Cristiano Ronaldo's future at Manchester United was a major source of speculation during the transfer window.

The 37-year-old Portuguese forward reportedly wanted to leave United in order to fulfil his desire to play Champions League football and challenge for trophies in the top leagues.

However, Ronaldo was unable to secure a move, with the likes of Napoli, Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid publicly distancing themselves from him following links, which may have led to another option being considered down the line.

TOP STORY – RONALDO TO RE-VISIT SAUDI OFFER IN JANUARY

Cristiano Ronaldo is reconsidering a lucrative offer from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club and could move in January, according to The Mirror.

Ronaldo had a stunning £211million Saudi offer during the transfer window but declined the move as he remained focused on playing in Europe.

But he will re-visit that in January after failing to secure a move, as he comes to the realisation his desire to play Champions League football and win trophies in top leagues may be fading.

Ronaldo has also struggled for game time this season at United under new boss Erik ten Hag, starting just one out of six Premier League games so far.

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– L'Equipe claims that Kylian Mbappe's Paris Saint-Germain contract expires in 2024 and not 2025, as that final year is at the sole discretion of the player. Mbappe was close to joining Real Madrid last term before signing a lucrative extension with PSG.

Inter are eager to work on a contract extension for defender Milan Skriniar who is out of contract at the end of this season, reports L'Interista. The Slovakian defender was pursued by PSG during the last transfer window, while Tottenham were also credited with an interest.

Arsenal will look to loan out 19-year-old Brazilian winger Marquinhos in order to gain first-team experience and game time, reports FourFourTwo. As a result, the Gunners will aim to bring in a short-term replacement in January.

N'Golo Kante has declined a new two-year deal with Chelsea and is out of contract in 2023, claims The Athletic.

– UOL says  Brighton and Hove Albion are interested in hiring Palmeiras boss Abel Ferreira to replace Graham Potter, who exited for Chelsea last week.

After making a terrific start to the season, Arsenal are reportedly looking to bolster their squad further in the January transfer window as they weigh up a move for Barcelona winger Ferran Torres.

Torres, 22, was acquired by the Spanish giants this January after emerging at Manchester City as one of Spain's top young talents, costing €55million.

With his playing time inconsistent, and the numerous questions about Barcelona's finances and their need to sell players, it appears Torres is someone the club feels comfortable parting ways with less than 12 months after his arrival.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL WANT TO BRING TORRES BACK TO THE PREMIER LEAGUE

Torres has failed to establish himself as a regular starter, and with plenty of forward depth after the expensive additions of Robert Lewandowski and Raphinha – along with Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati already being on the books – Barcelona are said to be looking to recoup their spending.

Fichajes is reporting Barcelona will be setting their asking price at the full amount they paid City, but for a young player who already has 13 international goals in 28 caps for Spain, it is not an unreasonable figure.

Meanwhile, 90min claims Barcelona are still looking to cash in on Frenkie de Jong after a lengthy transfer saga with Manchester United ended with no deal, indicating they may need to sell at least one player to keep balancing their books.

 

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– Calciomercato are reporting Chelsea remain interested in United's Marcus Rashford, along with Atletico Madrid, if he does not receive a contract extension.

– According to The Sun, Wolves and Liverpool will both attempt to sign Benfica midfielder Enzo Fernandez, just months after he arrived from River Plate on a bargain €8million deal.

Bayern Munich 's sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has denied enquiring with Tottenham about the availability of Harry Kane, per Sport1.

– Corriere dello Sport is reporting Rafael Leao's contract demands with Milan have boosted his chances of leaving the club, with Chelsea named as the primary interested party. 

Newcastle United's hunt for a goalkeeper did not end with their signing of free agent Loris Karius, with Portuguese publication JN reporting they are considering activating the £51m release clause for 22-year-old Porto goalie Diogo Costa.

Liverpool reportedly had a deadline-day bid for Moises Caicedo rejected by Brighton and Hove Albion.

The 20-year-old is hot property with a long list of suitors, after an impressive second half of last season in the Premier League.

Caicedo joined Brighton from Independiente del Valle in January 2021 on a four-and-half-year contract.

TOP STORY – BRIGHTON TO OPEN TALKS WITH CAICEDO

Brighton and Hove Albion will open contract talks with hot property Moises Caicedo according to The Mirror.

The Ecuadorian has interest from Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea.

The Seagulls are determined to fend off those suitors by pinning Caicedo down to a new contract.


