirmed Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Iceland goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarrson from Dijon.
The Gunners have made slow progress in their efforts to land Brentford’s David Raya with the Championship club turning down a £10m bid. However, Arsenal are confident of Runarrson for a fee of around £1.6m and Arteta said: “Obviously with the departure of Emi [Martinez] which is a big loss and someone that we all wish the best, we have to reface him. We’ve been looking in the market and we will shortly be in a position to announce our new signing. I don’t know [how soon]. In football the hours can become days and something that looks unlikely can happen straight away.”
Asked about whether Arsenal would sign two goalkeepers, Arteta added: “[It depends] on what’s going to happen with our third goalkeeping position as well because we have some talks about that in the last few months. Still the market is open and things can change.”
12.46 BST: Arsenal are continuing to pursue a deal for Brentford goalkeeper David Raya after having a £10m bid rejected, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
The Gunners are confident the 25-year-old wants to join them, but Brentford are reluctant to part with Raya as they seek promotion to the Premier League after losing the 2019-20 Championship playoff final to Fulham.
Arsenal sold back-up goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa on Wednesday for £20m and are seeking to reinvest some of those funds by signing two replacements with a deal to sign Iceland international Runar Alex Runarsson from Dijon also close to completion.
12.35 BST: Manchester United midfielder James Garner has joined Watford on loan until the end of the season.
12.22 BST: Manchester City have been linked with an €80m move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, but the window to sign him is closing fast.
Colin Udoh believe’s Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly will be staying despite ongoing rumours of a Premier League move.
12.03 BST: Manchester City goalkeeper Arijanet Muric is set for another loan move, says Transfermarkt, and will head to Spanish second division side Girona.
11.44 BST: Mario Gotze is without a club after his contract at Borussia Dortmund, the club he rejoined from Bayern in 2016, expired this summer and says he won’t retire without winning the Champions League title.
“I want to win the Champions League by all means. This motivates me every day, in every training,” he told Bild. “I don’t want to retire without winning this trophy once.”
Only a handful of clubs compete for Europe’s biggest club trophy, but Gotze is confident he can find one to sign him. “I have never said that I must leave Bundesliga. There are several ambitious clubs in Germany,” he added.
Gotze, 28, had been linked with MLS side Inter Miami, but he politely rejected the idea of leaving Europe, saying: “I think the US and MLS are exciting too, but currently that’s no topic for me. My focus in on Europe.”
The midfielder played a crucial goal in helping Germany to success at the 2014 World Cup when scoring the only goal in the final against Argentina, but his club career has seen him struggle in recent years.
11.25 BST: Former Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino says it’s “a dream” of his to coach Real Madrid one day.
Pochettino has been out of a job since leaving Spurs in November 2019 after five years in charge. During his time at Spurs, Pochettino was linked on several occasions to Madrid and was also touted to take over at Barcelona.
“I don’t know if I will ever be coach of Real Madrid because football takes you where it wants to but for sure, it’s my dream,” Pochettino told Cadena Cope radio. “If it’s not the best, it’s among the best clubs in the world. It has a great history and I think I’m no different from other football professionals. Any coach would have on their dream list to guide Real Madrid.”
But Pochettino, who played and managed Barca’s city rivals Espanyol earlier in his career, said he did not receive an offer from Barca this summer.
“I did not see [Barcelona president Josep Maria] Bartomeu but I did have lunch with [Barcelona technical secretary] Ramon Planes,” Pochettino said. “We have a great friendship but I was not offered the position to coach Barcelona. I didn’t get one [offer] from PSG, nor Juventus, nor Inter Milan. I did get calls from Benfica and from Monaco. I have no need to lie.”
11.03 BST: Argentinian club Banfield claim James Rodriguez joined Everton from Real Madrid for free.
The club, where James played for one-and-a-half seasons before moving to FC Porto in 2010, are entitled to a cut of the money from the Colombian’s subsequent transfers.
Everton announced earlier this month that James had arrived for an undisclosed fee, reported to be €25m. But Banfield issued a statement revealing they will not receive any money from his switch to Everton.
