TOP STORY: Arsenal interested in wantaway Odegaard
The Norway international midfielder was once considered to be the future of the Spanish giants but now he seems destined to depart the Bernabeu sooner rather than later.
Sources have told ESPN that the 22-year-old is keen to leave the club this month in search of regular playing time. Odegaard has played just 367 minutes this season for Los Blancos after tallying seven goals and nine assists last season while on loan at Real Sociedad.
Regardless, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta wants strengthen his squad, particular in attacking midfield, it therefore seems that Odegaard could be very viable option. However, he may face competition from Leicester and Sociedad.
22.00 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!
21.42 GMT: Brighton have moved closer to signing Ecuadorian starlet Moises Caicedo, Sky Sports is reporting.
According to Independiente Del Valle's General Manager Santiago Morales, the 19-year-old is expected to fly to England on Friday to finalise his £4.5 million move to Brighton. The report adds that a work permit has already been arranged for the midfielder, as well as a 20 per-cent sell-on clause. The youngster was widely tipped to join Manchester United, but ultimately a transfer proved too complicated for the Red Devils.
Caicedo may not jump right in at Brighton, as the youngster could be loaned to Belgian side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, who are owned by Brighton owner Tony Bloom.
20.29 GMT: Leicester have ended their pursuit of Inter Milan playmaker Christian Eriksen, according to the Telegraph.
With Dennis Praet ruled out three months with a hamstring injury, the Foxes reportedly made an enquiry regarding the attacking midfielder. But a deal has been ruled out, as Eriksen's £300,000-a-week wages would be too much to cope with. Eriksen has also been linked with PSG, Aston Villa and former club Tottenham.
19.41 GMT: Celtic are having their worst season in years -- they are 20 points behind leaders Rangers -- and reinforcements are badly needed.
The Scotsman claims a couple could be on the way with Crystal Palace and Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy and Stoke winger Tom Ince reportedly firm targets. McCarthy, who grew up in Glasgow as a Hoops fan, previously played in Scotland with Hamilton Academical and would provide a presence in central defence, while the versatile Ince, the son of Premier League legend Paul, is a player noted for his pace, skill and trickiness as a wide-man.
Celtic need help and fast but it may already be too late for the nine-time defending SPL champions...
19.05 GMT: Are Arsenal closing in on wantaway Real Madrid starlet Martin Odegaard?
Spanish outlet Sport claims the Norwegian is one step away from moving to the Emirates on loan, as he seeks to find regular playing time. Now 22, Odegaard had a breakout season last campaign on loan at Real Sociedad, but this season has managed just 367 minutes over all competitions under Zinedine Zidane back at parent club Real Madrid.
Mikel Arteta is keen to add an attacking midfielder to his side and a player of Odegaard's ilk would surely be welcome at the Emirates.
18.33 GMT: Norwich have recalled United States international Sebastian Soto from his loan at Telstar.
The 20-year-old, who signed after leaving Hannover 96 in the summer, scored seven goals in 12 appearances during his spell in Holland. The striker's return is subject to confirmation of a work permit, which once received would make him eligible to feature for Norwich City.
Soto scored a brace for the USMNT in November against Panama in just his second senior appearance for the Stars and Stripes.
18.02 GMT: Everton have acquired England international Jill Scott on loan from Manchester City.
The 33-year-old, who previously played at Everton from 2006-2013, has made 149 appearances for the Three Lionesses, scoring 25 international goals.
17.26 GMT: United States international Duane Holmes is closing in on a move to Huddersfield Town, according to multiple reports in England.
Currently with Wayne Rooney's Derby County, the 26-year-old would re-join HuddersfIeld, where he came through the academy and spent 14 years. Wayne Rooney provided an update on Holmes' future on Wednesday telling the media: "I believe he's close to leaving the club but I don't know the full details just yet.
"I want players who give everything for the cause and who fight for the team."
The midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season, has been at Derby since 2018 and has made 83 appearances for the Rams.
17.00 GMT: Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says the club are keen on signing RB Leizpig defender Dayot Upamecano.
"We will of course deal with it, not only with this player, but in principle, on which positions we want to do and have to do something," he told Bild.
However, He added that it is "a bit too early" to assume that Upamecano will move to Munich, claiming that "the player will stay at Leipzig at least until the end of the season."
Upamecano, 22, has been tracked by all Europe's top clubs including Man United, City, Arsenal, Liverpool, PSG and Bayern. And, despite committing his future to Julien Nagelsmann's team by signing a new contract last year, reports in Germany claim that the new deal includes a release clause of €42m, which can be triggered at the end of the 2020-21 season.