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– Fichajes reports French giants Paris Saint-Germain will look to sign Antoine Griezmann after this season, as they begin planning for Lionel Messi's departure. Griezmann is currently on a two-year loan at Atletico Madrid from Barcelona. Messi is contracted until mid-2023 and view Griezmann as a suitable replacement if they cannot convince him to extend his stay.

Barcelona will resume their chase for Manchester City's Bernardo Silva in January, reports Sport. LaLiga has increased the club's salary cap, allowing them to pursue the Portuguese midfielder again.

– The Telegraph claims that among those under consideration for the vacant Brighton managerial role are ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss Roberto de Zerbi and Bodo/Glimt's Kjetil Knutsen.

Carlo Ancelotti is set to be rewarded for his successful 2021-22 campaign with Real Madrid set to offer him a new contract, according to Marca. Ancelotti's current deal runs until 2024.

Chelsea's first big transfer splash under new boss Graham Potter could reportedly be RB Leipzig defender Josko Gvardiol, after the club had a £77million bid rejected before the deadline.

Gvardiol is young at 20, but he does not lack experience, having already been awarded 10 senior international caps for Croatia, as well as racking up 47 club appearances in all competitions last season for Leipzig.

He was one of many high-profile defenders to be enquired about during Chelsea's search that ended up landing Leicester City's Wesley Fofana and Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly.

But with Koulibaly already 31 and Thiago Silva now 37, the club may feel it is best to figure out the succession plan sooner rather than later.


TOP STORY – CHELSEA PLAN BIG MOVE FOR GVARDIOL IN JANUARY

With over £150m spent between Fofana, Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella, while being tied with Manchester United for the fewest goals scored in the Premier League by a team in the top-half (eight from six games), it is curious to see the Stamford Bridge side still so desperate for defensive help.

It remains to be seen what kind of budget Potter will be allowed to use in the January window, given all the recent signings had been under Thomas Tuchel's guidance, and it is also fair to assume a potential Gvardiol deal would not have this season's results in mind, given their previous offer included loaning him back to Leipzig.

Ownership's willingness to open up the cheque book in January would have likely been discussed during their recruitment of Potter, and Bild remain convinced Chelsea's interest with the young Croatian is far from over.


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– According to The Mirror, Arsenal and Newcastle United will compete for the signature of 26-year-old Benfica left-back Alex Grimaldo, who is said to be available for £8.6m due to being in the last year of his contract.

– The Metro is reporting United full-back Diogo Dalot turned down a move to Milan, instead wishing to fight for his spot at Old Trafford.

– According to inews, Newcastle are joining the race for Vasco da Gama teenager Andrey Santos, who reportedly has a £30m price tag and is a target of Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona.

Jordi Alba is unsettled at Barcelona amid interest from Inter, but remains committed to the club where he now has to contend with Alejandro Balde and Marcos Alonso for the starting role, according to Marca.

Brazil coach Tite has announced a 26-man squad for the friendlies against Ghana and Tunisia, the team's final games before the World Cup in Qatar.

Defensive duo Bremer and Roger Ibanez, who play in Italy with Juventus and Roma respectively, are the new faces in the squad who could earn international debuts.

Established names including Alisson, Thiago Silva, Casemiro and Neymar make the cut, with the squad predominantly consisting of those playing in Europe.

Palmeiras goalkeeper Weverton and Flamengo duo Everton Ribeiro and Pedro are the three from the Brazilian league included, along with 11 representatives from the Premier League and six from LaLiga.

Among the notable absentees are Arsenal's Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus, all of whom were in the last squad from June, and 124-cap full-back Dani Alves.

Brazil face Ghana in Le Havre on September 23 before tackling Tunisia four days later in Paris.

Brazil squad: Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester City), Weverton (Palmeiras); Thiago Silva (Chelsea), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Danilo, Alex Sandro, Bremer (all Juventus), Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Alex Telles (Sevilla), Ibanez (Roma); Casemiro, Fred (both Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (West Ham), Fabinho (Liverpool), Everton Ribeiro (Flamengo), Bruno Guimaraes (Newcastle United); Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo (both Real Madrid), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Richarlison (Tottenham), Antony (Manchester United), Raphinha (Barcelona), Matheus Cunha (Atletico Madrid), Pedro (Flamengo).

Chelsea have reportedly held an emergency call with new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to reassure him of his future with the club after Thomas Tuchel's surprise sacking.

