AFC Bournemouth, Blog - Transfer Talk, Clubs, Manchester United, Story, Transfers


It’s crunch time as the January transfer window nears its final hours. Find out when it closes across Europe, view the latest transfers as they happen and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

Jump to: What do the big clubs need? | Paper Talk

– Sources: Cavani to Atleti off over PSG’s €20m demand
Barca land Portuguese starlet for €31m in summer
USMNT defender Robinson move to A.C. Milan falls through

TOP STORY: Man United sign ex-Watord striker Ighalo on loan

Manchester United have signed Odion Ighalo on loan, sources told ESPN.

The Nigeria striker, 30, will move to Old Trafford from Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua until the end of the season but there is no option to buy in the agreement. Ighalo, who left Watford in 2017, has been brought in on a short-term deal by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to address the issue caused by Marcus Rashford‘s absence.

Sources have told ESPN that Shanghai Shenhua also received an offer from Tottenham on deadline day but Ighalo chose to join United, the club he supported as a boy. He has 18 months’ experience in the Premier League with Watford, scoring 16 goals including 15 in 37 games during the 2015-16 campaign. Ighalo is still in China but is expected to travel to Manchester over the weekend to undergo a medical and sign a contract. Solskjaer turned to Ighalo after missing out on Bournemouth striker Josh King.

United had a loan offer for the Norway striker rejected and also failed to agree a fee for a permanent deal. Igahlo joins Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood as fit forwards currently available for Solskjaer’s selection.

LIVE BLOG

24.26 GMT: And that will bring an end to another transfer window. Some clubs stood pat (Chelsea, Man City), while others (Man United, Arsenal, Spurs) made major signings to address their individual needs. It was a fairly quiet day for a deadline day but the Odion Ighalo to Man United shocker was well worth the wait. We have plenty of transfer reaction to come and our early grades are here. Goodnight!

24.12 GMT: Here’s one from out of left field: Lille have signed former Atletico Madrid midfielder Nico Gaitan.

The 31-year-old’s contract with Chicago Fire of the MLS expired in December, opening up a return to Europe for the Argentine. The skillful playmaker tallied four goals and 11 assists last season for the Fire, and previously spent time at Boca Juniors, Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang.

22.48 GMT: Because of long-term injuries to striker Wesley and No. 1 goalkeeper Tom Heaton, Aston Villa had business to conduct in January.

The Villains did just that signing Pepe Reina and Mbwana Samatta, while adding Premier League veteran Danny Drinkwater to their midfield. They have just added a fourth player, signing Swansea striker Borja Baston as insurance.

The Spaniard, 27, was Swansea’s record signing back in 2016, after an 18-game campaign in La Liga with Eibar. This season Baston has six goals in 19 games for the Swans, and at 6-foot-3 gives Dean Smith an alternate look to Samatta up top.

22.39 GMT: Another deal under the wire …

Sheffield Wednesday have announced they have signed oft-injured striker Connor Wickham from Crystal Palace. Wickham, now 26, has had terrible luck with injuries the past few seasons but will be looking to reignite his career with the Owls, a club with which he enjoyed a successful loan spells in 2013-14.

The former England Under-21 international scored nine goals in 17 games during his time at Hillsbrough.

23.23 GMT: And speaking of Jarrod Bowen … Sky Sports are reporting that West Ham did indeed get a deal done for the Hull forward right before the transfer window slammed shut.

The London club beat out competition from Crystal Palace and have signed the 23-year-old for a fee of up to £22 million, according to reports. The former Wolves flop has been in rampant form in the English Championship this season, having scored 16 goals in 29 games in the second tier. 

Bowen, who was third in the Championship in goals this season, is West Ham’s third signing this January, following Irish goalkeeper Darren Randolph and Czech midfielder Tomas Soucek to the London Stadium.

23.00 GMT: TIME’S UP, PENS DOWN!!! It is 11pm in the UK meaning the Transfer Window is now officially closed. As a reminder, deals can — and will — filter in over the next hour or so as long as the paperwork was faxed in by the deadline or the clubs involved were granted an extension.

