LIVE Transfer Talk: Juventus ready to raid MLS after McKennie success

The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window is closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.

TOP STORY: Juventus looking to MLS in January

Juventus are going on the hunt for the next Major League Soccer star after the success of USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie, Tuttosport reports.

McKennie, who was named U.S. Soccer's Male Player of the Year last week, is spending the season on loan from Schalke at the Serie A giants and has dovetailed beautifully so far with the rest of Andrea Pirlo's midfield.

The 22-year-old's two goals and two assists in 14 appearances have alerted Juve's scouting team to the potential of more talent based in the U.S.

McKennie began his career at FC Dallas before moving to Germany in 2016 and now Dallas duo Bryan Reynolds and Ricardo Pepi, as well as New York Red Bulls midfielder Caden Clark and LA Galaxy right-back Julian Araujo, are four of the main names on Juve's wishlist as the January transfer window approaches.

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22.20 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!

22.00 GMT: Everton to make surprise signing in January?

Corriere dello Sport suggests that wantaway Juventus midfielder Sami Khedira could reunited with Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park. The 33-year-old, whose contract expires at the end of the season, played under the Italian manager at Real Madrid between 2013-15, and has a fan in Ancelotti.

After Everton's 2-1 win over Arsenal on Saturday, Ancelotti addressed the recent rumours saying: "Let's see in January, I have excellent memories of [Sami] Khedira". Everton are currently tied for third in the Premier League and have ambitions of qualifying for the Champions League proper for the first time.

21.05 GMT: Milan's first choice midfield target is Lille's Boubakary Soumare, according to Calciomercato.

The 21-year-old defensive midfielder, who rejected Newcastle last season, reportedly fits Milan and head coach Stefano Pioli's profile for that position. Piolo reportedly values Soumare's ability to not only to dictate timing and possession but also the midfielder's ability to kickstart attacks.

Soumare is reportedly available for around €25 million, with Lille's financial concerns also potentially a key factor.

20.23 GMT: Sporting Kansas City have made an interesting signing in French winger Remi Walter.

The former France Under-21 international, 25, joins on a three-year contract after spending the 2019-20 season in Turkey with Yeni Malatyaspor. The Frenchman has also played for Nancy, Nice and Troyes, having made 74 appearances in Ligue 1.

"Remi Walter is an experienced midfielder who will add quality to our team," said Peter Vermes, Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director. "We are happy to welcome him to Kansas City and look forward to his quick adaptation within our club."

19.48 GMT: Big Sam is back and the veteran manager is already being linked with one of his old chargers.

The Mirror writes that Allardyce is interested in reunited with forward Andy Carroll, who is currently being used sparingly at Newcastle. The 31-year-old striker worked with Allardyce at West Ham and Crystal Palace and is out of contract at the end of the season.

Carroll also could be a keen for a change of scenery as the physical frontman has not scored in 31 appearances since returning to St. James' Park in Aug. 2019.

19.02 GMT: With PSG reportedly looking to strengthen their midfield, CBS Sports claims that Julian Draxler could be the key chip in a potential swap deal involving Les Parisiens.

The article suggests that the German could be used in a swap for Tottenham's Dele Alli or Inter's Christian Eriksen, both of whom are out of favour at their respective clubs. PSG failed in a loan move Alli in the summer and have been heavily linked with in recent weeks. CBS also lists Idrissa Gueye, Layvin Kurzawa and Leandro Paredes as players PSG could part with in a similar fashion in January.

18.19 GMT: Liverpool, Man United and Real Madrid target Nuno Mendes has agreed to a contract extension with Sporting Lisbon which will see the in-demand left-back's release clause rise to €70 million.

The 18-year-old is tipped for a very bright future, and the new deal will represent bad news for suitors like Liverpool and United. The Reds reportedly had a €22m bid for Mendes recently rejected by Sporting.

17.21 GMT: West Ham have confirmed their first January transfer, announcing that Danish defender Frederik Alves has agreed to join the club.

The Denmark Under-21 international, who has a Brazilian mother and Danish father, will join from Silkeborg IF on Jan. 2nd on a three-and-a-half-year contract. The highly-rated centre-back has made almost 50 first-team appearances in the Danish Superliga and was also reportedly being chased by Leeds and Torino.

16.35 GMT: Liverpool could be set to cut short the loan of goalkeeper Loris Karius at Union Berlin, says kicker.

Karius, whose errors cost Liverpool the 2018 Champions League final, went on a torrid loan to Besiktas last season but headed back to Germany this summer.