Tuchel was removed from his position after Chelsea's 1-0 loss to Dinamo Zagreb in their Champions League opener, in a move that will carry a heavy financial cost, according to reports from the Daily Mail and The Mirror.

Tuchel and his backroom staff are said to be receiving £15million in pay-outs, and Brighton are set to claim £20m in compensation after Graham Potter took over.

One of the main selling points for Aubameyang to come to Stamford Bridge was his relationship with Tuchel, who had coached him at Borussia Dortmund, and the Telegraph claims Chelsea's ownership group went out of their way to reassure the 33-year-old striker about his decision after cutting ties with Tuchel.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA OWNERS REASSURE AUBAMEYANG OF HIS ROLE AFTER TUCHEL FIRING

According to the Telegraph's report, controlling owners Todd Boehly and Behdad Egbali addressed the Chelsea squad on Wednesday after Tuchel's sacking took place that morning, but there was also a separate individual chat with Aubameyang.

They reportedly told the signing from Barcelona that they "believe he can flourish under new head coach Graham Potter", and the Gabon international is said to have no second thoughts about his decision.

While he was clearly a player Tuchel pushed for, Aubameyang was assured he was "a club signing", and the report claims he "is thought to have been appreciative of the explanation".

In his one game for Chelsea under Tuchel, Aubameyang was substituted in the 59th minute.

 

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– BILD has confirmed once again that Liverpool have their sights set on a massive move for Borussia Dortmund's 19-year-old English midfielder Jude Bellingham in 2023. 

– A report from Sport claims the rise of 18-year-old Barcelona left-back Alejandro Balde has complicated the arrival of Marcos Alonso, who was brought in to be the main competition to Jordi Alba, but he is now behind Balde as well.

– Fabrizio Romano is reporting 21-year-old Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhaylo Mudryk wants a move to Arsenal alongside his Ukrainian compatriot Oleksandr Zinchenko, and that it could be possible in January.

– JuveLive claim Juventus are prepared to offer 22-year-old striker Moise Kean to Aston Villa in a straight swap for 24-year-old midfielder Douglas Luiz.

Chelsea dismissed Thomas Tuchel on Wednesday following their 1-0 Champions League loss to Dinamo Zagreb.

New Blues owner Todd Boehly wielded the axe after a slow start to the 2022-23 season for the London club.

Several names have been linked with the vacant post already, including Mauricio Pochettino and Graham Potter.

TOP STORY – VERBAL AGREEMENT IN PLACE FOR CHELSEA AND POTTER

Chelsea will formally offer their vacant manager role to Brighton and Hove Albion's Graham Potter, according to several UK reports.

Brighton had granted Chelsea permission to speak to Potter, with the two parties locked in talks on Wednesday evening following Thomas Tuchel's dismissal.

Ben Jacobs from CBS Sports claims that a verbal agreement is agreed between Chelsea and Potter, with Sky Sports' Rob Dorsett stating he could be unveiled as their new boss on Thursday.

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– The Sun claims that Manchester United are ready to open discussions with Marcus Rashford on a new deal. Rashford, who has three goals this season, is contracted until mid-2023.

– The Sun also reports Wilfried Zaha is set to be offered a new deal by Crystal Palace. Zaha, who has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, is into the final year of his contract at Selhurst Park.

Juventus are preparing for a straight swap deal in January with Aston Villa, which would see Moise Kean and Douglas Luiz trade places, according to JuveLive. Douglas Luiz's contract at Villa Park expires at the end of this season.

–  Everton and Arsenal both remain interested in Mykhaylo Mudryk but Shakhtar Donetsk want more than £30m (€34.5m) for the 21-year-old Ukrainian winger, claims Gianluca di Marzio.

Chelsea were one of the big spenders during the transfer window with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headlining their deadline-day business.

The Blues also signed Wesley Fofana and Denis Zakaria over the past week after losing several key players.

Chelsea have started the new Premier League season with mixed results, with Saturday's 2-1 win over West Ham improving their record to 10 points from six games.

TOP STORY – CHELSEA LODGED AUDACIOUS DEADLINE DAY LAVIA BID

Chelsea tried to sign Belgium youth international Romeo Lavia from Southampton on deadline day less than two months after he joined the Saints from Manchester City, reports the Daily Echo.

The Blues were one of the big spenders late in the transfer window, and submitted a £50million proposal for the 18-year-old midfielder.

