Transfer Talk: Man United prioritise Dortmund’s Bellingham

By | November 4, 2022
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Transfer Talk: Man United prioritise Dortmund's Bellingham

Jude Bellingham continues to impress at Dortmund and is primed to join another big European side. Lars Baron/Getty Images

The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Man United prioritise Dortmund’s Bellingham

Manchester United are set to make Jude Bellingham their primary target for next summer, according to The Mirror.

Erik ten Hag is keen to land the 19-year-old midfielder, with Borussia Dortmund reportedly demanding upwards of £130 million for his transfer.

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It is reported that United will join the race for his signature with Manchester City, Liverpool, and Real Madrid, but the Red Devils are aware that they must secure a Champions League place if they are to be able to persuade him to make the switch to Old Trafford over other suitors.

After United failed to secure a move for Barcelona star Frenkie de Jong, it looks as though Bellingham has been escalated to the top of the shortlist.

The England international has contributed to 11 goals in 18 appearances for Edin Terzic’s side this season.

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21.00 BST: Chelsea boss Graham Potter continues to try and put his stamp on the Blues side, and he has two targets in mind in January, according to Calciomercato.

Milan star Rafael Leao is one, the 23-year-old forward is a key player for the Rossoneri this season. Milan would be reluctant to let him leave, such is his pivotal role at the San Siro.

The second target is more well known to Potter, former Brighton star Leandro Trossard. The 27-year-old has been in fine form for the Seagulls, but is also wanted by Newcastle United.

20.40 BST: Leicester City are considering bringing goalkeeper Brice Samba back to England, according to French outlet Media Foot.

Samba helped Nottingham Forest win promotion to the Premier League before joining RC Lens for €5m, but has been one of the best goalkeepers in Ligue 1 this season.

Lens currently sit in second place behind PSG and 28-year-old Samba has been fundamental to their success. Leicester are planning ahead for the 2023-24 season, and Samba tops their list of potential new goalkeepers also including Alban Lafont (FC Nantes) and Odysséas Vlachodimos (Benfica).

20.14 BST: While Gabriel Martinelli has been talking about committing his long-term future to Arsenal, Ekrem Konur believes PSG are monitoring the situation.

Arsenal are confident they can agree a contract extension with the 21-year-old Brazilian forward, with talks currently ongoing.

However, French league leaders Paris Saint-Germain are keeping an eye on proceedings in case an agreement can’t be reached.

19.46 BST: Atletico Madrid are leading a number of clubs looking to sign Ilkay Gundogan on a free transfer from Manchester City this summer, according to the Sun.

The German midfielder is free to talk to clubs in January, of which there is likely to be no shortage.

Atletico Madrid’s elimination from Europe means they may have to adjust their transfer budget for the year ahead, and so Gundogan’s availability will appeal.

Bayern Munich and Galatasaray are also said to be interested in the 32-year-old.

19.17 BST: U.S. striker Ricardo Pepi will leave Augsburg in the summer, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Pepi has been on fire in the Eredivisie while on loan at Groningen. He made history last month by becoming the first player this century to be involved in five goals in his first-ever four Eredivisie matches, with four goals and one assist. He’s since scored six goals in eight matches in all competitions.

A number of clubs are said to be tracking his progress, which will no doubt continue when he heads to the World Cup with the USMNT.

18.28 BST: Spanish title Sport yesterday reported that Barcelona are keen to add Jorginho to their squad in January, but his agent — talking to Relevo — reveals the Italian has no interest in leaving west London.

Jorginho’s existing contract runs out at the end of the current season, and rumours have been afoot that he will follow ex teammate Andreas Christensen to Camp Nou next June. AC Milan are also said to be interested.

However, in an interview with Spanish radio station Revelo, agent Joao Santos says it is the 30-year-old’s priority to agree a new contract at Stamford Bridge. “We are only dealing with the Blues and no other club,” he said.

Jorginho joined Chelsea in 2018 and has won the Champions League, Europa League and Club World Cup.

17.07 BST: Leicester City are working to sign Youri Tielemans to a new contract, according to the Daily Mail.

The 25-year-old Belgian’s current deal expires at the end of the season, and Brendan Rodgers will not want to lose the midfielder on a free transfer.

The Foxes currently sit at 18th place in the table, and Tielemans is an important part of making sure the team get back on track and avoid a relegation battle.

16.03 BST: Brighton’s Leandro Trossard is at the centre of a transfer battle between Atletico Madrid and Chelsea, says Mundo Deportivo.

Trossard, 27, has a contract which expires in 2023, though Brighton have the option of adding another year.

The Belgium international has seven goals in 12 games in the Premier League this season and former Brighton’ boss Graham Potter will be keen to bring him to Stamford Bridge, but could face competition from LaLiga giants Atletico.

15.14 BST: Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk is being teased by his teammates over a move to Arsenal.

