Ronaldo, Aubameyang and the other transfers that could go through on deadline day

By Sports Desk August 31, 2022

It has been a record-breaking transfer window across Europe, and one that has thrown up more than a surprise or two on the continent with numerous big-name players making fresh starts.

While the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, Erling Haaland and Gabriel Jesus have all made fast starts to life at their new clubs, for others their futures remain unclear heading into the final day of the window.

As any football supporter will know, some of the biggest deals can often be left to deadline day – and occasionally even after the cut-off point, as long as an agreement has been reached and ratified with the relevant authorities.

With less than 24 hours of the window to run across each of Europe's top five leagues, Stats Perform looks at the names that could yet be on the move on Thursday.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United)

It has been quite the transfer window for Manchester United forward Ronaldo. Having only returned to Old Trafford last year, the Portugal international is reported to have informed the club of his desire to leave in early July, coinciding with the arrival of new head coach Erik ten Hag.

Ten Hag has repeatedly stated Ronaldo remains part of his plans, but the 37-year-old's lack of playing time this season suggests otherwise – albeit not helped by a disrupted pre-season owing to family reasons.

Ronaldo proved last season he is still capable of doing a job at the highest level, though finding a club willing to pay his huge wages – on top of paying a fee to United – is a different matter. Rumoured interest from Bayern Munich, Chelsea and even Sporting CP came to little, though talk of a surprise switch to Napoli persists.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona)

Just six months on from arriving at Barcelona as a free agent following a tumultuous end to his time with Arsenal, Aubameyang may well be on his way back to English football with Chelsea.

The Gabon international has slipped down the pecking order at Camp Nou following the arrival of Lewandowski and Barca could do with freeing up some funds, with Aubameyang one of a few players still in place that were expected to depart.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel previously worked with Aubameyang at Borussia Dortmund and recently said he feels like the striker is still one of his players. Having scored 68 goals in 128 Premier League games for Arsenal, Aubameyang already has proven pedigree in the division.

Anthony Gordon (Everton)

Given Chelsea's slow start to the 2022-23 season, it is perhaps no surprise that they are being linked with numerous names ahead of Thursday's deadline. Everton winger Gordon is high on the Blues' list of targets, with a couple of bids already reported to have been knocked back.

Everton boss and Chelsea legend Frank Lampard stressed once again on Tuesday that Gordon is not for sale, but one final push from the London club – and a word or two from Gordon, should that be what he wants – may well tempt the Toffees into a sale.

While the sums of money being discussed for a player with just 35 league starts to his name may be extortionate, Chelsea have clearly identified Gordon as a vital piece of their jigsaw and do not appear ready to give up on him without a fight.

 

Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)

De Jong's name dominated the gossip columns for a large period of the transfer window, though things have gone a little quieter on that front after Manchester United instead moved for Casemiro.

That is not to say a move has been entirely ruled out, however, particularly when taking Barca's rather desperate financial situation into account. 

With Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain having also been linked with De Jong at various points, the Netherlands international may just have a big decision to make in the next 24 hours or so.

Pedro Neto (Wolves)

Jurgen Klopp has made no secret of his desire to bring another midfielder to Liverpool before the window closes due to Thiago Alcantara, Curtis Jones, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all nursing injuries.

The club do not want to bring in a player for the sake of it, however, limiting themselves to just a few targets. RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer and Inter's Nicolo Barella had been among those linked, but moves for both are said to have been ruled out.

Brighton and Hove Albion's Moises Caicedo and Neto of Wolves, the latter of whom is also supposedly on Arsenal's radar, are two other candidates to come in on deadline day. Time, though, is not on Liverpool's side.

Youri Tielemans (Leicester City)

Perhaps Liverpool would be wiser to move for Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, who could be available for as little as £25million if certain reports are to be believed.

Arsenal, too, could do with some further midfield competition and are known to have shown an interest in the talented Belgium international in the past.

Tielemans, capable of operating as a deep-lying midfielder or higher up the pitch, is due to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, meaning Leicester's hand is being forced somewhat.

Sergino Dest (Barcelona)

Them again! Despite their well-publicised financial issues, Barcelona have still managed to substantially strengthen their squad this window, and there could still be another arrival at Camp Nou.

An agreement is said to be in place to sign left-back Marcos Alonso from Chelsea, while Juan Foyth had been strongly linked prior to sustaining an injury for Villarreal. However, a move for either player is likely dependent on freeing up some cash first.

The departure of one of aforementioned duo Aubameyang or De Jong would help in that regard, as would exits for fringe players Martin Braithwaite, Miralem Pjanic and Ez Abde. At this stage, it appears Dest is the closest of Barca's first-teamers to leaving, with Milan his most likely destination.

