Transfer Talk: Barcelona choosing between Rashford and Firmino

The transfer windows in Europe's top leagues are closed, but it's never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

Top 10 free agents in 2020 | European transfer review

TOP STORY: Barca would target Rashford over Firmino

He has hardly been banging them in for Manchester United so far this season, but reports in Spain suggest that Barcelona would still prefer to sign Marcus Rashford rather than Liverpool sensation Roberto Firmino. Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona are drawing up a list of candidates to replace Luis Suarez as the clock ticks down on the Uruguayan's time at Camp Nou.

Rashford has struggled for United so far this season but is far from alone as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have suffered their worst league start in living memory. That, though, hasn't put off Barca, who apparently rate him over the Liverpool striker -- a player who has been instrumental in the Premier League side's stunning start to the season.

The rumours linking Rashford with a move to Spain are nothing new. He reportedly held talks with Barca in the summer before putting pen to paper on a new mega-deal with United in July. That deal runs to 2023, with the option of an additional year should club and player decide on one.

If Barcelona come calling, though, then who knows? Particularly given United's current struggles -- and Champions League ambitions which are becoming more and more distant by the week.


22.38 BST: We'll close Monday's live edition of Transfer Talk with a done deal. Tottenham have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Michel Vorm, who left the club as a free agent just this past spring.

21.21 BST: Manchester United are closing in on the January capture of Mario Mandzukic, according to Goal, who reports that the 33-year-old will leave Juventus in a €10m deal and sign an 18-month contract worth €5m a year.

20.04 BST: Former Italy international and New Jersey native Giuseppe Rossi is set to begin a training stint with Villarreal, the club confirmed, where the now-32-year-old spent six seasons and scored 82 goals -- the Yellow Submarine's record scorer. Having been without a club since 2018, could this lead to a return to competition?

18.47 BST: Limited to just 17 appearances last season, Serge Aurier reportedly wants out of Tottenham, with AC Milan said to be interested. But, as Goal cites Tuttosport as reporting, Spurs will not allow the 26-year-old to leave in January because of the club's dearth of optionsat right-back.

17.30 BST: Lautaro Martinez reportedly has the Lionel Messi seal of approval and that might be enough for Barcelona to consider reaching his €111m release clause.

Martinez, 22, has nine goals in 14 games for Argentina and is impressing at Inter Milan, where he has a contract until June 2023.

Tuttosport claims that Inter want to negotiate a new deal, before the Catalans take advantage of his exit clause.

16.12 BST: Arsenal outcast Mesut Ozil will likely leave the club this January, with Fenerbahce keen. However, Calciomercato claims that Inter and AC Milan are also interested in a loan move that sees the Gunners foot some of his giant £350,000-a-week salary.

15.30 BST: Manchester United are prepared to back manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the January transfer window but are warning that they will not overpay for players just to save the season, sources have told ESPN FC.

The Glazers and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward accept that Solskjaer's squad has been left short in midfield and up front after the summer departures of Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Ander Herrera, but have made it clear to clubs and intermediaries that they will not be held to ransom over fees and wages for their targets.

Juventus striker Mario Mandzukic, 33, remains an option to provide competition for Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood up front but has been told he will need to drop his wage demands to secure a move.

Midfielder Ivan Rakitic is available from Barcelona but sources have told ESPN FC that a move to United is unlikely because of family reasons. Deals for long-term targets such as Leicester playmaker James Maddison, West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, Aston Villa forward John McGinn, Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson and Lyon's Moussa Dembele will also be explored but there is an acceptance that most of the next round of recruiting will have to wait until next summer.

14.12 BST: Tottenham have a goalkeeping issue with Hugo Lloris ruled out for the rest of the year.

However, NOS reports that 35-year-old former Spurs stopper Michel Vorm is ready to step back into the gloves (if you can step into gloves...) and take the backup role with Paulo Gazzaniga taking the No. 1 spot.

13.49 BST: Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz has been linked with Liverpool and Man City but now Real Madrid have joined the race, according to Marca.

Ruiz, 23, signed from Real Betis in the summer of 2018 and has become a key player for the Italian side.

Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants the Spain international as he only has a handful of central midfielders in his Real Madrid squad -- Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Federico Valverde. But of course Ruiz would likely be second choice if a move for any of Christian Eriksen, Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek was completed.

12.47 BST: Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny, currently on loan at Besiktas, could be set for a move to AC Milan.

Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the Egypt international is struggling in Turkey and wants a new start in January, with new Milan boss Stefano Pioli after some more experience in his midfield.

12.02 BST: Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has been speaking about the ongoing Thomas Muller debate.

Muller, 30, has not been pleased to be benched by Bayern coach Niko Kovac for the last five competitive matches and last week Sport Bild reported that the former Germany international would consider leaving the Bundesliga champions in January.