Mudryk, 21, has been one of the stars of the Champions League this season and has been linked with a €60m move to Arsenal or Manchester City.

The Ukraine international has seven goals in 13 appearances for Shakhtar this season — with three in the Champions League — and could be set to move on in January.

Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin told Football 24: “I like that he is focused only on himself, his and the team’s game. Fans don’t really see that much. No one sees what he is doing away from the football field. All these transfer rumours affect him only in a positive way, because he enjoys what he does. And, in the team, we can tell him; ‘well, you’re already at Arsenal, let’s all go!'”

14.30 GMT: Do Atletico Madrid need a new coach?

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1:25

Craig Burley slams Atletico Madrid’s ‘archaic’ brand of football after they crashed out of the Champions League and also missed out on a Europa League spot.

13.44 GMT: Napoli star Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is attracting plenty of interest and could move for a massive fee, according to his agent Christian Emile.

Kvaratskhelia, 21, has six goals and seven assists in 12 games for Napoli so far this season, having moved back to Dinamo Batumi in Georgia for €12m from Rubin Kazan when Russia invaded Ukraine.

“You know what’s crazy, he’s done what he’s been in doing in Russia and Europe for the past couple of years,” he told Fabrizio Romano’s YouTube channel. “He’s come to Napoli, he’s been brilliant, and people are talking about €100m.

“For me, if he continues to perform like this till the end of the season and next season, because there’s a zero per cent chance they sell him [in January]. He will reach €100m for sure.”

13.03 GMT: Club America legend Guillermo Ochoa is close to sign new deal, sources have told ESPN Deportes.

Ochoa, 37, has a contract which expires in December, but the goalkeeper is set to sign up for two more years until 2024.

The Mexico international spent his early career with Club America from 2004-2011 before returning in 2019. He has 130 caps for the national side and will head to the World Cup later this month.

12.37 GMT: Gabriel Martinelli has spoken about his long-term future with Arsenal.

Martinelli, 21, has an impressive five goals and two assists in 12 Premier League games so far, with the Brazil forward in contention to travel to the World Cup in Qatar.

“I’m very happy at Arsenal,” he told reporters. “I’ve said it many times. This is my club. I love to be here. I love the city, I love the club, I love everything about Arsenal. So I want to stay, I’m very happy.”

He was then asked if he just needed a pen to sign a new contract. He replied: “Yeah, I just need a pen!”

12.11 BST: AC Milan’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic has questioned Kylian Mbappe’s decision to stay at Paris Saint-Germain and warned him that “you are never bigger than a club.”

Mbappe snubbed a free transfer to Real Madrid to sign a three-year extension with the French champions in May and became the highest-paid player in world football, according to ESPN sources.

According to Forbes, Mbappe will earn $128m for the 2022-23 season — a record for the magazine’s annual rankings, but former PSG star Ibrahimovic has hit out at the forward’s decision to stay.

“Mbappe, as a person I do not know him very well. As a player, he is fantastic,” Ibrahimovic told Canal Plus. “But when you lose discipline you lose your identity. There is a reason why [Zinedine] Zidane is Zidane. Mbappe wants to imitate him? That he starts to want to progress. Not to be satisfied.

“He made the right choice for Paris not for himself. Because he put himself in a situation where he is more important than the club. And the club gave him the keys for that. But you are never bigger than a club. But when a child becomes strong, he can easily earn money.”

11.45 GMT: Sometimes, Man City don’t need to spend millions to sign a player.

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Pep Guardiola praises Rico Lewis after he became the youngest player to score on his first Champions League start.

11.11 GMT: LaLiga president Javier Tebas has said it would be good for both Lionel Messi and Barcelona if the Argentina captain plays for his former club again.

Messi, whose performances for Barca and Argentina won him seven Ballon d’Or awards, had to leave his all-time club after 21 years in August 2021 with the club struggling financially.

He joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent and since his departure, Barca have failed to advance from the Champions League group stages.

“I think that Messi is not only missed in La Liga, but he is also missed in football, because the French league is what it is, right?” Tebas said. “And that’s that. I think that regardless of being at PSG, he is followed much less than when he was at Barcelona. Let’s hope he has a great World Cup, because there we will all be able to see him again.”

10.31 GMT: Argentinian club Rosario Central have reached an agreement with Brighton & Hove Albion for the transfer of attacking midfielder Facundo Buonanotte, who turns 18 on Dec. 23.

Buonanotte, whose contract with Rosario Central was due to run until June 2023, will join the Premier League club in January in a £10m transfer and is expected to sign a contract club until June 2026, with an option to extend it for a another year.

“It’s the most relevant transfer in the history of our club,” Rosario Central said in a statement.

An Argentina U20 player, Buonanotte was promoted to Rosario Central’s first team in January and scored four goals in 34 appearances for the first team.

09.54 GMT: Palmeiras president Leila Pereira says she would happily “release” club coach Abel Ferreira from his contract if he was offered the Brazil coaching position.

