TOP STORY: Man United want Rondon, Chelsea eye Mertens
The Premier League window only has a day left and both Manchester United and Chelsea are short up front.
After United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comments (see 08.00), United will be eyeing a pure goal scorer and the Times claims that former West Brom and Newcastle striker Salomon Rondon, 30, is a target after the Chinese Super League cancelled the start of their new season because of the coronavirus epidemic.
The Daily Express adds that Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic and Leicester’s Islam Slimani are being tracked for a loan move, while the MEN has a different idea and says that Valencia striker Maxi Gomez and Fenerbahce’s Vedat Muriqi are keen and that Napoli veteran Dries Mertens is also linked.
However, Mertens is also on the radar of Chelsea, says Sky Sports. The 32-year-old Belgian is out of contract this summer and is also attracting attention from Inter Milan given a January move would only cost £5m.
Olivier Giroud will likely leave Stamford Bridge this window, either to Inter or possibly Tottenham, so Chelsea need a backup almost as much as United do. Stay tuned to find out who they’ll get.
15.21 GMT: Hey Noni Madueke. PSV’s England starlet is on the radar of Arsenal and Wolves, says the Daily Mail.
Germany’s RB Leipzig and Spanish club Valencia are also keeping tabs on the 17-year-old, who was handed his senior debut against VVV Venlo recently.
Madueke is a former youth graduate of Tottenham, so they’ll be annoyed if he suddenly becomes the next Jadon Sancho.
15.00 GMT: Ever wondered who the best and worst value transfers were?
Ryan O’Hanlon has crunched the numbers and the results are in. It’s good news for Liverpool, but bad news for Chelsea and Man United.
14.47 GMT: Sky Italia reports that Paco Alcacer is set to finalise a €23m move to Villarreal from Dortmund.
The former Barcelona striker has struggled in recent years and won’t get ahead of Erling Haaland at Dortmund now, so has opted to return to Spain to revitalise his career.
Once it goes through, this one could open the door for Emre Can‘s transfer to Dortmund, should Juventus sanction a €30m deal.
14.40 GMT: Manchester United were reportedly close to signing Krzysztof Piatek on an 18-month loan deal, says the Times.
That deal would have had an obligation to buy in 2021 but Milan were keen to move him on now. Something they have done with a €27m move to Hertha Berlin close to being completed.
14.07 GMT: Sky Sports is reporting that Tottenham are planning a last minute move for Southampton captain Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.
However, Hojbjerg has been central to Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl’s plans and a summer move may be more likely.
Tottenham aren’t alone in their interest in the Denmark international with Arsenal and Everton both said to be considering a move for him too.
13.35 GMT: Bruno Fernandes might not be the only Sporting Lisbon player leaving this transfer window with 20-year-old Miguel Luis being linked with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers.
Portuguese outlet O Jogo is reporting that Luis could be brought in to help Rangers challenge Celtic for the Scottish Premiership title.
Rangers are five points behind Celtic but do have a game in hand.
Gerrard has also been vocal on his wish to bring in players after his team lost 2-1 to bottom of the league Hearts last weekend.
13.07 GMT: Update on our post from 09.45 GMT, the Guardian are reporting that a fee has been agreed for Genk’s Sander Berge.
Berge’s agent is reportedly at Sheffield United’s training ground to help finalise details such as a release clause and add-ons.
All going to plan, this will be a club record deal.
12.50 GMT: Hertha Berlin are about to land Krzysztof Piatek and that could be good news for West Ham.
Why, you ask? Because it means that former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou, who now plays for Hertha, is available.
German publication Kicker reports that the 34-year-old is now on the radar of David Moyes.
12.30 GMT: Chelsea defender/midfielder Ethan Ampadu has been on loan at RB Leipzig this season, but the Bristol Post reports that Bristol City are keen to offer him more playing time.
As an aside: Former RB Leipzig head coach Ralf Rangnick hit out at the club’s players after they flew in a celebrity hairdresser from London ahead of their 2-0 defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend.