“Despite the media reports which indicated that the transfer had a fee, a situation that would see Banfield benefit with a percentage of that sum for having contributed to the training of the player, this was not the case,” it read. “Unfortunately, because of James Rodriguez’s switch from Real Madrid to Everton, no money is due for Banfield. The transaction was made at no cost, as if it were a free player. The pertinent consultations have already been made to the two clubs involved and to the corresponding organisations. In all cases they confirmed to us that the club will not receive money as a solidarity mechanism.”
10.45 BST: The Bundesliga is back today (stream live on ESPN+) and Bayern Munich will have to move on from Thiago quickly, as he joins Liverpool.
Derek Rae explains the hole Bayern need to fill with Thiago leaving for Liverpool in the Premier League.
10.21 BST: Liverpool have stepped up their interest in Watford forward Ismaila Sarr, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.
The Reds have contacted the Championship side over Sarr and are at the enquiry stage of the deal, with a fee still to be negotiated.
Jurgen Klopp has moved quickly this week to bolster his side with midfielder Thiago, set to arrive for an initial £20m from Bayern Munich, and has now turned attention to Sarr to bolster their forward line. They were strongly linked with Germany striker Timo Werner earlier this summer, but he ended up joining Chelsea for £47.7m and Klopp is still keen to add a further player to his attacking options.
Sarr, 22, joined Watford from Stade Rennais last June for £30m on a five-year deal. He made 30 appearances last season, scoring six goals, but with Watford relegated, the club have already seen several players leaving with Pervis Estupinan joining Villarreal this week and Abdoulaye Doucoure departing for Everton.
10.02 BST: AC Milan have rekindled their interest in signing Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira, according to Sky Italia.
Milan have already strengthened their midfield with the arrival of Sandro Tonalli from Brescia this summer but the Rossoneri are in the market for another midfielder and have identified Torreira.
Indeed, Milan have contacted the player’s agent to see if the Uruguay international would be keen on a return to Serie A. Torreira, who joined the Gunners from Sampdoria in the summer of 2018, is tied to the Gunners for another three seasons and made 29 league appearances last season, but has dropped down the pecking order this year.
09.55 BST: Borussia Dortmund have sent 19-year-old midfielder Immanuel Pherai out on a one-year loan to Dutch side PEC Zwolle and at the same time extended his contract until 2022.
Dortmund are hoping he can win experience at a high level. Last term, Pherai made the Dortmund senior squad four times, but did not feature for Lucien Favre’s first-team.
09.34 BST: Manchester United are a bit of a mess when it comes to transfers, aren’t they?
Julien Laurens is stunned by Manchester United being frustrated with fans who demand more transfer activity.
09.15 BST: ESPN’s Insider Notebook is live with some super transfer lines:
– Manchester United are growing increasingly frustrated at the social media frenzy around their transfer activity and believe it is creating a cloud of negativity ahead of their start to the new Premier League season, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
– Arsenal finally confirmed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s new three-year contract this week, but the lengthy delay in an official announcement was not down to any glitch in negotiations. Sources told ESPN’s James Olley there were lengthy internal conversations at the club about how to make the news public, with the club’s new head of brand marketing, Adam Gardiner, keen to shake things up following their recent off-field restructure.
08.50 BST: Liverpool have beaten off rival interest from Manchester United to seal a deal worth an initial £20m for Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden. And he will arrive on Merseyside for a medical on Friday.
Thiago, 29, whose contract with the Champions League winners was due to expire next summer, has agreed a four-year deal and he will wear the No. 6 shirt.
Sources said that the fee for Thiago could rise to £25m, based on Liverpool winning the Premier League or Champions League during his time at Anfield.
08.31 BST: Manchester City have more than enough firepower to reclaim the Premier League title from Liverpool even without Lionel Messi, according to new signing Ferran Torres.
City might have had Messi in their sights during the summer but the Argentina captain ultimately couldn’t force a move away from Barcelona.