Will we continue to report on deals as they break and be closely following Man United, who are yet to confirm the loan signing of striker Odion Ighalo, and West Ham, who are hoping to finalise a deal for in-form Hull City forward Jarrod Bowen.

22.50 GMT: Motherwell have signed a Premier League winger.

The Steelmen announced late Friday they have agreed to a loan deal for Rolando Aarons. Now 24, the once-highly-touted Aarons debuted in the Premier League at 18 and was tipped for stardom. Aarons has previously had loan stints at Hellas Verona (Italy), Slovan Liberec (Slovakia), Sheffield Wednesday and Wycombe Wanderers.

22.34 GMT: Huddersfield Town have brought back a familiar face: Jonas Lossl.

The Danish goalkeeper returns to Huddersfield Town on a short-term loan after having left the club for Everton just six months ago. The 30-year-old has yet to make and appearance for the Toffees but starred at the John Smith’s Stadium in each of the Terriers’ two seasons in the Premier League.

22.11 GMT: Leicester City have announced the signing of defender Ryan Bennett on loan from Wolves until the end of the season, the club have announced.

22.00 GMT: There is just ONE hour left until the January transfer window closes in England, Spain and France.

21.38 GMT: Odion Ighalo’s proposed move to Manchester United is almost complete, according to Bleacher Report journalist Dean Jones.

United will reportedly pay a £4m fee as part of the six-month loan deal for the Nigeria international.

21.16 GMT: West Ham United are on the verge of signing Hull City striker Jarred Bowen for a fee of around £22m, according to Sky Sports.

The 23-year-old winger, who has reportedly completed a medical at West Ham, has been in top form in the Championship so far this season, scoring 16 goals in 29 league games.

21.04 GMT: Former Barcelona and AC Milan midfielder Kevin Prince Boateng has completed a loan move to Besiktas until the end of the season.

Getafe have announced the signing of Uruguayan centre-back Erick Cabaco from Levante, with the player penning a four-year deal.

20.50 GMT: Former Manchester United midfielder Ravel Morrison has signed for Middlesbrough on loan from Sheffield United, the Championship club have announced.

U.S. International Wil Trapp has been traded to Inter Miami from Columbus Crew, the club have announced.

20.28 GMT: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is increasingly confident that the club have secured a striker on loan until the end of the season, sources have told ESPN.

Despite just a few hours remaining in the window, United have been working on bringing in a striker on loan, with Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo a possibility.

20.12 GMT: Another quickfire spell of done deals…

Wolves have signed 17-year-old Luke Matheson from English League One side Rochdale, the club have announced.

Matheson scored against Manchester United in the Carabao Cup in September and has made 24 appearances in all competitions this season.

The teenage midfielder had been loaned back to Rochdale for the remainder of the season, before joining up with his new team in the summer.

AC Milan have signed Anderlecht winger Alexis Saelemaekers on loan until the end of the season, with an option to make the deal permanent.

Brighton have completed a deal for Chelsea defender Tariq Lamptey on a three-year deal, the club have announced.

Former Dortmund attacker Keisuke Honda has signed for Brazilian side Botafogo, and the club announcing his arrival in style.

Sheffield United have announced the signing of Panos Retsos on loan from Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, with an option to buy included in the deal.

19.55 GMT: Despite just a few hours remaining in the window, Manchester United are still working on bringing in a striker on loan, with Shanghai Shenhua striker Odion Ighalo a possibility, sources have told ESPN.

The club’s options are not limited to Ighalo, with other strikers still available. However, time is an obstacle in any potential deal before the window’s close, but here is still hope for another addition to the side.

18.58 GMT: Anderlecht have announced the signings of Eintracht Frankfurt striker Dejan Jovejic and Juventus forward Marko Pjaca.

Watford have terminated the contract of centre-back Sebastian Prödl, the club have announced.

18.28 GMT: USMNT and Wigan defender Antonee Robinson’s proposed move to AC Milan has collapsed after the move could not be completed in time.

Robinson, 22, travelled to Milan this morning after the two clubs agreed a fee for the permanent transfer on Thursday. The U.S. international underwent a medical with Milan, though further medical tests with the Italian authorities were required, which were subject to a 72-hour deadline.

