The transfer window opens in early January and speculation is heating up about potential deals. Check out the latest gossip below and see all official deals here.
TOP STORY: Arsenal eye Daka, Edouard to replace Lacazette
Arsenal moved to tie down striker and captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to a new contract early this year but the same may not happen with Alexandre Lacazette.
CBS reports that the Gunners are not convinced by Lacazette in the long-term and have got FC Salzburg’s Patson Daka and Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard on their radar to replace him.
Lacazette netted the winner against Brighton on Tuesday but has struggled for form and has netted 45 goals in 145 games since arriving from Lyon for around €53m in 2017.
Arsenal are also looking for depth in midfield, with Real Madrid’s Isco and Norwich playmaker Emiliano Buendia reportedly of interest.
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21.39 GMT: David Alaba to Liverpool?
Former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder Dietmar Hamann doesn’t think so based on his recent comments to Stadium Astro.
“I think his preferred destination was always Spain. I’m not sure if he wants to go to the Premier League and come to Liverpool,” the now pundit said. Liverpool are expected to sign a centre-back in January due to injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and most recently Joel Matip.
20.53 GMT: The Daily Mail understands that Man United full-back Timothy Fosu-Mensah has rejected a new three-year contract to stay at the club.
The versatile Dutchman, 22, has just sixth months remaining on his contract at Old Trafford and is weighing up interest both from the Premier League and abroad. In addition to a handful of Premier League clubs, the outlet credits Marseille, Monaco and Hertha Berlin with interest in the youngster, who has made just three first-team appearances so far this season.
Your move, United…
20.07 GMT: Arsenal have joined the list of English clubs considering a move for Roma defender Roger Ibanez, Calciomercato reports.
Liverpool. Leicester, Everton and now Arsenal have reportedly enquired about the Brazilian centre-back, who is valued by Roma between €30-35 million. Arsenal are looking for centre-back help, with Sokratis expected to leave the club in January.
19.32 GMT: Newly-branded Houston Dynamo FC have signed United States international Joe Corona to a multi-year contract.
Welcome to H-Town! 🤘
— Houston Dynamo FC (@HoustonDynamo) December 31, 2020
Houston selected the 30-year-old midfielder second overall Stage 2 of the Re-Entry Draft last week. Corona played the last two seasons for the LA Galaxy, having previously made nearly 200 appearances with Liga MX’s Club Tijuana, and has earned 23 senior caps for the USMNT.
“We’re really excited to have Joe on board,” Dynamo coach Tab Ramos said. “He’s a player that fits into the type of midfielder profile that we were looking for, and he’s a great person to continue to build our culture going forward.”
18.47 GMT: Bologna are looking for a forward and with increased competition for the likes of Udinese’s Kevin Lasagna and Parma’s Roberto Inglese, Tuttomercatoweb suggests that the club could turn their attention to Atalanta’s Sam Lammers or Monaco’s Pietro Pellegri.
Lammers, 23, who signed for Atalanta from PSV in summer, has scored two goals in limited playing time this season, while the highly-rated Pellegri, 19, was the joint-youngest player to debut in Serie A back in 2016 with Genoa.
18.02 GMT: Forgotten man Jesse Lingard has made just two League Cup appearances this season for Man United but that does not mean his time at the club is up.
Sky Sports has learned that a one-year option in the midfielder’s contract has been triggered and that Lingard is now under contract at United through the 2022 season. The 28-year-old has been linked with a loan move in January, with Sky reporting earlier this month that Lingard’s people were in discussions with Real Sociedad.
17.19 GMT: Liverpool have got their man, finally agreeing to a deal for prized Celta Vigo teen Stefan Bajcetic, according to the Athletic’s Caoimhe O’Neill.
Liverpool have been chasing the young central defender for months now and have agreed to a fee of £224,000 with Vigo for Bajcetic. The 16-year-old is the son of former Vigo midfielder Srdan Bajcetic and was also being pursued by Manchester United.
16.30 GMT: Germany’s 2014 World Cup hero Mario Gotze has gone through it over the past few years at Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, but has he found happiness at PSV now? Tom Hamilton finds out.
15.28 GMT: Fabrizio Romano reports that Barcelona have an agreement to sign Manchester City defender Eric Garcia in 2021.
