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A busy summer transfer window concluded with an equally hectic deadline day on Friday as some of Europe’s biggest clubs made some major moves in the nick of time.
Manchester United was perhaps the busiest team of all, signing four players over the course of the day: goalkeeper Altay Bayindir, defenders Sergio Reguilon and Jonny Evans and midfielder Sofyan Amrabat. Reguilon and Evans in particular address a need for United in defense after Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane recently picked up injuries.
Other English clubs had notable but less intense days. Manchester City ended their business early by signing Matheus Nunes from Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur locked in Cole Palmer and Brennan Johnson, respectively.
Paris Saint-Germain also made headlines by signing Bradley Barcola from Lyon for $54 million, and barely got a deal over the line with Randal Kolo Muani. The club agreed a deal with Eintracht Frankfurt weeks ago but the agreement was nearly canceled because Hugo Ekitike was unwilling to leave the French capital. The parties smoothed things over just in time, though.
Things did not go as smoothly for Bayern Munich, though, who missed out on Joao Palhinha, Trevoh Chalobah, and Armel Bella-Ketchup on deadline day. Bayern ran out of time to land Chalobah and Bella-Ketchup with the window closing in Germany hours before it did elsewhere. The Palhinha deal, though, was nearly done — the player completed his medical and took photos in a Bayern shirt, but with Fulham unable to secure a replacement in time, the deal was called off at the very last minute.
Barcelona managed to complete moves for their two main targets with loans for both Joao Cancelo and Joao Felix getting finished at the very last minute, while earlier in the day they completed the loan of Ansu Fati to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Ultimately though, the biggest deal of the day may have been the one that didn’t happen. Liverpool turned down a gigantic offer for Mohamed Salah from Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad. The deal, for north of $125 million was the latest salvo in an effort by Saudi Arabia to scoop up as many big names as possible this summer. While turning Al-Ittihad down, Liverpool did manage to make a move of their own, landing Ryan Gravenberch from Bayern Munich, despite that fact that Bayern so spectacularly face-planted while trying to bring in his replacement.
Let’s get to some winners and losers of the day:
Bayern’s had a good transfer window overall after grabbing Harry Kane and Min-Jae Kim to reinforce the squad but they were hot on the pursuit of a defensive midfielder and another center back. Pictures were taken with Joao Palhinha in a Bayern shirt with an announcement ready before the deal collapsed to see the Portuguese midfielder trudge back to London to hopefully stave off relegation with the Cottagers. Then, Trevoh Chalobah didn’t join, instead staying at Chelsea, and Bayern couldn’t even agree to a deal for a Championship center back in Armel Bella-Kotchap. It’s a miss that looks even weirder with the Southampton defender then turning around and going on loan to PSV in the Netherlands.
These aren’t moves that will make the difference in Bayern winning the Bundesliga or not, but they will matter in Champions League. After a busy summer of sales, Tuchel has a pretty thin defender corps and will now have to hope that there are no injuries during the season. There was also a hope that in getting a defensive midfielder, that Joshua Kimmich could move to right back which also won’t happen. Now, Bayern will need to figure out a plan b which is something that has been a struggle during the past few seasons.
Getting out of this Bayern Munich team is an excellent chance for Gravenberch to flourish and show why he was one of the most sought-after midfielders in the world when he left Ajax. After a season during which he wasn’t used in correct roles when subbed on, Liverpool are a team, that can get Gravenberch back to a midfielder that was good for a few goals and five or so assists per season. It may take a bit to adapt to Jurgen Klopp’s pressing, but if Gravenberch can get up to speed, he has the talent to push Liverpool among contenders in the Champions League next season, despite Liverpool’s defensive frailty.
With Unes Unal out until at least January with an injury, Getafe needed to get attacking help any way possible which led to them adding Mason Greenwood on loan from Manchester United. Greenwood was available after following an internal investigation into alleged sexual assault for which he was arrested, but ultimately not tried. Not having played since January of 2022, this ended up being the best move that a Getafe side that will be fighting off relegation from La Liga. But is Greenwood the player you want to bet your future on? Really?
It took a while but Barcelona got their targets in Cancelo and Joao Felix, and now it’s down to what Xavi will make of them. And while they had to clear wages for it, all it took was Clement Lenglet, Eric Garcia, and Ansu Fati all leaving on loan. Barcelona’s finances have been a large story for the past few summers and they did limit them from adding anyone permanently. Still the moves do plenty to help the current season, while also replacing the production lost from Ousmane Dembele heading to PSG. It remains to be seen whether this is the right plan, but it was the plan Barcelona chose, and they managed to execute it, right at the wire.
