LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid keen to sign Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni

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The ESPN FC crew praise Karim Benzema for taking the responsibility of being Real Madrid's best player and leader. (2:18)

The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn't mean the rumours won't keep coming. Here is the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Real Madrid keen to sign Monaco's Tchouameni

Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is "on Real Madrid's radar," according to Marca.

Tchouameni, 21, started in France's 2-1 UEFA Nations League final win over Spain at San Siro on Sunday (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.) and has impressed in Ligue 1 for Monaco in recent seasons after the club paid Bordeaux €18m to sign him on a four-and-a-half year contract in January 2020.

Marca reports that Tchouameni is "one of the names that is most talked about" at Madrid's Valdebebas offices and has been identified as a possible successor, or alternative, to Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro, who is 29.

Chelsea and Juventus have also shown an interest in landing Tchouameni, who has the same agents as Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

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LIVE BLOG

22.00 BST: AS Roma will look to offer €5m to Borussia Monchengladbach in a bid to beat Barcelona to the signature of Denis Zakaria, according to Calciomercato. The Switzerland international has made little progress in talks regarding new terms at Borussia Park, which has seen clubs around Europe circle for the midfielder, and it is Jose Mourinho's side who are looking to get the deal over the line swiftly amid interest from Camp Nou.

21.27 BST: Fenerbahce are looking to acquire two Premier League stars in January, with Ryan Sessegnon of Tottenham Hotspur and Jean-Philippe Gbamin of Everton on the Super Lig club's radar, according to Takvim.

The Turkish Newspaper writes that manager Vitor Pereira is eager to bolster his squad with the two players who have found themselves out of favour at their respective clubs this season. Sessegnon has featured just twice for Spurs in the Europa Conference League, while Gbamin has made just a single appearance under Rafael Benitez.

20.54 BST: Another day sees another name linked with Newcastle United, and now Barcelona's Clement Lenglet is reported to be on the shortlist at St. James' Park. Sport reveals that the 26-year-old fits the profile of what the Premier League side are looking for at the centre-back position, with the club also looking to take advantage of Barcelona's financial situation to acquire the defender for a cut-rate transfer fee.

20.21 BST: Switzerland midfielder Remo Freuler looks set to remain at Atalanta, with the club ready to exercise the option on the 29-year-old's contract.

That's according to transfer insider for Sport Italia TV, Gianluigi Longari, who writes that the defensive midfielder will extend his stay at La Dea until 2023. Freuler has been a staple for both club and country in recent seasons, featuring 41 times during 2020-21 for Atalanta in the Serie A and Champions League.

19.48 BST: Galatasaray will return to their pursuit of Mohamed Elneny in January, with Fanatik reporting that the club have already begun talks with Arsenal over the signing of the Egypt international. The 29-year-old came close to joining the Istanbul outfit on the final day of the Super Lig transfer window, and after continuing to find himself out of Mikel Arteta's plans, it looks as though the deal could resurface as soon as the transfer window opens.

19.15 BST: Fabrizio Romano has revealed that Mauro Icardi will stay at Paris Saint-Germain despite being linked with Newcastle United in the January transfer window.

The former Internazionale star was rumoured to be one of the first signings of the new era at St. James' Park, but has no plans to leave the Parc des Princes in the coming months. The 28-year-old has scored three goals in eight appearances so far this season.

18.42 BST: Barcelona are keen to land Eintracht Frankfurt star Fabio Blanco when the winter transfer window opens, writes Sport.

The Catalan publication reports that the Camp Nou hierarchy are prioritising moves for young players given the club's financial strains, and will return for the 17-year-old who they were close to recruiting in the summer. The former Valencia winger joined the Bundesliga club on a free transfer in July.

18.09 BST: Andreas Christensen has agreed to a new deal with Chelsea worth £7m a year, reports Ekrem Konur. The Denmark international's contract was set to expire in the summer, but with Thomas Tuchel keen to keep hold of the defender, the 25-year-old will now extend his stay at Stamford Bridge until 2024.

17.36 BST: Attila Szalai is attracting interest from LaLiga clubs after a number of impressive performances at the back for Fenerbahce.

Pedro Almeida writes that Sevilla see the Hungary international as a potential replacement for Jules Kounde, with the 23-year-old becoming one of the most valuable players in the Super Lig. The former Apollon Limassol star featured in all three of Hungary's group games at the European Championship.

17.03 BST: Lens star Jonathan Clauss has enjoyed a bright start to the season that has seen Ligue 1 clubs begin to eye a potential move for the wing-back. That's according to Foot Mercato, who reveals that both Nice and AS Monaco are monitoring the 29-year-old, who has scored one and assisted three goals in eight starts so far this season.

