TOP STORY: Madrid need attacking options: Aguero, Milik or Giroud?
Luka Jovic's return to Eintracht Frankfurt on a six-month loan has left Zinedine Zidane with a hole that needs filling in attack, and the report details the three options when it comes to finding the perfect short-term option with the necessary ability and experience.
Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and PSG's Kylian Mbappe remain long-term targets for Madrid, so Aguero provides a better option for this year. The Manchester City star is out of contract in June and though Madrid face competition from Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona, he also knows the Spanish capital well following his time at Atletico Madrid.
Giroud is a another name linked and he's still not getting the game time he craves at Chelsea. Also out of contract in the summer, the Blues may wish to do business in January to avoid the Frenchman leaving on a free in the summer.
21.42 GMT: With Pol Lirola now at Marseille, Fiorentina are in the market for a right-back, and Gianluca Di Marzio reports that La Viola are interested in Andrea Conti of AC Milan and Real Madrid's Alvaro Odriozola.
20.55 GMT: Danny Drinkwater, who's made just 12 appearances for Chelsea since joining from Leicester City in a £35m move in 2017, is in Istanbul ahead of a move to Kasimpasa, according to the Mail. The 30-year-old would join the club sitting 13th in the Turkish Super League on loan for the remainder of the season, his third short-term stint away from Stamford Bridge since the start of the 2019-20 season.
20.08 GMT: Western Conference finalists Minnesota United are interested in Club America winger Andres Ibarguen, ESPN Mexico writes, with the Liga MX giants keen to offload the 28-year-old winger. The issue at the moment, though, is that the Loons aren't interested in making the once-capped Colombia international a Designated Player, meaning he'd need to take a pay cut to leave Mexico City for the Twin Cities.
19.21 GMT: Barcelona backup goalkeeper Neto is only interested in joining Arsenal this month if he's to become the No. 1 in North London, according to Mundo Deportivo, which could prove a stumbling block with Bernd Leno firmly established as the Gunners' first choice.
18.57 GMT: Juventus and AS Roma are among the clubs interested in signing United States teenager Bryan Reynolds, sources have told ESPN's Tom Hamilton. The 19-year-old FC Dallas full-back is also attracting Club Brugge and another unnamed European team. Read the full story.
18.34 GMT: With David Alaba said to be on the verge of joining Real Madrid, Goal reports that Bayern Munich have discussed the possibility of recruiting Los Blancos centre-back Eder Militao to replace the Austria international. The 22-year-old Militao has featured sparingly for Madrid since joining from Porto in 2019, a situation that has reportedly prompted interest from Juventus, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur in addition to Bayern.
18.10 GMT: Swansea City are in "ongoing" discussions to acquire United States winger Jordan Morris from the Seattle Sounders on a six-month loan, a source confirmed to ESPN's Jeff Carlisle. Read the full story.
17.47 GMT: Corriere dello Sport quotes Marseille manager Andre Villas-Boas as saying that the historic Ligue 1 side are in negotiations with Napoli over striker Arkadiusz Milik, who's been frozen out of the Italian outfit after refusing to sign a new contract, with his existing deal expiring in the summer and the Parenopei reportedly demanding €15m to part with him.
17.00 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has an uncertain future, with Real Madrid and Juventus keen to sign him. But might he stay?
16.30 GMT: Bayern Munich striker Joshua Zirkzee looks set to leave the club on loan this month.
Fabrizio Romano reports that Everton and Parma are in talks with the German club, with Eintracht Frankfurt out of the race after opting to land Luka Jovic.
Zirkzee, 19, has only played four times this season and has scored no goals. He managed 12 games in 2019-20 where he scored four times.
16.02 GMT: Zlatan Ibrahimovic is 39 years old but is planning on staying at AC Milan beyond his 40th birthday.
Ibrahimovic returned to Milan for a second spell in January 2020, after leaving the LA Galaxy. He joined on a short-term deal but signed up for another 12 months in the summer and has 11 goals in 12 games this season as the club mount a Serie A title charge.
"I'll continue playing as long as I feel well. Then we'll see, we'll talk about my contract," Ibrahimovic told Corriere dello Sport. "I didn't want to put myself in a trap with no way out, that's why I initially signed a six-month contract which I renewed afterwards. Others made different choices.
"I don't want to talk about how many games I've played, it makes me feel old. My challenge is to develop a young team now, it's something different from what I used to do. But being successful in it makes me feel happier than when I win."
