TOP STORY: Pochettino exploring Aguero, Dybala moves
Mauricio Pochettino is plotting ways to strengthen his Paris Saint-Germain squad and the Daily Mirror believes he's contemplating a swoop for Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero. Meanwhile, Tuttosport adds PSG are renewing their interest in Juventus attacker Paulo Dybala.
Aguero, 32, is approaching the last six months of his contract at City and is yet to agree a new deal, which means he is free to talk to clubs outside of England. Though his season has been ravaged by injury, he is still one of the best strikers around, and Pochettino is targeting a free transfer for the Argentina international in the summer.
PSG are one of the few clubs who could afford the Aguero's £240k-a-week wages, while he would be a boost to PSG's already diverse attacking options alongside Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Angel Di Maria.
Dybala, meanwhile, reportedly turned down a move to PSG last summer but has yet to agree his long-term future in Turin and could be open to a move.
22.30 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: West Ham are looking for a striker to replace the recently sold Sebastian Haller, and the Mirror claims RB Salzburg's Patson Daka is a target.
The 22-year-old striker has scored 10 goals in 14 games this seasons including two in the Champions League. The Zambia native is reportedly keen on moving to the Premier League with former Hammers forward Freddie Kanoute currently representing the forward.
West Ham sold Haller to Ajax on Friday for £20.25 million.
21.09 GMT: Roma have been linked with Everton winger Bernard but no deal is in place just yet.
After Everton's 2-1 win over Rotherham on Saturday in the FA Cup, Carlo Ancelotti told the media that there have been "no speech with Roma for Bernard." The Brazilian, who arrived at Goodison Park in 2018 from Shakhtar Donetsk, has made just two Premier League starts this season.
20.28 GMT: Could Luka Jovic be heading for the exit door at Madrid?
Marca understands that manager Zinedine Zidane would not block a move for the Serbian striker, who has been a massive disappointment since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt for €60 million in June 2019. Former club Eintracht Frankfurt, as well as AC Milan have been linked with the 23-year-old, who scored 27 goals in 48 games during his final season in Germany.
19.49 GMT: Genoa are closing in on Marseille and Netherlands midfielder Kevin Strootman.
Genoa president Enrico Preziosi revealed on Rai Radio2 that the club is closing in on the 30-year-old midfielder.
"We are on the road to close, only medical examinations are missing. I am very satisfied, especially because I know the man".
Genoa are currently 17th, just two points out of the relegation zone in Serie A.
19.00 GMT: West Brom looking for a striker and Bournemouth's Josh King could reportedly be an option.
Sam Allardyce has admitted that he would be interested in the Norway international -- for the right price. WBA just loaned Charlie Austin back to QPR and now have Karlan Grant, Hal Robson-Kanu and Callum Robinson as striker options at the club.
18.13 GMT: Ex-Man United ace Ravel Morrison will be looking for a new club.
The former wonder boy has had his contract with Dutch side ADO Den Haag terminated, the latest disappointment for the 27-year-old. Morrison has played for 10 clubs since leaving Man United in 2012, including stops in Italy, Mexico, Sweden and Holland.
17.29 GMT: Will RB Leipzig sell Dayot Upamecano in January?
With the club's buy low, sell high model and the negative financial impact of COVID-19, the club will not rule out selling top players this month.
"We have a squad that is also very broad in terms of quality," stated Leipzig chief Oliver Mintzlaff.
"So we will also sell top performers again if it makes financial sense and we can absorb it from a sporting point of view.
"When I think of (Timo) Werner, (Matheus) Cunha, (Naby) Keita or (Diego) Demme, we've already made a lot of money and still made progress in terms of sport.
"Overall, we have invested a lot in our team, no question about that. But look: the current squad had a market value of less than €250million when the individual players made their debut.
"And if we now take the current market value, we are at around €550million. You have to take this plus of over €300 million into account when you talk about investments. We are creating value with our path."
The French defender, 22, is valued at €60 million and is reportedly a target for Liverpool and Man United.
