Toni Kroos says he could give up Germany duty after next year's European Championships.

The Real Madrid midfielder was one of the key players as Germany won the World Cup in 2014.

But Joachim Low's men have failed to follow up that success, losing to France in the Euro 2016 semi-finals and seeing their World Cup defence end early in Russia.

Kroos, 29, is already thinking about whether Euro 2020 could be his final international competition.

"After the tournament it will be a good moment to think about it," Kroos told a news conference.

"I will not kill myself if I end my career without having won a European Championship."

Kroos and Germany continue their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign at home to Netherlands in Group C on Friday.

Low, whose side have a 100 per cent record after three games, will be without Kroos' fellow midfielder Leon Goretzka.

The Bayern Munich midfielder has left the Germany camp early due to a thigh injury.

Gareth Bale has cleared the air with Thibaut Courtois after the goalkeeper let slip that Real Madrid team-mates nicknamed the Welsh star "the golfer".

That revelation emerged earlier this year when Courtois, in an interview with a Belgian newspaper, also hinted at bemusement over Bale and Toni Kroos skipping a team evening meal because they wanted to avoid a late night.

Bale, who says his critics are misinformed and their verdicts on his Santiago Bernabeu career "mean nothing", made sure he got to the bottom of Courtois' comments.

And he believes the Belgian goalkeeper meant no offence.

"I am a golfer!" Bale said in a Wales news conference on Thursday. "I spoke to him about it and he meant it as a joke.

"People took it out of context, but I'm very happy with the nickname to be honest. It's a great one.

"Obviously football is number one. Golf is a hobby like anyone else would have a hobby.

"There's nothing wrong with having a round and people make a lot of it. It's just one thing I really enjoy. It keeps me calmer off the pitch."

Bale's scorn for the hot takes about his Madrid future was spelt out by the 30-year-old, after a transfer window full of speculation linking him with a move away from Spain.

He reportedly came close to joining Chinese club Jiangsu Suning, and was linked with various Premier League teams, but ended up staying in Madrid.

Asked about the rumours surrounding him, Bale said: "I just don't listen to any of it because they don't really know what they're on about. I don't read anything, I don't listen to anyone.

"Most people don't know the situation, don't understand things, so what they're writing means nothing."

After regaining the faith of Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, who said during the summer it would be "best for everyone" if Bale moved on, the winger could yet have successful years ahead at the club.

Wales boss Ryan Giggs enjoyed seeing his star man net a double in Madrid's 2-2 draw at Villarreal on Sunday, although Bale's late red card was a blemish on that performance.

"It's good to see him scoring again because usually when he scores he gets on a roll, so hopefully that'll be the case," Giggs said.

Manchester United winger Daniel James could eventually supplant Bale as the Wales talisman, but Giggs is thrilled at the prospect of them playing in tandem for now.

"Dan's got off to a great start in his Manchester United career but also he's been brilliant for us in the last few games, especially in the summer [June] under difficult circumstances," said Giggs, referring to James' father dying in late May.

"It's not only about Gareth. The pressure is always on Gareth and the spotlight is always on Gareth, but I want to bring that pressure off Gareth where we can't rely on him in every game because we have other talented players in the squad."

Wales face Azerbaijan in Euro 2020 qualifying on Friday, having lost their past two Group E matches.

Barcelona should view their failure to seal a deal for Neymar as a blessing in disguise, according to Vicente del Bosque.

The LaLiga champions were unable to reach an agreement with Paris Saint-Germain prior to Monday's transfer deadline.

Brazil international Neymar, who is said to be unhappy in France, could still return to Camp Nou in future, while Real Madrid reportedly remain interested.

But former Madrid and Spain boss Del Bosque believes the talented 27-year-old represents more trouble than he is worth.

"It would have been good for the Spanish league for him to return but if I was involved with a club, I wouldn't have signed him," Del Bosque told RTVE programme Estudio Estadio.

"He is a great player, but there are other things I don't like. He did not behave well at Barcelona. He behaved badly, or very badly.

"If you did a survey in Barcelona, there would surely be more than 50 per cent who would be reluctant to have him back."

Another of the close season's transfer sagas took place over at Del Bosque's former employers Madrid as Zinedine Zidane unsuccessfully attempted to remove Gareth Bale from his squad.

The Wales international appeared destined for the Chinese Super League until Madrid's board blocked his departure.

