The transfer window may have slammed shut, but that doesn’t mean the rumour mill has shut down! Speculation over summer moves are heating up so check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Bayern to battle Liverpool and Chelsea for Upamecano
Bayern Munich are in pole position to sign RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano for his release clause of €42.5m in the summer — but will face competition from two Premier League clubs.
“We agreed on a release clause because the player decided that he wants to make the next step at some point,” his agent, Volker Struth, said on Sport 1 Doppelpass on Sunday. “There is a good chance he will leave [Leipzig] in the summer.”
Bayern met with Struth late last week and the agent confirmed that the German champions “underlined they are very interested” in Upamecano.
“The release clause is at €42.5m,” Struth said. “It’s a lot in corona[virus] times. It was different back in the summer of 2019.”
With the price set, not a lot of clubs can weigh in, and the defender’s decision will be between Bayern “or the Premier League,” the agent said. “The Spanish clubs in question currently are not capable of it. It’s no secret there are two interested Premier League clubs,” he added. “There will be a decision in the coming weeks and it’ll be announced.”
Helpful then that Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge managed to narrow the field down a bit when he revealed: “The fact that Chelsea and Liverpool are also interested in him proves that he has very good qualities. He can replace David Alaba.”
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21,19 GMT: Parma are in real relegation trouble but a veteran Italian striker could be on the way.
According to Calciomercato, Graziano Pelle is set to undergo a medical tomorrow at the club ahead of a short-term move. The 35-year-old, who has 20 caps for Italy, was on the books at Parma between 2011-13 and is set to return to Italy after a fruitful five seasons in China with Shandong Luneng.
Parma also acquired Bayern Munich starlet Joshua Zirkzee on loan on Deadline Day.
20.33 GMT: Serie B outfit Monza have made headlines this year by bringing in Kevin Prince-Boateng and Mario Balotelli. Could Franck Ribery be next?
France Football claims that the Fiorentina winger, 37, was a target this January for the Seria A hopefuls, and will be so again next season, should Monza earn promotion. Monza are owned by former AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi and currently sit second in Serie B.
19.57 GMT: A day after Deadline Day it is important to remember sometimes under the radar signings can prove very important,
Case and point? Barcelona’s emergency signing of Martin Brathwaite last season from Leganes.
– Hunter: Brathwaite has gone from afterthought to essential at Barca
19.03 GMT: Liverpool have joined the long list of clubs chasing highly-rated Aston Villa teen Carney Chukwuemeka, according to the Times.
The 17-year-old, who has been compared to Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, previously rejected Manchester City as a youngster and is now reportedly on the radars of City, Liverpool, United, Juventus, and Bayern Munich.
The England Under-17 international is widely considered one of England’s top box-to-box midfield prospects and has been training with Villa’s first team since last summer.
18.20 GMT: Leicester have struggled of late without the prolific Jamie Vardy, prompting manager Brendan Rodgers to admit that the club will look for striker cover in the summer.
“We know Jamie’s age. I still have great confidence in his fitness and his abilities but he can’t do it all on his own. We respect that. That’s something that will be continual over the next few months looking ahead to the summer market.”
Vardy, 34, has 11 Premier League goals this season but has missed the last two matches — and will miss Wednesday’s contest with Fulham — after having a hernia operation. Ayoze Perez and Kelechi Iheanacho have deputised in the Englishman’s absence but the Foxes have so far only managed one point from six in games against Everton and Leeds.
17.39 GMT: Neymar is staying in Paris, sources have told to ESPN.
The Brazilian has signed a new four-year contract with PSG, which will keep him in Paris through 2026.
“I want to stay,” Neymar said on Sunday in an interview on French television. Leonardo, PSG’s sporting director, whose relationship with Neymar Jr. and his father has improved in the last year, was instrumental in the negotiations and the agreement found.
Neymar, who turns 29 later this week, has scored 83 goals and added 46 assists in 101 games for PSG since arriving from Barcelona for a record €222 million in 2017.
16.55 GMT: Brighton made one of the big signings of deadline day in Moises Caicedo but who is the young Ecuadorian?
Our South American football correspondent Tim Vickery profiles the youngster’s meteoric rise and the special club that developed him.
– Vickery: Caicedo can be one of Ecuador’s best
16.17 GMT: Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City are all interested in Inter Milan full-back Achraf Hakimi, according to Calciomercato.
Hakimi only joined Inter last summer in a €40m move from Real Madrid, having spent the previous two seasons on loan at Borussia Dortmund.
The 22-year-old Morocco international has had a strong start to life in Milan, scoring six goals in 27 appearances so far, including 14 starts in Serie A games.
