The summer transfer window is into its final week for the major European leagues, which means the biggest clubs are looking to make a splash in the market while they still can. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Ronaldo agrees deal to join Man City
Cristiano Ronaldo has reached an agreement with Manchester City over a sensational transfer from Juventus to the Premier League champions, according to AS.
The Spanish sports daily reports that Ronaldo has struck a deal with City, who have offered him a two-year contract with a salary of €15 million per season, about half of what he earns Turin.
Sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that City have not dismissed the possibility of signing Ronaldo after Harry Kane committed his immediate future to Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday. Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reported on Tuesday that Ronaldo’s agent, Jorge Mendes, had flown in to settle Ronaldo’s future, with the Portugal captain wanting to move and Juventus willing to let him go.
However, no deal has yet been struck between City and Juventus, who are seeking a €25 transfer fee for the 36-year-old and would be interested in signing City forward Gabriel Jesus, but City do not want to pay a transfer fee or let their Brazil international leave this summer.
Last week, Ronaldo lashed out over the transfer rumours regarding his future, accusing people of being “disrespectful” yet stopping short of committing his future to Juventus. The ex-Manchester United man has been also linked with a return to Real Madrid as well as a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
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14.19 BST: Barcelona are still pursuing the option of signing another forward before the transfer window closes, various sources have told ESPN’s Moises Llorens and Sam Marsden.
Due to Barca’s precarious financial situation, sources admit it will be “complicated” to get a deal over the line but the club are assessing their options.
Coach Ronald Koeman has said publicly he wants another attacker. Memphis Depay and Sergio Aguero have already arrived this summer but Lionel Messi left for Paris Saint Germain. Barca also have Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati. However, Aguero, Dembele and Ansu are all currently out with injuries.
Ansu is expected back in September but Barca don’t want to put too much pressure on the 18-year-old after nine months out with a knee problem. Therefore, the club’s recruitment team are looking at cheaper options or players available on loan, which hugely reduces the amount of players available to them.
Barca’s cash crisis, couple with LaLiga’s spending limits, has complicated the registration of their new signings with the league this summer. However, Gerard Pique’s pay cut allowed them to register Memphis and Eric Garcia, while reductions for Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba should allow them to register Aguero and any other potential arrivals this week.
13.53 BST: Serie A champions Inter Milan have signed Argentina international forward Joaquin Correa from Lazio.
Correa has signed a four-year contract with the Nerazzurri, who have brought him in on an initial loan deal with an obligation to make to transfer permanent.
The 27-year-old, who scroed 22 goals in three seasons at Lazio, was part of the Argentina squad that won the Copa America in the summer.
🚨 | ANNOUNCEMENT
Joaquín Correa signs for Inter! ⚫🔵
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter_en) August 26, 2021
13.33 BST: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has ruled out striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaving the club this summer.
Sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that the Gunners are seeking to offload several members of their squad after spending more than £130m on new signings, and there had been speculation that the club were willing to listen to offers for their leading striker.
Aubameyang scored a hat-trick on Wednesday as Arsenal thrashed West Brom 6-0 in their Carabao Cup second-round tie at The Hawthorns (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.) on the same day Manchester City’s pursuit of Tottenham Hotspur forward Harry Kane collapsed.
Sources have told ESPN that City are still in the market for a striker, but when asked at a news conference on Thursday whether he was concerned they could move for Aubameyang, Arteta replied: “I don’t know. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is our player and he will remain here.”
12.58 BST: Harry Kane is reportedly “angry” with Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy for refusing to negotiate with Manchester City over a potential transfer, and is now seeking a bigger contract with a release clause from the club.
Kane confirmed in a social media post on Tuesday that he is staying at Spurs “this summer” despite the striker telling them he wanted to leave and the Premier League champions preparing a bid for the England captain. The 28-year-old’s announcement brought to an end a saga which began with the striker believing he had a verbal agreement with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy that he would be allowed to leave if a suitable bid was received.
Tottenham valued Kane in excess of £150m and were hugely reluctant to enter into negotiations given the striker had three years left on his £200,000-a-week contract and is of central importance to the team. Sources told ESPN’s James Olley and Rob Dawson that City were willing to offer £100m and potentially include players as part of any deal, although sources at both clubs denied a formal offer was ever made.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Kane is “angry” and “deeply upset” with Levy for not allowing the two clubs to negotiate over a potential transfer. The Times, meanwhile, claims that he now wants improved terms on his contract — which expires in 2024 — worth £400,000-a-week and with a release clause inserted.
