April 21, 2024

The summer transfer window has closed throughout most of Europe, but there are still moves in the works and plenty of gossip swirling around. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Despite lack of depth, Real Madrid willing to wait for Haaland or Mbappe

Real Madrid are holding out to sign striker Erling Haaland from Manchester City or Kylian Mbappé from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer of 2024, as has been reported by Marca.

Even though they feel they lack the forward options they need in the short term, Madrid are insisting on sticking to their original approach of a big 2024 signing as they prioritise landing one of the two most threatening attackers in world football.

Los Blancos’ original plan was disrupted by striker Karim Benzema‘s choice to join Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad in the summer after Real Madrid had already used more than €100m to bring in midfielder Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund. Benzema’s departure has left Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti without enough attacking depth up front, even after Joselu was brought in on loan for this season.

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Part of the reason for their inability to sign a big-name replacement sooner is that they had expected Benzema to leave in 2024, meaning they had prepared for the large outlay to come for either Haaland or Mbappe at that time.

Meanwhile, Madrid are also looking at making moves along their back line.

While left-back Fran García was brought in from Rayo Vallecano during the summer, Los Blancos are also hoping to sign Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich to strengthen the left full-back spot ahead of the 2024-25 campaign.

At centre-back, Madrid’s plan is to bring Rafa Marín into the first-team fold with the 21-year-old currently out on loan at Deportivo Alaves.

PAPER GOSSIP

Manchester United are looking at Nice‘s Jean-Clair Todibo, Bayer Leverkusen‘s Edmond Tapsoba and Benfica‘s António Silva as they aim to strengthen at centre-back, according to Fabrizio Romano. He adds that a move is more likely to be made in the summer and January. The timing could depend on Harry Maguire‘s situation with the 30-year-old determined to stay and compete for his place at Old Trafford.

Juventus will move for Domenico Berardi in January only if they are in the top four and Sassuolo are in a strong position to avoid relegation, as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport. The winger has been heavily linked with I Bianconeri previously. Ahead of the weekend’s fixtures, Juventus sit third in Serie A with 13 points while Sassuolo are ninth with nine points.

Chelsea remain hopeful that Ian Maatsen will sign a new contract to stay at Stamford Bridge, according to Football Insider, with the 21-year-old’s current deal ending in the summer of 2024. Burnley wanted to sign Maatsen following his successful loan spell with them last season, but the left-back turned the move down.

– Benfica and Porto are both interested in River Plate winger Pablo Solari, according to Corriere dello Sport. The Portuguese giants have both tried to set up negotiations, but River Plate have so far held off. The 22-year-old Solari has recorded 11 goals and 11 assists in 36 matches across all competitions this season.

– As confirmed on Burnley’s official channels, Vitinho has signed a new contract that will keep the right-back with the Clarets until 2027. The 24-year-old moved to Turf Moor in the summer of 2022 and has played a total of 44 games for the club, recording three goals and three assists.

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