Real Madrid were among the contenders chasing Erling Haaland's signature over the off-season.

Los Blancos, along with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea, Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, were keen on the former Borussia Dortmund forward.

Ultimately, the Norwegian decided to join Manchester City, starting on fire with 14 goals in 10 games in all competitions, but Madrid are keeping an eye on him.

TOP STORY – MADRID PLANNING LONG-TERM MOVES FOR CITY DUO

Spanish giants Real Madrid are plotting moves to sign Manchester City pair Joao Cancelo and Erling Haaland, reports AS.

Madrid will attempt to sign the 28-year-old Portuguese full-back in mid-2023, with Cancelo contracted until 2027, although the report claims he will cost around €40-50million (£35-44m).

The Spanish champions are planning a swoop for Haaland but not until 2024, with Karim Benzema in the twilight of his career.

Haaland reportedly has a termination clause in his City contract worth €180m (£158m) up until 2024.

ROUND-UP

– The Daily Star reports that Manchester United and David De Gea are set for key talks on his future, with the goalkeeper's contract expiring in mid-2023. United hold an option to extend his stay.

Manchester United may struggle in their bid to sign Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, with the Villans to turn down any offer for him in January, claims Football Insider.

Barcelona are keen to sign Wolves 25-year-old midfielder Ruben Neves as a long-term replacement for 34-year-old Sergio Busquets, reports Sport. Neves will be the Blaugrana's top target at the end of this season.

Gerard Pique is not interested in joining Atletico Madrid in January, claims Sport. The defender has fallen out of favour at Barcelona, but he is determined to fight for his spot.

– Calciomercato claims that Chelsea are interested in Inter wing-back Denzel Dumfries. The Italian club may be willing to part with the Dutchman for approximately £44m.

– Colombian forward Luis Muriel is ready to leave Atalanta, with a move to Fiorentina on the cards, according to Calciomercato.

– PSV striker Cody Gakpo is likely to have more offers in January with Manchester United, Southampton and Everton all still interested, claims Football Transfers.

Thomas Tuchel is Real Madrid 's preferred replacement for Carlo Ancelotti, according to El Nacional. The Italian has told the club he does not intend to manage Madrid beyond this season.

Jose Mourinho says "there is no point crying" about Roma's growing injury list, after Paulo Dybala pulled out of Sunday's showdown with Atalanta.

Dybala was injured during the warm-up ahead of the Serie A clash at Stadio Olimpico – the Argentina international sustaining a left flexor issue in his thigh.

Nemanja Matic replaced the former Juventus forward in the Giallorossi's starting line-up, with Lorenzo Pellegrini pushing into a more advanced role. 

Dybala joins the likes of Georginio Wijnaldum (tibia fracture) and Stephan El Shaarawy (muscular) on the injury list, while Rick Karsdorp is expected to miss around six weeks as he prepares to undergo surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Nevertheless, Mourinho insists his side must be ready to deal with these setbacks, and not get despondent.

"The squad is in the best shape possible," he told DAZN. "We were fortunate really to play against 10 men for almost the whole game on Thursday [the 3-0 win over HJK], as that requires less intensity, pressing and running.

"It's tough, but this is football. With the transfer window closed, there's no point crying about it now.

"The season is made up of lots of little problems to deal with. The really big one was Wijnaldum, but Rick will be back in at most two months."

On a brighter note, Nicolo Zaniolo made his Serie A return for the visit of Atalanta, having recovered from a dislocated shoulder.

Mourinho added: "Nico is in good shape, and he's a player really made to start games. He's different to the others."

Chelsea were one of the big spenders during the transfer window with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headlining their deadline-day business.

The Blues also signed Wesley Fofana and Denis Zakaria over the past week after losing several key players.

