LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United’s Pogba could make Juve return next summer

The summer transfer window is closed for the top leagues in Europe! After a summer full of international football, countless clubs waited until the last minute to pull off their transfers. See all the major deals here and check out how we graded the biggest signings. But just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming.

TOP STORY: Juve want Pogba return from Man United

Manchester United could be forced to fight off further interest in Paul Pogba with reports that Juventus are keen on a deal that would see the France international move back to Turin on a free transfer next summer.

Tuttosport writes that while Juventus are aware securing a deal won’t be straightforward, there is confidence in the relationship that the club have established with the 28-year-old’s agent could help. The Serie A club’s hierarchy are believed to have a good relationship with Mino Raiola, indicative of the swift negotiations that saw Moise Kean make the switch to the Old Lady during the transfer window.

And with Pogba’s contract set to run out next summer, the Bianconeri are likely to face competition from a host of clubs if Cristiano Ronaldo is unable to convince his teammate to remain at Old Trafford, while the future of France international teammate Kylian Mbappe could also play a part in where the Premier League maestro’s future lies.

– Transfer Grades: PSG, Man United win big; Barca miss out
– ESPN+ viewers’ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more

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21.53 BST: The race for the signature of Franck Ribery is heating up with a new club challenging Hellas Verona in the race for the 38-year-old. Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Serie A side Salernitana have also approached the former France international, who is out of contract. The former Bayern Munich star wants his future to be resolved soon as he is eager to join his new teammates with the European club season already underway.

21.26 BST: Besiktas are keen on a move for Mohamed Elneny, with NTV Spor reporting that the club have submitted an offer to Arsenal. The report claims that the Turkish Super Lig side wants to get the deal done as soon as possible to register the player in time for their Champions League clashes.

20.59 BST: Lyon owner Jean-Michel Aulas has hinted at a potential return for Karim Benzema at the end of his Real Madrid contract. Speaking to reporters at the news conference for the unveiling of Jerome Boateng, Aulas said: “Karim has never played at Groupama Stadium before. The future will tell us if, when he ends his career, there is a possibility of strengthening the ties. It is a great source of pride that he is a child of Olympique Lyonnais.”

The 33-year-old was one of the hottest prospects in football when he joined Real Madrid from Lyo in 2009. With his contract set to expire in 2023, the comments of Lyon’s owner show there is an interest in bringing back one of the club’s best-ever academy graduates.

20.32 BST: Internazionale are monitoring the situation of Bernd Leno as a potential replacement for Samir Handanovic next summer, reports Tuttosport. The report claims the Arsenal No. 1 is on the shortlist of goalkeepers that the Italian club are lining up with Handanovic’s contract set to expire at the end of the season. Despite belief that the Slovenia international would renew terms at the San Siro, uncertainty has seen the Nerazzurri prepare for life without their goalkeeper who first signed for the club in 2012. Interest from Italy could see Leno run out the remainder of his current deal, which is also set to expire next summer.

19.59 BST: Juventus could tie down Paulo Dybala on a new deal in the coming weeks with the forward revealing his demands to the Old Lady. Calciomercato writes that the Argentina international would like a five-year deal at the club that would allow him to eventually earn €10m a season. The club had previously offered the 27-year-old a four-year deal with a base salary of €7m a year, but It is reported that Dybala’s representatives will soon meet with the Juventus board to put forward his demands.

19.26 BST: Shkodran Mustafi is close to finalising a move to Levante, according to Mundo Deportivo. It is reported that the club and player have agreed on a deal in principle that should see the former Arsenal centre-back announced before Levante’s next LaLiga fixture against Rayo Vallecano. The out-of-contract 29-year-old will join on a free transfer after suffering relegation from the Bundesliga with Schalke last season. Final details are being ironed out on a deal before the Germany international will arrive at the club for a medical.