Southampton rejected the proposal having signed Lavia from City for £12m in July. City retain a buy-back clause for Lavia who has played five times for Southampton this season.

ROUND-UP

– El Nacional reports Arsenal attempted to sign Barcelona's Ferran Torres with an audacious €30m bid before the close of the transfer window on Thursday. The Spaniard joined Barca from Manchester City in January but has not been a regular starter and the Gunners tried to convince the Catalans to let him go.

Tottenham tried to sign Ukrainian midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atalanta but the Serie A club refused to sell him, claims Fabrizio Romano. Spurs may re-open the situation in January.

Besiktas are in discussions with Sassuolo's Turkey international centre-back Kaan Ayhan about a move to Turkey according to Ajansspor. The Turkish transfer window is open until September 8.

– L'Equipe claims that former Everton and Lille full-back Djibril Sidibe will join Greek club AEK Athens , having left Monaco when his contract expired at the end of last season.

 

Sunday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford between Manchester United and Arsenal is a fixture that in years gone by would have had significant ramifications in the title race.

United and Arsenal spent the best part of the noughties fighting it out for honours in the prime years of Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. It was box office stuff.

That pair of legends have since left their posts and both clubs have stuttered as a result, with title glory now beyond the realm of expectation as the sides instead focus on achieving a top-four finish and Champions League football.

In the 2022-23 season, neither will be in Europe's elite competition, with Arsenal in the midst of a five-year Champions League drought and United finishing sixth last term – the fifth time in nine seasons outside of the top four.

Mikel Arteta and Erik ten Hag are the men tasked with improving upon that record at their respective clubs, the Gunners having stood firm despite struggles at the start of last season and United turning to the former Ajax boss ahead of the new campaign.

In modern football, unlike in the eras of Ferguson and Wenger, it is not just the management who have a direct influence in proceedings, with executives in the club's hierarchy having a major say on transfer market activity.

Both clubs fell into disarray in the market after the departures of their long-serving managers, Arsenal making expensive mistakes in Nicolas Pepe and United spending close to a billion on an array of recruits in the post-Ferguson era.

Under the watch of Edu, Arsenal now appear to be moving forward with a clear plan alongside Arteta, demonstrating a ruthlessness in the past few years to oust numerous high-earning players from the squad – creating room for recruits like Gabriel Jesus.

In the three seasons since Edu has been in charge of transfer activity, following the departure of Raul Sanllehi, the Gunners have allowed the likes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mesut Ozil, Willian and Shkodran Mustafi to leave the club by cancelling their contracts.

In the wake of those bold decisions, Arsenal have not readily sought like-for-like replacements, instead freeing up room in what was viewed as a bloated wage bill. 

Alongside this, Arsenal have made a conservative effort in the transfer market to create a squad that can be a success for years to come, particularly in the last two seasons.

Since the 2021-22 campaign, Arsenal's only recruit above the age of 25 is the capture of goalkeeper Matt Turner in the current window – a player who stands as the understudy to first-choice stopper Aaron Ramsdale and a replacement for Bernd Leno, who joined Fulham.

Edu appears to have learnt lessons from 2020-21, his first season at the helm, where five of six recruits were above the age of 25 – Thomas Partey, Pablo Mari, Alex Runarsson, Willian and Cedric Soares.

At United, the overall look of the recruitment drive paints a vastly different picture. In the past two seasons, five of nine recruits fall into the 25 or over category; Raphael Varane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Tom Heaton, Casemiro and Christian Eriksen. In the season prior, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani fall into that category.

It is also worth identifying the sums paid for players of this ilk, with Arsenal's deal for Turner reportedly worth up to £7.5m if add-ons are met, a figure that is dwarfed by United's reported spending.

Since the 2021-22 transfer window, United have reportedly splashed over £100m on the deals to land Varane, Ronaldo and Casemiro – with add-ons in those deals potentially seeing a further rise in costs.

While Ronaldo was able to repay his fee with 18 Premier League goals last term, he has pushed for an exit in the current window due to a desire to play in the Champions League, but, in the case of Varane, United splashed further money on Lisandro Martinez despite already having Varane and Harry Maguire in the squad.

United's questionable approach in the market has also come under scrutiny amid deals that were reportedly eyed but not completed, including apparent intentions to sign Marko Arnautovic and Adrien Rabiot in the current window, then setting sights on Ajax's Antony and concluding a whopping £86m deal.

