LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal to chase for Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti
The winter transfer window is closed -- but now it's time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day:
TOP STORY: Arsenal to resume chase for Umtiti in the summer
While Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was successful in bringing in two new defenders in the January transfer window, he'll have to wait until the summer to resume his quest to sign Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, says Le Parisien.
The Gunners' boss added Pablo Mari from Flamengo and Cedric Soares from Southampton to his dwindling defensive ranks, but Arteta was also keen for some proven quality with Champions League experience.
He turned to Barca's Umtiti, who turned down the Gunners in this transfer window in the hope of securing more first-team football in the second half of the season under new boss Quique Setien.
Umtiti, 26, has played just 10 games this season but he believes he can work his way back into what he says is the best club in Europe.
23.30 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours for this summer. Goodnight!
23.17 GMT: Man United are reportedly set to up their pursuit of "No. 1 target" Kalidou Koulibaly.
A report in The Mirror suggests that Man United remain determined to land the Senegal international and pair him with record signing Harry Maguire.The report says the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Koulibaly is the perfect partner for Maguire and would be willing to spend the better part of £90 million on the Napoli man.
With Napoli unlikely to qualify for Europe, Koulibaly is expected to be on the move this summer with Barcelona, Real Madrid and United all linked with the imperious defender.
22.52 GMT: Was Mesut Ozil nearly on the move in an 11th-hour move on deadline day?
The Mirror writes that Ozil had an offer from an unknown Qatari club but that it fell through because Arsenal did not have a suitable amount of time to try and replace the German midfielder. The report also adds that Ozil and Arteta would have been willing to listen to the proposal had it come earlier in the window.
RB Leipzig's Dani Olmo and Atletico Madrid's Yannick Carrasco were reportedly targets for the Gunners before they made their respective moves.
22.27 GMT: After fending off suitors from the Championship for star striker Ronan Curtis, Portsmouth are close to agreeing to a new contract with the Republic of Ireland international, according to The News.
Curtis, 23, has 11 goals in 24 League One games this season for Pompey, who after a win over Sunderland are back in the division's top six. The Irish forward's contract is set to expire at the end of the season and a new deal signifies Pompey's ambition as a club.
Our Ian Darke is sure to be delighted with the news.
21.50 GMT: Gervinho, remember him?
The former Arsenal and Roma man was reportedly set to move from Italy to Qatar before a deal fell through on deadline day. The Ivorian was supposed to join Xavi's side Al Sadd but Parma reportedly registered his paperwork too late in the process, according to Xavi.
Xavi admitted interest in the 32-year-old whom he described as "an excellent player" and hopes to still make a run for him in the summer.
"What I heard from the club's management is that it is difficult to register Gervinho in the squad as the transfer window was closed yesterday," Xavi said.
"If he is registered, he will only register for the next season. He is an excellent player.
"We will try to search for a fifth foreign player during the coming period, as long as he is a free agent not linked to any club.
"I would have liked to have this player (Gervinho), but it is difficult now to register him in the team."
21.00 GMT: Edinson Cavani ended up staying put at PSG this window and potential suitors Atletico Madrid are not happy about it, sources tell ESPN.
"I think it's shameful the situation of some players with their agents and relatives" Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo said, speaking after Atletico's 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid in the Madrid derby on Saturday. "We're not here to be robbed."
Sources have told ESPN that Atletico were unwilling to meet Paris Saint-Germain's €20 million asking price for the Uruguayan centre-forward, who is out of contract this summer.
Cavani, 32, had been heavily linked with a move to the Spanish capital, with Chelsea and Inter Miami also reportedly interested.
20.19 GMT:Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare was a trendy name during the winter window but ultimately, stayed put.
The French midfielder,20, was linked with a handful of Premier League clubs, including Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, Manchester United and Newcastle. How in demand was Soumare? Newcastle reportedly bid £45 million for the player, only for Soumare to turn down a move to Tyneside.