Chelsea have started the new Premier League season with mixed results, with Saturday's 2-1 win over West Ham improving their record to 10 points from six games.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LODGED AUDACIOUS DEADLINE DAY LAVIA BID

Chelsea tried to sign Belgium youth international Romeo Lavia from Southampton on deadline day less than two months after he joined the Saints from Manchester City, reports the Daily Echo.

The Blues were one of the big spenders late in the transfer window, and submitted a £50million proposal for the 18-year-old midfielder.

Southampton rejected the proposal having signed Lavia from City for £12m in July. City retain a buy-back clause for Lavia who has played five times for Southampton this season.

ROUND-UP

– El Nacional reports Arsenal attempted to sign Barcelona's Ferran Torres with an audacious €30m bid before the close of the transfer window on Thursday. The Spaniard joined Barca from Manchester City in January but has not been a regular starter and the Gunners tried to convince the Catalans to let him go.

Tottenham tried to sign Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atalanta but the Serie A club refused to sell him, claims Fabrizio Romano. Spurs may re-open the situation in January.

Besiktas are in discussions with Sassuolo's Turkey international centre-back Kaan Ayhan about a move to Turkey according to Ajansspor. The Turkish transfer window is open until September 8.

– L'Equipe claims that former Everton and Lille full-back Djibril Sidibe will join Greek club AEK Athens , having left Monaco when his contract expired at the end of last season.

 

Josip Ilicic is free to find another club after his contract with Serie A side Atalanta was terminated by mutual consent on Wednesday.

Ilicic joined Atalanta in July 2017 from Fiorentina and scored 60 goals in 173 appearances across all competitions.

His game time reduced over the past two seasons and he is now on the lookout for a new club, with Hellas Verona reported to be interested in signing the 34-year-old Slovenia international.

A statement on Atalanta's official website said: "Atalanta announce that the contract between the club and the player Josip Ilicic has been terminated by mutual agreement.

"He has enchanted Bergamo with his plays, his inventions and his pure class since 2017. He made us dream with his magic on the pitch and moved us with his sensitivity and humanity off it.

"His four goals at Valencia will forever remain a portrait of the champion Ilicic, while the noble gesture of donating the ball of that magical evening to Bergamo's Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital is a portrait of the man Josip.

"There would be goals and assists to list, but what these five seasons together have meant goes far beyond numbers.

"Now we part ways, but the memories and emotions will remain forever. Good luck, Professor and thanks for everything!"

Tottenham have announced the permanent signing of Cristian Romero from Atalanta on a five-year deal following the defender's successful spell on loan.

The 24-year-old joined Tottenham 12 months ago on an initial season-long loan with the option to make the move permanent.

Argentina international Romero featured 30 times in all competitions last season and started Spurs' opening two Premier League games this campaign prior to sustaining an injury.

Tottenham confirmed on their official website on Tuesday that Romero has now agreed a deal that will run through until the end of the 2026-27 campaign.

Romero, who is in contention to be part of Argentina's World Cup squad later this year, has also previously represented Genoa and Juventus in Serie A.

Stefano Pioli hailed Milan's resilience and maturity after the Serie A champions came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw at Atalanta on Sunday.

Milan looked set to suffer a first league defeat since a 2-1 loss to Spezia on January 17 when Ruslan Malinovskyi's long-range effort deflected past Mike Maignan.

However, Ismael Bennacer arced a terrific left-footed effort in off the post to spare the Rossoneri's blushes in the second half.

Although the result halted Milan's seven-match winning run in Serie A and denied the champions a perfect start to the new campaign, it offered further evidence of the Rossoneri's remarkable powers of recovery.

Milan have claimed more points from losing positions than any other Serie A side in 2022 (14), and the overall picture left Pioli satisfied.

"I go away convinced that we are strong, we have shown it," Pioli said. "Of course, there is the regret of not having won the game, it is a pity not to have won it, but I have seen a solid and mature team.

"The boys gave very little to a very strong opponent, we suffered less pressure. Later there will be many aspects to highlight in order to improve."

