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Man City turn to Spurs striker Harry Kane?


The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

TOP STORY: Man City turn to Spurs striker Kane?

The Independent reports that Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola wants Tottenham striker Harry Kane to be the player to help his side get back to the top of the Premier League.

Guardiola signed a new contract until 2023 recently and, amid the negotiations, reportedly namechecked Kane as a player he wants to sign in the future.

The report says that Kane “may push to leave if Spurs do not win a trophy this season” and, while the England captain has a contract until 2024 at the club, City are one of the few clubs who could afford to sign him for around £150m.

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Meanwhile, City are also preparing a new deal for forward Gabriel Jesus, the Daily Star reports. The 23-year-old still has two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract at the Etihad, but in a sign of Guardiola’s faith in him, his wages will almost double to £150,000-per-week if he agrees to an extension.

City have been working on new deals for Raheem Sterling and Kevin De Bruyne as of late, and as they gear up for a new rebuilding project under Guardiola, Jesus is the latest man that the club is trying to lock down as they seek a long-term replacement for 32-year-old Sergio Aguero, who becomes a free agent in the summer.

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14.44 GMT: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Dean Henderson could become one of the best goalkeepers in the world but added that it is not his job to keep the youngster happy at Old Trafford.

Henderson could make his second Champions League start of the season when Istanbul Basaksehir visit Old Trafford on Tuesday having played in the 2-1 defeat in Turkey earlier this month.

It would be just his fourth game of the season after returning from Sheffield United in the summer with the 23-year-old hoping to impress England manager Gareth Southgate ahead of the European Championships.

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“Dean wants to stay at Man United and play for Man United,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Monday. “He’s come back in, he’s maturing, he’s had some games, training with one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has the potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“It’s not up to me to make everyone happy, I’ve said that a few times. The performances will always be the deciding factor if you play or not. I think every position you play for Manchester United it’s your duty to make me and the coaches happy so then there’s a bigger chance you can play next time.”

13.30 GMT: The Football Manager video game has a reputation for finding some top young players, but how do this batch rate?

We asked our resident scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen to analyse them. For example:

DEF: Nuno Mendes, 18, Sporting Lisbon (Portugal U21)

The Portugal U21 and Sporting left-back has great ability on the ball and impressive stamina to go with the pace that is required in his position. On top of that, he’s surprisingly nimble for his size, excellent at pulling away from opponents and tends to keep his sense of orientation even when he drifts into the middle. He has been linked with Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal of late.

12.48 GMT: Sevilla defender Jules Kounde was the subject of a €55m bid from Manchester City in the summer, but the Spanish club opted to reject it.

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Kounde, 21, was open to leaving but Sevilla stopped short in negotiations as City ended up spending €68m to sign Ruben Dias from Benfica instead.

City also signed Nathan Ake from Bournemouth and were repeatedly linked with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, but Kounde has revealed that he was close to a move.

He told Canal Football Club: “Yes, I spoke with [Pep] Guardiola on the phone. We did it in Spanish. It went well and I was interested in going there, I had guarantees to play. But in the end it didn’t happen.”

11.56 GMT: Olivier Giroud looks set to leave Chelsea in January, says The Athletic.

Giroud, 34, has played only seven times this season and has been told by France coach Didier Deschamps that he won’t play at Euro 2020 unless he gets more minutes.

The report says that “Chelsea will consider granting Giroud’s wish to leave in January as a thank you for the striker’s service to the club since he joined in January 2018.

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“Giroud has decided he will have to leave Stamford Bridge in the new year unless he plays significantly more over the next few months, as The Athletic first revealed last week. Increased minutes are unlikely because coach Frank Lampard prefers Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham.”

11.14 GMT: Borussia Dortmund’s Youssoufa Moukoko became the youngest player ever to play in the Bundesliga, at 16-years-old.

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Jan Aage Fjortoft says the Bundesliga’s youngest-ever player, Youssoufa Moukoko, is at the right club with Dortmund.

10.21 GMT: Lille midfielder Yusuf Yazici has been linked with Arsenal, with his agent talking up reports of a big-money move.

Yazici, 23, has scored two hat tricks in three Europa League matches — away at Sparta Prague and AC Milan — and the Turkey international is blossoming into a fine player. Lille have sold a number of their players to Arsenal in recent season — namely Nicolas Pepe and Gabriel — with Yazici a possible replacement for Mesut Ozil.

“It is necessary to be humble, but Yusuf’s achievement of this performance is the result of planned and patient work,” his agent Adem Cebeci told Turkish outlet Demiroren News Agency. “It is really an honour for the big clubs to take care of Yusuf. Because Yusuf has goals and is moving towards this goal.

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“[Lille] Sporting director [Luis] Campos likes Yusuf’s game very much. That’s why he worked hard for his transfer. When Yusuf reaches his true potential, they want to sell him to very good clubs for a very good price, and that doesn’t seem too far.”

