The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.
TOP STORY: Isco out, Bale back in at Real Madrid?
There have been some interesting reports involving potential ins and outs at Real Madrid, with AS suggesting that Isco wants to leave the club in January and that Gareth Bale fancies a swansong season at the Bernabeu before moving away permanently.
AS is reporting that Isco wants to leave the club after being ostracised this season. He was benched for the past three games and that appears to be the last straw for a player keen to make an impact at Euro 2020 next summer for Spain. To do that, he needs to be playing, and so he seems set for a move in January.
Bale is monitoring the managerial situation at the Bernabeu, and he thinks he might still have something to offer Real Madrid if Zinedine Zidane is replaced this summer.
22.00 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
21.19 GMT: Could be Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham be short-lived?
On loan for the season at Spurs, AS speculates that the Welshman is keen to return to Madrid after a year away, as he aspires to have a happy ending in the Spanish capital. Bale's next move could depend largely on the future of manager Zinedine Zidane, who Bale has clashed with in the past.
Still owed £15 million next season in wages by Madrid, Bale, who has two goals in nine appearances since returning to Spurs, could elect to return to the Bernabeu for a final act.
20.26 GMT: Memphis Depay has been widely tipped to join Barcelona but another Champions League are interested in the Dutch forward, according to Mundo Deportivo.
PSG is the club reportedly monitoring Depay, who they will be well accustomed with from their battles against Lyon in Ligue 1. The 26-year-old striker has a fan in PSG sporting director Leonardo, but as mentioned before, is at the top of Barca and former Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman's New Year's wishlist.
Depay, who flopped at Man United, has reignited his career since moving to France, having scored 60 goals in 152 games for OL.
19.32 GMT: Atletico Madrid are looking to make an upgrade at winger and Spanish outlet El Gol Digital suggests Inter's Ivan Perisic could be a target.
The report points to Yannick Carrasco's failure to convince Diego Simeone, as the reason Atletico could look to add a winger in January. Perisic, 31, is an interesting name, as the Croatian does not seem a perfect fit at Inter under Antonio Conte and being in the final 18 months of his contract, could be available next month.
Atletico currently have Joao Felix, Carrasco, Angel Correa and Thomas Lemar as wide options.
18.54 GMT: Could Bayern Munich make a surprise swoop for a West Ham star?
TEAMtalk has learned that West Ham are set to offer midfielder Tomas Soucek a new bumper contract amidst interest from the European champions and others. The 25-year-old has impressed since arriving in London last January and David Moyes is keen to keep the Czech midfielder at the London Stadium long-term.
18.09 GMT: DONE DEAL. The Colorado Rapids have signed centre-back Lalas Abubakar to a new contract.
Our 𝙚𝙣𝙛𝙤𝙧𝙘𝙚𝙧 is here to stay. pic.twitter.com/SaOsWa8CWJ— Colorado Rapids (@ColoradoRapids) December 15, 2020
The deal will keep the soon-to-be 26-year-old with the Rapids through 2024, with a team option to keep the Ghanaian a further season.
"We're delighted to secure Lalas' future in Burgundy," Rapids EVP & GM Padraig Smith said in a club statement. "Lalas has been an integral part of our defense during his two seasons with the club and we look forward to seeing him anchor our backline for several years to come."
17.31 GMT: Arsenal's William Saliba has not played a senior game this season but that could change soon, according to reports.
Sky Sports understands that Arsenal are willing to loan out the 19-year-old centre-back, who has yet to play for Arsenal's first-team since his £27 million arrival from Saint Etienne in July 2019. The French youngster has been left stranded at the Emirates, with Mikel Arteta leaving the defender out of Arsenal's squads for both the Premier League and Europa League.
"I feel really bad for William Saliba," Arteta said at the time. "Because we had so many central defenders, we decided to leave him out of the squad which was really hurtful for me to do."
We'll see if Saliba finds some regular game time at last come January.
17.00 GMT: Liverpool's Diogo Jota was looking in good form, but now he's injured do the Reds need more squad depth?
16.09 GMT: Lionel Messi's salary is too big for Barcelona due to their financial predicament, presidential candidate Emili Rousaud has said, adding that he wishes to keep the club's all-time top scorer on a reduced contract.
Messi, who sought an exit from Barca in the close season, has less than seven months remaining on his deal with the club where he has spent his entire career. He is free to negotiate with rival clubs in a different country from January.
Former Barca vice-president Rousaud, who resigned this year out of protest at how the club was being run by then chief Josep Maria Bartomeu, said Messi would accept a lower salary if he could be convinced the club will return to winning ways.
