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.
TOP STORY: Bayern readying De Jong deal
Barcelona beat many of Europe's top clubs, including Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City to sign De Jong from Ajax in 2019 for an initial fee of €75 million. But the Netherlands international's arrival at Camp Nou was poorly timed, with the club falling into in disarray at board level as well as on the pitch.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Bayern are ready to take advantage of Barcelona's precarious financial position and offer De Jong a way out. They had been in the hunt to sign both De Jong and defender Matthijs de Ligt in 2018 for a joint fee of €150m, but in the end the Dutch club earned around that amount by selling De Jong to Barca and De Ligt to Juventus.
Barca are reportedly aware that Bayern have been in contact with De Jong's agent, Ali Durson, and the European champions believe they could secure a deal for around the same fee that Barca paid Ajax, well below the 23-year-old's €400m release clause.
22.30 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
22.00 GMT: What's next for William Saliba?
The highly-rated Arsenal defender has yet to appear for the Gunners since signing in 2019 but could that finally change soon?
Mikel Arteta addressed Saliba's situation with the club on Wednesday but didn't rule out a January loan move for the 19-year-old. When asked when he will play for Arsenal, Arteta had the following to say:
"Whenever we have the spaces and we believe that he's ready to play with us. To be fair, he's made massive improvements in the last few months and it's been a really tricky situation for him.
"As I mentioned before, designed a pathway for him and there were a lot of things that happened to him in his personal life and professionally as well.
"Now we've made some steps forwards, he's working really hard and played for the under-21s again."
When prompted about a potential loan, the Spanish boss added "It's something that we are discussing at the moment, the best thing for us to do. It will be decided soon."
21.16 GMT: The Chicago Fire have announced they have signed winger Stanislav Ivanov from Bulgaria's Levski Sofia.
We've acquired Bulgarian youth international Stanislav Ivanov.https://t.co/XcBIJUTjcI— Chicago Fire FC (@ChicagoFire) December 9, 2020
A Bulgaria Under-21 international, Ivanov joins after making 85 appearances for Levski Sofia. The 21-year-old has totalled 15 goals and 13 assists since debuting for the club at 17, including racking up a career-best nine goals and five assists last season in 27 appearances.
Ivanov is already the fourth signing of the offseason for the Fire, all four of whom are 21 years of age or younger.
20.29 GMT: Wolfsburg have announced they have completed a deal for promising Belgian talent Aster Vranckx.
The 18-year-old midfielder, who was linked with Man United in the offseason, will remain at club KV Mechelen for the remainder of the 2020-21 season and join up with Wolfsburg next summer. The youngster has scored three goals in 10 games this season for Mechelen and is a Belgium Under-19 international.
"We're delighted that Aster is going to strengthen us from next summer and that we've been able to tie him down long-term," Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schafer said. "He's a very talented player who became a first-team regular for Mechelen at the age of 17, and he can operate in different roles in midfield. He's fully on board with the path that we want to take at VfL and it's going to be fun working with him and developing him."
19.43 GMT: Man United are keen to sign Atletico Madrid and England right-back Kieran Trippier, Sky Sports has learned.
The 30-year-old has 18 months remaining on his contract in Spain, where he moved in 2019 after a four-year spell at Tottenham. United are looking for more competition for starter Aaron Wan-Bissaka and according to the report, could turn to the former Man City youth player to provide it.
19.01 GMT: Arsenal and Wolves to go head-to-head for striker with £125 million release clause?
The Daily Mail writes that the two English clubs are keeping tabs on Valencia and Uruguay frontman Maxi Gomez, who has scored double digit goals in all three of his previous seasons in Spain. Valencia are expected to sell the 24-year-old in January or the summer to raise funds amidst the ramifications of COVID-19, and reportedly would be willing to accept far less than the £125m in Gomez's release clause.
Formerly a target of West Ham, Gomez could represent the central focal point Arsenal lack in attack, or serve as an injury replacement for/depth behind Wolves star Raul Jimenez.
18.17 GMT: Veteran Brazilian centre-back Joao Miranda sounds as if he's set to leave China as a winner.
After winning the Chinese Super League title this past season with Jiangsu Suning, the former Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid centre-back has told reporters he is set to return to his native Brazil. In an interview with UOL portal, the 36-year-old revealed his keen to return to Brazil and play for either Sao Paulo or Coritiba.