While Muller later told kicker that he's "too ambitious" to just sit on the Bayern bench, it looked unlikely his only club at senior level could allow him a winter transfer. And now Rummenigge told Die Welt that the relationship between the club and the attacker is fine.

"If Thomas would be pleased to sit on the bench, he'd be at the wrong club," he said. "The relationship between Thomas and FC Bayern is totally intact. He will remain an important part of our club."

Addressing Kovac's comments that Muller would get his minutes if no other players were available, Rummenigge said he "is no fill-in." He also highlighted that the attacker showed the reaction the club was hoping for after losing his place following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona.

11.40 BST: Don't forget to make your own transfers as you pick your team for our Premier League fantasy game! Take on your mates in head-to-head leagues, selecting a team each weekend to maximise points. Here's how to play the game, and click through to sign up.

10.58 BST: Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes attracted a lot of attention in the summer but in the end nobody went for him.

Now, Tottenham are set to renew their interest in the Portugal international in January, according to A Bola. Probably something to do with his four goals and four assists in just six games for Sporting so far this season.

09.44 BST: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said teenager Phil Foden is pivotal to his plans, and that even €500 million would not be enough to convince the club to sell, but how important can he be?

08.59 BST: Barcelona are preparing for Ivan Rakitic to leave the club as early as January, with Manchester United and Inter Milan both among the clubs interested, Sport reports.

Rakitic, 31, has been an integral part of the team that has won 13 trophies since arriving from Sevilla in 2014. However, since Frenkie de Jong's summer arrival, the Croatia international has started just one match this season.

According to Sport, Manchester United and Inter Milan have both registered their interest in signing the midfielder, who is valued by Barcelona at €40m. Rakitic's contract at Camp Nou is due to expire in June 2021.

08.28 BST: Edwin van der Sar has said that he would be interested in returning to Manchester United with the club still searching for a director of football.

The former United goalkeeper is chief executive at Ajax but said he would consider a position at United in the future.

"Besides my family, the wife, kids and friends, I have two loves in my life -- Ajax, who scouted me and gave me the chance to shine in the world of football and Manchester United, who helped me to develop even at the end of my career," he told Sports Illustrated.

"'Of course I'd be interested in a position, but at first I think I need to learn a little bit more here at Ajax and develop myself even further.

"Let's see what the future brings, United is a fantastic club, with a great following all over the world.

"I'm the chief executive at Ajax, United are looking for a different position, a director of football, it's a different role. I know a little bit about football of course."

- Dawson: Inside United's painful search for a technical director

08.00 BST: Real Madrid are ready and able to make a bid for Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen in the January transfer window if they need to, according to AS.

The Spanish outlet reports that the Denmark international could be the subject of an offer from the Bernabeu if Madrid are under-performing on the pitch or are in need of reinforcements due to injuries.

Eriksen's current contract at Tottenham, worth a reported £4m a year, expires at the end of the season. AS claims that Spurs have offered him a new four-year deal that would raise his wage by 50%, but the player is still to be convinced his future lies in north London.

PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards)

Jorginho agent refuses to rule out Serie A return

He may be flying at Chelsea after a difficult first season at Stamford Bridge, but now Jorginho's agent has sparked speculation that the Italian international could soon be heading back to Serie A.

The midfielder has enjoyed a new lease of life under Frank Lampard and has carried that form into the international break, scoring a penalty for the Azzurri on Saturday as they defeated Greece 2-0 to secure their place at next year's European Championships. However, in an interview with Radio Sportiva (via the Mirror), Joao Santos refused to rule out the player returning to the Italian league, potentially as early as next season.

"It has certainly been a positive year for Jorginho," he said. "He is doing well for the Nazionale and can take part in the Euros. He always converts his penalties, I am very happy for him, as he is working so hard every day. I think Jorginho can do very well at the Euros and, why not, also at the next World Cup. As for a return to Serie A, anything is possible, and he will always feel the desire to come back home."

Enjoy him while you can then, Chelsea fans.


- It could be a quiet few months of winter transfer speculation at Barcelona. No, really. Marca reports that the Spanish giants will target only a new right-back and the club's board and coaching staff believe they have a squad strong enough to sustain them until the 2020-21 season. The paper reports that Barca will watch the January transfer window with interest but won't be delving into their pockets to splash the cash. Unless a right-back capable of supplementing the club's first choice in that position, Nelson Semedo, becomes available.

- Javier Pastore could be on his way back to Argentina, joining the host of stars who are currently handing the South American league a major boost. The Roma man, and former Paris Saint-Germain star, has endured a difficult time in the Italian capital since arriving at the club last summer and now could be looking for a way out. And CNN Deportes (via Tuttosport) reports that Racing Avellaneda could be prepared to offer him just that. There's a distinct link behind the rumour too, with the Argentine club's technical secretary, Diego Milito, having played with Pastore for the national side.