European Paper Talk: Barcelona wage bill exceeds Real Madrid for second season
By By Stefan Bienkowski, Football Whispers
Last Updated: 14/09/18 10:33am
The transfer window may be closed until January but that won't stop clubs from across the continent drawing up shortlists of transfer targets and making tentative enquiries about players.
Our friends at Football Whispers have scoured the European media to round up the latest transfer news and big stories.
For the second consecutive season Barcelona's wage bill will be higher than Real Madrid's with this season's war chest standing at €66m (£59m) more than their La Liga rivals. The club's €632m (£563m) budget is also double what Atletico Madrid pay their players. (AS)
Real Madrid's latest financial report suggests the club has €372m (£332m) available to spend, but plans to renovate the Bernabeu to the tune of €575m (£513m) could severely limit the club's power in the transfer market for the foreseeable future. (AS)
The president of Paris Saint-Germain, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, has admitted the constant transfer rumours linking Neymar to Real Madrid are "a bit frustrating". Al-Khelaifi added: "On our side, we respect Real Madrid and its president, Florentino Perez, but I think it's important for everyone not to work behind the scenes." (Marca)
Barcelona's Ivan Rakitic has played down the allure of PSG in the summer transfer window, stating "it did not take anything special" for him to reject any approach and stay at the Camp Nou. (Marca)
Roma are hoping to renegotiate the contracts of Manchester United target Kostas Manolas and Manchester City target Lorenzo Pellegrini to remove their current release clauses. As things stand, Manolas can leave the club for €36m (£32m) while Pellegrini's price stands at just €30m. (La Roma 24)
PSG hoped to lure Sami Khedira to the Parc des Princes with a contract offer that would have doubled his salary and allowed him to work under compatriot Thomas Tuchel, yet the defensive midfielder opted to stay in Turin and sign a new contract with Juventus until 2021. (CalicoMercato)
Rafinha could be on his way back to Inter from Barcelona in January. The 25-year-old does not seem to feature in Ernesto Valverde's plans and, with his contract set to run in to its final year next summer, the Brazilian is hoping to return to Italy permanently in a deal worth around €25m (£22m). (CalcioMercato)
Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella is a target for AC Milan, however, the Rossoneri would not only have to fork over €40m for the 21-year-old and may face competition from their cross-city rivals Inter for his signature. (Corriere dello Sport)
Popular French football agent, Christophe Hutteau, has criticised PSG for not dealing with Adrien Rabiot's contract situation sooner, and has stated that if the midfielder's current deal was not set to expire next summer he would be worth between €40-60m. (Le 10 Sport)
Former Borussia Dortmund forward Leonardo Bittencourt has stated he would prefer to play for Germany over Brazil if the offer ever arose. The 24-year-old has dual nationality and has yet to be capped at senior level by either nation. (Kicker)