The January Transfer Window opens in 29 days’ time, as clubs across Europe consider sticking or twisting with the squads they assembled last summer.
With no fewer than three managerial changes made in the Premier League already this season, the likes of Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho and interim Arsenal manager Freddie Ljungberg may look to adjust things next month.
Will Manchester City bolster in an attempt to chase-down league leaders Liverpool? Will West Ham offer further investment to Manuel Pellegrini? Will Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester strengthen their push for top-four and above? And there’s Manchester United…
Elsewhere, we’ll keep you abreast of Barcelona and Real Madrid’s movements, and bring you best from the Championship also.
Here are the latest transfer news and rumours on Tuesday December 3rd…
We understand that Arsenal consider Freddie Ljungberg as a genuine contender to be their next permanent manager and will offer him the job if he instigates a sufficient turnaround in fortunes.
The Blues could be set to miss out on Napoli full-back Elseid Hysaj, with Calciomercato reporting Serie A outfit Roma ready to make a move for the Albania international in January.
The same outlet also offers an exclusive on out-of-favour striker Olivier Giroud being offered to AC Milan by the west London outfit.
The Reds are set to battle it out with Chelsea for Genk’s highly-rated midfielder Sander Berge, according to reports in Norway.
Pep Guardiola says the club will wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to hand Fernandinho a new contract.
The 34-year-old’s current deal runs out next summer and he’s already been told he is unlikely to play in midfield again after impressing at centre-back.
“I think at the end of the season we are going to decide on the situation,” said the City manager.
“The players who finished their contracts, the players with full contracts, what we have to do is what we believe is the best for the club and organisation for next season.”
The Manchester United board have “no intention” of sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite a series of disappointing results, report The Athletic.
Gazzetto dello Sport say United could face a battle from Arsenal to sign Juventus defender Merih Demiral, the 21-year-old who only joined the Bianconeri in the summer from Sassuolo.
The LaLiga giants are said to re preparing to make an offer for Napoli’s 28-year-old Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly, according to Calciomercato.
Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is planning for life without Christian Eriksen after the midfielder made it clear he will not be renewing his contract at Spurs.
The Telegraph reports that Eriksen will allow his current deal to run down before departing North London for free at the end of the season.
Guardiola unsure over Fernandinho new deal
Fernandinho will have to wait until the end of the season to find out if he has a future at Manchester City.
And Pep Guardiola has also ruled out making any January additions, despite the Premier League champions’ title defence being in danger of falling away before Christmas.
Fernandinho is out of contract in the summer and has already been told he’s unlikely to play in midfield for City again.
The 34-year-old has had to deputise for the injured Aymeric Laporte as a makeshift centre back this season, with Guardiola no longer considering him among his holding midfield options.
City have begun fresh contract negotiations with Raheem Sterling, despite the England international only just committing himself to a new deal in the past 12 months.
But Guardiola confirmed Fernandinho will have to wait. “I think at the end of the season we are going to decide on the situation,” said the City manager. “The players who finished their contracts, the players with full contracts, what we have to do is what we believe is the best for the club and organisation for next season.”
Guardiola is still eager to add a centre back to his squad after missing out on Harry Maguire in the summer. But he insists there will be no new additions when the mid-season transfer window opens.
“I don’t want any players in January,” he said. “I don’t want any players. If we cannot do it in summer, we cannot do in January.
“When they come for an incredible opportunity in January for the next four, five, six years maybe we could think about it, but that is not possible.
“Normally the players we could think it would be interesting to add something for our squad they are not going to sell.
“We could not sign a centre-back (in the summer). You know the history – we could not sign one. Nico (Otamendi) continued and we decided to adapt Fernandinho in this position and that’s all.
“Sometimes the club wants to try to do their best, but we cannot. We have to adapt and adjust with the players that we have and next season we will see.”
Soyuncu happy at Leicester – agent
Leicester City defender Caglar Soyuncu is not looking to leave the club amid reported interest from Manchester City, says the player’s agent.
Soyuncu has caught the eye with a series of impressive performances since his £15m move from Bundesliga outfit Freiburg last summer.