18.53 BST: The Mirror reports that Arsenal are looking to offload three players despite the transfer window closing. Sead Kolasinac, Mohamed Elneny and Cedric Soares could all still yet leave the Emirates with Mikel Arteta keen to optimise his side after a disappointing start to the season. The Gunners spent more than any other Premier League club over the course of the summer transfer window, adding six players to their squad, yet sit on the foot of the table.

18.20 BST: Serge Aurier is keen to remain in the Premier League despite receiving offers from multiple countries, according to Sky Sports. The right-back is said to have received approaches from clubs in France, Russia and Turkey after his contract with Tottenham Hotspur was mutually terminated. Sky Sports also confirmed interest from Arsenal that was earlier reported by Calcio In Pillole, with the 28-year-old reportedly open to a North London switch to the Emirates Stadium.

17.47 BST: Besiktas are reported to be in advanced talks and close to signing Miralem Pjanic from Barcelona. Fabrizio Romano says that the clubs are negotiating a potential loan deal that would see the 31-year-old head to the Turkish Super Lig. The Blaugrana have been active in looking to offload the midfielder with the transfer windows in Russia and Turkey still open, and despite Zenit St. Petersburg’s interest, it now looks as though Besiktas have taken pole position in the race to sign the Bosnia and Herzegovina star.

17.14 BST: Arsenal are close to signing USWNT forward Tobin Heath, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The two-time Women’s World Cup winner could make a quick return to the Women’s Super League ahead of the 2021 season, which kicks off this weekend.

Heath, 33, spent last season at Manchester United, but is currently a free agent and so does not have to sign for the Gunners before the WSL deadline for international players (midnight BST).

Heath scored four goals in 11 appearances for United before her season was ended early by an ankle injury, although she recovered in time to make the U.S. squad as they won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

16.43 BST: Saul Niguez has revealed that goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga played a major ole in his decision to join Chelsea.

Spain international midfielder Saul made a surprise loan move ot Stamford Bridge from LaLiga champions Atletico Madrid on deadline day, and the 26-year-old credited the ppresence of several of his countrymen with helping him decide to join the European champions.

“Kepa is there, Marcos is there, and many other players speak Spanish,” Saul told eSports commentator Ibai Llanos on Twitch. “It is key for me that he [Kepa] is there. If he hadn’t been there everything would have been different.

“Kepa and I have known each other for a long time, we’ve been together in all the Spain youth set ups, and it is great that he is there.”

15.39 BST: Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is set to hold talks with the club this week over his future, the London Evening Standard reports.

Ndombele reportedly let it known to the club that he wanted to leave this summer, just two years after making his club-record £55m transfer to London from Lyon.

The 24-year-old has struggled to replicate the form that earned him his move since making that move. His performances improved for a time last season, but not enough for him to earn a place in France’s Euro 2020 squad.

Now the Standard reports that Ndombele will sit down with Spurs manager Nuno Espirito Santo and sporting director Fabio Paratici this week to discuss his future, although the parer adds that “it is unclear just how those discussions will progress.”

14.46 BST: With the transfer window now closed, Barcelona’s hierarchy will now turn its attention to contract renewals, sources have told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.

Youngsters Ansu Fati and Pedri are both out of contract at the end of the season. When the duo signed their current deals, Barca included an option to extend their terms by an additional two years, but as they signed when they were under 18, the club cannot unilaterally execute those extensions. Therefore, the club will hold talks with both players’ camps about the best way forward in the coming weeks.

Ansu, 18, has just returned to full training after nine months out with a meniscus injury in his knee. He has been handed the No.10 shirt vacated by Lionel Messi and Barca hope to have him back in competitive action by the end of September.

Pedri, also 18, is currently having some time off back in Tenerife. After competing in Euro 2020 and the Olympic Games this summer, Koeman and Spain coach Luis Enrique both agreed he needed some downtime during the international break.

Barca also need to negotiate a new deal with Ousmane Dembele, who is out injured until November. His terms expire next summer as well.