The deal could not be formally ratified before the 8pm Italian Transfer Deadline on Friday.

18.16 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have signed Emre Can on loan from Juventus with the deal set to be made permanent in the summer.

Can, 26, joined Juve from Liverpool on a free transfer in 2018 but did not feature during the Champions League group stages this term. When hearing about his omission from the squad while with the Germany national team in late August, Can said he was “extremely shocked.”

Although Can was regularly called up to the matchday squad in Serie A, he made only eight appearances for Juventus this season, with two as a starter. Looking for crucial playing time ahead of the 2020 European Championships, the versatile defensive player is now hoping that he can become a regular for Dortmund.

17.48 GMT: Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign former Watford striker Odion Ighalo, sources have told ESPN.

Ighalo has scored 10 goals in 17 appearances for Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua this season, having arrived last year from Changchun Yatai.

17.35 GMT: Barcelona have signed Brazil U20 international Matheus Fernandes from Palmeiras for €7m, with €3m in add-ons.

The 21-year-old midfielder will join Barca on July 1 after signing a five-year deal with the club, including a €300m release clause.

17.30 GMT: The transfer window is heating up as we race towards its close …

Bundesliga leaders RB Liepzig have completed the signing of Manchester City defender Angelino on loan until the end of the season.

The deal includes a €30m option to buy clause, sources have told ESPN.

Roma midfielder Steven N’Zonzi has signed for Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes on loan until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old Frenchmen spent the first half of the season on loan at Galatasaray, before mutually terminating his deal moments before signing for Rennes.

Inter Miami have made another signing, adding Celtic winger Lewis Morgan.

Dortmund winger Jacob Bruun Larsen has Hoffenheim on a four-year deal, the club have announced.

The 21-year-old winger played alongside Christian Pulisic in the Dortmund academy and then for the senior team but was unable to hold down a place in the first team, making just a handful of appearances for this term.

Hoffenheim have also terminated the loan deal of striker Jurgen Locadia, with the 26-year-old returning to Premier League side Brighton.

17.00 GMT: Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has been unveiled at Argentine club Estudiantes where he has signed on loan for the remainder of the season.

16.35 GMT: With a last-minute attempt to sign Napoli’s Dries Mertens called off, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has said he is not frustrated, despite the club yet to make a signing since their transfer ban was reduced in December.

16.30 GMT: Manchester City women midfielder Caroline Weir has signed a new two-year contract.

16.12 GMT: As transfer deadline day rumbles away, just spare a thought for Cedric Bakambu — the man who had his dream move scuppered before it had even begun.

According to Catalan broadcasters TV3, the 28-year-old winger was already in transit from Beijing Guoan to sign for Barcelona when the Catalan club changed their mind and pulled the plug on the deal.

At least he can laugh about it…

16.06 GMT: He only re-signed for Manchester City in the summer but already RB Leipzig are in advanced talks to sign City left-back Angelino, according to Bild.

15.51 GMT: Liverpool made just two signings in January: Takumi Minamino from FC Salzburg for £7.25m and 21-year-old striker Joe Hardy from Brentford. It wasn’t a lot and here’s why.

15.30 GMT: Wondering when the window is closing in the major leagues across Europe? Wonder no more.

German Bundesliga: 5 p.m. GMT / midday ET
Italian Serie A: 7 p.m. GMT / 2 p.m. ET 
English Premier League: 11 p.m. GMT / 6 p.m. ET
Spanish La Liga: 11 p.m. GMT / 6 p.m. ET
French Ligue 1: 11 p.m. GMT / 6 p.m. ET.

15.25 GMT: Leicester need some cover for Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu at centre-back and Wolves defender Ryan Bennett is set to join Leicester on loan, says the BBC.

Bennett, 29, is keen to secure more playing time, while if Leicester do land him then their Croatian defender Filip Benkovic will likely move on loan to Bristol City.

“If he [Bennett] goes on loan it’s a situation he wants and we wish him all the best,” Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo said. “It’s a tough window to work but it’s about rebalancing the squad.”

15.15 GMT: Newcastle midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng will have his contract terminated, making him a free agent from Feb. 1, reports Sky Sports.

