TOP STORY: Will PSG beat Barca to Garcia? Apparently not
Paris Saint-Germain were hopeful of beating Barcelona to the signing of Manchester City defender Eric Garcia, according to Mundo Deportivo. The 20-year-old is out of contract in June but was said to be available this month if City received a suitable offer for the former Barca centre-back.
Barca have been trying to sign Garcia, who left the club in 2017, since the summer, but financial problems have made it impossible to agree on a fee with City so far. And with no president in place, the club are unable to sanction a move for the defender this month unless the three candidates for the presidency -- Joan Laporta, Victor Font and Toni Freixa -- all green light the transfer.
PSG, therefore, thought they could jump ahead of Barca by making City an offer for Garcia this month with a view to him being the first addition to the senior squad made by new coach Mauricio Pochettino. However, according to Fabrizio Romano, that plan has fallen apart.
The transfer specialist reported on Wednesday that Garcia's return to Barcelona is a "done deal," stating that there is "total agreement" with the centre-back to move to the Camp Nou this summer as a free agent. PSG will just have to settle for Lionel Messi & Co. instead -- more on that below.
21.47 GMT: Isco has routinely been linked with a move away from Real Madrid in recent months, but according to the Athletic, often-mooted destinations such as Arsenal and Juventus have registered any firm interest, and the 28-year-old playmaker would have to accept a significant cut to his wages to facilitate a move to Sevilla, leaving him seemingly stuck in the Spanish capital for now.
21.20 GMT: The Houston Dynamo announced on Tuesday night that they'd acquired 27-year-old New York Red Bulls centre-back and twice-capped United States international Tim Parker in exchange for $300,000 in General Allocation Money in 2021 and $150,000 in 2022.
20.53 GMT: AS writes that Juventus have made contact with Valencia midfielder Uros Racic to help bolster their midfield, but that the 22-year-old Serbia youth international is said to prefer to remain with Los Che, where he expects to receive regular minutes, something that likely wouldn't be available to him with the nine-time-defending Italian champions.
20.25 GMT: Real Madrid and AC Milan are interested in 23-year-old Feyenoord centre-back Marcos Sensei, reports De Telegraaf, with the Dutch club said to value the Argentinian at €35m - although they hope to sign him to a new contract that would include a €50m release clause.
20.08 GMT: United States international Bobby Wood has signed a pre-contract with Real Salt Lake, according to the Athletic, that will see him leave Hamburg when his contract expires this summer and join the MLS club as a free agent, but the report states that it's possible the 28-year-old Hawaiian forward could have his contract with the 2. Bundesliga club terminated to allow him to join up with his club for preseason.
19.52 GMT: Cagliari striker Giovanni Simeone, the 25-year-old son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego, is a target for West Ham United, according to Sky Sport Italia's Gianluca Di Marzio, with the East London outfit in the market for a new forward following the departure of Sebastian Haller.
19.19 GMT: Le10 Sport writes that Nice is in talks with Crystal Palace centre-back Mamadou Sakho to return to Ligue 1 on a six-month loan, but the 30-year-old France international's wages could prove to be a stumbling block.
18.46 GMT: In the wake of Jordan Morris seemingly set to leave the Seattle Sounders for Swansea City for the remainder of the season, he may be joined by fellow United States international Paul Arriola, according to Yahoo Sports' Doug McIntyre, with the Championship club said to have serious interest in D.C. United's 25-year-old wide man.
18.13 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport reports that AC Milan and Chelsea are closing in on an agreement for the loan of 23-year-old centre-back Fikayo Tomori that will an include an option to buy, which is said to be around €20m, with a deal expected to be finalised by Wednesday night or Thursday morning.
17.40 GMT: As we noted several hours ago, Danny Ings reportedly has an interest in joining a Champions League club, which has put a strain on contract negotiations with Southampton, and an update on that situation comes from the Athletic. The 28-year-old forward is happy at St. Mary's and would be happy to stay, but he doesn't want to close the door on a move to one of the country's biggest sides - with Manchester United named as his preference - and as such is keen to have a release clause inserted in his new deal that would allow such a move if interest were to materialise. The issue, however, is that the England international and the Saints are said to be as much as £20m apart on what that clause should be.
