Barcelona give up on Ousmane Dembele deal, €20m move close?

The 2022 January transfer window is open (find out when it closes here), and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Barca give up on Dembele deal, €20m move close?

Ousmane Dembele‘s time at Barcelona could be over, with reports that his representatives have ignored the club’s latest contract offer and that he could be available in January for as little as €20 million.

With his contract expiring in summer 2022, AS reports that the Blaugrana gave the 24-year-old until Jan. 15 to respond to their offer of a new deal, but after silence from Dembele’s camp, manager Xavi Hernandez has been left feeling let down after welcoming the winger back into the first-team fold.

And Sport says that the France winger has now been offered to both Manchester United and Newcastle for a cut-price transfer fee of around €20m.

Uncertainty over Dembele’s future has grown for a number of months, with his agent reportedly requesting a contract of €30m-a-year, plus a €45m signing fee. As time ticks down on his current deal, there are already a number of rival clubs circling for Dembele’s signature.

Sport reports that Chelsea have contacted Dembele’s representatives this month to test the waters over whether he could be persuaded to move to Stamford Bridge, while United, Newcastle and Juventus have also been linked, with the player believed to favour a move to the Premier League.

Dembele moved to Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund back in 2017 in a deal worth an initial €105m.

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17.03 GMT: The Telegraph writes that the Belgian FA have blocked Everton‘s attempt to appoint Roberto Martinez as manager. The Toffees have moved quickly to find a replacement following the sacking of Rafael Benitez after the 2-1 defeat against Norwich City, but despite reports that the former Everton and Wigan boss was a favourite for the job, it now looks as though Belgium plan to keep hold of their head coach with the World Cup kicking off in November.

16.30 GMT: Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen won’t move on a free transfer to another English club when his contract expires this summer, says Fabrizio Romano.

Christensen, 25, is in talks over a new contract but could depart with Barcelona and Bayern Munich leading the chase. However, out of respect for his current club, the Denmark international will only move abroad.

16.04 BST: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he believes the club are doing everything to help struggling striker Romelu Lukaku and urged the Belgium international to find “peace on the pitch” to rediscover his scoring touch.

The 28-year-old was expected to spearhead a title challenge after rejoining his former club from Inter Milan in a €115m deal last summer but has instead scored just five goals in 13 Premier League appearances.

When asked at a news conference on Monday whether his side had to change their tactical approach to get the best out of Lukaku, Tuchel replied: “We do everything to help him. I think this is absolutely the wrong question because it is focusing on one player.

“He is a key player and we want him to be a key player. But for me, this is the wrong approach. This is what we do by the way anyway constantly for any player. This is a team sport. It is not about 10 players serving one player. This is not Chelsea and this is not football. Every player serving the team is the highest principle and this will not change.

“We expect more from our whole offensive performance in the last match. I think we had enough offensive actions, transitions to hurt Man City more than we did.

“He is included in our offensive performance, he is a key player so there will always be pressure. There will not be more pressure than he puts on himself and we need to find a mix between all the expectations, all the pressure and still to be relaxed enough to play your best game.

“It is not only about pushing, squeezing, not only about demands, it is also about feeling peace and relaxed on the pitch. Things will fall in their place when we keep on working hard.”

15.44 GMT: Everton legend Wayne Rooney, currently in situ at Derby County, has been linked with the vacant manager’s job.



Steve Nicol feels Wayne Rooney does not have the experience required to take over from Rafael Benitez at Everton.

15.20 GMT: Aston Villa midfielder John McGinn has long been held in high esteem at Man United and could be of interest in the summer, according to The Telegraph.

McGinn, 27, caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson after he retired and the legendary United boss reportedly tried to persuade his old club to sign the Scotland international for his leadership qualities.

With 16 goals in 130 games for Villa, McGinn continues to impress and United could make a £40m move for him when the summer window opens.

15.05 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain Keylor Navas has a battle on his hands for the No. 1 shirt with summer signing Gianluigi Donnarumma, which he is currently winning.

However, RMC Sport says the Costa Rica goalkeeper is a target for Newcastle.

Navas, 35, is one of the best ‘keepers in the world and Newcastle are keen to make a transfer statement to their Saudi-backed owners as they sit 19th in the Premier League table. But PSG are unlikely to want to let him go.

14.23 GMT: Zenit St Petersburg forward Sardar Azmoun is being linked with a move to Juventus, according to Tuttosport.

Azmoun, 27, is valued at around €5m by the Russian club, but Juve are hoping to land him for closer to €3m.

Lyon are also interested in his services, but the Iran international is keen to move to Italy.

14.00 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Fred has told ESPN Brasil that he is “very happy” at Old Trafford, but admits that he would like to return to Brazil one day to play for Internacional or Atletico MG.