15.49 GMT: Manchester United winger Daniel James could be back on the radar of Leeds United, reports the Daily Telegraph.
James, 23, almost signed for Leeds from Swansea before United stepped in with a £15m bid back in 2019.
But the Wales international has slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford and is keen to move on to find more regular football, so Leeds might get another chance.
14.59 GMT: FC Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira has reportedly caught the eye of Arsenal and Marseille, says Record.
Vieira, 20, only made his professional debut in June and has a release clause of around €30m.
The 'Vieira' name certainly carries some weight at Arsenal but the Portugal U21 youngster is an attacking midfielder who now has super-agent Pini Zahavi managing his career.
14.21 GMT: Inter Milan could be ready to offload winger Ivan Perisic in the January transfer window, says Gazzetta dello Sport.
Perisic, 31, spent last season on loan at Bayern Munich but he has made little impression on Antonio Conte since returning. Inter reportedly value the Croatia international at around €15m.
13.58 GMT: Neymar can lure Lionel Messi to PSG and get one over on Barcelona with another UCL masterclass, writes Graham Hunter.
Messi, today, is fresh from witnessing what can be achieved in later life if you choose well, keep your mentality ruthlessly focussed and play with a well-constructed squad -- a reminder that Cristiano Ronaldo delivered with some panache at Camp Nou last week. That, without question in my mind, will have helped seal Messi's realisation that either he settles for short-term mediocrity while Barcelona rebuild or he changes club for the chance of greater fulfilment and bigger victories as he moves through his middle and late 30s. It's not a time to be messing about for any footballer, let alone the greatest ever.
In January, Barcelona will elect a new president. Whomever it is might well have recruited Xavi to become general manager by the time PSG visit in February with a view to the Catalan succeeding Ronald Koeman come June. Whether the new regime is truly desperate to keep Messi or discretely content to shed the breathtaking financial outlay it takes to keep him will remain a point of debate for a long time to come. In any case, what Neymar and PSG do against Koeman's Barcelona could well become fundamental to what Messi opts to do next with his (still) outrageous talents.
13.11 GMT: Arsenal's Lucas Torreira could be set to return from his loan spell at Atletico Madrid in January.
Tuttomercatoweb reports that Torreira has not done enough to impress manager Diego Simeone and that Torino and Fiorentina are interested in signing the midfielder if his deal is terminated.
Torreira is unlikely to play for Arsenal again and could find himself more settled in Italy, having joined the Gunners from Sampdoria in 2018.
12.35 GMT: Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes has impressed and O Jogo reports that Manchester United have joined the race for him.
Mendes, 18, was already on the shortlists of Liverpool, Real Madrid, Inter and Juventus, but now the Portuguese youngster is attracting even more clubs.
He shares an agent with former Sporting captain Bruno Fernandes, who moved to United in January 2020, and reportedly has a release clause of around €50m.
11.50 GMT: Arsenal have some issues, but manager Mikel Arteta is not looking to keep all his players happy.
11.19 GMT: This is the story of how Barcelona signed a 13-year-old Lionel Messi with the help of a napkin. The rest is history.
"In Barcelona, on Dec. 14, 2000, in the presence of [Josep Maria] Minguella and Horacio [Gaggioli], Carles Rexach, FC Barcelona's sporting director, hereby agrees, under his responsibility and regardless of any dissenting opinions, to sign the player Lionel Messi provided that we keep to the amounts agreed upon."
The above words, scribbled on a napkin following a game of tennis in Barcelona, have gone down in football history. They were hastily written by Rexach, Barca's sporting director at the time, in an attempt to assure Jorge Messi that the Catalan club was committed to signing his son. Rexach signed the napkin, as did the agents, Minguella and Gaggioli, as witnesses.
Messi's father had grown anxious about his son's future because of Barca's apparent hesitation to complete a deal. There was a debate behind the scenes at Camp Nou about the merits of signing a 13-year-old, but within minutes of watching him during a trial game in Barcelona in September 2000, Rexach was convinced they had to act.
10.30 GMT: Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has backtracked a little on his previous comments that the midfielder's time at Manchester United was finished.
United have triggered a one-year extension in Pogba contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until 2022 but Raiola had said on Dec. 7: "It's over between Manchester United and Pogba. No point beating around the bush, it's better to speak clearly, look forward and not waste time looking for people to blame: Paul is unhappy at Manchester United. He is unable to express himself as is expected from him. He needs a change of club; a change of scenery."