16.45 GMT: Why have Arsenal sent £27m defender William Saliba on loan again? James Olley explains.
Unai Emery was Arsenal head coach when Saliba signed for Arsenal. The decision to immediately loan him back to Ligue 1 was recognition he needed more experience of competitive top-level action, but Mikel Arteta, who replaced Emery as manager in December 2019, was expected to make him a central component of his new-look team, buoyed by ending the 2019-20 season with an unexpected FA Cup Final victory over Chelsea.
Saliba spoke almost no English when he signed for the club, but he quickly set about improving his language skills while also naturally gravitating to the French-speaking players in the squad, chiefly Alexandre Lacazette. Growing up as an Arsenal fan with vivid memories of past French grandees Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry, Saliba was determined to make his mark. However, Arteta and his coaching staff quickly formed the view that Saliba was still some way off the required level.
This is a view met still with consternation in France, especially in light of many Arsenal players underperforming in what was (until the past 10 days) the club's worst start to a season since 1974. How can Shkodran Mustafi get a game and Saliba can't?
Yet sources have told ESPN that there are many at Colney who believe Saliba has plenty to learn in his positioning and has been found wanting by the intensity of Arsenal's training matches. While he developed a reputation at Saint-Etienne for executing tackles with good timing and stepping out to win the ball, there are concerns the higher pace of play leaves him vulnerable too often and caught out of position.
16.11 GMT: Stoke winger Tom Ince only made the bench for the FA Cup game against Leicester (live on ESPN+ in the U.S. right now) but Wolfsburg, Schalke and Lille want to sign him, says the Daily Mail.
Ince, son of Liverpool legend Paul, will be allowed to leave on loan as Stoke have landed Wales winger Rabbi Matondo on loan from Schalke.
15.30 GMT: Chelsea once had Kevin De Bruyne and Mohamed Salah on their books, but they let them go!
14.41 GMT: FC Dallas full-back Bryan Reynolds is set to join Juventus, but could go on loan to Benevento first.
Reynolds, 19, has reportedly been the subject of a €7m bid from Juventus, with the Italian champions unable to sign him in January because they have already filled their quota of non-EU players.
However, Benevento are keen to land the United States U18 international on a six-month loan deal.
"Andrea Pinamonti and Bryan Reynolds are two very interesting profiles, youngsters with prospects of the kind we like at this club," Benevento director of sport Pasquale Foggia told Sky Sport Italia. "If you ask me is it a done deal, then I can't say that. I will just confirm our great interest."
14.20 GMT: Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho could return to Brazil at the end of his contract this summer.
Fernandinho, 35, has been central to City's success since he joined in 2013 for £34m but is reportedly keen to see out his career back in his homeland with Athletico Paranaense, where he began his career before moving to Shakhtar Donetsk in 2005.
Giovanni Branchini, Fernandinho's agent, told Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte: "It's difficult to think of Fernandinho returning to Brazil and not playing for Athletico. But we have to wait, it's a difficult decision, which he has to make with his family."
13.44 GMT: It had looked like Manchester United would sign Ecuadorian teenager Moises Caicedo, but the Daily Mail reports that Brighton might beat them to the punch.
Caicedo, 19, had also attracted interest from Chelsea, Everton, Newcastle and West Ham, with sources telling ESPN last week that Man United were working on a deal to bring in the Independiente del Valle midfielder.
However, Caicedo, who has already made his senior international debut, now looks set to join Brighton in a move worth around £5m.
"We have received an offer from a European club for Moises Caicedo," confirmed tIndependiente manager Santiago Morales. "We are negotiating the proposal. It is most likely that he will not be in our team in 2021. Due to the proposal we've received, it is very difficult to keep him."
13.00 GMT: Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland can pretty much just pick his next club.
12.15 GMT: West Bromwich Albion have signed ex-Preston North End and Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Andy Lonergan on a short-term deal until the end of the season, the Premier League club said on Saturday.
Lonergan, who will provide cover for Sam Johnstone, is West Brom's second signing of the January transfer window after the West Midlands club brought in Scottish midfielder Robert Snodgrass from West Ham United on Friday.