According to journalist Robin Bairner via L'Equipe, the Lille man rejected the opportunity to join Premier League side Newcastle United even after a FaceTime call with Toon winger Allan Saint-Maximin. In the same publication, Soumare finally lifted the lid on his future:
"I do not see myself leaving. I feel good here. I am learning, we have big objectives to attain, like qualification for the Champions League. A departure is not on the cards.
"I want to do a full season, yes. I am not saying that I am in the starting XI, but the place that I have in the team today, I worked hard to get through the work that I put in, I won it. I cannot see myself leaving without seeing this through.
"I feel good. My team-mates help me. It is not the time to leave. I do not want to leave with any regrets."
We'll see if a whole lot of cash will convince the Frenchman otherwise come the summer?
19.32 GMT: Barcelona were unable to get a deal over the line for Chelsea winger Willian yesterday but there is hope they can land him in the summer.
Marca report that the Catalan giants are close to agreeing to a pre-contract with the soon-to-be out-of-contract Brazilian. The 31-year-old has been in London since 2013, registering 32 goals in 221 games while winning two Premier League titles.
Barcelona have shown interest in Willian for some time, reportedly bidding £55 million back in 2018, and can sign him on a free this summer.
18.49 GMT: Frank Lampard is done with the transfer window and anymore talk about it.
Speaking after his side's 2-2 draw at Leicester City today, Lampard said that he is not interested in reflecting on the January transfer window.
"It's gone. I am not interested in the window, I am not interested in talking about it. I am interested in the point we got today and what we do going forward," Lampard said at a news conference after the game.
17.45 GMT: Despite having a longstanding contract offer on the table, Leroy Sane has yet to commit his future to Manchester City.
Pep Guardiola revealed on Friday that City have been trying to lock the forward's future down for a while.
"The last info I had was that we made him an offer a long time ago and all the time he didn't reject it, so after that I don't have any news," Guardiola said.
The Guardian are reporting that Sane received the offer as early as last summer.
Sane hasn't featured for City recently after suffering a serious knee injury.
17.03 GMT: Jurgen Klopp has dismissed suggestions that Mohamed Salah will leave Liverpool this summer.
Asked if he thought Salah would still be here for the start of next season, he said: "I would think so, did you hear something different?
"How can you see the hunger to stay at Liverpool? It looks to me like he is really settled to be honest.
"I have no idea, actually, but you could ask me the same question for all the others and I have no idea. I didn't think about it until [the press] asked me.
Salah has scored 16 goals this season which took him three clear of Sadio Mane in the race to become the club's top scorer. The Egypt international has scored 87 times in 136 appearances.
16.17 GMT: Mexico international Rodolfo Pizarro got fans of Inter Miami excited after he liked a tweet from an MLS publication which highlighted the club's interest in signing him.
Through its official Twitter account in Spanish, the US league shared a note of an alleged millionaire offer that the Florida team would have made for the Mexican midfielder, who reacted to the publication with a 'Like' and speculation resurfaces about its future in the BBVA MX League.
Pizarro is a very popular player in Mexico and securing his services could bring a lot of support in for David Beckham's franchise.
15.36 GMT: One of the big stories of the transfer window was whether Olivier Giroud would leave Chelsea and join Inter Milan.
Largely forgotten at Chelsea, the France international was keen to secure a move out of the club so he could boost his chances of being picked for Euro 2020.
However, the deal fell through despite reports that the two clubs had come very close to an agreement.
RMC Sport are reporting that Giroud is not happy with how Inter approached the deal and it's subsequent collapse.
"Inter Milan's attitude towards Olivier Giroud has been very disrespectful," a source close to Giroud said.
"We've made a player who's behaving in an exemplary fashion and who had given priority to Inter Milan."
14.54 GMT: Marcus Rashford's injury left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer desperate to sign a temporary replacement in the January transfer window.