15.45 GMT: Right on cue, new PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has been speaking about transfers.
Lionel Messi, Dele Alli and various other top players have been linked with the club. But Pochettino isn't giving anything away.
"No time to think about the window. Not even time to sleep!" he told a news conference. "Leonardo [PSG's sporting director] is leading this. We have discussed it, but there is nothing to tell you right now."
15.42 GMT: Reminder: Lionel Messi can leave Barcelona in the summer for nothing. And he can already start talking to clubs outside Spain about a contract.
Mauricio Pochettino 'would love' Dele Alli at PSG
Tom Hamilton believes Dele Alli is interested in a move to PSG, but thinks Daniel Levy could block the transfer.
15.16 GMT: United States forward Jordan Morris is in talks with Swansea City over a six-month loan from Seattle Sounders, says The Daily Telegraph.
Morris reportedly "had offers from Bundesliga clubs but is poised to be part of Steve Cooper's squad for the rest of the campaign."
Sources confirmed to ESPN that "talks are ongoing" between the clubs.
Bill Connelly picked his Premier League transfers on a budget and Morris also appears as an under-the-radar option for Tottenham.
Everybody's snatching up young MLS prospects these days, but Spurs don't necessarily need a young up-and-comer as much as they need a proven creator. Well, how's this for proven: Morris has averaged 10 goals and six assists in 31 matches per year over his past four seasons with the Seattle Sounders. He wins duels and aerial battles, he can play in the right, left or center, he's got lovely size (6-foot, 185 pounds) and has track-star speed -- seven of his 11 goals this past season came on the type of fast-break opportunities Mourinho craves. This is a better match than you think and thanks to players like Kasey Keller and Clint Dempsey, Spurs are well-acquainted with tapping the USMNT for talent.
14.50 GMT: Barcelona and United States international Konrad de la Fuente has taken on Lionel Messi's brother as his agent, sources confirmed to ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
De la Fuente, 19, made his first-team debut earlier this season and won his first cap for the USMNT against Wales in November. The 19-year-old is one of several young players at Barca who have been chased by the game's biggest agents.
This particular race has been won by Rodrigo Messi, who worked as an advisor to players and as an agent for several years, including Ansu Fati before the Spain international decided to take on super-agent Jorge Mendes. Another of Barca's youngsters who was highly sought-after was Ilaix Moriba, who ultimately signed with the Stellar Group.
De la Fuente signed a new contract at Camp Nou in June, keeping him at the club until 2022. The deal includes a €50m release clause, rising to €100m when he's officially promoted to the first team -- he is still registered for Barca B -- as well as the option to extend the terms by an additional two years. Before agreeing to the deal, he had considered his future, with sources telling ESPN he had an attractive offer in Germany from Hertha Berlin.
Why Paul Pogba will likely stay at Man United
Mark Ogden believes if Man United win the Premier League, then Paul Pogba will stay.
13.40 GMT: River Plate have made an approach for Nacional defender Mathias Laborda, according to his agent.
River have been following the 21-year-old Uruguayan since 2018 but they are unable to sign him at the moment as they don't have space for another non-Argentina player in their ranks.
"Yes, there was a contact," Jose Ducret confirmed to Radio Sport 890 AM de Uruguay. "They called from River to see the conditions and to talk a little. The issue is that River do not have quotas for foreigners so, until that issue is not resolved, I see it difficult for them to advance somewhere. Laborda is 100% a Nacional player, he has a contract and we would have to wait".
Meanwhile, Jorge Sampaoli's Atletico Mineiro are interested in signing River Plate star Nacho Fernandez, according to ESPN's Gustavo Yarroch.
The 31-year-old midfielder has been linked with a move away from River and Yarroch reports that a €5m offer would be enough for Atletico Mineiro to lure him away from the Argentinian side.
Fernandez almost joined Inter Porto Alegre when current Atletico Mineiro sporting director Rodrigo Caetano was at the club.
13.30 GMT: Wayne Rooney has been appointed permanent manager of Derby County, the club have confirmed.
Former England and Manchester United forward Rooney had been in caretaker charge of the EFL Championship club since the departure of Phillip Cocu in November.
Since then Rooney, who was a player-coach since arriving in January 2020, has taken training alongside coaches Shay Given, Liam Rosenior and Justin Walker.
In that time the 35-year-old has overseen an upturn in form that saw them lose only once in eight games. However, they have lost three of their last four fixtures, including an FA Cup third-round exit against Non-League Chorley that was overshadowed by a coronavirus outbreak.