Nine Leipzig players, including Ampadu, had their hair cut by English hairdresser Sheldon Edwards at their Frankfurt hotel before the game. The barber, whose previous clients include Olivier Giroud, Jadon Sancho and Raheem Sterling, later published images of his work on social media.
12.04 GMT: AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek doesn’t want to hang around with Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his way, and the 24-year-old Poland international has reportedly landed in Berlin to complete a medical at Hertha Berlin ahead of a €27m transfer.
11.37 GMT: Neymar hasn’t been mentioned for a while on these pages, so surely you all want an update?
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo TV: “Neymar is the recurring question asked by everyone since last year. However, as I have already said, until we meet to discuss next season, we will not be talking about it. For the coming campaign, nothing has been discussed — there is nothing to reveal. We are always open to anything. I prefer to not speak about other teams’ players.”
11.28 GMT: Sheffield United are close to a loan deal for Bayer Leverkusen defender Panagiotis Retsos, according to the Daily Mail.
Retsos, 21, is a very versatile defender and the Greece international could provide plenty of cover for the Blades at the back.
11.15 GMT: Update on Olivier Giroud to Tottenham. The Athletic says that it could happen but only if Chelsea manage to sign a striker before the deadline. If they do, they won’t block the Frenchman’s move to join up with Jose Mourinho.
11.06 GMT: Barcelona forward Carles Perez has joined Serie A side Roma in a deal worth an initial €13m, the two clubs confirmed on Wednesday.
A further €2m is potentially due in performance-related add-ons. Barca had hoped to include a buy-back option in the deal but, in the end, have had to settle for a first option should Roma agree to sell in the future.
11.01 GMT: Here’s an interesting one… Barcelona reportedly want to sell Philippe Coutinho permanently this month, even though he’s in the middle of a season-long loan spell at Bayern Munich.
Bayern have a €120m option to buy the Brazilian midfielder in the summer, but reports suggest they won’t do that.
Catalunya Radio Barcelona reports that Barca are willing to sell for less if a bid comes in now, given they need to find a replacement for the injured Luis Suarez pretty quickly.
10.46 GMT: Tottenham are also looking for a striker, but they have competition for Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose from West Ham, says AS.
Willian Jose is pushing for a move to London and has a €70m buy-out clause in his contract, but Tottenham are negotiating a much lower fee, sources have told ESPN.
10.31 GMT: Portuguese winger Daniel Podence has completed his £16.6m move to Wolves from Olympiakos.
“First of all, thank you for the several support messages I’ve been getting. I can describe myself as a fast, virtuoso and objective player,” he told the club website. “My individual goals are to play as much as possible, help the team with goals and assists and collectively, I’d like to qualify for the Champions League. That is a goal that’s within our reach, and I hope we can have a better season than last year.”
Wolves also signed 19-year-old France youth international Enzo Loiodice from Dijon on loan.
10.18 GMT: Barcelona are starting to ramp things up and have been linked with Braga winger Francisco Trincao.
The 20-year-old has been dubbed the “new Cristiano Ronaldo,” or perhaps that should now be the “new Joao Felix” given the Portuguese youngster is already the holder of that title.
Can you be “a new” anything if you’re only a few days older than the player in question? Anyway, Barca are willing to spend €20m on Trincao, says Record.
10.15 GMT: Gonzalo Villar has completed his move from Elche to AS Roma.
The 21-year-old central midfielder has signed for €4m, with performance-related clauses of up to €1m included.
10.02 GMT: Manchester City are trying to hijack Yan Couto‘s move to Barcelona with late bid, says Mundo Deportivo.
The promising 17-year-old Brazil defender has barely played for his club Coritiba but is already attracting the biggest clubs in the world. Must be some player!
09.55 GMT: Former Real Madrid and QPR midfielder Esteban Granero has rescinded his contract with Espanyol and joined third division side El Marbella. Wow. He’s only 32.