Garcia, 19, won’t sign a new deal at City and his contract expires next summer. The centre-back wants to join Barca and will do in the summer if an agreement can’t be reached in January.
Sources told ESPN that City turned down a final offer worth €10m up front with an additional €8m in add-ons in the summer and wanted a total package worth €20m.
ESPN first revealed Barca’s interest in Garcia on June 2. The Blaugrana see Garcia, who left the club for City in 2017, as the long-term heir to Gerard Pique but also as someone who can add competition immediately.
15.00 GMT: Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac will join Schalke on loan for the rest of the season from Jan. 4, the club have announced.
Technical director Edu said: “Sead needs to be playing regularly, so we have decided together that a move back to Germany with Schalke will benefit him at this moment. We will be keeping in close contact with Sead, and wish him huge success for the remainder of the season with Schalke.”
14.46 GMT: Agent Mino Raiola has been speaking to Sport1 about his client, Erling Haaland.
Borussia Dortmund striker Haaland has been linked with a move to Barcelona if Emili Rousaud is chosen as the club’s president in the upcoming elections. In fact, Rousaud’s advisor, Josep Maria Minguella, claims an agreement to sign Haaland is already in place if his boss lands the job on Jan. 24.
But Raiola said: “Fake News! I’ve never talked to any presidential candidate of Barcelona regarding Erling Haaland and I won’t do.
“If there is a new president of Barcelona elected in January he can call me.”
14.09 GMT: Diego Costa is a free agent after leaving Atletico Madrid, but will he join a big club?
13.45 GMT: Manchester United have discussed the possibility of signing Norwich City defender Max Aarons but believe they may have to wait until the summer to firm up their interest, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Aarons has been a target since last summer when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the recruitment department drew up a list of Championship players who could be signed after the Premier League’s transfer deadline.
Sources have also told ESPN that United are still working on bringing in Ecuadorian midfielder Moises Caicedo but that a deal is not yet done. The 19-year-old, who has already made his senior international debut, is likely to cost around £5m from Independiente del Valle.
Winger Amad Diallo is expected to arrive in January after a £37.2m deal was agreed with Atalanta in the summer, with United confident the 18-year-old will get a UK work permit after receiving an Italian passport in December.
13.16 GMT: Chelsea midfielder Jorginho could be set to return to Italy in the near future, if comments from his agent are to be believed.
The Italian moved to London in 2018 to play under Maurizio Sarri, but Sarri lasted only one season and Jorginho is now looking to move on. The 28-year-old’s agent Joao Santos said in quotes reported by Corriere dello Sport that his client “would certainly like to return to Italy at the end of the contract.”
That contract expires in 2023 but Jorginho hasn’t figured much under Frank Lampard and you can see a situation where he is allowed to depart as the Blues look to raise funds for the £80m signing of West Ham’s Declan Rice.
12.49 GMT: Sky Germany reports that Arsenal left-back Sead Kolasinac is returning to Schalke in January.
Kolasinac, 27, is “unhappy” at the club according to Bild and will move on loan. The Bosnia and Herzegovina international has slipped down the pecking order after the arrival of Kieran Tierney and Schalke are looking for a boost as they sit bottom of the Bundesliga without a win after 13 matches this season.
12.30 GMT: Some big-name players will be available on a free transfer in 2021 if they don’t put pen to paper soon. Including:
– Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
– David Alaba (Bayern Munich)
– Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
– Sergio Aguero (Man City)
11.40 GMT: Barcelona won’t have to worry about Lionel Messi leaving… until the summer.
10.53 GMT: Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda has apologised to fans after ending an underwhelming spell at Brazilian club Botafogo and said he accepted the criticism levelled at him for his disappointing performances.
Honda, who has played for CSKA Moscow and AC Milan in a globetrotting career, arrived from Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem on a reported 11-month deal in January.
The 34-year-old was greeted by thousands of fans at the Rio airport on his arrival but failed to live up to expectations, netting just three times in 27 games. He departs with Botafogo second-last in the Brazilian Serie A standings and in danger of being relegated.
“As you know, I am leaving Botafogo,” Honda wrote on Twitter. “I accepted all your criticism that I could not bring results. Criticism is natural and I am not giving excuses. I have also been disappointed and I am sorry. I am very grateful for everything you have done, it was a great experience and I never saw and felt anything this big with the fans at the airport and the stadium when I arrived. I made this decision for personal and professional reasons.”
