European Paper Talk: Real Madrid want Neymar to replace Cristiano Ronaldo

European Paper Talk: Real Madrid want Neymar to replace Cristiano Ronaldo

European sides cannot strengthen their squads until January, but that does not stop deals from being struck and contracts being agreed ahead of the opening of the winter transfer window.

Our friends at Football Whispers scoured the continent to bring you all the latest transfer news and gossip from the European newspapers.


Paris Saint-Germain are aware that Real Madrid remain interested in Neymar. The Brazil international only joined the French club in the summer for a world record £198m fee but, according to recent reports, Real – who tried to sign Neymar before he joined Barcelona in 2013 – are determined to make him Cristiano Ronaldo’s long-term successor at the Bernabeu. There is no indication that Neymar is unhappy at the Parc des Princes, but PSG are still doing ‘whatever it takes’ to shield him from Madrid’s interest. (Mundo Deportivo)

Arsenal are weighing up a move for Barcelona midfielder Rafinha. The Gunners are preparing for life without Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and have identified the 24-year-old midfielder as someone capable of stepping into their shoes. The playmaker is likely to command a hefty transfer fee, though, and there are concerns over his fitness as he has not played since April because of a knee injury. (Mundo Deportivo)

Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, wants to sign Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas. The 30-year-old Costa Rica international has impressed for the Spanish champions and is thought to be an ideal replacement for Petr Cech. (Diario Gol)

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde will be given funds to improve his squad in January. President Josep Bartomeu has approved plans to pursue a number of signings in the window, which are believed to include a centre-back and a proven goalscorer. (Sport)

That proven goalscorer might be Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann. Barca have been tracking the reported Manchester United target, who has an £88m release clause in his contract. Barcelona were previously interested in signing the France international as a replacement for Neymar, but Atletico’s transfer ban prevented the deal from taking place. However, Barca may revive their interest in January. (Sport)

Barcelona have denied reports that they were in advanced negotiations to sign Tottenham right-back Serge Aurier when he was still at PSG. “We never sat down with the player or his representative,” a club representative said. “They wanted to sit down with us, but we never did anything.” (Sport)


Roma sporting director Monchi has revealed Roma ‘did everything’ to sign Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez in the summer, but the Foxes rejected all of their approaches. The Algeria international was linked with a move to the Stadio Olimpico in the summer after expressing a desire to leave the Foxes. However, Monchi has revealed their attempts to replace Mohamed Salah were frustrated by Leicester’s refusal to sell, with the Premier League club also rejecting bids from Barcelona. (Gazzetta dello Sport)

Inter Milan remain on the trail of Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Javier Pastore. PSG boss Unai Emery is understood to be interested in signing Inter winger Joao Mario, and Pastore could be used as a makeweight. (Corriere dello Sport)

Juventus director Beppe Marotta has ruled out making signings in January. The news will come as a boost to Liverpool, with Juve linked with midfielder Emre Can in recent windows. Juve’s lack of transfer activity will give Liverpool the chance to negotiate a new contract with the Germany international. (Rai 2)


Barcelona had reached an agreement with Monaco to sign Kylian Mbappe before the forward opted to join Paris Saint-Germain. The deal would have seen Arda Turan move in the opposite direction, but Mbappe rejected the chance to link up with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez at the Camp Nou. Mbappe joined PSG on an initial loan ahead of an expected £158m permanent deal next summer. (L’Equipe)

Former Chelsea youngster Bertrand Traore has refused to rule out a move to Manchester United. The 22-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Ajax, left Stamford Bridge for Lyon in the summer and has revealed he would find it difficult rejecting the chance of moving to Old Trafford. “Manchester United? Why not? I will work hard and if opportunities open, why not?” the Burkina Faso international said. (Onze Mondial)

Bayern Munich are planning to replace Franck Ribery with Paris Saint-Germain playmaker Julian Draxler. France international Ribery, now 34, is out of contract at the end of the season and, while he may be offered an extension, the Bundesliga champions are searching for a younger, long-term alternative. The technically gifted Draxler matches the profile PSG are looking for. (France Football)


Bayern Munich are considering Hertha Berlin striker Vedad Ibisevic as a possible back-up to Robert Lewandowski. The 33-year-old Bosnia international would be an affordable, short-term option for the Bayern, with chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummennige not interested in spending a significant amount on a transfer in the middle of the season. (Sport Bild)

Bayern legend Lothar Matthaus has urged the club to sign Christian Pulisic. The 19-year-old USA international is under contract at Borussia Dortmund until 2020, but Matthaus believes he would be the perfect successor to either Arjen Robben or Ribery. “Whenever Bayern are looking to replace Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, they must put out feelers to Christian Pulisic,” he said. (Sky Germany)


Besiktas have confirmed their interest in Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini. The Belgium international is out of contract in the summer and free to speak to clubs in January, and the Turkish champions are keen on prising him away from Old Trafford. “Fellaini is on our list, we have made efforts to sign him but not just him,” Besiktas board member Metin Albayrak said. (Turkish Football)


Related posts