LIVE Transfer Talk Chelsea set to sell Alvaro Morata to Sevilla in winter window?
The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is open again. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world’s media and setting our correspondents loose to see who could be heading to/out of your club this month.
TOP STORY: Chelsea to sell Morata, with Sevilla interested
Chelsea are shopping struggling striker Alvaro Morata around as they look to bring a new centre-forward in during the January transfer window.
And the Daily Mirror believes that Sevilla are interested in the Spaniard, and that they could make a bid. Their director of football, Joaquin Caparros, sees him as a replacement for Luis Muriel, who departed for Serie A side Fiorentina.
Morata has been ineffective in front of goal this season, not just with his lack of goals compared to the Premier League’s other top strikers, but with the way he fits, or doesn’t fit, into manager Maurizio Sarri’s system.
The Italian has even played Eden Hazard as a striker out of desperation, so it seems the former Real Madrid and Juventus man will need to move to revive his career.
10.07 GMT: Barcelona are in pole position to agree a pre-contract agreement with Toulouse defender Jean Clair Todibo, 19, who is out of contract in summer, say Mundo Deportivo. The implications on potential deals for Jeison Murillo (who they signed on loan from Valencia until the summer) and Matthijs de Ligt (their top target for the next transfer window) isn’t clear but Barca are clearly looking to the future.
09.54 GMT: SUPER MARIO! Marseille could reignite their interest in Mario Balotelli, say L’Equipe, after trying to sign the former Manchester City and Liverpool forward last summer. Balotelli, who has been given a few extra days off by Nice coach Patrick Vieira to “think over his future,” could strike a deal to cancel his contract with his current club, and then sign an 18-month deal with OM. Newcastle are also reportedly keen to bring him back to England.
09.45 GMT: AC Milan have to sell players before they can buy anyone new, due to FFP, and midfielder Frank Kessie is first on the list according to Gazzetta dello Sport. Beijing Guoan have been tracking him for months but Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are also interested.
09.38 GMT: Haven’t heard from Jose Mourinho for a while … Record report that Benfica are considering hiring him after the dismissal of coach Rui Vitoria on Thursday.
Benfica (the club where Mourinho began his coaching career in 2000) fired Vitoria after a series of poor results for the team he led to back-to-back Portuguese titles in 2016 and 2017, with Bruno Lage named as interim coach. But according to Record, any deal for Mourinho may struggle to get beyond initial discussions as his wages at Old Trafford were a reported €15m net per season.
09.00 GMT: Tottenham are increasingly resigned to losing Toby Alderweireld after taking up their option to extend his contract by a year until 2020, thereby activating a release clause making him available for £25 million, sources have told ESPN FC.
While the release clause now puts a firm price on Alderweireld’s head, Spurs were facing the prospect of losing the Belgium centre-back for free this summer so have acted to protect his value.
But Alderweireld is reluctant to discuss a new deal and with the player turning 30 in March, sources said the club feel £25m would be a good fee for a player who cost them just £11.5m in July 2015. Indeed, sources said Tottenham might have accepted an offer in that region last summer — with Manchester United and Barcelona linked with a move — but that no approaches were made.
08.30 GMT: Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke has seen a loan move to Crystal Palace collapse, but now Stuttgart are keen on signing him, Bild reports. The Bundesliga strugglers are hopeful that they can persuade the 21-year-old to join the club as they desperately look for goals in the second half of the season.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lee, Football Whispers)
Liverpool’s Clyne heading south to Bournemouth
Liverpool right back Nathaniel Clyne is a loan target for Bournemouth, so says the Daily Mail. The south coast club will be looking to add some depth to their defence, and Clyne could be useful in either full-back position.
Jurgen Klopp has given him a few minutes at left-back this season, and with Simon Francis set to be on the treatment table for some time for Bournemouth, it’s no surprise they are looking for reinforcements in this area.
Clyne has been backup for Trent Alexander-Arnold for Liverpool. However, with Joe Gomez reverting to centre-back this season, Liverpool might want to keep hold of Clyne as the games come thick and fast in the second half of the season.
Arsenal take a peep at Pepe
Unai Emery’s side are eyeing a £45 million move for Lille’s Nicolas Pepe. Tuttomercato reports that the Ivorian is seen as an alternative to Cengiz Under, whom Arsenal have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign after Roma sporting director Monchi refused to sell.
Pepe already has 19 goals in Ligue 1 this season, and this is even more impressive when you consider he plays from the right wing.
Arsenal already have Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang up for African Player of the Year, and if they sign the 23-year-old they could have the perfect player to accompany him — one who might be up for similar individual honours in the future.
At the very least, Pepe would give the North Londoners extra options in wide areas alongside the likes of Alex Iwobi.
Barcelona open talks with Rabiot
La Liga champions Barcelona will look to add new ideas to their midfield by signing PSG man Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer.
That’s according to Mundo Deportivo, which adds further details to a report in L’Equipe.
The Frenchman will be available on a free transfer in the summer, and Barcelona have already opened talks about a contract, but the demands of a £10m salary plus a further £10m signing-on bonus have been a stumbling block.
However, the report states that the Catalan club are not deterred and will continue negotiations, looking to beat Juventus and Liverpool to his signature.
Ernesto Valverde will hope that the midfielder can offer something the club have missed since the departures of club legends Xavi and Andres Iniesta in recent years. And at just 23, the player could be a good long-term solution.
Football Whispers’ transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of 5.
Jermaine Defoe to Rangers – 4.7
Bournemouth are willing to let the former Tottenham and Toronto FC striker leave on loan to get some first-team action. The deal would see him stay with Steven Gerrard’s side for 18 months, taking in the latter half of this season and the whole of next.
Aaron Ramsey to Juventus – 4.3
The next of our close-to-dead-certains involves the Wales midfielder’s move to Juventus. The perennial Serie A champions will offer the Arsenal midfielder a contract which will see him join on a free transfer in the summer, according to Sky Sports.
Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid – 4.3
Another whisper getting louder is that involving Manchester City’s Spanish youth player Diaz. He will leave for the Champions League winners in hope of a better chance of first-team football, and has even chosen his new shirt number at Real, according to Marca.
Nicolo Barella to Arsenal – 2.8
Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport is reporting that a number of clubs are interested in the Cagliari midfielder, with Arsenal and Manchester United favourites. The 21-year-old is valued at £45m, and there are also Serie A sides chasing his signature.
Frenkie de Jong to Paris Saint-Germain – 2.8
Dutch duo De Jong and Matthijs de Ligt are the most sought-after young players in Europe at the moment, and the Ligue 1 champions have made Ajax an offer they might find hard to refuse — and that no other club can match — according to Marca. The rumoured fee for De Jong alone is £63m.