But his agent Mustafa Dogru told Turkish radio station Radyospor his client is happy to remain at the King Power Stadium.
“After such performances in the Premier League, it is quite natural for transfer news to appear,” he said.
“Caglar now focuses on the success of the team. A transfer is neither on his nor the club’s agenda. I don’t know what’s going on in the future, but he’s thinking about his achievements at Leicester City and with the national team.”
Chelsea to sell Pasalic?
Atalanta will take up their option to sign Chelsea midfielder Mario Pasalic on a permanent deal this summer, according to reports Italy.
Tuttosport say the Orobici, who agreed a two-year loan for the Croatia international in 2018, have been impressed with the 24-year-old.
And with a €15m fee agreed in the loan deal, the Serie A side are ready to take Palasic to Bergamo on a permanent deal in the summer.
That would represent a sizeable profit for the Blues, who signed Pasalic from Hajduk Split in 2014 for £3m.
Coutinho eyes Bayern permanent deal
Philippe Coutinho’s loan move to Bayern Munich may have got off to a rocky start but the Brazilian, now settled in Germany, says he would be happy to make his move a permanent one.
The former Liverpool star endured a nightmare 18-month spell at Barcelona following a club-record £145m move but has found form again with the Bundesliga giants.
And speaking to Bild, Coutinho said: “I know I should play, I want to play better.
“The plan is that I stay here for a year. If everything fits, then I’d love to stay.”
Premier League rivals to battle for Berge
Chelsea and Liverpool are to step up their interest in Genk’s highly-rate midfielder Sander Berge, according to reports in Norway.
The Norwegian impressed playing against the Reds in the Champions League tie last month while Chelsea have watched the 21-year-old for some time due to their links with the Belgian club.
But league leaders Liverpool may have stolen ahead after Jurgen Klopp personally praised the young midfielder after their recent meeting at Anfield, with Berge admitting he was “a great moment”.
Rakitic frustrated with lack of playing time
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has declared his frustration at being limited to a bit-part role at the Camp Nou amid speculation linking him with a move to the Premier League.
The Croatian says he wants to stay at the Camp Nou and doesn’t understand why he has been frozen out of the first team after the arrival of Frenkie De Jong from Ajax.
“What I want to do is enjoy, doing my best because I still have a lot to give,” he told Mundo Deportivo.
“I have the confidence of the team-mates and if the coach puts me in, I understand that it will also be so. Now I have to get hooked in these matches and keep improving.
“I don’t understand the situation because I want to play. If I can play, there is no better place than Barca. I want to enjoy every day and if it can be here, much better.”
Pochettino ready for job offers in Europe
Mauricio Pochettino was only sacked by Tottenham last month but the Argentinian coach insists he is ready to take on his next challenge.
Pochettino is out of work for the first time since early 2013, following five and a half year with Spurs and, previously, just shy of 18 months with Southampton.
But after turning Tottenham into Champions League regulars, and then runners-up last season, Pochettino is not lacking admirers and says he will listen to job offers.
“There are a lot of clubs and attractive projects for me to take on,” said Pochettino, speaking to Fox Sports in Argentina.
“But, for the time being, the most important thing is for me to clear my head after five-and-a-half incredible seasons with Tottenham.
“My aim is to seek the ability to rebuild myself and get my self-motivation back.
“It is my intention to return to manage in Europe. It is hard for me to imagine a project in Argentina. However for the sake of my family, I would not refuse to work over here.
“But now I need to be calm for a few days and see what happens. I haven’t had a lot of time to digest what has happened with me.
“My first decision was to come back to Argentina, return to my home and see family and friends. But I expect to return to Europe to make decisions on my future.
“My best decision was to come to Argentina to switch off for 10 days. At my age I don’t need a lot of time to recover. I am open to listen to projects put before me.”
CRYSTAL PALACE NEWS
Hodgson: Zaha must honour contract
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson says he is counting on Wilfried Zaha to ignore speculation linking him with a move away from the club and “respect” his contract.