"I will try to define my situation moments before I close my contract with Suning, even out of respect for the club. My priorities today are Coritiba and São Paulo, where I worked and where I have the most affection," Miranda added.
At the same time, I'm a professional guy and I'm open to proposals. The priority is for these clubs, but I am open to proposals from other clubs too, it depends on the project,"
The Brazil international, who has earned 56 caps for the Selecao, previously played at Coritiba (2004-05) and Sao Paulo (2006-11).
17.35 GMT: Newcastle United are interested in signing Manchester United defender Phil Jones, writes Eurosport.
Jones, 28, who has spent almost a decade with United, has fallen out of the pecking order under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. This season the centre-back has been limited to just two starts in the Premier League.
Newcastle boss Steve Bruce is thought to be consulting with United first-team coach Michael Carrick about the player before making a decision.
Jones is rumoured to be earning is £80,000-a-week under his contract with United, which could prove a stumbling block for Newcastle.
The defender has also linked with moves to West Ham United and Leicester City.
17.18 GMT: Club America sporting president Santiago Banos told TUDN on Tuesday that both Roger Martinez and Andres Ibarguen are free to leave club, according to Spanish speaking outlet Report.
"There will be some adjustments in the squad, obviously we believe that players like Ibarguen and Martinez have already completed their cycle at the club and it is time for them to look for another option as well," said Banos.
Banos also admitted that the club are still unsure on whether to extend 23-year-old Santiago Caseres' stay at the club, the midfielder is on a year-long loan from Villareal which is set to end at the end of December.
16.55 GMT: Manchester United could be set to lose out as much as £50 million after failing to qualify for the Champions League, the Sun reports.
United, who crashed out against RB Leipzig on Tuesday, have missed out on up to £46m in extra Champions League earnings, as well as an additional £18m from up to three more home games in competiton.
The failure to qualify for the round of 16 stages means that the club, who have been linked with Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, may not be able to afford their top targets.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have already lost out on £6m for every home game in which fans have not been able to attend since March, which totals to a loss of £78m.
Should United win the Europa League they would only recieve £12.55m in prize money in comparison.
16.35 GMT: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi would "unbalance" Paris Saint-Germain should he join the French side according to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
The player's contract is up next summer with the player reported to be seeking an exit from the Camp Nou after frustrations with how the club is being run.
"Lionel Messi is one of the two best players in the world. Those who will replace Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi are already at PSG," Wenger told French radio station Europe 1. "After that, it's a question of balance in the club, a technical balance and a financial balance. Can you keep the balance at PSG by bringing in players like Messi? I'm not sure."
Messi is free to talk to clubs outside of Spain in January 2021, the forward has spent his entire senior career at the Catalan based side after relocating from his native Argentina to play for the club as a child.
16.12 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has "not lived up to excpectations" at Old Trafford and should be sold according to Rene Meulensteen.
Meulensteen, who served as first-team coach at United from 2007 to 2013, gave his thoughts on Pogba after comments made earlier this week from the player's agent.
Super agent Mino Raiola said in an interview with Italian outlet Tuttosport that his client was "unhappy" at United and "has to change teams."
"This has been a constant point of discussion since Pogba returned to Manchester United," Meulensteen told Sky Sports News. "With a big game around the corner against Leipzig, to put that out in the media is very poor practice from his agent.
"Obviously they talk about a long-term project all the time and Paul has been a part of that because that's why they extended his contract. In my personal opinion, Paul has not lived up to expectations and has not performed to the standards I would expect from a player of his quality."
15.34 GMT: Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro has played down talk of coach Zinedine Zidane losing his job if the team fails to qualify from their Champions League group.
Asked about the possibility that this game could decide Zidane's future ahead of tonight's Champions League crunch game against Borussia Monchengladbach, the Brazilian told Esporte Interativo: "This is not the time to think about Zidane's future. We must focus on the present. We have spoken several times and always proved in training, in games that we are with him, regardless of the results.
"He is our coach, who gives us all the confidence. He's a coach that has made history in this club so we are not thinking about what will happen after the game but focusing on the game. We know it's a final.
"We know this is the most important game of our season. We are all looking at it as though it was a final. We know we depend on ourselves. We have to win."
14.29 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are considering a move for Brentford forward Marcus Forss, Eurosport reports.
Forss announced himself on the global stage last month when he scored the opening goal of Finland's 2-0 win over France in Paris, 28 minutes into his first senior appearance for the national team.