16.30 BST: Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen may not have a long-term future at the club, says Mundo Deportivo.

Ter Stegen, 29, is one of the few Barcelona players who haven't been continually linked with a move away in recent months but the club are now considering letting him depart for a sizeable transfer fee.

As a replacement, Barca reportedly want Granada 'keeper Luis Maximiano, who is 22.

15.55 BST: Gazzetta dello Sport claims that Inter Milan and Manchester United are ready to battle for Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne.

Insigne, 30, is yet to sign new terms despite his contract expiring in the summer of 2022.

The Euro 2020-winning Italy international, who stands 5-foot-4, has two goals in nine games so far this season for his club.

15.21 BST: Newcastle United have made Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana a priority signing, says RMC.

Fofana, 20, had been one of the best young players in the Premier League before he suffered a long-term injury this preseason. The Frenchman is on the mend but the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, who bought Newcastle last week, are keen to bring him in as soon as they can.

A concrete offer for the defender could arrive this week with a view to landing him in January.

14.30 BST: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski is one of the best strikers around.

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13.52 BST: Tor-Kristian Karlsen also gives us his thoughts on Real Madrid's potential new midfielder.

As regards to Real Madrid's reported interest in Aurélien Tchouaméni - hard to think of "safer" signing. Has performed consistently (rarely plays a poor game) the past couple of years, keeps adding skills to his game, deals well with every new challenge.

13.30 BST: Florian Wirtz made history as the youngest player to reach 10 Bundesliga goals with his winner for Bayer Leverkusen against Mainz recently, and his performances have gathered plenty of attention across Europe.

The 18-year-old midfielder is clearly destined for the top and has been linked with all the big clubs in Europe including Bayern Munich and Chelsea. Tor-Kristian Karlsen explains why he's so highly rated.

12.44 BST: Fabrizio Romano reports that PSG want to land Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes on a permanent deal once his loan expires.

Mendes, 19, can be signed for €40m in the summer but have always planned to make the deal permanent.

12.03 BST: Sevilla defender Jules Kounde has been repeatedly linked wit Chelsea and now Sevilla president Jose Castro has been speaking about it.

Chelsea are set to revive their interest in the 22-year-old during the January transfer window if Sevilla lower their €80m asking price back to around €50m, where the two clubs almost found an agreement this summer, sources have told ESPN.

"We are the second team with the highest salary cap capacity," Castro told Diario de Sevilla. "It is clear to that we are coming out of a pandemic, and this year, there was no other option but to give a negative financial result. There have been no season tickets, no tickets and no bars. Marketing and television have suffered.

"Even so, with Chelsea's offer of €50m [to sign Kounde], the deficit was over. That speaks of the strength of the club. I don't know how many teams in Spain would say no to €50m from Chelsea and maintain this deficit, considering that the squad is worth €400m.

"The deficit comes from the pandemic, but also from choosing to build a stronger squad rather than sell in the last two markets. That's called ambition, and sometimes to have ambition you have to have a deficit. It's OK."

11.22 BST: Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has been linked with Man City and he's now spoken of the strong influence manager Pep Guardiola has had on his career.

Guardiola coached Lewandowski for two seasons at Bayern Munich before the Spanish coach joined City.

"He taught me to see football from another point of view," Lewandowski told Marca. "To understand football from movement, how to use football from tactics. After my time with Guardiola, I think differently about football, because I saw and I see football from outside, from another perspective. I see who was wrong, who could have done better, and how you can go one step ahead of your rival. I talked to him, he explained the tactical part to me a lot, he told me: 'I can't help you to be a better striker, because you're very good, but I can help your team take the ball to the area and there you know well what you have to do and how you have to do it'."

11.00 BST: Italian Serie A side Venezia have signed Argentina international goalkeeper Sergio Romero on a free transfer after his release from Manchester United.

10.50 BST: Georginio Wijnaldum has said he is not "completely happy" with his situation at Paris Saint-Germain since his departure from Liverpool.

Wijnaldum, 30, joined the French club on a free transfer in June after saying he didn't "feel loved and appreciated" at Anfield. However, the midfielder has only made six starts for PSG in all competitions this season and said it has been difficult to adjust to his lack of playing time.

"I can't say I'm completely happy, because the situation is not what I wanted," he told NOS. "But that's football and I'll have to learn to deal with that. I'm a fighter.

"I have to stay positive and work hard to turn it around. I have played a lot in recent years, was always fit and also did very well. This is something different and that takes getting used to. I was really looking forward to the new step and then this happens. It is very difficult."