 

Milan also recovered from a goal down to beat Udinese 4-2 in a thrilling contest last week, meaning they have fallen behind in consecutive Serie A matches for the first time since November 2021 (a 1-1 draw with Inter and a 4-3 defeat to Fiorentina).

Although Pioli was relieved at clinching a point against a lively Atalanta, the Rossoneri boss did highlight the need for attacking improvements, adding: "The last step was missing.

"[Junior] Messias' two chances, but also [Pierre] Kalulu's, are chances that you have to try to take advantage of. We'll go to work on these details, we faced a strong team that bothers everyone."

Recent arrival Charles De Ketelaere impressed after entering the fray as a second-half substitute in Bergamo, and Pioli is looking forward to seeing more of the former Club Brugge attacker in the coming weeks.

"He is growing, he is working on an equal level with his team-mates, the setting requires mutual knowledge, but he is a quality player," Pioli added.

"He will give us the right satisfactions, he will make us have fun. Now I can't tell you if he will play against Bologna [on Saturday], but we will start a period of matches every three days. Everyone will be starting."

Milan came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Atalanta as Ismael Bennacer cancelled out Ruslan Malinovskyi's opener with a fine equaliser for the Serie A champions. 

Malinovskyi's deflected first-half effort put Gian Piero Gasperini's hosts in the ascendency as Junior Messias, Pierre Kalulu and Theo Hernandez spurned good opportunities for the visitors.

With Stefano Pioli's side pinning Atalanta back after the break, Bennacer bent a fine effort home to earn Milan a valuable point in their bid to defend the Scudetto.

While Milan were unable to force a winner and make it two wins from two Serie A outings, they remain unbeaten in league action since January after claiming a point from a difficult away trip.

Rafael Leao and Malinovskyi both dragged efforts into the side-netting during an open start, before Messias volleyed wide after receiving a glorious cross-field pass from Hernandez 23 minutes in.

The hosts hit the front in the 29th minute when Malinovskyi met Joakim Maehle's cut-back with a left-footed strike from the edge of the area, beating Mike Maignan with the help of a slight deflection off Kalulu.

Kalulu headed Hernandez's free-kick over as Milan looked to respond after the break, before Leao cut inside to bend a long-range effort narrowly wide of the top-right corner.

Maignan turned Mario Pasalic's powerful header over the crossbar 10 minutes into the second half, before Juan Musso raced off his goal-line to smother Hernandez's goal-bound effort as the Rossoneri upped the ante.

Atalanta's resistance was finally broken with 22 minutes remaining, Bennacer whipping a terrific effort in off the far post after cutting in from the right to ensure the spoils were shared.

Stefano Pioli has rejected suggestions Milan are favourites to retain the Serie A title this season, claiming the Rossoneri will struggle to match last campaign's tally of 86 points in a "very competitive" league.

Milan ended an 11-year wait for the Scudetto when they edged out rivals Inter at the end of a fierce title race in May, and began the new campaign with a thrilling 4-2 victory over Udinese last week.

But several sides, including Inter, Juventus, Napoli and Roma – all of whom also started the season with a victory – have been tipped to challenge Milan for their crown, and Pioli expects a difficult fight.

"We have to be an interchangeable team," Pioli said ahead of Sunday's trip to Atalanta.

"It will be such a balanced championship that it will be difficult to score last year's points. Difficulties will come for everyone, even with teams that you don't expect.

"There are seven or eight strong teams, a very balanced and competitive league. One game at a time we must continue on our path and work to become more and more competitive.

"We are strong, here we all have to feel important, but nobody is indispensable. What is indispensable is the mentality and the work. 

"The winner will be whoever is the most consistent in results and performances. You have to play with intensity and quality. 

"Head-to-head matches are important and last year we won precisely because we scored so many points with the big teams."

Milan started both of their previous full Serie A seasons under Pioli with consecutive victories, beating Bologna and Crotone to begin the 2020-21 campaign before overcoming Sampdoria and Cagliari last term, and will be looking to maintain that record in Bergamo on Sunday.

