TOP STORY: Man City want Skriniar to bolster backline
Manchester City look set to back Pep Guardiola in the transfer market this January and the City boss has high hopes of prising Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar away from the San Siro, reports the Athletic.
Skriniar has been a vital part of Inter's title bid under Antonio Conte and his form has attracted interest from Barcelona and Real Madrid. The 24-year-old has become one of the most sought after defenders in Europe, and while City had been considering Leicester City's Caglar Soyuncu and Bournemouth's Nathan Ake, they're now turning their attentions to Italy.
With Inter riding high City might find it hard to sign the Slovakian in January, with Conte in particular unwilling to lose such a key member of his squad at this stage of the season. Skriniar has started every minute of every game in Serie A this season, and is one of Conte's most trusted on-field deputies.
City could welcome back Laporte in this month but if the last few weeks have taught Guardiola anything it's that he needs greater strength in depth at the back. Youngster Eric Garcia has impressed, but Guardiola needs more experience if he has any hope of catching runaway leaders Liverpool, or of succeeding in Europe.
Guardiola's desire to strengthen, and City's willingness to back him, also bodes well for his long-term future at the club.
22.47 GMT: Chelsea are open to offers for left-back Marcos Alonso, according to the Telegraph. The report suggests that the Blues will look to use the money generated from Alonso's potential sale to fund a £40 move for Nathan Ake. Inter are interested in Alonso, however they'd prefer to take the 29-year-old on loan with an option to buy rather than an outright purchase.
22.00 GMT: Calciomercato writes that Bayer Leverkusen, Aston Villa and Newcastle are interested in signing AC Milan striker Krzysztof Piatek -- whose place in the side has been taken by Zlatan Ibrahimovic - in January.
21.13 GMT: Manchester United captain Ashley Young "will be offered the chance to move to Italy this month" amid interest from Serie A clubs, the Telegraph reports.
20.26 GMT: MLS side D.C. United have rejected a loan offer worth $300,000 from 2. Bundesliga outfit Dynamo Dresden for 24-year-old midfielder Russell Canouse, according to the Athletic.
19.39 GMT: Chelsea will continue to monitor Wilfried Zaha and maintain an interest in signing the 27-year-old attacker, but have been put off by Crystal Palace's £80m asking price, the Express writes.
18.52 GMT: Having lost Calum Chambers to injury, Arsenal are in need of another centre-back. According to Goal, the club have identified Merih Demiral, but Juventus do not want to part with the 21-year-old, especially on loan. Jerome Boateng is also said to be under consideration, but the board are reluctant to sanction a deal amid fitness concerns surrounding his lack of action at Bayern Munich this season.
18.05 GMT: In the final six months of his Manchester United contract and unable to break into the first team, Tahith Chong has been offered a £35K-a-week deal and £2m signing bonus by Juventus, who are keen to lure the 20-year-old winger away from Old Trafford ahead of Inter Milan, the Sun reports.
17.18 GMT: Having spent £130m last summer, Arsenal will focus their attentions on one or two loan signings in January, according to Goal. And while Atletico Madrid have made available midfielder Thomas Lemar, and the Gunners do have longstanding interest in the 24-year-old, he's not a player they're prioritising this month.
16.31 GMT: Manchester United's Jesse Lingard is being linked with a move to Serie A and AC Milan.
Sport Italia's Alessandro Jacobone is reporting that Lingard's new agent Mino Raiola proposed Lingard to AC Milan as a possible transfer option.
Lingard is contracted with United until the end of next season -- with an option for the club to add another year -- but the 27-year-old has scored just once this season.
16.17 GMT: Former Wolves winger Ivan Cavaleiro has signed a permanent contract with Fulham.
Cavaleiro joined Fulham last summer on a year-long loan deal but today's news means he will stay at Craven Cottage until the summer of 2024. His contract also has a one-year extension option.
"Since joining us in the summer Ivan has shown real quality and I know there's much more to come," Fulham sporting director Tony Khan said in a statement.
