The transfer windows in Europe’s top leagues are closed, but it’s never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.
TOP STORY: Dortmund could beat heavyweights to Haaland
Europe’s most coveted young striker, Erling Haaland, could be available for as little as €20 million next summer, according to Bild.
The 19-year-old Salzburg striker is wanted by a host of top clubs including Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Sources told ESPN last month that Manchester United have enquired as to the Norway international’s availability in the January transfer window.
Now Bild reports that Borussia Dortmund could steal a march on the rest of Europe by signing him up. The German outlet claims that Dortmund’s good relationship with Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and their reputation as a place where he can continue his rapid development with regular playing time at the Westfalenstadion.
Bild reports that Haaland’s release clause stands at just €20m, making the Champions League breakout star the bargain of the season.
Dortmund boss Lucien Favre was asked directly about Haaland on Thursday but said: “It’s nothing to talk about right now. We are probably interested in several players. But it’s very, very difficult to make a signing in the winter.”
However, when asked whether he’d want to sign a tall player, he added: “Yes.”
22.20 GMT: Crystal Palace will allow striker Connor Wickham to leave the club on loan in January, according to the Telegraph, with Watford and promotion-seeking Nottingham Forest leading the charge for the 26-year-old.
21.27 GMT: West Ham will attempt to sell Roberto, who’s had a torrid time between the sticks during the long-term injury absence of first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, the Guardian reports, and the Hammers are “increasingly likely” to jettison director of football Mario Husillos, the man responsible for Roberto’s signing.
20.34 GMT: Second-year MLS side FC Cincinnati have confirmed the signing of former Philadelphia Union midfielder and Bosnia and Herzegovina international Haris Medunjanin.
19.41 GMT: The Mail writes that Real Madrid attacked Brahim Diaz — who joined from Manchester City less than a year ago – has rejected the chance to join Getafe on loan in an effort to secure first-team football, having featured for a total of 18 minutes this season.
18.48 GMT: Earlier in the day we reported that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez believes Manchester United’s asking price for Paul Pogba is excessive, but Mundo Deportivo illustrated just how excessive. ESPN FC sources have said that United would expect a fee in excess of £120m, while Perez reportedly is uninterested in spending more than €50.
17.55 GMT: Chelsea have spoken to intermediaries to sound out a potential summer move for 27-year-old Crystal Palace attacker Wilfried Zaha, according to the Independent.
17.02 GMT: We all know that Real Madrid want to sign PSG forward Kylian Mbappe … who doesn’t?
But AS reports Vinicius Jr. is the player key to Mbappe’s future as PSG would only consider a deal if the young Brazilian winger was included.
16.02 GMT: Liverpool’s Xherdan Shaqiri is being watched by Galatasaray, says Fanatik.
Sorry, that sounds a bit sinister: Galatasaray scouts are watching Shaqiri as well as AS Monaco’s Henry Onyekuru. The Turkish champions want to loan Shaqiri in January, but they’ll have to persuade Jurgen Klopp, who evidently gets the final say on the winger’s future.
15.26 GMT: David Moyes is being considered for a return to Everton to replace under-pressure manager Marco Silva, but sources have told ESPN that there are divisions within the Goodison Park hierarchy over the Scot returning to the role he left in order to take charge of Manchester United in May 2013.
Silva, who replaced Sam Allardyce as Everton manager in the summer of 2018, is fighting to save his job after Wednesday’s 5-2 defeat against Liverpool at Anfield left the club in the Premier League bottom three.
14.40 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport maintains that Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are all still keen on Juventus midfielder Emre Can.
Borussia Dortmund are also interested, but the paper reports that the other three options are more attractive to the German.
Can may yet stay in Turin as an injury to Sami Khedira could see him get a chance to play, though having been left out of the Champions League squad it seems more likely that his time at the club could be up.
13.28 GMT: Paul Pogba‘s future at Manchester United is still up in the air. This is what the FC TV guys think.
12.26 GMT: Inter Miami CF are keen to sign River Plate star Exequiel Palacios, according to reports in Argentina.
TyC Sports claims the new Major League Soccer franchise is considering making an offer to acquire the Argentina international, with River reportedly willing to sell Palacios if his €15m release clause is met.
A target of Real Madrid earlier this year, Palacios could leave River during the winter transfer window and Bayer Leverkusen are reportedly prepared to pay $18m (€16.2m), plus entitle River to 10% of the player’s future transfer fee.
According to TyC Sports, Inter Miami are ready to join the race and would reportedly look to outbid Leverkusen to acquire Palacios, who would, however, prefer a move to Europe.
Palacios is also a target of Ajax and is tied to River until June 2021. The 21-year-old midfielder has scored one goal and set up another in 14 league appearances this season.
