Football
ESPN 70d

LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid plot signing Joao Cancelo, then Erling Haaland

The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, there's plenty of gossip swirling about who's moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Real Madrid set long-term plans for Cancelo and Haaland

Real Madrid are hoping to sign Manchester City pair Joao Cancelo and Erling Haaland over the next two years, as has been reported by AS.

Cancelo is the first player Los Blancos will focus on as they aim to move in 2023, having even shown an interest in the Portugal international back when he was playing for Valencia.

The full-back will be 29-years-old next summer, which Real Madrid reportedly believe will bolster their chances to sign him for a maximum of €40m to €50m -- even with his current contract running until 2027.

Carlo Ancelotti reportedly appreciates Cancelo's versatility, having come up against him during his time in charge of Everton. Cancelo is said to be aware of the interest and happy to sign for a club in which compatriots such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe have achieved plenty of glory.

Haaland is a player that Los Blancos made efforts to sign in the summer before he joined Pep Guardiola's squad, but the Norway international didn't want to compete with Karim Benzema to lead the line.

However, with the thought of eventually moving to the Santiago Bernabeu, Haaland reportedly had a €180m clause included in his contract that becomes valid from the summer of 2024. At that time, Real Madrid will make an effort to sign the former Borussia Dortmund man, with Madrid's perception being that Benzema has two more seasons left at full capacity.

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, more (U.S.)

LIVE BLOG

21.31 BST: Following on from Corriere dello Sport's report regarding Diogo Dalot from earlier, Calciomercato suggests that AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are also looking at the Manchester United right-back. However, Milan's priority for that position remains United States international Sergino Dest, who is on loan from Barca with a €20m option to make the move permanent.

20.58 BST: Lyon have announced that 17-year-old defender Mamadou Sarr has signed his first professional contract, which will keep him with the Ligue 1 outfit until 2025. Sarr was part of the France squad that won the U17 Euros and has also represented Les Bleus' U18s.

20.25 BST: Barcelona are among the clubs looking at Millonarios winger Daniel Ruiz, according to Sport. The 21-year-old has impressed with his performances in Colombia, which has resulted in Manchester City and Benfica sending scouts to South America to have a look.

​​

19.52 BST: AS Roma want to sign Atalanta attacking midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi as a free agent in the summer, reports Calciomercato. The 29-year-old Ukraine international has received interest from clubs such as West Ham United, Marseille and Napoli with it deemed unlikely that he will agree new terms with the Lombard club, but Malinovskyi's wife is said to want to stay in Italy while the prospect of playing under Jose Mourinho intrigues the player.

19.19 BST: Barcelona could be willing to renew the contract of forward Memphis Depay as long as the finances behind any deal work for them, reports Sport. The Blaugrana have been impressed with the Netherlands international's professionalism since his proposed summer move to Juventus fell through, although he will need to take a wage reduction to stay past his current contract's expiration in 2023.

18.46 BST: Stade Rennais have announced that left-back Birger Meling has extended his contract, keeping him with the Ligue 1 side until 2026. The 27-year-old Norway international first joined the club in the summer of 2021 and has played 43 matches for them so far, recording five assists.

18.13 BST: Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli could leave the club as soon as the January transfer window, according to Calciomercato. The Bianconeri see the 24-year-old Italy international as an expendable player with value in the transfer market, and there is said to be interest from Arsenal.

17.40 BST: Sport BILD's Christian Falk reports that that Bayern Munich are interested in signing Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Florian Wirtz. The 19-year-old Germany international has been likened to Kai Havertz, registering 19 goals and 22 assists in 78 appearances for Die Werkself, but has been out since mid-March having suffered a ruptured cruciate ligament.

17.07 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that Real Madrid are preparing for a new contract that will keep centre-back Eder Militao in the Spanish capital until June 2028. The deal has been verbally agreed since July and the wait is now for Los Blancos to move ahead with their confirmation, with a release clause reportedly set at €1 billion.

16.34 BST: Corriere dello Sport reports that Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has not ruled out moving on from right-back Diogo Dalot in the summer, and AS Roma are monitoring the situation ahead of a potential offer. The 23-year-old Portugal international's contract expires this summer, and the Red Devils now must decide whether he is a long-term solution at the position, and if not, how to proceed with a potential exit: exercise their option to extend his deal by another year and earn a transfer fee for his departure, or allow him to leave as a free agent.