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  • Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Selecao on Ronaldo's landmark outing Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Selecao on Ronaldo's landmark outing

    Francisco Conceicao proved the hero on his first competitive appearance for Portugal after his stoppage-time winner snatched a 2-1 victory over Czechia in their Euro 2024 opener.

    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in the European Championship's 64-year history to appear in six editions, but his landmark moment was overshadowed by a glimpse into Portugal's future.

    Conceicao was introduced after 90 minutes and scored just two minutes later, capitalising on a loose ball to send Portugal level on points with leaders Turkiye, who beat Georgia 3-1 earlier on Tuesday in Group F.

    Robin Hranac's unavoidable own-goal had earlier cancelled out Lukas Provod's rocketed second-half opener before Conceicao announced himself on the international stage at the Leipzig Stadium.

    Roberto Martinez's team were the only side to win every qualifying game for this tournament, with a perfect 10 wins from as many matches, and dominated the first half of their opener without reward.

    Ronaldo almost marked his landmark appearance with a goal just eight minutes in but rushed an unmarked header in uncharacteristic fashion from Rafael Leao's whipped cross.

    Bruno Fernandes angled a deflected long-range effort narrowly over as the one-way traffic persisted, before the Manchester United midfielder's teasing ball just evaded the lunging Leao.

    Fernandes was again the architect when his delicate throughball found Ronaldo, who was denied by Jindrich Stanek's fantastic stop from point-blank range.

    The Czechia goalkeeper was on hand once more before the interval, parrying away another fizzing Ronaldo strike as these two sides were the first to be goalless at half-time at Euro 2024.

    Portugal completed 368 passes in that first-half onslaught, their most on record in a single half at the European Championships since records began in 1980, and little changed after the break.

    Ronaldo tested the hands of Stanek with a dipping free-kick just before the hour, though Portugal were stunned soon after when Provod cannoned into the top-left corner from the perimeter of Diogo Costa's area.

    Yet a response swiftly followed as Stanek parried Leao's downwards back-post header against Hranac, who could only deflect into his own net to level proceedings.

    Diogo Jota had a late finish ruled out by VAR after Ronaldo was adjudged offside before his rebounded strike, though Conceicao pounced from Pedro Neto's half-cleared left-wing cross to snatch all three points.

    Substitute heroics save Ronaldo's landmark appearance

    Ronaldo already holds the record for the most appearances in European Championship history (26), though this outing marked another historic moment for the 39-year-old.

    Having featured at every Euros since his 2004 debut, Ronaldo is the first to go to six editions of the tournament, where his 14 goals make him the leading scorer in history.

    The former Manchester United attacker could not add to his tally here, and it was a familiar tale at the Euros for Ronaldo, who missed the 2016 final victory over France after his gut-wrenching injury.

    Eder stepped up as the extra-time hero on that occasion, and he was the last Portugal substitute to score at the Euros before Conceicao did so here.

    Conceicao's goal came just 111 seconds after being introduced and marks the fastest such goal since Ferran Torres for Spain against Slovakia in June 2021 (41 seconds) – what an introduction for the Porto man.

    Czech need more from Schick

    Patrik Schick scored five of Czechia's six goals at Euro 2020, becoming only the second Czech player to be the sole or joint-top scorer at a European Championship tournament – after Milan Baros at the 2004 edition (five goals).

    The forward has since lifted the Bundesliga title with Bayer Leverkusen last term, helping Xabi Alonso's side to an unbeaten league season with seven top-flight goals.

    Considering his record at the Euros and the 2023-24 trophy-winning campaign, Czechia may want more from their star striker – who was withdrawn on the hour after being cautioned and failing to manage a single shot.

    Yet with or without Schick, Czechia could have never prepared for Conceicao's late intervention. Ivan Hasek's side have now lost five straight games against Portugal and must bounce back when they face Georgia on Saturday.

  • Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Seleaco on Ronaldo's landmark outing Portugal 2-1 Czechia: Conceicao's last-gasp heroics salvage Seleaco on Ronaldo's landmark outing

    Francisco Conceicao proved the hero on his first competitive start for Portugal after his stoppage-time winner snatched a 2-1 victory over Czechia in their Euro 2024 opener.

    Cristiano Ronaldo became the first player in the European Championship's 64-year history to appear in six editions, but his landmark moment was overshadowed by a glimpse into Portugal's future.

    Conceicao was introduced after 90 minutes and scored just two minutes later, capitalising on a rebound to send Portugal level on points with leaders Turkiye, who beat Georgia 3-1 earlier on Tuesday in Group F.