10.01 GMT: Gab Marcotti’s soccer wishes for 2021 contain a few transfer related themes.
That Barcelona make themselves a club that Messi finds worth staying at. This might take a bit more work given the dumpster fire in which they find themselves — some of it self-inflicted, some of it out of their control — but elections are coming up. Believe it or not, Barcelona fans have been through far worse times and not just survived, but thrived. They’ll be back, and hopefully quickly enough for Messi to stick around.
That Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira find some place to play when their contracts expire next June. Both joined Real Madrid a decade ago, both have been shut out for most of 2020 in part because of their enormous contracts and because they couldn’t be moved on (and did not want to take a pay cut). I don’t want to remember these two World Cup winners as sad-sack figures training by themselves while being called greedy.
That Paul Pogba regains his smile, whether it’s at Old Trafford or elsewhere. The punditocracy — mostly ex-pros, mostly ex-United “Golden Era” players who seem hellbent on holding everyone to the standard they set (or that they think they set) — appears to take great delight in pointing out his every flaw. He’s not perfect, but he’s supremely talented and fun to watch. And that word “lazy” gets thrown around far too much when it comes to Pogba.
09.25 GMT: Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira is set to leave the club in January and could land in the Premier League, having been linked with Everton.
“The Premier League is still missing in my collection, to play there would be the icing on the cake,” he told The Athletic.
“There are fewer breaks in the game and many counter-attacks, but this is what I like. I’ve done a lot of extra sessions with fitness coaches to get myself ready for a higher pace and intensity. I’ve done extra sessions with fitness coaches to get myself ready for the pace and intensity in the Premier League.”
09.00 GMT: Xavi Hernandez will return to Barcelona as general manager next month if Victor Font is elected as the club’s president on Jan. 24.
Xavi, 40, left Barca in 2015 and is the coach of Al-Sadd in Qatar but has always been open about his desire to return to Camp Nou one day.
Font explained on Wednesday that his plans for Barca’s future, which include bringing in Jordi Cruyff as sporting director, have been drawn up with the help of Xavi.
“As [general manager], Xavi will ultimately take responsibility for all the decisions taken related to football at the club,” Font said at a news conference.
“He has everything needed: he can manage, he can lead, he has the trust of the players, he knows the club and he loves the club.”
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Juventus to go after Llorente
Juventus are interested in bringing veteran striker Fernando Llorente back to the club, Tuttosport reports.
The Old Lady, who sit sixth in the table, are hoping to give their attacking options an injection of life as they try to retain their Serie A crown amid pressure from the Milan clubs and, while he may not always be the most consistent goal scorer, Llorente appears to be one of the main names on their wishlist.
He is with Napoli but, after leaving Juventus in 2015, a return could be on the cards sooner rather than later.
Barcelona set to keep Puig
Fabrizio Romano is reporting that Barcelona will not be sending Riqui Puig out on loan in January.
For a long time, the youngster has been linked with some kind of departure from Camp Nou, but in a bit of a U-turn, Barca will instead trigger a clause that will extend his contract until 2023.
The club doesn’t want to see him leave as a free agent in the summer and, based on this report, they don’t want him to leave at all right now.
Napoli pursue Emerson loan
Napoli are eyeing up a possible loan move for Chelsea full-back Emerson Palmieri, Corriere dello Sport reports.
The belief is that the Naples club want to try to get a deal over the finish line during the January transfer window and, given how fast the Blues have worked in the transfer market under Frank Lampard so far, that prospect doesn’t seem so far-fetched.
The two sides have done a lot of business with one another over the years, and it now appears as if Emerson’s time at Stamford Bridge could be coming to an end.
– Sky Germany is reporting that Schalke 04 are working on a deal to try to bring Sead Kolasinac back to the club. The full-back departed the Bundesliga for the Premier League back in 2017 and, after three inconsistent years at the Emirates with Arsenal, he’s desperate to go back to the place where he first made a name for himself.
– Papu Gomez is edging closer to leaving Atalanta, Fabrizio Romano reports. After his relationship with manager Gian Piero Gasperini became strained, the 32-year-old forward has been training individually away from the rest of the first-team squad. Gomez is now waiting for the right bid to come in during the January transfer window.