16.28 GMT: Real Madrid want to keep Zinedine Zidane until the end of the season despite the disappointment following the team's early exit from the Copa del Rey, club sources have told ESPN's Rodrigo Faez and Adriana Garcia.
Madrid lost 2-1 to Spanish third division club Alcoyano in extra-time to crash out of the Copa in the last 32, a setback hot on the heels of last week's 2-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Supercup semifinal.
The French coach has not had the same backing as in previous occasions with Wednesday's defeat having caused much damage to Zidane's image.
However, Real Madrid's board, led by president Florentino Perez, is not considering sacking the coach unless a catastrophe occurs.
Sources tell ESPN that within the club there is great anger over the Frenchman's decisions. Few understand why Zidane insists on keeping players like Marcelo and Isco, while at the same they they understand the blame should be shared.
15.21 GMT: Chelsea's issues go beyond Frank Lampard's management. Gab Marcotti explains why they aren't giving up on him yet.
Chelsea made a huge call this past summer, one that cut against conventional wisdom and the actions of virtually every other big club: they doubled down and spent big on new players during a pandemic, at a time when they knew revenue was going to be severely affected (indeed, it has been) and without knowing for how long. Matchday income went down to zero, media revenue declined as broadcasters asked for (and obtained) rebates, while commercial partners began scaling back.
Chelsea's decision to sign players during the pandemic and bring in Timo Werner, Edouard Mendy, Malang Sarr, Ben Chilwell and Kai Havertz (plus Hakim Ziyech, whose deal had been agreed before we knew what COVID-19 was, and Thiago Silva, who arrived on a free transfer, but with a hefty salary) might have been counterintuitive, but from a certain perspective, it made sense. They were accumulating assets at a time when the competition was, broadly, scaling back -- assets that would appreciate in value if they played well and, because they are young, retain value if they struggled.
The problem is that the pandemic worked both ways.
It might have been somewhat cheaper to buy, but it also became very difficult to sell or even loan players on the sort of salaries Chelsea players have. No fewer than 11 since-departed players -- and their wages -- were still at Stamford Bridge, waiting to find out what their future might hold when the season began. Some, like Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek, featured at the start of the campaign. Lampard, already with a very limited preseason and few friendlies to work with, had to deal with a bloated squad, which only made it more difficult to work. Throw in injuries to some key players (Ziyech, Christian Pulisic) as well as the late arrival of Havertz, and there simply wasn't time to make the sort of decisions and experiments that would ordinarily be made in preseason.
14.45 GMT: Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli has been linked with a move to PSG, where he would rejoin former manager Mauricio Pochettino.
Nicol: Pogba finally realised being a diva wouldn't cut it
Steve Nicol says Paul Pogba has finally put his head down and his game has come together at Man United.
14.02 GMT: Palmeiras star Gabriel Veron is attracting interest from Manchester United, reports Sport.
Veron, 18, has been tracked by Arsenal, Barcelona, Manchester City and Juventus in the past and has a €60m release clause in his contract, which expires in 2025.
The Brazil U17 forward has 10 goals in 35 games for the club and United are reportedly leading the race to sign him. However, they have been burned before on players called Veron...
14.00 GMT: Borussia Monchengladbach have signed Kouadio Kone from French Ligue 2 side Toulouse FC.
Kone, 19, will return to Toulouse on loan for the rest of the season and then join the Bundesliga side in the summer. The fee for the France youth international is believed to be €9m, kicker reported.
"Kouadio Kone is a really interesting player, who we have been following for some time now for the France youth national teams and his club Toulouse," said Borussia sporting director Max Eberl. "He is a huge talent who has been monitored by top clubs from across Europe. We're delighted that he has chosen to join Borussia Monchengladbach and the Bundesliga."
13.31 GMT: Jordan Morris has left training camp for the United States men's national team, the U.S. Soccer Federation announced on Wednesday.
Morris' departure had the blessing of U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter, with one source confirming to ESPN reports that the Seattle Sounders winger is in the process of finalizing a six-month loan to English Championship side Swansea City.
Morris, 26, was one of 12 senior players originally called into camp alongside another 26 players from the U.S. under-23 team. The U.S. is scheduled to play Trinidad & Tobago at Orlando's Exploria Stadium on Jan. 31. The USSF also announced that New York City FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson has withdrawn from the camp due to a knee strain. Neither player will be replaced on the roster.
Morris has spent his entire professional career with the Sounders, spurning on offer from Werder Bremen when he signed with the Sounders in 2015. He has scored 42 goals in 129 league, playoff and cup appearances. During his tenure in Seattle, the Sounders claimed two MLS Cups, and reached the final on two other occasions, including the 2020 season when Seattle fell 3-0 to the Columbus Crew.