Meanwhile, since clinching the title, Milan have acquired Belgian attackers Charles de Ketelaere and Divock Origi, and Pioli has refused to rule out further activity before the closure of the transfer window.

However, the 56-year-old insists the Rossoneri will only move for the right target, as he revealed Simon Kjaer is closing in on a return after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury last year.

"As for the market, we have the will - if the situation were right - to improve certain situations," he added.

"But the squad is strong, Kjaer is approaching 100 per cent. I repeat, if we find something to improve well [we may be active], otherwise we are already competitive like this."

Nottingham Forest have continued their busy transfer window by bolstering their midfield with the capture of Remo Freuler from Atalanta.

The Switzerland international arguably represents one of the biggest coups managed by Steve Cooper's side to date, making his switch to the Premier League from a regular contender for Champions League qualification.

Freuler follows hot on the heels of Emmanuel Dennis and Cheikhou Kouyate, both of whom were confirmed as Forest players ahead of their first home game back in the top flight against West Ham on Sunday.

A Taiwo Awoniyi goal was enough to hand the hosts a 1-0 win at the City Ground in that match, downing David Moyes' Hammers and getting Cooper's men off the mark for the season.

Freuler, a member of his nation's squads for both the 2018 World Cup and Euro 2020, netted when Switzerland beat Bulgaria last November to beat Italy to a place at this year's tournament in Qatar.

He leaves Atalanta having made over 250 appearances for the club across all competitions, including featuring regularly in three successive Champions League campaigns between 2019-20 and last term.

Reports have suggested Forest have agreed part with a fee of around £7.5million (€8.9m) for the 30-year-old.

Paris Saint-Germain have been open about wanting three more new signings before the transfer window closes.

PSG head coach Christophe Galtier also explained that among those was the desire to bring in a forward.

The French champions have already sealed the services of Renato Sanches, Nordi Mukiele, Hugo Ekitike, Vitinha and Nuno Mendes during the off-season.

TOP STORY – PSG IN TALKS WITH MAN UTD'S RASHFORD

PSG have opened talks with Marcus Rashford's representatives about joining the Ligue 1 club from Manchester United, according to L'Equipe.

The England international striker is contracted with United until 2023, having signed a four-year deal in 2019 with the option to extend by a further year.

Sky Sports, however, claims that PSG are unlikely to follow up on their initial interest, having first enquired about Rashford last week.

ROUND-UP

Manchester City are targeting Atletico Madrid's Brazilian Renan Lodi as they look to add a new left-back, according to The Telegraph. City want to bolster their options in the position following Oleksandr Zinchenko's departure for Arsenal. City are also considering Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney, claims 90min.

– Foot Mercato reports that Italian champions Inter are looking at Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo as a possible replacement for Martin Skriniar, should he leave. Todibo also has interest from PSG and Chelsea . Inter have also been linked to Borussia Dortmund's Swiss defender Manuel Akanji along with Lazio veteran Francesco Acerbi.

– Chelsea's Emerson Palmieri is drawing interest from both Nottingham Forest and Atalanta, according to the Evening Standard. The 28-year-old left-back is being squeezed out at Stamford Bridge following Marc Cucurella's arrival.

Napoli and Argentina international forward Giovanni Simeone have reached a verbal agreement, reports Sky Sport Italia. Simeone is set to join Napoli on loan from Hellas Verona, but Sky Sport Italia claims Juventus are prepared to poach him at the last minute.

Chelsea are ready to make a splash in the transfer market with a series of signings on the cards.

The Blues have been heavily linked with Leicester City's Wesley Fofana as they seek replacements for the departed Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen in defence.

Chelsea are understood to be keen to bolster their forward options too, with Romelu Lukaku exiting for Inter.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO SWOOP FOR DE JONG AND AUBA

Chelsea are all set to sign Barcelona pair Frenkie de Jong and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang should the Catalans permit the duo to exit the club, reports Sky Sports.