Cavaleiro has registered five goals and six assists since joining Fulham.
The 26-year-old came through the Benfica youth system and has had spells at Deportivo and Monaco.
Many will see the decision to leave long-term agent Will Salthouse for the Israeli negotiator as a clear indication that Zaha is looking for a move away from Crystal Palace.
Palace have rejected several previous bids for the 27-year-old including one believed to be worth around £70m from Everton last summer and a £40m bid from Arsenal during the transfer window before that.
While a January move has not been ruled out, a summer transfer is thought to be more likely.
"There are offers for Cakir, we continue to receive offers. It's been said Liverpool have made an offer," Agaoglu said.
"So a team that is undefeated in the Premier League wants my keeper. In other words, Liverpool's goalkeeper is in my goal."
The 23-year-old is reportedly valued at around £15m by the Turkish team
14.55 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel has been speaking with the press ahead of Wednesday's Coupe de la Ligue quarterfinal clash with Saint-Etienne and hinted there will be minimal January transfer action.
"(Sporting Director) Leonardo has experience, he knows what a team needs to do to win titles," said the German. "We need difficult decisions, which is normal at a club like PSG.
"We are of the same opinion. We do not want to change much during winter. It is a team that is working well together and is in a good frame of mind. We are happy with the group and hope there will be no injuries."
On the topic of Edinson Cavani, who has been linked heavily with a move to Atletico Madrid, Tuchel was encouraged by his two-goal showing against Linas-Montlhery in the Coupe de France over the weekend, but is making no promises.
"It was hard for Edi when he was injured and now he is fighting for his place -- that is what we are asking for," he said. "Edi is a great professional and a great player -- we must never forget that.
"There is competition, everyone wants to play, but I cannot promise anybody anything."
Backup goalkeeper Sergio Rico added that any decision on his future lies with Leonardo and will be decided by the Brazilian and his agent, but reiterated his desire to "help PSG grow as a club and team."
Barry moved to Barcelona six months ago from West Bromwich Albion. Despite interest from other Premier League clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United, Villa is said to be Barry's favoured destination.
Mark Harrison, who helped nurture Barry at West Brom, is now in charge of Villa's academy. Barry's family are also lifelong Villa supporters.
Should the deal go through the 16-year-old will begin with the U23s but will spend time with the first team.
One source at Villa has described the move as "the biggest deal" the club will make this window, and a Premier League debut before the end of the season is a possibility.
The young player's contract is due to finish this summer but Liverpool are reportedly eager to reward him for his progress this season.
Chirivella has made four appearances in cup competitions for the European champions and was integral to Liverpool's 1-0 win over Everton on Sunday.
Drinkwater will remain at Villa until the end of the season after spending the first half of the season on loan at Burnley.
13.37 GMT: Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov has signed a contract extension which will keep him at the Italian club until June 2021.
Kolarov arrived at the club in 2017 from Manchester City and since then has made 113 appearances in all competitions for the club and scored 17 goals.
"I want to thank the club for this contract extension, it means a great deal to me," Kolarov said in a statement on the club's website.
"Even now I see it as another starting point: I intend to keep on improving and developing in order to contribute to the growth of this club."
12.58 GMT: Brighton's Glen Murray is being considered for a short-term deal by both Aston Villa and Newcastle, according to the Guardian.
The striker has made just three Premier League starts this season under Brighton manager Graham Potter. It is being reported that Murray will be allowed to move if a replacement can be secured.
Murray's contract is up during the summer but both Aston Villa and Newcastle have been keen to strengthen their attacking options during this transfer window.
Nottingham Forest and Celtic are also reportedly interested in the 36-year-old who has scored 25 Premier League goals since he joined Brighton in early 2017.
The 17-year-old made his Premier League debut in December against Burnley. Following the match, Spurs manager Jose Mourinho presented him with the match ball.