The biggest story of the summer has been the Saudi Pro League disrupting the transfer market, but will they be able to land Mohamed Salah from Liverpool? The transfer window is still open in the Saudi League until Sept. 7, but even without grabbing their guy, PIF’s bids to Liverpool were one of the biggest stories of the day. It’ll come down to if the league has staying power. We’ve seen leagues like the Chinese Super League be in a similar spot, but it wasn’t sustainable. The Saudi league does have better backing than China but it’s all about where they go from here.
The top target in attack for Ange Postecoglou, it will be interesting to see what Johnson’s role is with Tottenham once he joins. Not quite a number nine and not quite a winger either, he’s a sort of player who needs to be played into channels to utilize his speed. But alongside James Maddison that should be just fine. If Tottenham can get the best out of Johnson, it will go a long way to creating more options in attack.
Getafe is considering a loan move for Mason Greenwood, per The Athletic, after a move to Lazio failed to materialize. Manchester United has reportedly approached clubs across Europe in an effort to facilitate a move away from the club, and loan deals in Turkey and Saudi Arabia are also apparently an option.
A busy deadline day got a little bit busier for Manchester United. The team signed Sofyane Amrabat on loan from Fiorentina, per The Athletic. The deal reportedly stalled over a loan fee, according to the New York Times, but it appears that all of the details were sorted out before the window closes in England. United will pay €10 million and has an option to buy at €20 million plus €5 million in add-ons. United will also reportedly pay his full salary.
After almost agreeing to a deal to join Bayern Munich, Bella-Kotchap will instead head to the Netherlands to join PSV. There won’t be a buy option included for the talented young defender who will now have plenty of opportunities to play Champions League soccer with PSV drawn into Group B alongside Arsenal and Sevilla. If he does well and Southampton are promoted, this move also leaves the door open for a return to the club while keeping flexibility overall.
While there were wonders if the move would be off due to Joao Palhinha failing to join Bayern, these moves weren’t dependent on each other as Liverpool secures a much-needed addition in midfield. Gravenberch just didn’t work out in Germany but that doesn’t mean that his potential can’t be realized in the Premier League with Liverpool.
After not agreeing to a deal with Bayern Munich, Tottenham have now entered the fray wanting to agree to a loan deal for the mobile defender. Considering that the deal with their London rivals is tough enough, adding the complexity of the transfer deadline day into the mix is even harder. Nottingham Forest would also like Chalobah on a permanent deal but haven’t been able to agree to terms with the plater. WIth just over an hour to go, this is one that could go down to the wire.
Again there won’t be a purchase clause due to Barcelona’s financial situation but in adding Cancelo, Xavi now has a wing back who can push the pace on either side or setup on the wing if needed. Despite last season being a down one for Cancelo he still managed to assist four for Bayern Munich after going on loan in January. With his dynamism on the wing, Cancelo will make Barcelona’s attack much more effective if he can stay on the pitch.
With the transfer window slamming shut in Italy soon, negotiations still have not been completed with Greenwood to join on a free transfer. it’s quite a complicated move for Lazio considering the off the field baggage that comes with Greenwood which only adds to the complex nature of deadline day negotiations.
For the second year running the Tricky Trees are adding names at the last second and hoping that Steve Cooper can work wonders with them. Buoyed by funds after Brennan Johnson’s move to Tottenham, Forest have already added Ibrahim Sangare from PSV and are also on the verge of adding former Liverpool player Divock Origi from Milan. Origi would join on loan with an option to buy and is free to go after Milan’s capture of Jovic. Never rule out more late deals for Forest as the day is just getting into full swing. Forest has also sealed a deal to add Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea for only £3 million up front.
As Milan have been searching high and low for a forward to backup Oliver Giroud, it seems that Jovic is going to be the reinforcement joining on loan from Fiorentina. Jovic has been trying to find consistency to recapture the form that saw him score 17 goals in league play during the 2018-19 season for Eintracht Frankfurt as he has only scored 13 league goals for three clubs combined since leaving. Milan could be what the doctor ordered but with how Jovic’s career has gone since leaving Germany, he’ll need to do quite a bit to get into a starting role.
