the Daily Briefing - why did Freund to Chelsea collapse, and what does the future hold for Grealish and Depay?
My exclusive transfer news round-up, with today's big headlines featuring Chelsea, Manchester City and Barcelona.
Good morning guys and welcome to my Daily Briefing - enjoy!
Today’s top stories:
William Saliba on life at Arsenal: “I’m at home here. I like London, I like the club, I like everything. I feel at home here.”
There was interest in Saliba from other clubs this summer, but as I wrote at the time, it would have taken a crazy offer for the Gunners to sell him. More good work by Edu and Mikel Arteta as the young Frenchman is now showing his worth.
Marco Asensio won’t rule out a controversial move to Barcelona: “I don't know if Barcelona want me. There are rumours on many clubs, it’s normal. I’ve never thought about future at Barca, I have not valued it... so, don't know! Right now, I can't answer.”
Memphis Depay: “In the summer, other clubs came and then you just look at your options so I decided to fight for my chance at Barcelona. I love competition and I don't walk away from it. I enjoy being at Barca.”
But what does the future hold next for Memphis Depay? Click here to find out more.
📰 In other news, Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves is among the names on Barcelona’s list of potential replacements for Sergio Busquets when his contract expires in the summer (Marca)
Ryan Gravenberch: “I have no regrets with joining Bayern. But to be honest, I’m disappointed as you want to play, it’s normal. I have to accept it but it's difficult. I have to stay calm. I hope to have more space after the international break.”
Former Ballon d’Or winning centre-back Fabio Cannavaro has now reached a full agreement with Italian second division club Benevento on a two year contract. He’ll sign his contract tomorrow for his first managerial experience in Italian football.
Roberto De Zerbi, presented as new Brighton manager: “I spoke to Pep Guardiola on Sunday. He said: I'm very happy you are here. He said if ever there is anything I need, he is there - apart from when we play them!”
Chelsea were very surprised that the Christoph Freund deal fell through - what next? Click here for my latest exclusive update.
Denis Zakaria: “I didn’t know a move to Chelsea was possible until six hours before the end of the transfer window! Juventus was playing too low — they should always be at top of the table and win 3-0 all matches… I think I’ll be happier in England than in Turin.”
Memphis Depay was rumoured to be close to joining Chelsea in the summer - what does the future hold for him now?
Christian Pulisic on Thomas Tuchel leaving him out of the Champions League semi-final second leg against Real Madrid in 2021: “l'd had a really good first leg performance and our following match was against Fulham in the league. Tuchel told me that he was resting me for the second leg and as a result I didn't play a single minute in the Fulham game.
“Then on match day of the second semi, Tuchel tells me he's changed his mind and he's going with Kai [Havertz]. I honestly was dumbfounded and very disappointed. I thought that I'd earned a start and, most importantly, he had assured me previously I was going to start.”
📰 In other news, Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is said to be angry and baffled at the club’s old regime failing to sign Aurelien Tchouameni while he was still at Monaco (Sport)
Ralf Rangnick was furious with Manchester United’s transfer strategy last January - click here to find out why.
Should Manchester United have kept Rangnick on board at Old Trafford? Click here for my exclusive insight.
Bruno Fernandes on life under Erik ten Hag at Manchester United: “Ten Hag has an idea. He has a style. You have to follow his rules. He is strict on that. And I like that. He has brought discipline, which is something we missed in the past. Everyone must be on the same page.”
RB Leipzig director Oliver Mintzlaff on Chelsea links: “I’m under contract with Leipzig until 2026, I will fulfil my contract here with great pleasure. We still have a lot of plans. Not only on the pitch. I feel comfortable here at Leipzig.”
Marco Asensio: “I had chances to leave, yes - now signing new deal with Real Madrid doesn’t depend on me, as there are many factors. I hope it will happen, I’ve always been happy here. Rumours? Normal, I can sign as free agent in few months.”
Eduardo Camavinga’s agent Jonathan Barnett: “Eduardo is more than happy, he’s in love with Real Madrid. It was a great choice, Ancelotti is super too. If you want to be the best player in the world, the best thing you can do is play for Real Madrid.”
Rennes are set to snap up Portuguese midfielder Xeka on a free transfer. He’s been available since leaving Lille when his contract expired back in June.