Transfer Talk! Liverpool ready Mbappe bid; Eriksen back to Tottenham
Welcome back to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of all the latest transfer news as the fallout continues from last week’s deadline day.
The domestic window finally slammed shut for Premier League clubs in its entirety on Friday, 16 October, with the international window having already closed on October 5.
Top flight clubs utilised the initial eleven days of negotiation with EFL clubs to good effect, as West Ham sealed a potential £30million deal for Brentford’s Said Benrahma, while Tottenham nabbed Jose Rodon from Swansea and Crystal Palace brought in Jack Butland to strengthen their goalkeeping options.
As for deals during the main window, Chelsea spent over £200m on the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Manchester United missed out on Jadon Sancho but signed Edinson Cavani, and Arsenal recruited £45m Thomas Partey among others.
Christian Eriksen’s time at Inter could be over inside a year, according to Calciomercato.
Eriksen left Tottenham in a deal worth around £17m in January but has struggled to assert himself in Antonio Conte’s starting line-up, making just two starts this season, and the head coach is now reportedly open to a sale.
Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with interest, along with a sensational return to Spurs.
Antonio Rudiger is set for a second chance at Chelsea after talks with Frank Lampard, report the Daily Mail.
Rudiger was a target for Tottenham during the transfer window, having dropped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge, and has featured in just one matchday squad this season.
That exile now appears to be over, though, after heart-to-heart talks.
Jose Mourinho has plenty of sympathy for Dele Alli and others confined to the fringes at Tottenham but the head coach reflected that the “life of a big club” means difficult decisions are necessary.
Alli has started just two of Tottenham’s 11 fixtures this season and, not for the first time in recent weeks, the England midfielder was left out of the matchday squad for the 1-0 win at Burnley on Monday evening.
Mourinho insists Alli plus the likes of Davinson Sanchez and Harry Winks, unused substitutes at Turf Moor, will be given opportunities with the trio set to come into the reckoning for the Europa League trip to Antwerp on Thursday.
“I feel very bad we did,” Mourinho said, when asked whether Alli’s omission was because Tottenham have an overabundance of attackers. I feel even sad every time I have to write a list of players selected for a game. It’s not just about Dele.
“If the players understand that on Thursday we have another match and that some people that didn’t play here, they are going to play on Thursday and vice-versa.
“This is the life of a big club. This is the life that I know from my time at Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea. The boys have to be ready.
“Winks and Davinson were in the stands, Dele stayed at home, Bergwijn had a little injury, Aurier had a little injury. It is the kind of squad where little injuries, we don’t need to risks.
“The squad is very good, it is very strong and every match if it’s not Dele the next match will be another one and the next match will be another one. I have to admit it hurts me because they deserve more but this is the life of a top squad.”
“I’m very disappointed with the Hegazi departure because I was assured this week he was staying,” the Baggies boss said after the match. “He was meant to play today. He’s a top professional. He had to wait for his chance but, because of his know-how, I counted on him big time.
“To lose him on basically Sunday morning makes me really disappointed.”
Man United eye Adama Traore deal
Manchester United have already signed one Traore over recent weeks in young Atalanta winger Amad, who is set to arrive at Old Trafford in January.
However, Italian outlet Calciomercato now reports that the Red Devils are also eyeing a deal for the Ivorian’s namesake Adama as they seek alternatives to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term no1 target Jadon Sancho following a fruitless summer chase.
Manchester City, Liverpool and Bacelona are also said to be chasing the gifted Spaniard, who is reportedly valued at around £90m by Wolves.
Coady ‘ready-made’ Van Dijk replacement
Former Liverpool man Mark Lawrenson has thrown his support behind the suggestion that Conor Coady would be an ideal replacement for the injured Virgil van Dijk.
Coady came through the Reds academy but left before making a first team appearance. However, with his stock soaring, Lawrenson is one of many who feels the club should look to bring him back.
“I would think Virgil will be out for the season,” Lawrenson told the Argus. “I think it’s a write-off because you’ve got to get match fit and that’s almost impossible nowadays because they don’t play reserve team football.
“If Liverpool are going to pay big money for somebody in January, they want absolutely ready-made. Conor Coady has had loads of shouts and he is a very good organiser who has played lots of games in the Premier League.”
City believed they were in pole position to land Lionel Messi after the Barcelona legend declared his intention to quit Camp Nou.
But the Argentine was ultimately forced to stay with the Catalan giants – leaving Guardiola with no other options. Now City have been hit with a striking crisis, with both Aguero and Gabriel Jesus out injured.
“We thought about it, another type of striker, but we couldn’t do it,” he said. “The club did what it could. They want to reinvest in the team. Our team is so young.
“When you decide to buy a striker, they need to be on Gabriel and Sergio’s level and you cannot afford it. That’s the reality.
“I’m not saying the club didn’t want to do it, they wanted to make as strong a team as possible, but we thought Sergio is coming back and we didn’t expect Gabriel’s injury.”
While Manchester United missed out on Erling Haaland in January 2019, it appears as though OIe Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t given up hope of signing the forward yet.
Haaland is continuing to star for Borussia Dortmund, but The Athletic reports that Solskjaer still has the Norwegian forward top of his transfer wishlist for strikers.
Haaland is said to be available for around £68m in summer 2022 – a clause, coincidentally, which was one of the key reasons why United backed out of the running to sign him originally – though a higher fee before then would likely seal the deal.
So, are we to expect an offer north of £70m next summer? Time will tell…
L’Equipe report that the Reds and Real Madrid are both tipped to be leading the race for the 21-year-old’s signature.
Mbappe has not ruled out extending his stay at Parc des Princes, but is also reportedly open to an exit.
One to watch.