09.45 GMT: Genk midfielder Sander Berge was being linked to Liverpool and Man United but now it seems he’s set to sign for Sheffield United, says Sky Sports.
The 21-year-old could move for around £27m.
09.37 GMT: US international defender Cameron Carter-Vickers has moved from Tottenham to Luton on loan.
09.28 GMT: Arsenal are reportedly chasing Southampton’s Cedric Soares and could land the full-back for £5m, says the Daily Mirror.
They’ve already landed defender Pablo Mari on loan from Flamengo.
09.13 GMT: Valencia coach Albert Celades remains coy over Rodrigo‘s future at the club despite news that talks regarding the striker’s move to Barcelona have collapsed.
Barcelona reportedly wanted to sign the Spanish striker on loan until the end of the season while Valencia were only willing to sell Rodrigo on a permanent transfer in this transfer window.
When asked if Rodrigo will stay put, Celades told reporters after Wednesday’s Copa del Rey win on penalties at Cultural Leonesa. “I don’t know how things stand. We will wait and see once the transfer window ends and once it does, we will evaluate it. It seems that way (that Rodrigo will stay). But until the last day, the situation doesn’t change.”
Richarlison has scored 24 goals for Everton since joining them in July 2018 from Watford for £40m. The 22-year-old has established himself as a Brazil international, making three appearances as the Selecao won the Copa America on home soil last summer.
Sky reports that Everton immediately rejected the offer from Barca, who have re-ignited their long-held interest in the player as their hopes of signing Rodrigo from Valencia appear to be diminishing.
08.27 GMT: Lyon have announced the signing Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes from Athletico Paranaense.
The 22-year-old had been linked with Premier League side Arsenal and La Liga club Atletico Madrid, but it was Ligue 1 side Lyon who were always favourites to sign him.
📝 Bruno Guimaraes à l’OL jusqu’en 2024 !
— Olympique Lyonnais (@OL) January 30, 2020
08.00 GMT: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants a new striker to join new arrival Bruno Fernandes at the club before the close of the January transfer window.
Fernandes is set to undergo a medical on Thursday after arriving in Manchester, but Solskjaer is still hopeful there could be another addition before Friday’s deadline.
“We need more goalscorers, more goals, someone who wants to break their nose or toe to score,” said Solskjaer. “We need more goals, if we get Bruno over the line we’ve got a boy who will score and create.”
With Nemanja Matic set to be suspended for Wolves’ visit to Old Trafford on Saturday after he was sent off during the 1-0 win over Manchester City on Wednesday, Fernandes could make his debut provided there are no late hitches in his move from Sporting Lisbon.
“Let’s get the contract signed and medical done, but the boy is fit and ready to play I would presume,” said Solskjaer.
WHAT DO THE BIG CLUBS NEED
LIVERPOOL: Nobody. 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 CITY: Pep 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.
LEICESTER: The 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 Vitoria Guimaraes’ Edmond Tapsoba, Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard and Brest’s Ibrahima Diallo have been linked.
CHELSEA: A 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 a back-up striker is possible if they can land Napoli striker Dries Mertens.
MAN UNITED: Having landed Bruno Fernandes to bolster the midfield, a backup striker is also required at Old Trafford. A loan option is most likely, with Real Madrid’s Luka Jovic, Leicester’s Islam Slimani, Valencia’s Maxi Gomez and Fenerbahce’s Vedat Muriqi reportedly on the list, with Mertens too.
TOTTENHAM: Seeing 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 is a possibility, though the main target is Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose. 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.
ARSENAL: Defensive cover arrived in the form of former Man City defender Pablo Mari, but the struggling Gunners are still short. Southampton’s Cedric Soares could provide cover at full-back on loan, while there won’t be anything major spent as the club are saving for their summer overhaul.
