Fabrizio Romano has shed light on Man Utd and Chelsea’s plans for Frenkie de Jong, while Juventus still harbour ambitions of poaching a Liverpool favourite in January – both in Tuesday’s Euro Paper Talk.
The future of Frenkie de Jong was arguably the No 1 transfer saga of the summer. Manchester United identified the Dutch maestro as the perfect player to pull the strings in Erik ten Hag’s midfield.
A lengthy pursuit ensued with United agreeing terms with Barcelona in the middle of the window. However, the player stood firm in his desire to remain at the Camp Nou, something that ultimately left United empty-handed.
Chelsea too were serious contenders to sign the 25-year-old. The Blues’ ability to offer Champions League football gave them a leg up, though a move to Stamford Bridge wasn’t forthcoming either.
United turned their attention to Casemiro when the De Jong hopes fell away. He will ultimately partner Christian Eriksen in a midfield pairing and it is the Dane who is the greatest beneficiary of De Jong not joining.
Chelsea, meanwhile, signed Denis Zakaria on loan. However, with concerns over Jorginho and N’Golo Kante growing, Chelsea’s chequebook is expected to open again very soon.
Now, writing in his column for CaughtOffside, transfer specialist, Fabrizio Romano, provided an update on Frenkie de Jong.
Chelsea, Man Utd hoping for Frenkie de Jong U-turn
Firstly, Romano stressed that both Man Utd and Chelsea haven’t given up hope of securing the coup. Indeed, he reported the two clubs are still monitoring the player’s situation with a view to a future swoop.
However, for the time being at least, they’re no likelier to be successful than they were in the summer unless De Jong himself has a change of heart.
“So far the situation is totally quiet,” wrote Romano. “Frenkie wanted to stay at Barca and therefore there are no immediate updates.
“Certainly Man United and Chelsea will monitor the situation but they know that De Jong only wanted Barca with great clarity all summer. It will take months before we understand the next developments.”
Indicating a De Jong deal will only come if the player performs a surprise U-turn, Romano added: “He’s happy with life in Barcelona, his girlfriend is happy there. He made it clear he wanted to stay.
“United were just hoping that Frenkie would change his mind. Sometimes to sign top players you need to be patient, to wait and see if Frenkie was going to change his mind.
“But it never happened, and this is why they decided to invest big money on Casemiro.”
LIVERPOOL VULNERABLE TO JUVENTUS RAID
Juventus’ interest in signing Liverpool veteran Roberto Firmino in January has not faded. The Brazilian is in the last year of his deal and will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs in January, though Juve must turf out an attacker to make room first. (CalcioMercato)
Hector Bellerin and Marcos Alonso will both be unveiled as new Barcelona players today. The LaLiga side have inserted €50m release clauses into their contracts, something that’s been labelled ‘ridiculous’ given they’ve only signed one-year deals. (Mundo Deportivo)
Erik ten Hag’s insistence on not starting Cristiano Ronaldo has been lambasted by former Dutch international Wim Kleft: “It continues to hurt my eyes. Come on… An unexpected end to a great career.” (Soccer News)
Chelsea will bid £43m for Edson Alvarez in January. The Mexican was the subject of a £43m bid late in the summer window, though Ajax stood firm. (Evening Standard and Spanish press)
Aston Villa failed with a last-ditch attempt to sign Geoffrey Kondogbia from Atletico Madrid. The deal may have been in response to Arsenal’s attempts to sign Douglas Luiz. (Marca)
Southampton are open to selling Nathan Redmond with the big three clubs in Turkey all vying for his signature. The Turkish window remains open until Thursday, September 8. (Athletic)
DIEGO COSTA RETURN IN LIMBO
Wolves’ surprise move for free agent Diego Costa could collapse after the striker was denied a work permit. Bruno Lage’s side are appealing the decision, while Costa is still due to fly into England today ahead of a medical. (The Athletic)
Antonio Rudiger was offered almost double what he accepted to join Real Madrid by an unnamed Premier League club. (Saif Rubie (Rudiger’s representative))
Paul Pogba is a doubt for the Qatar World Cup after undergoing knee surgery. (The Sun)
Liverpool were never close to signing RB Leipzig’s Konrad Laimer amid intense speculation in the window’s final days. The Reds ultimately secured Arthur Melo on a loan deal instead. (Evening Standard)
Kylian Mbappe continues to drop hints about a future transfer to Real Madrid. The French superstar said: “You never know what’s going to happen. You’ve never been there, but it seems like it’s like your house, or something like this.” (New York Times)
POCHETTINO NEARING NEXT CLUB?
Sevilla have contacted Mauricio Pochettino with the heat rising on current boss Julien Lopetegui. Sevilla are win-less in their opening four matches and Lopetegui is on the brink. (The Sun and Athletic)
AC Milan are determined to tie Chelsea and Liverpool target Rafael Leao down to a contract running until 2027. His current deal has tow years left to run. (La Gazzetta dello Sport)
Jurgen Klopp’s task for Liverpool’s UCL opener against Napoli could be eased by the absence of Victor Osimhen. The lethal marksman is a doubt after picking up a muscle strain. Fellow forward Hirving Lozano could also miss out. (Sky Italia)
Tanguy Ndombele has made a sluggish start to his loan spell at Napoli. The comments of sporting director, Cristiano, Giuntoli, suggest it’s unlikely the option to buy will be triggered at present. (Il Napolista)
Chelsea inserted a clause into Ethan Ampadu’s contract that could see them financially rewarded if he doesn’t get regular minutes. (TuttoMercatoWeb)