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Manchester United would need £90m for Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish

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: Villa value Grealish at £90m

Manchester United will have to fork out £90 million if they want to steal Jack Grealish away from Aston Villa next summer, according to The Athletic.

Grealish has been a key player for Villa this season and United appear to remain keen on him despite already having signed Donny van de Beek last summer.

However, Grealish won’t come cheap, and the outlet is reporting that Villa feel they can get £90m for their talisman, especially after he put pen to paper on a five-year contract in September.

United were keen to land Grealish last summer but baulked at the then £70m valuation, a figure that instantly rose from £40m the day Villa avoided relegation. United instead opted for Van de Beek. Yet with Paul Pogba set to leave the club at the end of the season, they’re searching for a stellar replacement.

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08.48 GMT: Wolves could recall striker Patrick Cutrone from his loan at Fiorentina in order to cover for the continued absence of the injured Raul Jimenez, the Daily Mail reports.

Jimenez is reported to be undergoing “early fitness work” as he builds toward a return after fracturing his skull in the 2-1 win over Arsenal on Nov. 29.

Wolves have won just one of their seven games since then and have struggled for goals, scoring four times in six matches before the 3-3 draw at Brighton last time out.

Cutrone is in the final few months of his 18-month loan at Fiorentina. The 23-year-old is yet to score for La Viola this season but, according to the Mail, recalling him could be an easy alternative to signing a new striker.

Diego Costa’s wage demands could put him out of reach of Wolves even though he is now a free agent, while Bournemouth may demand a fee for Josh King that prices Wolves out of a mid-season move.

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08.00 GMT: Mesut Ozil‘s agent Dr Erkut Sogut has told ESPN’s James Olley that the player’s future is expected to be finalised in the next 10 days with the midfielder undecided over his next move.

The 32-year-old is free to talk directly to overseas clubs after entering the final six months of his £350,000-a-week contract with Arsenal and has attracted interest from the United States, Turkey, Asia and Qatar.

Reports in Turkey on Wednesday suggested he was on the brink of signing a three-year contract with Fenerbahce but no agreement is close with any club.

Fenerbache are one of several interested clubs along with MLS side DC United, whose interest was first reported in the U.S. back in August 2019, but negotiations are not yet at an advanced stage.

“We were not allowed to talk legally before Jan. 1 so now we are just starting to look at the options with the numbers and details,” Sogut told ESPN in an exclusive interview.

“I can’t talk about the clubs directly because it would be unprofessional but generally, there is six months left on the contract and it is nothing unusual that we will talk to people about different opportunities and try to find the best option for Mesut.

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“He might stay at Arsenal until the summer but he might go. Mesut’s priority is to stay but you never know in football, things can change very fast. For the moment, we are just checking all the options for January and the summer.

“If we want to leave in January, I need to talk to Arsenal. If we sign for the summer, we don’t need to. That’s the situation. In the next seven to ten days, it will be a little clearer as now the transfer window is open, things can move faster.”

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Ramos talks stall, Liverpool interested

Contract renewal talks between Sergio Ramos and Real Madrid continue to stall according to AS, while El Chiringuito suggests Liverpool are rumoured to be interested.

Ramos is now legally allowed to negotiate with other clubs about leaving at the end of the season on a free transfer.

The Madrid captain recently met with club president Florentino Perez and is reported to have told him he would listen to external offers.

The news comes following Ramos’ apparent disappointment at the club’s financial proposal. They have reportedly offered him two seasons on the same salary as he’s on now, which is €12m a season.

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The latest club to express an interest, according to Cristobal Soria on El Chiringuito, is Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp’s side are desperate for defensive reinforcements, but they face pressure from PSG, Manchester City and Juventus.

Arsenal are looking to bolster their midfield options in January and Mikel Arteta is considering a move for Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, according to the Daily Mail.

Arteta is believed to be also interested in Norwich City star Emi Buendia, but the Canaries are reluctant to let their playmaker leave while they top the Championship table.

Bissouma meanwhile appears to be willing to join the north London club given that he’s a Gunners fan.

The 24-year-old also developed a strong relationship with Gunners defender Gabriel Magalhaes when the two played together at Lille.

Bissouma has been one of Brighton’s most important players this season and though he is contracted to 2023, Arsenal may feel they can tempt him to leave before then.

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Florian Thauvin appears to be on the move after opting not to renew his contract at Marseille, reports Calciomercato. Thauvin is available on a free transfer at the end of the season and though Milan appear to be the favourites to sign him, they’d like to take him to the San Siro in January. More and more clubs are expressing an interest in Thauvin, and Milan are keen to get ahead of the chasing pack by offering him a four-year deal.

– Milan are also interested in Kouadio Kone and, according to Fabrizio Romano have already bid €15m for him, but they face pressure from Manchester United if Calciomercato are to be believed. Kone has starred in France’s second tier this season following Toulouse’s relegation from the top flight, and the 19-year-old is wanted by Leeds United as well as Milan and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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