With the opening of the January transfer window coming closer, 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: Ronaldo-Ramos reunion at Al-Nassr?
Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr are awaiting the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo and want his former Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos to reunite with him in the summer, according to Marca.
Ronaldo, who terminated his Manchester United contract by mutual agreement last month, is expected to sign with Al-Nassr soon on a deal that will pay him over €200 million a year in wages.
Like Ronaldo, Al-Nassr would be able to sign Ramos as a free agent with the 36-year-old’s contract at Paris Saint-Germain expiring at the end of this season.
Ramos and Ronaldo playing alongside each other in Madrid from 2009 to 2018, winning four Champions Leagues and two LaLiga titles. However, with Ramos having secured a key role in PSG’s squad, a move to Saudi Arabia may be deemed complicated.
Al-Nassr’s priority for now is still to get Ronaldo to Saudi Arabia, as they have already released three players and delayed two other signings in anticipation.
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14.09 GMT: Manchester United are keen to sign Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio in January, says Sport.
Asensio, 26, is yet to renew his contract with Madrid and is a free agent at the end of the season. As such, he could sign a pre-contract agreement with United to join for nothing in the summer.
But United could move for the Spain international in January for a reduced fee.
13.25 GMT: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has said Darwin Nunez reminds him of Robert Lewandowski at the start of his career and insisted he is staying “calm” when it comes to the Uruguay striker’s progress.
Nunez has endured a mixed start to his Anfield career since signing from Benfica in the summer, scoring nine goals in 20 games across all competitions but also misfiring when presented with some big chances.
Klopp dismissed the idea he had any doubts about the 23-year-old, however, comparing him to Lewandowski after he joined Borussia Dortmund under the German manager in 2010.
“There are a lot of similarities to be honest,” Klopp said. “I think Lewy would tell the same story. We had shooting sessions where he didn’t finish off one. We had bets all the time for €10 — ‘If you score more than 10 times, I will pay you 10, if you don’t, you have to pay me.’ My pocket was full of money!
“It’s all about staying calm. When you see the potential, stay calm.”
13.00 GMT: Arsenal are keen to land Mykhailo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk in January.
Don Hutchison and Julien Laurens explain what Mykhailo Mudryk could bring to Arsenal.
12.10 GMT: Real Madrid are ready to make an offer of more than €100m to sign Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham and are confident they will be able to speed up transfer talks in January, sources have told ESPN.
The LaLiga giants view the England international, 19, as a priority signing for next season but are aware of competition from Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea and, above all, Liverpool.
In November, sources told ESPN that while Liverpool were leading the race to land Bellingham, Madrid believed they were still well positioned to win the battle for the teenager’s signing.
Since then, Bellingham’s outstanding performances for England at the World Cup have increased his value even further — but sources have told ESPN that Madrid are unwilling to make what they would view as a “crazy” offer to sign him.
Madrid would view a €100m fee as a sensible figure and hope that the good relationship between club president Florentino Perez and Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke could help clinch the deal.
11.07 GMT: Al-Nassr, who are expected to complete the signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, have also made a move to sign Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Busquets, 34, is out of contract at the end of the season and, per the report, has received a “dizzying” offer from the Saudi Arabian side to join them in January. However, there is no indication the midfielder will accept the proposal, with Barca keen for him to see out the campaign and Major League Soccer side Inter Miami also hopeful of signing him.
Busquets has said he hopes to have some clarity on his future by February having previously admitted he is “attracted” by the idea of playing in MLS.
Meanwhile, Diario Sport reports there is division among the Barca hierarchy as they search for an eventual heir to Busquets at the base of the midfield.
Coach Xavi Hernandez is desperate to sign Real Sociedad’s Martin Zubimendi, but financial restrictions are forcing the club to look elsewhere as well.
The board of directors, led by president Joan Laporta, are keen on Wolves’ Ruben Neves, represented by Jorge Mendes, and director of football Mateu Alemany likes Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante, who is out of contract in June.
10.27 GMT: U.S. and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie could make a move to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund, says Tuttosport.
McKennie, 24, had a good World Cup with the U.S. but his club future is less secure and could leave Turin.
Dortmund are looking to replace 19-year-old star Jude Bellingham when he eventually makes a €150m move to either Real Madrid or Liverpool, with McKennie viewed as a fine option.
McKennie previously played for Schalke in the Bundesliga and his transfer may cost around €30m.
09.58 GMT: Manchester United and Chelsea are tracking Real Sociedad midfielder Martin Zubimendi, says Mundo Deportivo.
Zubimendi, 23, was being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona to replace Sergio Busquets, but signed a new contract until 2027 in October.
However, the defensive midfielder has a reported release clause of €60m and the two Premier League sides are looking to increase their options in the centre of the pitch.
09.21 GMT: Fresh from impressing at the World Cup, France striker Olivier Giroud has agreed a two-year contract extension with AC Milan, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.
Giroud, 36, overtook Thierry Henry to become France’s all-time men’s top scorer in Qatar and will continue at the Serie A champions until 2024.
He has nine goals in 19 games for his club this season.
09.00 GMT: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said that Cody Gakpo did not need convincing to join the club, despite Netherlands teammate Virgil van Dijk talking to the forward before his move from PSV Eindhoven.
Klopp’s side beat Manchester United to the signing of the Dutch forward for a transfer fee which sources told ESPN was worth around £37m (€42m).
Klopp described the signing as a “home run” and said the 23-year-old did not need to be persuaded to join the club.
When asked whether Van Dijk spoke to Gakpo before signing, Klopp said: “Before he technically signed, yes, but Virg was involved from a specific moment on. But we didn’t tell him ‘Talk to him’ because there was no reason for it. When I was allowed to speak to him, I spoke to him.
“There are some of these nice moments when you are manager of Liverpool FC and you realise you think you have to convince somebody and then you realise during your talk, ‘Oh, the door is wide open, it’s more or less a home run.’ And it was cool.
“So we didn’t need Virgil to convince him. But after that, obviously Virgil likes to be involved in these kind of things and from a specific moment on he had his say as well. But all good.”
– Ogden: Gakpo signing piles pressure on Nunez
Mark Ogden explains why Manchester United missed out on Cody Gakpo, who looks set for a Liverpool move.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Manchester City are set to trigger the $8m release clause of Velez Sarsfield midfielder Maximo Perrone, according to Fabrizio Romano. The move is expected to be completed soon if all goes to plan, and the 19-year-old would join City after the Campeonato Sudamericano Sub-20.
– Marseille want to replace Gerson with Angers midfielder and Morocco breakout star Azzedine Ounahi, reports Foot Mercato, which adds that the Brazilian’s destination in January is likely to be Flamengo. While OM want to sign Ounahi, they refuse to pay a World Cup premium and will negotiate the €25m transfer fee that Angers are asking for.
– Barcelona scouts have been following the development of 16-year-old Velez Sarsfield winger Gianluca Prestianni, according to Ekrem Konur. It is also suggested that Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are keeping an eye on the Argentina youngster.
– Brendan Rodgers is keen to strengthen his Leicester City side in January, reports the Guardian, with the priorities a speedy winger, a left-back and another centre-back. The Foxes currently sit 13th in the Premier League table after their 3-0 defeat to Newcastle United and are four points above the relegation zone.
– Lille still want to sign AS Monaco attacking midfielder Maghnes Akliouche after looking at the 20-year-old in the summer, according to L’Equipe, which adds that Atalanta have also made contact about him in recent weeks. Monaco don’t want Akliouche to leave and are taking steps to extend his contract.