Global EditionASIA 中文双语Français
Home / Sports / Soccer

Madrid's Mbappe chase to dominate transfer window

Updated: 2024-01-02 08:55
Share - WeChat
File photo of Kylian Mbappe. [Photo/Agencies]

The future of Kylian Mbappe and his protracted courtship by Real Madrid is expected to be the key theme of the transfer window that opened in Europe on Monday.

Arsenal's search for a proven goalscorer to spearhead its challenge for a first Premier League title since 2004 could also loom large.

Manchester City, meanwhile, is widely expected to let Kalvin Phillips leave the club, ending a disappointing stay for the former Leeds midfielder who has failed to make his mark at the world champion.

Much attention, though, will again focus on Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain's lethal finisher and the man who a year ago scored a hat-trick for France in the World Cup final only to finish on the losing side.

Real Madrid is again the main suitor for the 25-year-old whose contract at PSG expires in June — will the 14-time European champion finally get a commitment from the player it has been pursuing for years?

It is far from certain as Mbappe triggers an extraordinary reaction in France, illustrated when President Emmanuel Macron intervened to persuade him to stay at PSG in June 2022 when a move to Madrid seemed almost cut and dried.

Madrid is not sitting on its hands though. Endrick, the latest Brazilian starlet, will join the club from Palmeiras when he turns 18 in July 2024 for a fee reported to be 72 million euros (79 million).

Top targets

Arsenal's lack of a goal-scoring edge could lead it to plunge into the market. For weeks, the Gunners' rumored target has been Ivan Toney, the Brentford forward whose ban for over 200 breaches of the Football Association's gambling rules ends in mid-January.

However, Brentford's decline in form which has seen it drop to within four points of the relegation places could persuade the west London club to hang onto 27-year-old Toney, even in the face of a big offer from the Gunners.

Phillips was riding high when the midfielder joined City on the back of England's run to the Euro 2022 final, but he has played barely a handful of games for the club and Pep Guardiola has admitted the move never worked out.

Juventus has reportedly been keen to sign Phillips, who is desperate to force himself into England's plans for Euro 2024, but reports from Italy say the club is cooling on the idea.

A move to Newcastle looks a more realistic possibility as the Magpies look to bolster a squad seriously depleted by injuries and the 10-month ban handed down to Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali, also for gambling.

Eddie Howe's men have slumped down the Premier League table in recent weeks and the Saudi-owned club looks badly in need of reinforcements if it is to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Serhou Guirassy, the prolific Guinea international who has scored 17 Bundesliga goals so far this season for Stuttgart, has also been linked with a move to Tyneside.

Newcastle could use its connections in the Saudi Pro League. The Magpies are allowed to sign players on loan from sides also controlled by their Saudi owners, after a vote by Premier League clubs on a temporary ban on related-party loans failed to receive the required support. However, one target, Ruben Neves, said in early December he would not accept a move to Newcastle because his family was happy in Saudi Arabia.

Former Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino also headed to the Saudi league in the summer, but is reportedly unsettled at Al Ahli.

The 32-year-old Brazilian could now be heading to Al Ettifaq, the Saudi club coached by former Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, although Premier League struggler Sheffield United is also said to be interested in his services.


Most Popular


What's Hot
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349