Bale has since returned to favour, starting each of the club's three LaLiga matches this term, and Del Bosque thinks the four-time Champions League winner will prove useful to Zidane.

"No one thought his behaviour was bad, just that he did not adapt to Madrid. Very few people doubted his qualities," the retired World Cup winner said.

"I think he will perform for them because he is a very good player."

I wish I could decide my career like in Football Manager.

That was the thought of Christian Eriksen after he was unable to engineer a move away from Tottenham.

The transfer window slammed shut on Monday but Eriksen is still in the headlines.

 

TOP STORY – INTER EYE ERIKSEN BID

Inter are interested in making a January move for Tottenham star Eriksen, claims The Express.

Eriksen wanted to leave Spurs prior to the transfer window closing but a departure did not materialise amid reported interest from the likes of Real Madrid, Manchester United and Juventus.

Now, Antonio Conte's Inter could be willing to offer Eriksen a way out of London.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to The Sun, Inter may have a battle to secure Eriksen's signature. Having been linked during the transfer window, Manchester United are reportedly preparing a shock move for the Spurs star in January.

- Marca says Neymar's father "harassed" Real Madrid with phone calls as a return to Barcelona from Paris Saint-Germain became more unlikely.

- AS reports that Mariano Diaz rejected a move to Schalke prior to Monday's transfer deadline day. The Bundesliga side wanted Diaz, however, the Real Madrid forward opted to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu.

- Yannick Bolasie turned down the chance to join Russian giants CSKA Moscow over racism fears, according to the Daily Mail. He decided to swap Everton for Sporting CP on loan instead.

- What is better than one Sessegnon? Two. After signing Ryan from Fulham, Tottenham are targeting his twin brother Steven Sessegnon, says The Sun.

Vinicius Junior revealed Zinedine Zidane had told him he could enjoy a long career at Real Madrid.

Vinicius, 19, has struggled to cement his place in Madrid since arriving ahead of the 2018-19 season, having starred for Flamengo.

But the forward said Madrid head coach Zidane had backed him to have a good career at the Santiago Bernabeu, if he continued improving.

"Zidane always tells me to be relaxed and to keep growing because if I do so, and because I am so well treated by everybody, he says I'll be playing there for a long time," Vinicius told a news conference on Tuesday.

"Much like Marcelo and Casemiro, who have been there for a long time."

Vinicius has made three LaLiga appearances to begin the season, although just one of those was a start – last month's 3-1 win at Celta Vigo.

Asked about playing on the right-hand side for Madrid, Vinicius said he was happy to play on either wing.

"When I was playing youth football, I did this a little and now I've come to play on the right at Real Madrid," he said.

"I think it's important for me and for my career, so that I can play well on both sides.

"Of course, I find the right side more difficult as I'm not so used to playing like this, but I'm trying to improve day by day, at each training session with Real Madrid."

Vinicius – who could make his senior Brazil debut in friendlies against Colombia and Peru this month – hopes he can take his chances and impress Zidane at Madrid early in the season.

"The beginning of the season is also a bit difficult. New players always are tested and Real Madrid now have plenty of players," he said.

"We are playing more and Zidane always talks to all the players, he gives opportunities to all of us at the beginning, so that we can have a good season."

Luka Jovic said he is ready to answer the biggest demands at Real Madrid following a slow start to life in the Spanish capital.

Jovic – who scored 27 goals last season – is still settling in after joining Madrid from Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in a reported €60million deal.

An injury in pre-season set Jovic back, while the Serbia international is yet to score for the LaLiga giants in three appearances.

Jovic, though, did help set up a goal with a stunning flick in his first LaLiga start as Madrid drew 2-2 at Villarreal prior to the international break.

Asked about his start to the season with Madrid, the 21-year-old told reporters: "After the pre-season, of course it's getting better now.

"I was injured, it was that red card when I had to come off against Arsenal [in the first half of the International Champions Cup clash after Nacho Fernandez was sent off].

"It's not easy for one young player, but I think I handled it in the best way possible and I'm ready to answer the biggest demands."

Jovic fronted the media ahead of Serbia's Euro 2020 qualifying showdown against Portugal in Belgrade.

Serbia play host to Portugal and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Balkan nation third in Group B, six points behind leaders Ukraine and two clear of Saturday's visitors.

There will also be a new head coach on the sidelines after Ljubisa Tumbakovic replaced Mladen Krstajic, who was sacked after June's 4-1 rout of Lithuania following their 5-0 humiliation against Ukraine.