Parrott had been touted as a possible successor to Harry Kane at the club but Mourinho has dismissed this as premature.
"In this club, we care about our players. It is also to find the best pathway to develop," Mourinho said.
"Some minutes will arrive as it happened against Burnley, and step-by-step but [we are] not in a situation where we see Harry Kane is injured and Parrott is the man to resolve our problems."
11.50 GMT: Arda Turan has had his contract rescinded with Medipol Basaksehir and may have to return to Barcelona, where he still has six months to run on his contract.
The Turkish midfielder joined Basaksehir on a two-and-a-half-year loan deal in January 2018 but the club announced on Tuesday that they had reached a "mutual agreement" to end his stay early.
In theory, that means he will go back Barca, who he joined from Atletico Madrid for around €35m in 2015, signing a deal until 2020.
However, Basaksehir added that Turan "requested to leave the club to open a new page in his career," suggesting he may have something else lined up.
11.36 GMT: Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater's loan move to Aston Villa is nearing completion.
The 29-year-old arrived at Bodymoor Heath this morning to complete a medical to seal the move, according to the BBC. The loan is expected to last until the end of the season.
Drinkwater joined Chelsea for £40m in 2017 after helping Leicester City win the Premier League in 2015-16.
His time at Chelsea was frustrating for the England international, making just 12 Premier League appearances.
He spent the first half of this season on loan at Burnley and only returned to Chelsea this month.
10.58 GMT: Despite rumours that Tottenham's Christian Eriksen might be headed to the Serie A, Inter Milan chief executive Giuseppe Marotta confirmed to Sky Italy that the club has had no contact with Tottenham over the move.
Eriksen's contract with Spurs is due to end this summer and he has been heavily linked with a move away from the club.
"Eriksen? It's not a done deal and we're not in contact with Tottenham," Giuseppe said.
"He's a fantastic player and there here are many clubs in talks to sign Eriksen because he'll be a free agent. I can just say he's a interesting player."
This is not the first time Eriksen has been linked to a European giant. Last summer, the Tottenham star was linked with a move to Real Madrid but no transfer ever materialised.
The loan would reportedly also include a €60m option-to-buy clause to sweeten the deal.
Spurs aren't the only London team looking to move for the 24-year-old with Arsenal also in the picture for a possible transfer. Lemar nearly moved to Arsenal during the 2017 summer transfer window. Instead, the winger moved from Monaco to Atletico Madrid for £52.7m.
Lemar has scored just three goals in 64 appearances since joining Atletico Madrid and the club's manager Diego Simeone has admitted that "he hasn't been able to live up to expectations."
09.51 GMT: Juventus director Fabio Paratici has said Manchester United target Emre Can will not leave the club in January.
Sources have told ESPN that United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was targeting a move for Can and Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff in January.
"He is stay with us," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia when asked about Can's future. "He is one of the most coveted midfielders.
"He has some opportunities and so do we, but I think he can be an important player for our project."
Another player rumoured to be leaving Juventus in January is summer arrival Adrien Rabiot, who has struggled to nail down a place in Sarri's side. However, Paratici defended the ex-Paris Saint-Germain midfielder's performances, following a long period without playing time.
"Rabiot arrived after eight months of inactivity and it's normal that he is only just recovering physically, adapting to different training rhythms and to a new country," Paratici added. "Logically, he struggled at first but he has always produced interesting performances."
09.26 GMT: Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic, currently on loan at Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin, refuses to give up on his dream of rebuilding his career at Anfield.
The Serbia international is in his second loan spell with Hertha, who are now coached by former United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. And the 23-year-old has now told local outlet Der Tagesspiegel that "to be part of the Liverpool team is every footballer's dream."
He added: "I also pursue this dream and think about it a lot. It's a real challenge which pushes me."
In a difficult first half of the season, Grujic has made 17 appearances for Hertha in all competitions. He has scored three goals and set up a further two but, unlike his first season in the Bundesliga, he has not been such a dominant force in Berlin's midfield.
