Cristiano Ronaldo is only thinking of the World Cup; Real Madrid want to accelerate things for Endrick; AC Milan – Ziyech, they would, but (maybe) they can't. Here are some of the major stories over the last few days of the market from TribalFootball's transfer expert Rudy Galetti.
Ronaldo has not yet chosen what he will do in his future
A few days ago, the news that Cristiano Ronaldo was close to reaching an agreement with Al Nassr, a team coached by Rudi Garcia, bounced all over the world. Fake news: to date, there is nothing advanced or agreed between CR7 and the Saudi Arabian club.
The former Manchester United player, in fact, will decide his future only after the World Cup in Qatar. But what are the options in Cristiano's future? Someone talked about Chelsea, but the Blues have practically done everything by now to sign Christopher Nkunku, closing every other offensive space in Graham Potter's squad.
All the other teams that have been juxtaposed with Ronaldo (such as AC Milan, Bayern MunichPSG, Newcastle, etc.) have never actually been in the race. Therefore, the MLS option remains, whose percentages are growing more and more, day after day, with some last-minute suggestions, such as Sporting CP.
Anyway, Ronaldo would like to stay in Europe and still be a protagonist, especially in Champions League: the only way to do this, however, is to drastically reduce the salary requests that the Portuguese still demands. Certainly a high performance in the World Cup could make some European teams change their minds. Without forgetting that if Portugal were to become World Champions, CR7 has a promise to keep: "I will retire 100%".
Real Madrid, next target: Endrick
Real Madrid are ready to speed up things for the young Palmeiras striker, Endrick. The break for the World Cup in Qatar is what the clubs need to adjust the market strategy for January, and the Blancos are one of the big ones in Europe that are reflecting on the possible moves for the winter session.
To date, the priority certainly remains the renewals, with Rodrygo and Vinicius Jr at the top of the list. A task that doesn't worry the Spanish club so much: the extension of their contract appears to be a formality. The long-term project of the team coached by Carlo Ancelotti has convinced both players, who are ready to stay with the Blancos for a long time.
As said, on the inbound front, Real are pushing hard for Endrick, a Brazilian talent born in 2006, who is driving everyone crazy - in Brazil and in Europe. Florentino Perez wants to speed up the negotiation, to avoid the risk of losing him and has already prepared an offer for the Palmeiras talent.
On the table there is a proposal of 35 million euros plus bonuses, which should convince the fresh club winner of the Brazilian championship. There could already be an acceleration in the next days: in a few weeks, Endrick could really land in Europe.
Milan – Ziyech, the whole truth
AC Milan fans are dreaming of the great reinforcement in the winter transfer market: the Chelsea winger Hakim Ziyech. Disappointed by the little space he's had, the Moroccan player would like to leave the Blues at all costs and, already over the last summer, spoke extensively with the Rossoneri.
However, both the requests of the English club and the player himself had, since the beginning of August, cooled the track for the former Ajax player. If we add AC Milan's choice to go all-in on Charles De Ketelaere (35 million euros), there was no more budget left for Hakim, who felt bad and disappointed when the Rossoneri decided to give up any intention to buy him.
Now, however, things seem to have changed a bit: AC Milan's will is to resume contact with the Blues, to talk about Ziyech again. The Rossoneri already have a proposal in mind: a 6-month loan with an option to buy. Chelsea, as we know, will hardly let their player go without an obligation to buy. An intermediate option – like an onerous loan with an option that becomes an obligation under certain conditions – could be the solution that brings everyone together. Perhaps with a price tag set at around 20 million euros: obviously, all the evaluations will be made by the 2 clubs during the possible negotiation.
Anyway, at the moment there is a definite obstacle: the UEFA and Serie A lists. Without exits, every purchase is very complex and this could make the operation a mission impossible.
Not only Gakpo: Ten Hag wants another striker
After the farewell of Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United have sped up plans for Cody Gakpo: the player who is doing excellent things at the World Cup is Erik ten Hag's first goal. Not surprisingly, talks between PSV and the Red Devils for Cody are progressing quickly and positively. The feeling is that an agreement for the Dutch left-winger could be reached before the end of the year.
However, the PSV player is not the only target in attack: in addition to him, Man Utd and the coach are evaluating the opportunities for another offensive player. Anthony Martial, in fact, doesn't fully convince the Dutch manager, who has currently put 3 names on his wish list.
The first is Ivan Toney: the Brentford player is having an extraordinary season, with 10 goals in 14 appearances, also enriched by 2 assists. Then there is Noah Okafor, the Red Bull Salzburg striker who with 7 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga earned his Swiss call-up to the World Cup. Finally, there's Marcus Thuram: the Borussia Mönchengladbach forward, engaged in Qatar too with the French national team, is at the heart of a wild race with many teams interested (we'll talk about him in the next story). The reason? His contract expires in June and he won't renew with the German club.
Everyone wants Marcus Thuram: the race for the Borussia striker
We just said it: Marcus Thuram will leave Borussia Mönchengladbach in the summer. The French striker will not renew his contract with the German club and is ready to start a new adventure elsewhere.
Inter and Juventus are the Italian teams that have shown interest in the French striker, with the Nerazzurri seeming to be ahead thanks to the well addressed talks with the player's entourage. However, Inter need an exit before concluding the deal as early as January, with Robin Gosens the likely candidate.
Beppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio already have the strategy in mind to beat the competition: 5 million euros to Borussia (who ask for 10) and 4.5 million to convince the player to embrace the Nerazzurri project. The opponents in the race for Thuram are Bayern Munich, which wants to re-establish the entire offensive line and have Harry Kane as their main target and Manchester United: Ten Hag, in addition to Gakpo, needs another offensive man for his rotations. The market duel for Marcus Thuram is only at the beginning.