12.24 BST: Chelsea are hopeful of completing a deal worth in the region of €50m for Sevilla defender Jules Kounde as defender Kurt Zouma closes on a move to West Ham United from Stamford Bridge, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Talks with Sevilla over Kounde have been ongoing for some time but Chelsea needed to offload a centre-back first before pushing ahead with a move. West Ham agreed a €29.2m (£25m) fee for Zouma earlier this month but personal terms were an issue with the 26-year-old reluctant to leave Stamford Bridge.
Zouma has two years left on his Chelsea contract and has turned down moves in previous years to fight for his place at the club. He was left out of Thomas Tuchel’s lineup for their opening two Premier League games but did start their UEFA Super Cup win over Villarreal.
Sources told ESPN another stumbling block came as Zouma asked for a wage in the region of £120,000-a-week — around double what he currently earns at Chelsea — to even consider moving to West Ham.
However, negotiations have progressed positively and Zouma underwent a medical on Thursday as all parties near an agreement. The deal is not yet finalised but Chelsea are optimistic that Zouma will depart, allowing them to press ahead with their pursuit of Kounde before Tuesday’s transfer deadline.
11.41 BST: Donny van de Beek should consider leaving Old Trafford, according to former Manchester star Dimitar Berbatov.
Van de Beek signed for United from Ajax in a £35m transfer last September after being linked with several of Europe’s top clubs, but has started just four Premier League games since arriving at Old Trafford.
The Times reported this week that the 24-year-old’s representatives have been approached by clubs during the summer transfer window, but Van de Beek is not willing to consider any offers as he remains committed to succeeding at United. However, Berbatov believes the Netherlands international needs to move to revive his career.
“I don’t think we’re going to see any more playing time from Donny van de Beek,” Berbatov told Betfair. “It’s a really strange, disappointing and surprising situation. They spent around £35m on him and, to pay that for a player who isn’t starting many games, doesn’t make sense. I’m not blaming the player at all, but for me it’s one of the most disappointing transfers ever.
“He has got a lot of quality. I don’t like it when clubs buy for the sake of buying and this is one of those situations. I’m sure he’s banging on the manager’s door and asking questions.
“I think if he’s not happy, Van de Beek should push to leave. His place in the national team is at risk, especially now with Louis van Gaal in charge. Van Gaal is a disciplinarian who like his players to play football.”
10.56 BST: Barcelona and Ousmane Dembele are close to reaching an agreement over a new contract, according to the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
The report says there has been a breakthrough in talks with Dembele’s camp and that Barca will focus on closing the deal once the transfer window closes next week.
Dembele, 24, is sidelined until November with a knee injury picked up at Euro 2020 while playing for France. Prior to that, talks over a contract extension had been at a standstill.
Barca believed the forward wanted to run his deal down and leave for free next summer, when his current terms expire, pocketing a huge signing on fee in the process.
However, his latest injury setback has cooled any real interest from elsewhere for now and Lionel Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain has increased Barca’s need to keep their best attackers at Camp Nou.
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10.13 BST: Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has admitted he is seriously considering retiring at the age of 29 if he is unable to find a new club.
Wilshere made almost 200 first-team appearances for the Gunners during his decade at the club, but a succession of injuries hampered his career.
He joined West Ham in 2018 and spent two-and-a-half seasons there before ending last season with a six-month spell at Championship club Bournemouth.
Wilshere remains a free agent and says he may hang up his boots before his 30th birthday on Jan. 1 next year.
“Yeah, that does cross my mind quite a lot,” he told The Athletic.” “When you’re at a club and training every day, you wake up and if you’re not in a team, or even if you are in the team, you think, ‘Right, I’ve got to train well today. I need to show the manager I’m ready for the weekend’. I don’t have that.
“So I’m waking up in the mornings at the moment and I’m thinking, ‘Right, I need to go and train somewhere’. Normally it’s on my own… OK, I’ve been training with a club in pre-season but that’s finished now. I’m back to waking up, training on my own and finding that motivation. And the question I keep asking myself at the moment is: What am I doing it for?
