CLUBS are preparing for a winter spending spree, with Chelsea hoping to join the party after being forbidden to sign anyone other than Mateo Kovacic in the summer.

Lionel Messi has spoken out on Neymar, saying he had hoped would return to Barcelona over the summer – while Paul Pogba reportedly had a deal in place to join PSG, only for it to fall through.

Follow all the latest transfer news and gossip here…

  • BARCA star Lionel Messi has claimed he would have “loved” the club to have re-signed Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

    The Argentinian international has also revealed that his former team-mate was “desperate” to return to the Nou Camp – two years after leaving to join Les Parisiens.

    Speaking to Spanish news outlet Sport, he said: “He was desperate to come back. I don't know if the club really tried or not.”

    Before adding: “I would have loved to have Neymar back. I understand those people who are against his return and it's understandable for what happened with 'Ney' and the way that he left.

    “But thinking about it on a sporting level, I personally think Neymar is one of the best players in the world and having him in our squad would increase our chances of achieving our objectives.”

  • SPORTING LISBON are reportedly set to offer Bruno Fernandes a new deal – despite still being open to selling him in the January transfer window.

    The 25-year-old was chased by the likes of Manchester United, Tottenham and Real Madrid in the summer, though a move away from Portugal failed to materialise.

    According to A Bola, Sporting are set to meet with the attacking midfielder over the weekend to discuss a new contract.

    They claim that the Primeira Liga side are ready to offer him up to £1.8million-a-year – still short of the £3.1m Spurs were willing to pay him.

    The report goes on to state that Sporting are still considering selling the player once the market reopens in the New Year.

  • LEEDS rejected a £27million bid for Kalvin Phillips as they did not want to break their promise to Marcelo Bielsa.

    The 23-year-old attracted interest from the likes of Tottenham, Aston Villa, Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley this summer.

    According to The Athletic, Bielsa was assured that the English star would stay when he signed up for his second season at Elland Road.

    And the club refused to entertain any offers for him this summer because of that.

    It is understood that Leeds' director of football, Victor Orta, made it clear to interested clubs that he was not for sale.

    If a deal was agreed for Phillips, the Championship side could have found themselves having to search for a new manager.

  • MANCHESTER UNITED are reportedly plotting a January transfer swoop for Reading's 16-year-old goalkeeper Coniah Boyce-Clarke.

    SunSport exclusively revealed last month that club spies are scouring Europe for shot-stoppers amid fears they may sell David De Gea.

    The Red Devils number one has still not signed United’s offer of a new deal, worth around £350,000-a-week, and could leave for free at the end of the season.

    And boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is making plans for the future by tracking Reading starlet Boyce-Clarke, according to the Mirror.

  • MANCHESTER UNITED will offer Victor Lindelof a new contract to keep the clubs back four together for the next five years.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is determined to see a settled defensive line grow together as the foundation for his new United.

    Including the one-year extension options on deals, he currently has £80million new buy Harry Maguire, 26, at the club until 2025.

    Aaron Wan-Bissaka, 21, who also joined in the summer for £50m from Crystal Palace, has the same deal.

    Left back Luke Shaw, 24, signed an extension until 2024 last October.

    Swede Lindelof signed for United from Benfica for £31m back in 2017 but his contract finishes before the other three in 2022.

    Now Solskjaer wants to offer him a new four-year-deal with that extra year option to bring him in line with the other three.

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