The English transfer window is closed, but the rest of Europe is still open for business, and Transfer Talk has the latest rumours making the rounds. Follow along with our daily blog throughout the summer.
TOP STORY: Barcelona to wait until Aug. 31 for Pogba
Barcelona have not given up on signing Paul Pogba from Manchester United before the Spanish transfer window closes on Aug. 31, despite the English market closing on Thursday, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Spanish publication says that sources from the La Liga giants still believe that the deal is not dead even though United would be unable to sign a replacement if they part ways with the France international.
Mundo Deportivo reports Pogba is still keen on leaving Old Trafford due to his lack of relationship with manager Jose Mourinho and adds that Barcelona officials are in regular contact with his agent Mino Raiola.
The Catalans have money to spend following the Thursday’s departures of Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes to Everton and they believe that Pogba would be the most exciting signing they could do before the Spanish transfer window closes.
Madrid set to move for Bayern’s Thiago
The Premier League transfer window may have closed, but there’s plenty happening elsewhere in Europe — and Real Madrid could be about to sign Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara.
Radio station Onda Cero has reported that new Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui wants Thiago to fill the gap left by Mateo Kovacic, who has joined Chelsea on loan, amid continuing speculation that Luka Modric could also leave.
Thiago — who would cost around €50m — worked with Lopetegui during his time in charge of the Spain team, and Onda Cero said he was keen on a move back to Spain, having come through the ranks at Barcelona, would cost around €50m.
Man United ‘vetoed’ Mourinho targets
Jose Mourinho is “frustrated” after ending transfer deadline day with Manchester United having seriously pursued precisely none of his defensive transfer targets during the window.
According to the Telegraph, Mourinho was told by United’s buying arm that the club would be willing to spend big money only on a “world-class defender” in the Raphael Varane bracket rather than compromise on a “lesser light”.
United would have happily paid £100 million for Varane, but the Real Madrid centre-back was never available.
However, the club were unimpressed by the alternative suggestions/demands put to them by their manager, flatly deciding that the likes of Toby Alderweireld and Harry Maguire were not worth the stratospheric fees being touted for them.
Indeed, the Guardian says that United chief executive Ed Woodward actually “vetoed” a number of Mourinho’s targets over concerns that the Portuguese was taking an overly short-term view rather than accepting that paying way over the odds might not be best for the club in the long run.
If that happens to be true, then something tells us this won’t be the last we hear of it.
United passed on Maguire a year ago
In the aftermath of Deadline Day, United fans will no doubt be heartened to learn that the club passed on the opportunity to sign one of their defensive targets just 12 months ago.
The Telegraph reports that the Red Devils were offered the chance to buy Maguire from Hull City for £15m in the summer of 2017 — mere weeks before the centre-back signed for Leicester City.
Skip forward a year and, after Maguire excelled for England at the World Cup, purported offers of £75m and upwards weren’t enough to lure the Foxes into selling their star man to United when the latter club returned to the well last week.
Still, despite missing out on several targets, Mourinho will no doubt be able to make do by persevering with the defender he ultimately bypassed Maguire to sign instead. That man was Victor Lindelof, who cost £31m to bring in from Benfica.
Did Arsenal make offer for Dembele?
Arsenal made a tentative effort to sign Ousmane Dembele on loan from Barcelona on Deadline Day, according to Gerard Romero, a noted journalist with an inside line on happenings at the Camp Nou.
Romero confirmed to Catalan radio station RAC 1 that Barca received an exploratory offer for Dembele from the Gunners on Thursday, though it was quickly rejected out of hand.
Arsenal had been linked with an approach for the French winger earlier in the week (which entailed an initial £10m loan with a £90m obligation-to-buy clause tacked on), but for his part BBC journalist David Ornstein refuted that Arsenal made an offer.
– Luka Modric is continuing to train “professionally” with Real Madrid but his heart is still set on a transfer to Inter Milan this summer. Los Blancos are holding out hope that a suitably enormous contract offer will be enough change Modric’s mind, but, as Gianluca Di Marzio put it, the whole situation is fast becoming a “chess match” between the three interested parties.
– Nottingham Forest are still hopeful of wrapping up a loan deal for West Ham full-back Sam Byram despite negotiations over a permanent move appearing to peter out on Deadline Day, says the Nottingham Post.