The 21-year-old is in good form for Championship side Brentford, scoring seven times in 17 games for the club so far this season.
Spurs have shown they are not afraid to recruit young talents from the second tier of English football. They signed Joe Rodon from Swansea City toward the end of the previous transfer window, and the Wales international centre-back has since featured in Premier League matches against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
13.41 GMT: Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has been a target for Arsenal in the past. Could he be the player to boost the Gunners' ailing form this season?
12.58 GMT: Manchester United have doubts about whether Real Madrid or Juventus can afford Paul Pogba, sources have told ESPN's Rob Dawson.
Agent Mino Raiola has announced his intention to find a new club for Pogba, who will not sign a new contract at Old Trafford according to the Italian.
The Frenchman has a contract with United until 2022 but Raiola has invited bids for the 27-year-old in January and next summer.
Pogba's preference is to join Madrid but sources have told ESPN that United do not believe the Spanish champions can afford a significant transfer fee and the midfielder's hefty wages of around £290,000-a-week.
Pogba is a favourite of Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane but there are question marks over the 48-year-old's job at the Bernabeu after a mixed start to the season.
Juventus and Barcelona have also expressed interest in signing Pogba in the past but, like Madrid, have been forced to tighten their finances following the coronavirus pandemic. Paris Saint-Germain is Pogba's only other viable option.
Because of lack of funds available for transfers, sources have told ESPN that United are expecting to receive cash plus swap offers but they will not consider players not already on the recruitment department's list of targets.
12.07 GMT: Moise Kean has said he is open to the possibility of making his loan move to Paris Saint-Germain from Everton permanent.
The 20-year-old striker joined Everton from Juventus in the summer of 2019 but struggled to establish himself at Goodison Park, scoring just two goals in 31 Premier League appearances.
Kean has been reinvigorated since joining to PSG in October, scoring seven goals in 12 appearances including two in the Champions League.
"I am very happy with my performance with PSG," the Italy international is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying before PSG's game against Istanbul Basaksehir on Tuesday. "It's a very good thing to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. I am focused on bringing good results. For the future, we'll see, you never know."
11.22 GMT: The way Inter Milan are treating Christian Eriksen is "completely wrong," according to his former coach with the Denmark national team, as West Ham have emerged as a surprise destination for the midfielder in the January transfer window.
Eriksen joined Inter in January in a €20m move just months before his contract with Spurs was due to expire, but is yet to be a regular starter for Antonio Conte's side.
Rosenborg boss Age Hareide, who coached the Denmark national team for four years, is quoted by FCInterNews as saying: "First of all, I think it's a shame for Christian. But I also think it's completely wrong that Conte is keeping him out so much.
"In my opinion, he is good enough to play for Inter. He proved to be an important player, both for Denmark and for Tottenham in the Premier League, where he was a key player."
Meanwhile, Eurosport reports that West Ham are looking into the possibility of signing Eriksen in the January transfer window, just a year after he left their bitter London rivals Tottenham.
10.37 GMT: Bayern Munich defender David Alaba continues to be the subject of interest from several of Europe's top clubs, Sport Bild reports.
Alaba, 28, is out of contract at the end of the season after talks over a new deal with the European champions stalled. That means the Austria international can is free to negotiate a contract with a new club from Jan. 1 and move as a free agent in the summer.
German outlet Sport Bild reports that Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea are the clubs most interested in Alaba, who is hoping for an annual salary of €20m from any contract he signs.
09.56 GMT: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Mino Raiola by reminding Paul Pogba's agent that football "is a team sport."
Raiola announced on Monday that Pogba will not sign a contract extension and wants to leave Old Trafford -- 24 hours before the crucial clash with RB Leipzig that United lost 3-2 to crash out of the Champions League.
Rio Ferdinand branded the timing of Raiola's comments "disgusting" before Solskjaer used his postmatch news conference to vent his frustration at Pogba's representative.
"As soon as Paul's agent realises this is a team sport and we work together the better and that's maybe the last thing I'll say on that," said Solskjaer. "What we speak about in the background is something. I'm not going to talk about Paul's agent anymore."
In his interview with Tuttosport, Raiola demanded United sell Pogba, who was left on the bench against Leipzig, either in January or at the end of the season because the 27-year-old is "unhappy" at the club he joined for a world record fee in 2016.