"As far as I know, we play 11 on 11, we don't just play against Ronaldo," Jovic said. "We will prepare for the whole team, not just Ronaldo.

"He is certainly their best individual, but they have many more interesting players who can make a problem. It will be necessary to be concentrated and disciplined as much as possible to achieve a positive result."

Dani Carvajal insisted Real Madrid could not worry about the likes of Neymar or Paul Pogba after the LaLiga giants were unable to sign the star duo.

Neymar and Pogba were linked with moves to Madrid from Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United respectively, but ended up staying when the transfer window closed on Monday.

Carvajal admitted Neymar's potential arrival was discussed at Madrid, although the right-back always had his doubts.

"You saw that one day he went to Barca, another day he came with us, another day he stayed," he told El Partidazo de COPE.

"We asked the Brazilians and they told us that he didn't know, I was in doubt. He is a top-five or top-three player. Such a player is welcome on any team."

And, with Pogba also not heading to the Santiago Bernabeu, Carvajal said Madrid needed to focus on the players that were part of their squad.

"Pogba sounded a lot too," he said. "The transfer dates close differently everywhere and in the end he has not arrived.

"We are who we are and we cannot think of someone who is not with us."

There was still something of a rebuild at Madrid, with the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy and Rodrygo Goes brought in.

Carvajal, whose team have collected five points from their opening three LaLiga games, said it was tough to make drastic changes at Madrid.

"There is always talk of revolution, but in a team like Real Madrid, where everyone wants to be and not everyone wants to leave, it's not easy," he said.

"Players have come to help us like Hazard, Militao, Mendy … and I think it is to complement a great workforce."

Eden Hazard will prove to be a revelation at Real Madrid if he can translate his "extraordinary" Chelsea form to Spain, according to Fernando Morientes.

After years of speculation, Hazard joined Real Madrid in the close season in a €100million deal, seemingly replacing Cristiano Ronaldo a year on from his departure for Juventus.

The Belgium forward has not yet made his competitive Madrid debut due to a thigh injury but will be expected to lift a side that struggled last season and has started the new campaign in unconvincing fashion, drawing two of their first three LaLiga matches.

Former Madrid forward Morientes is certainly expecting a lot from Hazard, believing the club's latest 'Galactico' buy will be a big hit in his new surroundings.

"I believe [he can be a revelation], given the relation between price and what we saw last year," Morientes said at a LaLiga event on Tuesday.

"It is true there were some Liverpool players who were at a spectacular level but, for me, Hazard was by far the [best] Premier League player. The fact he came to LaLiga, I think he has been an extraordinary signing.

"It is not just because of the value added to our competition, but because he is player who created a lot of expectations.

"Many recognised players were supposed to come to Madrid but, at the end, Hazard is the most notable. Everyone expects he can keep last year's level, which was extraordinary."

Sergio Ramos must not expect to be guaranteed a starting spot for Spain, head coach Robert Moreno has warned.

The 33-year-old has had a difficult 2019 at club level, with Real Madrid enduring a run of just four wins from 12 LaLiga games stretching back to last season.

Consecutive draws with Real Valladolid and Villarreal have led to further question marks over Madrid's defence and the form of Ramos in particular.

Moreno has defended Ramos, who has 165 senior caps for his country, describing him as a player with "outstanding behaviour" who can help the next generation of centre-backs within the squad.

However, he says Ramos will be placed under greater demands than any other member of his squad as Spain prepare for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Romania and Faroe Islands.

"As it stands yes, Sergio is going to play. But I want him to think that if he's not right, he's not going to play," said Moreno.

"I'm delighted that the youngsters have Sergio beside them because he's going to help them a lot. We have a very good generation of centre-backs and I don't think we're going to have just one good partner for Sergio, but we're going to have replacements [too].

"He has to have competition. I can only say good things about him from my time with him. He has outstanding behaviour. He's an example to all, in training, out... Sergio is the one that I'm going to demand the most from."

Moreno was also asked about the progress of Ansu Fati, who became Barcelona's youngest LaLiga goalscorer against Osasuna last Saturday at the age of 16 years and 304 days.

"We cannot rush him," Moreno said. "He must be allowed to progress through every stage.

"He was only a youth player until recently and now he is playing at Camp Nou. We have to be very patient in every sense. I know [Barcelona coach] Ernesto [Valverde] will guide him well but if he has to play with the reserves or the youth sides, there is nothing wrong with that."