Manchester United have been involved in a drawn-out saga for De Jong this off-season, with the Dutchman reluctant to leave but the Blues are ready to match their £72million (€85m) bid, plus offer Champions League football.

Aubameyang only joined Barcelona in January but has previously worked with Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund.

ROUND-UP

– ESPN claims that Barcelona's off-season signings Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie could leave the Blaugrana for free if the club cannot register them due to LaLiga financial fair play rules in time for Saturday's league opener. Barca defender Gerard Pique has offered to play for free to help register the new players, according to AS.

– The Mail reports that Manchester City are set to finalise an £11m deal for 21-year-old Spanish left-back Sergio Gomez from Anderlecht on Thursday. Fabrizio Romano claims he may be loaned out to Girona.

– Rennes forward Arnaud Kalimuendo is on the cusp of joining Paris Saint-Germain for €25m, claims L'Equipe. Leeds United have shown an interest in the 20-year-old striker.

– Atalanta and Nottingham Forest have agreed terms for the transfer of Switzerland international midfielder Remo Freuler, reports Sky Sport Italia.

Gian Piero Gasperini has revealed he was ready to leave Atalanta at the end of last season, but decided to remain in Bergamo due to his respect for the club's owners and love for the fans.

Gasperini took charge of Atalanta in 2016, with the club having posted five consecutive bottom-half Serie A finishes.

The former Inter boss immediately oversaw a dramatic transformation in the club's fortunes, implementing a relentless attacking style while securing fourth place in his first season at the helm, before leading them to three consecutive third-place finishes between 2018-19 and 2020-21.

Atalanta scored a staggering 188 league goals across the latter two of those campaigns, also reaching the Champions League knockout stages in both seasons.

But their momentum stalled last season as they finished eighth in Serie A, leading to speculation 64-year-old Gasperini could depart.

Gasperini said he was unsure of his future in May, but has now confirmed his desire to remain in Bergamo and build a new "young and strong" team.

"With [Atalanta president Antonio] Percassi there is a relationship of esteem and gratitude. I told him, 'maybe I'm the one who has to go away', but he absolutely didn't want it," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Now the momentum to start again is with us. If I am still here, it is because of the strong bond with the city. 

"I perceived the demand of the people strongly and this conditioned me, because I was really ready to leave, if the club had wanted me to. 

"Atalanta will be young and strong. I stayed for the people. There is a desire for revenge. 

"We are not big, we are working to become big. In the meantime, we will fight, we will have fun."

Gasperini's men were hampered by the unavailability of strike duo Duvan Zapata and Josip Ilicic for long periods last season, as the two forwards hit just 13 league goals between them and managed only 1,732 and 836 minutes of Serie A football respectively. 

And he believes the club's failure to invest heavily in the transfer market after benefiting from Champions League revenue exacerbated their issues. 

"New energies would have helped us," he added.  "We have had some important sales, substantial revenues from the Champions League, but we have remained very static, especially up front. 

"In the last two years, with the resources available, it was the right time to introduce a new champion like [now-Sevilla attacker Alejandro] Gomez and Ilicic. Other profiles have arrived.

"What I asked for was not done and we found ourselves on the edge."

Gasperini's seventh Serie A season with Atalanta will begin with a trip to Sampdoria on August 13, before they host champions Milan eight days later.

Milan will start their Serie A title defence at home to Udinese, while Inter's attempts to reclaim the Scudetto will begin at newly promoted Lecce.

Stefano Pioli's side edged out Inter for the championship in the 2021-22 campaign, their first Scudetto in 11 years, and will again face stern competition from Juventus, Napoli and Simone Inzaghi's side next season.

Milan visit Atalanta on the second matchday, with the first Derby di Milano between Pioli's side and Inter coming on September 4, when Lazio host Napoli.

