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: United target youthful trio in winter window
The report says Ed Woodward and club owners the Glazers are more than willing to get behind Solskjaer in the transfer market, to the point that he can really splash the cash to build on the club’s recent successes against Tottenham and Manchester City.
The three names that have been mentioned are Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez, FC Salzburg teen Erling Haaland and Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek, though the club will almost certainly face a lot of competition in attempting to get those deals over the finish line.
21.46 GMT: Bologna have enquired with Everton about the possibility of bringing 19-year-old former Juventus forward Moise Kean back to Italy just five months after he left Serie A for the Premier League, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.
20.39 GMT: Mexican outlet TUDN reports that Sporting Kansas City have overtaken the San Jose Earthquakes as the favourites for Chivas forward Alan Pulido for economic reasons, echoing what a source told ESPN in November.
19.32 GMT: Manchester United head global scot is in Salzburg as we speak, taking in FC Salzburg’s Champions League match against Liverpool to monitor Erling Haaland, according to our Mark Ogden, who adds that the Red Devils have been scouting the 19-year-old striker for 18 months, dating back to his time at Molde.
18.25 GMT: Three Chelsea players could be on their way out in January, according to Goal. The report suggests that Antonio Conte is keen to be reunited with left-back Marcos Alonso at Inter, while Pedro is weighing up offers from Aston Villa and MLS clubs, and Olivier Giroud is in search of first-team minutes in spite of his sparing contributions in West London this season.
16.58 GMT: Manchester United have been linked with a move for Leicester midfielder James Maddison but the Daily Mirror says he could be set to sign a new deal.
Maddison, 23, has been in fine form this season as Leicester have climbed to second spot, with defender Caglar Soyuncu another who could be rewarded for his performances with a new contract.
15.50 GMT: Wolves striker Raul Jimenez only joined the club in April, for a club-record €38m from Benfica. However, the Mexico international has been speaking about another possible move, this time for €100m, after his fine recent form saw him linked with a host of top clubs in Europe.
“For a Mexican player, or for a Mexican, it would be almost impossible [moving for €100m], perhaps because of the kind of mentality in Mexico,” he told Marca.
“It will be said that ‘he is not so good’, whether ‘he is worth it’. But if someone pays that amount of money for someone it is because he is worth it.
“Sometimes the amounts are stratospheric but I think football has changed a lot, and it can be achieved. For me it would be an extra motivation to know that I have to give more of myself, back up what they are paying for you and continue giving things to talk about.
“It doesn’t scare me. Football is something I’ve always dreamed of, it has always been my life. Therefore, if it happens, it would be an important motivation to carry out such a transfer.”
15.08 GMT: Chelsea are only just allowed to buy players again but they are already reportedly fending off bids for their club, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The report claims that American financier Todd Boehly, a part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, saw a bid rejected by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich as it didn’t meet the $3 billion he wants.
14.16 GMT: Arena Napoli claims that Everton are sniffing around Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Ibrahimovic, 38, is a free agent after leaving the LA Galaxy. There are plenty of clubs keen to sign the striker, including AC Milan, but the Toffees have reportedly asked his agent Mino Raiola if he’d be willing to return to the Premier League. If he is, then they’d evidently be happy to make him their highest paid player.
13.40 GMT: Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti may be ahead of Jean-Clair Todibo in the pecking order, (see 09.29 GMT below), but he’s still reportedly not all that happy at Camp Nou.
Manchester City are interested in signing the France international, says L’Equipe, mainly because their defensive injury crisis has already scuppered their Premier League title challenge and they need to get themselves back on track if they have any hope of winning silverware this season.
However, Umtiti hasn’t exactly been injury free himself as he’s been suffering with a knee issue all year. Wouldn’t be much use spending €50m on Umtiti only for him to get injured straight away, now would it?
12.24 GMT: Barcelona consider Lautaro Martinez the perfect heir to Luis Suarez but sources have told ESPN that the club are looking at more affordable alternatives after being put off by Inter Milan’s €100 million-plus price tag.
The Spanish champions have been searching for a long-term replacement for Suarez — who turns 33 in January and has acknowledged the club’s need for a succession plan — for over a year.
11.44 GMT: Freddie Ljungberg got his first win as Arsenal manager last night, but do the FC TV guys think the club should stick with him?
The Telegraph’s report claims that talks were “positive” but the issue of the Portuguese coach’s salary may be a stumbling block, as he reportedly earns £23m a year in the Chinese Super League.
Another China-based coach, Rafa Benitez has ruled himself out of taking any Premier League jobs that are either available now or likely to come up in the near future. However, the former Liverpool boss has not ruled out a return to England in the future, and is even open to taking over at Goodison Park.
“I have Liverpool connections, that’s very clear,” Benitez, who manages Dalian Yifang in China, told Sky Sports. “But at the same time we are involved in the city, we have lots of friends in the city, Evertonians and Liverpudlians.
“I don’t have any problem with the fans or the people there. I have a very good connection with the city.
“At the moment, I can’t come back to the Premier League, but we’ll see. In the future, you never know. I’m a professional.”
