The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.
TOP STORY: Chilwell success key to Chelsea plans for Rice
Blues boss Frank Lampard personally pushed for the Leicester City left-back's £50 million move to Stamford Bridge this summer, for a price that some considered to be too high.
But Chilwell has so far performed well in shoring up Chelsea's defensive issues. Therefore, Lampard's position to convince Chelsea's front office to go for Rice has been strengthened as Chilwell continues to impress and could see the board sanction another big-money move.
West Ham United star Rice, who was a youth player at Chelsea, has been regularly linked with a move away from London Stadium. While he clearly loves being the focal point of the Hammers' starting XI, there's always a chance he could leave if his £80m price tag is met.
21.20 GMT: While Arsenal have been long liked with Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, it's Juventus who nearly signed the France international in the summer, L'Equipe reports. The French and Italian clubs had an agreement that would see Federico Bernardeschi move to Ligue 1 on loan and Aouar join the Old Lady for €55m, only for Bernardeschi to have a change of heart and scupper the whole operation's completion.
19.33 GMT: Without Luis Suarez and Diego Costa, Atletico Madrid need another striker if Diego Simeone & Co. are going to contend for the La Liga title, and according to AS, they've identified Napoli front man Arkadiusz Milik as their No. 1 target, but they'll have to fend off interest from Tottenham Hotspur and Everton to sign the 26-year-old Poland international.
17.46 GMT: As reports circulate of Paris Saint-Germain's interest in signing Lionel Messi this summer, Mundo Deportivo writes that Neymar will sign a new long-term deal at the Parc des Princes - his contract expires 18 months from now - should Les Parisiens manage to successfully bring Messi into the fold.
15.59 GMT: Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has said it wasn't helpful for the club's acting president Carles Tusquets to say that Lionel Messi should have been sold last summer.
Tusquets, who is in charge of the managing committee running Barca until a new president is elected on Jan. 24, said this week that it would have been "desirable" to release Messi from a financial point of view.
Sources have told ESPN that the comments didn't go down well at the club. Other managing committee members were surprised by what he said and feel he has made a habit of speaking too much since being handed his role in October.
15.27 GMT: Arsenal's players exchanged angry words with each other in a clear-the-air meeting after manager Mikel Arteta called the squad together to identify reasons behind their poor start to the season.
Sources have told ESPN's James Olley that Arteta assembled the entire first-team group on Tuesday in a bid to address a slump in form that has left them 14th in the Premier League.
14.55 GMT: Manchester United and Paul Pogba surely can't continue together for long.
14.07 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain are exploring the possibility of signing Barcelona's Lionel Messi in the summer, sources have told ESPN's Julien Laurens.
Messi wanted to leave Barca in August after the 8-2 Champions League elimination to Bayern Munich and sources said at the time that Manchester City led the chase to sign him.
However, Neymar and PSG sporting director Leonardo also discussed bringing the Argentina international to France at that time and have not lost interest in him since.
13.47 GMT: Flamengo are determined to keep both Thiago Maia and Pedro in their ranks despite the financial impact caused by their elimination from the Copa Libertadores, according to ESPN Brasil journalist Mauro Cezar Pereira.
Maia is currently injured but Flamengo want to open negotiations with Lille to extend his loan until December 2021.
Meanwhile, the club are also interested in completing the signing of Pedro from Fiorentina on permanent basis. Flamengo have an option to buy him for €12m, which would be paid in different installments, but need to raise money first and are ready to listen to offers for Lincoln in order to fund the deal, sources have told ESPN.
The Brazilian side have already received one offer from Cyprus but have authorised Lincoln's agent to find other potential suitors.
13.28 GMT: Juventus are under investigation following irregularities found in an Italian citizenship test Luis Suarez underwent in September.
At the time of the initial investigation on Sept. 22, the Italian finance police chief Selvaggio Sarri had said Juve were not being looked into, but that situation has now changed.
"It emerged that the contents of the test had been communicated in advance to the player, in order to arrive at a predetermined outcome and examination score to meet the requests that had been made by Juventus, with the aim of achieving a positive image return, both personal and for the university," a statement made on Friday by the Perugia prosecutor's office read.
Sources had told ESPN that Suarez had agreed to join Juve after he was deemed surplus to requirements at Barcelona. He later moved to Atletico Madrid.
12.57 GMT: Amid the turmoil at Barcelona, United States defender Sergino Dest says he's delighted to play for the club.
Last year, Dest had the chance to join Bayern. Instead, he signed for the team Bayern exposed as old and brittle in a historic rout en route to winning the Champions League title.
"It was not easy, easy, but this is my dream club. So that is why I chose Barça," Dest told AP about becoming the first American player to sign for Barcelona's senior club in early October. "I saw some chances. They had some new players for the team. [Ronald] Koeman ... wanted me on Barça, so I thought they had a good plan with me. And right now I am playing, so I am happy. I had to take it because you never know when the chance (like this) happens again."