11.49 GMT: Ansu Fati has no intention to leave Barcelona during the winter transfer window, according to his father. The Barcelona teenage forward has featured for the first team 11 times this season but has not played for them since Nov. 23.
“Why would he leave now in December? He is a youth player still,” Bori Fati told Cadena Cope radio when asked if it would benefit his son to leave Barca on loan. “He knows he is a youth player. Where would he go and play? He has to be learning there [at Barcelona], learning with the best and that’s all.”
Ansu, who turned 17 in October, trains with the first team but is not registered as a first-team player.
“He is focused and we all have our feet firmly on the ground,” Bori Fati said. “He is 17, he is training with the best in the world.”
Back in August, Ansu became the youngest player to score for Barcelona in La Liga. He signed on Wednesday a new improved contract with Barca through to June 2022 that is extendable by two further seasons. His buyout clause has been raised from €100m to €170m.
“Ansu is delighted,” his father said. “We will have a family celebration. This only happens once in a lifetime. There’s nothing bigger than to sit with the club president [Josep Maria Bartomeu], with [sporting director] Eric Abidal and everyone there. Who could have thought that? I’m just grateful for Ansu’s work and for those that have made his dream possible. We couldn’t ask for more.”
11.24 GMT: Former Arsenal, Manchester City and Tottenham striker Emmanuel Adebayor could be available as a free agent after he left Turkish club Kayserispor.
The 35-year-old, who moved to Turkey to join Basaksehir in 2017 after leaving Premier League club Crystal Palace, has told reporters that he is considering his future in the game.
“Everything was quite difficult for me and this is one of the most important decisions to make in my career,” he is quoted as saying by the BBC.
“I joined this team with a lot of ambition, to make history but at some point you have to look at your health, family, everything around you and make a decision.
“I’ve come to a conclusion where I have to move forward. Obviously, I have to leave this team but my thoughts will always be with the club.”
Adebayor only scored two goals in eight Super Lig appearances since joining Kayserispor in August, but enjoyed greater success in Istanbul with Basaksehir where he scored 24 league goals in his 18-month stint.
10.59 GMT: Liverpool are prepared to send young striker Rhian Brewster out on loan in January, The Times reports.
The 19-year-old has been part of the European champions’ first-team squad this season but has so far made just two appearances, both starts in the Carabao Cup.
Championship clubs Leeds United and Swansea City are both interested in taking Brewster on loan next month, according to The Times.
The England youth international has been named in Liverpool’s squad that will travel to Qatar for the FIFA Club World Cup later this month.
10.31 GMT: Atletico Madrid have made contact with Edinson Cavani‘s representatives over signing the Paris Saint-Germain striker as a free agent next summer, according to AS.
Cavani, who has not signed a contract extension with PSG, would reportedly welcome a move to La Liga.
The Uruguay international, who is in his seventh campaign at PSG, is a target of several clubs but Atletico would be a good option for the 32-year-old.
“Atletico Madrid have been in touch,” the report in AS quotes an unnamed member of Cavani’s entourage as saying. “They are interested in Edi. It could be for next summer.
“However, we are not talking figures yet. It is early in negotiations. Atletico are a great club and a good option for someone who likes the idea for many reasons: the greatness of the club, La Liga, Champions League football and the language.”
Atletico have struggled in attack scoring 16 goals in 15 league games and are without Brazil international forward Diego Costa, who is sidelined though injury for three months.
However, the Rojiblancos are unlikely to make a move in the winter transfer window because they have reached their salary cap limit and Cavani does not want to leave PSG until the summer.
10.05 GMT: Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have to lower his wage demands or risk missing out on a move to AC Milan, sources have told ESPN.
The former Sweden international announced he was ending his two-year spell with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy at the end of 2019, and Milan remain his preferred destination should he return to Europe.
However, despite various meetings between the forward’s agent, Mino Raiola, and Milan’s hierarchy, both parties are yet to agree a deal, with the financial aspects of the deal proving a stumbling block.
Sources told ESPN FC that Ibrahimovic’s camp is waiting for a response from Milan. There is still plenty of time to find an agreement, though, as the ex-Paris Saint-Germain forward is still under contract with the Galaxy until Dec. 31.
09.29 GMT: Valencia’s French striker Kevin Gameiro has turned down a move to Nantes in the winter transfer window, according to Superdeporte.
Nantes want to strengthen their attack in January and are considering Gameiro as the ideal candidate. Les Canaris have struggled in front of goal, scoring 14 goals in 16 games, and are ninth in the Ligue 1 standings.
Gameiro has scored two goals and set up one more in 10 league appearances for Valencia this season. The former Paris Saint-Germain player, who joined Valencia from Atletico in the summer of 2018, is tied to Valencia until June 2021. According to Superdeporte, Gameiro, 32, is happy at Valencia and wants to stay put.
