Transfer Talk! Liverpool ready Mbappe bid; Aouar to Arsenal

Welcome back to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of all the latest transfer news as the fallout continues from last week’s deadline day.

The domestic window finally slammed shut for Premier League clubs in its entirety on Friday, 16 October, with the international window having already closed on October 5.

Top flight clubs utilised the initial eleven days of negotiation with EFL clubs to good effect, as West Ham sealed a potential £30million deal for Brentford’s Said Benrahma, while Tottenham nabbed Jose Rodon from Swansea and Crystal Palace brought in Jack Butland to strengthen their goalkeeping options.

As for deals during the main window, Chelsea spent over £200m on the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, Manchester United missed out on Jadon Sancho but signed Edinson Cavani, and Arsenal recruited £45m Thomas Partey among others.

Live Updates

Arsenal still want Aouar

Arsenal’s summer pursuit of Houssem Aouar ended in disappointment after the playmaker decided to stay at Lyon, but Mikel Arteta is ready to test the waters again.

Photo: Reuters

According to Calciomercato, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are both looking into a possible move in January, though Juventus are the favourites to sign the France international in the winter transfer window and the lure of Champions League football could play a part in Aouar’s interest.

ICYMI: Liverpool make Koulibaly bid


Photo: PA

According to Italian journalist Fabio Santini, Liverpool have already stepped up their interest in Kalidou Koulibaly following Virgil van Dijk’s injury.

Santini, a journalist covering Napoli , said: “Attention: I have sensational news about Kalidou Koulibaly.

“Manchester City and United are on the Senegalese defender as well as PSG. The club that is more serious for the Senegalese is Liverpool.

The Reds offer to Napoli a figure between 70 and 75 million euros, the sum that [Napoli chairman] De Laurentiis asks.”


Man United still want Haaland

While Manchester United missed out on Erling Haaland in January 2019, it appears as though OIe Gunnar Solskjaer hasn’t given up hope of signing the forward yet.

Haaland is continuing to star for Borussia Dortmund, but The Athletic reports that Solskjaer still has the Norwegian forward top of his transfer wishlist for strikers.

Haaland is said to be available for around £68m in summer 2022 – a clause, coincidentally, which was one of the key reasons why United backed out of the running to sign him originally – though a higher fee before then would likely seal the deal.

So, are we to expect an offer north of £70m next summer? Time will tell…


Mourinho wants to give defensive additions time

Tottenham made three signings to strengthen their defence during the summer transfer window, with full-backs Matt Doherty and Sergio Reguilon being joined by Swansea centre-half Joe Rodon.

Mourinho says it will take all three players time to adapt.

“Joe Rodon, we just love his potential, his mentality. He needs to work to get there,” he said.

“Matt Doherty has just arrived and he is also adapting. Reguilon, of course is – especially going forward – an incredible player. He needs also to adapt to the defensive demands of the Premier League. It’s a process.”

The ‘real’ record Premier League transfer fees

No surprises for guessing who’s top…

Transfer fees provide endless debate, but it’s tricky to talk about value when taking inflation into account.

However, some clever people over at FreeSuperTips have worked out Premier League clubs’ ‘real’ record signings based on today’s market.

According to their research, Alan Shearer would be the most epxensive ever Premier League signing, with his £18.9million move from Blackburn to Newcastle in 1996 equating to around £157.7m in today’s money.

As for London clubs, Fernando Torres’ Chelsea switch is high on the list – third in fact – with his £52m move from Liverpool worth around £122m now.

Dennis Bergkamp’s £10.1m transfer to Arsenal in 1995 would equate to £104m, with Chris Armstrong’s £6.1m Tottenham arrival the same season equating to £63.3m.

Liverpool ready to make Mbappe bid

Photo: AFP
Liverpool are gearing up to make a bid for Kylian Mbappe next summer should he fail to agree a contract extension at PSG.

L’Equipe report that the Reds and Real Madrid are both tipped to be leading the race for the 21-year-old’s signature.

Mbappe has not ruled out extending his stay at Parc des Princes, but is also reportedly open to an exit.

One to watch.

Liverpool open Kabak talks

Photo: Getty Images

Liverpool appear ready to re-enter the transfer market for defensive recruits following the loss of Virgil van Dijk to injury.

The influential Dutchman is facing potentially the whole season out after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament damage following a wild challenge by Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford in last weekend’s Merseyside derby.

Such a key absence leaves Jurgen Klopp somewhat short on bodies in central defence, with Joel Matip having dealt with his own injuries, Joe Gomez’s form subject to question and Fabinho a midfielder first and foremost.

The likes of club legend Jamie Carragher have urged the Reds to have a deal for a new defender ready to go when the January transfer window opens and it appears they are listening, with the Mirror reporting that talks are now underway with Schalke over Ozan Kabak.

Liverpool want to pay £20m for the young Turkish international, with add-ons likely to satisfy Schalke’s £30m asking price.

Van de Beek’s United move a mistake

Photo: Reuters

Donny van de Beek made a mistake joining Manchester United this summer, claims Dutch football legend Marco van Basten.

United signed Van de Beek from Ajax during the summer, paying around £40million for the highly rated midfielder.

Despite the outlay, Van de Beek has made only four substitute appearances in the Premier League and was not used in the 0-0 draw against Chelsea on Saturday.

“Donny shouldn’t have gone to United, “Van Basten told Ziggo Sport. “When you’re a good player you want to play every week.

“It’s really bad for a player like Donny to play six or seven games this year. That’s shocking for your rhythm.

“I know he’s earning loads more than he used to. But as a top player you have to be critical and look at the chances of playing when you sign for a new club. Donny should have waited for better prospects and signed for another club.”

Man United to appoint Campos?

