Barcelona were €10m (£9m) away from signing Paris Saint-Germain’s Angel Di Maria. PSG wanted €60m (£54m) for the player, but Barca’s highest bid came to €45m (£41m) plus €5m (£4.5m) in add ons. Had they upped their fee further they could have added the Argentine to their forward line. (L’Equipe)
Mathieu Debuchy was close to joining Nice from Arsenal this summer, but the move fell down despite the right-back getting as far as agreeing a medical. The club eventually opted for Christophe Jallet, but Debuchy was disappointed after receiving no word from the club’s chief executive Julien Fournier after the positive initial talks. (L’Equipe)
Zinedine Zidane has revealed that he wanted Alvaro Morata to stay at Real Madrid, and that the club now lack a centre forward. “You could think we lack a number nine and that might be the case,” he said in the build up to his side’s Champions League tie with APOEL.
“Above all with Morata. I’d have liked him to have stayed but he wanted to play more and he wanted to leave. In the end we couldn’t get anybody else in. I don’t want to go around in circles.” The Spanish champions have been linked with Robert Lewandowski and Timo Werner. (AS)
Iker Casillas decided to stay at Porto as he has ambitions to win the Portuguese league before leaving the club, despite interest in his services from numerous sides, including Liverpool, this summer. “Spending two years here and not winning a single trophy would be a sour ending,” said the 36-year-old. “My objective and my intention is to win titles and to help Porto to continue to be an important club in Portugal and respected in Europe.” (Esporte Interativo)
RB Leipzig are once again playing hardball in order to keep one of their key players, and have said that they will offer Timo Werner a new contract rather than see him move to Real Madrid. RB Leipzig chairman Oliver Mintzlaff says that the player has no release clause in his contract, and that should they continue to qualify for the Champions League the explosive German striker has no reason to leave. (Sky90)
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is the latest name in the club’s hierarchy to hit out at Robert Lewandowski. The striker had criticised the club’s transfer policy, and a move to Real Madrid looks ever closer as this public feud continues.
“Lewandowski was also unhappy with the pre-season tour we had in Asia but he should remember that Real Madrid, the clubs he dreams of playing for, spent 24 days travelling with hot weather. That’s much more than what we did in the summer.” said Rummenigge. (Bild)
The agent of 21-year-old Czech forward Patrik Schick has revealed that the player had a better offer from PSG, but chose to join Roma for the good of his career. “If we only considered the name and the economic aspect, we would probably have said yes to Paris Saint-Germain, but then we realized that Rome would be the best solution,” said Pavel Paska. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Elvis Kabashi will join Serie C side AS Viterbese Castrense. the Albania attacker spent his time as a youth player at Juventus, but had been a free agent after his contract with the Turin club expired. He spent last season on loan at another Serie C side, Pontedera. (Corriere dello Sport)