13.59 BST: Another player who could be heading to either Russia or Turkey is Chelsea defender Malang Sarr, the Daily Mail reports.

Sarr was meant to be joining Bundesliga club Greuther Furth, but a loan deal could not be reached before the transfer deadline despite the 22-year-old travelling to Germany to complete his medical.

Chelsea now hope to find another club for Sarr to join and get some playing time this season. The former Nice player has not made a senior appearance for Chelsea since arriving at Stamford Bridge last year, although he did make 14 appearances on loan at Porto including six in the Portuguese club’s run to the Champions League quarterfinals.

13.05 BST: Barcelona are still exploring ways to move on Miralem Pjanic in an attempt to further reduce their wage bill following a hectic summer at Camp Nou, sources have told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.

The transfer window closed in Spain on Tuesday but it remains open in some countries including Russia and Turkey, with Zenit Saint Petersburg one of the clubs credited with an interest in Pjanic.

However, sources close to the Bosnian midfielder say he is unlikely to agree to a fallback option given his preference was a return to Italy, where he previously played for Juventus and Roma. Pjanic, 31, accepts that means he will have to wait until January to secure a move away from Barca, where it’s been made clear he’s not likely to get any playing time under coach Ronald Koeman.

Sources told ESPN that Barca’s priority this summer was to reduce their wage bill. President Joan Laporta previously revealed salaries accounted for 110% of the club’s revenue with Messi. That dropped to 95%without him. The departure of Antoine Griezmann, among others, has further helped to bring that down, along with the pay cuts which have been agreed with Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets.

Following those pay cuts and the departures of Messi and Griezmann, Pjanic is now one of the biggest earners at the Catalan club. LaLiga’s fair play rules dictate that a club’s wage bill should be around 70 percent of its revenue.

Barca are also still trying to place midfielder Alex Collado at another club, although his salary is much lower than Pjanic’s. The academy graduate saw a deadline day move to Sheffield United fall through.

– Pique trolls Real Madrid over failed Mbappe transfer

12.22 BST: The transfer window closed on Aug. 31, with Europe’s top clubs spending plenty of money to enhance their squads even amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the financial constraints that has brought.

Manchester United splashed more than €120m on Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, while also bringing back Cristiano Ronaldo; Arsenal spent the most of any Premier League club on six new players; Liverpool picked up RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate for €41.5m, while Manchester City and Chelsea broke the bank for a statement signing each (Jack Grealish and Romelu Lukaku.)

In Europe, Real Madrid and Barcelona were hit hard by financial issues and had to move stars on, as were Inter Milan, but Paris Saint-Germain led the way both with the €70m signing of Inter full-back Achraf Hakimi and the free transfers of world-class players Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos and Georginio Wijnaldum.

But what do our writers think of the window?

– Transfer window review: Who made the best signing, who had the worst window?

11.39 BST: Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard says he is determined to prove his worth after two injury-plagued seasons at Real Madrid and is not thinking about leaving the club.

“People think that I am always injured,” he said. “That is the truth. But if you review my career there is not a player who for 10 years has played as many games as I have. I do what I have to do. I work daily with the physical trainer. We have done a great job at the beginning of the season. At the moment it is going well, but I am not 100% yet.

“Real Madrid have already spent a lot of money on me. I want to give it back. I signed for five years. The first two have not been good, but I have three more to prove my worth. I hope it works, I hope to get up one morning and find myself perfect in training. If I continue with pain pain there, I drag it to the games and I will continue to have it. I’m waiting for the moment when I can prove my worth. “

10.47 BST: Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal will all try to sign Brighton & Hove Albion’s Yves Bissouma in January, the Daily Mirror reports.

The 25-year-old has attracted attention from some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs for his performances in central midfield for the Seagulls since joining them from Lille in 2018.

Brighton are reportedly willing to listen to offers of £40m for the Mali international, who is set to make his 100th appearance for the club at Brentford this weekend.