Fred, 28, made his professional debut with Internacional in 2012 but only a year later he joined Shakhtar Donetsk.

“Maybe in the future, I don’t know yet,” he said during an interview with Bola da Vez show, when asked about a return to his homeland. “I left Brazil very early, I had a very short career. I didn’t play, for example, in a Copa Libertadores.

“Today I’m very happy here at Manchester United. I’m still 28-years-old, [I have] a promising career here in Europe. Maybe in the future [I will move]. I have a huge affection for Atletico-MG. I’ve always rooted for Atletico-MG. Who knows in the future. Or at Internacional, I have a huge affection for Internacional. Maybe my first choice is Internacional, because of the way I left Inter, how they welcomed me there.”

13.19 GMT: Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick is open to the idea of rebuilding his relationship with Anthony Martial because the striker could yet remain at the club during the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Rangnick has held clear the air talks with Martial after the forward rejected the claim his manager’s claim that he “did not want” to be part of the squad for their 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Privately, Rangnick has insisted he did not say Martial refused to travel, only that he did not feel he could play and that the situation is a case of “crossed wires” rather than an irreparable rift between the pair.

Martial has already told Rangnick he wants to leave this month, but United are demanding any interested club cover all the 26–year-old’s wages and pay a loan fee.

Sevilla have had an offer rejected, sources previously told ESPN, and while there has been speculation about interest from Juventus and Barcelona, United have not received an official bid. If an acceptable offer is not tabled, Martial will stay at Old Trafford until at least the end of the season. He is under contract until 2024 with the option of another year.

12.33 GMT: Marca claims that Manchester United and Chelsea are monitoring Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo.

Araujo, 22, has 18 months left on his contract and Barca are still in financial trouble, which suggests they may be open to offers for some of their top players.

The Uruguay international wants a much better contract to sign up again, but the club can’t stretch to that so may have to let him leave and the two Premier League clubs, as well as LaLiga rivals Real Madrid, are keen.

11.53 GMT: Brentford have offered Christian Eriksen the chance to return to the Premier League, according to The Athletic.

Eriksen, 29, saw his Inter Milan contract terminated in December after he suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 and was fitted with a heart-starting device, something that prevents him from playing in Italy.

The former Tottenham midfielder has now been offered a six-month contract at Brentford, with the option of an extra year.

11.25 GMT: Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland said over the weekend that the German side are pressuring him to choose a new club this summer.

Haaland, 21, is one of the most sought-after players in world football with top clubs in the Premier League as well as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain interested in his signing, according to ESPN, and he is expected to leave Dortmund at the end of the season when his €75m release clause comes into effect.

Deportes Cuatro claims the Norway international will have to make a decision by Friday this week and that only Real Madrid, Barcelona and Man City are in with a chance.



Jan Aage Fjortoft and Archie Rhind-Tutt discuss Erling Haaland’s revelation to Fjortoft that Borussia Dortmund is pushing him to make a decision on his future.

10.45 GMT: Former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa is a free agent again after confirming his departure from Atletico Mineiro.

Costa, 33, helped the club to the Brazilian league and cup double last year but is now looking for a new club.

“Today, officially, I say goodbye to Atletico,” he wrote on Instagram. “I would like to thank all Massa Atleticana for all the support and affection I received from the first to the last day. Thank you so much for being part of my childhood dream of playing in Brazilian football and winning titles.

“I would also like to express my gratitude to the entire technical staff, medical department, employees and especially to my teammates who helped me daily, always doing everything to make me feel comfortable. The feeling that remains is gratitude to all of you Athleticans. Thank you and I wish you all the success in the world!!!”

The Brazil-born Spain international has been linked with a return to LaLiga and also with Arsenal.

10.28 GMT: Estoril winger Francisco Jorge Tavares Oliveira ‘Chiquinho’ will undergo a medical on Monday in Wolverhampton ahead of his £3m move to Wolves, Record reports.

Chiquinho, 21, is expected to sign a long-term contract with the Premier League outfit. The Portuguese starlet has enjoyed an impressive season at Estoril and has scored three goals and set up three more in 15 appearances, nine as a starter, to help the side climb to sixth in the table.

10.07 GMT: Valencia coach Jose Bordalas has confirmed that Daniel Wass wants to join Atletico Madrid in this transfer window.

Wass, 32, becomes a free agent this summer and has an offer from Atletico. The LaLiga champions believe Wass is the ideal replacement for Kieran Trippier at full-back after the England international moved to Newcastle for €15m.

“The lad told me he has an offer from Atletico and his initial idea is to leave,” Bordalas told Cadena Ser. “I don’t make the decisions; I wish I could. I’m not the owner, I’m just the coach.