The Ivory Coast winger was strongly linked with a move to Arsenal over the summer but Palace’s £80m price tag meant the Gunners cooled their interest and signed Nicolas Pepe instead.
And keeping Zaha is something Hodgson is “very pleased” about.
“We’re very pleased to have him with us still and I very much count on having him with us still,” he told reporters.
“You never know, that’s the only thing I say. I’m not going to make bold statements and say we’re not going to have a big club come in for Zaha… we’d have to take it into consideration.
“When you’re a team like ourselves, there’s always going to be a risk that bids and attempts to prize him away will happen to you. Fortunately for me and the club, we’ve been able to bat those requests away but we have to take each situation as it comes.
“What happened in the summer was that the club responded they didn’t feel there was the right money to accept and he didn’t see it that way, but he has to respect his four-year contract with the club.”
Rodgers: Why would I want to leave Leicester?
Brendan Rodgers has distanced himself from speculation regarding the vacant managerial hotseat at Arsenal.
The ex-Liverpool boss’ stellar work at Leicester has led to fresh links regarding the Gunners, who were first said to be interested back in 2018.
Rodgers was once again asked about Arsenal during a press conference held before the Foxes host struggling Watford in the Premier League on Wednesday, having hinted after Sunday’s win over Everton that there was perhaps a release clause in his Leicester contract.
“I have a contract here until 2022,” Rodgers told reporters.
“I gave an honest answer about how all managers have some sort of clause in their contracts and suddenly that seems to have thrown a door wide open.
“Thus far I know managers are losing their jobs, the club have not indicated to me that they are going to sack me. I’m very happy so would have no need to look elsewhere.”
He added: “Why would I want to leave Leicester at this time? I’m working with a group of players who have so much potential.
“For me, I repeat, I’m very happy here. I feel I want to continue with that. Take from that what you want.”
Inter target Vidal swoop?
In addition to monitoring developments with Arsenal’s Aubameyang, Inter Milan may also strengthen their midfield with the capture of Arturo Vidal.
One Gazzetta dello Sport journalist claims that the experienced Chilean is ready to leave Barcelona, with Manchester United among the clubs interested in his services.
However, it has been speculated that Vidal would have a preference for Inter, with Nerazzurri CEO Beppe Marotta stating his admiration for the player.
“He is a great player,” he recently told reporters, per Football Italia.
“He’s an important player in world football and someone Antonio Conte and I have built a great friendship with.
“We have great admiration for this player, but many teams would like to sign him.
“Unfortunately he is a Barcelona player but, with some positive meetings, we might be able to think about it.”
MAN CITY NEWS
Soyuncu not thinking about Leicester exit
Rumoured Manchester City target Caglar Soyuncu has no intention of seeking a move away from high-flying Leicester, according to the player’s agent.
The Turkish defender has done brilliantly for the Foxes following Harry Maguire’s big-money move to Manchester United, helping Brendan Rodgers’ side emerge as arguably the most credible current threat to Liverpool’s title charge.
City have struggled for defensive cover with Vincent Kompany gone and Aymeric Laporte injured and have turned to Fernandinho as a makeshift centre-back.
While the Brazilian has generally impressed, it is not a long-term solution and City have frequently been linked with Soyuncu.
“After such performances in the Premier League, it is quite natural for transfer news to appear,” his agent told Turkish radio station Radyospor.
“Caglar now focuses on the success of the team. A transfer is neither on his nor the club’s agenda.
“I don’t know what’s going on in the future, but he’s thinking about his achievements at Leicester City and with the national team.”
Atalanta’s Kulusevski ‘a Chelsea fan’
Chelsea may just have been handed a sizable boost in the race to sign Atalanta’s Dejan Kulusevski.
Talksport say that several Premier League and Serie A heavyweights have been linked with the teenage playmaker, who has been impressing during a loan stint at Parma.
However, Kulusevski, valued at around £40m, admitted to Fotbollskanalen that Chelsea were his favourite team other than Swedish outfit Hammarby.
Whether that makes any difference whatsoever remains to be seen, of course, with the player having reiterated that he is happy to see out his loan at Parma.