However, the 27-year-old hasn't started a competitive match for the Bundesliga club yet and is behind Andreas Luthe in the pecking order. The report says that if things don't change, then Karius could be back at Anfield in January.

15.47 GMT: Manchester City are reportedly close to agreeing a new contract with Kevin De Bruyne, reports the Guardian.

De Bruyne, 29, earns around £300,000-a-week with the expiry date not until 2023 and though Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are monitoring the situation, he is expected to follow manager Pep Guardiola by putting pen to paper on new terms.

The report reads: The Belgian is happy at the club despite the team's subdued start to the season and is poised to sign a new deal to stay at the Etihad Stadium until 2025... The midfielder is representing himself in the negotiations with the club and both parties are confident a deal will be reached soon. The talks were opened in October and there are only a few details remaining."

15.05 GMT: Club America parted ways with head coach Miguel Herrera on Monday morning after the club crashed out of the Liga MX playoffs against bitter rival Chivas and then fell to LAFC in the semifinal of the CONCACAF Champions League on Saturday. But should MLS clubs be taking note?

14.25 GMT: El Confidencial reports that Real Madrid are ready to let Vinicius Jr. and Rodrygo depart, with Arsenal on high alert.

The Brazilian forward duo cost around €100m to sign, but have not secured their futures at the Bernabeu and the Gunners have reportedly been in touch to ask about a chance to sign them. Manchester United and Tottenham are also reportedly interested.

Madrid have big plans for 2021, namely the signing of PSG forward Kylian Mbappe and Rennes' midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, so they will need to raise some funds.

13.41 GMT: Tottenham are keeping tabs on Lille defender Sven Botman, sources have told ESPN.

Botman, 20, only joined Lille in July from Ajax for a fee of around €8m, but the centre-back has impressed in Ligue 1 and has helped the club reach the top of the table after 16 games, conceding only 10 goals.

Called up to the senior Netherlands squad in November 2020, Botman has been tipped for a bright future but Lille are struggling to balance the books amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the collapse of the French league's TV deal with Mediapro.

Despite landing almost €200m from the sales of Victor Osimhen, Gabriel and Nicolas Pepe over recent years, Lille are reportedly now ready to consider offers for some of their top players.

Earlier this week, Lille announced their highly rated transfer chief Luis Campos has left the club with immediate effect. Campos, Jose Mourinho's former assistant, was responsible for the signing of Botman and has been linked with rejoining Mourinho at Tottenham.

13.04 GMT: Chelsea's £47.7m man is looking a shadow of his former self.

12.30 GMT: Lille midfielder Renato Sanches has caught the eye of Liverpool recently, with Gazzetta dello Sport claiming that Man United and Inter Milan have now entered the race for him.

Sanches, 23, flopped at Bayern Munich after making a big-money move from Benfica as a teenager in 2016, but has started to find some form in France.

Another big move could be on the cards in January and with super-agent Jorge Mendes in his corner, Sanches will be attracting plenty of attention this window, especially if his reported valuation of €25m is to be believed.

11.55 GMT: Manchester United are confident of securing a work permit for Atalanta winger Amad Diallo Traore in order to add the teenager to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad during the January transfer window.

Sources told ESPN's Mark Ogden that United are now in the process of applying for his Governing Body Exemption with the English Football Association.

United completed a deal worth an initial €21m for Diallo on the final day of the summer transfer window in October, but were unable to fly the 18-year-old to Manchester due the Ivory Coast-born player's ongoing wait for an Italian passport.

11.11 GMT: You might have noticed a change in Manchester United's transfer policy with the signings of Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo Traore recently.

United are clearly looking for young players and now Independiente del Valle midfielder Moises Caicedo is on their list, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Caicedo, 19, made his Ecuador debut in October and is tipped for a bright future. But whether that future is at Old Trafford remains to be seen.

10.16 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has some issues to solve.

09.52 GMT: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has played down the prospect of the club signing a striker in January.

Sergio Aguero has missed most of the season so far with a knee injury, while Gabriel Jesus was ruled out of Saturday's 1-0 win over Southampton.

"No I don't think so because the economic situation around world is what it is," Guardiola told a news conference ahead of Tuesday night's Carabao Cup quarterfinal at Arsenal (stream LIVE on ESPN+ at 3 p.m. ET in the U.S.). "All the clubs struggle - we are not an exception."

City have scored just 19 goals in the Premier League so far this season, fewer than any other team in the top half of the table. Guardiola admitted that his side will struggle to close the gap of eight points that leaders Liverpool have on them.