Even without the six-time Ballon d’Or winner, Torres, a £20m summer signing from Valencia, believes Pep Guardiola’s squad is strong enough to win the top trophies at home and abroad this season.
“I think we have a fantastic team beyond Messi,” said Torres. “We have a group of players ready to compete against any opponent and we are able to do great things in the Champions League.”
08.15 BST: Few done deals to remind you of:
– Roma have confirmed the signing of Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla on a two-year loan deal with an obligation to buy for €13.5m.
– West Brom have landed Conor Gallagher on a season-long loan from Chelsea
08.00 BST: Bayern Munich are the front-runners to sign Ajax’s Sergino Dest as Thiago Alcantara looks set to join Liverpool, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.
Sources have told ESPN the money generated from that transfer has fast-tracked their interest in Dest if a suitable transfer fee can by agreed between the clubs.
Dest, 19, is regarded as one of the world’s best young right-backs and has been on the radar of a number of top clubs this summer.
He is also of interest to Barcelona’s radar but sources have told ESPN they need to sell before they can bring any more players in with the club trying to shift Nelson Semedo.
Craig Burley suggests Gareth Bale may have achieved all he wanted in football ahead of a loan move to Tottenham.
PAPER TALK (by Shaun Reynolds)
Reguilon’s Spurs move reignites United interest in Telles
Sergio Reguilon‘s pending move to Tottenham from Real Madrid has re-ignited Manchester United’s interest in FC Porto’s Alex Telles, according to Portuguese outlet A Bola.
United were monitoring Telles earlier this summer with a view to adding depth to their squad, and the report suggests that Solskjaer has renewed his interest in the 27-year-old left-back as a direct consequence of Reguilon’s expected move to Tottenham.
Telles is reportedly available for just over £18m, with one year remaining on his contract with Porto. It is said that the defender’s renewal talks with the former European champions broke down last week after he requested wages of up to £88,000-a-week.
Saints reject Spurs approach for Ings
Tottenham Hotspur’s formal approach for Southampton striker Danny Ings has been rejected, according to the Guardian.
On Thursday, the Telegraph revealed that Spurs were interested in Saints’ star striker after he racked up an impressive 25 goals in 38 appearances for the south coast club last season. But the Guardian now reports that while Tottenham are yet to bid for the 28-year-old, a formal approach for the forward has been rejected. The report adds that Southampton remain hopeful of tying down Ings to a fresh contract at St. Mary’s.
It’s also claimed that Eintracht Frankfurt forward Bas Dost has caught Mourinho’s eye amid the club’s pursuit to bring Gareth Bale in on loan from Real Madrid. After failing to sign Callum Wilson from Bournemouth, Mourinho is said to still be in need of another striker. However, any possible move for Dost is unlikely to be permanent one.
– Mexico and Monterrey midfielder Carlos Rodriguez is of interest to Lazio and after months of talks a deal could be reached relatively soon, according to sources consulted by ESPN’s Moises Llorens. The 23-year-old Rayados player has been highly praised by Mexico coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino and shone for Monterrey in the Club World Cup semifinal against Liverpool last December. Aside from Lazio, a number of clubs in the Bundesliga and La Liga have also followed the progress of a player who has already won Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League and is widely considered to be one of the best in Mexico’s younger generation.
– Mikel Arteta has plenty to ponder after Brentford officials told Arsenal chiefs that they will only sell goalkeeper David Raya if he is loaned back to them for the rest of the season. Arsenal are chasing a backup goalkeeper following the departure of Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa. After the Telegraph reported that Brentford rejected a £10m bid from Arsenal for Raya, Sky Sports have claimed that the Bees are only willing to part with one player this transfer window: Said Benrahma, who is being targeted by Crystal Palace. Arsenal remain close to signing Dijon stopper Runar Alex Runarsson.
– Fulham will attempt to sign Huddersfield Town defender Terence Kongolo on a permanent deal after being impressed with his loan stint at the club towards the end of last season, according to Football Insider, which adds that the Terriers are willing to part with the Netherlands international in an attempt to raise some much-needed cash.