Al-Nassr miss Modric after Ronaldo deal

With the January transfer window now open around Europe 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: Al-Nassr can’t convince Modric to join Ronaldo

Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr made headlines when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo to the most expensive soccer contract in history, and it appears they aren’t stopping there as they seek to add more big names. One player who won’t be joining, however, is Luka Modric, as Al-Nassr failed in their attempts to sign the Croatia international and reunite him with his former Real Madrid teammate.

That’s according to Spanish outlet Marca, which reports that the 37-year-old midfielder turned down a lucrative offer to join Ronaldo in Saudi Arabia to spend another season at Real Madrid.

Modric, who starred for Croatia as they finished third at the World Cup in Qatar, is on Al-Nassr’s wishlist alongside other players including Sergio Ramos. However, Modric isn’t ready to leave Los Blancos, and reportedly instead wants to stay in the Spanish capital for at least one more season.

Even at his age, Modric continues to play a prominent role for Real Madrid, so when he is ready to leave Los Blancos he is sure to have plenty of options. He reportedly also had offers from MLS, but believes he can still play at the highest level in LaLiga for another season.

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11.52 GMT: Arsenal have activated clauses to extend the contracts of Bukayo Saka and William Saliba by an extra year as talks continue over long-term agreements, sources have told ESPN.

Both players were entering the final six months of their present deals but the Gunners have triggered extensions keeping the pair at the club until 2024.

Negotiations are ongoing with Saka, Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli — who is contracted until 2024 with Arsenal holding an option to extend by a further two seasons — as sources insist the Premier League leaders are confident of securing their futures beyond next year.

11.15 GMT: Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix could leave the Spanish club on loan this window, but he won’t come cheap.

Felix, 23, has the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal interested in signing him but The Athletic reports that Atletico want a €15m loan fee plus any club to take on his €6m gross salary.

10.41 GMT: Liverpool want to land Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Amrabat, 26, starred for Morocco at the 2022 World Cup and has been tracked by Tottenham Hotspur, Barcelona and Sevilla.

Liverpool need to improve their midfield options but won’t pay the €120m release clause required to sign Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, so have turned to Amrabat who may cost in the region of €50m to sign instead.

10.07 GMT: Calciomercato also brings news that Juventus are keen to tempt young Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka away from the Emirates, and are ready to offer striker Dusan Vlahovic in return.

Saka, 21, is in talks over a new contract and is unlikely to want to move to Italy at this point of his career, but the report claims that Vlahovic might be a tempting proposition as part of a swap deal if he isn’t able to agree terms.

09.32 GMT: AC Milan are interested in signing Arsenal striker Folarin Balogun, says Calciomercato.

Balogun, 21, has scored 10 goals in 16 games on loan at Reims this season and has impressed in France.

The Gunners have Gabriel Jesus and Eddie Nketiah up front, though Jesus is out for three months with a knee injury. Reports have suggested that the club won’t recall Balogun as cover, so Milan may spot a chance to land the youngster permanently.

09.00 GMT: Martin Dubravka has been recalled by Newcastle United from his season-long loan at Manchester United, the clubs announced on Sunday.

The goalkeeper made two appearances after moving to Old Trafford in the summer but will now return to St James’ Park.

United paid £2m to loan Dubravka ahead of the season and had an option to sign him permanently for £6m if the Slovakia international made a certain number of appearances.

Sources have told ESPN it was Newcastle’s decision to end the 33-year-old’s loan spell early.

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Julien Laurens explains the potential transfer options that could see Joao Felix leave Atletico Madrid.

PAPER GOSSIP (By Nick Judd)

– It could be a busy January at Molineux with Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui open to the departure of Raul Jimenez, according to the Daily Mail. Following the arrival of forward Matheus Cunha from Atletico Madrid, Lopetegui is ringing the changes in Wolves’ forward line and he’s now on the lookout for another striker in order to allow Jimenez to leave this month. The 31-year-old Mexico international has been one of the club’s most consistent performers in the past few years, and he is also one of Wolves’ top earners on a contract that runs out in 2024, which may explain why Wolves are willing to let him go. Barcelona have been tracking Jimenez’s progress, which has been restricted to just five appearances this season due to injuries.

– Following Chelsea‘s reported “substantial offer” of €120m for Argentina star Enzo Fernandez, Benfica boss Roger Schmidt has admitted that the 21-year-old midfielder might have played his last game for the Portuguese club, as reported by the Daily Mail. Fernandez was selected to play against Braga on Friday night, though reports in Portugal suggest he wasn’t keen to play, possibly as a result of Chelsea’s interest. The Blues are reported to have agreed to pay Fernandez’s release clause in installments. This news would explain Fabrizio Romano’s suggestion that Benfica are plotting a bid to sign Norwegian rising star Andreas Schjelderup as a potential replacement.

– There has been much speculation about Adrien Rabiot‘s next destination, but it now appears as though Juventus are keen to have talks with the France midfielder in order to persuade him to stay in Italy, according to Calciomercato. Rabiot looked likely to leave the Bianconeri in January, with this contract up in the summer, but Juve bosses are hoping they can sit down with the 27-year-old and convince him to extend it. Talks have taken place between Juve chief Federico Cherubini and Veronique Rabiot, Adrien’s mother, while clubs such as Arsenal continue to monitor the situation closely.

– Juventus are following midfielder Denis Zakaria‘s progress at Chelsea under Graham Potter with interest, and would be open to Chelsea making the loan move a permanent one. That’s according to Tuttosport, which believes that a figure of €28m would be enough for the Blues to seal a permanent deal for the 26-year-old Switzerland international. Zakaria has been in good form since being granted first-team opportunities by Potter, and was solid again in the club’s 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

– Morocco’s World Cup star Azzedine Ounahi is wanted by a number of clubs around Europe, but L’Equipe believes Napoli lead the race for his signature. However, the French outlet says the 22-year-old will see out the season with current club Angers, and will move on in the summer rather than in January. The midfielder is contracted until 2026 and Napoli are believed to have agreed to let him see out the season before he moves to Italy. A firm offer is believed to have been made, with Leicester City also heavily linked.