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Chelsea, Man United battling for Ecuador teen Caicedo


The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here ahead of the January window opening in a matter of days.

TOP STORY: United close in on Chelsea target Caicedo

Manchester United and Chelsea are battling it out for the signature of Ecuadorian wonderkid Moises Caicedo, with Ecuadorian journalist Diego Arcos reporting that his move to United is all but done.

The news comes after the Daily Mail suggested that Chelsea were hoping to steal a march on their rivals to land the talented youngster from Independiente del Valle.

Arcos states that Caicedo’s move will definitely happen and should be announced soon, with United believed to be paying a fee of £4.5 million.

The report says that Caicedo will sign a five-year deal at Old Trafford, although no further news has been announced to confirm the rumours.

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If true, it confirms news revealed by the Manchester Evening News that the Reds are pursuing a policy of signing the best-rated teenage talents from around the world.

Caicedo turned 19 last month and has appeared for Ecuador in their last four World Cup qualifiers.

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LIVE BLOG

08.51 GMT: Inter Milan have confirmed that midfielder Christian Eriksen is set for a move in the January transfer window.

Eriksen, 28, joined Inter at the start of the year from Tottenham, where he his contract was due to expire at the end of the season. The Denmark international has struggled for game time in Italy under coach Antonio Conte, starting just four Serie A matches so far this season.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta told Sky: “Is Eriksen on the market? I would say so, yes. [Inter sporting director] Piero Ausilio said it in his comments last week and I can reiterate it.

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“But it’s not a punishment. Simply, he’s a player who had a few issues in adjusting to life here at Inter. Let’s say he’s not functional to the team, but this is an objective fact, which does not take anything away from his professionalism.

“However, it’s also right to give him the opportunity to seek more game time elsewhere. Obviously, we will need to find a solution.”

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley last month that Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Eriksen in a deal worth less than the €20m (£16.9m) Inter paid Spurs less than a year ago.

However, the Sky report adds that a loan move is more likely given Eriksen’s wages and the fact he has three-and-a-half year remaining on his contract.

08.00 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has criticised Dele Alli for his performance despite Spurs’ 3-1 win over Stoke City to reach the Carabao Cup semifinals, raising doubts over the midfielder’s future at the club.

Alli has been out of favour for Mourinho this season but started in Wednesday’s game (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.). However, he was substituted after Stoke’s 37-year-old debut goalkeeper Andy Lonergan thwarted him twice with smart saves.

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It was Lonergan’s first competitive game since turning out for third-tier League One team Rochdale in 2019.

Alli also gifted possession to the home side which led to Jordan Thompson’s goal after beating Hugo Lloris in the 53rd minute.

“Yes, for me a player that plays in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team,” Mourinho said of Alli.

“In that situation, an objective counter-attack would probably end with a goal, and it ended with a counter-attack behind our defenders.

“We were unbalanced because when you are in possession you have full-backs out wide and another midfielder in a different line and they caught us in a counter-attack and they transformed the result of the game that was totally in our hands, so yes I am upset.”

– Carabao Cup on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

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PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Inter to fend off Leeds to land De Paul

Internazionale are working with Udinese to try and find a way to seal a deal for Rodrigo de Paul in January, according to Calciomercato.

The Udinese midfielder was heavily linked with Leeds United in the summer and has once again been linked with the Yorkshire club as the January transfer window edges closer.

However, Inter are hoping they can secure the player on an 18-month loan deal. The Italians are hoping they can land him on a short-term move and insert a number of performance-related clauses in relation to a longer move.

Juventus are also said to be interested. De Paul was valued at £36m in the summer, but Udinese appear to have lowered their valuation to £31.5m.

Tarkowski tussle between Premier League clubs

West Ham United and Leicester City are leading a group of seven clubs all hoping to sign Burnley central defender James Tarkowski, according to Eurosport.

Tarkowski was linked with a move away from Burnley in the summer, but the Clarets managed to fend off any interest, even rejecting one £30m bid.

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The 28-year-old defender has 18 months left on his existing contract and has so far rejected any advances to extend his stay at Turf Moor.

As well as West Ham and Leicester, Eurosport also believes there are a number of top-half clubs also keen to bolster their defence.

Burnley’s hopes of keeping hold of Tarkowski appear to rest on a possible takeover, which could see him improve his salary package.

Tarkowski has been capped three times by England and currently earns around £50k per week.

Tap-ins

Bas Dost is set to leave Eintracht Frankfurt for Belgian side Club Brugge, according to Dutch title Algemeen Dagblad. The outlet reports that a deal is almost done, which would see Dost sign a deal for one and a half years. The 31-year-old has scored 15 times for Eintracht Frankfurt in 43 games.

Le Parisien says Paris Saint-Germain are considering a January move for Chelsea’s out-of-favour defender Antonio Rudiger. Rudiger has failed to get many games this season as a result of the effective partnership between Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, and he is said to be desperate for more game time. Barcelona and Juventus are also said to be interested.

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