Transfer Talk: Willian says he never wanted to leave Chelsea for Barcelona; Cech playing for his future
The transfer window for all of Europe's big five leagues is closed, but that doesn't stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.
Willian says Chelsea 'always' came first for him
Over the summer, Chelsea winger Willian was the subject of a whole host or rumours concerning his future at Stamford Bridge, with the club reportedly willing to sell him in order to raise funds to bolster the squad elsewhere. But they held firm to their asking price and rebuffed a trio of bids from Barcelona (on up to £55 million).
But the Express has the Brazilian saying it was never his plan to leave.
"It is an honour to play at this club. I am very happy at Chelsea," Willian said. "Everyone knows what happened in the last window. My mind was always to play at Chelsea; now with [manager Maurizio] Sarri we have a different way to play."
Cech admits he's playing for his future
Petr Cech has said he is playing for his future with Arsenal as the club has yet to offer him a contract extension.
The 36-year-old goalkeeper has less than a year left on his existing deal, and he's facing a challenge to retain his place with the first team following the Gunners' move to sign Bernd Leno this summer on a €25 million transfer from Bayer Leverkusen.
Cech has started all five Premier League games this season despite struggling at times to cope with Unai Emery's style, which calls for him to play out from the back. This week Emery announced that Leno will start Arsenal's Europa League match against FC Vorskla on Thursday, but added that he believes Cech's performance has been good.
"I'm in the last year of the contract so I guess it depends on my performances, the way I play and the way I stay fit throughout the season," Cech said, according to the Evening Standard. "Then we'll see what happens next."
Arsenal still keen on Pavon
Arsenal remain interested in Cristian Pavon, despite the nifty winger signing a new contract with Boca Juniors over the summer.
The Daily Star reports that the Gunners actually made initial attempts to contact Pavon a few months ago but the 22-year-old decided to renew his Boca deal, increasing his release clause to £38 million in the process.
The Argentina international was first identified as a target by Ivan Gazidis, who quit his chief executive role at the Emirates this week to take up a similar position at AC Milan. Gazidis' newly promoted replacement, Raul Sanllehi, is keen to continue the club's push to land Pavon, perhaps as early as January.
Sanllehi joined the Arsenal hierarchy from Barcelona in February and is said to retain "strong contacts" in South American football from his time at the Camp Nou.
Inter go cold on Martial
Inter Milan have given up hope of signing Anthony Martial from Manchester United on the very day the French striker found himself back among the goal scorers for Jose Mourinho's team.
Martial netted United's final goal in a 3-0 victory over Young Boys in the Champions League on Wednesday evening, but still Inter have decided to ease off entirely in their pursuit.
The 22-year-old forward has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for several months amid rumours of an ongoing squabble between himself and Mourinho, and the Nerazzurri were regularly cited in relation to Martial's potential Old Trafford escape plan.
However, as reported by Calciomercato, the Italian club's continued unwillingness to sell Ivan Perisic to United as part of any Martial deal has finally rendered the whole thing void.
- With contract negotiations between Raheem Sterling and Manchester City said to have reached an impasse over the last couple of days, Sky Sports are now reporting that fresh talks have been organised in the hope that an agreement can be reached "within the next two weeks."
- Aston Villa may break their club transfer record by lodging a £10m bid for Aberdeen centre-back Scott McKenna when the transfer market reopens in January, says the Evening Express.