Time will tell whether Arsenal's approach is successful but the club appear to have all their major pieces moving in the right direction, while at United it is a difficult task to put your finger on exactly what the plan is.

Sunday's result may provide bragging rights for the winning team but in the long-term battle, there appears to only be one winner.

Chelsea have completed the signing of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Barcelona, seeing the forward reunite with his former Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel at Stamford Bridge.

Tuchel's side have been in the market for attacking reinforcements since allowing Romelu Lukaku and Timo Werner to return to their respective former clubs, Inter and RB Leipzig, after disappointing spells in west London.

Aubameyang enjoyed a successful half-season in LaLiga after leaving Arsenal in January, scoring 11 goals in 17 league appearances for Barca last term – a tally only bettered by Memphis Depay (12 goals in 28 games).

That form has persuaded Chelsea to agree a deal worth £10.3million (€12m) for the striker, who has signed a two-year contract with the Blues.

It is expected that Marcos Alonso will head in the other direction, though seemingly as a separate deal.

After the signing was announced, Aubameyang told the club's website: "I'm really happy. It's an honour to be part of this team and I can't wait to start. I have some unfinished business with the Premier League so it's good to be back and really exciting."

Aubameyang will hope a reunion with Tuchel allows him to rediscover the goalscoring form that convinced Arsenal to part with a then-club record fee for his services back in 2018.

The Gabon international has scored more league goals (56) and recorded more goal contributions (63) under Tuchel than any other coach in his career to date.

Aubameyang racked up those figures in just 63 games under Tuchel at Dortmund, averaging a goal every 94 minutes in league action during the German's spell as Dortmund boss – also a career-high figure.

Earlier this month, Tuchel insisted he had no concerns about Aubameyang's attitude despite his difficulties at Arsenal.

"We had a very close relationship. Always when we played him here with Arsenal, there was always straight away this close bond," Tuchel said. "They stay your players, in a way, and Auba is one of these guys."

The 33-year-old could make his Chelsea debut against Leicester City on Saturday, with the Blues eyeing a response after suffering a chastening 3-0 loss at Leeds United last time out.

Barcelona have completed the signing of full-back Hector Bellerin following an agreement with Arsenal to terminate his contract.

The 27-year-old joined the Gunners from Barca's youth ranks in 2011 and graduated from Arsenal's academy to become a regular in the first-team squad.

Named in the PFA Team of the Year in the 2015-16 season, Bellerin won the FA Cup three times with Arsenal, but ultimately fell out of favour under Mikel Arteta.

He joined Real Betis on loan last season, making 23 LaLiga appearances and helping Manuel Pellegrini's team win the Copa del Rey.

Betis were reportedly keen on signing Bellerin on a permanent basis but were unable to do so due to his wage demands, while Sassuolo were eager to bring him to Italy.

However, Barca have completed the move on a free transfer after Arsenal agreed to terminate his contract, which had one year left to run, having done similar to land Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January.

Bellerin adds to what has been a busy transfer period for Xavi at Barcelona, who have signed the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Jules Kounde and Raphinha, with Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso also on the way.

Arteta told Arsenal's official website: "We say goodbye to Hector and we thank him so much for his loyalty and commitment to Arsenal Football Club. During his 11 years with Arsenal, Hector won three FA Cups and made nearly 250 appearances – such a huge contribution to the club.

"I'm privileged to have played in the same squad as Hector for three seasons, wearing the Arsenal shirt and sharing many great moments on and off the football pitch together. We thank you Hector and wish you and your family all the best for your return to Barcelona."

Deadline day has seen major transfers aplenty, with clubs across Europe pushing to complete final pieces of business before the window slams shut until 2023.

Barcelona have terminated Martin Braithwaite's contract, the forward widely expected to join Espanyol, while in France, Abdou Diallo completed a switch to RB Leipzig to begin an exodus from Paris Saint-Germain.

Further deals for both clubs are also on the cards, with a frantic end to the window expected in the final hours.

Premier League's power push

PSG's exodus was of benefit to English sides, Fulham signing Layvin Kurzawa on loan and Everton bringing Idrissa Gueye back to Merseyside three years after he left for the French capital. Gueye said: "There is no better feeling than coming back home. I've followed the team every week and watched how they play. For me, there is no better place than Everton so that's why I chose to come back here."

Fulham have also signed former Chelsea and Arsenal playmaker Willian on a free transfer.