Calciomercato reports that Arsenal and Chelsea have indicated their interest, while Manchester City could also throw their hat into the ring for the versatile Morocco international, but Inter would hold out for a much bigger fee than the one they paid just five months ago.
15.44 GMT: Zindeine Zidane‘s position as Real Madrid coach has come under scrutiny in recent weeks after they were eliminated from the Spanish Supercopa by Athletic Bilbao and the Copa del Rey by third-tier Alcoyano. They have also found themselves 10 points behind leaders and local rivals Atletico in the La Liga table. Will the man who led the club to three consecutive Champions League titles still be at the club next season?
Sid Lowe explains why this will probably be Zinedine Zidane’s last season as manager of Real Madrid.
15.06 GMT: Atlanta United have waived forward Adam Jahn, the Major League Soccer club announced on Tuesday.
Jahn spent last season at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium after signing from USL Championship team Phoenix Rising for a reported fee of $100,000.
The 30-year-old scored three goals and registered two assists in 21 appearances for Atlanta, 13 of which came as a starter.
14.38 GMT: Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman admits he is “not confident” about Lionel Messi staying at the club beyond the summer.
Messi’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the Argentina international is only seeing out the final year of his deal after initially declaring he wanted to leave the club last summer.
“I’m not confident about that,” Koeman told The Athletic. “I’m hopeful, yes, about this because he’s still a great player and he’s still winning matches for us, for the team.
“I’m enjoying being his coach, if you look at his qualities every day in the training sessions, it’s incredible. Of course, he came as a young kid to Barcelona. And I still don’t see Leo Messi in another shirt other than the Barca shirt.”
– Marcotti: Could Messi’s contract controversy help Barca?
13.43 GMT: Argentina international Marcos Rojo has completed a permanent move from Manchester United to Boca Juniors, the clubs have confirmed.
United issued a statement on Tuesday claiming they have received “an undisclosed fee” although Boca insist Rojo’s contact at Old Trafford had been terminated before a deal was struck with the defender.
Rojo, capped 61 by Argentina, made 122 appearances for United following his £16.5 million move from Sporting Lisbon in 2014 but has not featured this season. The 30-year-old made just 17 appearances after signing a new long-term contract in March 2018. He has not played for the club since a 3-1 win over Brighton in November 2019.
¡Bienvenido, Marcos! 💙💛💙
Mirá el video de presentación 👉 https://t.co/IUzktDJrIq pic.twitter.com/o1Ni3G7eJn
— Boca Juniors (@BocaJrsOficial) February 2, 2021
13.10 GMT: Marseille coach Andre Villas-Boas said on Tuesday that he had offered his resignation, citing a disagreement over the Ligue 1 club’s sporting policy.
“I submitted my resignation saying that I did not agree with the sporting policy. I don’t want anything from OM. I don’t want money,” Villas-Boas told a news conference.
Villas-Boas, who said last month he would leave when his contract expired at the end of the season, said he had not heard back from the board yet.
“The board has not answered to me yet. What happened last weekend has nothing to do with it,” the former Porto, Chelsea and Tottenham coach said, referring to Saturday’s incidents in Marseille, where some fans broke into the club’s training centre amid protests against president Jacques-Henri Eyraud.
“We ended the transfer window with a new player [Olivier Ntcham from Celtic]. He is a player that I had said no for,” Villas-Boas added.
Marseille, who were knocked out in the group stage of the Champions League, are ninth in Ligue 1, 16 points behind leaders Lille with two games in hand.
Andre Villas-Boas offers to resign as manager of Marseille, shortly before the club announces his dismissal.
12.26 GMT: Karl-Heinz Rumenigge has “given his blessing to the departure of [David] Alaba to [Real] Madrid,” Marca’s front page claims on Tuesday, after the Bayern Munich CEO admitted the defender was “99.9%” likely to leave the Bundesliga club this summer.
Bayern withdrew a new contract offer for Alaba — who has been at the club for over a decade — in November and, with his deal expiring on June 30, Madrid are widely thought to lead the race to sign him.
“[Madrid president] Florentino [Perez] hasn’t contacted us and he doesn’t have to, either,” Rumenigge told Sky Sport Germany. “Since Jan. 2, the player has been free to sign where he wants. I don’t know how far talks with Real Madrid have gone, the only thing I know is that it’s a great club. It doesn’t matter if they’re in a difficult moment… you have to understand the player.”
Alaba — a versatile defender who can comfortably operate at centre-back, full-back or in midfield — would be a candidate to replace Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, who is himself free to talk to rival clubs having not yet agreed a contract extension at the Bernabeu.
