Chelsea eye Pellegrini, Pino to replace Mount


The summer transfer window is closed for the major leagues in Europe. However, with an eye on January, 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: Chelsea plan for life after Mount

Chelsea are beginning to assess alternatives as contract talks continue to stall with Mason Mount, reveals the Telegraph.

The Blues have been looking to extend the 23-year-old England international’s deal this season, but as he nears the final 18 months of his current terms at Stamford Bridge, the club’s recruitment team are understood to have identified Lorenzo Pellegrini and Yeremi Pino as potential contingency options.

Pellegrini, 26, has been a regular starter for AS Roma since joining from Sassuolo, with Jose Mourinho naming him as captain of the Serie A side last season, while 19-year-old Villarreal star Pino has previously been linked with Arsenal.

It is understood that any agreement could take time to reach with Mount, who registered two assists during the 3-0 win over Wolves on Saturday, but Graham Potter’s side remain hopeful that he will sign fresh terms at the club, with hopes that any new signing would be able to play alongside him.

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15.11 BST: England women’s head coach Sarina Wiegman played down suggestions of agreeing to a new contract but said that she feels happy with her deal that runs until 2025.

British media reported that Wiegman, who led England to their first major title at the European Championship in July, had agreed a new deal until 2027.

“I already have a contract until 2025 and we have had good conversations,” Wiegman said in a news conference on Monday, a day before England’s friendly against the Czech Republic in Brighton.

“I feel very valued, we are in a good place. But football can go very quickly, we have a couple more tournaments together until that time so it’s very comfortable at the moment.

“We are all happy — I’m happy, team is happy, FA is happy — and I just hope we keep it that way.”

England hosted the United States on Friday, beating the reigning World Cup holders 2-1 at Wembley.

– Lawson: England prove their might against USWNT in transition

14.25 BST: Inter Milan are aiming to get clarity over defender Milan Skriniar‘s intentions this month in order to plan for their future, TuttoMercatoWeb reports.

Skriniar, 27, is out of contract at the end of the season, and has been linked with a move away. Inter have reportedly offered the Slovakia international a new contract worth €6.5m a year that would run until 2027.

Inter could meet with members of Skriniar’s camp as early as this week, following Wednesday’s Champions League match at Barcelona, to find out definitively if they can plan for next season with Skriniar or if they eed to work on finding a replacement.

13.38 BST: Antoine Griezmann has re-joined Atletico Madrid on a permanent basis after Barcelona agreed to reduce the transfer fee from €40 million to €20m.

Barca and Atletico had been in dispute over a clause in the contract that saw Griezmann return to Atletico on loan at the start of the 2021-22 campaign.

Griezmann, 31, joined Atletico on a two-year loan deal with an obligatory purchase option of €40m in the event he played over 45 minutes in 50% of the games he was available for. At one point, Barca claimed that clause kicked in after the first season of the loan, even threatening legal action in the event Atletico did not comply.

Griezmann played over 45 minutes in 30 of the 37 games he was available in 2021-22. Atletico, meanwhile, started to use Griezmann sparingly this season , bringing him on after the 60th minute in a string of games in an attempt to reduce the percentage of games he met the threshold for.

The France international signed for Barca from Atletico in 2019 when the Catalan club paid his €120m release clause, one year after he turned down a move to Camp Nou at the end of a documentary he had recorded called The Decision.

Barca would later pay Atletico an additional €15m, reportedly as a penalty because they had first approached Griezmann when his clause was still €200m, although both clubs denied that was the case at the time. Instead, they claimed the €15m was a down payment for Barca to have the first refusal on Saul Niguez, Jose Gimenez and three other players in Atletico’s academy.

Griezmann scored 35 goals in 102 appearances over two years for Barca. In his first season back at Atletico, where he scored 133 times during his first spell between 2014 and 2019, Griezmann netted eight times in 36 games.

12.41 BST: Dani Alves is back at Barcelona, although it is unlikely to indicate he will be signing for the club for a third time.

The Pumas UNAM right-back missed the end of the Liga MX Apertura season with a knee injury, and has returned to his former club to aid his recovery.

Alves, 39, spent the second half of last season at Barca, where he won 25 trophies during his glorious first spell from 2008-16.

The Brazil international wrote in a post on Instagram: “Always grateful to this home for opening the doors for whatever I need.”

The club’s account replied: Barcelona is your home, Dani.”

11.55 BST: Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Enock Mwepu has been forced to end his playing career aged 24 after being diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition, the Premier League club said in a statement on Monday.

In a statement on Twitter, he said: “A boy from a small Zambian town called Chambishi has some news to share. He stood strong to follow his dream of playing football at the highest level, and by the grace of God he lived his dream by reaching the Premier League.

“Some dreams however come to an end, so it is with sadness that I announce the need to hang up my boots because of the medical advice I have received. This is however not to end my involvement with football, I plan to stay involved in some capacity.”

Brighton said Mwepu’s condition, which was not previously evident on regular cardiac screening, puts him at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event if he were to continue playing the game competitively.

Mwepu fell ill during the recent international break while on a flight to join up with the Zambian team which he captains. After a period in a hospital in Mali, he returned to Brighton for further tests which revealed his condition.

11.02 BST: Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed the club have agreed to transfer Antoine Griezmann to Atletico Madrid permanently for a reduced fee of €20m.