15.06 GMT: Inter Milan have signed 18-year-old striker Martin Satriano from Club Nacional.

The Uruguayan has a contract until 2024 and will join up with the Nerazzurri‘s Primavera side.

14.50 GMT: Aston Villa defender James Chester has joined Stoke City on loan until the end of the season.

14.28 GMT: With all the arrivals, Hertha attacker Davie Selke has been shown the door as he joins his old club Werder Bremen on an 18-month loan. “Under certain conditions” that could be made a permanent transfer and he will compete with U.S. starlet Josh Sargent for a place in the starting XI.

14.15 GMT: More from the world of ‘managers and clubs reject transfer gossip.’

Jose Mourinho has been speaking (mostly to himself) about Tottenham’s chase for a striker: “I am not expecting. The market is open so anything can happen but I’m not expecting. I’m happy [with the squad] but the next question will be, ‘And a striker’? I have to answer yes, it would be better with a striker. Yes, we would need a striker to have a better squad to face the great challenges in front of us in three different competitions. But we want to do things not to resolve the problems of today or tomorrow but things that are also good for the future.

“For example, Steven Bergwijn — I prefer to say Stevie — is the kind of player that is good for now but also good for our future, the direction we want to go. With the difficulties of the market in January, it was really hard to find the striker that is good not just to resolve the problems of today but also the future of the team. So probably we’re not going to do it.”

Elsewhere in Europe, PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed left-back Layvin Kurzawa was on the verge of joining Juventus before the Italians changed their minds and confirmed that no agreement with Atletico Madrid was reached for Edinson Cavani, so the Uruguay international is available for selection.

14.11 GMT: Hertha have now confirmed Matheus Cunha‘s transfer from RB Leipzig.

Kicker reports that the fee is around €18m and he joins on a long-term contract to make Hertha’s winter spending close to €80m.

14.01 GMT: Inter Miami’s Jorge Mas to Sky Sports News: “We have had conversations about Edinson Cavani, but I do not want to make any comments further than that based on that he is a PSG player at the time.”

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has refused to rule out a late move for a striker on deadline day, despite the apparent collapse of a deal for Cavani and the arrival of wide forward Yannick Carrasco on loan.

“There are a few hours to go and anything can happen” Simeone said in a news conference on Friday ahead of Saturday’s Madrid derby. “Everything that happens is a consequence of what we’ve talked about and the conditions of the club. The club comes first.”

Atletico have pursued a deal for Cavani throughout the January window but have ultimately been unable to agree on terms with Paris Saint-Germain or the player’s representatives. PSG boss Thomas Tuchel said of Cavani: “There are worse things in life than remaining one of PSG’s attackers!”

13.42 GMT: Olivier Giroud is staying at Chelsea then… that means the deal for Dries Mertens is off.

13.40 GMT: Manchester United have signed a player.

It’s 20-year-old goalkeeper Nathan Bishop from Southend.

13.35 GMT: Pep Guardiola is speaking at a news conference ahead of Manchester City’s visit to Tottenham on Sunday and the first question was about whether or not he will sign anyone today. “You know the answer,” was his reply. There won’t be any new signings at City today.

Reminder: City are 19 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has also been speaking about his two loan moves for Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari: “We’ve been trying to be active in the market. We’ve found two players we believe can be very useful. We are happy with what we have done.”

Reminder: Arsenal are 10th and are 40 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

13.30 GMT: You know that big ‘Barcelona bid €85m for Richarlison‘ story the other day?

Everton boss Carlo said at his news conference: “We didn’t receive an official offer for him. He is a really important part of our squad. Rumour is rumour. And even if not rumour, Richarlison is a really important player for us.”

13.19 GMT: Yesterday, Manchester United completed the signing of Bruno Fernandes from Sporting CP in a deal that could be worth up to €80m.

Here’s why he moved.

13.01 GMT: Sheffield United have made another signing and landed Dutch striker Richairo Zivkovic on a six-month loan from Chinese League One club Changchun Yatai.

