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Man United close in on €80m Cody Gakpo move


With just a month remaining before the opening of the January transfer window, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Man United close in on Gakpo

Manchester United appear to be edging closer to a move for PSV Eindhoven and Netherlands winger Cody Gakpo, but they’ll have to part with around €80 million in order to get their man. That’s according to French outlet Footmercato, who are reporting that his transfer fee is rising with every good display in Qatar.

Gakpo was valued at €45m back in August, but that figure has nearly doubled while he has been at the 2022 World Cup.

Gakpo has impressed during Netherlands’ run to the quarterfinals, where they’ll meet Argentina. The 23-year-old forward has scored three goals in games against Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar, and has impressed with a combination of dynamic pace and electric movement.

United boss Erik ten Haag is in the market for attacking reinforcements following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, and he could make a move in January.

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Other Premier League clubs are also said to be interested, while Gakpo’s performances have since attracted clubs around Europe. Gakpo still has three years to run on his existing contract.

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14.55 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said he is “not going to hide” the club’s interest in Jude Bellingham and added it would be harder to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham has been one of the key players in England’s run to the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar.

Last month, sources told ESPN that Liverpool are leading the chase for Bellingham despite Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid also tracking the 19-year-old.

Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said the midfielder can leave in the summer transfer window, and Al-Khelaifi said he would be interested in signing him.

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“What a player. Honestly, England are lucky to have him … and he’s one of the best players in the tournament,” he told Sky News. “Amazing and you see his first World Cup — calm and relaxed and confident.”

“Everyone wants him. I’m not going to hide it. But I respect he’s in his club and, respect if we want to talk to him, we talk to the club first.”

14.18 GMT: United States men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter is set to begin discussions on a new contract with the U.S. Soccer Federation, sources have told ESPN.

One source acknowledged it’s still very early in the process, and other sources have indicated that there is an interest on Berhalter’s part in exploring European club options.

The U.S. is coming off a World Cup in which it finished second in Group B to reach the round of 16, where they fell 3-1 to the Netherlands. Following the U.S. team’s exit, Berhalter said he needed some time to “decompress” before deciding on his future, but the USSF is prepared to begin talks on a new contract.

Berhalter’s existing deal expires at the end of the year, and the USSF has scheduled a January camp that will be largely comprised of domestic players, and will conclude with friendlies against Serbia on Jan. 25, and another against Colombia three days later.

13.00 GMT: Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix should be thinking about finding a new club.

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12.04 GMT: Erik ten Hag has said Manchester United are “looking to the future” following Cristiano Ronaldo‘s acrimonious departure from the club.

Ronaldo is a free agent after he mutually agreed to terminate his contract with United in November following a controversial interview before the World Cup. The 37-year-old said he felt “betrayed” by the club for the way he was treated and added that he didn’t respect Ten Hag.

When asked about Ronaldo’s exit for the first time, Ten Hag told the club’s official website: “He’s gone and it’s the past. We are now looking forward and we’re looking to the future.”

11.33 GMT: Real Madrid’s race to sign Brazilian wonderkid Endrick — ahead of competition from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain — is “in the final straight” Marca reports, with the LaLiga giants poised to wrap up a deal by the end of the year.

Palmeiras forward Endrick, 16, can’t move away from Brazil until he turns 18 in 2024, but interest from a number of top clubs has accelerated the need to reach an agreement sooner rather than later.

According to Marca, Madrid are now “close to reaching a deal” for the player, with a transfer fee expected to be set at around €60m.

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The newspaper says Madrid’s decision to distance themselves from a possible future deal for Erling Haaland has been key to helping them beat their rivals for Endrick, with the teenager wanting to see a clear path to being first choice at the Bernabeu.

10.58 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has said he is “not going to hide” the club’s interest in Jude Bellingham but added it will be harder to sign Cristiano Ronaldo.

Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham has been one of the key players in England’s run to the World Cup quarterfinals in Qatar.

Last month, sources told ESPN that Liverpool are leading the chase for Bellingham despite Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Real Madrid also tracking the 19-year-old.

Dortmund’s chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke said the midfielder can leave in the summer transfer window and Al-Khelaifi said he would be interested in signing him.

“What a player. Honestly, England are lucky to have him … and he’s one of the best players in the tournament,” he told Sky News.

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“Amazing and you see his first World Cup — calm and relaxed and confident.”

“Everyone wants him. I’m not going to hide it. But I respect he’s in his club and, respect if we want to talk to him, we talk to the club first.”

10.14 GMT: Italian midfielder Marco Verratti has agreed a two-year contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain, according to Sky Sports.

The new deal, which will see Verratti remain in Paris until June 2026, will be announced in the coming days.