Photo: AFP via Getty Images

Staying with United for a moment, could there soon be a new face behind the scenes at Old Trafford?

The idea of a director of football at the club has long been a great source of debate, with Luis Campos one named frequently linked with the post.

And according to Canal Plus in France, United are now actively considering trying to bring the Lille man to England after a largely frustrating summer transfer window.

Campos is a close friend of Jose Mourinho and it was previously reported that Tottenham were interested in his services.

ICYMI: Son to sign new Tottenham contract

Photo: Getty Images

Jose Mourinho says Heung-min Son is set to become “part of the furniture” at Tottenham by signing a new long-term contract, writes Dan Kilpatrick.

Son came off the bench to score for the ninth time this season as Spurs began their Europa League group with a comfortable 3-0 win over LASK on Thursday night.

Afterwards, Mourinho said the 28-year-old wants to sign an extension to his current deal, which expires in 2023, and the Spurs manager is confident that “sooner or later” it will happen.

“I would love [him to sign a new contract],” Mourinho said. “Son has three years of contract, so it’s not like we’re in an extreme situation of everybody being worried.

“It’s more that Son loves it here, I believe that he would like to commit his future to the club for a long time.”

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Man City want Pochettino

Former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is on Manchester City’s shortlist to replace Pep Guardiola should the Spaniard leave the Eithad at the end of the season.

Guardiola’s current contract expires at the end of the season, meaning City are drawing up contingency plans should he not sign an extension.

Pochettino and RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann are the two main targets for the club.

Arsenal want to re-sign Malen


Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal want to bring Donyell Malen back to the club three years after they sold him to PSV for £540,000, report Soccernews.

Malen failed to make a senior appearance for the Gunners between 2015 and 2017 but has gone on to impress in the Eredivisie, contributing to 49 goals in 78 appearances since.

Last season Malen scored 17 goals in 25 games, also attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus.

West Ham prepare bumper Rice contract offer

Photo: Getty Images

West Ham are preparing a bumper new contract offer for Declan Rice, reports suggest.

The Star on Sunday claims that the Hammers will offer their versatile England midfielder – already under contract until 2024 – an extension lasting up to the summer of 2025 that would see him double his current £60,000 a week wages.

Chelsea were keen on a deal for Rice during the recent summer transfer window and are expected to revisit their interest in future, so it seems the 21-year-old has a real dilemma coming up.

Man United’s failed Upamecano bid

Photo: Getty Images

First this morning, The Sun have some information that is likely to make Manchester United fans wince.

They report that a deal to take highly-rated defender Dayot Upamecano to Old Trafford from Valenciennes in 2016 had looked set to happen, only for it to collapse over a £200,000 difference of opinion with regards to the fee.

It is said that United wanted to pay a maximum of £500,000 for the Frenchman, whose club were looking for £700,000.

Upamecano later joined Red Bull Salzburg and then RB Leipzig, where he has established a reputation as one of the best defenders in Europe and has again attracted interest from United – but this time at a much higher price.

Opportunity missed!

ICYMI: Chelsea want Zakaria


Photo: Getty Images

Chelsea face competition from Manchester United and Man City to sign Denis Zakaria, according to Bild.

The 23-year-old is a long-time target at Stamford Bridge, having been identified by the scouting team.

Chelsea were linked with a move over the summer only for Frank Lampard to delay any move after splurging nearly £250million.

Zakaria, a defensive midfielder, is impressing at Borussia Monchengladbach and is already a regulary for the Switzerland national team.


Hegazi leaves West Brom

Saudi Arabian club Al Ittihad have completed the signing of West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi, initially on a season-long loan. 

The Baggies will pick up a £3.5million fee at the end of the season if the deal for the Egyptian is made permanent. 

Photo: Getty


Juventus want to extent Dybala deal

Paulo Dybala’s future has been the subject of much speculation, but it appears that Juventus want him to stay.

Fabrizio Romano quotes Juve’s director Fabio Paratici as telling Sky: “We’re in talks to extend Paulo Dybala’s contract.

“He wants to stay and we want to keep him, he’s part of our future. We’ll continue the negotiations to find an agreement.”


Partey makes home debut

Thomas Partey is making his first Premier League start in tonight’s meeting between Arsenal and Leicester at the Emirates.

We wondered how long it might take Partey to get up to speed in an Arsenal shirt and the evidence of Thursday night’s display against Rapid Vienna suggests not very long at all.

This evening will be a test on another level though, with the like of Youri Tielemans bang in form. 


Coady ‘ready-made’ Van Dijk replacement

Former Liverpool man Mark Lawrenson has thrown his support behind the suggestion that Conor Coady would be an ideal replacement for the injured Virgil van Dijk. 

Photo: Getty

Coady came through the Reds academy but left before making a first team appearance. However, with his stock soaring, Lawrenson is one of many who feels the club should look to bring him back. 

“I would think Virgil will be out for the season,” Lawrenson told the Argus. “I think it’s a write-off because you’ve got to get match fit and that’s almost impossible nowadays because they don’t play reserve team football. 

“If Liverpool are going to pay big money for somebody in January, they want absolutely ready-made. Conor Coady has had loads of shouts and he is a very good organiser who has played lots of games in the Premier League.”


West Ham prepare bumper Rice contract offer

Photo: Getty Images

West Ham are preparing a bumper new contract offer for Declan Rice, reports suggest.

The Star on Sunday claims that the Hammers will offer their versatile England midfielder – already under contract until 2024 – an extension lasting up to the summer of 2025 that would see him double his current £60,000 a week wages.

Chelsea were keen on a deal for Rice during the recent summer transfer window and are expected to revisit their interest in future, so it seems the 21-year-old has a real dilemma coming up.

When does the ‘winter window’ open?

The January transfer window opens on Friday January 1, 2021, and will run until Sunday January 31.

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