13.00 GMT: Manchester United have had a £20m bid for Birmingham’s 16-year-old midfielder Jude Bellingham turned down and sources close to the club have told ESPN a deal is unlikely to be reached today.

Birmingham want more than the offer on the table — which amounts to a structured deal made up of £8.5m up front and a series of add-ons. Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund are two of the other clubs also interested.

12.45 GMT: Manchester United were once reportedly interested in Rochdale’s Luke Matheson, but the 17-year old is at Wolves to have a medical after a deal was agreed for around £1m, says Sky Sports.

12.34 GMT: Hertha Berlin have made €60m of moves this window and are set to keep entertaining us until the German window closes at 17.00 GMT today.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side have been linked with Mario Gotze, Julian Draxler, Julian Weigl, Granit Xhaka and Konrad de la Fuente to name a few. They landed Lucas Tousart from Lyon, although he was loaned back until the summer, and also VfB Stuttgart’s Santiago Ascacibar and Krzysztof Piatek.

But they should sign Leipzig winger Matheus Cunha, 20, for a fee just below €20m before the window closes, says Kicker.

12.21 GMT: Former Manchester United forward Ravel Morrison hasn’t reached his full potential by any means and is set to sign for his 10th club, with a loan to Middlesbrough being reported by the Telegraph.

Morrison, 26, joined Sheffield United in the summer but is set to move on already.

12.13 GMT: Barcelona have struck a deal with S.C. Braga to sign young forward Francisco Trincao for around €31m, which includes a €500m release clause.

Trincao, 20, will join Barca on July 1, when the Spanish champions will make a decision on whether to include him in the first team next season or send him out on loan.

Abel Ruiz is expected to move the other way. The young striker would join the Portuguese side on loan initially before making the move permanent at the end of the campaign.

12.03 GMT: According to RMC Sport, Monaco are negotiating with Real Sociedad for defender Diego Llorente.

Monaco’s vice-president Oleg Petrov hasn’t been quiet about his wish for the club to qualify for the Champions League but with the French team sitting in 13th position in Ligue One, the squad will need a shake up to get close to the qualifying spots.

The 26-year-old Spain international is reportedly interested in a move to Monaco but with time ticking on deadline day, it remains to be seen whether the deal will get over the line in time.

12.00 GMT: Atletico Madrid have confirmed they have re-signed Yannick Carrasco on loan from Dalian Yifang.

11.32 GMT: Lyon manager Rudi Garcia made it clear after his side’s 2-1 win over Nice last night that he is keen to sign a central defender. 

“I am waiting for us to sign a central defender. We have just 3 central defenders. Marcelo will soon be suspended. If one of them gets injured, we are going to have to be inventive,” Garcia said at a news conference after the game. 

Lyon have already signed midfielder Bruno Guimaraes  and striker Karl Toko Ekambi on loan this transfer window. 

10.59 GMT: Arsenal have announced the signing of Cedric Soares on loan until the end of the season from Southampton. 

The 28-year-old was part of Portugal’s Euro 2016-winning squad and had been a regular starter under Ralph Hasenhuttl at Southampton until he sustained a foot injury at the start of January.

His injury means that he may not be able to start for Arsenal for another three weeks. 

10.39 GMT: Deadline day started with a bang with the Times reporting that Tottenham were set to make a last minute swoop to bring Gareth Bale back to the club.

But Bale will not make a shock return to Tottenham, sources have told ESPN, while Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has said he is “counting on” the forward between now and the end of the season.

Tottenham would have to dig deep to bring Bale back. When he moved in 2013, it was for a world record transfer fee of £85m and his contract sees him earn £500,000 a week, but the Welshman was spotted training as normal this morning with the Real Madrid team so it’s not happening.

10.02 GMT: Mauro Icardi‘s loan move to Paris Saint-Germain has largely been a fruitful experience for both the player and club.

While the striker is currently experiencing a bit of a dry spell, he’s scored 17 goals and clocked up four assists in 24 games with PSG.

It makes sense then that Icardi is looking for a permanent move to Le Parc des Princes, as reported by Tuttosport.

The Argentine’s loan deal did include an option to buy clause so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to see him stay in Paris.