Ferreira, 43, is considered a potential replacement for Brazil coach Tite, who will step down after the World Cup. Under contract with Palmeiras until 2024, the Portuguese coach led Palmeiras to their 11th Brazilian league title on Wednesday.

“Of course I would release him,” Pereira said when asked what she would do if the Brazil Football Confederation wanted to hire Ferreira. “I think it would be an honour for any professional and even for a club to serve our country.

“Imagine what an honour. If there is this invitation, it is because it confirms all this capacity that is already ratified in Palmeiras. I am not afraid, not even a little bit, what I want is the best for the professional.”

Ferreira turned down the possibility of returning to coach in Europe and Pereira hopes that he continues at Palmeiras.

“My wish, my dream, is that he stays at Palmeiras for many, many years,” she said. “That’s what I’m going to work and strive for, so that he stays with us, at least for my entire term. with Abel. I’m sure he’s very happy at Palmeiras.”

09.27 GMT: The Champions League is a competition that defines careers. A few good performances on the biggest club stage in Europe can enhance a player’s reputation, get them a new contract, or even attract a host of scouts from opposing teams.

Every new season in the Champions League brings new players who are able to increase their levels of performance. Last year we looked at a number of stars, including Lisandro Martinez, Antony, Christopher Nkunku and Darwin Nunez before they truly made it big.

ESPN’s Tor-Kristian Karlsen runs us through 11 players who have made the step up to shine this season. Some of them are already well established at their clubs, but their contributions in Europe have taken them to another level.

– Champions League breakout XI: Diogo Costa, Kvaratskhelia, Raspadori and more

08.43 GMT: Atletico Madrid will make several of their players available for transfer in the January transfer window as a result of their European exit, Mundo Deportivo reports.

Last week, the rojiblancos were dramatically eliminated from the Champions League, and Tuesday’s final round of group matches ended with them not even qualifying for the Europa League.

Club bosses estimate that being knocked out of Europe’s top club competition means a loss of up to €20m, while reaching the final of the Europa League could have been worth as much as€10m.

Atletico has hoped to raise €40m in the summer via the transfers of striker Alvaro Morata and midfielder Saul Niguez, but neither left the club. Now it is even more imperative that Atletico shift players out of their squad, and are contemplating outgoings in the January window.

08.00 GMT: Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has dismissed reports linking him to Barcelona, praising the work Xavi has done in “lifting” the Catalan club as manager.

Arteta has guided Arsenal to the top of the Premier League table this season, which has reportedly led to Barca monitoring their former youth player as a potential long-term replacement for Xavi.

Xavi’s side were knocked out of the Champions League group stages for a second year running this season, but Arteta insisted Barcelona were on a “really good path” despite that disappointment.

“What I can say is that I’m extremely happy and proud to be where I am,” Arteta said ahead of Arsenal’s Europa League meeting with FC Zurich. “Barcelona now are on a really good path. I think they have a phenomenal coach who is an absolute legend at the club and has lifted the whole place. You have to be very respectful of that.”

Arteta started his playing career at Barcelona’s academy but never made a senior appearance for them.

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Gab Marcotti feels Chelsea made some serious mistakes during the summer transfer window and are now paying the price.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

– Barcelona and AC Milan are leading the race for Jorginho, reports Sport. The 30-year-old Chelsea midfielder will enter the final six months of his contract in January, and that will allow clubs from outside of the Premier League to discuss a pre-contract agreement with him. It is understood that he would favour a move to LaLiga.

– Eden Hazard could leave Real Madrid in January, according to Mundo Deportivo. Despite being contracted at the LaLiga club until the summer of 2024, just one start in the league this season has left the 31-year-old winger unsure of his future in Spain’s capital. Juventus and Aston Villa have been linked with the Belgium international.

– Juventus are discussing a loan move for Real Madrid’s Alvaro Odriozola, writes Calciomercato. It is reported that Carlo Ancelotti’s side are willing to allow the 26-year-old right-back to leave the Santiago Bernabeu on loan for free in the January transfer window, having made no appearances this season. Odriozola enjoyed a successful spell in Serie A with Fiorentina last season.

– FC Salzburg’s Noah Okafor is attracting interest from Arsenal, understands Ekrem Konur. The Gunners are reported to have sent scouts to watch the 22-year-old forward in the Champions League on Wednesday, with Mikel Arteta’s side joining AC Milan and Leeds United in the race for his signature. Okafor has scored nine goals in 18 appearances across all competitions this season for the Austrian side.

– AC Milan are planning to open talks over a new contract with Olivier Giroud, reveals Fabrizio Romano. The 36-year-old forward registered two goals and two assists in the Rossoneri‘s Champions League 4-0 win over Salzburg on Wednesday. With his current terms set to expire next summer, it looks as though the Serie A side are keen to keep him at San Siro.

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