The coronavirus pandemic has made the transfer market uncertain — and you can find out when the windows open and close here — but here are the rumours floating around Europe’s big leagues and beyond.
TOP STORY: Man City prepare new Koulibaly bid
Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio reports that Manchester City are ready to submit a new bid for centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly. The saga of the great Napoli defender’s future seems to be on the verge of coming to an end, and that end could well take him from Serie A to the Premier League.
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis hasn’t been afraid to put forward his thoughts on how negotiations are going, and City are set to react to that. The offer will be in the range of at least €75 million as Pep Guardiola aims to edge ahead of rivals Manchester United in this particular transfer race.
09.00 BST: Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona after a dramatic U-turn on Friday saw him end his bid to leave the club this summer.
The decision, announced in a video interview published by Goal.com, comes after days of intense speculation sparked by Messi’s attempt to unilaterally rescind his contract on Aug. 25. Messi and his legal team argued on Friday that he had exercised a clause that enabled him to leave without financial penalty at the end of each season.
“I would never take the club I have played my entire life for to court, and that is why I am staying in Barcelona. It was a tough decision. I always said I wanted to end my career here and I do,” Messi said.
Barcelona has said the exit clause expired in June and that Messi’s deal — which runs until 2021 — is still valid. They claimed that if Messi wanted to leave, he or his next club would have to pay his €700 million release clause or face legal action.
La Liga backed up Barca’s position, saying they would not process Messi’s transfer unless his buyout clause was paid. That stance was criticised by Messi’s father, Jorge, in a letter sent to La Liga on Friday, insisting that the €700 million fee was no longer applicable.
– Lowe: Messi staying for what could be his ‘Last Dance’
Sid Lowe suggests Lionel Messi’s upcoming season could be like Michael Jordan’s last year with the Chicago Bulls.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle): Milan reach Bakayoko agreement with Chelsea
AC Milan are closing in on a season-long loan for Chelsea midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko for the second time in three years, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
The two clubs have reached an agreement for the 26-year-old to move to the San Siro for the season for €3m, with the Rossoneri possessing a €30m option to purchase next summer.
Milan are in the midst of reshaping their midfield, with the seven-time European champions expected to confirm the signing of 20-year-old Brescia prodigy Sandro Tonali in the coming weeks.
Sampdoria make contact with Silva
Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria have made contact with Leicester City midfielder Adrien Silva over a potential move to Serie A, Gianluca Di Marzio reports.
After 18 months on loan with Monaco he was hoping to complete a permanent transfer to the Ligue 1 club, but with an offer yet to emerge from the Principality, Ranieri is looking to strike.
Silva admitted earlier this summer that his future probably lies away from the King Power Stadium, and with just one year remaining on his contract, it’s difficult to envision any other outcome.
– West Ham United have made a bid of more than £20m for Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski, Sky Sports reports. The story comes in the wake of the news that Grady Diangana, an England U21 international within the Hammers’ ranks, was sold to West Bromwich Albion. David Moyes ensured fans that the money made from the sale would be reinvested into the squad, and if they’re able to land Tarkowski, he’ll go some way towards following through on that claim.