CBS Sports soccer insider Fabrizio Romano is back bringing you the latest news and notes from the world of soccer transfers, coaching moves and more. This week we look at Barcelona’s untouchable Ansu Fati, Dele Alli and Papu Gomez’s potential exit in January, the Jadon Sancho situation, Chelsea’s pursuit for a former Academy player, plus the next American player ready to go to European football. . Here we go!
Barcelona’s 18-year-old rising star deemed untouchable
While Real Madrid are waiting to clarify the issues related to the contracts of Sergio Ramos and Luka Modric (still nothing decided on this side), Barcelona are planning their future. Despite many rumors in recent weeks connecting Ansu Fati to Manchester United and Juventus, the 18-year-old jewel will certainly not leave the club in January or even next summer.
Regardless of which incumbent president is elected to replace interim Carles Tusquets, Barcelona will not deprive themselves of their best talent even if economically they need to find money for new purchases in January. Fati is considered an untouchable player and will not be sacrificed in favor of new signings: Barca will not sell him even for over €100 million ($121.8M).
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Why Manchester United are unlikely to pursue Sancho in January
Speaking of top talents, Borussia Dortmund are confident they can keep Jadon Sancho in January. Manchester United tried in every way possible during the summer without success; Dortmund have always asked for €120 million ($146M), so the deal was blown. But the German side does not intend to sell Sancho in January, as it is not in the club’s DNA to sell its stars mid-season.
Expect this to be a storyline heading into the summer window unless Manchester United break the coffers with a crazy bids, which is not expected at the moment.
Meanwhile, in the next few days Amad Diallo will fly to England after receiving his passport and officially become a Manchester United player. Keep in mind that the 18-year-old Atalanta winger was considered one of the best talents to emerge from Serie A recently and that United paid €25 million ($30.4M), plus another €15 million ($18.2M) in add ons.
Declan Rice is Chelsea’s No. 1 target
Declan Rice is Chelsea’s No. 1 desire to address their midfield needs. After a summer of big signings, the Blues are looking for a high-level midfielder and the favorite has always been the 21-year-old who initially joined the Chelsea academy at the age of 7 before leaving the club at 14. The request in the summer for €80 million was considered too steep by Chelsea, who don’t have plans to spend this amount in January. Rice would like the transfer also because he loves Frank Lampard, but an economic agreement must be found between the clubs, and at the moment it seems really complicated. The month of January will tell the truth.
What’s next for Dele Alli?
Remaining in the Premier League, Dele Alli instead could leave Tottenham in January. Keep an eye on this deal because there are real and high possibilities, as long as an offer arrives that convinces Spurs president Daniel Levy. The English midfielder will consider new opportunities because he’s not a starter and wants to feel like a key player. During the summer he was courted by PSG and now other opportunities lead to an exit from North London.
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City closing in on extension
Manchester City, meanwhile, continue to negotiate with Kevin De Bruyne for the extension of his contract. The two sides are inching closer toward an agreement and the feelings are positive that a deal can be reached in the coming weeks. De Bruyne has continued his fine form in the Premier League this season, leading City in assists with seven, expected assists with 3.40, pass in the attacking third with 288 and crosses with 76. He’s the team’s most important creative hub and both sides seem hopeful they can keep it that way for years to come.
Next American gem ready for Europe
Bryan Reynolds is the next American gem (and another FC Dallas homegrown product) ready to ply his trade across Europe. The race is on for the services of the 19-year-old right back, who is moving closer to leaving Major League Soccer after a solid season where his club reached the conference finals and lost to eventual runners-up Seattle Sounders. AS Roma and Club Brugge are in talks for him, and Juventus have also made an inquiry. Reynolds is highly sought after despite only having 1,388 MLS minutes under his belt, the vast majority coming last season, his first as a starter for FC Dallas. The race is open!
Papu Gomez-Atalanta breakup imminent; Lazio want Luis Alberto to stay
Finally, in Italy the Papu Gomez conundrum needs a resolution. The Argentine was even excluded from the list of players called up by Atalanta for Sunday’s 4-1 win over Roma. There is a power struggle between the club, coach Gian Piero Gasperini and the Argentine. Gomez wants to leave in January and is reflecting with his family on possible offers so as to arrive at the best decision for his career.
Of course, that leaves slim chances of us seeing him playing for Atalanta against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 in February on CBS All Access. What’s more is that Juventus are not in the running as they are not looking for that type of player for the January transfer market.
Meanwhile, Lazio are convinced that Luis Alberto will remain with the club. Simone Inzaghi considers him fundamental for the Champions League round of 16 against Bayern Munich. The 28-year-old Spanish midfielder has made a huge contribution to the club in recent years and despite rumors of offers from the Premier League, Lazio are doing their best to try to keep him in Rome.