LIVE Transfer Talk: Inter boss Conte plotting moves for Rakitic, Milinkovic-Savic
The transfer windows in Europe's top leagues are closed, but it's never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.
TOP STORY: Conte wants Rakitic, Milinkovic-Savic at Inter
Inter Milan manager Antonio Conte is desperate for midfield reinforcements at the turn of the year, and Calciomercato claims the Italian is hoping to sign either Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona or Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Inter's loss to Juventus just before the international break was the Nerazzurri's first domestic defeat of the season, and Conte is now concerned that he doesn't have the engine room to mount a serious challenge at home and abroad, with their disappointing start to the Champions League also providing the former Chelsea boss with cause for concern.
Rakitic's future at Barcelona has been the subject of intense speculation since the La Liga winners bought Frenkie de Jong from Ajax in the summer, while Serbian Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with moves to a string of European clubs in the last two years.
23.00 BST: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and rumblings. Goodnight!
22.26 BST: PSG is always looking to strengthen its squad and seemingly always in the conversation when a top player is rumoured with a transfer.
That should make the recent news that they have joined the sweepstakes for two highly-touted players all the less surprising. First, French media outlet Le10Sport reports that they have entered the race for Bayer Leverkusen and Germany wunderkind Kai Havertz. The 20-year-old midfielder, who tallied 20 goals and seven assists last season for Leverkusen, is valued at €100 million and is also being monitored by giants Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Man United and Liverpool.
Another player linked with a move to Parc des Princes? Christian Eriksen. The wantaway Tottenham playmaker hasn't played up to his ability so far this season and is expected to leave the London club either in January or next summer. The Daily Mail now claims that PSG have entered the race for the Dane, and are set to hijack Real Madrid's bid to sign the 27-year-old.
PSG are always involved with the top players but in order to sign Havertz and/or Eriksen, the club will need to raise some funds. How could they do that? Well selling Neymar would be one way to boost the transfer kitty.
20.41 BST: Arsenal have received a boost in their pursuit of RB Leipzig and France Under-21 centre-back Dayot Upamecano.
The Gunners reportedly failed with a £55 million bid for Upamecano this past summer but now could have a better chance of landing the 20-year-old if they return to the bidding table this summer. German magazine Kicker is reporting that RB Leipzig now fear that they could lose the defender for free when his contract expires in 2021 and could be willing to accept an offer for the player.
Arsenal remain keen on Upamecano, who previously revealed to Telefoot that he has dreamt of joining a European giant since he was a kid, although he did not name Arsenal by name:
"As a youngster, you dream of Real Madrid , Barcelona , Manchester United , but to get there, you have to work," he told Telefoot.
"I'm very proud of myself, very happy. I have to keep going in the same direction.
"I have to aim higher. My preference for the moment is Leipzig. Afterwards, we'll see."
Gunners fans hope Upamecano still considers Arsenal a European giant...
19.19 BST: Steven Gerrard and Rangers bracing for a bid from England for their star striker?
Aston Villa are reportedly interested in Rangers frontman Alfredo Morelos, who has scored 62 goals in 110 appearances for the Scottish club. The gifted but hot-tempered Morelos, 23, has been linked with moves abroad in the past and is now valued at upwards of £20 million. Aston Villa boss Dean Smith hasn't exactly quelled rumours Villa could move for Morelos with his most recent comments.
"Suso's got all of his scouts out looking at things, but January is a long, long way at the moment and we've got a lot of games to play.
"Watch this space."
17.49 BST: Dani Ceballos has had some very good moments at Arsenal but will his stay be just a short one?
The on-loan Real Madrid midfielder's future is very much up in the air, with no obvious place for him if he returns to Madrid after his loan spell at the Emirates ends this summer. According to Spanish outlet El Desmarque, the 23-year-old recently held talks with Real Madrid CEO Florentino Perez regarding his future.
The youngster reportedly wants to make his move to Arsenal permanent and remains "hopeful" that can come to fruition before his loan deal ends this summer. Ceballos, who joined Madrid in 2017 for £12 million from Real Betis, is reportedly rated at around £35m. Will Arsenal get their new central midfield playmaker? We'll find out this summer...
16.35 BST: Here's a story to get the rumour mill turning: Jadon Sancho has been suspended by Borussia Dortmund coach Lucien Favre after returning late from international duty with England ahead of Saturday's Bundesliga match against Borussia Monchengladbach at the Westfalenstadion.
As recently as Thursday Favre had spoken about the 19-year-old, saying in a prematch news conference: "The expectations for Jadon are enormous, but that is dangerous."
This weekend's suspension does not mark the first time that Sancho's punctuality lapses have seen him clash with a Dortmund coach.In the 2017-2018 season, his first in Germany, Sancho was demoted to the reserves by then-coach Peter Stoger for showing up late to training sessions on more than one occasion.
14.17 BST: Aston Villa manager Dean Smith insists that star midfielder John McGinn is not for sale amid interest from Manchester United.
Scotland international McGinn has scored three Premier League goals this season for newly promoted Villa, and sources have told ESPN FC that the 25-year-old is one of a number of midfield targets United are considering bidding for in January.
McGinn is contracted to Villa until 2024, and Smith told a news conference: "The big clubs can come calling but they'll get a short, swift reply! He's a player we want here at Aston Villa.
