Barcelona are planning a fresh assault on Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho in the January transfer window, the Catalan club’s CEO Oscar Grau promised on Wednesday.
Barca were thwarted in their attempt to prise Coutinho away from Anfield during the summer with Liverpool placing a reported €200 million asking price on the midfielder.
Despite the player trying to engineer a move, Liverpool turned down his late transfer request during the close season window.
But Grau made clear the Spanish giants had not given up the chase.
“We are ready to sign Coutinho, or any other player (during the winter transfer window),” he told a press conference.
“We have the money,” Grau said, confirming the club’s announcement in July of record income of €708 million for 2016/2017 with an after-tax profit of 18m euros.
Grau added: “The most important thing is the demands from the management, and we will do everything possible to meet them. We want to have the most competitive team possible.”
Barca experienced a tumultuous time during the summer transfer market, losing Coutinho’s compatriot Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain for a world-record €222 million, and bringing in Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund for €105 million.
But Dembele has endured a nightmare start to life at the Camp Nou. The France international suffered a hamstring injury on his full La Liga debut ruling him out until January at the earliest.
The transfer window may not open again until January 1 2018 but that hasn’t put an end to plenty of speculation throughout Europe.
Here, we take a look at the big stories dominating the headlines on Tuesday.
Will any of the following deals happen?
Let us know your thoughts.
Barcelona are plotting a move for Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann after making the striker their new one target next summer, according to the Daily Mirror.
Griezmann has an €100m release clause in his agreement with Atletico until July 1 next year.
But that increases to €200m after that date until the end of his contract in 2023, according Mundo Deportivo.
Diego Simeone will want to keep his star man, but a fee in excess of €100 million will be difficult to turn down, especially with new arrival Diego Costa capable of leading the attack.
Griezmann is no doubt the best possible replacement available to help fill the gap left by Neymar and create a trident with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
During the summer transfer window, when speculation was rife that the Frenchman was on his way to Manchester United, he committed to staying at Atletico in the wake of the club’s transfer ban.
Griezmann has scored three goals for Simeone’s this season to help them up to fourth in La Liga – a point ahead of Real Madrid and five adrift of Barcelona.
Manchester United are poised to swoop Tottenham Hotspur defender Danny Rose next summer, according to Talksport.
The 27-year-old is considered a long term option for Jose Mourinho’s side and they are set to offer fresh terms during the January transfer window after missing out over the summer.
The England international has been sidelined with a knee injury since January but is expected to make a return later this month.
Mourinho has certainly had his doubts over Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian at left-back and is believed to be a keen admirer of Rose.
Widely regarded as the best left-back in the league, the England international has an able replacement in Ben Davies if he is to leave North London, but it’s hard to see why he would want a move to Old Trafford, especially with Spurs already title contenders.
Manchester City are eying a cut-price £3 million for Napoli left back Faouzi Ghoulam in January.
The 26-year-old is out of contract next summer which has put Liverpool, Chelsea, Juventus and City on red alert.
Pep Guardiola is also believed to want the Algerian international as a direct replacement for the injured Benjamin Mendy.
Napoli will likely loath to let their star defender go for cheap, but given that they risk losing him on a free next summer, the Sky Blues could yet snap Ghoulam up for a reasonable price in January.
Ghoulam’s 87% pass completion rate in the Serie A last season was just one sign of his dependability, while his ability to barrel forward has helped make him arguably the best left-back in the league.
In addition, his comfort on the ball will also be attractive to Guardiola as he looks for a solid presence at the back in the absence of Mendy.
Manchester City are prepared to pay the 40million euro release clause attached to Barcelona’s SERGI ROBERTO, according to a report in the Daily Mirror.
The Blues are keen to bring the 25-year-old to the Ethiad Stadium in January, with the versatile player capable of filling a midfield role or either of the full-back positions.
Chelsea could be left disappointed in their attempt to bring Juventus star ALEX SANDRO to Stamford Bridge, reports the Daily Star.
Having missed the opportunity to sign the player before the transfer window shut, Chelsea looked to be keen to try again come January.
But the Serie A side do not seem to want to lose their star left-back despite rumours of a £70million offer.
The excellent form of Manchester United’s DAVID DE GEA has not gone unnoticed by Paris St Germain, the Daily Express claims.
Having already kept Real Madrid at bay, boss Jose Mourinho may now have to battle the French side in order to keep hold of his talented goalkeeper.
Free agent RAUL MEIRELES could see out his playing days in the Premier League, according the Birmingham Mail.
The 34-year-old has reportedly been offered to West Brom, Leicester and Watford.
The midfielder earned 73 caps for Portugal and has previously had a taste of the English top flight while at Chelsea six years ago.
DALEY BLIND could be leaving Manchester United for Galatasaray in the January transfer window, suggests Calciomercato.
The possible departure of the full-back could signal good news for Matteo Darmian, who has struggled to find a place United’s starting XI.
The Italian could fill the void if Blind’s move to Turkey comes to fruition.
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PLAYERS TO WATCH
Manchester United’s ANTHONY MARTIAL, 21, is on the radar of Barcelona, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
With little first team action, the forward could be tempted to head to the Nou Camp for a more permanent starting spot in LaLiga, Mundo Deportivo suggests.
After announcing he will retire at the end of the MLS season, ANDREA PIRLO is being tipped for a potential move to a coaching role at Chelsea, the Daily Mirror says.
The 38-year-old told the paper he “needs his time to decide” after his time at New York City ends, but praised boss Antonio Conte as “one of the best”.