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Liverpool, Man United to go after Leipzig’s Upamecano

0 2 months ago

The coronavirus pandemic made for the transfer market unlike any before it, but there was still plenty of action on Deadline Day. With the window closed across the major leagues in Europe, you can check out the latest major completed transfers across the globe.

TOP STORY: Liverpool, Man United to go after Upamecano

Liverpool and Manchester United will battle it out over the signing of RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano next summer, Bild reports.

The Frenchman signed a deal back in July that would, in theory, keep him with Leipzig until 2023. His previous release was around €60 million but that figure will decrease substantially to €42m by the time next year’s window arrives.

Liverpool’s desire to bring in a high profile centre-back partner for Virgil van Dijk has been well documented but beyond that, United have seemingly been within touching distance of bringing Upamecano to Old Trafford on more than one occasion.

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14.51 BST: Bournemouth won’t let David Brooks leave the club, despite interest from former club Sheffield United, says Football Insider.

Bournemouth signed Brooks for £10m in July 2018 and the midfielder has scored eight goals from 46 appearances. The cub were relegated last season and hope to persuade the Wales international to stay before the domestic transfer window closes on Oct. 16.

14.26 BST: Real Madrid didn’t sign a player in the summer window for the first time in 40 years, but they have plans for the future.

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Julien Laurens believes Real Madrid’s lack of transfer activity this summer is because they plan to buy Kylian Mbappe in 2021.

14.00 BST: Liverpool have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Marcelo Pitaluga from Fluminense.

Pitaluga, 17, was part of the Brazil squad that won the FIFA U17 World Cup last November and will be part of the first-team group at Anfield.

“Now he is here, we have to improve [him]. He is still young, there is no pressure because there is still a long road and we don’t want to create any pressure for him because there is still work to do,” head of goalkeeping John Achterberg told the club website.

“First of all, you need to let him settle down, find his way. He needs to learn the speed, the kind of game in England is different than in Brazil, it’s a lot faster and there’s more aggression in it. All that stuff you have to calculate as well to work on a little bit.”

13.30 BST: New York City FC have loaned Romania forward Alexandru Mitrita to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli Saudi FC until January, with an option to sign him permanently included.

Mitrița, 25, has scored four goals and given two assists in 12 games this season, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic he has been unable to see his wife, who is expecting their first child, after she returned to Romania earlier this year.

New York City FC Sporting Director, David Lee, said: “Due to Mitri’s personal circumstances during this pandemic, we felt it was the best move for all parties at this time to loan him to Al-Ahli. He’s certainly a player we believe in and has helped us win football matches in the past 18 months. We do not know how long these travel restrictions will last, so from a human perspective, we wanted to respect his wishes to be closer to his family.

“Due to New York State Guidelines and MLS protocol, Mitri would have been subject to mandatory quarantines following returns from the October FIFA window as well as a likely November FIFA window.

“Given the current fixture list, he would have missed the majority of NYCFC’s remaining 2020 regular season matches as well as a number of potential playoff games. This loan allows Mitriță to continue playing competitive football while also attending to family matters which we know are a priority for him.”

13.22 BST: Arsenal missed out on Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar during the summer window and Fabrizio Romano says they could have a new target in January.

The Gunners spent £45m on Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey but wouldn’t go as far as the £54m that Lyon wanted for Aouar.

The Frenchman is still on the agenda, but if they can’t complete a move then FC Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai is the man Romano says they will turn to.

12.35 BST: Liverpool have included Xherdan Shaqiri, despite the Switzerland international being linked with a move, but there is no room for Wales international Harry Wilson, suggesting he could go out on loan again.

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ESPN FC’s Gab Marcotti explains why Liverpool could be considered the winners of the transfer window.

12.02 BST: Man United have not registered Sergio Romero, Marcos Rojo or Phil Jones for the Champions League, so you’d have to think they’ll be looking for moves soon.

11.15 BST: Bayern Munich rebuild on a budget as the Bundesliga largely looks to loans in transfer market, writes Derek Rae.

It would have been strange indeed had the transfer window in Germany concluded just like any other. That football is not immune to the effects of a pandemic was illustrated by a greater emphasis than ever among Bundesliga clubs when it came to loan deals, many of them secured at the eleventh hour.

Clubs up and down the Bundesrepublik scrambled to improve themselves even in a small way without committing for the long haul. Necessity is the mother of invention in these uncertain times. What is cast in stone is that Bayern have addressed their squad needs, covering up areas that needed patching but, it must be said, using the aforementioned loan market only sparingly. Douglas Costa’s return to the Rekordmeister on this basis raised a few eyebrows.

10.37 BST: Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos have been left out of Arsenal’s squad for the Europa League group stage.

The decision to omit Ozil is the latest setback in the 31-year-old’s attempt to revive his career at the club and the clearest indication yet he is no longer part of manager Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Ozil has not played in any competition since March 7 but resisted attempts by the club to move him on this summer as they seek to offload his £350,000-a-week wage.