Manchester United have doubts about whether Real Madrid or Juventus can afford Pogba, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson, following the impact of coronavirus on football finances across Europe. And it seems as if Raiola and his client are happy to wait until the summer.
"When it comes to him in England they are sensitive, perhaps too sensitive," Raiola was quoted as saying by Tuttosport at the Golden Boy Awards on Monday. "In January, the big players hardly move, then in the summer let's see what happens."
09.54 GMT: Theo Hernandez has said he's playing the best football of his career and would like to "stay at AC Milan forever."
The former Real Madrid left back -- who joined Milan in July 2019 for €20m -- scored a brace, including a 91st minute equaliser, in a 2-2 draw with Parma on Sunday.
The 23-year-old now has three goals and two assists in eleven Serie A games this season, after scoring six times last campaign.
"I think I'm in the best moment of my career," Hernandez told El Transistor on Monday. "I went to Madrid very young. It's difficult when you don't get minutes... I can't imagine [going back], I'm really happy here. If I could, I'd stay at Milan forever."
09.17 GMT: Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams is a target for Southampton on loan next month, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Saints had wanted to bring in the England under-21 international before the start of the season, but United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blocked the move.
Williams, 20, only made his first-team debut in September of last year but has since made 36 appearances for the club. However, his only two starts this season have come in the Carabao Cup with Luke Shaw, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Alex Telles ahead of him in the pecking order.
08.36 GMT: Wolves midfielder Leander Dendoncker has signed a new contract at Molineux, the Premier League club announced on Monday.
Belgium international Dendoncker first joined the club on loan from Anderlecht in 2018, before making his deal permament for a £10.5m fee the following summer.
The 25-year-old has since scored six goals in 68 appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo's side, as well as two goals in their run to the Europa League knockout phase last season.
Dendoncker has committed his future to the club until 2023, with an option for a further year after that.
08.00 GMT: Australia international midfielder James Troisi will play for his third A-League club in as many seasons after completing his switch from Adelaide United to Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Reds reluctantly released Troisi from the remainder of his contract on Monday, just two weeks out from the start of the A-League campaign.
Troisi has now linked up with new Wanderers boss Carl Robinson, who previously tried to sign him when he headed up MLS team Vancouver Whitecaps, on a two-season deal.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Eriksen desperate for PSG move
We could finally see the Christian Eriksen saga come to an end in January, and if the Daily Star is to be believed, that spells bad news for Manchester United, with the Denmark international apparently holding out for a move to Paris Saint-Germain.
Eriksen has been a flop in Italy and has fallen out of favour with Inter boss Antonio Conte, starting just four games this season.
However, Eriksen appears to be clear about where he wants to go next, and that's to a fresh challenge in a new league.
Dybala made bumper offer to stay at Juventus
Following Paulo Dybala's previous claim that he has yet to receive a contract offer, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli said the club has in fact made the Argentine a bumper one.
That's according to Tuttosport, which, in contrast to Dybala's version of events, have carried quotes from Agnelli that suggest that not only have the club offered to extend the current contract beyond 2022 but also the offer will make Dybala among "the top 20 best-paid players in Europe."
Agnelli went on to explain that Juve has a "big love" for Dybala and that they see him as their future captain.
Dybala scored his first Serie A goal since July 4 over the weekend, and Agnelli has urged the player to kick on and prove that he is one of the best players in Europe -- and do it at Juventus.
Juventus are four points off the top of the table behind AC Milan.
-- The Sun believes that West Ham United could land Lyon skipper Marcelo for free next summer after almost shelling out £20m for him in January. The Brazilian centre-back was keen on a move to London earlier this year, but the move fell through. Now he remains keen for a fresh start in the Premier League, and Hammers boss David Moyes appears just as keen to snap him up when his contract expires at the end of the season.
-- Seattle Sounders star midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro has agreed to a three-year contract extension with the club, MLSSoccer.com reported on Monday. Lodeiro, 31, had seven goals and 10 assists in 20 matches this season and finished third in MLS MVP balloting. He helped the Sounders reach the MLS Cup final before losing 3-0 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
-- Although Atalanta forward Papu Gomez was earlier linked with a move to MLS, Calciomercato is reporting that Serie A rivals Inter and AC Milan are also keeping tabs on his situation. Gomez suggested on Instagram earlier that his days at Atalanta are numbered, which has sparked a series of rumours about a potential move in January. Neither Milan club has approached Atalanta about a possible fee, but it would appear that contact could be made before the end of the year.