Dest, however, said that although he shares a locker room with Lionel Messi, he was in the dark along with millions of others regarding the future of the club's greatest player. Messi has yet to recant his statement that he wants to leave the team. Messi, whose contract expires in June, will be free to negotiate with other clubs next month.
"I hear those things, too, but I don't know what is true or not," Dest said. "I hope I can play with him one more year. But we will see. Everyone wants to have him in this club, but it is his choice."
12.15 GMT: Could Neymar get Lionel Messi to join him at PSG?
11.51 GMT: Eduardo Camavinga is one of the most sought after talents in European football with many of Europe's top clubs monitoring the 18-year-old's impressive performances at Rennes. There is a considerable amount of hype surrounding the midfielder, with Real Madrid among those keen, and agents across Europe have been lining up to represent him.
Camavinga and dad Celestino have listened to pitches from various contenders after parting ways with one of France's leading agents, Moussa Sissoko. He counts Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele among his clients and had been key to Camavinga's development -- he even had someone from within his team in Rennes looking after the player on a daily basis.
On Friday, Jonathan Barnett told ESPN that his Stellar Group had won the race.
"We're looking forward to working closely with him and his family," he said. The Camavingas would not confirm that when approached for comment. Such a prodigious talent is likely to be on the move before too long, with clubs already preparing their bids for next summer.
11.37 GMT: Liverpool need a new defender and are looking at RB Leipzig for help.
With 22-year-old centre-back Dayot Upamecano previously linked, Bild reports that the club are now turning attention to Ibrahima Konate, who is a year younger and could cost less than €50m.
11.08 GMT: Manchester United are willing to spend in the January transfer window despite the ongoing uncertainty of the financial impact of the coronavirus, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson, with Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano among the names on United's wish list.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has repeatedly urged caution, insisting he will have to manage the club's resources "carefully" until the pandemic is over. However, sources told ESPN that he will back manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with funds in the January transfer market if an opportunity to sign a long-term target presents itself.
10.27 GMT: Arsenal centre-back William Saliba is expected to leave the club on loan in January and would prefer a move back to his native France, sources told ESPN's James Olley.
The 19-year-old is yet to make his debut for the Gunners, having been initially loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 campaign following a £27m transfer in July last year. Manager Mikel Arteta then opted not to register Saliba for either Premier League or Europa League matches this season, believing he needs a "transition year" before beginning his career in north London.
Sources told ESPN the prevailing view at Arsenal's London Colney training base is that Saliba has a lot to improve upon before he is considered ready for the Premier League. Saint-Etienne almost took Saliba on loan for a second time, but the deal collapsed at the 11th hour.
10.03 GMT: Barcelona's Lionel Messi is a free agent next summer.
09.19 GMT: Some big-name players will be available on a free transfer in 2021 if they don't put pen to paper soon.
Here are 10 top players who can be picked up for nothing -- and can start to negotiate with other clubs in January -- with the help of Transfermarkt. Including:
- Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
- David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
- Sergio Aguero (Man City)
08.30 GMT: Chelsea are expected to listen to offers for Antonio Rudiger and Fikayo Tomori in January as head coach Frank Lampard seeks to reduce the number of centre-backs at the club, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.
Both players almost left the club in the summer. Tottenham and West Ham United enquired about Rudiger while sources told ESPN on Sept. 8 that Everton were in advanced talks to sign Tomori on loan.
However, both deals collapsed as Rudiger, who was reluctant to play for another club in London, stayed despite a late offer from Roma.
Chelsea delayed allowing Tomori to leave and the player opted to stay and fight for his place amid a late loan bid from West Ham.
Marcotti: Zidane is more likely to walk away than get sacked
Gab and Juls discuss Zinedine Zidane's future at Real Madrid after their poor run of form.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Liverpool, Arsenal seek Brighton star
The two English juggernauts could make their move as early as the January transfer window and, after a strong start to the campaign with the Seagulls, Brighton are aware of the challenge they face to keep him.
Bissouma, 24, has been at the Amex Stadium since signing from Lille in 2018 -- and now, he's ready to take a step up into European competition.
Toffees to take on Toney?
The Bees have been the target for many Premier League clubs over the course of the last few months, especially since they failed to gain promotion to the top flight.
While Toney wasn't initially viewed as someone that was on the radar of Premier League sides, it does appear as if the Toffees have taken a real interest in him -- and right in time for the Jaunary transfer window.
- Calciomercato is reporting that Paris Saint-Germain have joined AC Milan in trying to sign Ozan Kabak. The Schalke 04 centre-back has long been viewed as one of the most exciting defenders in European football, and while Milan were the frontrunners to sign him, the finances of PSG could now swing things in their favour.
- Newcastle United are one of many European clubs in the running to sign Fikayo Tomori on loan, Goal reports. With Tomori's chances in the Chelsea first team having been reduced significantly in recent months, the Magpies believe they could offer him a route out -- if only temporarily. Either way, though, it doesn't appear as if his long-term future will be at Stamford Bridge.