In unexpected transfer news, Manchester United signed Jonny Evans to a one-year deal according to the BBC. The 35-year-old defender originally signed a one-month deal in July to participate in United’s preseason fixture with Lyon after he was released by Leicester, but it looks like Evans may enjoy a longer second spell with United than originally anticipated. It probably helps his case that United added a handful of defenders to the injury list in the last week.
With Germany’s transfer window closing earlier than others around the world Bayern Munich have seen not one but three deals collapse at the last second while Thomas Tuchel searched for defensive reinforcements. While Pardeep has gotten you caught up on the deal for Joao Palhnina not happening with Fulham, Bayern also tried to get multiple center backs. They couldn’t reach an agreement for Trevoh Chalobah with Chelsea and then left it too late for Aermel Bello-Kotchap putting the squad in a weird spot ahead of Champions League play.
Bayern has had a strong window overall after addressing their issues in attack by signing Harry Kane from Tottenham and Min-jae Kim from Napoli but there were still holes to fill. Shedding Lucas Hernandez, Benjamin Pavard, Marcel Sabitzer, Sadio Mane, and now possibly Ryan Gravenberch, Bayern needed depth to compete on all fronts and the window will close in Germany without them getting it.
There’s drama in Munich, where Bayern’s deal for Joao Palhinha might be off at the very last minute, per Fabrizio Romano. He did two rounds of tests today to complete his medical and took pictures in a Bayern jersey but his move from Fulham is unlikely to go through because the English club was not able to secure a replacement before the window closed in Germany, per The Athletic.
Romano also reports that this will not impact Liverpool’s deal to sign Ryan Gravenberch from the German champions.
After being sold to RB Leipzig, Clark has almost had two lost seasons of soccer. While he was loaned back to the Red Bulls in 2022, he only made 16 appearances scoring one goal and assisting another and now he could be on the move again to Minnesota United. While things just haven’t worked out in Germany, Clark will head to Vendsyssel FF on loan until the winter before potentially joining the Loons in the winter according to the Athletic. Only 20, there is plenty of time for things to steady back out for Clark but this move is one of many cautionary tales that a move to Europe isn’t always the best option for a young player.
Spurs have officially shipped out defenders Sergio Reguilon and Japhet Tanganga on season-long loans to Manchester United and Augsburg, respectively. Reguilon will help address United’s defensive crisis after the likes of Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane picked up injuries in the last week, while both Tottenham players will hope to secure the playing time they would not have in north London.
Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg could join Reguilon and Tanganga by leaving Spurs today, but he will not be headed to Spain. Atletico Madrid’s opening verbal bid was not enough to convince Tottenham to strike a deal, per Fabrizio Romano, so that deal is likely off. Hojbjerg is still linked to Fulham.
As things stand, PSG’s pursuit of Eintracht Frankfurt’s Randal Kolo Muani looks doomed to fail with the German club unable to find a suitable replacement. With Hugo Ekitike unwilling to leave Paris for the Bundesliga side in a separate deal, it looks like Kolo Muani will have to go back to Germany. The France international has been in Paris since for the past few days looking to make the move happen, but so far there has been no green light from Frankfurt with time now running out in the German transfer window.
As Luton Town look to build a team fit for the Premier League, one name that has surfaced as a potential addition is Albert Sambi Lokonga. With Arsenal looking to trim the squad, a loan move to the Hatters could be in the works but he’d need to accept it as Arsenal are happy to let him leave on loan according to Fabrizio Romano. Since joining Arsenal, Lokonga has bounced around spending last season on loan to Crystal Palace while only making nine appearances. A move to Luton would give the Gunners a chance to see if he’s fit for the Premier League or not before making a decision on his future in the summer.
Here are a few more from you that have developed over the last hour or so to keep an eye on with the Premier League once again featuring heavily in much of the business being done or at least attempted. Burnley, Brentford and Crystal Palace are all making late moves as they attempt to get some names through the door at the last minute.
Ian Maatsen to Burnley: The Chelsea player is the subject of an offer of around $40 million, but the player yet to agree to a permanent return to the Clarets after last season’s loan spell.
Neal Maupay to Brentford: The Frenchman could leave Everton to return to Brentford having left the club for Brighton back in 2019, but any move would be on loan with an option to buy.
Rob Holding to Crystal Palace: Arsenal could be about to let the defender join Crystal Palace for around $5 million with a medical currently happening. Holding did have offers from abroad but wanted a Premier League stay.
Japhet Tanganga to Augsburg: This one is now a done deal with the Tottenham Hotspur man joining the Germans on loan with a $6m fee.