12.07 GMT: What have Mauricio Pochettino's first few days at PSG been like? Julien Laurens tells us.
It has been a crazy four days in Pochettino's new life. Between his arrival in the French capital on Saturday and then the game away on Wednesday, he was meeting the players for the first time, with sporting director Leonardo and club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi on Sunday, taking training for the first time on the same day for a light session, then properly starting to work with the players on the Monday, before doing his news conference on Tuesday. Time flew by. "He wanted to do so much," a source told ESPN. "There was so much to do, so he focused on the most important."
In the next few days, Pochettino will have another meeting with Leonardo to discuss the transfer window. "We are in direct contact and we are looking at all possibilities regarding transfers this month," he said on Tuesday, without naming any names. He didn't want to talk about Christian Eriksen when asked, but sources have told ESPN that PSG told Inter Milan that they are not interested in the Denmark international at the moment.
Could Pochettino go back to his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, and ask for Dele Alli? Does he want a centre-back? A creative player? He certainly wants to keep [Moise] Kean, who is currently on loan from Everton, and the two clubs have started talks to make the move permanent given that no option to buy was put in the deal last summer.
PSG's transfer strategy will be revealed very soon, but the most important thing for now is for Pochettino to build up the relationships with the players at his disposal.
11.32 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are willing to listen to offers for Germany international Julian Brandt in the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN's Stephan Uersfeld.
The midfielder's erratic form has left Dortmund fans frustrated ever since he signed from Bayer Leverkusen for €25m in the summer of 2019. Having scored seven and set up a further 13 goals in 42 competitive matches (32 as a starter) in his first season at Dortmund, his stock has fallen this season.
With just one goal and one assist to his name this term, the versatile midfielder, who flourished in his partnership with Kai Havertz at Leverkusen, could now leave the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund are willing to listen offers for the 24-year-old and, depending on the offer on the table, would either send him on loan or agree to a permanent transfer just 18 months after signing Brandt from their league rivals.
Arsenal have been most heavily linked with him.
11.09 GMT: Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks could be on the move as he struggles for gametime, with Valencia keen, says AS.
Winks, 24, has slipped down the pecking order under Jose Mourinho and Valencia are in need of strengthening as they sit 17th after just three wins from 17 games so far this season.
A loan move is most likely but the two clubs are reportedly some way apart over how much of a loan fee should be paid.
If they can't get a deal done, Valencia have identified Norwich City's Emi Buendia as a possible alternative, says La Razon.
10.33 GMT: AC Milan have a chance to win the Serie A title this season, but is the 39-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic still worth keeping around?
10.06 GMT: Totttenham defender Toby Alderweireld is being tracked by PSV Eindhoven, according to De Telegraaf.
However, Spurs will make a move for Real Madrid and Brazil defender Eder Militao to replace the 31-year-old if he leaves, says Mundo Deportivo.
09.52 GMT: Manchester United signed Atalanta winger Amad Diallo for €41m after 24 first-team minutes. What does the scouting world think? Tor-Kristian Karlsen examines.
Diallo is far from unknown on the scouting circuit, having been on the radar of Europe's leading clubs for quite some time due to his performances at youth level -- where he often stands out against older opponents -- and his more recent displays in the Italian "Primavera" (U19) league.
His stats in the Primavera over the past two years are impressive -- 12 goals and nine assists in 39 games -- while he also notched one goal and three assists across six games in the UEFA Youth League in 2019-20.
A top scout at one such club granted ESPN access to their entire file on Diallo, which dates back to 2019 and is based on his appearances in youth tournaments and the U19 league. In the club's internal system, Diallo is rated as a potential 7.5 player (out of a maximum 10), which equates to "a prospective regular at a Champions League-level club" -- just for reference, a peak Messi was apparently a 9.0 according to their system (clearly nobody can be perfect!)
09.20 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has urged midfielder Donny van de Beek to stick with it at Manchester United after suggestions he should try to leave in January to avoid losing his place in the Netherlands team ahead of the European Championships.