Verratti, 30, joined PSG in 2012 from Pescara and has scored 11 goals and set up 61 more in 398 appearances for the French giants.

The Italy international has won 23 titles with PSG, including eight league titles.

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09.25 GMT: Roma will only allow Dutch defender Rick Karsdorp to leave the club in the winter transfer window on a permanent transfer, according to Sky Sports.

Karsdorp, 27, has not played for Roma since being accused by his own coach Jose Mourinho of “betrayal” following a 1-1 draw against Sassuolo on Nov. 9.

He was left out of the squad for the next game and did not join Roma in the tour of Japan. Under contract with Roma until June 2025, Karsdorp is expected to leave the Giallorossi in the coming weeks.

However, Roma will only accept a permanent move and not a loan deal for Karsdorp.

08.42 GMT: Atletico Madrid chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin has admitted that Joao Felix could leave the club, naming the player’s relationship with coach Diego Simeone among the factors that could lead to a departure.

Joao Felix, now 23, joined Atletico from Benfica in a club record €126 million deal in July 2019 but the Portugal forward — currently in Qatar for the World Cup — has struggled to consistently justify that outlay.

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He has scored three goals in 12 LaLiga appearances — seven of which have come as a substitute — so far this season, and failed to score in the Champions League group stage as Atletico crashed out, finishing bottom.

“[Joao Felix] is the biggest bet this club has taken in its history,” Atletico CEO Gil Marin told TVE on Tuesday. “I personally think he’s a top talent, a world class player.

“For reasons it isn’t worth getting into — the relationship between him and the boss [Simeone], the minutes played, his motivation right now — it makes you think that the reasonable thing is that if there’s an option that’s good for the player, good for the club, we can look at it.

“I’d love him to stay personally, but I don’t think that’s the player’s idea.”

08.00 GMT: Cristiano Ronaldo denied he has agreed to join Saudi club Al Nassr following Portugal’s World Cup win against Switzerland on Tuesday.

“No, it isn’t true,” the Portuguese striker said when asked about a move after a 6-1 win in the round of 16.

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The Portugal captain is a free agent after he mutually agreed to terminate his contract with Manchester United in November.

Reports in Spain claimed on Monday that Ronaldo will play for Al-Nassr from Jan. 1, having agreed a 2½-year contract with the Saudi team — a deal reportedly worth €200 million per season.

While Al-Nassr is the best and only offer Ronaldo has on the table, he has not signed anything with any club, sources told ESPN.

– Olley: Ronaldo can help Portugal in way he refused to for Man United

PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)

– Morocco star Sofyan Amrabat is open to a move in January, according to Sky Sports Germany’s Florian Plettenberg. The 26-year-old defensive midfielder impressed once again as Morocco knocked out Spain on penalties in the round of 16 at the World Cup, and his performances in Qatar have seen him attract interest from all over Europe. Amrabat is contracted to Fiorentina until 2024, but Plettenberg suggests he could be tempted by a move in January and has been linked with Liverpool.

– Real Madrid are looking at ways to reinforce their squad in the next 12 months, and Pedro Porro and Endrick top their short-term wanted list. That’s according to Mundo Deportivo and Fabrizio Romano, respectively. Mundo Deportivo report that 23-year-old Porro, who can play anywhere along the right-hand side, and who plays for Sporting, is also wanted by Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and Juventus. Striker Endrick, just 16, is closer to securing a move to Spain with official negotiations having started between Madrid and Palmeiras over a €60m fee, including add-ons.

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– Barcelona are looking to renegotiate a salary adjustment with Frenkie de Jong to try to secure a contract extension, and fend off renewed interest from Manchester United, reports Sport. The relationship between the Catalan club and the 25-year-old Dutchman is strained after he deferred his salary during the pandemic. That means his salary rises with each season, which is a problem for Barca’s frugal budget. De Jong resisted calls from the club to leave last summer, and so work begins on an amended a deal that would work for both parties. United are monitoring the situation and remain ready to pounce should negotiations stall.

Jude Bellingham‘s name hasn’t left the back pages ever since his barnstorming performance for England against Iran back in Matchday 1, but it’s becoming clear that Real Madrid and Liverpool are the front-runners for his signature. AS suggests that Bellingham would prefer a move to LaLiga rather than the Premier League, but Los Blancos would need to part with €150m to secure his services.

– It seems as though it’s a question of when, and not if, Manchester United will move to sign Switzerland goalkeeper Yann Sommer. That’s according to Florian Plettenberg, who believes that with Sommer entering the final year of his contract at Borussia Monchengladbach, United are eyeing a free transfer in the summer. The Red Devils are able to sign the 33-year-old stopper on a pre-contract from January, and they’re looking for a long-term replacement for David de Gea.





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