Dusan Vlahovic will return to Fiorentina with Juventus on the same weekend, while Milan host Napoli and Massimiliano Allegri's side in the space of two weeks between matchday seven and nine.

The first Derby di Roma will see Jose Mourinho's side host Lazio on matchday 13, with the return meeting scheduled for matchday 27.

Inter will meet Milan for their second clash in week 21, while Serie A will take a break between November 13 and January 4, owing to the World Cup in Qatar.

The weekend of May 7 could be influential in the title race, with Atalanta hosting Juventus, Lazio visiting Milan, Inter travelling to Roma and Napoli playing at home to Fiorentina.

Milan lifted the Scudetto on the final matchday in 2022 and should it go all the way again, Pioli's men host Hellas Verona, while Inter make the trip to Torino and Juventus are away at Udinese.

Atalanta have exercised their option to sign Merih Demiral on a permanent basis from Juventus following his loan stint at the club.

The Turkey international was a regular fixture for Atalanta last season, making 42 appearances across all competitions and scoring twice, and the Serie A club have decided to make his stay permanent.

Atalanta had a purchase option for the defender as part of the deal that brought him to the club for the 2021-22 season, and they have now exercised that clause, paying €20million for the services of the 24-year-old.

The deal could rise by a further €2.5m if additional clauses are met, while Juventus will also receive 10 per cent of any future transfer fee that is earned from a sale of Demiral.

It had been suggested that Atalanta would not exercise their option to sign the 35-cap Turkey international but they confirmed their move on Friday, with Juventus then issuing their own confirmation on Sunday.

The transfer does not fully answer the questions regarding his future, however, as Newcastle United remain attributed with an interest in the services of Demiral, with reports indicating he is seen as an alternative to Lille defender Sven Botman.

With Marcus Rashford reportedly drawing interest from Italy, Spain and even Tottenham, Manchester United are trying to keep him at Old Trafford by placing a price-tag on him "between £70million and £80m".

In a disappointing campaign, the 24-year-old scored just five goals from 32 games in all club competition, and he did not play a full 90 minutes in any of the five Champions League fixtures he was healthy for (subbed on twice, subbed off three times).

His Premier League season also did not go to plan, missing the first seven games due to a shoulder injury, and finishing with 12 of his 25 appearances coming off the bench.

TOP STORY – RED DEVILS LOOK TO KEEP RIVALS AWAY FROM RASHFORD

The exact figures of "between £70m and £80m" came from Italian super-agent Roberto De Fanti during an exclusive interview with CaughtOffside, where he said he expected United to ask for "around £40m, maybe £50m."

De Fanti mentioned he was aware of interest from "all the top sides in Spain and Italy" and that Rashford's management had met with Tottenham about a potential deal, but Spurs "feel negotiating a deal for Rashford is virtually impossible" due to the asking price.

Emphasising that it is not a case of United trying to scrounge every possible dollar out of a sale, De Fanti said "United are confident a club is unlikely to pay that [figure]", and that he is not on the list of players Erik ten Hag is planning on selling to fund up to six new signings.

 

ROUND-UP

– According to The Sun, Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku has been contacting Inter since Christmas in an attempt to expedite a transfer away from Stamford Bridge.

– Todofichajes is reporting Liverpool view Chelsea's Christian Pulisic as a potential replacement for Sadio Mane, with the American's price-tag said to be in the range of £42m.

West Ham United sent scouts to watch Denmark's recent Nations League fixture, with the Daily Star reporting they are interested in both Christian Eriksen and Atalanta right-back Joakim Maehle.

– According to De Telegraaf, Barcelona are willing to part ways with Frenkie de Jong if they receive what they perceive to be a fair offer, with Manchester United leading the race.

– The Express is reporting that Newcastle United have set their sights on Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin after missing out on Bayer Leverkusen star Moussa Diaby.

Page 1 of 11
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.