However, he has returned to form under Klinsmann as Hertha picked up eight points from the new coach's first five games in charge. And he left the door open to join the aspiring Bundesliga club on a permanent transfer this summer.
"Let's see what happens in the summer. Liverpool will also have their say," Grujic said. "We have not discussed my future yet. But everyone at the club knows that I feel well here in Berlin, especially with the new coach now."
08.59 GMT: Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix says he would like to return one day to make history at former club Benfica.
The Portugal international, 20, became the fourth most expensive footballer in history when Atletico paid Benfica €126 million for him last summer.
Felix told Benfica Play: "Now I see how happy I was at Benfica. I plan to return one day and leave my mark on the club."
Felix went on to score 20 goals in 43 matches in 2018-19 and became the youngest player to score a Europa League hat trick, triggering his switch from Portugal's capital to that of Spain.
08.32 GMT: Barcelona have inquired about Palmeiras midfielder Matheus Fernandes, sources have told ESPN Brasil.
Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte first reported that, in the past few days, Barca have made an initial consultation regarding Fernandes.
Palmeiras acquired Fernandes from Botafogo for €3.5m last season and he is under contract through 2023. The 21-year-old lacked opportunities under coaches Luiz Felipe Scolari and Mano Menezes but ended the season as a starter under interim coach Andrey Lopes.
It's not the first time Barca have shown an interest in the Brazilian as the Catalan outfit had monitored the player in 2017 when he was doing well at Botafogo.
08.00 GMT: Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang insists he is committed to the club in response to reports that he may be leaving the Gunners.
Aubameyang, 30, has 18 months to run on his contract and so far no discussions have opened over a renewal.
The Daily Mirror reported last week that Barcelona and inter Milan were interested in the Gabon international, but Aubameyang has played down such talk.
"I would also like to react to some of the rumours that are going around about me in the media," he wrote in his programme notes ahead of Monday's FA Cup third-round win over Leeds (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), which he missed through illness.
"People like making up stories and they should focus on what's happening on the pitch. They talk too much and it does my head in!
"I am the Arsenal captain. I love this club. I am committed to it and desperate to bring it back to the top, where it belongs."
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PAPER TALK (by Shaun Reynolds)
Madrid offer stars plus cash in exchange for Pogba
Gareth Bale, Isco, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos are reported as players that could be part of the exchange -- though high wage demands from those four players could act as a potential stumbling block for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pogba has long been linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Madrid declaring their interest in the 26-year-old midfielder in the previous three transfer windows.
An ankle injury has restricted the Frenchman's progress this term, with only two appearances registered since September.
The Sun's reports adds that United boss Solskjaer wouldn't be hurt by Pogba's departure should the midfielder opt to leave.
Napoli willing to pay big money for Chelsea flop Boga
Chelsea flop Jeremie Boga has reportedly been the focal point of Napoli's early transfer window business.
The Express has reported that the inconsistent Serie A outfit has placed a bid of £17 million to current club Sassuolo -- for whom Boga has made 18 appearances this term and scored four goals.
The 23-year-old is also said to be on Inter Milan, Everton, Brighton and Barcelona's radars. Last season, Boga enjoyed a successful loan stint at Championship club Birmingham City.
- Argentine prospect Ezequiel Barco has caught the attention of Manchester United chief Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to TNT. The 20-year-old made 26 appearances for MLS side Atlanta United last season -- scoring four goals and weighing in with six assists. The report also states that Arsenal, Inter Milan, Roma and Sporting Lisbon are also keen on the attacking midfielder.
- The Sun reports that Norwich, Watford, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace have missed out on snapping up non-league star Muhammadu Faal, who has instead favoured a move to former top flight giants Bolton Wanderers. Cousin of Liverpool's Joe Gomez, Faal -- formerly of Enfield Town -- notched 24 goals in 25 games before confirming his jump up to England's third tier.