The summer window is closed, but that’s done little to slow a frenzied rumor mill fueled by missed opportunities and future targets. With the January period fast approaching, here’s a look at what’s hot in transfer talk.
PSG want Messi, Ronaldo, world peace, a unicorn, etc.
There are some rather imaginative rumors concerning Paris Saint-Germain this week. The Ligue 1 side have contacted Barcelona deity Lionel Messi’s father and agent, Jorge, about the superstar moving to the French capital on a free transfer next summer, according to ESPN Argentina’s Leo Paradizo.
PSG sporting director Leonardo hinted that Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo could be lured to France (Neymar swap?), while ESPN America’s Christian Martin says Manchester United have approached Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes about a shock return to Old Trafford.
Real Madrid plot latest extravagant Galactico era
Leonardo said on Tuesday that contract negotiations with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have begun. But let’s be honest: Mbappe is destined to join Real Madrid. There’s probably a tarot card forecasting as much in Real president Florentino Perez’s wallet. Perhaps Mbappe and Sergio Ramos can swap shirts.
Perez hopes to complete a double swoop next summer for Mbappe and prodigious Rennes midfielder Eduardo Camavinga. Real will make approaches for the pair of French internationals, according to AS, while Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland remains the priority for summer 2022.
Spurs offered cut-rate permanent Bale deal
Sticking with Real Madrid, Mundo Deportivo claims the Spanish giants are willing to sell loanee Gareth Bale to Tottenham in a permanent move for as little as €15 million. In more charitable Spurs news, Football Insider says Inter Milan have offered Christian Eriksen back to the north London lot.
RB Leipzig’s Marcel Sabitzer still intrigues Tottenham after the Austrian international helped dismantle the club in last year’s Champions League. Bild reckons Leipzig could accept €30 million for the versatile Sabitzer if he doesn’t extend his current deal in Saxony.
Boateng’s status alerts big-name suitors, and an MLS side
Bayern Munich have told veteran central defender Jerome Boateng he’s free to leave the club when his contract expires next summer, according to Bild. That has apparently come as a surprise to the in-form 33-year-old’s representatives, who were eager to kick off contract talks.
An unnamed MLS side, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Arsenal are all tracking this situation. Another report from Bild contends that Arsenal remain focused on signing a young French center-back from Leipzig. But it’s not Dayot Upamecano, and is instead teammate and countryman Ibrahima Konate.
Milan looking to stock shelves with Liverpool target, others
Liverpool are searching for center-backs who could be available in January with Joe Gomez out. Schalke duo Malick Thiaw and Ozan Kabak are on their radar, though AC Milan will likely meet the €25-million valuation for the latter, according to Calciomercato. Liverpool can settle for ex-Watford player Daryl Janmaat.
Milan view Hellas Verona’s Matteo Lovato as a backup plan, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, while the Rossoneri remain interested in replacing Atletico Madrid-bound Hakan Calhanoglu with Red Bull Salzburg’s Dominik Szoboszlai and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Marcus Thuram.
Bits and bobs
Belgian teen Marco Kana has garnered the trust of manager Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht this year. Naturally, that’s prompting widespread interest in the 18-year-old. Kana still intrigues Lille, while Serie A sides Napoli and Atalanta are also monitoring the defender’s progress.
Mario Mandzukic is out of work after a brief spell with Qatari side Al-Duhail. The Croatian striker rebuffed advances from Aston Villa and West Ham, and he’s been linked with Fenerbahce, Besiktas, Fiorentina, and Benevento. Turns out Celta Vigo are set to land the 34-year-old.
Walking triage unit Jack Wilshere has found his next club. The former West Ham midfielder will join Steven Gerrard at SPL leaders Rangers, who beat out reported interest from Fulham, Villa, and the Transfer Gossip column’s favorite organization, an “unnamed MLS side.”
Speaking of MLS, David Beckham is keen to lure former Galacticos mate Sergio Ramos to Inter Miami on a free transfer if the Spaniard doesn’t pen a new deal with Real. Gonzalo Higuain, Matias Pellegrini, and Rodolfo Pizarro currently occupy Inter’s three Designated Player spots.