PARIS, France, Sep 29 – The transfer window will slam shut around Europe next Monday, October 5, after clubs were given an extended period to do deals as a result of the long coronavirus shutdown.
While the market has been quieter than usual due to the pandemic, AFP Sport looks at some names who could still make big moves in the coming days:
Houssem Aouar (Lyon)
Target for: Arsenal, Juventus
The 22-year-old midfielder had long been tipped for a big move abroad even before he stood out in Lyon’s run to the Champions League semi-finals in August, especially in their quarter-final win over Manchester City, who are one of his suitors.
Now Aouar — who has not yet been capped at full international level by France — clearly feels it is time to fly the nest and leave his boyhood club, who are not involved in Europe at all this season and have had a poor start in Ligue 1.
Their absence from continental competition increases Lyon’s need to sell, but the chances of them getting the 60 million euros ($70.2m) they reportedly want for the playmaker appear non-existent.
Arsenal are now seen as the leading candidates to sign Aouar, but according to French sports daily L’Equipe they have offered no more than 38 million euros and Lyon may be tempted to hold on to their man for another year instead.
Last weekend Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said Arsenal were “far too far away” from meeting Aouar’s value. Aulas also said no player would leave if a deal is not done by Friday, but the impending signing of Lucas Paqueta from AC Milan could smooth the way for Aouar, who has also been closely linked to Juventus.
Sergino Dest (Ajax)
Target for: Barcelona
The 19-year-old could be the latest in a long line of players to come out of Ajax and join Barcelona, who are looking for a new right-back after selling Nelson Semedo to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
According to widespread reports, Dest is set to move to the Camp Nou with Barcelona willing to pay an initial 20 million euros to beat Bayern Munich to his signature.
Dest would become Barca’s first major signing since the arrival as coach of Ronald Koeman. He was born in the Netherlands but represents the United States, for whom he qualifies through his father.
Memphis Depay (Lyon)
Target for: Barcelona
Depay has never hidden his desire to rejoin one of Europe’s giants after a failed spell at Manchester United earlier in his career, and the Dutchman will also be eager to play Champions League football, something which Lyon cannot offer him this season.
Koeman is said to be keen to bring his compatriot to the Camp Nou to reinforce an attack which has lost Luis Suarez.
Barcelona may lack the funds to spend big, but the 26-year-old Depay is in the final year of his contract and reports in France suggest Lyon may yet be persuaded to lower their initial asking price of 25 million euros.
Michael Cuisance (Bayern Munich)
Target for: Leeds United
The France Under-20 international might have been hoping to play a more regular role at Bayern Munich this season, a year after joining from Borussia Moenchengladbach for 12 million euros.
But after appearing just 10 times in Bayern’s treble-winning campaign, and making one substitute appearance so far this season, Cuisance is now close to joining Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United.
L’Equipe reported at the start of this week that a deal was close to being completed for a player Bayern value at 20 million euros.
Alex Telles (Porto)
Target for: Manchester United
Brazilian left-back Telles joined Porto in 2016 after previous spells at Galatasaray and Inter Milan and has long been linked with a move from Portugal to one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
It looks like this could be the moment for the 27-year-old, who has become a target for Manchester United.
According to A Bola in Portugal, United have offered 15 million euros so far for a player who is out of contract at the end of the season, while Porto want 20 million euros.
Telles could yet move elsewhere though. The once-capped defender was linked with Paris Saint-Germain several months ago, and the French club now need strengthening at left-back after losing Juan Bernat to a serious knee injury.