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Atletico can’t close deal for Kondogbia after Partey drama

The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

Atletico can’t close deal for Kondogbia

Following Thomas Partey’s exit from Atletico Madrid to Arsenal, the Spanish club were left with €50 million in the bank but some hard feelings over how the deal was finalised. Even though they were able to secure the services of Lucas Torreira on loan from Arsenal, the brass at the Wanda Metropolitano remained in pursuit of replacing the outward-bound Ghana international following his last-minute exit to the Emirates.

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La Liga rules specify that clubs can sign players a month after the end of the transfer window — provided the prospect plays within the league — and Diego Simeone’s side were therefore eyeing Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia as an viable replacement. But according to Marca, that raid won’t happen until at least January due to the hardball being played at La Mestalla.

While the money from the Partey deal will give Atletico some flexibility in the upcoming winter window, it now seems they will need to make due with the players they have as they juggle domestic and Champions League competitions.

Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia is seen as a replacement for Thomas Partey at Atletico Madrid. Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Origi eyes Anfield exit amid Belgium worries

Divock Origi could be on the move in January, a result of him having fallen further down the pecking order at Liverpool, reports the Liverpool Echo.

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Origi is finding game time hard to come by this season. Last week, when Jurgen Klopp changed his entire strike force in the Champions League match against Ajax Amsterdam, Origi watched on as Diogo Jota, Takumi Minamino and Xherdan Shaqiri replaced the usual trio of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino.

Origi was always the first man called upon when Klopp wanted to switch things up in attack, and now he’s seventh in line. Not only that, but Liverpool are in need of defensive reinforcements, and so would welcome a fee for the Belgian striker.

Moreover, Origi wasn’t selected for Belgium’s international matches in September, so he’ll also need to fight his way back into Roberto Martinez’s thoughts too.

Tap-ins

– Marseille are hoping to lure Nikola Maksimovic away from Napoli, reports Calciomercato. The centre-back has been left out in recent weeks by Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso and he is approaching the end of his contract. Marseille’s head of football Pablo Longoria believes it would be a solid move for his club, but he faces pressure from Inter Milan who are also keen.

– Manchester City’s hopes of signing Lionel Messi next summer could depend on who is elected as Barcelona’s next president, reports The Athletic. Messi had indicated he was ready to leave the Catalan club after having fallen out with Josep Bartomeu, but he could now be used as a political weapon by potential incumbents to the president’s hotseat, and commit his future further, if he can be convinced by the club’s new masterplan to win back the Champions League.

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