Sunday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Kovacic to Madrid, Muller to Manchester United

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England gets easily obsessed with the possibility of high-level, big-money transfers that could bring star players to the Premier League, and we’re seeing that again with Bayern Munich striker Thomas Muller.

Despite defiance from the Bavarian club that Muller will not leave, reports in England continue to insist Muller is on his way to Old Trafford. According to the Express, Manchester United has seen a pair of bids rejected, the second of which was for $94 million, but Muller is for the move as his relationship with manager Pep Guardiola has deteriorated and he knows his pay would significantly increase.

However, Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge remains adamant that Muller won’t leave, saying the club would be “out of our minds to sell Muller.”

Manchester United is also rumored to be looking for defensive reinforcements, and the name mentioned recently is Valencia’s Argentinian center-back Nicolas Otamendi, who Spanish publication Super Deporte claims has missed training with a transfer imminent. It could be to United who has been linked to the 27-year-old throughout the summer, and Manchester City is also apparently interested. According to the report, Otamendi asked not only to be held out of training, but also to be kept from the club’s Champions League match against Monaco this week.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news ]

Last season’s champions Chelsea will have to deal with interest from Roma for their young defender Kurt Zouma, according to a number of English news publications. The 20-year-old defender came to the Blues from Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne last season, and the Blues would likely be heavily resistant to a sale considering the ages of their current central defensive partnership and Zouma’s impressive progression. According to the Daily Mail, the Italian club might be open to a loan, which is probably something Chelsea would be much more amenable to.

Young Croatian Mateo Kovacic is reportedly all but a Real Madrid player, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Inter attacking midfielder is just 21 years old but has caught the eye of Florentino Perez and has been linked with Los Blancos all summer, as well as Liverpool. The deal is reportedly worth as much as $39 million, and the report states movement this weekend from Madrid has put them in pole position.

Bournemouth’s failed May move for Jermain Defoe could be back on as the Sunderland striker has his eye on a move away from the Stadium of Light, according to the Metro. The Black Cats have suffered a pair of embarrassing defeats to start the season, and that has reportedly caused Defoe to rethink his standing at Sunderland, whom he led away from the relegation zone last season.

Watch Live: West Ham United v. Liverpool

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After weeks of having a game in hand on Premier League title chasers Manchester City and Leicester City, the full extent of Liverpool’s lead will be revealed when the Reds visit West Ham United on Wednesday (Watch live, 2:45 p.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com).

[ STREAM: Every PL game live here ]

Once the full-time whistle blows at the London Stadium, all 20 PL sides will have played 24 games. Ahead of kickoff, Jurgen Klopp‘s side leads second-place Man City by a whopping 16 points.

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West Ham, meanwhile, sit 17th in the table and are only clear of the relegation zone by way of goal differential. That’s something that could very easily change between now and 5 p.m. ET.

LIVE, League Cup semifinal: Man City v. Man United

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It’s time for leg two of the Manchester derby in the semifinals of the EFL Cup (Wednesday, 2:45 p.m. ET) at the Etihad Stadium.

[ LIVE: Man City v. Man United ]

Manchester City lead 3-1 following their first-leg dismantling of Manchester United at Old Trafford. In theory, it’s a mere formality to reach the final at Wembley, where they would take on Aston Villa following their late dramatics on Tuesday.

Click on the link above to follow the action live, while we will have you covered here at Pro Soccer Talk with all of the reaction and analysis.

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Transfer rumor roundup: Richarlison to Barca for $110m? Spurs’ striker search

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


A roundup of all of the major transfer rumors, most notably those involving Premier League clubs, on Wednesday…

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

Barcelona have reportedly had a $110-million bid for Richarlison rejected by Everton. That’s a mind-blowing number for a club like Everton to receive, but the Toffees apparently didn’t have to think long before saying “thanks, but no thanks.” Luis Suarez is expected to miss four months due to a knee injury, leaving the Blaugrana somewhat for a replacement. Everton, however, have no desire to lose a key member of their squad with little to no time to sign a replacement.


After adding winger Steven Bergwijn on Wednesday, Tottenham Hotspur are heavily linked with a number of strikers as options to replace the injured Harry Kane. AC Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek is the most frequently linked (and most expensive) player coming out of the rumor mill, while Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud has come up as an emergency option (he is reportedly open to the idea). However, Jose Mourinho has reportedly been told he has just $13 million to acquire a new forward after spending a combined $108 million on Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes.


Elsewhere in Tottenham rumors, full back Kyle Walker-Peters is expected to complete a loan move (without an option to buy) to Southampton in the very near future. The 22-year-old has been on the fringe of the first-team squad for what feels like five years now, but has never quite broken through. This could be Spurs putting into the shop window a player who they don’t believe is in their long-term plans in order to drive up his price tag come this summer.


Sheffield United look set to make a big push for a top-six finish, as the Blades are linked with moves for a pair of highly rated young players: Richairo Zivkovic, from Chinese side Changchun Yatai, and Sander Berge, from Genk. Zivkovic was one of the most highly touted youngsters in Europe before moving to China on a big-money deal; Berge has been linked with some of the biggest clubs across Europe in recent years, all the while the 21-year-old has become a fixture for the Belgian side.

Man United confirm agreement for Bruno Fernandes

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Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.


Bruno Fernandes is on the brink of becoming a Manchester United player after the club announced on Wednesday that an agreement has been reached with Portuguese side Sporting CP.

[ MORE: Spurs complete Bergwijn transfer from PSV ]

From the club’s website, which is currently unreachable at the time of posting:

“Manchester United are delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Sporting Clube de Portugal for the transfer of Bruno Fernandes.

“The deal is subject to a medical and the agreement of personal terms. A further announcement will be made in due course.”

The dollar figure most commonly reported is $61 million (potentially reaching $88 million after add-ons). Fernandes, 25, is reportedly in the process of visiting the Sporting offices to terminate his current contract and record a goodbye video for fans before boarding a flight to Manchester.

Fernandes came close to joining Tottenham Hotspur in the summer, but an agreement could never be reached between the involved parties and they ended up signing Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis instead.