Transfer Talk: Juventus seek late swoop for Barcelona’s Ansu Fati

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The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here is the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Man City, United to battle Barca for Olmo

Bild journalist Christian Falk reports that Barcelona target Dani Olmo is of interest to both Manchester United and Manchester City.

Olmo, 23, played for Barcelona’s youth teams before moving to Dinamo Zagreb in 2014. He now plays for RB Leipzig and has impressed with his recent performances, which has seen Barcelona reignite their interest in him.

The attacking midfielder has also been scouted by United and City, so Barca won’t have it easy if they want to land him.

Barca president Joan Laporta is desperate to sign players who have come through the La Masia academy and understand the club’s values, but there is little money left at Camp Nou and Olmo is rated at over €60m.

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16.31 BST: The Athletic says that Manchester United’s decision to join the European Super League could have seen them lose players.

Bruno Fernandes in particular was very unhappy about the prospect and “railed against the no-relegation concept and was said to feel so strongly he would have pushed to leave United had it gone through.”

If it had happened, he would have struggled to find a major club NOT involved though…

15.45 BST: France Football says that Paris Saint-Germain are hoping to get Kylian Mbappe to sign a new short-term deal.

Mbappe, 22, wants to join Real Madrid in the summer and could do so for nothing as his contract expires in 2022.

The France international forward has already said that he wanted to depart in the summer so that PSG could receive a decent fee, but the club rejected Madrid’s €200m offer. Would he sign up to a shorter deal to ensure that happened?

15.18 BST: Do Manchester United need a change of manager?

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Jan Aage Fjortoft feels Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s “Mr. Nice Guy” approach may be problematic when Manchester United are losing games.

14.40 BST: Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona have reached an agreement for the contract extension of Ansu Fati until June 2027.

Ansu, 18, will have a release clause of €1 billion, just like teammate Pedri, who also signed a new deal recently.

14.26 BST: Bild have been speaking to Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel and asked him about Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland.

Not content with spending €115m to sign Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku, Chelsea have been linked with a move for Haaland once his €75m release clause comes into effect next summer. And Tuchel is clearly a fan of the Norway international.

“We talked about Erling Haaland a couple of times, including during the transfer window. But then it seemed absolutely unrealistic and not at all feasible,” he said. “We talk about him regularly, of course, because he’s a fantastic player and clearly the defining figure at Dortmund, who is a big rival for us in the Champions League.”

Asked about signing Haaland alongside Lukaku, Tuchel laughed: “You mean two at the top [with] Lukaku and Haaland? We can talk about it!”

“I don’t think we’ve been really serious about it yet, but let’s see what will happen in the next few weeks.”

13.55 BST: The Daily Mail says that a host of clubs are keen on Genk striker Paul Onuachu.

Tottenham, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, Southampton and West Ham have all watched the Nigeria international as he has followed his 33 goals last season with 11 goals in his first 11 games this season.

The 6-foot-7 striker is reportedly keen to make the step up and evidently has no shortage of admirers.

13.14 BST: France prime minister Jean Castex has given Pope Francis a glass-framed No. 30 PSG jersey signed by Lionel Messi as a gift.

Castex had a private visit with the Argentinian pontiff on Monday at the Vatican. Messi, who was crucial for Argentina in their Copa America triumph in July, joined PSG this summer after his contract with Barcelona expired.

Born in Buenos Aires, Pope Francis is a football fan and a club member of Argentinian side San Lorenzo de Almagro. Messi and the Argentina national team met Pope Francis in the summer of 2013 at the Vatican and the Argentina captain described the meeting as “short but beautiful.”

A year later, Messi was among other Argentina internationals to sign a national team jersey that was sent to Pope Francis as a gift during the 2014 World Cup, where Argentina finished runners up to Germany.

12.30 BST: PSG seem to be building a team of individuals and not a team.

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Steve Nicol calls out PSG’s lack of cohesion after their come-from-behind victory against RB Leipzig.

11.27 BST: FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi has reportedly asked for a transfer as he seeks a move to Europe in January, says 90min.

Pepi, 18, has impressed this season and made his United States international senior debut, which has attracted the likes of Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Liverpool.

CBS says that he has agreed personal terms with German Bundesliga club Wolfsburg, but that his representatives are awaiting other offers.

10.40 BST: Steve Bruce has left his job as Newcastle United manager by mutual consent, the club have announced.

Bruce, who managed his 1,000th game on Sunday as Newcastle lost 3-2 to Tottenham Hotspur had been under pressure following a winless start to the Premier League season.

Sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that former AS Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is among the candidates lined up to take over at the club.

10.25 BST: Another day, another Newcastle rumour.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the club are looking to sign Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin with their newfound riches after a Saudi-backed takeover.

Calvert-Lewin, 24, has been linked with a £50m move to Man United, Arsenal and Real Madrid but is under contract until 2025 having agreed an extension last year.

09.43 BST: Has Ole Gunnar Solskjaer turned Man United around since he was hired? And is he the right person to take the club forward? Our writers explain.

It’s been nearly three years since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took over as Manchester United manager, picking up from Jose Mourinho in late December 2018 as a caretaker before being appointed permanently in March of 2019. There have been remarkable runs of form — like winning 14 of his first 19 matches in charge — and some even more stunning failures, namely three semifinal exits in 2019-20 (Carabao Cup, FA Cup, Europa League), as well as their Champions League group stage exit and a humbling defeat on penalties in the Europa League final last season.

As divisive as the Mourinho era was, it did bring trophies back to United, something Solskjaer’s yet to accomplish. Their Premier League drought has continued — last win: 2012-13 — and they’ve not claimed a title of any kind since the Europa League in 2016-17.

Solskjaer has since rebuilt this squad and been given the star players he’s demanded — this summer alone saw Cristiano Ronaldo return to the club he left in 2009, along with Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane — but the same frustrations remain. Can this squad of talented individuals be fused into a successful collective, and is Solskjaer the right man to do it?

With a run of critical games ahead for United — two dates with Atalanta in the Champions League, plus league fixtures against Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City in the next three weeks alone — we look at Solskjaer the coach, Solskjaer the motivator and Solskjaer the tactician. Can he return this club to its proud peak?

08.54 BST: Sport reports that Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is unhappy at the club and wants to move to Barcelona.

De Ligt, 22, snubbed Barca to move to Turin in 2019 from Ajax for €75m but has now been relegated to the bench by manager Max Allegri and wants out.

His agent Mino Raiola has already been touting the defender around Europe but he has a release clause of €150m which may need to be paid.

08.30 BST: Veteran Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has spoken of how Brazilian starlet Vinicius Jr. came close to join the Catalan outfit in 2017 before accepting an offer to join Real Madrid instead.

Real Madrid beat Barcelona and Manchester United to sign the then-16-year-old forward from Flamengo with an offer of €46m.

“Vinicius had a lot of talent,” Pique said. “Did you know he was on the verge of arriving at Barca? Real Madrid offered him double. I personally spoke to him before he went to Madrid and in that call he recognised that it was all done with Barca. It was a done deal. I don’t how it happened. I think it [chat] was about welcoming him to the changing room. It was already done. Then Real Madrid arrived at the last second and offered him everything.”

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Steve Nicol says Liverpool’s back line was a mess and believes they got lucky a VAR review went their way vs. Atletico Madrid.

PAPER GOSSIP (By Adam Brown)

Paris Saint-Germain are keen to try their luck with a move for Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah, reports Le10 Sport. The French outlet writes that PSG sporting director Leonardo wants to bring the 29-year-old forward to the Parc des Princes, and could make an approach if PSG miss out on Borussia Dortmund‘s Erling Haaland. Despite talks of a new contract, Salah is yet to pen a new deal, with his current terms expiring in the summer of 2023.

AC Milan are keen to extend midfielder Ismael Bennacer‘s contract, writes Nicolo Schira. The 23-year-old’s deal isn’t due to expire until 2024, but the club wants to remove his release clause of €50m, as well as reward him with an increased salary. The new terms are set to see Bennacer extend his stay at the San Siro until 2026.

– The race for highly rated Hungary international defender Attila Szalai is heating up, with Calciomercato reporting that both Juventus and Atletico Madrid are set to battle it out in January for his signature. The 23-year-old has been a standout performer for Fenerbahce this season and is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top leagues.

Mundo Deportivo writes that Barcelona may not be prepared to pay the asking price for Youri Tielemans. The Leicester City midfielder is reported to cost in the region of €55m, and with the current financial situation at Camp Nou restricting significant targets, the club could look to cool their interest in the 24-year-old who has begun the Premier League season in impressive form.

Nicolo Schira has revealed that River Plate would be willing to allow Julian Alvarez to leave for a fee of €18m in January. Internazionale and AC Milan have been tracking the 21-year-old, who reportedly has a €25m release clause. More clubs could emerge as the Buenos Aires powerhouse seems set to cash in before the forward’s contract expires at the end of 2022.

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