While the club succeeded in securing Odion Ighalo until the end of the season, the club also reportedly made enquiries for Napoli's Dries Mertens and considered making a bid for Norwich's Teemu Pukki.
Mertens, however, was not keen to move and Norwich warned United that they had no intention of letting Pukki leave.
Other names the club have been linked to include Edinson Cavani, Joshua King, Danny Ings and Salomon Rondon.
14.06 GMT: Barcelona coach Quique Setien, who replaced Ernesto Valverde last month, has said they have been weakened during the transfer window.
Carles Alena, Jean-Clair Todibo, Carles Perez and Moussa Wague all left the club in January, leaving Setien with a 20-man squad, including the injured Luis Suarez and Ansu Fati, who's still registered to the B team.
"On the face of it, we could think that we have weakened the squad in January," Setien said in a news conference on Saturday. "We have fewer players now. But I will repeat: we also have the B team. These kids are ready."
Barca are in La Liga action on Sunday at home to Levante. The game will come too soon for Ousmane Dembele, who is back in training but won't be rushed back into action.
13.39 GMT: Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri has given his verdict on the January transfer window after seeing Emre Can depart on transfer deadline day to join Borussia Dortmund.
He said: "From the beginning until now I worked with 27 players here, that someone like Emre Can had difficulty getting into the team is normal and doesn't take away from his qualities."
Sarri also insisted he was comfortable making no additions to his playing squad, adding: "I didn't ask for anything from the club, not in January and not in the summer. Juve's squad is strong and I have to adapt to its characteristics."
13.07 GMT: After Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said that Troy Parrot wasn't ready to regularly start in the Spurs first team many people thought the striker would leave the club on loan.
January came and went though and Parrott is still at Spurs despite interest from clubs like Burnley and Charlton.
Parrott was prevented from leaving Totttenham because of a UEFA rule regarding homegrown players. The rule states to qualify for UEFA's Champions B list as a homegrown player, a player has to complete two continuous seasons with a club.
The 17-year-old signed from Irish club Belvedere on his 16th birthday and he doesn't turn 18 until this Tuesday. If he had left the club on loan, Tottenham wouldn't have been able to class him as a homegrown player.
The rule is unfortunate for Parrott who featured in Ireland's 3-1 win over New Zealand in November. A loan would have seen the player increase his game time and make a case for his further inclusion in Mick McCarthy's side.
12.25 GMT: Despite spending on deadline day being the lowest ever since 2010, Premier League clubs spent £230m throughout the January transfer window -- making it the second-highest total for the mid-season transfer window.
Just £25m of that was spent yesterday with short-term loan deals, such as United's one for Odion Ighalo, dominating the day.
The January window saw the total expenditure by the big six clubs - Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea - account for 52% of the league's total spending in the month.
11.56 GMT: There was plenty of speculation yesterday that Gareth Bale was about to make a surprise return to the Premier League but sources confirmed to ESPN that a shock return to Tottenham is unlikely for Bale.
Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane told a news conference on Friday Saturday that he is "counting on" the forward.
"Gareth is with us," Zidane said. "I'm counting on him. I'm not contemplating that possibility."
Bale's agent Jonathan Barnett replied "rubbish" when asked about the rumours regarding the Welshman and also said earlier this month that Bale was "going nowhere" in January and a summer move was "very unlikely".
11.22 GMT: Manchester United had a busy transfer window -- signing Odion Ighalo and Nathan Bishop yesterday alone -- but it was nearly even busier with the Telegraph reporting that the club made inquiries about Southampton's Danny Ings.
Ings have been crucial to Southampton's good run of form this year and the club made it clear to United that the 27-year-old wasn't for sale.
The attention does mean that Ings will likely have to make a decision in the not too distant future about whether to stay at Southampton or seek a move elsewhere. His contract with Southampton runs for another two seasons but the club will be keen to seek an extension.