Nottingham Forest hit number 19 for the window, drafting in Willy Boly from Wolves, while Southampton saw Jack Stephens move across the south coast to join Bournemouth on loan.

Arsenal's quest for a new midfielder has seen attention turn to Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz, though the Gunners face a stern test with bids reportedly rebuffed from the side they defeated 2-1 on Wednesday.

Chelsea look set to bring one of the long-running sagas of the window to a close, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poised to join from Barcelona. Marcos Alonso is expected to move to Camp Nou as part of that deal and the Blues may sell Billy Gilmour to Brighton and Hove Albion.

One player not on the move, however, was Joao Pedro as he confirmed he would remain at Watford amid reported interest from Newcastle United and Everton.

Europe's eye for business

On the continent, Julian Weigl moved to Borussia Monchengladbach on loan from Benfica. 

Free agent Florian Grillitsch has joined Ajax, who are said to have turned down approaches from Chelsea and Everton for Edson Alvarez and Mohammed Kudus respectively.

Krzysztof Piatek also departed Germany, leaving Hertha Berlin for Serie A side Salertina, and was followed to Italy by Aster Vranckx, joining Milan on loan from Wolfsburg.

The Serie A champions are not yet finished, with an announcement confirming the capture of Sergino Dest from Barcelona expected imminently.

In Spain, Luca Zidane, son of Zinedine Zidane, joined second-tier outfit Eibar on a free transfer following his exit from Rayo Vallecano and Ilaix Moriba joined Valencia on loan from Leipzig, with Gennaro Gattuso's side also closing in on signing Justin Kluivert from Roma following the collapse of a proposed move to the Premier League.

Real Sociedad were also in on the late action, landing forward Umar Sadiq from Tenerife, the Nigerian likely to be a replacement for Alexander Isak.

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.

Erik ten Hag's first experience of European football as manager of Manchester United will see the Red Devils face off with the likes of Real Sociedad and Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League group stage.

Ten Hag enjoyed a successful spell as Ajax boss before making the move to Old Trafford, perhaps best exemplified in the 2018-19 campaign where he led the Dutch side to their first Champions League semi-final since 1997.

They should have gone on to the final that year too, but let a 3-0 aggregate lead slip at home to Tottenham as a 96th minute Lucas Moura goal to complete his second-half hat-trick won the tie for the Londoners on away goals, breaking Ajax hearts.

Ten Hag will therefore be desperate for a good showing in Europe this season to dispel those demons, though United have not been without their own continental misery in recent years, losing on penalties in the 2020-21 Europa League final against Villarreal.

To advance to the knockout stages of this season's edition of Europe's second competition, United will first have to overcome a group that looks anything but easy. 

Sheriff beat eventual winners Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in last season's Champions League before ultimately being knocked out, while Sociedad made the knockout stages of this competition.

United will therefore have to ensure they pick up maximum points against the other team in the group, Cypriot side Omonoia.

Arsenal are another of the favourites for this season's tournament, having reached at least the semi-finals in three of their last four Europa League campaigns.

Their trickiest group-stage game looks to be against PSV, who won this competition in 1977-78, though the Gunners will fancy their chances of advancing with Bodo/Glimt and Zurich the other two sides in Group A.

Manager Mikel Arteta's side sit top of the Premier League having won their opening three matches, and the Spaniard will hope that his players can keep up their impressive domestic start while also advancing deep into the Europa League.

Arsenal forward Nicolas Pepe has joined Ligue 1 side Nice on a season-long loan deal.

The Ivory Coast international, who arrived from Lille in August 2019 for a club-record fee of £72million (€79m), returns to France as he links up with Lucien Favre's side for the 2022-23 campaign.

Pepe was presented to supporters at Allianz Riviera prior to the second leg of Nice's Europa Conference League play-off tie with Maccabi Tel Aviv, where the French side are aiming to overturn a 1-0 deficit.

The forward has racked up 111 appearances across all competitions during his three seasons at the Emirates Stadium, scoring 27 goals, and will link up with another former Gunner Aaron Ramsey. 

However, the 26-year-old has struggled to nail down a regular starting berth in recent times, starting just five Premier League games last season under Mikel Arteta.

And Pepe did not play a single minute during the early stages of this campaign, appearing as an unused substitute during the top-flight victories over Crystal Palace and Leicester City.

Pepe will hope he can make his debut for Nice when they welcome Marseille in Ligue 1 on Sunday.

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