Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing – Chelsea to be active, Man Utd in forward race, Barca’s Pique replacement + more

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What a result for Arsenal yesterday as they earned a thoroughly deserved 1-0 win against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Mikel Arteta: “Saliba and Gabriel were outstanding, both. They did great job again.”

This was a very impressive win for Arsenal. They have a fantastic defence, really. William Saliba is already a world class player, Gabriel Magalhaes is doing fantastic and they trusted both of them during the whole summer.

Also Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko are playing at top level. I’m not surprised because they were really convinced of the project since day one.

Chelsea 0-1 Arsenal

Arsenal already extended Gabriel’s contract until 2027 after rejecting two approaches in July. They’re now working on Saliba’s new deal as the main priority alongside Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

Can Mikel Arteta’s side really stay at the top of the table? We’ll have to wait and see. But even if they don’t go the distance in the title race this year, the future looks very bright for Arsenal.


It was emotional to see a legend like Gerard Pique bring his playing career to an end, but what next for the retiring defender, and what will Barcelona do to replace him?

For sure Pique dreams of returning to the Nou Camp in a different role in the future, but he has not decided anything now, it’s too early.

As for Barcelona, they will look for new centre-back in January, they have multiple names on the list – Inigo Martinez from Athletic Bilbao is one of them, but not the only one.

Bayern Munich

FC Bayern will not make any signings in January, president Hainer confirms: “We’ve no need for winter transfers at all – we rather have to make sure that all our good players get playing time. The coach is currently managing that very well.”

FC Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic on Harry Kane as target for 2023: “Of course Kane is player of another club so I don’t want to talk about that. But I can say that Kane’s one of the best strikers in the world.”


Roberto De Zerbi on Brighton plans for January: “I don’t think we need a striker in January. Danny Welbeck and Leandro Trossard are strong and ready to play the striker position.”

My understanding is that Brighton’s focus for January window will be on signing a new centre-back.


Chelsea will be disappointed with both the result and the performance against Arsenal yesterday, and it’s now four Premier League games without a win for Graham Potter’s side.

I think they will try to find opportunities in January, as always; it was already a busy summer so they need to be smart now.

They need a right-back probably, but they need time: I think the international break will be key for Graham Potter to improve the situation, he really needs time.

Eintracht Frankfurt

Paxten Aaronson will complete a transfer to Eintracht Frankfurt in the next days, with medical tests scheduled for next week. The American talent will join on a permanent deal for $4m fee as reported on Saturday, it’s verbally agreed.

Manchester United

Erik ten Hag on naming Cristiano Ronaldo as Man Utd captain against Aston Villa: “Nothing changed, when you are captain and leader you have to set an example and that is what I expect from him. He’s important part of the squad, we are happy with him & leader role.”

Cody Gakpo’s value will be close to €50m again. It depends on bonuses and conditions, but PSV always wanted €50m package for Gakpo. I think that could be a bargain, so this is surely one to watch in the months ahead.

For sure Manchester United will face serious competition for the Dutchman; English clubs and not only, it’s an open race. It’s worth mentioning, however, that while clubs like Leeds and Southampton were in the race for Gakpo in the summer, I expect they would no longer be options as he has his sights set on a bigger move.

What next for Cody Gakpo?

Another player being linked with United is Benjamin Sesko, but I’m less sure of the truth to these rumours. Sesko signed for RB Leipzig last summer and it will be completed in 2023, so I’m told he’s going to Leipzig. Man Utd have been tracking him for a long time, this is not new – last summer Man Utd and Chelsea were interested, but he’s going to Leipzig.


Luis Suarez has said goodbye to Nacional Montevideo after winning the title as he will focus on World Cup with Uruguay. Suarez will now be a free agent again in January.


It’s clear that Kasper Schmeichel has not had the best time at Nice since his summer transfer from Leicester City. I’m told the situation will be discussed in the next weeks and months. Nice insist he’s not on the market but the reality could be different in the next weeks. So, we’ll have to wait for a bit longer to know for sure.

Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti on Real Madrid plans: “We do not anticipate making any moves in winter market. I think Rodrygo has great potential and future as 9. I see him as centre striker or behind the striker in the future.”


FC Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic on Harry Kane as target for 2023: “Of course Kane is player of another club so I don’t want to talk about that. But I can say that Kane’s one of the best strikers in the world.”

More Stories Ben White Benjamin Sesko Cody Gakpo Cristiano Ronaldo Danny Welbeck Fabrizio Romano Gabriel Magalhaes Gerard Pique Harry Kane inigo martinez Kasper Schmeichel Leandro Trossard Mikel Arteta Oleksandr Zinchenko Roberto De Zerbi William Saliba