With the winter window opening soon, the rumour mill is beginning to gather pace. Who will be moving where come January? Transfer Talk has the latest.
TOP STORY: Juventus ready to move for United star Rashford
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford is a major target for Italian champions Juventus, according to the Times. It reports that Juve “are compiling a dossier on Rashford as they firm up their interest” in the 21-year-old.
The England international has been watched by the Serie A giants, with officials “making discreet checks on his background and character.”
He was a substitute in United’s recent Champions League win in Turin and, although he is under contract until 2020, the Times says he wants assurances that he will continue to develop at Old Trafford.
It adds that as well as monitoring Rashford, Juve are keeping an eye on David De Gea with United “now seen as a club that could potentially provide rich pickings for rivals.”
21.48 BST: Sebastien Haller to the Premier League? The Frankfurt striker is remaining rather coy on his future.
When asked about his future in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine, Haller had this to say: “Maybe never,” when asked about moving to England. “Or maybe in two months. It depends on the possibilities that arise.”
The French forward has scored 14 goals for Frankfurt in his last 39 games and has been linked with a move to striker-craving Newcastle.
20.06 GMT: It’s that time of the day again… Wolves being linked with yet another striker.
Sources tell ESPN FC that Wolves have had preliminary discussions with Turkish Super Lig side Kasimpasa over the possible January transfer of in-form striker Mbaye Diagne.
The ex-Juventus man is in torrid form in Turkey at the moment, having scored 12 goals in 12 games for surprise third-place side Kasimpasa.
The 27-year-old is well travelled having had stops in Italy, France, Belgium, Saudi Arabia, Hungary, China and now Turkey.
We know Nuno Espirito Santo wants a new striker at Wolves and Diagne will be a name to follow as we get closer and closer to January,
19.13 GMT: Sitting just three points off the pace atop the English Championship, Leeds will be looking to bolster their squad in the winter window.
According to Spanish outlet AS, one player Leeds could target is Alaves forward Ibai Gomez. The Basque frontman worked with current Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa at Athletic Bilbao between 2011-13 and would add some firepower to the Whites’ attack.
Gomez has three goals this season for upstarts Alaves but Leeds will face competition in trying to seal the forward’s signature in January. The AS report lists ex-club Bilbao, Real Sociedad, Eibar and Celta Vigo as clubs that all retain an interest in Gomez.
Leeds have not played in the Premier League since 2004 but with a team capable of making a run at promotion, Gomez would be a welcome addition at Elland Road.
18:03 GMT: — DONE DEAL — Celtic have locked up highly-touted youngster Mikey Johnston to a new five-year contract that will keep him at Celtic Park through 2023.
✍️ Mikey Johnston has signed a new deal to keep him at #CelticFC until 2023!
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 20, 2018
“There’s been a lot of good players who have come up through the Celtic youth system and hopefully I can carry that on and go and show everyone what I’m about”, said Johnston after signing.
The 19-year-old winger has made nine appearances for the Hoops’ first team this season.
17.12 GMT: Sunderland have not had much to smile about over the past few seasons, as back-to-back relegations have seen the Black Cats drop down to League One.
This season Sunderland have started well and sit second thanks in large to the emergence of teenage striker Josh Maja.
The 19-year-old has scored 10 times in 16 league games and bigger clubs have begun to take notice. According to a report in the Mirror, Man City and Tottenham are the latest clubs to show interest in the teenage sensation; with Maja’s contract set to expire this summer.
Bristol City are keen on adding Maja in January for a reported £6 million and if Sunderland are unable to sign the player to an extension, the club will have to weigh keeping him for a promotion run and losing him in the summer for free vs. selling him in January.
Maja is the hottest name in League One, now the question is will he be there much longer?
16.07 GMT: Nikola Vlasic‘s future at Everton has been the subject of speculation. The Croatia international has impressed on loan at CSKA Moscow and has been linked to Inter Milan and Roma. But his agent Tonci Martic has played down any talk of a move.
“He is one of the best players in his generation. He will remain until the end of the season with CSKA Moscow, where he is on loan, then in the summer we will see what happens,” Martic told TuttoMercatoWeb. “Could he move to Inter or Roma? Let’s see, for now it is too soon to talk about it. He is valued at around €15-20 million so it is a feasible operation for the top five or six clubs to complete in Serie A. He has the right mindset in order to impose himself in these top clubs.”
15.35 GMT: Leicester signing Vicente Iborra from Sevilla was a bit of a coup but the Spanish club now want their former captain back with Leicester targeting new Spain international Brais Mendez (from Celta Vigo) as his replacement, according to COPE.
14.58 GMT: Roma’s Lorenzo Pellegrini has been linked with a move to Manchester United now his agent has spoken out with quotes that take the story on not a single bit…
“If I have to talk about Lorenzo right now the only thing I can talk about is his extraordinary form,” Giampiero Pocetta told Corriere dello Sport. “He’s getting what he deserves on the pitch, and the rumours about the transfer market have never distracted him nor disturbed him.
“Manchester United? I’m sorry that rumours have spread about financial aspects relating to him and his team-mates. It doesn’t matter for Lorenzo. He doesn’t live for meetings, especially financial ones.”
14.18 GMT: New York City FC need a replacement for David Villa, who is now 36, and are monitoring Real Betis forward Sergio Leon (a mere 29) according to AS.
13.45 GMT: Liverpool and Manchester City could be set for disappointment in the chase for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot. Spanish paper Mundo Deportivo report that the 23-year-old has his heart set on a move to Barcelona and will move there once his contract in Paris expires this summer.
