TUESDAY’S BIG STORIES

Mbappe stays, for now, probably

After moves for – deep breath – Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Jack Grealish, Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Achraf Hakimi, Georginio Wijnaldum, Memphis Depay, Sergio Aguero, David Alaba, Dayot Upamecano, Ibrahima Konate, Manuel Locatelli, Cristian Romero, Tammy Abraham, Olivier Giroud, Martin Odegaard, Xherdan Shaqiri, Fikayo Tomori – and quite a fair few others – it appears there will be no move, this summer at least, for Kylian Mbappe after all.
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The Frenchman’s prospective move to Real Madrid is likely to be the biggest will-he-won’t-he of deadline day, but perhaps Leonardo – PSG’s sporting director – was right when suggesting this was all smoke and mirrors from Real as their intentions were to actually sign Mbappe, for free, next summer.
Reports suggest Real will scale back their attempt to spend almost €200m on the player this summer and simply wait a bit to tie him down to a pre-contract agreement in January.
In the meantime, Real are after highly sought after midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, and will save a lot of money on Mbappe in the process.

Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes) / 2021 Europa Conference League

Image credit: Eurosport

They are also gifting us, after this wildest of transfer windows, with a year of Mbappe playing alongside Neymar and Messi before the youngest of them all moves on.
When Messi replaced Neymar to make his PSG debut on the weekend, many feared this was a missed opportunity to see the three forwards line-up together, especially amid Real’s PSG interest in Mbappe.
But it appears we will get the pleasure of watching them somehow fail to win the Champions League together. It will be a delight, this trio should help them reclaim Ligue 1 at a canter, but whether they can end the UCL Curse we aren’t so certain.
Either way, we’ve got a year to see what they can do.

Messi and Ronaldo are not commercial transfers - Klopp

The window is closing

It’s deadline day, so there’ll be plenty of talk about windows slamming shut this evening – and at varying times across Europe.
The deadline is 11pm for England, midnight for Scotland, 5pm (BST) for Germany, 11pm for Spain and France, and 7pm for Italy. That could have definitely gone in a better order, but this transfer window has been so chaotic we felt it best to present you with times forgoing chronology.

Daniel James

Image credit: Getty Images

So, what to expect? Chelsea could make a last-minute move for Jules Kounde after all, while you should also look out for Daniel James potentially signing for Leeds on a permanent deal. There’s a chance Spurs sign Barcelona right-back Emerson Royal, Odsonne Edouard could move to Crystal Palace from Celtic, Wolves might loan Renato Sanches, and Camavinga should complete his Real transfer, while there may yet be big-money moves in the offing if Mbappe does leave PSG after all.
Oh, and we’ll see a certain Cristiano Ronaldo back in the red of Manchester United at some point today. The announcement video will no doubt do another million likes, likewise the interview where he declares he has returned with a purpose – to win silverware. That, is a given.

SO LONG, WILLIAN

We hardly knew thee. Well, Arsenal fans didn’t, anyway.
“Unfortunately things on the pitch didn’t go the way we had all planned and hoped,” Willian said on Instagram after signing for Corinthians. This a year after he signed a massive three-year contract at Arsenal.
“I received a lot of criticism especially from some members of the press that I had come here for financial reasons… I hope with my actions today explain to those people and they now understand that was not the case.
I hope it teaches some people that they should not be so quick to pass judgement and create bad environments to make themselves important even though I accept that’s part of the game.
Fair play to Willian for clarifying that, and also walking away from a tidy, reported £20.5m over two years, but it is a shame his stay in England ended in such circumstances, at a time when he still had more to give but perhaps made the wrong move.
Anyway, back to Brazil for Will – Arsenal won’t miss him, although you can’t help but feel he could have made an impact elsewhere in Europe in the right setting.

IN THE CHANNELS

Oh, Mait…

Deadline day memorably brought us Peter Odemwingie driving to QPR in what was ultimately a failed attempt to move from West Brom eight years ago… so does Ainsley Maitland-Niles have a trick up his sleeve today?
We’ve all been there. It’s not to your taste, you’re not getting much attention, and essentially it’s just not very good. Maitland-Niles wants to leave the club, but it appears Arsenal are unwilling to let the right-back-stroke-prefers-to-be-called-central-midfielder go.
This despite a stunning wantaway please on social media, with Maitland-Niles stating on his Instagram story: “All I wanna do is go where I'm wanted and where I’m gonna play”.
For good measure he chucked in three crying emojis and tagged in Arsenal, as if the point wasn’t obvious enough, but reports suggest AMN will not be leaving.
That feels like a harsh punishment for a player who feels as though his career has stagnated, but after their start Arsenal are hardly in the mood to freely let people leave when they need the squad to rally together and sort this mess out.
Nevertheless, this is likely to be a story that gives us another twist or two before the deadline passes. For Maitland-Niles’ sake, let’s hope he finds a resolution.

RETRO CORNER

Are we getting to the stage where eight years feels retro? It was mentioned above, and it features on Sky Sports’ Retro channel on YouTube, so why not re-live Odemwingie’s failed move to QPR as it unfolded on deadline day in 2013.

COMING UP

Well, transfers, really. There ain’t much live football until the international break kicks off with a host of World Cup qualifiers and a splattering of friendlies tomorrow, so in the meantime follow our transfers updates throughout the day and into the night.
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