The 35-year-old Brazilian only signed for Olympiakos in August but could return to the Bundesliga to help his former team (where he spent five years from 2005-2010) avoid relegation.
12.55 GMT: U.S. U17 international and FC Dallas youngster Ricardo Pepi will spend a three-week training at Bayern Munich alongside five other teammates -- Edwin Cerrillo, Justin Che, Dante Sealy, Brandon Servania and Thomas Roberts -- thanks to a player's development partnership that the two clubs signed three years ago.
Born to Mexican parents, the 18-year-old forward decided to represent the United States rather than Mexico as a youth international and was part of the team in the national team in the 2019 U17 World Cup in Brazil.
Tessmann, 19, enjoyed a fine breakout year in MLS, starting nine games while developing his game at senior level. If the defensive midfielder is included in either U.S. Soccer's national team or U23 camp later this month, he would travel to Germany shortly after. The length of his training stint would be impacted by the MLS schedule, which has yet to be announced.
Timo Werner's £47.7m arrival in the summer pushed Giroud down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge but the Germany international has struggled, along with manager Frank Lampard's other recruits.
Giroud has scored seven goals in his last seven appearances and emerged as a key player for his under-pressure boss. The France international looked set to leave Chelsea last January as he looked for regular playing time ahead of Euro 2020. The coronavius pandemic led to the postponement of the tournament, now scheduled for this summer, and sources said France coach Didier Deschamps is likely to include him in Les Bleus squad.
11.50 GMT: How do a club like Real Madrid have such issues with squad depth?
Faez: Messi will already be talking to other clubs
Rodri Faez believes Lionel Messi's representatives may already be negotiating with Man City and PSG.
Rumours of Liverpool making a move for the 21-year-old appear wide of the mark, with another source insisting there has been no contact between the two clubs.
Botman impressed for Heerenveen last season, on loan from Ajax, and moved to Lille in the summer as a replacement for Gabriel, who joined Arsenal. The Netherlands Under-20 international signed a five-year deal at the Ligue 1 club and has shone this term with Lille in third, one point off leaders Lyon.
Sources said the defender is likely to command a fee around £40m if he was to become available and that various top clubs in England had expressed an interest in him.
11.05 GMT: PSG winger Julian Draxler is going to leave the club but he'll stay until the summer and move on a free transfer.
Bild reports that the Germany international will announce his new side in March.
10.33 GMT: Beijing Guoan centre-back Kim Min-jae has caught the eye of Tottenham and Chelsea, says the Mirror.
Kim, 24, is a South Korea international, where he is a teammate of Tottenham forward Son Heung-min, and he won a gold medal at the 2018 Asian games.
The report says: "Min-jae's contract expires in December 2021 and his club in the Chinese capital are ready to cash in."
The Beijing club only hired new boss Slaven Bilic earlier this month after he left West Brom.
Why Weston McKennie is thriving at Juventus
Janusz Michallik assesses the stark differences in how Schalke utilised Weston McKennie vs. Juventus.
09.45 GMT: Ajax will stick to their policy of keeping their star players in the January transfer window despite increasing interest in centre-back Perr Schuurs, sources have told ESPN's Tom Hamilton.
Schuurs, 21, has been linked with a move to Liverpool but Ajax are not interested in letting their key defender go as they keep up their three-way chase for the Eredivisie, Europa League and KNVB Cup.
Ajax have adopted this policy in previous seasons when clubs turned attention to the Dutch club's star players. Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong were both targeted during the January transfer window in 2019 but waited until the end of the season before making big-money moves to Juventus and Barcelona respectively. The same went for Donny van de Beek last season who was linked with a January move to Real Madrid but was given the green light for his transfer in the summer to Manchester United.
Schuurs is a key player for Ajax and has started 13 of their 14 games in the Eredivisie. He has shown promising form in their Champions League matches against Liverpool, but also came in for criticism for his performance against Atalanta.
With Liverpool without their two starting centre-backs, Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, for the rest of the season through injury, Jurgen Klopp is weighing up whether to dip into the January transfer market to reinforce their backline. Schuurs is attracting interest from the Premier League but the player plans to stay at Ajax for at least the rest of this season and preferably beyond, sources have told ESPN.
Lassina Traore is another attracting interest from clubs in the Premier League but again, Ajax will resist any offers for the 19-year-old striker, sources said.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to continue his overhaul of the squad at the end of the season with a forward, central defender and a defensive midfielder his priorities. January is not expected to be a busy month in terms of outgoings, though United have rubber-stamped Amad Diallo's move from Serie A side Atalanta and a number of fringe players, including defender Marcos Rojo and goalkeeper Sergio Romero, could leave.