    Robin Hranac's unavoidable own-goal had earlier cancelled out Lukas Provod's rocketed second-half opener before Conceicao announced himself on the international stage at the Leipzig Stadium.

    Roberto Martinez's team were the only side to win every qualifying game for this tournament, with a perfect 10 wins from as many matches, and dominated the first half of their opener without reward.

    Ronaldo almost marked his landmark appearance with a goal just eight minutes in but rushed an unmarked header in uncharacteristic fashion from Rafael Leao's whipped cross.

    Bruno Fernandes angled a deflected long-range effort narrowly over as the one-way traffic persisted, before the Manchester United midfielder's teasing ball just evaded the lunging Leao.

    Fernandes was again the architect when his delicate throughball found Ronaldo, who was denied by Jindrich Stanek's fantastic stop from point-blank range.

    The Czechia goalkeeper was on hand once more before the interval, parrying away another fizzing Ronaldo strike as these two sides were the first to be goalless at half-time at Euro 2024.

    Portugal completed 368 passes in that first-half onslaught, their most on record in a single half at the European Championships since records began in 1980, and little changed after the break.

    Ronaldo tested the hands of Stanek with a dipping free-kick just before the hour, though Portugal were stunned soon after when Provod cannoned into the top-left corner from the perimeter of Diogo Costa's area.

    Yet a response swiftly followed as Stanek parried Leao's downwards back-post header against Hranac, who could only deflect into his own net to level proceedings.

    Diogo Jota had a late finish ruled out by VAR after Ronaldo was adjudged offside before his rebounded finish, though Conceicao pounced from Pedro Neto's left-wing cross to snatch all three points.

    Substitute heroics save Ronaldo's landmark appearance

    Ronaldo already holds the record for the most appearances in European Championship history (26), though this outing marked another historic moment for the 39-year-old.

    Having featured at every Euros since his 2004 debut, Ronaldo is the first to go to six editions of the tournament, where his 14 goals make him the leading scorer in history.

    The former Manchester United attacker could not add to his tally here, and it was a familiar tale at the Euros for Ronaldo, who missed the 2016 final victory over France after his gut-wrenching injury.

    Eder stepped up as the extra-time hero on that occasion, and he was the last Portugal substitute to score at the Euros before Conceicao did so here.

    Conceicao's goal came just 111 seconds after being introduced and marks the fastest such goal since Ferran Torres for Spain against Slovakia in June 2021 (41 seconds) – what an introduction for the Porto man.

    Czech need more from Schick

    Patrik Schick scored five of Czechia's six goals at Euro 2020, becoming only the second Czech player to be the sole or joint-top scorer at a European Championship tournament – after Milan Baros at the 2004 edition (five goals).

    The forward has since lifted the Bundesliga title with Bayer Leverkusen last term, helping Xabi Alonso's side to an unbeaten league season with seven top-flight goals.

    Considering his record at the Euros and the 2023-24 trophy-winning campaign, Czechia may want more from their star striker – who was withdrawn on the hour after being cautioned and failing to manage a single shot.

    Yet with or without Schick, Czechia could have never prepared for Conceicao's late intervention. Ivan Hasek's side have now lost five straight games against Portugal and must bounce back when they face Georgia on Saturday.

  • Ronaldo etches name into European Championship history with start against Czechia Ronaldo etches name into European Championship history with start against Czechia

    Cristiano Ronaldo etched his name into European Championship history on Tuesday after becoming the first player to feature in six different editions of the tournament.

    The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was named in Roberto Martinez's starting XI as Portugal started their Euro 2024 campaign against Czechia in Leipzig.

    Having appeared at every Euros since his 2004 debut, Ronaldo is the first to register six tournament outings in the 64-year history of UEFA's top international competition.

    Ronaldo also equalled the record for the most consecutive European Championship appearances made for a nation, featuring in all 18 of Portugal's matches since the Euro 2008 quarter-final.

    Only Leonardo Bonucci, for Italy between 2012 and 2021, can match that feat – but no player comes near the 39-year-old's scoring record on the European stage.

    Since 1972, Ronaldo has managed 20 goal contributions at the Euros (14 goals, six assists), more than double any other player – France's Michel Platini is second on 10 (nine goals, one assist).

    Yet there was more history for another Portugal player in Martinez's line-up.

    Veteran centre-back Pepe is just the second player to appear in as many as 20 games at the European Championship finals after Ronaldo (26).

    That pair are the first and third oldest players to play at this competition's finals, too, as well as being the oldest two outfielders, with Pepe aged 41 years and 113 days and Ronaldo at 39 years and 134 days.

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