16.01 BST: Marcelo Bielsa has rejected an approach from Santos president Andres Rueda to become the coach of the Brazilian team, sources have confirmed to ESPN Brazil.

The Argentine coach has been without a team since he was sacked by Leeds United in February, but he is not willing to open negotiations with Santos.

As such, Orlando Ribeiro will remain as Santos manager until the final of the Brazilian Championship.

15.35 BST: Carlos Tevez has confirmed that he is set to continue as the manager of Rosario Central.

The former Boca Juniors, Man United, Man City and Juventus star sparked some doubts about his future at the club in a news conference following the recent 1-1 draw vs. Platense but he has now clarified that it was a misunderstanding.

"Perhaps I expressed myself in the wrong way, but I want to be here, more than anything for the boys (the players). I said I wasn't going to abandon the ship and I won't," Tevez said.

15.03 BST: Cristiano Ronaldo's sister, Katia Aveiro, has launched a defence of her brother, calling critics "sick and ungrateful" after he came under heavy scrutiny following Portugal's 1-0 defeat to Spain.

Ronaldo, 37, played 90 minutes on Tuesday as Portugal missed out on a UEFA Nations League final four spot.

The Manchester United forward had two efforts kept out by Spain goalkeeper Unai Simon and also missed another goalscoring opportunity, leading to criticism on social media and in the Portuguese media that he should be benched.

A story in Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias said about Ronaldo: "And, of course, controversy or not, Cristiano Ronaldo also played from the start -- the captain was slow and tired [after a certain point] and missed three clear chances to score."

Aveiro posted a photograph of a crestfallen Ronaldo on the pitch late in the game and wrote on Instagram: "In sport, in football, like in life, ungratefulness is the worst of all vices!"

14.30 BST: Are Liverpool leading the race to sign Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.

13.48 BST: Valencia and Osasuna will be hit in the pocket if they field Nico Gonzalez or Abde Ezzalzouli in matches against Barcelona this season.

Barca sent Nico and Abde on loan to Valencia and Osasuna respectively in the summer but included a clause to deter both sides from using the players when they face Xavi Hernandez's side. If Valencia use Nico or Osasuna pick Abde when they meet Barca, they will have to pay an additional charge on top of what they have already agreed in terms of the loan fee and salary contribution.

It represents a change in stance from Barca, who historically have not included such clauses -- known as the "fear clause" in Spain -- or prevented loaned players from playing against them.

13.12 BST: Universidad de Chile midfielder Dario Osorio has a host of clubs on his trail, says 90min.

Osorio, 18, is highly rated and was called up to represent the senior Chile team in recent friendlies with Morocco and Qatar, though didn't play.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter and Lyon have reportedly shown interest from Europe, while Premier League teams Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Brighton, Brentford, Leicester and Wolves have also been linked.

12.45 BST: Graham Potter has not closed the door on Romelu Lukaku reviving his career at Chelsea and is expected to hold talks with the forward at the end of the season, sources told ESPN's James Olley.

Lukaku fell out of favour under Potter's predecessor Thomas Tuchel and returned to Inter Milan on loan just a year after making a €115m move from the Serie A side to Stamford Bridge. Sources suggested the 29-year-old is very keen on staying at Inter on a permanent basis but there is no option or obligation to sign as part of the existing loan agreement.

Potter is said to be open to discussing the situation with Lukaku if he has any interest in doing so, or should Inter decide not to pursue a permanent deal; they have significant financial issues and it remains to be seen whether they could afford Chelsea's valuation.

12.08 BST: Chelsea have attempted to secure an advantage in the race to sign Christopher Nkunku from RB Leipzig by arranging for the striker to undergo medical tests ahead of a proposed move, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.

Nkunku, 24, has attracted interest from several top clubs including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. But Chelsea have attempted to position themselves at the front of the queue after overseeing private tests in Frankfurt a few weeks ago with a Chelsea orthopaedist present.

Reports of the test first appeared in German newspaper Bild and have since been confirmed by sources to ESPN.