“When I left West Ham and I was trying to find somewhere I thought, ‘Right, it’s going to come, it’s going to come’. But it’s not coming at the minute. And so now I’m waking up thinking, ‘I need to train today, but why do I need to train today?’ I want to find a club but is it going to happen?”
09.27 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is likely to leave the Premier League champions when his contract expires in 2023 as he wants to take a break before venturing into international football, he said on Wednesday.
Guardiola signed a new deal at City in November 2020, and said it will likely be his last before leaving the Premier League side.
“The next step will be a national team, if there is a possibility,” Guardiola was quoted by Spanish daily Marca. “After seven years at this club, I think I’m going to have a break. I will need to rest after being somewhere so many years and also stop to evaluate what we’ve done and to try to learn from other coaches.
“If, during this process of stopping, there is a chance to coach a national team then I think I’d like that. I’d like to coach at a European Championship or Copa America or World Cup. I’d like to experience that.”
08.44 BST: Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo said that Kylian Mbappe wants to leave the club and confirmed the French giants turned down an offer from Real Madrid for the France international.
Sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens and Rodrigo Faez on Tuesday that Madrid saw their €160m offer to sign the 22-year-old rejected, but were hopeful of agreeing to a deal before the transfer window closes on Aug. 31.
“Kylian Mbappe wants to leave, that seems clear,” Leonardo told French outlet RMC on Wednesday. “If he wants to leave, we are not going to keep him, but it will be done under our conditions.
“We have spoken a lot with Kylian and he always tells us the same thing. Kylian has always promised us that he would never leave the club on a free transfer.”
Mbappe has a year left on his PSG contract and has refused multiple offers of a renewal, meaning the Ligue 1 club risk losing him on a free transfer in June 2022.
08.00 BST: Manchester United will not be able to firm up their interest in either Eduardo Camavinga or Saul Niguez until they raise funds through letting some players move on, sources have told ESPN.
Rennes are open to cashing in on Camavinga, who has a year left on his contract, in the final week of the transfer window. Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid have told Saul he can leave if they receive a suitable offer, and Chelsea are in talks with the LaLiga champions over a season-long loan with an option to sign a permanent deal for the midfielder.
Both remain of interest to United — who have prioritised midfield reinforcements over a right-back ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline — but any move is set to depend on players leaving Old Trafford, something club bosses believe is increasingly unlikely as the window draws to a close.
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– There is a chance Tottenham manager Nuno Espirito Santo could be reunited with Wolverhampton Wanderers winger Adama Traore, according to AS. The Portuguese boss made the move from Molineux to North London, where he is already teaming up with former Wolves man Matt Doherty again. However, the issue is in the type of deal they’re looking at, as Spurs want a loan with an obligation to sign the 25-year-old for €46m.
– FC Porto and Mexico winger Jesus “Tecatito” Corona is still an option for AC Milan, reports Calciomercato. The move remains complicated, though — partly due to the Portuguese giants’ asking price. Sevilla FC were also previously rumoured to be interested in Corona. If Milan are unable to close the deal, Brest star Romain Faivre could be the man to join the Italian side.
– West Ham United are working to sign Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma, but the move is proving complicated and problematic, as has been reported by Sky Sports. Personal terms and the structure of payment have been the biggest causes of resistance, with the clubs negotiating a fee in the region of £25m.
– Domenico Berardi wants to make a move to Atalanta, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. Sassuolo are keen to keep the winger, but having seen Manuel Locatelli join Juventus after featuring in the Italy side that won Euro 2020, Berardi is also looking for a new challenge.
– AC Milan are hoping to sign Bordeaux midfielder Yacine Adli, according to Calciomercato. They are hoping to bring the Frenchman in for below €10m, while the Ligue 1 side want €15m. Even though they’re looking for a cheaper deal, Milan feel the 21-year-old is someone who can be invested in for the future.
– Wolves are seemingly on the lookout for a centre-back, with Sky Sports reporting that they are hoping to bring in Marseille’s Duje Caleta-Car for a fee in the region of £17m. Meanwhile, Fabrizio Romano has claimed that they also have an eye on Lille’s Sven Botman, while the Dutchman is also being considered by Sevilla.