09.54 BST: Erling Haaland remains Manchester United’s priority transfer target next summer, despite the club’s financial outlay to re-sign Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.

Manchester City, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in Haaland, who can trigger a release clause in his Borussia Dortmund contract at the end of this season that is reportedly set at €75m.

But although the deal to sign Ronaldo was financed outside of United’s original summer transfer budget, sources have told ESPN it will not impact next year’s recruitment plans and the ongoing effort to win the race for Haaland.

United will pay an initial €15m for Ronaldo with a further €8m in additional payments over five years, but while the transfer fee is relatively small, the Old Trafford club have had to make the 36-year-old the highest-paid player in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad by some distance, even though sources have said he has taken a substantial cut on his Juventus salary, which amounted to £510,000 per week after tax.

Sources added that the opportunity to re-sign Ronaldo, who left United for Madrid in an £80m transfer in 2009, was one the club could not pass up, especially when it became clear that the Portugal captain was in talks over a move to neighbours City. And while the deal has left United with an abundance of attacking options, the long-term objective of signing Haaland has not changed.

09.00 BST: Real Madrid striker Mariano came close to joining Valencia on loan but the deal fell through on transfer window deadline day, according to his agent.

“It was a deal that was all but done on Aug. 31 with Mariano joining Valencia (on loan),” Mariano’s agent David Aranda said. “The contracts were agreed the three parties. The player was enthusiastic as he believed it was the best thing for the upcoming season. But something strange happened, it didn’t go through.”

Mariano, 28, will start his fourth season at Real Madrid since the club triggered his re-sign clause in 2018. He has scored 11 goals in 64 games.

Aranda has denied his client has put his financial interests, as he earns €5m net at Madrid, ahead of his sporting career.

“Mariano is competitive and has remained at Real Madrid losing money,” he said. “Every season he has had offers where they would pay him more. It has nothing to do with comfort because his home is not here but in Barcelona. It’s a transfer market issue.”

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

Ousmane Dembele is set to be handed a new contract with Barcelona, according to RAC1. The France star’s agent is set to meet with representatives at Camp Nou this month to extend his stay with the club. The 24-year-old is reported to be happy at the club and could become a key feature with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann now playing their football at Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, respectively.

– Uncertainty is beginning to loom around the future of AC Milan star Franck Kessie with Calciomercato reporting that the situation in Milan could begin to attract interest from the Premier League. The 24-year-old midfielder has been a standout performer in Serie A, contributing to 17 goals last season from a deep midfield position, but with just one year remaining on the Ivory Coast star’s current deal, there are reports that the player’s head could be turned with queues beginning to form around Europe for his signature.

– Chelsea’s Malang Sarr was expected to move to Greuther Furth on deadline day before the move broke down at the 11th hour. Goal now says that the 22-year-old will still be offloaded, with Russia and Turkey the most likely destinations given their respective transfer windows remain open. The France U21 international spent last season on loan at FC Porto where he featured in six Champions League clashes.

– Napoli are yet to resolve Lorenzo Insigne’s contract situation which has seen Internazionale monitoring the situation of the Italy international. Calciomercato writes that the Serie A champions will advance talks if the 30-year-old has not agreed on a new deal by December, with the intentions of recruiting the star on a free transfer. Napoli previously asked for €25 million for their talisman, but the Naples side may have to lower that figure if they are to avoid one of the top performers of Euro 2020 being tempted away from the club.

– https://twitter.com/mcgrathmike/status/1433087133011619844?s=20 Southampton rejected a late approach from Everton over defender Kyle Walker-Peters, reports The Telegraph. Rafael Benitez’s side were keen on finding cover at right-back for Seamus Coleman but were unable to convince the Saints to let the 24-year-old defender switch St. Mary’s for Goodison Park. The former Tottenham Hotspur right-back has remained a vital part of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side since the manager took charge, starting in 30 Premier League games last season.

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