10.28 BST: Manchester United need to show some silverware for all their investment in their squad.

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09.57 BST: Football.London reports that Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette "has no intention of extending his stay at Arsenal once his contract expires at the end of the season, so a January move would ensure the Gunners don't miss out on a cash sum."

Alexander Isak, who has a €70m release clause in his Real Sociedad contract according to AS, is reportedly of interest to Arsenal and could move on.

Sources told ESPN that Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Sevilla are all interested in Lacazette. But with his contract expiring, the club may only be able to recoup around £15m on his transfer.

09.32 BST: Manchester United winger Amad Diallo's proposed loan move to Feyenoord could be back on in January, The Sun reports.

The 19-year-old had been set to join the Dutch club in th,e summer for the 2021-22 season, but he then suffered an injury in preseason that scuppered the move.

However, the Ivory Coast international recently returned to first-team training at United, resurrecting hope that he could still make the move to Rotterdam for some much-needed game time in the second half of the season.

08.48 BST: There are plenty of managers being linked with replacing Steve Bruce as Newcastle United manager across a range of newspapers in the UK, but one thing is clear: they all predict a change in the St James' Park hotseat soon.

Last week a Saudi Arabia-led takeover of Newcastle was completed with the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, buying the Premier League club in a deal worth just over £300m.

The Sun reports that former Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is a leading contender to took over on Tyneside, nine months after he was fired from his post at Stamford Bridge and replaced by Thomas Tuchel.

Earlier this week, the Daily Mail reported that Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers, Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and former Dortmund coach Lucien Favre all being considered to replace Bruce, who is reportedly set to be relieved of his duties this week and is in line for an £8m payoff.

Meanwhile, the Daily Telegraph has linked ex-RB Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick with the post, while The Times claims that Belgium national team boss Roberto Martinez is one of the frontrunners to replace Bruce.

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08.00 BST: Liverpool defender Ben Davies plans to return to the club in the summer when his loan at Sheffield United as he still hopes to build his career at Anfield, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Davies joined Liverpool in January in a £500,000 transfer from Championship club Preston North End as cover for Liverpool's many defensive injuries last season, but did not make a single appearance for Jurgen Klopp's side.

Despite that, the 26-year-old wants to return to Merseyside for preseason, to see if he still has any prospect of being part of the squad for the 2022-23 season.

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PAPER GOSSIP

- FC Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi will choose to join either Borussia Dortmund or RB Leipzig in the summer, as has been reported by Sky Sports Deutschland. This comes despite some of Europe's top clubs, including Bayern Munich and Liverpool, both showing real interest in signing the 19-year-old prodigy.

The report says the youngster is looking for a foothold to play in his native Germany and could follow Erling Haaland's path of using Dortmund as place to acclimatise himself to the Bundesliga. The move to either Dortmund or Leipzig could be used as an eventual springboard to Bayern as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski whenever the Poland striker moves on.

- Barcelona don't trust Ousmane Dembele's agent, feeling that he will try to get the winger to leave for free rather than renewing his contract, as has been reported by Mundo Deportivo. The Frenchman's deal culminates in the summer of 2022, with the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool having shown interest in signing him. The belief is that Dembele, who returned to Barca training on Monday after months on the sidelines following surgery, is keen to stay while his agent is already talking to other clubs.

- According to Sky Sports, Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger is weighing up his options and is not in discussions with the Blues about a contract extension, though staying put remains viable. The Germany international's deal comes to an end in the summer of 2022, meaning he will be free to discuss a potential move with foreign clubs in January. It is reported that up to six of Europe's top clubs are willing to offer him a contract.

- Club Brugge attacking midfielder Charles De Ketelaere, who scored for Belgium against Italy in the UEFA Nations League, is receiving plenty of interest, according to Calciomercato. The Italian outlet says that Serie A giants Napoli and AC Milan want to sign the 20-year-old, while Premier League pair West Ham United and Everton are also looking at him.

- Manchester United will consider a cut-price £15m deal for Jesse Lingard if he continues to refuse a contract extension, according to The Sun. The England international has struggled for starts and his deal comes to an end at the end of the season. The 28-year-old has been offered a new contract worth £135,000-per-week, but wants assurances that he'll get game time.

- Free agent Sergio Romero is expected to sign his contract at Venezia, as has been reported by Fabrizio Romano. The former Manchester United goalkeeper had a medical and needs the final details fixed before joining the Serie A outfit. Chelsea were considering the Argentine before signing Marcus Bettinelli.