However, as ESPN revealed in June, Ozil is determined to see out the final year of his contract, creating a stand-off which has worsened now he is not part of the 25-man group eligible to play for Arsenal in Europe until the knockout rounds.

10.20 BST: Interesting that Atletico Madrid will be allowed to sign a replacement for Thomas Partey even though the window is closed now.

09.41 BST: Chelsea paid £62m (possibly rising to £71m) to sign Kai Havertz from Bayer Leverkusen. But he had an odd game for Germany in their 3-3 friendly draw with Turkey on Wednesday.

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Steve Nicol says that despite Kai Havertz’s two assists vs. Turkey, the German remained “in and out” of the match.

08.55 BST: ICYMI – Atletico Madrid are angry with Thomas Partey for the way his last-minute deadline day move to Arsenal was conducted, sources have told ESPN’s Rodrigo Faez and Alex Kirkland.

Partey, 27, joined the Premier League club on Monday night after they paid his €50m buyout clause.

Atletico said they were informed by La Liga at 11.28 p.m. Spanish time — just over half an hour before the transfer window closed — that Arsenal’s representatives had been at their Madrid headquarters that evening to exercise the player’s release clause.

Sources told ESPN that Atletico were “resigned” to Arsenal’s actions rather than being upset by them.

08.34 BST: Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni believes “it was positive” that Lionel Messi remained at Barcelona this summer instead of joining a new team.

Messi had grown increasingly unhappy at how the club was being run and announced in August his wish to leave the outfit. The Argentina captain was, however, forced to make a U-turn with the Catalan giants demanding his €700m release clause, with Messi tied to the club until June 2021.

“I spoke to Leo when everything was resolved and I saw him calm,” Scaloni said ahead of Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Ecuador at La Bombonera stadium.

“Since his arrival, we’ve been able to have a long chat. He is happy to be here. He’s now well in his club. All we wanted from a distance was for everything to be resolved and for him to play and to be fit. For us, it’s positive that he stayed because he was able to play immediately, he knows the club. But in terms of decisions, we don’t get involved in that, we don’t step in the player’s territory.”

08.00 BST: Manchester United failed to sign any of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s priority targets during the summer transfer window, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.

United completed their transfer business on deadline day on Monday by sealing deals for Edinson Cavani, Alex Telles, Amad Traore and Facundo Pellistri, having secured the £40m signing of Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek at the beginning of September.

But sources have told ESPN that Solskjaer went into the transfer window having drawn up a shortlist of targets including Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish and a commanding centre-half, with RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamecano and Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake his preferred options to partner captain Harry Maguire at the heart of United’s defence.

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Sid Lowe explains why he thinks Sevilla “privately believe” they can compete for the La Liga title.

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

Modric desperate to stay at Madrid

Luka Modric is set to do everything he can to remain at Real Madrid for the next few years, Marca reports.

At the age of 35 it’s obvious to see Modric is in the final stage of his professional career but after his proposed transfer to Inter Milan didn’t go through, the Croatian is now setting his sights on a future at the Bernabeu.

Modric’s contract will end in June 2021 but he wants to extend it, to the point where he will even accept a lower salary to make it happen. He has built his life in the city with his family and doesn’t want that to change anytime soon.

Depay to force Barca move in January

Lyon winger Memphis Depay could force through a move to Barcelona during the January transfer window, AS reports.

Barca had been on the verge of bringing the former Manchester United man to Camp Nou this summer but couldn’t quite get the deal over the finish line as Ousmane Dembele opted to stay put. Now, as per Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, Depay will be doing everything in his power to make sure he doesn’t have to wait until next summer to make this highly anticipated switch.

“Today, he [Depay] is disappointed, but not towards Lyon, more towards Barcelona,” Aulas said. “He is going to do everything he can to find himself in a position where he moves there in the January transfer window. It is not up to me to make that decision, it is Juninho [Lyon’s sporting director].”

Tap-ins

– Manchester United will not be making a late move to try and sign Watford star Ismaila Sarr, Goal reports. Despite the summer transfer window closing earlier this week for Premier League clubs, the EFL window is still open until Oct/.16. United had been contemplating some form of deal for Sarr but with four Deadline Day signings under their belt it appears as if they’ve gone off the idea — for now.

– Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero looks to be heading to Major League Soccer after his Everton move on Deadline Day fell through, the Daily Mail reports. With the Toffees opting to bring in Robin Olsen in from AS Roma instead, Romero reportedly wants a “fresh start” in the United States as his time in the Premier League seemingly comes to a close.

– Football Insider is reporting that Rangers are set to try and lock Ryan Kent down to a new contract in order to fend off interest from Premier League clubs. The Scottish title contenders had to reject a bid of £10m plus add-ons during the summer transfer window with Kent making it crystal clear he wanted to stay at Ibrox. Rangers’ next move is to put a new deal on the table that replaces the one the winger signed just last year.

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