Ogden: Dele Alli needs a move, but PSG isn't the answer
Mark Ogden says Dele Alli isn't playing enough and believes a loan spell could suit him and Tottenham well.
12.47 GMT: Everton midfielder Bernard could be set to leave in January, but only if a club meets the £9m asking price, says The Daily Telegraph.
Bernard, 28, has slipped down the pecking order and Everton are keen to trim their wage bill before making a move for any new targets.
United Arab Emirates club Al Nasr have been linked with the Brazilian.
12.18 GMT: Tottenham have seemingly been looking for a new striker for years, though it's hard to find a good one that would be happy playing backup to Harry Kane.
The Sun claims that Southampton's Danny Ings is the man they want, given his contract ends in 18 months.
The report says: "Ings is keeping his options open and would like to join a club playing in Europe's elite club competition. Jose Mourinho is understood to be a huge fan of the England strker, who has scored 27 Premier League goals since the start of last season."
Meanwhile, talkSPORT claims that Spurs are among the clubs interested in signing Manchester United midfielder Jesse Lingard.
Lingard and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in a tug-of-war over his future, sources have told ESPN's Rob Dawson.
Lingard is desperate to find regular first-team football after making just three appearances so far this season. Solskjaer is sympathetic to the 28-year-old's situation but is keen to keep him at Old Trafford this month as he prepares for a busy second half of the season with games in three competitions.
Jordan Morris can expect 'a great learning curve' if he joins Swansea
Jurgen Klinsmann comments on Jordan Morris' pending loan move to Swansea City.
11.28 GMT: Yaya Toure is reportedly set to take his first steps into coaching at Ukrainian side Olympic Donetsk.
Toure, 37, enjoyed a superb playing career which included spells at Barcelona and Manchester City, while he won 97 caps for Ivory Coast. His last playing contract was at Qingdao Huanghai in the Chinese Super League, but reports suggest he will start his coaching career in the country he played in from 2003 to 2005.
He made three appearances for the now-disbanded Metalurh Donetsk over those two seasons but is now set to join Vicente Gomez's coaching staff at neighbours Olympic Donetsk. Toure's former agent Dimitry Seluk commented on the news on Twitter, saying: "Yaya started his football career in the Donetsk club. He will also start his coach's career at the Donetsk club.
"Unfortunately, Metalurh is no longer there. [He] Will come to Olympic. Thanks to the president and head coach who invited Yaya to pass on his experience to young footballers as an assistant coach."
11.01 GMT: There's a familiar ritual whenever Chelsea struggle in midseason -- and make no mistake about it, seven points out of a possible 24 in their past eight Premier League outings is a massive tailspin -- and it centres around an impatient Roman Abramovich, surrounded by a virtual (possibly Zoom or, more likely, Telegram-based) court of agents, advisers and friends-of-friends, worthy of "Game of Thrones," pushing potential replacements and the urgency of change.
And so, the questions are inevitable. How safe is Frank Lampard's job? Who are Chelsea lining up to replace him? How soon before Lampard leaves?
- Marcotti: Why Chelsea aren't giving up on Lampard yet
Why Man United might be wary of letting Jesse Lingard leave
ESPN FC's Mark Ogden provides an update over Jesse Lingard's future at Manchester United.
10.42 GMT: Real Sociedad coach Imanol Alguacil says Wednesday's win at Cordoba was not Willian Jose's last game for the club.
The Brazilian striker, who scored both goals in the 2-0 win to send Real Sociedad into the Copa del Rey's round of 16 (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), is widely expected to leave the Basque outfit in the winter transfer window.
Last January, Tottenham made an offer to Real Sociedad for Willian Jose that is well below the player's €70m release clause and the La Liga club is now reportedly considering loaning the striker to Wolverhampton Wanderers for the remainder of the campaign (see Paper Talk section below).
"What can I tell you is what you say, that he played against Cordoba and that he scored two goals," Alguacil said. "He will most likely be with us in Saturday's league game against Betis. That's all I can say."
Willian Jose, 29, has a contract with Real Sociedad until June 2024. He has scored six goals and set up one more in 21 appearances this season.
Real Sociedad will sign Sevilla striker Carlos Fernandez in a reported €10m transfer as a replacement for the Brazilian.
10.00 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has expressed his relief at trimming an "unmanageable" squad but is hopeful of negotiating a tough market to make additions before the January transfer window closes.
The Gunners have terminated the contracts of Mesut Ozil and Sokratis Papastathopoulos while allowing Sead Kolasinac to see out the remaining six months of his deal on loan at Schalke and sending William Saliba to Nice.
"We could not carry on with 31 players in the squad," Arteta told a news conference. "It is unmanageable. As well when you have to leave some of the foreign players out, it makes it even more difficult.
