The winter transfer window does not open until January 1, but clubs across Europe are busy putting tentative plans in place.
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European newspapers and websites to bring you the latest transfer gossip and news from the continent.
Matteo Darmian has emerged as a target for Roma. With right-back Rick Karsdorp set for a substantial spell on the sidelines after injuring his ACL, Roma are in the market for a replacement. The belief is that Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will release the versatile defender in January, and Roma want to bring him back to Italy. Other players on the list include Aleix Vidal and Sime Vrsaljko. (Calciomercato)
Alex Sandro remains on the radar of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Manchester United are also keen on the Brazilian full-back and Juventus could be tempted to sell him, the Serie A champions have lined up Roma’s Emerson Palmieri as a replacement. The left-back is available for €25m (£22.3m) after losing his place to Aleksandar Kolarov. (Calciomercato)
Real Madrid are in the market for a new goalkeeper. The reigning European champions have been linked with David de Gea and Thibaut Courtois in the past but moves failed to materialise. The club appear to have moved on from the two Premier League ‘keepers and are now looking a little closer to home, with Athletic Bilbao shot-stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga top of the list. (Marca)
Zinedine Zidane’s coaching ability is getting seriously tested. The La Liga champions continue to lose star players on a weekly basis with Marco Asensio the latest to be sidelined through injury. So far this season the Real Madrid manager has been without; Keylor Navas, Raphael Varane, Dani Carvajal, Luca Zidane, Jesus Vallejo, Marcelo, Theo Hernandez, Marcos Llorente, Mateo Kovacic, Dani Ceballos, Toni Kroos, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale at various stages of the campaign. (Marca)
Lionel Messi has revealed the three clubs he sees as rivals to Barcelona’s Champions League challenge. “(Manchester) City is one of the strongest teams at the moment together with Paris Saint-Germain,” he said. “So far, they have been the two teams that have shown themselves to be favourites, but this is a very long and tough competition. I never rule out Madrid because although they’re not having the results that everyone expects, I have no doubt that in the end they will be fighting for everything, as they do every year.” (AS)
Eric Abidal has revealed he didn’t get off to the best of starts with Pep Guardiola when he was appointed as Barcelona manager. “At the start, our relationship was complicated,” he said. “Guardiola came to me and told me to stop speaking in French with Thierry Henry. I told him ‘don’t talk to me like that, I’m not a child’ and secondly, ‘if I can’t speak in French with Henry, why are the Catalans speaking in Catalan among themselves?” (Sport)
Sandro Wagner’s move to Bayern Munich is at risk of falling through. The Hoffenheim striker was expected to join the Bundesliga champions in January but Bayern president Uli Hoeness has revealed it’s not close to completion. “I think that’s going to be a matter of compensation, and I hear we’re miles apart right now,” he said. “The way it looks right now, that’s going to be pretty bad.” (Kicker)
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has revealed Douglas Costa’s loan move to Juventus has been turned into a permanent transfer, and it was the club’s most-expensive sale in their history. The Italian champions parted with €46m (£41.1m) to secure the Brazilian’s services, €16m (£14.3m) more than they received when selling Toni Kroos to Real Madrid. (Kicker)
Atletico Madrid are set to rival Inter Milan for the signature of Javier Pastore in January. The Paris Saint-Germain playmaker is set to be a victim of the French club satisfying the FFP rules with the club having to sell a number of players this winter. (L’Equipe)