12.50 GMT: N’Golo Kante is about the only player to have emerged with any credit from all the Football Leaks stuff but while he may not be too fussed about the size of his pay packet, Chelsea want to tie him down to a new deal worth around £290,000-a-week say the Evening Standard.
12.31 GMT: Real Madrid are set to hand Keylor Navas a new contract, say ABC.
Navas’ current deal expires in 2020 and the report states the club want to add an extra year to it. Seems a bit odd given Thibaut Courtois is starting games and Navas is almost 32. And that’s before you consider Real might be keen to sign David De Gea if his contract situation doesn’t get sorted at Man United.
11.07 GMT: Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has said he is in the market to buy a club in England.
“I’m working on buying another club, probably in England,” La Gazzetta dello Sport reported him as saying. “There is a project in progress.”
10.33 GMT: Juventus’ Alex Sandro has been tracked by Manchester United and Chelsea and he has admitted he has a desire to play in the Premier League one day. Here’s what he had to say.
10.17 GMT: Because this is modern journalism, we are obliged to bring you news that Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong is about to join Real Madrid based purely on his social media activity.
Yes, claim Sport, there is no other reason that he would ‘Like’ posts from the Real Madrid Instagram account. Sorry, Barcelona and Manchester City… you’ll need your social team working overtime to get the midfielder on board.
09.56 GMT: Sit on the bench at Manchester City or at Real Madrid? Tough one.. Brahim Diaz may have to decide shortly as Madrid are reported to want him by AS.
09.44 GMT: Lazio president Claudio Lotito says the club are not under any pressure to sell Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, although he would not rule out a sale if the price were right. The Serbian midfielder has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and Manchester United, although he recently renewed his contract with the Serie A club through to 2023.
“In today’s football, it’s difficult for a player to tie himself to just one club for the rest of his career, but at Lazio we are doing well,” Lotito told Calciomercato. “Our players show great affection to the club. Unfortunately, Lazio don’t have the same economic potential as Barcelona and Real Madrid. When the conditions are on our side and an offer you can’t refuse arrives, then we will face the matter.”
09.21 GMT: Mario Balotelli had looked certain to move to Marseille, and was even “spotted” at their training ground over the summer, but it fell through. He returned late (and significantly overweight) to Nice as a result.
Manager Rudi Garcia told RMC: “I don’t think the Balotelli case was badly handled. It was very well handled. It was an opportunity, but I don’t think it was particularly a recruitment priority. I think it wasn’t reasonable to give in to certain financial demands. I’m not annoyed with my bosses at all. I think they were rational, objective and intelligent. We can’t just do anything in terms of recruitment.”
08.20 GMT: Real Madrid have begun negotiations with Corinthians to sign attacking midfielder Pedrinho, according to Cadena Ser. Los Blancos are keen to acquire the 20-year-old in January.
Pedrinho has played 38 official games with Corinthians this season, including six in the Copa Libertadores. The Brazilian contract with Corinthians runs until December 2020 and has a release clause set at $50m.
Real Madrid would reportedly consider sending Pedrinho on loan to Real Valladolid — the club majority owned by Brazil legend Ronaldo — in order for the player to adapt to La Liga and get playing time.
PAPER TALK (by Chris Borg)
Pogba wants to leave Man United for Juventus
Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but Paul Pogba is reportedly unhappy at Manchester United. Corriere dello Sport claim that the midfielder is pining for a return to Juventus and has asked the club to make that happen in January.
Tuttosport report that Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is in Turin for talks with the Italian club over a potential move. And presumably a major negotiation over how much his cut of the transfer fee will be.
Surely it would take more than the then-world record £89.3m which brought him back to Old Trafford in the first place…
Clubs will have to wait in Pulisic chase
United States star Christian Pulisic is heading for the Premier League — but he won’t be arriving this season, the Mirror reports.
Borussia Dortmund midfielder Pulisic, linked with Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, “is understood to have told teammates that his future lies in England.”
The Mirror says Liverpool are set to battle it out with the Blues for the 20-year-old, with Spurs likely to be next in the queue, and are ready to bide their time after Dortmund made it clear he will stay for the time being.
Pulisic is under contract until 2020, but the Bundesliga leaders “are ready to cash in at the end of the season” because of the fine form shown by Jadon Sancho.
Arsenal line up move for Villarreal midfielder
Midfield comings and goings are in the offing at Arsenal, and the Sun says Villarreal’s Pablo Fornals will be on his way in.
It reports that Fornals, 22, “has a £17.8 million release clause which the Gunners are prepared to match.”
Arsenal manager Unai Emery will lose Aaron Ramsey in the summer, with the Wales international leaving when his contract expires.
Spain international Fornals has been in fine form despite Villarreal’s tough season, and the Sun says Arsenal “are prepared to offload Mohamed Elneny to help fund a move.”
The Gunners will listen to offers for Egypt international Elneny and would be prepared to let him go for around £15m.
— Chelsea are continuing to monitor Bournemouth forward Callum Wilson despite Olivier Giroud declaring that he is staying at Stamford Bridge, the Mirror reports.
The Londoners have been linked with Wilson — for whom they could bid in January — as well as Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi and Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek, but France international Giroud is determined to fight for his place.
— Wolverhampton Wanderers want to add to their attacking ranks by bringing in Liverpool’s Divock Origi, the Birmingham Mail claims.
Origi was reported to have interested Wolves in the summer, and the Mail says manager Nuno Espirito Santo still “wants another option” with Raul Jimenez struggling for goals.