Transfer Talk! Valverde to Man United, Rice to Chelsea, Welbeck deal

Welcome back to the Evening Standard’s LIVE coverage of all the latest transfer news following a dramatic summer window.

Clubs in the UK had until 5pm on Friday October 16 to complete signings in the extended domestic window, but the big, international moves had to be completed by 11pm BST on Monday October 5.

Tottenham followed up an impressive summer of deals with an £11million move for Swansea centre-back Joe Rodon, while West Ham sealed Brentford’s Said Benrahma on an initial loan deal after a tense day of negotiations.

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 nabbed £45m Thomas Partey among others.

Live Updates


Done deal!

Brighton have signed former Arsenal and Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck on a one-year deal.

The 29-year-old, who started his career at Old Trafford, spent last season at Watford where he scored three goals in 20 appearances as the Hornets were relegated from the top flight.

Brighton head coach Graham Potter told the Seagulls’ website: “We are delighted to have Danny joining us. He will complement our existing striking options.

“He’s got an undoubted pedigree, and he is quick and technically very good. He will add to our attacking threat and we are thrilled to add another player of his experience and quality.”


Pep talks up new defensive duo

Man City manager Pep Guardiola believes he can rely on new defenders Ruben Dias and Nathan Ake because the pair “do not make mistakes”.

The summer arrivals lined up along side each other in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Arsenal in the absence of Aymeric Laporte, though Ake was largely deployed at left-back with Kyle Walker taking a central role in a fluid City line-up.

City paid a reported £62million to bring in Dias from Benfica last month, the big-money defensive signing that was arguably needed last summer following the exit of Vincent Kompany. Guardiola said it was meaningless to try to compare the 23-year-old Dias with the long-time club captain, but is happy with his first two outings in a City shirt.

“It will be a big mistake to compare him to Vincent,” Guardiola said. “Vincent was unique. But he is 23. We had both the defenders, Nathan and Ruben today, and the reason they play is they don’t make mistakes.

“We suffered a lot last season with mistakes. We still have to improve but we have a feeling we can really help them to adapt and create more of the spaces we need. It will need time and training.

“(Against Arsenal) was a difficult game. Ruben is the type of leader, a guy who in a short time will lead the game. We are delighted so far with what we have seen.”


Chelsea back in for Rice?

Chelsea were big movers in the summer window, but their defence still looks a big issue for Frank Lampard. The Blues have let in three goals in two of their last three League outings, drawing 3-3 with West Brom and Southampton.

Chelsea wanted Declan Rice in the summer, and ESPN reports that the Blues are ready to return in January if West Ham soften their stance.

The Hammers were said to want £80m for Rice and though that figure may come down a little, they will not lose one of their brightest young players on the cheap.


United, Real midfield swap?

Paul Pogba’s Manchester United contract has reportedly been extended until summer 2022, but that is no surprise given the Red Devils had the option to prolong it by a year.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Pogba won’t be sold; just that United won’t lose him for free next summer. However, The Sun reports that Real Madrid midfielder Fede Valverde is a target for United, and a swap deal could be on the cards.

22-year-old Valverde has a £640m release clause at Real, but if Zinedine Zidane wants to finally link up with Pogba, a swap could suit all involved.


Arsenal must ‘respect the process’ with Partey

Mikel Arteta has told Arsenal fans it will take time to see the best from Thomas Partey as he gets up to speed with his new team-mates.

The 27-year-old international was officially unveiled at Arsenal earlier this week, and there had been hope among Gunners supporters that Partey would make his debut against Manchester City on Saturday.

Partey was involved, but it was only a late cameo appearance at the £45m midfielder came on with eight minutes of the game remaining as Arsenal slipped to a 1-0 defeat.

“We will see how quickly we can make it with him,” Arteta said after the game. “I think we have to respect that process and that timing for him because he only trained for a day really and there’s a lot of new information and different game models for him to understand, and we have to respect that.

“But I think when he came on he looked good.”

Welcome back to our LIVE transfer news coverage!

The summer window may only just be over, but the window window opens on January 1 – and there is already plenty of news, gossip and rumours swirling.

That’s a wrap!

Our coverage is over for today, but join us tomorrow for more LIVE transfer news, gossip and rumours.


Arsenal have a new No.9

Mikel Arteta claims he could deploy Willian as a makeshift striker more regularly after the Brazilian was given a false No9 role in defeat to Manchester City.

Arteta insists he was happy with the experiment and plans to use it in the future.

“We need to have the versatility to play in different formations occupying different spaces. I believe it was a game for him the way City play, attracting spaces, and he was convinced as well.

“It was obviously hard to leave two strikers on the bench, but it was a tactical decision. In some moments it worked better than others but he will grow and understand that position as we use him in other occasions, perhaps with different players.

“I am happy with the game he had.”


Chelsea defence has the Blues

So, despite a £200m+ spending spree this summer, things are not quite working out for Chelsea – particularly in defence.

Once again, Frank Lampard’s defence cost him as the Blues twice threw away a lead to draw 3-3 with Southampton at Stamford Bridge.

Timo Werner, who scored twice, said of the result: “I don’t know if we have a problem but the last three games we concede six goals and it is not where we want to be, to compete for titles.

“In Germany we always say defence wins titles. If we concede so many it is hard to win games and win titles.”


