The summer window is closed, but that’s done little to dampen 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.
Chase for Brighton gem Lamptey intensifies abroad
It’s impossible not to admire Brighton right-back Tariq Lamptey. The 20-year-old left Chelsea to seek first-team football, snatched a starting spot at The Amex under Graham Potter, and now demonstrates a sprightly enthusiasm that keeps pace with his swift feet. How can you not love this kid?
Naturally, Europe’s biggest sides have shifted their gaze to Lamptey, and according to the Daily Mail, Atletico Madrid have joined Bayern Munich and Sevilla in their interest in the player who leads all Premier League defenders in fouls suffered, successful dribbles, and radiant smiles.
Real Madrid enter Alaba sweepstakes
Speaking of Bayern Munich, David Alaba’s contractual standoff has alerted a host of suitors wisely intrigued by the Austrian’s savvy. Reports suggest Alaba has turned down two offers from the Bavarians – though he denies it – meaning Bayern risk losing him on a free transfer in the summer.
Liverpool, Barcelona, Manchester City, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain have all been linked with the 28-year-old, and now Real Madrid have entered the picture. Spanish rag AS claims Alaba’s agents have begun negotiations with Real in hopes of penning a pre-contract agreement in January.
Pineda piques Premier League suitors aplenty
Arsenal, Tottenham, Wolves, Everton, Southampton, Newcastle, and West Ham are all monitoring Cruz Azul star Orbelin Pineda, according to 90min. Pineda, 24, reportedly turned down a chance to join Manchester City in 2016 while with Guadalajara giants Chivas. As one would.
The 23-time capped Mexico international is a versatile player capable of playing as a deep-lying midfielder or more recently, in an advanced role. Despite registering just 27 goals and 20 assists in 254 matches, there’s a reason why half the Premier League is eyeing Pineda.
Inter push Eriksen toward Parisien door
“I don’t want to sit the bench for the whole season. I hope this isn’t the coach’s or the club’s intention,” Inter Milan playmaker Christian Eriksen told reporters last month. Eriksen, who made the €20-million San Siro switch from Spurs last January, has yet to play the full 90 in the league this season.
As it turns out, he and Inter gaffer Antonio Conte don’t see eye to eye, with Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that the Nerazzurri are happy to let the Dane exit in the January window. PSG are the front-runners, and if the defeat to RB Leipzig is any indication, his services are desperately needed.
Vamos, Ramos? Milan, Juve certainly hope so
AC Milan and Juventus are closely watching Sergio Ramos’ status at Real Madrid, according to Calciomercato. Ramos is in the final year of his contract, and it’s understood the two sides remain divided on the defender’s request for a multi-year pact. Zero chance he doesn’t sign a new deal.
Elsewhere in the Italian press, TuttoSport claims Cristiano Ronaldo wants to stay with Juve beyond the terms of his contract, which runs through summer 2022. Considering the 35-year-old is built like an action figure, it’s safe to say he’ll still be half-decent by then.
Ousmane’s is this? United’s, apparently
Barcelona are skint these days and will look to offload Martin Braithwaite, Carles Alena, Ousmane Dembele, Junior Firpo, and Samuel Umtiti to fund future forays for Eric Garcia (City), Memphis Depay (Lyon), Marcus Thuram (Monchengladbach), and Darwin Nunez (Benfica), according to Mundo Deportivo.
The report claims Dembele has landed on Juve and United’s radar, with the latter eyeing the oft-injured Frenchman as an alternative to meeting Borussia Dortmund’s €120-million valuation of Jaden Sancho. Or, United could just keep playing Juan Mata on the right side and finish 12th.
Bits and bobs
Arsenal gaffer Mikel Arteta must realize that fielding a €200-million front-three is a wasteful extravagance in the absence of a creative midfielder. As such, the Gunners have reportedly made a formal approach for Red Bull Salzburg whiz and Milan target Dominik Szoboszlai, who could be had in January.
Liverpool have been linked with Ozan Kabak as a temporary fill-in for Virgil Van Dijk, though it turns out the Reds may prefer his Schalke teammate, Malick Thiaw. Or could it be Inter center-back Milan Skriniar? Sources claim Liverpool will make a January push for the former Tottenham target.
Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas says the club will not pursue local boy Mohamed Simakan, who’s been valued at €20 million by Strasbourg. Aston Villa, Dortmund, Milan, and Lyon are all said to be keeping an eye on the prodigious 20-year-old defender. The pipeline of young French defenders runs deep.
Free agent Jack Wilshere admits he’d be “open” to a move to MLS. The Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, Vancouver Whitecaps, San Jose Earthquakes, and Philadelphia Union all have DP slots available, while Atlanta United could be keen if Ezequiel Barco leaves at season’s end.
Middlesbrough will reportedly renew their interest in Everton winger Yannick Bolasie and West Brom afterthought Kamil Grosicki in January. Boro boss Neil Warnock was upset that Bolasie’s agent complicated a summer switch, and Grosicki neared a Nottingham Forest move before talks broke down. Really exciting stuff.