Nkunku is believed to have a release clause in his contract set at €60m which comes into effect in the summer of 2023.

11.34 BST: Barcelona want Ousmane Dembele to sign a new contract as soon as possible, according to Mundo Deportivo. 

Dembele, 25, signed a new two-year deal at Camp Nou in the summer but, following his explosive start to the campaign, Barca already want to extend his terms again.

The forward forms part of Xavi Hernandez's preferred front three, along with Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha, and has scored two goals and set up four more in seven starts this season.

It has been a remarkable turnaround for Dembele, who was told to find a new club as recently as January when terms could not be agreed on a new contract.

Dembele even technically left the club on June 30 when his previous deal expired, before he signed a renewal, and Barca want to avoid a repeat of that situation by getting him to commit to longer terms now.

11.03 BST: Barcelona's Frenkie de Jong remains on Manchester United's transfer wish list, sources told ESPN, while Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham will also be central to United's transfer plans next summer.

Despite strong interest from United, De Jong remained at Barcelona during the transfer window, saying he never wanted to leave the Spanish giants. But sources told ESPN that United manager Erik ten Hag isn't put off by the 25-year-old's public stance and won't rule out the possibility of making another bid next summer. There is still a feeling at Old Trafford that De Jong could leave Barcelona in the future and he could be convinced to move to Manchester where he'd reunite with his former Ajax manager Ten Hag.

United agreed the framework of an €85m deal with Barcelona in the summer but negotiations stalled over United's reluctance to cover deferred wages owed to De Jong.

10.17 BST: Joan Laporta will explore the feasibility of bringing Lionel Messi back to Barcelona but first must fix his relationship with the player, according to a report in El Periodico.

Barca president Laporta opened the door to a sensational Messi return in the summer when he told ESPN the forward's "chapter" at the club is still "not over."

Messi is out of contract with Paris Saint-Germain next summer and Barca vice president Eduard Romeu said earlier this week a deal would be possible for Barca financially as he would arrive as a free agent.

However, per El Periodico, Barca's hopes of bringing the Argentina international back to Camp Nou lie in Laporta fixing his personal relationship with the player and his camp.

Laporta's connection with the Messi family soured last year when Barca regaled on an agreement to renew Messi's contract because it did not fit within their LaLiga-imposed spending cap.

The Barca chief must now heal those wounds to have any chance of bringing Messi back, the El Periodico report says, adding that other issues, such as how he fits into the team and the wage structure, would then fall into place later.

09.56 BST: Erling Haaland has revealed how he decided which club to join this summer in a documentary called "Haaland -- The Big Decision."

Haaland, 21, signed for Manchester City for €60m from Borussia Dortmund, but had the likes of Man United, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern interested.

The Times reports that the Norway international had his own criteria to choose his destination, which included the club's history, playing style, stadium capacity and their need for a No. 9.

"On our list, I think City is the best team," he said. "[Bayern] Munich is No. 2. We have Real Madrid as No. 3, Paris Saint-Germain as No. 4.

"We also have some English teams other than City who are quite good. Liverpool and Chelsea. Also, there is Barcelona. They are sort of in the same row."

"I think it was one point separating the top two with the last calculations. One of the criteria is about whether the club needs a No. 9. City is 10 [out of 10] in that respect. Bayern Munich gets one point for that -- they don't need a No. 9. They have their best player as a No. 9 but if he [Robert Lewandowski] goes then they have no one else. [He left for Barcelona later that summer.]

"It would have been quite controversial to go to Munich but when we go through, it's one of the best teams. Real Madrid are a five or six [out of 10]. They have [Karim] Benzema, and will they get [Kylian] Mbappe?"

Haaland has scored 14 goals in 10 appearances so far for City and has hit the ground running.

"I have never transferred to a club because of the manager," Haaland said. "But it is a big plus with [Pep] Guardiola at City, as he is the best manager in the world."

09.15 BST: Lionel Messi will consider Paris Saint-Germain's offer of a contract extension, according to El Larguero.

The Argentina captain becomes a free agent next summer and PSG are happy for the former Barcelona star to continue.