SELECTED EUROPEAN CLUBS
ATLETICO MADRID: PSG’s Edinson Cavani is the answer to Atletico’s scoring woes, though he will cost €15m despite his contract ending in the summer. Negotiations are ongoing, with Inter Miami FC possibly complicating things. Flop Thomas Lemar will likely stay put until the summer, despite links to Arsenal and Tottenham.
BARCELONA: Luis Suarez‘s injury means Barcelona need an attacking player. They’ve reportedly had an €85m bid rejected for Everton’s Richarlison, saw Ajax rebuff them for Dusan Tadic, and are keen to sell Philippe Coutinho to raise funds. But Chelsea’s Willian has been a long-term target, as has Inter’s €111m rated Lautaro Martinez. A deal for Valencia’s Rodrigo Moreno looks dead this month, but Real Betis forward Loren Moron could be an option at €25m.
INTER MILAN: So 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 James Capps)
Spurs and Real hold shock Bale talks
The Daily Mail claims Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid have held talks over a shock move for former Spurs winger Gareth Bale, but the north Londoners are reportedly pessimistic over their chances of landing the Welshman.
Financial reasons are believed to be the major stumbling block in any potential move for the four-time Champions League winner, with Bale’s huge £600,000-a-week wage forming the crux of the negotiations.
Spurs know they are unable to get close to matching that salary, and are now trying desperately to put together a package to suit all parties, with Real keen to rid the former Southampton man from their bulging wage bill, while the player himself is keen to secure regular game time ahead of Wales’ Euro 2020 campaign in the summer.
Bale was named the PFA’s Player of the Year twice during his six years at Spurs before making his €100m move to Real Madrid in 2013, a world-record fee at the time.
Paco packs his bags ahead of Dortmund departure
Borussia Dortmund striker Paco Alcacer looks set to depart Signal Iduna Park in the January transfer window, and Spanish publication Marca claims the former Barcelona man is set for a move back to La Liga with Villarreal.
The 26-year-old asked to leave the Bundesliga side after the arrival of teenage sensation Erling Haaland from FC Salzburg at the turn of the year, and the Norwegian’s scintillating start to his career in Germany has accelerated the Spaniard’s exit.
Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Valencia were also linked with a move for Alcacer, but after Barcelona failed with a move for Los Che striker Rodrigo, Valencia are no longer in the market for a forward, leaving the door open for Villarreal to make their move.
Can Dortmund get Emre from Juventus?
Serie A leaders Juventus are bracing themselves for a second bid from Borussia Dortmund for wantaway midfielder Emre Can, according to noted transfer guru Gianluca Dimarzio.
After having an initial enquiry rebuffed, Dortmund look set to return with an offer worth around €30 million for the 26-year-old, who has expressed his desire to leave Juventus after struggling to force his way into Maurizio Sarri’s first-team plans, with the former Chelsea boss preferring the likes of Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur in his midfield berths.
Despite his lack of first-team action in Turin, the defending Serie A champions look set to make a huge profit on the German, who joined The Old Lady in 2018 on a free transfer after letting his contract expire at Liverpool.
– Tottenham defender Danny Rose is set for a loan deal to Newcastle, with the Guardian reporting that Steve Bruce’s side will pay Spurs a £2m loan fee for the England defender. Rose has only made three starts since Jose Mourinho took over the London side, and the move up north could have revitalise Rose’s chances of making England’s squad for Euro 2020.
– The Sun claims West Brom defender Nathan Ferguson is having a medical at Crystal Palace, after the two clubs agreed a deal worth £10m for the 19-year-old. The Eagles turned their attention to the youngster after failing in an attempt to sign Spurs full-back Kyle Walker-Peters, who opted for a move to Southampton rather than a switch to Selhurst Park.
– Sky Italy claims AC Milan left back Ricardo Rodriguez is on the verge of sealing a move to PSV Eindhoven ahead of Friday’s transfer deadline. The 27-year-old Switzerland international has made just five Serie A appearances for the Rossoneri this season.