Liverpool ‘favourites’ to sign Sancho
Back to Anfield, where there could be a star new arrival before long if certain figures are to be believed.
Former footballer-turned-pundit Jan Aage Fjortoft says on Twitter he has heard from a “very good source” in Germany that Liverpool are the current favourites to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund.
It had been claimed that BVB were ready to listen to offers for the England international in January after a breakdown in the relationship between club and player, with all of the Premier League’s top clubs credited with an interest.
Will former Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp win the race?
Celtic scout midfielder Soro
Heading north of the border for a moment now, with reports suggesting that Celtic are eyeing Ismaila Soro.
According to the Scottish Sun, the Hoops dispatched scouts to watch the Ivorian in action for Israeli Premier League outfit Bnei Yehuda over the weekend and will continue to monitor his progress.
Soro, a defensive midfielder, is said to be rated at the £3m mark.
Liverpool to step up Berge efforts?
Liverpool could accelerate attempts to bolster their midfield options in the near future with Fabinho sidelined.
The Brazilian has played a key role in the club’s title pursuit, yet is now facing six to eight weeks on the sidelines with ankle ligament damage suffered against Napoli in the Champions League.
The Mirror reported over the weekend that such a blow could see Liverpool ramp up their efforts to sign Sander Berge from Genk.
The 21-year-old has played against the Reds in Europe this term and has only 18 months left to run on his current deal.
He could reportedly be available for only £18m, though there are suggestions that Chelsea and Napoli are also keeping tabs on the player.
Inter monitoring Aubameyang situation
Could Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang follow Unai Emery out of Arsenal?
Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb suggest that Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan are currently following developments regarding the recently-appointed Gunners captain, particularly with Lautaro Martinez attracting attention from Barcelona.
Aubameyang only has two year left to run on his current Arsenal contract.
Coutinho eyeing Bayern stay
Philippe Coutinho is hoping to stay at Bayern Munich for the long term.
The former Liverpool playmaker is currently on a season-long loan in Bavaria after struggling for form in the aftermath of a big-money move from Anfield to La Liga.
Bayern’s deal for Coutinho includes an option to buy for a fee of around €120m and he is evidently hoping that is exercised.
“I’m very comfortable,” Coutinho said, according to Marca.
“I plan to stay here for the year and I’m focused on my time here.
“If everything fits, then I’d love to stay.”
Watford players ‘want homegrown boss’ after Flores sacking
Watford are once again on the lookout for a new manager ahead of a potentially pivotal January transfer window after the second coming of Quique Sanchez Flores to Vicarage Road lasted only 85 days.
The Hornets have traditionally looked overseas for their managerial appointments over recent years, but the Daily Mail now report that Watford’s players would like the next boss to be homegrown.
Former Brighton chief Chris Hughton has been mentioned as the early front-runner to replace Flores, while ex-Swansea, Derby and Reading manager Paul Clement is a surprise name said to be in the frame.
Spurs and Liverpool track Depay
Tottenham and Liverpool are reportedly on the trail of Lyon’s Memphis Depay.
The Dutchman has successfully resurrected his career in France after a disappointing spell at Manchester United and continues to be linked with a return to the Premier League.
Calcio Mercato claim that both Spurs and Liverpool like Depay, whose current deal at Lyon is due to expire in the summer of 2021.
The 25-year-old is said to be valued at around €50million by his current club.
MAN UTD NEWS
Solskjaer doesn’t rule out Grealish move
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears to have declined to rule out Jack Grealish as a potential transfer target.
Aston Villa captain Grealish enjoyed a memorable afternoon on Sunday as Dean Smith’s side impressed at Old Trafford, opening the scoring in an entertaining 2-2 draw with a superb strike.
“I can’t talk too much about other teams’ players, if they’re Man United calibre or targets,” Solskjaer said afterwards, per The Mirror.
“But fantastic goal, I think he hit one of them corners I hit a couple of times.
“It was a great finish, but we should defend better, show him down the left.
“But what a goal and he played a good game.”
We’ll bring you the latest transfer news and rumours throughout the day.