European Paper Talk: Julian Brandt tops Liverpool’s summer wishlist
By Sam McGuire, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 23/02/17 11:02am
The transfer window may be closed until the summer, but that hasn't stopped rumours of some of Europe's biggest clubs making mega-money moves for their primary targets.
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the continental media for the latest news and transfer rumours...
Julian Brandt is in demand. The Bayer Leverkusen attacker reportedly tops Liverpool's summer wishlist but they aren't the only club keen on the 20-year-old.
Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are vying for his signature as both clubs plan for the long-term with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, Arjen Robben, 33, and Franck Ribery, 33, all edging into their final years at the top of their game.
SC Freiburg playmaker Vincenzo Grifo is a summer target for Gladbach. The versatile 23-year-old, who is able to play a variety of roles in attack and midfield, has scored five goals and has a further six assists to his name. He's contracted to the club until 2019 but reportedly has a release clause which could see him leave the club.
Paris Saint-Germain's Jean-Kevin Augustin has eyed up a summer move to Borussia Dortmund. The 19-year-old forward rejected a loan move away from the club in January and because of this has fallen out of favour with Unai Emery. The arrivals of Julian Draxler, Goncalo Guedes and Giovani Lo Celso has seen the Paris-born attacker relegated to the reserves.
Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid side fell to their third defeat in their last nine matches on Wednesday evening. Valencia put them to the sword with two goals inside the opening 10 minutes. It leaves Los Blancos just the point clear at the top of La Liga. The French manager wasn't best pleased with his team's performance.
"It's clear that we lost the game in the first 10 minutes. We started the game very poorly. Normally, our chief strength is the way we start games, but today it was the complete opposite. In the first ten minutes, we lacked concentration without the ball, [Simone] Zaza was always between the lines and hurt us."
Raphael Varane picked up an injury during the defeat and looks set to be ruled out of the Champions League second-leg match against Napoli. It rounded off a night to forget for the Frenchman as he played a part in both Valencia goals.
Real Betis legend Joaquin has revealed how Real Madrid tried their very best to sign him. He claimed iconic striker Raul and club president Florentino Perez were after him, and tried to secure his signature by pressuring him during a secret meeting in a bathroom. The episode took place when the Spanish national team was playing in Barcelona and Raul was used as bait to lure his national team-mate into an agreement.
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Ousmane Dembele, a one-time target for Liverpool, has been named as the best U20 player in world football. The Borussia Dortmund midfielder topped the annual list ahead of the likes of Renato Sanches, Marcus Rashford and team-mate Emre Mor.
Inter Milan are prepared to pay as much as €45m to sign long-term Manchester United target Kostas Manolas. The Roma defender, who has also been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, is the top summer target for Stefano Pioli as he looks to strengthen his squad in the hope of getting back into the Champions League.
Tianjin Quanjian, managed by Italian legend Fabio Cannavaro, have failed in numerous attempts to bring Fiorentina striker Nikola Kalinic to the club. However, they have now turned their attention towards AC Milan's Carlos Bacca. The Chinese club are prepared to pay as much as €35m for the 30-year-old striker.
He looked destined for the Premier League but now it appears as though Victor Lindelof is heading to AC Milan. Vincenzo Montella is set to be handed a €150m war chest for the summer window and has made Lindelof his prime target as he hopes to pair him with Alessio Romagnoli.