London - Alexis
Sanchez and Philippe Coutinho were among the superstar players linked
with deadline-day moves on Thursday at the close of a record-breaking
transfer window dramatically shaped by big-spending Paris Saint-Germain.
Arsenal forward Sanchez is the subject of interest from Pep
Guardiola's Manchester City, while Liverpool have repeatedly rebuffed
Barcelona's attempts to lure Brazil playmaker Coutinho to Camp Nou.
Barca turned to Coutinho after sensationally ceding Neymar to PSG in a
world-record €222 million deal that has sent
transfer fees skyrocketing across the continent.
"It's mind-boggling, the figures that are out there - especially for
the average players," former Manchester United captain Roy Keane
commented this week.
"That's the market place at the moment. There aren't many top players
out there. The really big players are going for big money and it's
In addition to Brazilian icon Neymar, PSG are also poised to wrap up a deal for 18-year-old Monaco wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.
The French teenager is expected to join on a season-long loan before
signing for €180 million next year in a move designed to prevent
PSG falling foul of UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.
Barcelona have already paid Borussia Dortmund an initial fee of €105
million, rising to €145 million, for Mbappe's France
team-mate Ousmane Dembele.
But Liverpool remain insistent that Coutinho will not follow in
Dembele's footsteps, having rejected three bids from Barca, and are
instead determined to bolster their squad.
England international midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is due to
complete a £35 million switch to
Anfield from Arsenal on Thursday.
Liverpool have already agreed a club-record £48 million deal for Naby
Keita, who will arrive from RB Leipzig next year, and are also
interested in Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk and Monaco winger
But in a situation
replicated across the world, efforts to recruit the latter are
complicated by the fact he is on international duty with France and due
to line up in a World Cup qualifier against the Netherlands.
Sanchez could follow Oxlade-Chamberlain through the exit door at
Arsenal's Emirates Stadium amid reports Manchester City were preparing a
second bid for the Chile international.
City are reported to have been unsuccessful with an opening £50
million offer for Sanchez, whose Arsenal contract expires at the end of
Arsenal's north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur are expected to make
PSG's Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier their second big-money recruit
after a club-record £42 million swoop for Davinson Sanchez.
Spurs have also been linked with a deadline-day move for Swansea City's Spain international striker Fernando Llorente.
Chelsea, meanwhile, were still looking to ship out striker Diego
Costa after he fell out with manager Antonio Conte in the aftermath of
last season's title triumph.
The Algerian Football Federation announced on Twitter late on
Wednesday that Leicester City winger Riyad Mahrez had been given
permission to leave the Algeria camp to complete a transfer.
The 26-year-old, one of the stars of Leicester's fairytale Premier
League title win in 2016, has been linked with Roma and was photographed
at an airport in Paris early on Thursday.
In one of the more intriguing mooted deals, out-of-favour Bayern
Munich midfielder Renato Sanches was believed to be on the verge of
joining Swansea on loan.
While the transfer window closes on Thursday in England, France,
Germany and Italy, Spanish clubs have an extra day to complete any