Rice, 22, is among the options in midfield for the summer and sources told ESPN he is aware of the interest, although United accept Chelsea are in pole position should he be allowed to leave West Ham in the summer. The England international would command a large fee as he has a contract at West Ham until 2024, with the option of another year. Sources have told ESPN that the Hammers hope a £70m fee would be enough to ward off interest from interested parties.
08.33 GMT: Former Barcelona president and current presidential candidate Joan Laporta says his dream is to celebrate "Barcelona's 125th anniversary [in 2028] in a New Camp Nou with Lionel Messi in the team."
Barca captain Messi becomes a free agent this summer and has not put pen to paper on a new deal with the Catalan club.
Laporta, who presided Barca from 2003 until 2010, is one of three official presidential candidates for the upcoming election.
"We are going to make Leo an offer that is in line with what he wants and Barca can offer," Laporta told Mundo Deportivo. "I can't make that offer on the first day as I have to wait for the result of the audit. First, I want him to continue and he knows that and then, make him a financial offer within the club's possibilities, and from a sporting standpoint, he is going to find it very attractive.
"I know what he wants and that is to win titles with Barca. I want him to continue at Barca winning titles, to feel like what he is, the best player in the world and that is what I think and I what I want. Leo is not guided by money and I will make him a very competitive sporting proposal."
08.00 GMT: Arsenal have appointed Richard Garlick as their new director of football, the Premier League club announced on Thursday
Garlick holds a similar post at the Premier League but will leave the organisation later this year. His start date at the Emirates stadium is yet to be finalised.
The move continues a reshuffle of the Arsenal hierarchy with Garlick essentially replacing Huss Fahmy, who left the club in November, and working under technical director Edu.
Arsenal's internal overhaul has also included the sudden departure of Raul Sanllehi as head of football in August, making 55 non-playing staff redundant and drastically reducing the scale of their overseas scouting network.
Paul Pogba or Jack Grealish: Who would you rather have?
Janusz Michallik picks between Man United's Paul Pogba and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish in a hypothetical transfer scenario.
TOP STORY (by Nick Judd)
PSG step up efforts for Alli
Paris Saint-Germain have made no secret of the fact they'd like to add Dele Alli to their squad in January, and now it would appear as though the player himself is keen for a mid-season move from Tottenham Hotspur, according to Fabrizio Romano in the Guardian.
New PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has identified Alli as his top target, the Argentine believing that his former Spurs midfielder can have a big impact in the second half of the season.
Tottenham appear reluctant to let him leave because they feel they will need to utilise their whole squad in the coming months, but Alli is pushing for a departure.
Alli has made just four league appearances this season totalling 74 minutes, and he not only wants more game time, he has his eyes on a place in England's squad at Euro 2020 this summer.
Locatelli can't leave despite City, Juve interest
Manchester City and Juventus have been keeping tabs on midfielder Manuel Locatelli, but Sassuolo are playing hardball, reports the Daily Mail. They're reporting that the Serie A side aren't prepared to entertain any offers for their star midfielder, even if they're confronted with bids of up to £30m.
Locatelli, 23, has been one of the stars of the season and he has caught the attention not just of City boss Pep Guardiola, but also Juve's Andrea Pirlo and AC Milan's Stefano Piolo.
Sassuolo director Giovanni Carnevali has dismissed all the rumours and says his club won't consider allowing their prized asset to go in January.
Locatelli joined Sassuolo from AC Milan in 2018 and has returned to his best form. He has helped his side climb to seventh in the table and earned himself a call-up to the Italy squad.
- Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori is edging closer to a move to AC Milan, according to Fabrizio Romano. The report states that talks are progressing well between the two clubs. Chelsea are hoping to send Tomori on loan with a buy option of €30m; Tomori is said to be keen on the move to Serie A.
- Manchester United are keen to sign AFC Bournemouth's David Brooks and they're not alone, with TalkSPORT suggesting that Aston Villa are now keen to add him to their squad in January. Brooks has scored three goals and added five assists in 17 appearances this season.
- Is Radamel Falcao ready to leave Turkish power Galatasaray? According to Argentine outlet Varsky Sports, El Tigre could be on his way to Major League Soccer side Portland Timbers. Colombia's all-time scorer seems to have plenty of options, with Galatasary's president admitting the ex-Atletico Madrid and AS Monaco man has offers in South America and Saudi Arabia.