The deal is expected to be made official later on Monday, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Sam Marsden.

“The Griezmann deal is a good one in the end,” Laporta said at Barca’s annual general assembly on Sunday. “It’s worth €20m with an additional €4m in easily attainable add-ons.”

Griezmann returned to Atletico on a two-year loan in 2021 with a clause for the move to be made permanent for €40m if he played a certain number of minutes in a certain number of games. A dispute arose over the technicalities of the clause earlier this year, though, which has led to the two clubs re-negotiating a new price.

Barca had threatened to take legal action in pursuit of the full €40m but Laporta said it would have taken time and money and there was the risk that Griezmann would have had to return to Camp Nou, where he was one of the biggest earners.

Laporta explained it would have been “a drama” to have to pay the Frenchman’s €36m salary and also confirmed Barca could be due more money if Atletico transfer Griezmann in the future for a certain amount.

10.16 BST: Chelsea are set to appoint Christopher Vivell as their new technical director this week, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley last week that Chelsea co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital, represented by Behdad Eghbali, have met with a series of candidates in the past fortnight including Vivell, who was sacked by RB Leipzig on Thursday. Sources have suggested Leipzig took a dim view of Vivell discussing another position. It is thought he met with officials from Stamford Bridge earlier this week.

Vivell’s arrival would mark a notable step forward for Chelsea’s new owners, who are also keen to appoint a sporting director alongside a new technical director. Chelsea owners have been frustrated in their pursuit so far having been rebuffed by former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards while talks with RB Salzburg’s Christoph Freund broke down last month.

09.27 BST: Former France defender Laurent Blanc has been appointed Lyon coach until 2024, replacing of Peter Bosz, the Ligue 1 club said in a statement.

Lyon fired coach Bosz on Sunday after his team racked up only one point in their last five French league games.

Lyon drew with promoted Toulouse 1-1 on Friday to snap a four-game losing streak, their worst run of form in the league since 1991. Bosz was booed by the fans when the stadium announcer read his name before kick-off. Lyon were in seventh place before Sunday’s games, eight points outside the top three spots.

Blanc previously coached Bordeaux, France, Paris Saint-Germain and Qatar’s Al-Rayyan. The 56-year-old led Bordeaux to the league title in 2009 before guiding PSG to three straight league titles from 2014 to 2016.

Bosz’s firing comes at a sensitive time as Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has been in talks to sell the club to Eagle Football Holdings LLC, controlled by American businessman John Textor. The deal was set to be finalised on Sept. 30, but has been postponed to Oct. 21 as both parties are still negotiating the financial details, especially a partial repayment of the debt to the club’s lenders.

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08.44 BST: AC Milan arte considering a move for Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech in the January transfer window, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

Ziyech had been linked with a move to the San Siro during the summer, but the Morocco international remained at Stamford Bridge.

However, the 29-year-old is back on the radar of Milan, who would like to take him on loan in January with a view to making the transfer permanent at the end of the season.

08.00 BST: Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers are being made to wait before they can hire Julen Lopetegui as their next manager, the Daily Mail reports.

The former Sevilla boss is Wolves’ preferred candidate to be Bruno Lage’s permanent replacement, but the appointment will not take place until later this week as the 56-year-old attends to a family matter at home.

Lopetegui was dismissed following Wednesday’s 4-1 Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund, Sevilla’s sixth loss in 10 games, and replaced by Jorge Sampaoli.

During his time at the club, Lopetegui guided Sevilla to Champions League qualification for three consecutive seasons and also won the Europa League in 2020. Despite Sevilla’s terrible start to the season, Lopetegui received an ovation at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium by the club’s fans after Wednesday’s game,

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

Barcelona are set to turn their attention to Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves as a potential replacement for Sergio Busquets, writes Sport. Xavi Hernandez’s side had initially been keen to sign Real Sociedad‘s Martin Zubimendi but, amid reports that he will sign a new contract this month, it looks as though the 25-year-old Premier League star is the next priority on the shortlist.

– As Antoine Griezmann moves closer to a permanent move to Atletico Madrid, Marca understands that, while Barcelona will receive a total fee of €24 million, including bonuses, a clause has been included so that the Blaugrana receive a percentage of any future transfer should Diego Simeone decide to move the 31-year-old France international forward on. Griezmann has made eight appearances for Atletico this season in his bizarre, complicated super-sub role.

Eintracht Frankfurt forward Rafael Borre is looking to leave the club amid interest from two clubs in Spain, reveals AS. The 27-year-old has been out of form in recent weeks, and it is understood that he is keen to go in search of a new challenge. He is believed to be valued at €20m, and previously had a spell in LaLiga when featuring for Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.

– Clubs across Europe are monitoring the situation of Giovanni Reyna, according to Calciomercato. The 19-year-old United States attacking midfielder is understood to have interest from Serie A, who believe he could follow a similar path of success as Christian Pulisic. The Bundesliga club would be prepared to part ways with him for a fee of around €30m.

– After enjoying success with their acquisitions of Franck Kessie, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso, Barcelona are planning to continue their strategy of acquiring players as free agents, reports Sport. It is reported that sporting director Mateu Alemany is pleased with the signings that the Blaugrana made over the summer, and the LaLiga giants will now be keeping a close eye on potential targets who are close to the end of their contracts.





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