Eden Hazard will not feature in Belgium's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers as expected, with brother Thorgan also absent this week.

The elder Hazard is yet to make his competitive debut for Real Madrid following a €100million move from Chelsea, having sustained a thigh injury on the eve of the new LaLiga season.

The 28-year-old was still named in Belgium's squad for the first international break of the season, although head coach Roberto Martinez insisted: "We will not take any risks."

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane subsequently announced Hazard would not be fit to feature for his country against San Marino and Scotland.

So it has proven, with Hazard leaving the Red Devils camp on Tuesday, along with Borussia Dortmund star Thorgan.

Thorgan Hazard's departure similarly does not come as a surprise after being substituted late in his second Bundesliga appearance for Dortmund against Cologne.

A rib injury was set to rule the former Borussia Monchengladbach man out for "several weeks" just days before he was called up by Martinez.

Belgium, who are top of their Euro 2020 qualifying group with four wins from four, visit minnows San Marino on Friday and then go to Hampden Park to play Scotland next Monday.

They had already lost back-up goalkeeper Koen Casteels to injury, with Hendrik Van Crombrugge called up in his place.

Robert Moreno wants Dani Ceballos to seize his chance at Arsenal and show he can be a midfield mainstay for Spain.

The loan recruit from Real Madrid is in the early weeks of a season in London that could prove pivotal for his career.

Former Real Betis playmaker Ceballos spent two years at the Santiago Bernabeu without fully establishing himself as a regular starter, although in that time he broke into the senior international squad.

Ceballos has six caps to date and could add to that tally in the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Romania on Thursday and Faroe Islands on Sunday.

But it is club consistency that Spain coach Moreno has challenged Ceballos to produce.

"What I want is for him to play, the important thing is that the players have minutes," he said.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Moreno was reluctant to talk about Ceballos and his Real Madrid prospects.

"I'm not going to get into Madrid because [coach Zinedine] Zidane is the one who decides there," said Moreno.

"I want him to play many minutes now at Arsenal."

Moreno is also hoping for great things from Pablo Sarabia, who swapped Sevilla for Paris Saint-Germain in July.

Sarabia showed stirring form in LaLiga last term to earn his move to the French champions and at the age of 27 a first Spain cap could come his way.

"I think that Sarabia is a player that, having seen him in the position where he performed at Sevilla and PSG, can add many things because he is a forward with the spirit of a midfielder," said Moreno.

"He can create between the lines and make assists. He also scores goals. When you don't have a forward that scores 80 goals you need five that score 15 goals each.

"That is what we look for from our forwards, not only to add to the game but to score goals. That is the ideal scenario. Pablo did great in Sevilla last year. He is also performing well in PSG.

"He has the profile that we like for the style of game that we will try to impose. He is one player more for us now, hopefully he will be lucky enough to make his debut in the next games."

Christian Eriksen wishes he had control over his career "like in Football Manager" after failing to secure a transfer away from Tottenham.

The playmaker said after the Champions League final in June that he was interested in pursuing a new challenge, having been at Spurs since 2013.

The 27-year-old was linked with Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United but, following the closure of the European transfer window on Monday, he is set to stay put until at least January.

In an interview with Ekstra Bladet published before the transfer deadline, Eriksen admitted he had more control over his future.

"I wish I could just decide, like in Football Manager, but unfortunately I can't," he said.

When asked if he would be able to talk in more depth about his future after the transfer deadline, he replied: "Maybe I can."

Pressed on whether it was a mistake to speak publicly about wanting a new challenge, he said: "No, it wasn't. But that's football, and you never know what will happen in football. A lot of things come into play.

"For me, it's not hard to clear my head. I don't read much of what is written. There have been lots of rumours every year.

"A lot of different things were written, like that I went to Madrid to look for a house, but it doesn't disrupt my life at all.

"I understand well [that there is interest in my future]. I know a lot of people are interested in where I play. That's the way it is."

Eriksen added that he jokes with Tottenham team-mates whenever transfer rumours begin to spread.

"We tease each other," he said. "This is how it is at a top club, if you have done well. There will always be rumours."

Europe's transfer window closed on Monday evening and the continent's top clubs avoided the temptation of breaking the bank for last-minute deals.

Most had their business all wrapped up comfortably before the deadline, while the widely floated return of Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona sank in the Seine.

But it was a transfer window in which there was plenty of lavish spending, and it was a familiar crop of clubs doing the biggest deals.

