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: Guardiola targets Haaland or Martinez
City are widely believed to be actively looking for a replacement for Sergio Aguero, and with Gabriel Jesus the only other out-and-out striker at the club, Pep Guardiola is in need of other attacking options.
Aguero is now 32 and increasingly suffering from injuries, which means City are unable to place as much reliance on their record striker.
Haaland has emerged as one of the world’s hottest strikers and City see him as the perfect player to lead the line for the next few years. However, Martinez is seen as the most-likely option to sign.
Barcelona failed to sign him in the summer as they couldn’t agree on a fee with Inter, but City will feel they have the financial muscle to persuade the Italian club to part with the Argentine striker.
Rudiger atop cut-rate defensive targets for Barca
Barcelona are increasingly unsure whether or not they’ll be able to re-sign Eric Garcia from Manchester City in January, so they’re turning their attentions to Chelsea‘s Antonio Rudiger, Liverpool‘s Joel Matip or Arsenal‘s Shkodran Mustafi.
That’s according to the Spanish outlet Diario Sport, which reports that while Garcia remains their priority, Barca are compiling a list of low-cost alternatives.
Ronald Koeman has been told he can sign one defender in the transfer window to add competition for places alongside Clement Lenglet, Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo. However, Barcelona have limited funds to deal with as a result of the financial implications of the coronavirus, and while they can sign Garcia on a free next summer, they need cover sooner.
Rudiger appears to top their back-up list. The Blues defender was close to leaving last summer and would be interested in the move.
Matip is also on the list, but given Liverpool have their own injury worries it’s believed they would be against selling him this winter.
Juve look to Mendes to sort Neto deal
Neto arrived at Molyneux only last summer from Lazio and he recently committed to a five-year contract with the Premier League side, so would be likely to command a big fee.
However, agent Jorge Mendes is believed to be behind the deal, and the Portuguese has already been involved with several moves involving Portuguese players to Wolves, and so might be able to make the move happen.
Juventus are keen on Neto because of his ability to play either as a central attacking midfielder or on the either wing. Neto was involved in Portugal‘s 7-0 win over Andorra last Wednesday.
– Kevin De Bruyne is in talks with Manchester City over a deal to extend his contract beyond 2023, say the Guardian. The Belgian midfielder, who was involved in Belgium‘s 2-0 win over England on Sunday, is currently representing himself, and he told Belgian TV station VTM Nieuws that he’s happy to stay at the club, and that talks are going progressing though not advanced.
– New Vasco da Gama club director Fabio Cordella is looking to bring Mario Balotelli to Brazil, reports Italian journalist Gianluca di Marzio. Cordella is looking for players with experience in Europe, and Balotelli is currently without a club after having been released by Italian side Brescia. It is reported the forward would rather stay in Europe, but that the move could solve a short-term problem.