The transfer window is closed until January but that doesn’t keep the rumour mill churning as clubs look to get a leg up on potential transfers.
Here are three big stories dominating the headlines on Monday.
Will any of the following deals happen?
REAL MADRID CONSIDER KROOS-DYBALA SWAP
Rai Sport is reporting that Real Madrid have earmarked Paulo Dybala as one of their primary transfer targets for next summer, and are willing to offer Juventus Toni Kroos in exchange for the Argentine. The Italian side are said to be prepared to increase Dybala’s salary in order to keep him at the club, but are not ready to keep him at all costs.
It’s no surprise that Real Madrid would step up their interest in Dybala – the Juventus playmaker has plenty of high-profile suitors, having been linked with Manchester United and Barcelona as well as Los Meringues. And as the Paul Pogba saga of last year showed, despite Juventus’ stature and success, ultimately even their best players have a price. Whatever increased salary they can offer Dybala, it’s almost certain that other clubs could match or beat it.
This proposed deal may be the best Juventus can get; even if other clubs are willing to pay a transfer fee close to £150million or even £200million, there aren’t many players who Juventus could buy with that money who’d be as good as Toni Kroos. And for Madrid, while Kroos has been a stellar player, they have plenty of promising midfielders in the ranks to offset the loss. It’ll be hard for their rivals to top this offer.
PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS PLAN CEBALLOS SWOOP
Diario Gol claims Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos is a target for both Arsenal and Tottenham, with AC Milan, Roma, and Ceballos’ former club Real Betis also said to be interested. Ceballos has struggled for game time at Madrid and could move in January.
Dani Ceballos is 21, has just arrived at the reigning European and Spanish champions, not to mention one of the biggest clubs in the world, and has a midfield of Casemiro, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos to try to unseat. If anyone in his camp, including the player himself, thought he’d instantly be a regular, they were deluding themselves.
But, by that same token, it makes little sense that he’d lose hope and want to leave so quickly. Learning from the midfielders ahead of him in the Madrid pecking order, as well as remaining under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane, while getting whatever playing time he can get, is an excellent strategy for Ceballos’ development, and one he’s likely to keep trying for at least another year or so.
ALLARDYCE PLANNING N’ZONZI REUNION
According to the Daily Mail, Sam Allardyce wants to bring Steven N’Zonzi to Everton. The Sevilla midfielder worked under Allardyce at Blackburn, and he could be allowed to leave his current club having apparently fallen out with manager Eduardo Berizzo.
This transfer would make a lot of sense, especially if the reports of the fall-out between Berizzo and N’Zonzi are true. Allardyce scouted N’Zonzi and brought him to the Premier League, so the Everton manager is clearly aware of the France international’s talent. The Toffees struggling to find a reliable midfielder within their own squad at the moment, and N’Zonzi seems a natural fit.
He’s not quite the typical robust, physical Sam Allardyce midfielder, given his technical ability, but N’Zonzi’s previous experience in England shows he can handle the Premier League. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see this move go through in January.
Neymar spent four years at the Camp Nou before sensationally moving to Paris Saint-Germain in August for a world record €222million fee.
However, rumours of a move back to Spain with the European champions surfaced after Neymar clashed with new strike partner and Suarez’s international teammate Edison Cavani back in September.
“No, not at all,” Suarez told Spanish sports daily Marca on Monday when asked about the prospect of Neymar moving to Madrid.
“Sincerely, I don’t see it. I know how Neymar is and the admiration that he had for Barcelona and his teammates. I don’t see him now going to play for Real Madrid.”
Along with five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi, Suarez and Neymar formed one of the deadliest strike forces of all-time as they won two La Liga titles and a Champions League in three seasons together.
However, despite a bitter fallout between the club and Neymar after PSG paid the Brazilian’s buyout clause, Suarez insists he has only admiration and love for his former colleague.
“Ney is now mature enough and was completely aware of the decision he took,” added Suarez.
“I am sure it was painful because he was happy here, but we all have to accept that he had other challenges he wanted to take on.
“It was an understandable decision that he took with his family. There is no reproach, only admiration and pure love for what he gave this club and the relationship we had during those years.”
And Suarez said he had no role in calming tensions between Cavani and Neymar.
“No, I was an outsider. They weren’t situations that I could control.”
WHAT THE PAPERS SAY
Liverpool will be hoping they can hold on to star player MOHAMED SALAH amid reports Real Madrid are interested in signing the 25-year-old. According to the Mirror, Egypt manager Hector Cuper said the Spanish giants want to bring the winger to Madrid following his impressive 18 goals in 24 appearances for the Reds. Salah joined Liverpool from Roma for £34million in the summer.
Ausburg right-back DANIEL OPARE could be making his way to the Premier League when he becomes available for transfer in January, according to the Daily Mail. Everton, West Ham, Stoke and Swansea are all reportedly interested in the 27-year-old, who is likely to command a £3million price-tag.
Sam Allardyce has said he knows ROSS BARKLEY’s future at Everton is not a certainty – but admitted he would be “delighted” to keep the 23-year-old at the club, the Mirror reports. The injured midfielder has not yet made an appearance for the Toffees this season, and after a failed move to Chelsea in the summer, it appears the transfer saga could continue next year. On the possibility that Barkley will stay at his boyhood club, Allardyce said: “I do not know,” the paper reports.
West Brom may face a fight to keep teenage star TYLER ROBERTS at The Hawthorns, the Daily Mirror says. The 18-year-old, currently on loan at Walsall, has put in impressive performances of late, sparking interest from Marseille, with the opportunity of a first-team start potentially enough lure him to Ligue 1, according to the paper.
A fall-out at Sevilla could see STEVEN N’ZONZI back playing in England, The Sun reports. The 28-year-old has not appeared for the Spanish club since being substituted against Liverpool last month. He was reported to have left the stadium at half-time following the decision. But now, after showing interest in the midfielder during the summer, Arsenal could be willing to trigger his £35million release clause, the paper says.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP
@talkSPORT – Tottenham will allow Danny Rose to join Manchester United if they receive £45m
@TheSunfootball – Jose Mourinho explains why Jesse Lingard is perfect for Man United
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Sam Allardyce could make Watford striker Troy Deeney one of his first targets in January after taking the helm at Everton, according to ESPN. It says the Toffees are looking to boost the number of strikers in the team to overcome this season’s goal drought.
Newcastle‘s Aleksandar Mitrovic could be moving back to Anderlecht come the January transfer window, reports suggest. The Chronicle reports on rumours in Belgium that the 23-year-old is looking to his old club after gaining little play time with the Magpies, who are also said to be willing to consider loaning out the striker as part of an option-to-buy deal.