10.00 GMT: Ianis Hagi, the son of Romanian football legend Gheorghe, has joined Rangers on loan from Genk until the end of the season.

Hagi, 21, is an attacking midfielder and impressed at the 2019 under-21 European Championships. 

Rangers boss Steven Gerrard said: “We are delighted to be able to add Ianis to the squad of players for the second half of the season. We have been scouting him for some time and it was clear that he has the quality to help to make a difference to the team.”

09.39 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are set to announce Emre Can’s loan move to Germany later in the day despite reports in German media that talks have been stopped last night.

Dortmund and Juventus are reportedly still negotiating a salary.

Fabrizio Romano reports that the deal will include an option to buy. 

09.08 GMT: Lionel Messi is determined to stay at Barcelona, says Mundo Deportivo, but he only wants to sign one-year contract extensions from now on.

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu told the Associated Press in November that he was ready to offer the 32-year-old an “indefinite” contract — much like that of Andres Iniesta before he left for Japan. But Messi is happier to keep things simple and stay at Camp Nou on a short-term basis.

09.00 GMT: Bayer Leverkusen are set to take advantage of the United Kingdom’s strict work-permit regulations.

With time running out for a thorough check on Edmond Tapsoba’s eligibility to play in the Premier League, Leverkusen look likely to beat Leicester City to the Burkina Faso defender’s signature, kicker reports.

The 20-year-old centre-back is set to be unveiled at the Bay-Arena today, with Bayer agreeing a fee in the €17m region with Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes.

08.51 GMT: Sky Sports are reporting that Inter Milan have made a fresh bid for Chelsea forward Olivier Giroud, while Lazio are also interested.

Giroud is keen to leave Stamford Bridge this month, with Tottenham watching developments in case they can’t sign Willian Jose from Real Sociedad.

08.35 GMT: Alexis Mac Allister has notified Boca Juniors of his desire to end his loan deal early in order to return to parent club Brighton & Hove Albion.

The Argentine midfielder received a work permit this month, which allows him to play in the Premier League.

“As it stands now, Alexis has notified us of his wish to leave (the club),” said Boca executive Marcelo Delgado, as reported in Ole. “There’s very little we can do because he is owned by Brighton, it would be different if Boca owned him. The most important thing is that we don’t want Alexis to return to Europe. We want to reach an agreement and for everything to be resolved quickly.”

Mac Allister, 21, signed a four-and-a-half-year contract with Brighton from Argentinos Juniors in January 2019 but did not have a work permit. He returned on loan to Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors on a one-year loan in June.

08.14 GMT: Barcelona target Matheus Fernandes has bade farewell to Palmeiras and confirmed his “dream move” to Europe.

Barca have reportedly paid €11m to Palmeiras to land the Brazilian midfielder, who is expected to be sent out on loan to Real Valladolid for the remainder of the season.

Fernandes, 21, wrote on his Instagram: “I have never been good at goodbyes, but sometimes they are necessary, although difficult. I say goodbye and I thank Palmeiras, a club that trusted my potential, and hired me last year. My thanks also to Botafogo for opening the doors for a boy full of dreams. Very honoured to have worn shirts with so much history of Brazilian football.

“Of course, I cannot forget the greatest supporters of my short career. Father, mother, my family … every time I doubted where I could get you were there. Unconditionally supporting me! Each victory achieved in my career was not mine. It was ours! We suffer and win together! Today came the day to fulfill a dream of playing in Europe. I am grateful to God for all that He has given me. Soon, new challenges, goals and dreams! Let’s look ahead, this is just the beginning.”

08.00 GMT: Atletico Madrid are on the verge of completing a deal to bring former forward Yannick Carrasco back to the club on loan, according to multiple reports in Spain.

The 26-year-old Belgium international joined China’s Dalian Yifang in a surprise move in 2018, leaving Madrid after a three year spell which included scoring in the 2016 Champions League final.

A deal for long-term target Edinson Cavani appears to have fallen through after Atletico failed to reach an agreement with either Paris Saint-Germain or the Uruguayan striker’s representatives.

