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: PSG inch ahead in race for Alaba
Real Madrid have been most closely linked with regard to signing Alaba, who looks destined to leave the Allianz Arena on a free transfer in the summer after failing to agree a new contract with the German champions.
PSG, though, are reportedly willing to bow to his wage demands, whereas Real are a bit more hesitant on the matter.
The reason behind Madrid wanting to pursue Alaba in the first place is due to the impending threat of Sergio Ramos leaving, but unfortunately for them, they’re trailing behind right now.
10.38 GMT: Manchester United are set to rebuff any bid from AC Milan to sign Diogo Dalot permanently in January, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Dalot is spending the season on loan at Milan and the 21-year-old has impressed since arriving in Italy. However, with no option or obligation to buy inserted into the agreement, Milan will have to re-open negotiations if they want to keep the full-back beyond the end of the season.
Dalot, who cost £19m when he moved to Old Trafford from Porto in 2018, is highly-regarded by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who made the decision to allow the Portugal Under-21 international to leave on loan and play regular football to continue his development.
10.12 GMT: Barcelona are desperate to avoid losing talented youngster Ilaix Moriba, multiple sources told ESPN’s Moises Llorens, 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.
09.45 GMT: Isco‘s agent has denied that the Real Madrid midfielder is looking to leave the club in January.
The playmaker is out of favour at the Bernabeu and has only started three La Liga games this season, two of which were defeats, including this month’s 4-1 loss at Valencia.
“A lot of things are said,” a representative was quoted as telling Cadena SER radio on Thursday. “We aren’t looking at offers and the idea isn’t to leave the club.”
Isco has been linked with a move to the Premier League to join up with Carlo Ancelotti at Everton, although the former Real Madrid boss rejected claims that he’s tracking the midfielder in an interview this week.
09.11 GMT: Pep Guardiola extended his contract with Manchester City until 2023 on Thursday. Guardiola’s deal ran until the end of the 2020-21 season, which began on Sept. 12, but he will remain in the Premier League after agreeing to an extension.
“Ever since I arrived at Manchester City I have been made to feel so welcome in the club and in the city itself, from the players, the staff, the supporters, the people of Manchester and the chairman and owner,” Guardiola said.
“Since then we have achieved a great deal together, scored goals, won games and trophies, and we are all very proud of that success. Having that kind of support is the best thing any manager can have. I have everything I could possibly want to do my job well and I am humbled by the confidence the owner, chairman, Ferran [Soriano] and Txiki [Begiristain] have shown in me to continue for two more years after this season.
“The challenge for us is to continue improving and evolving, and I am very excited and about helping Manchester City do that.”
08.34 GMT: Jerome Boateng is looking forward to a new challenge when his contract at Bayern Munich expires next summer. Boateng, 32, joined Bayern Munich from Manchester City in 2011 and was a key member for the club’s Treble-winning sides in 2013 and 2020.
“I am someone who loves to get to know new cities, cultures and people,” the centre-back told Spox. “I am really not the guy who likes to stay at one place for too long. That’s why Paris, London but also cities outside of Europe are interesting for me.”
Earlier this month, Boateng learned via the media that Bayern were making their plans for next season without him. When asked about that decision, the 2014 World Cup winner said: “I was surprised and would have wished for a meeting before. But I am now longer thinking about it.”
Bundesliga champions Bayern host Werder Bremen on Saturday as domestic football resumes after the international break (stream LIVE at 9:30 a.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
08.00 GMT: Derby County’s battle to avoid relegation from the EFL Championship is likely to scupper Wayne Rooney‘s prospects of taking his first steps into management at the club, sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
The former Everton, Manchester United and D.C. United forward, who has yet to secure all of his coaching qualifications, signed an 18-month contract as player-coach when he arrived at Derby last January, with the move designed to prepare the 35-year-old for a managerial role at a later date.
Rooney is part of a four-man interim coaching team, alongside Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker, appointed by Derby to take charge of the first-team following the sacking of manager Phillip Cocu, the former PSV Eindhoven coach, on Nov. 14.
“I am ambitious,” Rooney said. “I want to go into management. I have been quite open about that. There is an opportunity to show the different ideas you have. I want to be a manager one day.”
Derby are bottom of the 24-team Championship, with just one win from 11 games so far this season, and on the verge of being taken over by United Arab Emirates businessman Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed al Nahyan.
And although sources told ESPN that Rooney is one of several candidates being considered for the manager’s job by the incoming owners, his lack of experience and the necessary coaching qualifications point towards the former England captain instead being asked to work under a proven manager capable of steering Derby away from the relegation zone.
– ESPN Insider Notebook: Liverpool demand VAR answers
– Championship on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)
Wayne Rooney says he wants to turn his interim position as Derby manager into a permanent role.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle): Barcelona concerned over Dembele
Barca were interested in selling him during the summer transfer window, but he was reportedly eager to stay. However, the Catalans now believe that he could be planning to leave for nothing when his contract expires in 2022.
Dembele will be allowed to speak with clubs before then, with Manchester United being one of the teams that are interested, as Barcelona need funds to fill a €300m financial hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Haaland not focused on leaving Borussia Dortmund
Erling Haaland‘s father, Alf-Inge, has confirmed that his son is not thinking about leaving Borussia Dortmund.
The Norway striker continues to be linked with a move away from the German giants, but in an interview with Sport1, Alf-Inge Haaland made it clear that the priority is to try to find success in Dortmund.
“At the moment it’s not in Erling’s or my head that another club will be vying for him,” Haaland’s father said. “We signed a long contract with Dortmund and they have a fantastic team for Erling right now. We don’t want to look any further ahead.”
Haaland Jr. reportedly has a €75m release clause in his contract and has attracted attention from every top club in Europe.
– The Guardian is reporting that Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud is ready to leave Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window. The veteran World Cup winner has rarely been able to find his way into the first team under Frank Lampard this season, and with next summer’s Euros on his mind, he is hoping for a move away, with his preferred options being Italy or another Premier League club.
– Eintracht Frankfurt‘s Jetro Willems is interested in a return to Newcastle United, Calciomercato reports. The Dutchman spent last season on loan with the Magpies, but after an unfortunate injury cut his time short, Willems is now going in search of another chance to try to impress in the Premier League with the very same club.