Europe’s trans­fer win­dow set for fran­tic fi­nale

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Will Barcelona buy an­other for­ward to re­place Ney­mar? Can Ar­se­nal keep hold of Alexis Sanchez? Is Monaco about to lose three more of its star play­ers?

Europe's trans­fer win­dow closes in most coun­tries to­day and there are a slew of high-pro­file and long-run­ning sagas that are still to be fi­nal­ized.

Here's a coun­try-by-coun­try look at the ma­jor talk­ing points head­ing into the fi­nal hours of the win­dow:

ENG­LAND It has been a record-break­ing trans­fer win­dow in the Pre­mier League, with clubs us­ing money re­ceived from bumper broad­cast deals to spend 1.2 bil­lion pounds ($1.55 bil­lion) on play­ers so far. Many teams are still in the market, though.

The fu­ture of Alexis Sanchez has been a slow-burner but is likely to be the big­gest story on Thurs­day. Manch­ester City has been linked heav­ily with the Chile for­ward and re­port­edly made a bid of 50 mil­lion pounds ($65 mil­lion), even though he has only one year left on his Ar­se­nal con­tract. City could also sign a cen­ter back, po­ten­tially Jonny Evans from West Bromwich Al­bion de­spite hav­ing two bids re­jected al­ready.

Liver­pool has re­fused to en­ter ne­go­ti­a­tions with Barcelona for play­maker Philippe Coutinho, but will the Reds main­tain their "not for sale" stance? Monaco winger Thomas Le­mar, Southamp­ton de­fender Vir­gil van Dijk and ver­sa­tile Ar­se­nal mid­fielder Alex Oxlade-Cham­ber­lain have also been tar­gets for Liver­pool.

Pre­mier League cham­pion Chelsea wants to off­load Diego Costa af­ter the striker was told by manager An­to­nio Conte that he does fea­ture in the club's plans. Mid­field­ers Riyad Mahrez and Danny Drinkwa­ter could leave Le­ices­ter af­ter hand­ing in trans­fer re­quests.

Of the top teams, only Manch­ester United is likely to be quiet to­day.

SPAIN The trans­fer win­dow in Spain will close a day later than in most leagues, giv­ing clubs ex­tra time to try to make deals.

Barcelona is still try­ing to sign Philippe Coutinho from Liver­pool, de­spite three re­jected of­fers, in what would be an­other block­buster ad­di­tion af­ter the ar­rival of Ous­mane Dem­bele from Borus­sia Dort­mund to re­place Ney­mar.

Aside from in­ter­est in Coutinho, Barcelona sport­ing director Robert Fer­nan­dez said the club may still sign yet an­other player be­fore the win­dow closes.

Real Madrid is not ap­par­ently look­ing to sign any­one and Atletico Madrid is still banned by FIFA from reg­is­ter­ing any new play­ers.

FRANCE De­fend­ing cham­pion Monaco should be care­ful what it wishes for. Although the club is pil­ing up prof­its, it is dis­man­tling a side that thrilled Europe by reach­ing the Cham­pi­ons League semi­fi­nals and scor­ing more than 150 goals.

Kylian Mbappe is set to join Paris Saint-Ger­main on loan with a view to a per­ma­nent sign­ing that would make the 18-year-old for­ward the sec­ond most ex­pen­sive player in his­tory at 180 mil­lion eu­ros ($216 mil­lion).

It would also make him the lat­est from last sea­son's ti­tle-win­ning side to leave, af­ter at­tack­ing mid­fielder Bernardo Silva, left back Ben­jamin Mendy (both Manch­ester City), for­ward Valere Ger­main (Mar­seille), and de­fen­sive mid­fielder Tiemoue Bakayoko (Chelsea).

It may not end there as skill­ful left-sided mid­fielder Thomas Le­mar is court­ing wide in­ter­est, with Liver­pool re­port­edly bid­ding about 80 mil­lion eu­ros ($95 mil­lion) for the France in­ter­na­tional, and PSG is ea­ger to sign de­fen­sive mid­fielder Fabinho as a long-term re­place­ment for the ag­ing Thi­ago Motta.

If Le­mar and Fabinho are sold, it would push the fig­ure of Monaco's ex­port sales to nearly half a bil­lion eu­ros ($600 mil­lion).

ITALY It looks like be­ing a quiet fi­nal day of the trans­fer win­dow in Italy once again, with most of the busi­ness al­ready done by the ma­jor clubs.

AC Mi­lan has been the big­gest mover, with its new own­ers spend­ing more than 200 mil­lion eu­ros ($234 mil­lion) on play­ers such as Leonardo Bonucci, Nikola Kalinic, An­dre Silva, Ri­cardo Ro­driguez, Franck Kessie, An­drea Conti, Hakan Cal­hanoglu, Lu­cas Biglia and Ma­teo Musac­chio.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Ju­ven­tus has brought in Dou­glas Costa, Mat­tia De Sciglio, Wo­j­ciech Szczesny, Fed­erico Bernarde­schi and Blaise Ma­tu­idi and could com­plete a deal for Schalke de­fender Benedikt Hoewedes.

In­ter is also hop­ing to sign an­other de­fender, re­port­edly Shko­dran Mustafi from Ar­se­nal, es­pe­cially af­ter full back Joao Cancelo in­jured his knee in train­ing with Por­tu­gal on Tuesday.

Roma is un­likely to make any more sig­nif­i­cant changes af­ter sign­ing Pa­trik Schick from Sam­p­do­ria on Tuesday, and nei­ther is Napoli.

GERMANY Borus­sia Dort­mund be­gan spend­ing the wind­fall earned from Ous­mane Dem­bele's move to Barcelona for po­ten­tially 147 mil­lion eu­ros ($173 mil­lion) by sign­ing Ukraine for­ward An­drey Yar­molenko and right back Jeremy Tol­jan this week. The club still has plenty more money to spend, how­ever.

Monaco’s Mbappe who is set to join PSG

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.