Van de Beek has made just two Premier League starts since his £40m move from Ajax in the summer, prompting Holland legend Ronald de Boer to say the 23-year-old should "declare he should be loaned or even sold" to make sure he keeps his place in the Dutch national team.
Solskjaer, however, has revealed he has spoken to Van de Beek to reassure him over his future prospects and insists he will get opportunities to play, starting with the FA Cup third round tie with Watford on Saturday.
"I've answered this question so many times and there's so many examples of players needing a little bit of time, quality players," Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday. "We have many examples ourselves and there are other clubs with examples and sometimes it takes time.
"You don't expect people who care for him to be quiet at times, especially when they want the best for them. Donny is going to play [against Watford], it's another chance for him."
09.00 GMT: Former Montenegro striker Dejan Damjanovic has signed for Hong Kong Premier League champions Kitchee as the veteran forward continues his quest to become the all-time leading scorer in the Asian Champions League.
The 39-year-old, who is second on the list behind recently retired South Korean forward Lee Dong-gook, will join Kitchee early next month after completing a period in quarantine, the club announced on Saturday.
Damjanovic, who won three Korean league titles with FC Seoul, has scored 36 times in the continental championship, one fewer than Lee, and he will line up in this year's competition for his new club.
The 2021 edition of the Asian Champions League has been expanded from 32 to 40 teams and the increase means Kitchee have earned an automatic spot in the group phase following their Hong Kong Premier League title success last year.
Damjanovic has never won the Asian Champions League, coming closest in 2013 when he helped FC Seoul to the final, where they lost on the away goals rule over two legs to Chinese Super League side Guangzhou Evergrande.
The veteran striker spent last season with Daegu FC in South Korea after spells with Suwon Bluewings and Chinese sides Jiangsu Sainty and Beijing Guoan.
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)
Milik wanted by England's 'top clubs' says agent
Milik's contract is set to expire in the summer and he is yet to agree an extension. In fact, he's at loggerheads with his employers and hasn't made a single appearance all season. But, even though he's out of practice, it hasn't prevented a host of aspiring English clubs enquiring about his services.
The Poland international's agent explains that as well as Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, Atletico Madrid and Marseille are also keen to land the 26-year-old, who has scored 48 goals in 122 appearances for Napoli since joining from Ajax in 2016.
City youngsters could follow Sancho example
Man City fear losing more academy stars in January according, to the Daily Mail, with Jaydan Braaf, Luke Mbete and Josh Wilson-Esbrand all wanted by rival clubs.
Braaf is a target for German side Bayer Leverkusen, and discussions are said to already be underway. The 18-year-old Dutchman is yet to make his senior debut for City and is being watched by a number of other clubs across the continent.
Juventus are reported to be among the clubs monitoring Mbete, 17, while Leeds United are also interested in both Mbete and Wilson-Esbrand, 18.
City's academy is considered one of the best in Europe, but rivals clubs are more willing to offer a clearer pathway to first-team football. Jadon Sancho famously left City to join Borussia Dortmund for around £8m before becoming one of the best in the world, and three more players could follow suit this month.
- River Plate defender Gonzalo Montiel is closing to a move to Europe, with AS Roma, Lyon and Bologna on the radar, sources told ESPN Argentina reporter Gustavo Yarroch. The right-back, who started for the Argentina national team in the first two matches of the 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign, had a preliminary offer from Roma last summer but River didn't accept the terms, according to sources.
Calciomercato report that Roma have also made contact with Lille over right-back Zeki Celik. Celik has been a long-term target for AC Milan, but now the Giallorossi appear to be the frontrunners. Lille want €15m and aren't prepared to accept any loan move or reduction in the fee.
- PSG have made enquiries about right-back Emerson, according to Sport. Emerson is co-owned by Real Betis and Barcelona, where he is contracted until 2024. PSG and AC Milan both tried to sign him last summer but his complex ownership issues ruled out a move. PSG are set to return for a second attempt, and it's reported that Barca would be willing to let him go and split the profits with Betis now that they have Sergino Dest.