09.08 GMT: Atletico Madrid are on the verge of completing a deal for Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, sources have told ESPN.
The club will pay Atletico Paranaense around €30 million for the 22-year-old. He is expected to join next June, although a January arrival is not being ruled out.
Atletico had secured a purchase option for Bruno when negotiating the transfer of then-teammate Renan Lodi this summer.
They had faced serious competition for the signing from Brazilian giants and Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo, who were willing to pay a higher fee.
08.28 GMT: Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid hierarchy remain at odds over the signing of Paul Pogba, with the coach “desperate” for the Manchester United midfielder but president Florentino Perez deeming him overpriced.
Madrid will look to strengthen their midfield next summer and Pogba has been a long-term target, with reports of a transfer resurfacing in the Spanish media on Wednesday.
Sources have told ESPN that Zidane is desperate to sign Pogba but United would expect a fee well in excess of £120m and Perez deems that excessive.
08.00 GMT: Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati has signed a new contract with the Spanish champions until 2022 increasing his buy-out clause from €100m to €170m.
Ansu, who turned 17 in October, only signed his first professional deal with the club in July but those terms were agreed with the assumption he would be playing for the under-19s and B team.
He has since broken into the first team, featuring 11 times this season, and forcing Barca to update his contract and improve his salary for the second time in six months. His buy-out clause will automatically rise to €400m when he’s officially promoted to the first team.
While he is training on a day-to-day basis with Ernesto Valverde’s side, he is not yet been registered as a first-team player and did not appear in last week’s official squad photograph.
The club negotiated the deal with Lionel Messi’s brother, Rodrigo, who works as Ansu’s agent and is an adviser to the youngster’s father, Bori.
– Hunter: Ansu proving Barca DNA as strong as ever
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 4, 2019
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): French billionaire to reunite Messi, Pep in Milan?
In one of this week’s more ambitious rumours, Italian title La Repubblica are suggesting that French billionaire and potential new AC Milan owner Bernard Arnault wants to spend whatever it takes to bring Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola to the San Siro.
The third richest man in the world according to Forbes, Arnault not only wants to buy the Rossoneri in an attempt to take them back to the top of Serie A, he also wants to bring in Messi and Guardiola to help him do it, and usher in a new era of glory in the Italian capital.
The deal looks unlikely on paper. Messi has stated on numerous occasions he’s happy to see out his career in Barcelona while Guardiola recently stated he was content in Manchester. Moreover, to sign both would cost a silly amount of money. However, if anyone can afford to do it, it’s Arnault, who is believed to have a net worth of around $107 billion.
Arnault is successful at many things, namely owning a conglomerate that looks after brands such as Louis Vitton and Moet Hennessy, but he is yet to dip his toe into the sporting world. This project could be one step too far for the French magnate.
Arsenal, Everton among options for Atleti’s Simeone
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone seems to be on exit path at the Spanish club amid reports that he could entertain a Premier League challenge.
Simeone has seen his side relatively struggle this La Liga campaign and according to Marca, his tenure could soon be coming to an end.
The Argentine has previous been linked with a move to manage a club in England, and is believed to be on the radars of both Everton and Arsenal.
Arsenal have put their hopes this season in the hands of interim manager Freddie Ljungberg after sacking Unai Emery, while Everton are now in the relegation zone under struggling boss Marco Silva.
– Arsenal are set to recall Eddie Nketiah from Leeds United due to the 20-year-old lacking game time since his loan move in the summer. The Daily Mail reports that the Gunners have been far from impressed with Nketiah’s two starts so far this season, and while he’s scored five goals in 13 appearances in total, they feel he will benefit from a move elsewhere, with Bristol City favourites to benefit.
– Inter Milan are going toe to toe with Juventus in the title race in Serie A, and they’ve identified Roma skipper Alessandro Florenzi as a transfer priority in January to help them continue their title push, according to Tuttosport. The 28-year-old can play in midfield and as a full-back and so brings great flexibility and Inter are keen to offer him more game time than he’s had at Roma this season. Florenzi has made just 10 appearances, playing only one full game.
– Alaves are keen to sign Brahim Diaz from Real Madrid, reports Radio Marca. The 20-year-old forward was imperious at the end of last season but has been unable to break into Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up on a regular basis this time around, and Alaves are one of several clubs looking to offer him more game time. The Basque club see Diaz as the perfect man to play behind striker Joselu and Lucas Perez.
– Italian side Atalanta are interested in making Mario Palasic‘s loan move from Chelsea a permanent one, write Gazzetta dello Sport in their print edition. Pasalic is nearly midway through his second season in Italy and Atalanta have been impressed with the 24-year-old Croatian to the extent that they’re prepared to spend £15m on the midfielder. Palasic has scored four goals and provided two assists in 18 appearances this season. He’s contracted to the west London club until 2022 but is yet to play a game for the Blues.