11.35 GMT: Liverpool signed not one but two centre-backs on deadline: Ozan Kabak on loan from Bundesliga side Schalke and Ben Davies on a permanent deal from Championship club Preston North End. But can either harbour realistic hopes of becoming first-team regulars at Anfield?
Mark Ogden questions Liverpool’s deadline day attempts to sign Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak.
10.44 GMT: Manchester City goalkeeper and 2019-20 WSL Golden Glove winner Ellie Roebuck has signed a new three-year deal with the club.
Roebuck joined City in 2015 as a 15-year-old and worked her way up to replacing England legend Karen Bardsley as the club’s No. 1 choice during the 2019-20 season, keeping 10 clean sheets.
“Signing a three-year deal too is something that’s a massive boost — the club have shown their faith in me, which is amazing,” she said in a statement. “City is the place I want to be – it’s where I see myself developing as a player, so I’m very happy to have it all sorted.”
The 21-year-old has five England caps and was part of Phil Neville’s training squad for the 2019 World Cup.
– McNamee: Golden Glove winner Roebuck eyes England starting spot
10.09 GMT: Chelsea are yet to open talks with Aston Villa over a permanent transfer for midfielder Ross Barkley, the Birmingham Mail reports.
Barkley, 27, is in the middle of a season-long loan at Villa Park. So far this term he has scored three goals and assisted one more in 12 league appearances.
The England international has a contract at Stamford Bridge until 2023, but it remains to be seen what future he has there under new manager Thomas Tuchel.
09.24 GMT: Real Madrid used to be famed for big-money Galactico signings — but their failure to bring in a player in January means the club will go two years without spending on the first-team squad, as Diario AS’ front page on Tuesday points out.
“Two years without signing” is the newspaper’s headline, noting that full-back Ferland Mendy was Madrid’s last reinforcement, in June 2019, and that won’t change now until the next window.
Zinedine Zidane’s only notable addition last summer was the return of Martin Odegaard from Real Sociedad, now loaned out to Arsenal after failing to make an impression.
Madrid’s outlay in 2020 was limited to Brazilian playmaker Reiner, 19, who featured for B-team Castilla before being loaned to Borussia Dortmund in August.
Instead, transfer activity has focused on player sales like Achraf Hakimi‘s €40m move to Inter, and getting high-earners such as Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez off the club’s books.
08.30 GMT: PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino says his club will continue to monitor the transfer window with the possibility of strengthening the squad this summer.
Asked about the possibility that Lionel Messi will join PSG as a free agent this summer, Pochettino told RMC: “A club like PSG always has to pay attention to the options on the market. The club has a strategy which is to improve. If that opportunity comes along (to coach Messi) it will be very beautiful, but if not, it’s fine. We shall see, we don’t know what the future holds and if our paths will cross.”
ESPN FC’s Sid Lowe on Atletico Madrid’s stipulations towards Diego Costa after being released from the club.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
West Ham move for Diego Costa
BeIN Sport is reporting that West Ham United are interested in signing Diego Costa.
Sky Sports reported that “an unnamed club in the Premier League top six” were making a move for the Spain international and that looks like it could be the Hammers.
The former Chelsea star is a free agent and has been heavily linked with some form of return to the Premier League. With West Ham on the lookout for a new forward after letting Sebastien Haller move to Ajax, a short-team move could end up serving both parties perfectly.
As Costa has no contract, he’s not tied to the deadline, so West Ham (or any other club) could move for him at any point.
Man United eye Pedro Goncalves
Manchester United will make an approach to try and sign Sporting CP’s Pedro Goncalves, Record reports (H/T to Sport Witness).
The former Wolverhampton Wanderers man has been making quite the impression in the Primeira Liga this season, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reportedly keen to add the 22-year-old to United’s growing Portuguese contingent.
Sturridge attracting MLS interest
Daniel Sturridge is being followed by clubs in MLS clubs, says The Daily Mail.
Sturridge, 30, left Trabzonspor last summer after scoring seven goals in 16 appearances and “is understood to have turned down big money offers from Saudi Arabia and Egypt with his focus on finding the right club rather than bumper wages.”
Championship clubs have reportedly shown interest in the former England international, who is a free agent, but he could choose to continue his career in America.
– AS says that Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane’s future is at stake if he doesn’t bring home the Champions League. But then he’s a manager of Real Madrid, so he should know that already.
– Sky reports that Liverpool rejected a loan offer from Southampton for defender Neco Williams before the deadline.