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Inter to battle Barcelona for Liverpool’s Wijnaldum


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. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

TOP STORY: Inter interested in Wijnaldum

Barcelona aren’t the only club interested in adding Georginio Wijnaldum to their midfield, with Calciomercato reporting that Internazionale are also keen.

Wijnaldum is approaching a crossroads in his career. Recently having turned 30, he must decide whether he wants to stay at Liverpool, with whom he has already won everything, or move on to a new club.

With his contract due to expire in June 2021, he has been offered a pay raise to stay at Liverpool, but Barcelona and now Inter are among those looking to tempt him away from Anfield.

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Barca failed in their mission to sign the Dutchman in the summer, and now Inter would like to take advantage and try their luck in January. Inter’s chief executive Giuseppe Marotta has reportedly requested information about the possibility of a move, though he has not made an official proposal as yet.

Inter are looking at options involving their own midfielders including Christian Eriksen, Radja Nainggolan and Matias Vecino and, if they can sell one or more of them, they’ll be in a stronger position when it comes to making a bid for their targets.

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09.02 GMT: Spain Under-21 star Pedri says he is thankful Real Madrid did not rate him highly enough to sign him as now he is at Barcelona.

Pedri, who signed for Barcelona this summer from Las Palmas, spent a week on trial at Real Madrid in February 2018. He told Cadena Ser: “I was a week on trial at Madrid. They told me I didn’t have the level. They took me to an office and told me that. I’m thankful to them because now I am in the team I always wanted to be in.”

Pedri, 17, added that it’s a privilege to be playing alongside Lionel Messi.

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“Of course I dreamt of playing with Messi, the same as many children,” he said. “It’s a reward life has given me. One of the things that surprises me the most about Messi is what he does in training. It’s like Oliver and Benji [Captain Tsubasa cartoon] but real.”

08.38 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks as concerned his recent lack of playing time at the club could harm his England and will look at his situation in the January transfer window, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Fewer than half of Winks’ nine appearances this season for Spurs have come in the Premier League, and he was left out of the matchday squads for recent wins over West Bromwich Albion and Burnley.

Winks started in England’s 3-0 friendly win over Republic of Ireland last week, and came on as a half-time substitute in Sunday’s 2-0 loss against Belgium, and does not want to let his international prospects slip in the run-up to next summer’s European Championship.

Asked if he needs to play more for Spurs, Winks told reporters: “Definitely, my situation at Tottenham is difficult at the moment and it’s important that I keep fighting and working as hard as I can to stay in the squad and to stay in the team.

“Every time I get the opportunity for England, I love it. It’s a great place to play football here, it’s free and the lads get on really well, it’s a great place to come to. I want to be a part of that in the Euros and I want to be in the starting XI in the Euros as well. But, yes, it’s important that back at Tottenham I get the opportunities there and I stay in the team there as well.”

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08.00 BST: Sergio Ramos cancelled a news conference he was due to hold on Monday ahead of Spain’s match with Germany to avoid adding to speculation about his Real Madrid future, sources have told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.

The national team captain was due to speak to the media in Seville alongside coach Luis Enrique, the day before a UEFA Nations League game (stream LIVE at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.) which Spain must win to progress to the competition’s final phase.

Ramos — who missed two penalties in Spain’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland on Saturday — was replaced at the conference by Manchester City midfielder Rodri. Sources told ESPN that Ramos preferred to focus on the Germany match and the player himself had chosen not to appear at the news conference.

ESPN reported at the start of November that Ramos and Real Madrid had begun initial talks about a renewal, with both intending to reach an agreement on an extension. The stumbling block has been the structure of that new deal as Ramos, 34, would like to stay at the Bernabeu until 2024.

Spanish outlet Diario AS reported on Monday that Paris Saint-Germain plan to make a move for Ramos in January if the talks continue to stall.

– Hamilton: Spain, Germany running out of time to get in shape for Euros

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Is there any truth to the claim Barcelona didn’t want Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland? Sid Lowe has his say.

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PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Bayern and Real join clubs who want Szoboszlai

The race to sign FC Salzburg midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai is now between four clubs, according to the Daily Mail.

The report says that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have joined Arsenal and AC Milan in the hunt for the 20-year-old.

The Hungary hotshot is a wanted man and Arsenal were thought to be leading the pack. However, the Mail has claimed other clubs are also interested, with Bayern Munich joining Real Madrid, the latter the result of Lothar Matthaus comparing Szoboszlai to Kai Havertz in a recent interview.

Madrid are looking to freshen up their midfield, while both AC Milan and Arsenal would welcome the player as an upgrade to their existing squads.

For their part, Bayern would be more of a long-term project for Szoboszlai, who plays for Hungary in a key Nations League match against Turkey on Wednesday.

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Barca reveal four players up for sale in January

With Barcelona needing to raise funds before they can contemplate their own moves in the January transfer window, Spanish outlet Sport is reporting they’re willing to part with Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti, Matheus Fernandes and Martin Braithwaite.

Barca are looking to make two signings in January as well as promoting players from the club’s academy, but they need to bolster their funds.

Junior is the most advanced departure. He has had several offers from Italy, with Inter Milan and Napoli keen, and could cost either club around €20m.

Umtiti would be welcome to a loan move. He was the subject of interest from several clubs in the summer but he didn’t seem keen to go at the time. Also, his salary continue to be a stumbling block, though Lyon and Roma are said to be monitoring his situation.

Tap-ins

– Former Liverpool striker Fabio Borini could be handed a lifeline by Turkish club Goztepe, reports Turkish title Sari Kirmizi. Borini, 29, has been reportedly training alone in a car park in Merseyside since leaving Hellas Verona last summer. Yet now it looks as though he could be set for a return to action in Turkey if he can agree terms with the Super Lig club, who are mid-table.

Miguel Almiron is ready to leave Newcastle United, according to his agent, who was interviewed by a radio station in Paraguay. The Newcastle Chronicle has featured the interview in full, and in it agent Daniel Campos says that a number of English clubs have expressed an interest in the Paraguay international. He believes June could be a realistic time for Almiron to move on.

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Saint-Etienne are in the market for new faces in January, and L’Equipe believes they’re considering a move for Leicester City‘s Islam Slimani. The Algerian has slipped down the pecking order at the King Power Stadium, and he has played just 19 minutes this season after returning from his Monaco loan.



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