The Frenchman still has 18 months left on his existing deal and Solskjaer was in no mood to talk about his transfer plans after seeing his team eliminated from the Champions League in Germany.
"You have got to ask Paul if he is happy or unhappy," Solskjaer told BT Sport. "He is focused on doing his best for the team. Now is not the time to discuss transfers."
09.12 GMT: Zinedine Zidane has said it wouldn't surprise him if he was sacked should Real Madrid crash out of the Champions League.
Madrid need to beat Group B leaders Borussia Monchengladbach at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium on Wednesday to guarantee qualifying for the round of 16, although a draw would be enough if Inter Milan beat Shakhtar Donetsk. The Spanish giants have never failed to get out of the Champions League group stage in the competition's history.
"No. The club will do what it has to do, as always," Zidane said in his prematch news conference, when asked if he'd be shocked to lose his job if that record is broken. "I am not thinking about that, I'm thinking about tomorrow's game. The club will do things as it always has. I don't think about that, honestly."
Zidane's Champions League record is unmatched, winning the competition an unprecedented three consecutive times in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Last year's European campaign ended with a disappointing defeat to Manchester City in August, while this season has seen two group stage losses to Shakhtar.
Domestically, Madrid won La Liga last season, but they have already been beaten by Cadiz, Valencia and Alaves this term.
08.30 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are looking at PSV Eindhoven's Donyell Malen as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho, Sport Bild reports.
England international Sancho is under contract at Dortmund until 2023 and could leave the Westfalenstadion next summer should a club make a bid in the region of €100m.
This summer, Manchester United failed in their attempt to land the 20-year-old winger, who has struggled for form this season but is slowly returning to being the influential player he was last term.
Malen, 21, has also been linked with interest from Arsenal, where he was on the books as a youth player. The Netherlands international has scored 12 goals in 19 club appearances so far this season.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
Pogba to Juve rumours heating up
Meanwhile, Juventus sport director Fabio Paratici made some interesting comments to Mediaset regarding the France World Cup winner.
"Will Pogba return? He's not a free agent so you have to pay ... We all know well his value and how much he costs," Paratici told Mediaset. "We shall see, He is a player that we love, a great player, we know more than anyone else but right now, he is a Manchester United player."
Pogba, who played at Juve between 2012-16, seems unhappy with his current situation at United with agent Mino Raiola telling Tuttosport on Monday that "I can say that it's over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United."
Spanish giants Real Madrid were also linked with interest in Pogba before he returned to United for what was at the time a world-record fee, and the 27-year-old said as recently as October that a move to the Bernabeu remains "a dream for me."
Trio of big clubs circling for Lazio's Correa
The Argentine scored in Lazio's 2-2 draw on Tuesday, helping the club reach the Champions League knockout stages for the first time since 2000. Both Juventus and Atletico have looked at the 26-year-old in the past, and it seems they have not gone off him, while Milan's interest will grow further if Hakan Calhanoglu leaves.
It is suggested within the report that any side who signs Correa will need to pay a fee of €50m - €55m.
Juventus and Milan join race for Rudiger
Chelsea are believed to be looking for €18 million for Rudiger, but there may be room for negotiation on that price. After failing to land a move away from Stamford Bridge in the summer, it seems as though Rudiger will have plenty of options when the January transfer window comes around.
- There have been plenty of reports around Christian Eriksen's potential departure from Internazionale. However, Calciomercato is suggesting that the Dane isn't the only man who could be leaving the San Siro.
The report has learned that Radja Nainggolan is wanted by Cagliari but could still join a different club, Matias Vecino may also be available and that Andrea Pinamonti is likely to be loaned out or used in a deal to bring someone else in.
- Premier League-linked Jonathan Tah has admitted that he is open to a move to England. The Bayer Leverkusen centre-back told Goal and SPOX: "The Premier League appeals to me, it has always been like that. I always had the feeling that my style of play would suit England well.
"The physicality of the league and the need to think quickly are qualities that suit my game. Opinions differ as to which league is the best in the world - for me it's the Premier League."
- Could defender Emily Sonnett be the nest USWNT player to make the move to England? The Athletic's Meg Linehan reports that clubs in both in England and Germany have interest in Sonnett, with the defender's agent revealing that she currently has two offers on the table. Sonnett, 27, currently plays in Sweden with Kopparbergs/Goteborg FC.