17.07 GMT: DeAndre Yedlin has told CBS Sports that he has yet to hold talks with Newcastle United about a new contract with his existing deal expiring this summer, and the American broadcaster has credited Club Brugge of Belgium, Turkish clubs Besiktas and Trabzonspor, and Bundesliga sides Werder Bremen, Augsburg and Mainz with interest in the 27-year-old United States right-back.
16.34 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain's interest in Lionel Messi is well known, and while the riches available in the French capital may well be enticing, AS writes that Les Parisiens are working to offer the Argentina captain more than just money, with plans to sign compatriot Angel Di Maria to a new contract and recruit international teammate and close friend Sergio Aguero -- in addition to keeping former Barcelona teammate and friend Neymar at the Parc des Princes long term.
16.02 GMT: Kylian Mbappe has not been playing like Kylian Mbappe for a while now. Paris Saint-Germain fans could tell he was clearly unhappy on the bench after PSG's 1-0 win at Angers on Saturday.
Was it because he was subbed off in the 79th minute by Jesus Perez, Mauricio Pochettino's assistant, who took charge of the team because the manager tested positive for COVID-19? Was it because 2021 has been a pretty rotten year for him so far, even by his own lofty standards? Was it for both these reasons, or something else?
With just five goals his last 13 games, Julien Laurens looks at the France striker's travails.
15.27 GMT: Martin Odegaard wants to leave Real Madrid in search of playing time to continue to progress in his career, several sources have confirmed to ESPN's Rodrigo Faez and Adriana Garcia.
The playmaker was a starter in his team's opening two league games but has seen limited action since. Odegaard was not included in Zinedine Zidane's travelling squad for Wednesday's Copa del Rey game at Alcoyano (stream LIVE at 2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
Odegaard's two-year loan at Real Sociedad was cut short last summer with Zidane keen to have the Norway international back in the fold as Madrid decided not to make signings due to financial hardship caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Odegaard, 22, impressed with the Basque outfit, scoring seven goals and setting up nine assists in 36 appearances. However, he has played 367 minutes in his nine games for Madrid since his return and believes the best move is to leave so as to avoid a career stall.
Sources have told ESPN that the club understands the player's desire and that most likely Odegaard will leave on loan before the transfer window ends. Real Sociedad are monitoring the situation closely while Madrid sources have questioned if Zidane lacks patience with Odegaard or has simply been left unconvinced when the Norwegian has played.
14.50 GMT: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has rejected claims that he needs to rebuild the squad after a run of results which has seen them drop from first to fourth in the Premier League table.
Klopp's side sat top of the league by four points after a 7-0 win over Crystal Palace on Dec. 13 but have failed to win their last four matches, scoring one goal in the process.
The recent slump has seen suggestions that Liverpool need to refresh the team but Klopp is confident that this squad can turn things around
"I think I heard somewhere I have to rebuild this team," he told a news conference ahead of Thursday's league match against Burnley. "The world is a crazy place now and not just because of the pandemic. No-one has time anymore. In football we know that, I've been in football long enough to know that you never really get time.
"After last season, we didn't make steps forwards, we know that and we want to change that but we have to change that by playing, not by talking."
14.17 GMT: Bayer Leverkusen are hoping to land Leicester City winger Demarai Gray, German outlets kicker reports.
The 24-year-old has dropped down the pecking order at Leicester, who on Tuesday went top of the Premier League table with a 2-0 win over Chelsea, and he is in the final few months of his contract.
Leverkusen are therefore hoping to strike a bargain deal similar to the one which saw them sign Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United's for under €2m Manchester United.
However, there is still work to be done before a deal can be struck as Bayer are hoping to reinforce their squad in the league's tight race for the Champions League qualification.
13.42 GMT: This week marked the one-year anniversary of Erling Haaland's debut for Borussia Dortmund, when he came off the bench and scored a hat trick at Augsburg. The striker has had an incredible first year at Dortmund, but how long will he remain at the club?
13.15 GMT: More news from Arsenal here -- the Gunners have confirmed that defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos has had his contract terminated by mutual consent.
🗞 Working closely with @SokratisPapa5 and his team, we have decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent— Arsenal (@Arsenal) January 20, 2021
12.52 GMT: Arsenal's pursuit of Houssem Aouar is set to be complicated by the Lyon midfielder's desire to wait for interest from Real Madrid and Barcelona to materialise this summer before deciding his next move, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.