McTominay has become a fixture in the United team this season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, making 18 appearances in all competitions and scoring three Premier League goals so far.
The 22-year-old, who came up through the United youth ranks, only signed a four-year deal worth £30,000-a-week in January, but now United are keen to offer him twice that wage to reflect his new status at Old Trafford.
The Sun report claims that United will offer McTominay a six-year deal, committing the Scotland international to the club until 2025.
At the weekend, Mbappe caused a stir with his reaction to being substituted during Saturday’s 3-1 win at Montpellier. The France striker, who scored what proved to be the decisive second goal for his side, was replaced by Eric Choupo-Moting in the 89th minute, and appeared to ignore Tuchel as he took his place on the bench.
Mbappe, ranked the world’s No. 3 forward in the ESPN FC 100, has been consistently linked with a move to Real Madrid. Last month, Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane spoke of his “love” for the France international.
Not a good look from Kylian Mbappé this afternoon as he appeared to ignore Thomas Tuchel when being substituted off. pic.twitter.com/H1nYqLEn04
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) December 7, 2019
Barca signed the France youth international from Toulouse in January but he’s found game time hard to come by at Camp Nou. He’s played just 77 minutes of football this season.
The Catalan club are keen to sell as they need to bring in €124m before the end of June in order to balance their accounts. Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet and Samuel Umtiti are all ahead of him in the pecking order, while coach Ernesto Valverde is also a fan of Barca B centre-back Ronald Araujo.
Leverkusen were the first side to express an interest in Todibo. However, they are reluctant to heed to Barca’s request for a buyback clause to be included in any potential deal. In the meantime, Milan, Southampton and Watford have all registered their interest with less than a month to go until the January transfer window opens.
09.05 GMT: Marcelino Garcia Toral has held talks with Arsenal and is keen on becoming their next manager, sources have told ESPN. The former Valencia and Villarreal coach has been in London this week for face-to-face talks with the club before returning to Spain on Tuesday.
Sources close to the 54-year-old told ESPN that Marcelino is not optimistic about being offered the job, believing being Spanish may be a disadvantage as Arsenal look to replace his compatriot Unai Emery.
Marcelino was sacked by Valencia in September after a falling out with owner Peter Lim over the club’s long-term strategy, team selection and transfer policy. He led them to a top-four finish and the Champions League in his two seasons at the club, as well as winning the Copa del Rey, their first trophy in over a decade. His Valencia were eliminated by Arsenal in last season’s Europa League semifinals in arguably the highlight of Emery’s tenure in north London.
Sources have told ESPN that Marcelino has watched Arsenal closely this season, believing the squad to be strong in attack while unbalanced as a whole. He and his coaching team are eager to work in the Premier League having worked exclusively in Spain so far, and would accept the job if offered.
The Gunners picked up their first three points under interim head coach and former player Freddie Ljungberg on Monday in a 3-1 Premier League win over West Ham at the London Stadium.
The two players joined Real Valladolid for the 2019-20 campaign in the summer in search of playing time but have yet to make an appearance for the La Liga outfit, who are 51%-owned by former Madrid striker and Brazil great Ronaldo.
According to AS, although there is no clause in both contracts to allow Madrid to break the deal early, Valladolid don’t want to burn bridges with Madrid over future deals. Hence, they will not prevent the two players from leaving in January in order to find the playing time they are not getting at Valladolid.
Ukraine international Lunin spent last season on loan at Leganes. He won the 2019 U20 World Cup and was awarded the Golden Glove in the tournament.
08.00 GMT: FC Salzburg striker Erling Haaland insists he is focused on helping the Austrian club succeed amid interest from a host of Europe’s other big clubs.
Sources told ESPN last month that Manchester United are ready to bring forward a formal approach for the 19-year-old, who has scored in every Group E game for Salzburg this season. The Norwegian also netted a hat trick on his Champions League debut against Genk in September.
But despite his growing reputation, Haaland insists he is simply enjoying the challenge of playing against the biggest clubs in Europe.
“I’m just focused on my job: playing football,” Haaland told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League clash against Liverpool. “I try to enjoy what I do every day, and go in with a clear mindset and enjoy the moment right now.
“My focus now is on Salzburg and me as a player. It is not hard at all. I am enjoying every day playing football.”
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Inter and Juventus go after Smalling
Arsenal were also reportedly entering the race to try to bring the Englishman back to the Premier League after his successful loan spell with Roma. Now, however, the Manchester United centre-back has been attracting the interest of Serie A’s finest.
United are holding out for a fee of around £17 million for the sale of Smalling, and if this report is on point, the Gunners could struggle to get a foothold in this tussle.
Arsenal and Spurs waiting for Godfrey
Although a series of top clubs around Europe are believed to be in the running for his signature, Arsenal and Tottenham are said to be at the forefront of the race as Godfrey’s stock continues to rise with each and every passing week.
— Celtic manager Neil Lennon will push for the club to do everything in its power to complete the signing of Fraser Forster, according to the Daily Record. The on-loan star has really been impressing the masses during his spell in Glasgow, to the point that Lennon wants to see them go all-in trying to sign him on a permanent deal from Southampton.