Transfer Deadline Day: who could be on the move? João Félix, Salah, Carrasco, Cancelo...
A number of cases remain open during the last hours of the transfer window. João Félix, Carrasco, Cancelo, Hojberg, Salah, Ansu Fati...
Today, when the clock strikes 11:59 p.m. the summer transfer market will be officially closed. A window marked, in general terms, by restrained spending by LaLiga clubs compared to their counterparts in the Premier League - and also by the emergence of Saudi Arabia. That threat that will last another 20 days, as the Middle Eastern window closes later this month.
While most clubs will have drawn up a recruitment plan months ago and have completed their transfer business, it’s inevitable to reach the last day with some moves pending. Some deals have yet to be finalized, and if they materialize, they could be significant for the rest of the season. Several cases concerning big name players remain open in Europe’s top leagues.
João Félix eyeing Camp Nou switch
In LaLiga EA Sports, Barcelona and Atlético Madrid are both confronting a busy day. Barça and Atleti have had an issue pending for the past few weeks: João Félix. The Portuguese forward was blacklisted from the moment he declared his love for Barcelona. In doing so, he invited a move that, at first, was not to Xavi’s liking, but the coach has had second thoughts to the point where a deal is closer than ever. It could materialize as soon as Barça release Ansu Fati, who is already in England finalizing his loan to Brighton, and perhaps also Abde. When the numbers add up, there will be no problem for register João on loan.
O Menino’s departure is not the only one which Atlético must deal with. Yannick Carrasco’s farewell also seems closer than ever. Saudi Arabian club Al-Shabab have already placed an offer - one which Atleti are considering as the player has entered the final year of his contract. The departures of João and Carrasco would also facilitate the arrival of the long-awaited No.5, requested to the point of exhaustion by Simeone - Pierre-Emile Højberg, who is still waiting for Atleti’s call. Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat, who has rejected several offers from elsewhere, may be another option.
Returning to Barça, João Cancelo is Xavi’s no.1 priority. He has been frozen out at Manchester City but once again, it is the numbers that prevent him from arriving on loan. Both of the operations that the Catalan club has in progress are subject to Financial Fair Play.
Suspense in the Premier League
In the Premier League and Ligue 1, there are cases which remain open on Deadline Day although both markets are not constrained by the same economic hardships as the Spanish one.
At City, one player is due to arrive and another is about to leave. Matheus Nunes, Wolves midfielder considered by Guardiola as “one of the best players in the world”, is very close to officially becoming the fourth signing of the European champion for around 60 million euros. In exchange, Cole Palmer, one of the biggest promises in City’s youth academy, is set to sign for Chelsea for an amount close to €52 million.
Just down the M62 at Liverpool, Jürgen Klopp’s team are also in for a long and stressful day. Despite having signed three midfielders (Szoboszlai, Mac Allister and Endo), the Reds’ squad is still lacking depth. Bayern Munich midfielder Ryan Gravenberch is believed to be in Merseyside undergoing a medical. Centre-back Nat Phillips completed his loan move to Celtic on Thursday which leaves Klopp’s team even more stretched at the back.
Stress levels are set to creep up even higher at Anfield if Saudi outfit Al-Ittihad continue their pursuit of Mohamed Salah. A huge offer of close to 140 million euros is reported to be on the table and while Liverpool will not entertain selling a key player at this late stage of the summer, the Egyptian will surely be thinking it over.
Moving over to France, specifically, to PSG. The French champions secured the services of winger Bradley Barcola who joined from Lyon for €45 million. However, Luis Enrique’s men could deal a final blow to the market with Randal Kolo Muani. The French forward publicly asked to leave Eintracht and is currently in Paris with his family awaiting events. The Frankfurt team is categorical: they ask for €100 million for his transfer.
A player who has been linked with several clubs this summer but who is still without a team, Sergio Ramos has been a free agent since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in June. He has been linked with Sevilla, Galatasaray and even a return to Real Madrid after Militão suffered a long-term injury, but he’s still unattached on the last day of the window.
Real Madrid, without a striker
No movement is expected at Real Madrid today unless there is an unexpected twist in the script. It has been a summer in which the capital club has opted for youth (Bellingham, Güler and the returns of Brahim and Fran García) along with Kepa, who joins on a season-long loan as a short-term fix for Courtois’ injury. However, Real Madrid fans have missed the arrival of a star forward.
Youth team product Joselu Mato was chosen to replace Karim Benzema, who was lured to Saudi Arabia. Joselu was the top-scoring Spanish player last season and joined on loan from Espanyol in a move that, in the opinion of a majority sector of Real Madrid fans, is not enough. Madrid fans continue to dream of a Kylian Mbappé who has not stopped making headlines throughout the summer but who, once again, does not seem like he will leave Ligue 1 immediately. His intention is to end his contract with PSG and next summer, as a free agent, who knows if he could land in an already completely renovated Bernabéu. Until then, and barring a last-minute bombshell, Ancelotti’s cast will continue with those he has on the payroll right now.