PSG have reportedly offered Messi a one-year extension with an optional second year, earning the same wages, €30m-per-season, he is currently receiving.

Messi, who has also been linked with a return to Barcelona, has not ruled out remaining in Paris for a third straight season.

After a disappointing first campaign in Paris, Messi has rediscovered his form and scored six goals and set up eight more in 11 appearances in all competitions. He will reportedly make a decision regarding his future after the World Cup in Qatar.

08.55 BST: Italy goalkeeper Alex Meret is close to extending his contract with Napoli until June 2024, says Sky Italia.

Meret, 25, becomes a free agent next summer but is set to pen new terms and will have an option to extend the new deal for another season.

Earlier in the summer, Napoli looked to strengthen their backline and considered signing either Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga or PSG's Keylor Navas. However, neither deal materialised and Meret has made the most of his opportunities to earn a new contract after starting nine games this season.

08.27 BST: Newcastle have announced a January agreement to sign Garang Kuol from Central Coast Mariners.

Kuol, 18, made his senior international debut for Australia against New Zealand last week. He joined the Mariners' youth system in January 2021 before scoring four goals in his first seven  senior league appearances.

Kuol said: "It's unreal. As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they'll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it's amazing. Now that I've signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here."

Newcastle United sporting director, Dan Ashworth, said: "Garang is a very promising young talent and we are excited that he'll be continuing his development as a Newcastle United player.

"Our philosophy is to invest in our Academy and in exciting young players for the future, as well as in players required to make an immediate impact in the first team. We wish Garang the best of luck in his remaining games with Central Coast Mariners and we hope to see him on the international stage again very soon."

08.00 BST: Arsenal forward Gabriel Jesus said he feels "free" playing under Mikel Arteta and that he decided to leave Manchester City this summer because he needed a change after five years at the Etihad Stadium under Pep Guardiola.

Jesus joined Arsenal from City for an initial £45m this summer after failing to cement himself as a first-team regular with the Premier League champions.

The Brazil international started just over half of City's Premier League games last season and when he was selected was often used as a wide forward with Guardiola preferring to utilize a false nine.

"The thing was the way [Guardiola] understands football and what he wanted," Jesus told ESPN Brasil. "Then it was up to you to accept it or not. If you don't accept it, 'thank you' and let's go for another challenge. I accepted it for a while, but there came a moment when I said: 'I want another thing for myself.' I thanked him, 'thanks for everything,' he understood, and we moved on.

"It is different here at Arsenal. The football is different -- different players, different ways to play. At City, it was different. The striker didn't touch the ball that much, you see this by watching the games. And, when it was time to touch the ball, it was not the striker, because [Guardiola] ended up putting a midfielder to come closer. OK, fine. So, I decided to change."

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

- Youri Tielemans has entered the last year of his Leicester City contract and Calciomercato has reported that Juventus are looking to take advantage. In fact, it has been suggested that I Bianconeri have already made contact in order to get ahead of the competition there will be from Premier League clubs like Arsenal and Liverpool.

- Calciomercato reports that Milan Skriniar's agent and Internazionale will hold two meetings within 15 days as the Serie A giants aim to persuade the centre-back to sign a new contract. The Slovakia international's current deal expires at the end of the season, and Inter are now set to offer him the highest possible amount of €6.5m-per-season, the club captaincy and a clause that allows him to leave if he is not happy with the project.

- With it being understood that Skriniar will not leave until the summer at the latest, Internazionale have made signing a left-back their priority in the January transfer window. Gazzetta dello Sport state that they want Borussia Monchengladbach's Ramy Bensebaini. There will be competition from Juventus, who have already been strongly linked with the Algeria international.

- Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has confirmed to Gio Garcia that he will be staying with LA Galaxy for the 2023 season. When asked about the situation of his contract, which would have been set to expire at the end of the season, the Mexican striker said: "When I reached 11 goals and 60% of the minutes, it automatically renews."

- Marseille forward Bamba Dieng will leave the club on loan in January rather than joining Angers, according to L'Equipe. Informal contact had taken place between the two clubs after Angers' Lois Diony had sustained an injury during the international break, but the Senegal international has decided that he wants to try and get game time with Marseille and potentially depart in the winter.

^ Back to Top ^