10.33 GMT: Real Sociedad forward Willian Jose has apologised to the club's fans after trying to force a move to Tottenham during the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old Brazilian, who has scored eight goals in La Liga this season and has a €70m release clause, was wanted by Jose Mourinho to fill in for the injured Harry Kane.
"I ask forgiveness for everything that happened in recent days" the striker said in a video published by Real Sociedad on social media. "A lot of things happened and I have to apologise to the fans, my team mates and the coach too.
"I saw a really good opportunity for me to leave and play in the Champions League, for a team in the Premier League. It didn't happen, but I'm really happy here."
As discussions with Spurs continued Willian Jose refused to play for Real Sociedad against Espanyol in the Copa del Rey earlier this month and was left out of their La Liga game against Real Mallorca last weekend, watching the game from the stands.
"I don't know if it was the best decision" he added. "I told the president my head wasn't right to play the game. I'm sorry to everyone for what happened. Now I have to keep working to earn people's trust back."
10.00 GMT: Manchester United grabbed the headlines on deadline day for their surprise loan signing of striker Odion Ighalo, which served as a nice distraction from the ongoing saga of Paul Pogba's future at Old Trafford.
To that end, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said Bruno Fernandes' arrival at United does not mean Pogba is set to leave in the summer and insists the pair can play together. Fernandes moved to United for an initial £46.5m on Thursday and is set to make his debut against Wolves on Saturday.
Pogba is still sidelined with an ankle problem but Solskjaer said Fernandes is not a replacement for the France international, who has been linked with summer moves to Real Madrid and Juventus.
"We want to try to build towards a team that will challenge for the title and trophies so we want to keep our best players," Solskjaer said. "We can play them together. Bruno can play with good players yes and he can do absolutely everything.
"He is such a good footballer. He can play with good players around him, he can play in a three-man midfield, he can play as a 10 he can play in off the side, he can play in a diamond, we will give him his time to find his best position."
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): Chelsea face fresh battle for Mertens in the summer
Frank Lampard failed in his quest to bring Dries Mertens to Chelsea in this January transfer window and while the Blues boss looks set to renew his efforts at the end of the season, he could face pressure from Mertens' employers, Napoli.
Mertens, who was also eyed by Barcelona and Inter Milan, is out of contract at the end of the 2019-20 campaign which could see a host of clubs join the race for his signature. He is free to talk to clubs from Feb. 1 ahead of any summer move.
However, Italian platform Calciomercato says that Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis is preparing to offer the Belgian international a new contract, which could scupper Chelsea's plans.
Napoli's deal is reported to be for two years and worth €5 million per season, though he may feel he can cash in elsewhere is he leaves on a free transfer instead.
More teams to battle for Cavani in the summer
Chelsea may drop their interest in signing PSG striker Edinson Cavani after he snubbed a move to Stamford Bridge in this transfer window, but Marca suggest the Uruguayan could have the pick of a growing list of suitors.
Manchester United and MLS side Inter Miami are said to be among those who fancy adding the striker's firepower to their squads at the end of the current campaign.
PSG were reluctant to sell the striker this season after Atletico Madrid were unable to meet the player's wage demands, despite lodging an €18 million bid for him.
The 33-year-old is available on a free transfer in the summer, which will no doubt see more clubs join the clamour to sign him.
- Manchester United's pursuit of Birmingham City wonderkid Jude Bellingham will continue in the build-up to the summer, reports The Independent. United have put together a £20 million package which includes £8.5m up front, £11.5m in add-ons, £5m after 50 appearances and £2m after his first goal. The package is unlikely to meet Birmingham's valuation, which means United may need to return to the drawing board.
- Juve are already working on plans to bring back Paul Pogba in the summer, suggest Calciomercato. The Frenchman will have just one year left on his contract and with his United career seemingly heading towards an anti-climatic finish, Juve hope to bring the midfielder back to Turin alongside Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali. Key to both deals will be agent Mino Raiola, with whom Juve have a good relationship.