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Real Madrid’s Haaland pursuit boosted by ‘Agent Odegaard’


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: Odegaard to assist Real with Haaland

Real Madrid are hoping that Martin Odegaard will help them in securing the signing of Erling Haaland, AS reports.

The two Norway internationals are believed to be close friends, with the hope being that Haaland will also be open to the pair linking up at the Bernabeu.

There is reportedly an agreement of sorts in place between Haaland’s agent and Real for the youngster to join Zinedine Zidane’s side in 2022, but if they want the Borussia Dortmund star any sooner, Odegaard could help in the recruiting.

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11.06 GMT: Inter Milan playmaker Christian Eriksen has expressed some misgivings over his move to the Italian club and has hinted that he may consider a move in the January transfer window.

Eriksen joined Inter from Tottenham in January in a €20m transfer just months before his contract in north London was due to expire. Since then, the Denmark international has started just 11 Serie A matches, and did not start any of Inter’s games at the Europa League mini-tournament in August as they reached the semifinals.

“This isn’t what I dreamed of,” Eriksen told TV2 while on international duty. “All players want to play as much as possible, but the coach decides who gets to go on the pitch.

“Right now it may not be going so well in the club, but in the past, when I did not play that much either, there was great success. I am concentrating on my football, then when the transfer window opens we will see if something will happen or not.”

10.18 GMT: Real Madrid are “on the trail” of Dominik Szoboszlai, according to Friday’s front page story in Diario AS.

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The FC Salzburg midfielder, 20, scored a last-minute solo wonder goal on Thursday to see Hungary qualify for Euro 2020 with a dramatic 2-1 playoff win over Iceland (stream highlights in the U.S.).

The German newspaper Bild had reported this week that Szoboszlai was close to joining RB Leipzig.

The player’s agent, Matyas Esterhazy, denied that on Wednesday, telling Hungarian website Index that “Dominik Szoboszlai has no agreement with Leipzig or any other club.”

AS says that Real Madrid “are following the evolution” of the playmaker, who has also been linked with Arsenal, and “are receiving positive reports.”

09.27 GMT: USMNT star Giovanni Reyna has signed a new long term contract with Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund, sources have told ESPN’s Stephan Uersfeld.

Dortmund have not disclosed the length of the deal but sources said Reyna, 18 on Friday, has signed a new deal that would last until 2024.

The young forward made his USMNT debut in Thursday’s 0-0 draw against Wales and is regarded as one of the most promising talents in the Bundesliga.

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Sources have told ESPN there was interest in Reyna from the Premier League and La Liga, but he was focused solely on continuing his career with Dortmund.

Reyna signed an initial three-year deal when he agreed to join Dortmund from MLS side New York City in November 2018. He arrived at BVB in July 2019 and went on to make his debut in February 2020.

He has been an ever-present this season, making 12 appearances for Dortmund, scoring twice, and contributing five assists.

– Borden: Gio Reyna is U.S. soccer’s next superhero
Bundesliga on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

08.40 GMT: Brighton & Hove Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey has opened up about his decision to leave Chelsea in January, insisting: “I’m an ambitious boy.”

Lamptey has attracted interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs, including European champions Bayern Munich and Spanish side Atletico Madrid, for his performances in the Premier League since joining the Seagulls.

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The 20-year-old told the adidas X podcast that he turned down “quite a few options” to continue his development at Brighton, but that he has dreams of reaching the top of the game.

“I’m an ambitious boy,” he said. “I look at things and enjoy them in the moment, but the next day I’m looking to see what I need to improve on and how I can stay at that level. I’m always looking for a chance to play again, and that moment made me even more hungry. I’d had a taste of it and I wasn’t going to let it go.

“I sat down with the coaches, family members and agents and thought about what’s best for me. It was a really tough decision. Being at a club since the age of nine, going up through the whole system and making your first-team debut, everything happened so quickly, but I had to look at where I would get the most football and how I could take my game to the next level.

“It wasn’t an easy decision. I thought about it every day. But the opportunity came for me to come to Brighton, which is a fantastic club with a really good plan for the team, and the move made a lot of sense and I’m really happy to be here.

“There were quite a few options to go to, but I sat down with my family and talked about where would be best for me, where could help me develop, and I thought Brighton would be the best club for me.”

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Colin Udoh believes Tariq Lamptey’s stats speak for themselves amid Atletico Madrid’s reported interest.

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08.00 GMT: Manchester United chief Ed Woodward says he is “absolutely” behind manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid a poor start to the season that has seen the club slip to 14th in the table.

Victory at Everton before the international break gave the Norwegian some breathing space and Woodward insists he remains committed to keeping the 47-year-old in charge.

“While there is still hard work ahead to achieve greater consistency, we remain absolutely committed to the positive path we are on under Ole as the team continues to develop,” said Woodward, speaking as the club released their latest financial results.

“We miss playing in front of our fans and we are working hard together with our governing bodies and relevant authorities to ensure that fans can safely return as soon as possible.”

– Dawson: Solskjaer hanging tough at United

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle): Milan chase Milenkovic

AC Milan are contemplating a move to try and sign Fiorentina‘s Nikola Milenkovic, Calciomercato reports.

The Serbian defender has been with the club since back in 2017 but after their failure to lock him down to a new contract, Milan are hoping to swoop in for the 23-year-old.

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He is currently valued at around €15 million, but if La Viola can’t come to some sort of arrangement with him by the January transfer window, they could well consider a sale — even if it’s to one of their league rivals.

Giroud to Inter in January?

Internazionale could pursue the signing of Olivier Giroud once again during the January transfer window, Calciomercato reports.

The Chelsea veteran looked set to join Antonio Conte in Milan back at the start of the year only for the proposed deal to fall through. Inter will come again in the early stages of 2021 as the Frenchman continues to struggle for game time under Frank Lampard.

Giroud himself is said to be the driving force behind the potential switch and at the age of 34, it could be one of his last chances of playing at a prominent European side.

Tap-ins

Besiktas have confirmed that they would be interested in bringing Cenk Tousn back from Everton, beIN SPORTS reports. The Turkish club’s president has made it clear that Tosun, who was with Besiktas for four years before heading to Goodison Park, is a man they’d be interested in acquiring once again.

– Chelsea will need to sell a few notable players if they want to complete the signing of West Ham United star Declan Rice, Football Insider reports. The belief is that if the England international is to make the move over to Stamford Bridge, the Blues will have to free up some cash in order to finance the move. The players that the club is reportedly willing to listen to offers for are Antonio Rudiger, Jorginho and Marcos Alonso.

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