“I don’t decide who stays and who goes. He knows he is important, and I told him I have full confidence in him. I’ve told him that, but I can’t tell a player whether he should stay or leave. It’s the club that has to decide.”

The Denmark international, who joined Valencia from Celta Vigo in 2018, has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Los Che this season, including 19 league starts.

09.36 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes impressed in the 2-2 draw at Aston Villa this weekend, but The Athletic reports that he has shelved talks over a new contract.

United opened discussions in November 2020 over a new deal but Fernandes reportedly turned down an offer last year. The report states that “sources say negotiations are expected to resume in May, when Fernandes and United are clearer about the team’s situation next season.”

Fernandes is contracted to June 2025 with the option for a further year, but only earns a reported £100,000-a-week despite being one of the club’s best players, with Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly on more than £400,000-a-week and David de Gea at £375,000-a-week.

09.20 GMT: Orlando City forward Alexandre Pato has signed a one-year contract for the 2022 season, the club announced on Saturday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by the team for Pato, who joined Orlando last February but injured his right knee in the 2021 season opener against Atlanta United. The 32-year-old Brazilian was limited to just four appearances last season due to the injury.

“Pato’s ability is proven and we know the untapped potential in what he can bring to our team,” Orlando general manager Luiz Muzzi said in a statement. “He’s been working hard to return to top form and we’re looking forward to him having an impactful year for the club. We’re excited for him to return and play an important role both on the field and in the locker room this season.”

08.44 GMT: Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric believes it will take him less than two minutes to reach an agreement with Real Madrid over a contract extension.

Modric, 36, becomes a free agent this summer when the one-year deal he signed in May of last year expires.

The Croatia international was voted the Most Valuable Player in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Supercopa final (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez hailed Modric after the game, saying the experienced midfielder deserved a second Ballon d’Or in his career.

Asked about his future, Modric said in Sunday’s postmatch news conference: “I’ve always had a good relationship with the club and I’m certain we will reach an agreement. I’ve never taken more than two minutes to reach an agreement over a contract extension. I’m sure we will reach a deal. They know my wish and I’m certain the club also wants that.”

08.00 GMT: Roberto Martinez is the leading candidate to replace Rafa Benitez as Everton manager, sources have told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.

The Belgium coach has received strong backing from the Goodison Park hierarchy following the sacking of Benitez after just 200 days in charge.

Former Everton forward Wayne Rooney, now managing Championship club Derby County, is being linked with a return to Goodison, but sources have told ESPN that Martinez is the leading contender at this stage.

Martinez, who spent three years in charge at Everton between 2013-2016, is being considered as both a short-term option and long-term successor to Benitez by senior figures at the club.

Having guided Belgium to qualification for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later this year, Martinez’s determination to see through the job he started in 2016 could prevent him taking the Everton job on a full-time basis until after the tournament.

But having missed out on a return to Everton last summer due to the decision of owner Farhad Moshiri to hire former Liverpool boss Benitez, Martinez is now the leading candidate to go back to the club due to his success with Belgium and reputation for playing attractive, attacking football.



Ahead of their Carabao Cup semifinal against Liverpool, Ale Moreno dismisses the idea that Arsenal can attract the best players to the club.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

– Juventus want Arsenal to include Thomas Partey in any deal that features Arthur, according to the Mirror. The Gunners have stepped up their approach for Arthur in recent weeks but they will now need to decide if signing the Brazil international is worth losing Partey.

Derby County are ready to let go of Jason Knight as Premier League interest begins to advance for the 20-year-old midfielder. The Times reveals that Burnley and Leeds United are both interested in a potential deal in January, and the Rams could be prepared to let him go for a fee in the region of £8m. Newcastle United are also reported to be one of the teams monitoring the situation.

– The Mirror reports that a battle is set to begin for Nottingham Forest right-back Djed Spence, with Arsenal ready to challenge AS Roma and Internazionale for his signature. The 21-year-old was a star performer when the Championship side enjoyed a 1-0 victory over the Gunners in the FA Cup third round, and it is reported that he is valued at around £10m.

– Chelsea have turned their attention to Layvin Kurzawa, according to Sky Sports. Thomas Tuchel’s side have been looking for cover at left-back since Ben Chilwell suffered a season-ending injury and, with the club missing out on signing Everton’s Lucas Digne to Aston Villa, while also being unable to agree a recall for Emerson Palmieri from his loan at Lyon, it is reported that they will now make a move for 29-year-old Paris Saint-Germain defender Kurzawa.

Fabrizio Romano writes that Napoli are keen to sign Nicolas Tagliafico. The 29-year-old left-back has been linked with a number of clubs throughout January, with Chelsea considering him earlier on in the transfer window. It is reported that the Serie A club want to offer Ajax Amsterdam a loan deal with an option to make the move permanent in the summer, with an answer expected next week.