Transfer Talk: Barca to offload Rakitic, Vidal, Umtiti in January fire sale

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi each have five Ballons d’Or, but does the Portugal star have an argument to deserving more?
Alejandro Moreno examines how Lionel Messi impacted the game during the final 30 minutes of Barcelona’s scoreless draw against Dortmund.
ESPN FC’s Julien Laurens weighs in on 16-year-old Ansu Fati’s impact at Barcelona so far with two goals in his first three matches.

The transfer windows in Europe’s top leagues are closed, but it’s never too late to look forward to January! Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

All the major completed transfers | European transfer review

Barca to launch January fire sale

Despite the transfer window still being more than three months away from re-opening, Barcelona are already making plans ahead of the New Year, but reports in Marca claim the Catalan giants will be prioritizing sales rather than purchases in January.

Balancing the books remains very much on the Barca agenda, and sales need to be completed before the end of the club’s fiscal year on June 30, meaning Nou Camp chiefs will launch fresh attempts to sell senior trio Ivan Rakitic, Samuel Umtiti and Arturo Vidal during the January transfer window.

Manager Ernesto Valverde has admitted to a surplus in the Barca midfield, where there are currently seven players vying for three slots in the La Liga champions’ engine room.

Even if substantial sales are made at the turn of the year, the Spanish outlet says that there will still be no major arrivals through the door.

Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal
FOR SALE: Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal.

Liverpool Malen it in

Calciomercato claims Liverpool are keeping tabs on highly-rated PSV Eindhoven striker Donyell Malen.

The 20-year-old has started the season in blistering form, netting nine goals in 12 games, including a scoring ratio of better than a goal a game in the Eredivisie. The Netherlands international also has form on the European stage after he netted in his side’s 3-2 victory over Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League on Thursday night.

That form has alerted the Premier League leaders, who are on the lookout for a young centre-forward to provide competition for Roberto Firmino.

PSV stand to make a huge profit on a player they signed for less than £1 million just over two years ago when Malen opted to return to his homeland following a two-year spell in Arsenal’s academy.

Mustafi move still on the table

Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi has refused to rule out a move away from the Emirates, despite returning to the Gunners’ starting line-up in their 3-0 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt on Thursday.

The German was placed on the transfer list by Unai Emery after a disappointing campaign last time out, but after the north Londoners were unable to find a buyer over the summer, the 27-year-old stayed put.

But the former Valencia man is remaining coy regarding his future at the club, but claims he will not kick up a fuss if he decides his future is elsewhere. A return to Germany is believed to be his preferred destination if he was to depart the Premier League.

Mustafi told the Daily Mail: “If at some point a club from Germany has interest and it fits, I’m open for it.”

Tap-ins

– La Liga side Villareal are interested in signing FC Salzburg striker Takumi Minamino, according to Calciomercato. The Japan international has had a hand in 10 goals in just eight games this season, and has just over 18 months remaining on his deal in Austria.

– The Sun claims Watford are hoping to beat Championship outfit Hull City to the signing of young Swedish prospect Kevin Harletun. The 19-year-old striker had been training at Hull ahead of the expiration of his contract at Malmo, but the Hornets have now entered the race for the Sweden youth international.

– Sources at the Mirror believe Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke invested his own money into the club for their summer transfer splurge — instead of the club’s usual self-sustainable model, signalling a potential change in the long-term transfer strategy at the club. Arsenal spent heavily in the close season, including the £72m purchase of Nicolas Pepe from Lille.

– Experienced German striker Alexander Meier is on his way to the A-League, according to AAP. The former Eintracht Frankfurt star is believed to be currently in transit to Australia, where he will sign for Markus Babbel’s Western Sydney Wanderers.

Products You May Like