Here is a look at the most expensive signings made by European clubs during the window - including two of the world's most talented youngsters.

Matthijs de Ligt - Ajax to Juventus

This Dutch prodigy was a huge hit in the Champions League and Eredivisie for Ajax last season, and the powerful centre-back captained the Amsterdam giants before he was inevitably courted by Europe's leading clubs. Juventus won the battle for his signature, with De Ligt, who was 19 at the time of the move, making a €75million leap to Serie A, signing a contract until 2024. He turned 20 in August.

Nicolas Pepe - Lille to Arsenal

Arsenal were often accused of over-cautious frugality during Arsene Wenger's reign as manager, but the club backed Unai Emery with a big-money move for Lille's exciting forward Nicolas Pepe, who arrived at Emirates Stadium in a £72m deal. He was brought in to give Arsenal a fearsome forward line, teaming up with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Romelu Lukaku - Manchester United to Inter

Red Rom reached the end of the line at Manchester United, where it was becoming increasingly obvious he would not be a preferred pick of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But United got back almost all their money for the former Everton frontman when they sold him on to Inter for a fee understood to be €80m.

Lucas Hernandez - Atletico Madrid to Bayern Munich

Bayern had this deal in the bag before last season ended, announcing the €80m signing way back in March. Hernandez arrived at the Allianz Arena from Atletico at the campaign's end, and after recovering from knee surgery the 23-year-old made his debut on the second weekend of the new Bundesliga season. Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic described Hernandez as "one of the best defenders in the world".

Harry Maguire - Leicester City to Manchester United

Jose Mourinho wanted him 12 months earlier, but Manchester United finally landed Maguire from Leicester City in an £80m deal, making him the world's most expensive defender. Maguire was a standout performer for England at the 2018 World Cup and has come a long way since his days at Sheffield United and Hull City, with a six-year contract at United showing the club see him as a cornerstone figure for the new Solskjaer era.

Eden Hazard - Chelsea to Real Madrid

Hazard had made no secret of his wish to join Real Madrid, and the Belgian's ambition was realised when Zinedine Zidane came calling during the close season. After seven years at Chelsea, Hazard moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for an initial fee of around €100m - with the possibility of more cash to follow in add-ons. Injury has prevented Hazard making an early impact in LaLiga.

Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid to Barcelona

A year on from winning the World Cup with France, Griezmann swapped Atletico Madrid for Barcelona in one of the most contentious moves of the European summer. Barcelona coughed up €120m  to release Griezmann from his contract, infuriating Atletico who claimed talks had been taking place behind their back, at a time when the player had a higher buy-out clause, and demanded a higher fee be paid. Once he - and the dust - settles at Camp Nou, Griezmann has what it takes to be a big hit.

Joao Felix - Benfica to Atletico Madrid

With Griezmann on his way, Atletico made sure they would have a top-class replacement by reinvesting in Benfica's star teenage forward Joao Felix. The 19-year-old cost the Rojiblancos €126m, immediately inherited Griezmann's number seven shirt, and his prodigious talent is already winning plenty of admirers in Spain.

No close season seems complete without a transfer saga.

This window has seen Neymar take centre stage - and not for the first time in his career either - as we waited to find out his location by the end of September 2. 

Now we know. Despite all the speculation, and even with the media suggesting half of the Barcelona squad could be moving in the opposite direction, the Brazilian forward will not be back at Camp Nou but instead remain at Paris Saint-Germain - at least for the next few months.

The story had more twists than the career of a rollercoaster designer. It was on, then off. Then back on again. Meanwhile, almost as a sideshow while the window remained open, the two clubs happened to start playing competitive games again in their domestic leagues.

Here, we look back at some other superstars who were previously involved in headline-grabbing transfer tales.

 

Steven Gerrard

It is mind-boggling to think how the footballing landscape may have looked had Steven Gerrard ended up joining Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

The local boy who had come through the club’s ranks told Liverpool in July 2005 that he wanted to leave. Fans did not take the request well, burning Gerrard's number 17 shirt just over a month after he had captained the Reds to a famous Champions League triumph in Istanbul.

Having turned down a new deal, the midfielder revealed it had been "the hardest decision" for him to tell the Reds he needed to move on. The lure of working with Mourinho at the Blues appeared too great to ignore, or so it seemed.

Instead, Gerrard changed his mind. "He wants to stay. I couldn't be more delighted," chief executive Rick Parry said in a news conference, echoing the feelings of Liverpool fans around the world.