If you thought that Leonardo Bonucci to Union Berlin was going to be deadline day’s most unexpected deal, then guess again. Ligue 2 outfit Amiens have managed to up the stakes by bringing 34-year-old Andy Carroll to France’s second tier with a brilliant unveiling video which features the former England international emphatically saying “yes” to his new home — Stade de la Licorne. Amiens have made a strong start to life in Ligue 2 with three wins from three and it would be another interesting chapter in what has been a fascinating career if Carroll can help the club to return to the French topflight. Amiens are no strangers to unexpected dealings when they landed former Brazilian wonderkid Ganso on an ill-fated and short loan back in 2018.
There could be a controversial move on the cards involving Lazio and Manchester United with the Italian club looking at Mason Greenwood as a potential free agent. The 21-year-old who has represented England has no future at Old Trafford and the Red Devils are prepared to release him from his contract which runs untol 2025 if a deal can be reached. Lazio know that Greenwood would be available at around $758,000 per year, but it depends on whether Maurizio Sarri and the club are willing to gamble on the reputation of a player who was set to play on with United before backlash convinced them otherwise.
More on that potential move for Brennan Johnson by Tottenham Hotspur which was mentioned in the Premier League update earlier as it is now entering the final stages of the deal. An agreement has been reached with Nottingham Forest which will see the Tricky Trees get around $51 million from Spurs as part of a deal which could rise to nearly $57 million overall. Johnson is en route to complete his medical and has been a priority target for Forest since the start of this summer, but questions remain over whether he is at the level Harry Kane-less Tottenham are aspiring to reach under new boss Ange Postecoglou. The 22-year-old scored eight goals and added three assists in a difficult first season in the Premier League with Forest essentially starting from scratch with a newly assembled squad which has been heavily added to again this summer.
In a dramatic twist, PSG are still expected to complete the signing of Randal Kolo Muani from Eintracht Frankfurt. The France international agreed to a long-term contract weeks ago and the deal is now set to be done with both clubs restructuring this afternoon’s agreement in order to make it happen now. Kolo Muani’s PSG medical already took place with Frankfurt’s approval and the Germans will still land $97 million overall once it goes through. With the 24-year-old in Paris, returning to play for Die Adler was always going to be difficult and now it appears as if he will avoid that eventuality.
We have the complete UEFA competition lineup now that the Europa Conference League draw has been completed and it has produced a few more enticing groups to keep an eye on. Dinamo Zagreb and Viktoria Plzen in Group B were both Champions League clubs last season while Group D consists of Club Brugge, Bodo/Glimt, Besiktas and Lugano with plenty of pedigree. Group F of Ferencvaros, Fiorentina, Genk and Cukaricki is also pretty stacked while AZ, Aston Villa, Legia Warsaw and Zrinjski in Group E promises to be an adventure for Unai Emery’s men who are 1982 European champions.
Group A: Lille, Slovan Bratislava, Olimpija Ljubljana and Klaksvik.
Group B: Gent, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Zorya Luhansk and Breidablik.
Group C: Dinamo Zagreb, Viktoria Plzen, Astana and Ballkani.
Group D: Club Brugge, Bodo/Glimt, Besiktas and Lugano.
Group E: AZ, Aston Villa, Legia Warsaw and Zrinjski.
Group F: Ferencvaros, Fiorentina, Genk and Cukaricki.
Group G: Frankfurt, PAOK, HJK Helsinki and Aberdeen.
Group H: Fenerbahce, Ludogorets, Spartak Trnava and Nordsjaelland.
As things stand, PSG are unable to complete a pre-agreed deal with Eintracht Frankfurt for Randal Kolo Muani due to FFP. In order for the Ligue 1 giants to complete the France international’s signature within their restrictions, they must sell Hugo Ekitike on a permanent deal today. Ekitike was of interest to Frankfurt as Kolo Muani’s potential replacement — separately — before the summer window closed in Germany earlier, but the move was not as interesting to him as a potential loan to Crystal Palace in the Premier League. At no point , though, did PSG grant Ekitike and Palace the authority to negotiate — a full sale has always been required instead of a loan deal which was what the Eagles had in mind. If PSG succeed in selling Ekitike outright before the window closes, then Kolo Muani could still join. However, Kolo Muani cannot complete his signature at Parc des Princes if Ekitike remains a Parisien player once the business period ends.