Atletico — who face Real Madrid in the derby on Saturday — have been desperate to add to their forward line during the January window after struggling to find the back of the net this season. Only five La Liga clubs have scored fewer goals this campaign, and with Diego Costa sidelined since November with a back injury, they have been over-reliant on Alvaro Morata.

WHAT DO THE BIG CLUBS NEED

PREMIER LEAGUE

LIVERPOOLNobody. The Premier League leaders are 19 points clear and have a policy of rotation in the cups. There’s nobody who can improve this side right now, but watch out for a couple of moves next summer.

MAN CITYPep Guardiola says that nobody is coming in this month. However, they should really get some defensive cover if they have any designs on success this season. Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar has been linked, but don’t expect that to happen. Leroy Sane will most likely depart in the summer but will stay until then.

LEICESTERThe key has been keeping their top players, namely James Maddison and Ben Chilwell, from joining other clubs. That done, there’s a need for defensive cover and Wolves’ Ryan Bennett is arriving.

CHELSEAA striker is key, especially if Tammy Abraham is injured, although the rumoured £150m spending spree hasn’t materialised. A new left-back (Chilwell) and a replacement for Eden Hazard (Jadon Sancho) will have to wait until the summer, but now Olivier Giroud is staying a move for Napoli striker Dries Mertens is dead.

MAN UNITEDHaving landed Bruno Fernandes to bolster the midfield, a backup striker is also required at Old Trafford. If they can’t land Bournemouth’s Joshua King, a late loan option could happen with Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic, Leicester’s Islam Slimani, Valencia’s Maxi Gomez and Fenerbahce’s Vedat Muriqi reportedly on the list.

TOTTENHAMSeeing a theme here? Harry Kane is injured, so Spurs need a backup after already signing forward Steven Bergwijn and letting Christian Eriksen leave for Inter. Giroud was a possibility, though the main target is Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose and the Spanish club say he’s not leaving so it looks like no striker will arrive. No, Gareth Bale is not an option. A full-back would also be useful, but Jose Mourinho seems happy to dip into the club’s youth team for cover there.

ARSENALDefensive cover arrived in the form of former Man City defender Pablo Mari, but the struggling Gunners are still short. Southampton’s Cedric Soares has provided more cover at full-back on loan, but there won’t be anything major spent as the club are saving for their summer overhaul.

SELECTED EUROPEAN CLUBS

ATLETICO MADRIDPSG’s Edinson Cavani is the answer to Atletico’s scoring woes, though negotiations have broken down. Former forward Yannick Carrasco has returned from China, while flop Thomas Lemar will likely stay put until the summer, despite links to Arsenal and Tottenham.

BARCELONALuis Suarez‘s injury means Barcelona need an attacking player. They’ve reportedly had an €85m bid rejected for Everton’s Richarlison, seen Ajax rebuff them for Dusan Tadic, and are keen to sell Philippe Coutinho to raise funds. Chelsea’s Willian has been a long-term target, as has Inter’s €111m rated Lautaro Martinez, while a deal for Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno looks dead and it’s unlikely they will sign anyone now. They will get Braga’s Francisco Trincao and Matheus Fernandes from Palmeiras in the summer.

INTER MILANSo many signings, so many former Man United players … Antonio Conte is keen on adding Giroud to play as backup to Romelu Lukaku but Inter are being linked with almost every misfit under the sun. They beat off competition to land Eriksen from Tottenham for around €20m but need a target up front. Ex-Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente has been linked. A swap deal which included Matteo Politano for Roma’s Leonardo Spinazzola fell through, while Matteo Darmain’s move seems to have done the same after Victor Moses and Ashley Young arrived.

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

Man United will let Pogba go in the summer

Clearly, with a new attacking midfielder in the shape of Bruno Fernandes arriving at Old Trafford, Man United don’t need old Paul Pogba anymore. In fact, barely 24 hours after Bruno’s arrival, the Sun claims that United are already ready to ship out Pogba in the summer.

Real Madrid have a longstanding interest and turned down the chance to get Christian Eriksen because they wanted to wait for Pogba, while Juventus are also keen to bring the Frenchman back to Turin.

We’ll have to wait until the summer for this saga to end, but it looks pretty nailed on now.



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