'Stevie G' ended up sticking around at Anfield for another decade, eventually departing for MLS in 2015.

 

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo has made a habit of suggesting he is ready to move on after winning the Champions League.

The Portuguese superstar got his wish after lifting the trophy for a third straight year with Real Madrid in 2018. He teased his departure in a post-match interview not long after the final whistle against Liverpool, before the confetti was even cleaned up, paving the way for a sensational switch to Juventus.

However, Manchester United were not so forthcoming to Ronaldo's wishes in 2008.

So strong was the Red Devils' stance in the face of interest from Madrid, Alex Ferguson claimed United’s owners, the Glazers, would rather sit a player in the stand "just to prove a point", rather than be forced to make a sale.

The English club made a complaint to FIFA concerning Madrid's public pursuit (no action was taken, by the way) as they stood their ground. Having little option but to stay put, Ronaldo said in October he could see himself staying at United beyond the 2008-09 season.

Yet when Madrid came calling again the following year, the forward finally got his move. United cashed in on their prized asset for a then world-record fee of £80m.

 

Wayne Rooney

Rooney sensationally declared his intention to leave Manchester United (for the first time) in October 2010, citing a concern over the club's unwillingness to spend big in the transfer market.

Following a meeting with the then-chief executive David Gill, the England international released a strongly worded statement that said: "He [Gill] did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad".

Citing a desire to win trophies, Rooney suddenly appeared to be heading for the Old Trafford exit. Manchester City seemed his most likely destination, too.

However, it turned out he just needed to sleep on it. Well, for two nights anyway. Having initially baulked at signing a new deal at United, the striker made a stunning U-turn and penned a five-year contract.

"I've spoken to the manager [Alex Ferguson] and the owners and they've convinced me this is where I belong," he said, while adding his intention to win back the trust of the fans. It may also have helped make up his mind that the Red Devils reportedly doubled his wages.

 

Luis Suarez

In the 2013-14 season, Suarez was sensational for Liverpool, a one-man wrecking ball who so nearly fired them to the title. The Uruguayan scored 31 Premier League goals to win the competition’s Golden Boot, while he was also named the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year.

Yet it is easy to forget that the same player had wanted to leave the Reds prior to the campaign.

Suarez believed the club had failed to deliver on a promise to let him leave after they failed to qualify for the Champions League, with Arsenal appearing his next destination. The player felt, in such circumstance, his contract included a release clause set at £40m – and the Gunners duly put in an offer £1 above that amount.

"They gave me their word a year ago and now I want them to honour that. And it is not just something verbal with the coach but something that is written in the contract. I'm not going to another club to hurt Liverpool," Suarez said at one stage.

In the end, he had to wait 12 months to eventually get his move elsewhere – and Liverpool pocketed considerably more than £40m when the striker, serving a four-month ban at the time from all football-related activity after biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup - headed to Barcelona.

 

Philippe Coutinho

Liverpool had barely finished typing out a statement to confirm he was not for sale when Philippe Coutinho e-mailed a transfer request to the club in August 2017.

Barcelona – with money to burn after Neymar had moved to PSG – had seen two bids rejected for the Brazilian playmaker, who had signed a new long-term deal in January but made clear his desire to move on just six months later.

The Reds, however, refused to budge – "maybe we are not a selling club," said Jurgen Klopp, who integrated the player back into the squad when the window closed. However, when it ticked into 2018, the rumours started again.

Having stood their ground previously, Liverpool changed their minds and negotiated a reported £142m price for Coutinho – a huge profit on the £8.5m they spent to bring him in from Inter.

"It is his dream and I am now convinced there is nothing left at our disposal to change his mind," Klopp admitted. In an added twist, Coutinho found himself suggested as a makeweight in a deal to bring Neymar back to Barca before joining Bayern Munich on loan.

Mauro Icardi's Inter saga could be at an end after Paris Saint-Germain made the headline-grabbing move of transfer deadline day.

Frozen out by Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte, Argentina striker Icardi was facing a bleak few months until PSG came in and managed to complete an initial loan move.

PSG reportedly have an option to buy the 26-year-old for €70million, while the Ligue 1 champions also signed three-times Champions League winner Keylor Navas from Real Madrid in a deal that saw another goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, move in the other direction on loan.

Serie A was a hive of activity on Monday, while plenty of Premier League players took the opportunity to move elsewhere – the window for incomings having closed in England's top flight last month.