The north London club are in the market for a creative midfielder having missed out on Aouar at the end of last season after making just one offer in the region of €35m for the 22-year-old. That bid was rejected because it fell well short of Lyon's €60m valuation and Arsenal did not return with an improved offer.
Mikel Arteta remains an admirer of Aouar but sources have told ESPN that the player was surprised Arsenal did not make more of a concerted attempt to sign him and although he has not ruled out a move to Emirates Stadium, he is keen to explore other options.
Those may include Madrid and Barcelona, both of whom have extensively scouted Aouar without making a formal offer.
Lyon are reluctant to let Aouar leave this month given they are in the hunt for the Ligue 1 title -- sitting in third place just two points behind Paris Saint-Germain and Lille -- but he is expected to depart this summer.
12.20 GMT: Manchester United are monitoring Lens defender Facundo Medina, according to La Voix du Nord.
The Argentina international only arrived in France from Talleres in his homeland last summer, but he is reportedly already attracting interest from clubs around Europe.
Medina, 21, has made 11 league appearances for Lens since making his €3.6m mov. In only his second game for the club helped them seal a 1-0 win over defending Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, and he opened his account for them in the following match by scoring in the 3-2 win at Lorient.
11.48 GMT: Zinedine Zidane has refused to be drawn on Real Madrid's reported transfer targets, with his focus set on Wednesday's Copa del Rey round-of-16 game at third-division side Alcoyano (stream LIVE at 2:55 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.)
Marca reported on Tuesday that Bayern Munich centre-back David Alaba will join Real Madrid as a free agent this summer, however when asked about the speculation Zidane said: "I understand you have to ask but you are asking about a player that isn't mine. I'm sorry. As a coach all that interests me is tomorrow's game."
Alaba, 28, has rejected several offers to extend his contract with Bayern and is a target of top European clubs. The Austria international, who has won 25 titles in 10 seasons with Bayern, has reportedly already agreed personal terms with Real Madrid.
Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe is another player that has been linked with Real Madrid in recent seasons. PSG sporting director Leonardo recently said his club has yet to reach an agreement to extend the contracts of star players Neymar and Mbappe, whose deals both end in June 2022.
Asked if he would give his consent to his club signing Mbappe this summer, Zidane also declined to comment. However, he does believe top players, like Mbappe, do choose where to play.
"In the end, yes, it's like that," he said. "But each player has his contract, his things... but it's not good to get into things like this. I can talk about my players but when it comes to others, it gets complicated to get involved."
11.19 GMT: Chelsea manager Frank Lampard said he is "worried" about his side's drastic dip in form following a 2-0 loss at Leicester City on Tuesday.
The pressure is on Lampard after his expensively assembled team fell to eighth place in the Premier League. Lampard conceded that Leicester, who went top of the table with the victory, were simply the better side and there was little in his team's performance, their fifth loss in eight games, that indicates the West London side are progressing.
Chelsea's hierarchy are not known for showing great patience with their managers and questions will intensify about whether the club's popular former midfielder is the right man for the job.
"It intensified for me a while ago. Expectations at this club are high. Right or wrong. When we perform like that it is normal people will ask questions," Lampard said. "I can't control it. I've been asked before, I understand it. It's a developing team but I can't get caught up in the reaction.
"I took this job knowing we would have difficult times. We just have to fight. Where everything was rosy in mid-December, it isn't so rosy now. I am good at handling pressure."
10.27 GMT: Arsenal are preparing to offer Emile Smith Rowe a new contract to ward off any potential suitors following his breakout season, the Daily Mail reports.
The 20-year-old made his first-team debut in September of 2019, but following loan spells at RB Leipzig and Huddersfield Town the London-born midfielder has emerged as another exciting young talent for the Gunners after registering three assists in five Premier League appearances so far this season.
Smith Rowe's contract will have two years left to run at the end of the season, and the Mail reports that Arsenal will offer him a new £40,000-a-week deal to put him on a par with fellow club youth product Bukayo Saka and secure his long-term future at the Emirates.
10.06 GMT: Mainz are set to part ways with target man Jean-Philippe Mateta who has undergone his medical at Crystal Palace, kicker reports.
