Soccer

Transfer Talk: Barca want Gundogan to replace Busquets

With just a month remaining before the opening of the January transfer window, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Barca want Gundogan to replace Busquets

While Ilkay Gundogan and his Germany teammates will be heading home from the World Cup after a second-straight group stage exit, Sport reports that Barcelona want the Manchester City midfielder to move to Catalonia. In addition to a right-back, manager Xavi Hernandez is keen to bring in a midfielder who can take over from Sergio Busquets in midfield.

Xavi reportedly believes 32-year-old Gundogan could adapt to the role at the base of midfield and has asked for reports on how the former Borussia Dortmund star is off the pitch. The manager is also said to view Gundogan as a very intelligent player who could play in various positions.

His contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and while Pep Guardiola wants to offer Gundogan another year, the City boss won’t stop his player from leaving if that is his desire. That said, a January move would be almost impossible to complete as Barca are likelier to wait until the end of the season to make their move and sign Gundogan as a free agent.

Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad is also being considered, but a move for the 23-year-old once-capped Spain international will not be happening for now.

PAPER GOSSIP

– With Joao Felix being heavily linked with a move away, Atletico Madrid are demanding a €100 million transfer fee for the forward, reports AS. Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are said to be the three clubs most interested in the 23-year-old Portugal international.

Inter Milan are considering a move for Barcelona midfielder Franck Kessie, according to Tuttosport. Inter manager Simone Inzaghi reportedly believes that the 25-year-old former AC Milan standout could help to fill three different roles in the Nerazzurri midfield.

RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol has discussed a possible move to Chelsea with The Athletic.

“About me and Chelsea? I don’t know,” the Croatia international reportedly said. “You know what happened in the last few months. To be honest, I have no idea.

“It’s a big club of course and, who knows, maybe one day I will be there. It’s really nice to see things like this, especially because there is [Mateo] Kovacic, so you never know. I talk with him.”

– AC Milan want to sign winger Hakim Ziyech on loan from Chelsea with the option to make the deal permanent, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The Serie A club is very keen on the 29-year-old Morocco international and has been linked for some time, although his wages could prove to be a stumbling block.

– Inter Milan have met with the representatives of Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram in Doha in an effort to sign the 25-year-old France international when his contract expires at the end of the season, reports Calciomercato. They will face competition from the Premier League and Bayern Munich, with Thuram yet to decide on his next destination.

Benfica are in advanced talks to extend the contract of centre-back Nicolas Otamendi, according to Ekrem Konur. The 34-year-old has featured in all three of Argentina’s World Cup matches so far and will be preparing to face Australia in the round of 16 on Saturday.

Leeds United have reached an agreement with left-back Pascal Struijk that will keep him at Elland Road until 2027, reports Fabrizio Romano. The 23-year-old former Netherlands youth international will receive a pay rise that sees him recognised as a key player after an impressive start to the season.




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