"To do it for a few weeks is okay, to do it for months and maintain the health, the ambition and the chemistry is really complicated. So, one of the main objectives was to make some decision of how we are going to offset that. We have done it. Just for me, the important thing is everybody feels involved, part, and that they have a chance."
Kolasinac's departure leaves Arsenal with only Kieran Tierney as a naturally left-footed left-back and Arteta admitted the club would look to strengthen that position, adding to their search for a back-up goalkeeper and a creative midfielder.
"With the departures of Kola we are a little bit short with left-footed full;-backs at the moment," he said. "We can use Ainsley [Maitland-Niles], we can use Bukayo [Saka], we can use Cedric [Soares], who has played in that position.
"So we have some unnatural options. To Kieran, obviously we don't, but we can adapt. That option [to sign someone] is open and we will be looking to see what is available."
09.40 GMT: Crystal Palace have announced the signing of French forward Jean-Philippe Mateta on loan from Bundesliga club Mainz.
Mateta moves to Selhurst Park on an 18-month loan with an option to make the move permanent, subject to international clearance.
The 23-year-old scored 10 goals in 17 appearances in all competitions for Mainz this season. However, he has not scored since his hat trick against Freiburg in mid-November and was not even made the squad for the club's last few games.
👊 Welcome to the Palace, Jean-Philippe Mateta.#CPFC— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 21, 2021
09.07 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino has said he is certain the club will do everything to retain both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
The French champions are in negotiations to extend the contracts of their two stars, whose 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 for a world record €222m transfer fee in 2017.
"I believe the club is working on it," Pochettino told Cadena Ser. "They are obviously making an effort to renew the contracts of the players they believe are important not just for the present but for the future."
Earlier this week, PSG sporting director Leonardo said that he has "good vibes on both those cases."
Asked if he is worried about losing either Neymar or Mbappe next summer, Pochettino said: "You always want the best players at your club. Paris [PSG] has the strength and capacity to convince and prove how important these types of players are. I have no doubt whatsoever that the club will do everything possible to keep the players."
Pochettino is not surprised that many clubs are monitoring Mbappe's contract situation.
"It's clear that Kylian is a player with enormous potential," the Argentinian, who took over PSG earlier this month, said. "He's 22 and no one is going to now discover Mbappe. Which coach wouldn't like to have a player like Mbappe in their team for a long time!"
08.26 GMT: Boca Juniors want to sign Manchester United defneder Marcos Rojo, according to TyC Sports.
The Argentine defender, whose contract at Old Trafford runs until the summer, has made one appearance for United's reserves this season.
Rojo, 30, has reportedly received an offer from the Buenos Aires giants to join the club on a three-year contract. He spent part of last season on loan at Estudiantes de la Plata,
Rojo joined United shortly after the 2014 World Cup and played several matches for the club but since the 2017-2018 season, Rojo has only taken part in 27 matches.
08.00 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."
Juventus 'played with more bite' in Supercoppa vs. Napoli
Gab Marcotti recaps a tense Supercoppa final with Juventus just edging Napoli in a 2-0 win.
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Marseille's deal for Milik imminent
The final details are now being arranged before it is officially confirmed, with the belief being that it will be a loan deal with the option to buy later on down the road.
The Polish striker, who has been completely frozen out in Naples this season, is keen to move on after four-and-a-half-year spell in Italy and find some form ahead of Euro 2020.
Wolves agree to deal for Willian Jose
The 29-year-old, who played for La Real tonight in the Copa del Rey and scored both goals in a 2-0 win, is waiting for a permit due to the new post-Brexit regulations and won't be able to arrive in the country until next week.
Wolves, who have been struggling to find form in recent weeks, have needed another goalscoring outlet in the wake of Raul Jimenez's scary head injury earlier this season.
- Lazio are interested in signing Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, Citta Celeste reports. Lazio's director of football Igli Tare has made contact with the Gunners, and with Mustafi not even starting for Arsenal in the Premier League this season, it seems the club could add to its growing list of departutes this month.
- Juventus are interested in trying to sign Liberato Cacace from Sint-Truiden, Fabrizio Romano reports. The deal would see Cacace, who has been with the Belgian club since last year, join Juve's Under-23s team. Cacace is widely considered to be one of the fastest rising footballers to come out of New Zealand, and a move to the Italian champions would surely confirm that status.
- Sky Sports is reporting that Fulham are willing to listen to offers for Stefan Johansen, Maxime Le Marchand and Jean Michael Seri during the January transfer window. The Cottagers are starting to show signs of life in their push for survival this season, and in order to keep progressing, it appears as if Scott Parker wants to thin out the squad to start the new year.