The French attacker, 23, has scored 10 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions so far this season. However, he has not scored since his hat trick against Freiburg in mid-November and has not even made the squad in recent
Mateta will join the Premier League side on a loan until the end of the season, with the deal reportedly including an obligation to buy.
09.43 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino has had his say on the futures of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar at the French club and also answered queries about Lionel Messi.
The Ligue 1 champions are in negotiations to extend the contracts of their two stars, whose current deals expire in June 2022. Mbappe has been a reported target of Real Madrid in recent seasons while Neymar has been linked with a return to Barcelona ever since he left the Catalan club on a world record €222m transfer fee for PSG.
The Argentine coach, who is currently isolating with COVID said he is confident that Mbappe will remain at the club beyond June 2022, when his contract expires.
PSG are in talks with the France star to extend his deal but have yet to reach an agreement. With ongoing reports linking Mbappe with a move to Real Madrid, Pochettino told El Larguero: "I believe the club is working, obviously making an effort to renew the contracts of the players they believe are important not just for the present but for the future. It's clear that Kylian is a player with enormous potential. He's 22 and no one is going to discover Mbappe.
"Which coach wouldn't like to have a player like Mbappe in their team for a long time? Sometimes things are taken out of context. Kylian is very happy here in Paris. The other day, a bit out of frustration for not scoring, it [reaction] was normal that it happens. We have a very good rapport. We will see what happens. But I have no doubt that Kylian loves to be here in Paris."
Asked if he is worried of losing either Neymar or Mbappe next summer, Pochettino only said: "One always wants the best players at your club. Paris [PSG] has the strength and capacity to convince and prove how important this type of players are. I have no doubt whatsoever that the club will do everything possible to keep the players."
Is he surprised that Lionel Messi has not renewed his contract with Barcelona in his final year, the former Tottenham coach replied: "You have to respect the decisions made by the player and by the club. There are reasons for that and we, from the outside, only see a small part of what is happening on the inside. The most intelligent thing is not to comment."
09.11 GMT: Pep Guardiola has said it will be the job of the players already in his squad to score enough goals to guide Manchester City to the title after ruling out a bid for a striker in January.
City are well-placed ahead of Wednesday's clash with Aston Villa following a run of eight straight wins.
However, their 29 league goals is fewer than any other team in the top five while recognised strikers Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus have combined for just two Premier League goals all season.
It has prompted speculation Guardiola could look to strengthen his attack but when asked whether another striker could arrive at the Etihad Stadium this month, the City boss replied: "No."
08.30 GMT: A transfer battle could be about to hot up for Bayern Munich youngster Jamal Musiala. The England youth international, who was born in Stuttgart but spent most of his childhood living in London, broke into the Bayern first team this season but is still on a youth contract which expires in the summer of 2022.
But Goal reports that the 17-year-old, who started life in Chelsea's academy before heading to Germany, wants a £100,000-per-week deal to stay at the Allianz Arena, and that has alerted a host of Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United.
PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)
Ings wants Champions League return
The England international's contract comes to an end in the summer of 2022 and he is holding off on signing a new deal, meaning Saints may look to sell in the summer.
Southampton are willing to make the striker the highest paid player in their history for him to commit to four more years.
Ings has seven Premier League goals this season, having netted 22 in the last campaign to miss out on the golden boot to Leicester's Jamie Vardy by one.
PSG to move for Emerson
The right-back has not actually played a game for the Catalan giants, spending this and last season on loan with Real Betis.
- There have not been any negotiations, but Inter Milan boss Antonio Conte is an admirer of Atalanta's Alejandro Gomez, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. It is far from certain that any move could materialise though, as there are a number of obstacles with most of them being financial. However, it has been suggested that they may make an attempt to sign the Argentine if Christian Eriksen departs the San Siro.
- Lisandro Lopez is set to join Atlanta United FC, as reported by TYC Sports journalist Cesar Luis Merlo. The veteran forward has left Argentine outfit Racing Club after five years, and is close to an agreement to join Atlanta. This would see him join the MLS side's Argentine contingent, which includes the likes of Ezequiel Barco, Franco Escobar and Eric Remedi, as well as newly hired manager Gabriel Heinze.