"I don't know," he said. "We're struggling, our momentum up front isn't good. We are creating clear chances that we cannot score and when this happens we are always going to suffer.

"That's why I'm not able to say how we will be this season. Game by game is the only thing I can do and now we go to London to play Arsenal in the Carabao Cup."

09.09 GMT: Melbourne City have bolstered their W-League title defence by signing Japan international Chinatsu Kira for the upcoming season.

An attacking midfielder, Kira has scored five goals in 12 internationals for the Nadeshiko. The 2014 Asian Cup winner joins City after a 10-year career at Japanese top flight club Urawa Reds.

Kira, who is completing her hotel quarantine period, will add much-needed experience and goal-scoring power.

08.31 GMT: Central Coast Mariners have signed Costa Rica international Marco Urena for the upcoming A-League season.

The Mariners confirmed the 30-year-old's signing on Wednesday, in a boost to Alen Stajcic's team as they aim to avoid a fourth straight wooden spoon.

Urena, who scored for his country at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil against Uruguay, has made 67 appearances for Los Ticos, scoring 15 times.

He arrives at Gosford after a stint at South Korea's Gwangju FC and has also had stints in Russia, Denmark and the United States during his career.

Urena will link up with the Mariners squad after completing a quarantine period following his arrival in Australia.

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08.00 GMT: Lionel Messi has said he is motivated and excited to help Barcelona fight for titles this season after turning the page on a difficult summer, raising hope that he could stay beyond this season.

Messi, 33, told Barca he wanted to leave in August, with Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain both keen on signing him, but the Catalan club refused to sanction an exit. The Argentina forward, who levelled Pele's one-club scoring record at the weekend with his 643rd Barca goal, has revealed his failure to force a move away from Camp Nou affected his form at the start of the season. However, with five goals in his last seven league games, he says he's moved on from that disappointment and is ready to help Barca compete on all fronts this season.

"Honestly, I am fine now," Messi told La Sexta in an interview that will air in Spain on Sunday. "It's true I had a bad time in the summer. It came from everything that happened before the summer, how the season ended, the burofax, all of that. I carried that into the start of the season a little bit.

"Right now, I feel good, motivated to seriously fight for everything we have ahead of us. I feel excited.

"I know the club is going through a complicated moment -- both the club and the team -- and that makes everything surrounding Barcelona difficult, but I am motivated."

Messi's contract expires at the end of the season and his future remains unknown beyond then. He is free to talk to other clubs and negotiate a pre-contract agreement from Jan. 1.

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PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)

PSG interested in Oblak

Paris Saint-Germain are interested in pursuing a deal for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, the Daily Mail reports.

The former Chelsea target's proposed move to Stamford Bridge fell through, as Atletico refused to drop his €120m buyout clause.

Now, however, despite the fact that Atleti is flying high in La Liga, Oblak wants to leave in search of winning consistent trophies.

Former Real Madrid custodian Keylor Navas is the No. 1 for PSG, but the French champions are seemingly going in search of something fresh.

Diallo set to finalise Man United switch

The Guardian is reporting that Atalanta's Amad Diallo has overcome one final hurdle and will soon confirm his move to Manchester United.

The transfer for the 18-year-old was agreed in principle back in October, but the teenager was still waiting to discover whether he would receive an Italian passport, which would have allowed him to gain a work permit.

That has now happened, and Diallo will fly to England in early January to complete his €21m switch, with another €20m coming in add-ons.

Premier League trio in for Fernandes

Three Premier League clubs are contemplating a move to sign Vitoria Guimaraes sensation Jorge Fernandes, the Daily Mail reports.

With Vitoria conceding just two goals this season in games in which Fernandes has featured, the 23-year-old centre-back is clearly a commanding force in defence.

With so many years ahead of him, the likes of Southampton, Newcastle United and Fulham are hoping to strike while the iron is hot.


-- Arsenal are in talks with defender Rob Holding over a new contract with the club, Football Insider reports. The 25-year-old already has a deal that will run through until the end of the 2022-23 season, but after overcoming the injuries that have held back his Gunners career thus far, Arsenal are hoping to reward him by cementing his long-term future at the Emirates.

-- Atalanta are on the verge of securing a deal for Genk defender Joakim Maehle, Gianluca Di Marzio reports. The expectation is that the right-back will be sold for a fee of around €10m and is likely to play his final game for the club on Dec. 27 before making the switch to the high-flying Italian side.