"His value shot up from the moment he stepped out onto the Villa Park pitch and showed just what a player he is.
"He has an unbelievable energy level and a big, big heart, but people don't see the technical side of it as well - he's got that in abundance."
13.12 BST: Liverpool and Chelsea are both keeping a close eye on Bournemouth defender Lewis Cook, according to the Daily Mail.
Cook, 22, enjoyed a breakout year in 2018 when he made his senior England debut and signed a new contract with the Cherries. However, a knee ligament injury in December ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Now back playing again this term, the Leeds United youth product is back on the radar of Premier League leaders Liverpool and Chelsea, who have shown their commitment to young British players this season amid their FIFA-imposed transfer ban.
12.06 BST: Lionel Messi has said some Barcelona members at Camp Nou were against re-signing Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain this summer.
Messi had also made it clear he wanted his former teammate back, but the two clubs were unable to strike a deal for a player who cost a world-record €222mwhen he left for Barca for PSG in 2017.
"We talk to Neymar often," Messi told Argentina's Radio Metro. "We still have a WhatsApp group with Luis [Suarez].
"It's difficult for him to come back, as he left here, many club members and people do not want him to come back. From a sporting point of view he would be wonderful, but the other view is also understandable. It is a bit difficult."
Messi also said that, while he is happy to stay with Barcelona for the rest of this career, he does not want a contract which stipulates that has to be the case.
"It is true that Barcelona proposed a contract for life to me, but what I said was that I do not want a contract to bind me," he added. "I want to be fine to perform, to play and continue fighting for objectives. Being here can be for life, but not with a contract."
11.18 BST: Manchester United have asked to be kept informed of Emre Can's situation at Juventus ahead of the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN FC.
United are looking for reinforcements in midfield and have been made aware of Can's potential availability after the Germany international was left out of Juventus' Champions League squad. They have not ruled out a move for the 25-year-old former Liverpool man, but he is not high on their list of targets. Can, who left Anfield on a free transfer in 2018, has a contract until 2022 and is rated at around £35 million.
However, sources have also told ESPN FC that United have cooled their interest in Can's Juventus teammate Mario Mandzukic. Maduzukic, 33, is surplus to requirements at Juventus but United have been put off by the Croatian's wage demands and his reluctance to sign a short-term deal. There is still tentative interest but he is not a priority.
10.24 BST: Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has admitted that he expects to sell star defender Kalidou Koulibaly at some point in the future.
Kouliably, 28, has developed into one of the world's top defenders since joining Napoli five years ago, and he has been regularly linked with several of Europe's top clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
De Laurentiis has in the past resisted all big-money advances for the Senegal international, but told Sky Italia: "I loved Koulibaly the man so I refused €105m, but a time will come when I'll have to sell him. Whoever says we didn't improve our defence is wrong."
09.30 BST: Ahead of Sunday's big Premier League clash at Old Trafford, both Manchester United and Liverpool announced new contracts on Friday.
Young striker Mason Greenwood signed a new long-term contract at United. The 18-year-old has scored two goals in 13 games since making his senior debut last season and signed a deal worth around £25k-a-week that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2023 with the option of another 12 months.
Meanwhile, Joel Matip became the latest player to commit his future to Liverpool by signing a contract extension that ties him to Anfield until 2024.
PAPER TALK (by James Capps): Messi noncommittal on lifetime Barca deal
Lionel Messi has given hope to the likes of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as clubs in Major League Soccer and the Chinese Super League, by claiming he doesn't want to be bound to a contract that makes it difficult for him to leave the Nou Camp, according to reports at Marca.
The 32-year-old reportedly has a clause in his contract that allows him to leave the Catalan giants at the end of each season, and in an interview with Argentinian station Radio Metro, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner said he only wants to remain at the club if they are consistently competing for trophies.
In a wide-ranging interview, Messi also stated that senior figures in the Barcelona hierarchy had major objections to PSG forward Neymar returning to the club.
Napoli keeping tabs on Castrovilli
The 22-year-old has recently returned from a two-year loan spell at second division side Cremonese, where he made 55 appearances, and the Italian has made a bright start to his top-flight career, scoring once in seven Serie A games for La Viola.
That form has alerted Ancelotti, who was on the lookout for a new midfielder in the summer, and was reportedly keen on Cagliari schemer Nicolo Barella, who ultimately opted for a move to Inter Milan.
And now the former Real Madrid manager has switched his sights to Castrovilli, who can also play in an attacking midfield role and out wide. A deal may be pricey, however, with the player's contract expiring in the summer of 2024.
- The BBC reports that Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell says he has not given up hope of a dream move to Celtic -- six years after the Bhoys were beaten by Derby County to the Scotland international's signature. The 29-year-old has just a year left on his contract in Major League Soccer.
- Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is determined to tie down midfield brothers Sean and Matty Longstaff to long-term contracts at St James' Park, according to The Guardian. Older brother Sean was the subject of speculation linking the 21-year-old with a move to Manchester United in the summer.
- Bitter Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund and Schalke are set to go head-to-head for the signing of Atalanta full-back Robin Gosens, according to reports at Calciomercato. The 25-year-old has been in Serie A for the past two years, but could be tempted by a move back to his homeland.