09.45 GMT: Barcelona are desperate to avoid losing talented youngster Ilaix Moriba, multiple sources told ESPN, and his renewal will be a top priority for the club’s next president, along with a new deal for Lionel Messi.

Midfielder Ilaix, 17, has a contract until 2022 and Barca want to extend it at all costs, believing he could be the next big talent to break into the first team, following the path of Ansu Fati.

The Catalan club’s unstable situation — without a president and with a managing committee in charge until elections are held on Jan. 24 — could work against them, with various clubs known to be interested in the academy player.

09.17 GMT: Luis Suarez is confident his friend and former teammate Lionel Messi will turn things around after the Barcelona captain said last week: “I am tired of always being the problem with everything that goes on at this club.”

Messi was responding to comments that he had too much control at Barca and had failed to help Antoine Griezmann settle at the club.

Suarez spent six years playing alongside Messi at Barca, during which time he won 12 trophies including the Champions League in 2015 and four La Liga titles.

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“Obviously as a friend and [former] teammate of Leo, that situation pains me,” Suarez, who was ruled out of Atletico’s 1-0 win over Barca on Saturday, told Punto Penal. “I’m worried about him as a human being but I know that he is capable of moving forward and turning this situation around.”

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Ale Moreno outlines the scenarios where Lionel Messi would either stay or leave Barcelona after the season.

08.33 GMT: Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici has no doubt that Cristiano Ronaldo will complete his contract with the Turin giants.

Reports intensified last week that Juve were looking to sell Ronaldo next summer in order to balance their books, and that Ronaldo has opened the door for a possible return to Real Madrid.

Asked if Ronaldo will remain at Juve beyond this season, Paratici said at the weekend: “His future is with us, I can assure you. There are transfer rumours every day and players that are linked with different clubs but we don’t pay much attention to that.”

Ronaldo’s contract expires in June 2022 but, according to reports, Juve is eager to recoup part of the €100m they paid Real Madrid and, crucially, get his wages off their books. Ronaldo, 35, earns a reported €31m per season.

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08.00 GMT: Spanish midfielder Isco is not going anywhere, according to Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

Isco has made seven appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos, most recently as a substitute in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Villarreal, and started three times this season.

Marca reported that Isco has already told Real Madrid and Zidane of his wish to leave the club in the winter transfer window in search of regular playing time and that the club is open to allowing the player to leave.

Asked if Isco, who came on as a substitute at Villarreal, has requested to leave the club, Zidane said: “No, not at all. We’re not going to talk about what happens within the squad. But Isco is a Real Madrid player, he is staying here, he is with us and there’s no need to talk about it.”

Isco, who has won 16 titles in his seven years at Real Madrid, has a contract with Madrid until June 2022 and is a reported target of Everton. The 28-year-old has a €700m release clause but could reportedly leave for an offer in the region of €30m.

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Gab Marcotti outlines Ronald Koeman’s options with Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto out for a couple months.

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PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

Barcelona to chase Pique replacement?

Marca is reporting that Barcelona are considering signing a long-term replacement for Gerard Pique following his latest knee injury.

The veteran defender looks set to miss out on several months of action after being felled in Barca’s 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid on Saturday and, as a result, the Spanish outlet suggests that Ronald Koeman’s side will dip into the transfer market in January to find a new centre-back.

Pique has been at the heart of Barcelona’s dominance over the past decade but, with the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and perhaps even Lionel Messi moving on to pastures new, the 33-year-old appears to be the latest Blaugrana legend being ushered towards the exit.

Koeman has been experiencing something of a defensive injury crisis already during his tenure at the Nou Camp, and now big questions will need to be asked as Barca count down the minutes until the January window is open for business.

Betis go after Alena and Puig

Real Betis will pursue the signing of Barcelona youngsters Carles Alena or Riqui Puig on a loan deal as a replacement for Sergio Canales, Estadio Deportivo reports.

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Canales will miss the remainder of 2020 after picking up a hamstring injury on international duty with Spain. And Betis, who are viewed as one of the rising forces in Spanish football outside of the elite clubs, will be hoping to get some kind of business done during the upcoming January transfer window so they are not left short.

Betis boss Manuel Pellegrini is believed to have taken a keen interest in Puig, whereas Alena has already found success during a recent loan spell at the Benito Villamarin.

Tap-ins

Lyon could pursue the signing of Islam Slimani or Boulaye Dia during the summer transfer window, Le10Sport reports. The French giants would be hoping that either man can serve as a worthy replacement for the supposedly outgoing Memphis Depay, who has been continuously linked with a €25m move to Barcelona.

Elche are set to complete the signing of Ivan Marcone on a permanent deal, Marca reports. Marcone has been on loan from Boca Juniors for almost two months now but, after impressing in the early stages of his spell, the 30-year-old now appears to be on the verge of something more concrete with Elche who are willing to pay €4.2m to secure his services.





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