TOP STORY: Real Madrid have ‘pact’ to sign Mbappe
Mbappe, 20, has already won the World Cup, the Ligue 1 title three times, and been named the French league’s best player. And, after the forward hinted he could be ready for a new challenge, Real Madrid have been continually linked with a move that would see Mbappe link up with France legend Zinedine Zidane.
El Chiringuito reports that Real have agreed a ‘pact’ with PSG that they will only sell Mbappe to them, and have already handed over a €40m downpayment for an eventual deal worth €260m.
That would be quite the coup if they could pull it off. Neymar who?
10.43 BST: All the top clubs in Europe are interested in Bayer Leverkusen star Kai Havertz, but SportBild claims that Bayern, Barcelona and Real Madrid are leading the race.
Havertz, 20, is tipped as one of the best young midfielders around and Leverkusen will listen to offers above €100m next summer.
Liverpool have also been mentioned, though the fact that Jurgen Klopp is manager means they are usually linked to Bundesliga players.
Havertz himself said earlier this month: “I’m happy to be here and stay in Leverkusen for another year. We’ll see what will happens next summer.”
09.45 BST: Don’t forget to make your own transfers as you pick your team for our Premier League and Champions League fantasy games! Take on your mates in head-to-head leagues, selecting a team each weekend to maximise points. Here’s how to play the game, and click through to sign up.
08.28 BST: Liverpool fans were already unhappy about losing to Napoli and then £75m defender Virgil van Dijk confirms he’s not in talks over a new contract.
“There is nothing going on, so that’s it,” he told Sky Sports.
Then asked again about an extension, Van Dijk added: “That’s not on me! I saw some reports in the media that I was agreeing a new deal and stuff. But I’m not even discussing anything at the moment. The only thing I want to do right now is focus on the games and we’ll see in the future what may happen.”
08.00 BST: Manchester City’s defensive crisis is unlikely to be alleviated by a new signing in January as the club remains unwilling to pay over the odds for transfers, according to The Guardian.
Tuesday’s news that John Stones will join Aymeric Laporte in the treatment room for up to five weeks leaves the Premier League champions with only Nicolas Otamendi as their only full-time centre-back.
City were interested in signing Harry Maguire from Leicester in the summer to fill the gap left by Vincent Kompany‘s departure, but they were not willing to pay more than £65m. Maguire eventually joined Manchester United for £80m, becoming the world’s most expensive defender in the process.
The Guardian adds that it was a similar story when Virgil van Dijk was targeted by City but ended up joining Liverpool, who were willing to pay Southampton their £75m asking price.
Given their situation, it remains to be seen if city will loosen the purse strings and go after a new centre-back in January.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Napoli’s Fabian a man in demand
Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz has established himself as one of the premier talents in Italy and is drawing attention from other big clubs across Europe.
The Spain international is on the radar of the major sides back in his homeland, with Real Madrid and Barcelona showing interest in him, according to the Daily Mail.
Another team keeping tabs on him is the one he helped defeat on Tuesday in the first match of Champions League group stage action: defending champions Liverpool.
Fabian, who played at Real Betis prior to moving to Naples, has been compared to former Barca great Xavi“>Xavi. That’s certainly good company for the budding 23-year-old to keep.
Ronaldo could have been a Gunner
Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo has told Piers Morgan that he came close to joining Premier League side Arsenal.
“I was one step away from joining Arsenal,” Ronaldo said during an interview on ITV. “I appreciate what Arsenal did for me, especially Arsene Wenger. They’re a great club.”
The Portuguese sensation is well known for being one of the biggest stars of his generation, and arguably the best player in world football. Ronaldo has made a few major moves in his career between Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus, breaking countless records along the way
“I don’t follow the records, the records follow me,” Ronaldo added. “I’m addicted to success. It motivates me. The records come in a natural way. “
As always, it’s a case of the one that got away for Gunners fans.
– Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has told the Mirror that Jadon Sancho was “not close” to completing a move to Manchester United this past summer. “Not close at all. We didn’t talk to them,” Zorc said. “They were asking us for a meeting. [We said] Sancho is not for sale.”