Wewrner up and running

Chelsea’s summer signing Timo Werner has been under a bit of pressure to get up and running in terms of goals, but the Germany international has found the net today with a fine strike against Southampton.

Blues fans will be hoping it’s the first of many…


Chelsea vs Southampton

A couple of points to note regarding today’s 3pm kick-off at Stamford Bridge…

Theo Walcott makes his second Southampton debut, lining up for the Saints against Chelsea in west London.

As for the Blues, summer signing Hakim Ziyech is among the subs, and could finally make his debut off the bench at some point.


Moyes: Benrahma can give us ‘extra dimension’ 

David Moyes says he is looking for new signing Said Benrahma to replicate his Brentford goalscoring form at West Ham after completing his deadline day move.

Benrahma scored 17 goals and racked up 9 assists as part of Brentford’s ‘BMW’ front three last season, alongside winger Bryan Mbeumo and striker Ollie Watkins, who has already made his mark in the top flight this season with Aston Villa.

“What I’m looking for is, he scored 17 goals last season, the season before 14 goals and something like 10 assists,” said the Hammers boss.

“So you’re asking me what I want him to bring to the club? I want him to bring these goals and these assists to the club.”


Koeman: I wanted Wijnadlum 

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has confirmed that he wanted to sing Gini Wijnaldum from Liverpool this summer, but was forced to prioritise in other areas. 

Photo: Getty

Wijnaldum excelled under Koeman when he was in charge of the Dutch national side and was heavily linked with a move to the Nou Camp during the transfer window. 

However, the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic meant Koeman had to spend in positions where the squad’s needs were most pressing. 

“Gini has a great sense of space, he can get to the goal fantastically well from midfield, he could really add something to the team,” he told Algemeen Dagblad.

“But the financial situation was known to the club. His position ultimately had less priority than, for example, the right-back or the striker position.”


Lampard: We needed spending to replace Hazard 

Frank Lampard says Chelsea’s summer spending spree was necessary after they were unable to replace Eden Hazard a year ago because of their transfer ban. 

Photo: Getty

“For me we lost probably the best player in the League,” said Lampard. “We couldn’t do any business so the work we did was on the pitch last year.

“Teams that are striving to be in and around top six and upwards were spending last year, they were spending again this summer.

“They’ve had the opportunity with the players they bought last year to get them embedded into their teams and we’re dealing with teams above us, which is where we want to get to, where we are aspiring to get to, that have been building their squads for a long time.

“We want to build our squad. We missed two windows and now we come back in and we’ve brought players in with a view to improve us.”


Arteta: Partey signing shows board intent

Partey’s arrival looks a statement signing for Arsenal and, Arteta believes, also shows how committed the club’s owner, Stan Kroenke, is to restoring the Gunners to their former glory. 

Photo: Getty

“It is good that sometimes words are not enough,” Arteta said.

“I think you asked me the day before or two days before [the transfer window shut] if I felt we had the backing and the right connections with the ownership, if they were involved and willing to do as much as possible to help the squad. I said yes and that I was very, very convinced about that.

“Even if that [signing Partey] wouldn’t have happened, I would have still said the same thing. But they showed this time, with big funds, they are really committed.”

Premier League debuts in the pipeline? 

Plenty of new summer signings could well make their debuts this weekend, from Thomas Partey for Arsenal at Manchester City to Hakim Ziyech for Chelsea against Southampton. 

There may also be a second Saints debut for Theo Walcott as he returns to his boyhood club. 

Photo: Getty


Chelsea keen on Donnarumma 

Italian outlet Calciomercato say Chelsea were interested in signing Gianluigi Donnarumma this summer before moving for Edouard Mendy.

However, the report claims that their interest may not be done there – the Italian international is due to be out of contract next summer so could be a option if Frank Lampard is still not satisfied with his goalkeeping options. 

Photo: Getty


Arteta hands Ozil ultimatum

It remains to be seen whether Mesut Ozil will ever play for Arsenal again.

The German playmaker was not included in Arsenal’s Europa League squad, and could be left out of his Premier League squad as well.

Along with Sokratis – also left out of the Europa side – Ozil faces an uncertain future in north London, and Arteta says he must see something different in the next couple of months if changes are to be made.

“I spoke to them face to face before I released the squad and I explained the reason why the numbers that we had,” the Arsenal manager said.

“It was really difficult to tell them that, but these are the restrictions and the rules. We have to respect that decision and try to train in the best possible way to help the team in that moment and see what happens in December.”


Clasico rivals circle Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United were revitalised by Bruno Fernandes’ arrival in January, but it’s amazing how quickly things can turn.

The Portuguese midfielder guided United to Champions League football with some dominant performances, but the Red Devils have started the season terribly – and Fernandes was subbed off at half-time of the 6-1 home defeat to Tottenham.

Fernandes has publicly backed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following the incident, but that was to be expected – and now The Sun reports that Barcelona and Real Madrid are ready to battle to sign the United star.

The Clasico rivals are said to be ‘closely monitoring’ Fernandes’ situation at the club, and though he seems happy for now, that may change if United’s chances of Champions League football for 2020/21 seem remote.

Welcome back to our LIVE transfer news coverage!

The domestic transfer window may have slammed shut yesterday, but the winter window opens on January 1st – and that means plenty of news, gossip and rumours heading into the New Year…

Can’t see the Transfer news LIVE blog? Click here to access our desktop page.

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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