Some updates from deals close to being done involving Premier League clubs and players — notably Joao Palhinha from Fulham to Bayern Munich and Fiorentina’s Sofyan Amrabat finally being on the move. Nottingham Forest also look like they will be busy so keep an eye on what they are doing.
Here we go: Sofyan Amrabat to Manchester United. This should be a loan deal for around $11 million with a buy clause for next summer worth nearly $22 million plus $5 million or so more if Erik ten Hag wants to keep the Moroccan star.
Nearly there: Joao Palhinha to Bayern Munich. The German giants and the Cottagers have exchanged documents and the Portugal international is now in Munich for his medical ahead of a five-year deal which will be made official once Fulham have a replacement.
Forest flurry: Ibrahim Sangare, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Odysseas Vlachodimos to Nottingham Forest. Although the Tricky Trees are close to bringing in three new faces, Brennan Johnson is also close to joining Tottenham Hotspur and leaving City Ground.
No-go: Brentford have been informed that Johan Bakayoko will not be joining from PSV Eindhoven — he wants to play UEFA Champions League soccer in the group stage with the Dutch giants.
As far as unexpected moves go, this one is right up there with Barcelona agreeing to let the 20-year-old Spain international leave Spotify Camp Nou late in the window. Ansu Fati, once hailed as the Catalan giants’ replacement for Lionel Messi, is now set to continue his development with Brighton and Hove Albion who are in UEFA Europa League action this season in a delicious Group B along with Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens.
“We are delighted to bring Ansu to the club,” said Brighton Technical director David Weir. “He is one of the most highly-rated young players in the world and arrives with an impressive amount of experience both domestically and in European competition, despite his age. This season is the biggest in the club’s history and we’re really happy that a player of Ansu’s quality is going to be part of it.”
The Seagulls landed Carlos Baleba from Lille OSC just a few days ago and can be very happy with their late window work to boost Roberto De Zerbi’s options with some opportunist signings: “This is a great deal for all of us,” added the Italian tactician. “I am sure Ansu will help us to reach a new target and we can help him get back at the level he deserves to be.”
While it’s a loan deal with no permanent option, it was clear that Felix would leave Atletico this summer the question was just if Barcelona would be able to find the finances to do it. But they’ve secured an Ousmane Dembele replacement and another attacker who could be key to Xavi’s side challenging in Champions League but they’re also still working on adding Joao Cancelo from Manchester City with time going down to the wire.
Liverpool have rejected Al-Ittihad’s opening offer for Mohamed Salah and reaffirmed their stance that the forward is not for sale. However the Saudi Pro League champions will not be dissuaded that easily and are pushing to convince the Egyptian to make the move from Anfield.
an offer that was ultimately made up of a guaranteed fee of £100 million with a further £50 million in clauses, not all of which were necessarily achievable. That offer was dismissed out of hand by Liverpool, who believe the matter to be concluded. They do not want to sell their star player, all the more so at a stage of the transfer window when they cannot secure a replacement. Al-Ittihad and their owners the Public Investment Fund (PIF) are not expected to take no for an answer however.
We have this season’s UEFA Europa League groups now set and there are some superb ties to look forward to. Brighton and Hove Albion’s Group B looks particularly tasty with Ajax, Marseille and AEK Athens giving the Seagulls a major dose of continental pedigree which Roberto De Zerbi’s men will sample for the first time ever. Liverpool landed in Group E with LASK, Union SG and Toulouse while West Ham United are in Group A with Olympiacos, Freiburg and Backa Topola.
Group A: West Ham, Olympiacos, Freiburg and Backa Topola.
Group B: Ajax, Marseille, Brighton and AEK Athens.
Group C: Rangers, Real Betis, Sparta Prague and Aris Limassol.
Group D: Atalanta, Sporting CP, Sturm Graz and Rakow Czestochowa.
Group E: Liverpool, LASK, Union SG and Toulouse.
Group F: Villarreal, Rennes, Maccabi Haifa and Panathinaikos.
Group G: Roma, Slavia Praha, Sheriff and Servette.
Group H: Bayer Leverkusen, Qarabag, Molde and Hacken.
PSG’s pursuit of Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani looks set to become deadline day’s biggest piece of business — assuming that it gets done. The French champions are now willing to pay around $98 million for the France international which should be enough for the German club to let him go. However, Hugo Ekitike is wanted by Frankfurt but favors a move to the Premier League — the PSG man is the key to the situation which could resolve itself over the coming hours.
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