Roman holiday for Mkhitaryan as Fiorentina aim for renaissance

Roma completed loan moves for Arsenal playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Atletico Madrid striker Nikola Kalinic, but there was a youthful edge to Fiorentina's late spree.

Wantaway Liverpool teenager Bobby Duncan will now ply his trade at the Stadio Artemio Franchi alongside Algeria winger Rachid Ghezzal – a loan signing from Leicester City.

The Viola also paid Fluminense in the region of €14m for Pedro, another player to replenish Vincenzo Montella's squad after Giovanni Simeone joined Cagliari on loan with an obligation to buy over the weekend.

Simone Verdi has joined Torino in similar fashion, ending an unhappy spell at Napoli – where free transfer Fernando Llorente bolsters Carlo Ancelotti's options at centre forward.

Napoli are joined in the Champions League by Atalanta this season and Simon Kjaer will be on hand to bolster their defence following a loan from Sevilla, although Martin Skrtel's swiftly terminated contract preceded him leaving Bergamo for a one-year deal with Istanbul Basaksehir.

Matteo Darmian was the latest member of Manchester United's defensive surplus to switch to Serie A, the Italy international joining Parma on a four-year deal after Chris Smalling was loaned to Roma. Cameron Borthwick-Jackson made the considerably shorter trip to League One side Tranmere Rovers.

The road from Watford to Udinese is incredibly well travelled and striker Stefano Okaka is back after a loan at the Stadio Friuli last season.

 

Italian flavour to Bundesliga business

AC Milan secured Croatia winger Ante Rebic on a two-year loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, for whom Andre Silva will seek to reignite his career and serve as a suitable replacement for Luka Jovic over the same period.

Bundesliga pacesetters RB Leipzig also have a talented attacker seeking a kickstart after Patrik Schick joined on an initial loan from Roma.

Vincenzo Grifo returned to Freiburg on a four-year deal from Hoffenheim, who also loaned Leonardo Bittencourt to Werder Bremen.

Marius Wolf left Borussia Dortmund for Hertha Berlin on a season-long loan and BVB's rivals Schalke sold Ukraine winger Yevhen Konoplyanka to Shakhtar Donetsk.

Rafinha on the move again as Hernandez and Bono conclude Sevilla's transfer frenzy

Had events panned out differently, this might have been the day Barcelona triumphantly welcomed Neymar back to Camp Nou.

As it was, a Brazilian left – Rafinha moving to Celta Vigo on loan after signing a contract extension with his parent club.

Barca have also agreed to sign 16-year-old midfielder Pedri from Las Palmas, who welcome back club stalwart Jonathan Viera on loan from Beijing Guoan for their Segunda promotion push.

Mexico striker Javier Hernandez and Morocco goalkeeper Bono were arrivals 12 and 13 of the window at Sevilla.

Maxime Gonalons was a loanee at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan last season and has joined Granada on a temporary basis from Roma.

Almeria were another hive of activity, with Nottingham Forest's Arvin Appiah and Joan Munoz concluding their incomings.

Real Sociedad signed Monaco's Spain Under-17 international Robert Navarro and loaned Kevin Rodriguez to Leganes.

Chelsea duo Baba Rahman and Kenedy were loaned to Real Mallorca and Getafe respectively.

Galatasaray's deadline-day delight

Radamel Falcao followed a rapturous reception following his arrival in Istanbul by signing a three-year contract with Galatasaray, who also secured Southampton midfielder Mario Lemina and Brighton and Hove Albion forward Florin Andone on loan.

Gala's rivals Fenerbahce were not to be outdone entirely as they brought in Brazilian midfielder Luiz Gustavo from Marseille on a four-year deal.

Sporting CP were already buoyed by keeping hold of the highly rated Bruno Fernandes, who will look to supply an attack reinforced by the loan arrivals of Jese from PSG and Yannick Bolasie from Everton.

Royal Antwerp snapped up Steven Defour after the playmaker's release by Burnley and also added Wesley Hoedt on a season-long loan from Southampton.

In Scotland, Celtic signed Kilmarnock left-back Greg Taylor, Manchester City teenager Jeremie Frimpong and Manchester United youngster Lee O'Connor – all on four-year deals. Rivals Rangers bought Ryan Kent from Liverpool for a fee that could reportedly rise to £7.5m.

Fellow Europa League contestants Qarabag secured former Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic on loan from Bournemouth.

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