Arsenal’s summer pursuit of Houssem Aouar ended in disappointment after the playmaker decided to stay at Lyon, but Mikel Arteta is ready to test the waters again.
According to Calciomercato, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are both looking into a possible move in January, though Juventus are the favourites to sign the France international in the winter transfer window and the lure of Champions League football could play a part in Aouar’s interest.
According to Italian journalist Fabio Santini, Liverpool have already stepped up their interest in Kalidou Koulibaly following Virgil van Dijk’s injury.
Santini, a journalist covering Napoli , said: “Attention: I have sensational news about Kalidou Koulibaly.
“Manchester City and United are on the Senegalese defender as well as PSG. The club that is more serious for the Senegalese is Liverpool.
The Reds offer to Napoli a figure between 70 and 75 million euros, the sum that [Napoli chairman] De Laurentiis asks.”
Tottenham made three signings to strengthen their defence during the summer transfer window, with full-backs Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon being joined by Swansea centre-half Joe Rodon.
Mourinho says it will take all three players time to adapt.
“Joe Rodon, we just love his potential, his mentality. He needs to work to get there,” he said.
“Matt Doherty has just arrived and he is also adapting. Reguilon, of course is – especially going forward – an incredible player. He needs also to adapt to the defensive demands of the Premier League. It’s a process.”
No surprises for guessing who’s top…
Transfer fees provide endless debate, but it’s tricky to talk about value when taking inflation into account.
However, some clever people over at FreeSuperTips have worked out Premier League clubs’ ‘real’ record signings based on today’s market.
According to their research, Alan Shearer would be the most epxensive ever Premier League signing, with his £18.9million move from Blackburn to Newcastle in 1996 equating to around £157.7m in today’s money.
As for London clubs, Fernando Torres’ Chelsea switch is high on the list – third in fact – with his £52m move from Liverpool worth around £122m now.
Dennis Bergkamp’s £10.1m transfer to Arsenal in 1995 would equate to £104m, with Chris Armstrong’s £6.1m Tottenham arrival the same season equating to £63.3m.
Liverpool open Kabak talks
Liverpool appear ready to re-enter the transfer market for defensive recruits following the loss of Virgil van Dijk to injury.
The influential Dutchman is facing potentially the whole season out after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage following a wild challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in last weekend’s Merseyside derby.
Such a key absence leaves Jurgen Klopp somewhat short on bodies in central defence, with Joel Matip having dealt with his own injuries, Joe Gomez’s form subject to question and Fabinho a midfielder first and foremost.
The likes of club legend Jamie Carragher have urged the Reds to have a deal for a new defender ready to go when the January transfer window opens and it appears they are listening, with the Mirror reporting that talks are now underway with Schalke over Ozan Kabak.
Liverpool want to pay £20m for the young Turkish international, with add-ons likely to satisfy Schalke’s £30m asking price.
Donny van de Beek made a mistake joining Manchester United this summer, claims Dutch football legend Marco van Basten.
United signed Van de Beek from Ajax during the summer, paying around £40million for the highly rated midfielder.
Despite the outlay, Van de Beek has made only four substitute appearances in the Premier League and was not used in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea on Saturday.
“Donny shouldn’t have gone to United, “Van Basten told Ziggo Sport. “When you’re a good player you want to play every week.
“It’s really bad for a player like Donny to play six or seven games this year. That’s shocking for your rhythm.
“I know he’s earning loads more than he used to. But as a top player you have to be critical and look at the chances of playing when you sign for a new club. Donny should have waited for better prospects and signed for another club.”
Man United to appoint Campos?
Staying with United for a moment, could there soon be a new face behind the scenes at Old Trafford?
The idea of a director of football at the club has long been a great source of debate, with Luis Campos one named frequently linked with the post.
And according to Canal Plus in France, United are now actively considering trying to bring the Lille man to England after a largely frustrating summer transfer window.
Campos is a close friend of Jose Mourinho and it was previously reported that Tottenham were interested in his services.
ICYMI: Son to sign new Tottenham contract
Jose Mourinho says Heung-min Son is set to become “part of the furniture” at Tottenham by signing a new long-term contract, writes Dan Kilpatrick.
Son came off the bench to score for the ninth time this season as Spurs began their Europa League group with a comfortable 3-0 win over LASK on Thursday night.
Afterwards, Mourinho said the 28-year-old wants to sign an extension to his current deal, which expires in 2023, and the Spurs manager is confident that “sooner or later” it will happen.
“I would love [him to sign a new contract],” Mourinho said. “Son has three years of contract, so it’s not like we’re in an extreme situation of everybody being worried.
“It’s more that Son loves it here, I believe that he would like to commit his future to the club for a long time.”
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Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is on Manchester City’s shortlist to replace Pep Guardiola should the Spaniard leave the Eithad at the end of the season.
Guardiola’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning City are drawing up contingency plans should he not sign an extension.
Pochettino and RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann are the two main targets for the club.
Malen failed to make a senior appearance for the Gunners between 2015 and 2017 but has gone on to impress in the Eredivisie, contributing to 49 goals in 78 appearances since.
Last season Malen scored 17 goals in 25 games, also attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus.
West Ham prepare bumper Rice contract offer
West Ham are preparing a bumper new contract offer for Declan Rice, reports suggest.
The Star on Sunday claims that the Hammers will offer their versatile England midfielder – already under contract until 2024 – an extension lasting up to the summer of 2025 that would see him double his current £60,000 a week wages.
Chelsea were keen on a deal for Rice during the recent summer transfer window and are expected to revisit their interest in future, so it seems the 21-year-old has a real dilemma coming up.
When does the ‘winter window’ open?
The January transfer window opens on Friday January 1, 2021, and will run until Sunday January 31.