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Jan 13, 2014

A Matic made in heaven?

When Nemanja Matic left Chelsea in 2011 having made just two appearances for the club in two years, few would have expected to see him back at Stamford Bridge anytime soon. However, it seems absence has made the heart grow fonder and it is being widely reported on Monday that the Blues are lining up a bid for the Benfica midfielder. The Times claims that the Blues have already had a 21-million-pound offer rejected and that Benfica are holding out for a figure closer to 37 million pounds for the Serbia international, who moved to Portugal as part of the deal that brought David Luiz to Stamford Bridge. The Blues have also been linked with some Serie A talent, with Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin believed to be interested in a move, while elsewhere Angel Di Maria could be on the cusp of joining Galatasaray and Arsenal have reportedly had a bid thwarted for Roma's Mattia Destro. Keep up to date with all the latest rumours and deals... 23.00 GMT: That's all for tonight. Join us again for more of the same tomorrow. 22.17 GMT: In one of our last snippets of the day we bring potential good news for Sunderland fans. The father of striking target Ignacio Scocco has confirmed negotiations are at an advanced stage with the Black Cats over his son's transfer. 21.32 GMT: German reports suggest Bayern Munich will bid for Juan Mata if Chelsea sign Nemanja Matic. Though what they will do with ANOTHER attacking midfielder is beyond us all... 21.15 GMT: The question being asked by a lot of people on Twitter is will Manchester United be able to hold on in the face of some huge summer bids for Adnan Januzaj if they fail to qualify for the Champions League? 20.50 GMT: Luiz Gusatvo hasn't been at Wolfsburg long, but he could be on the move already. Arsenal were linked last summer but the Brazilian said: “If a big club comes, you have to look. It's hard to say what will be in the future." 20.14 GMT: Germany left-back Marcell Jansen, 28, has a 5 million euros buy-out clause to be triggered in the summer in his Hamburg contract. Who wants him? 19.31 GMT: Tottenham midfielder Lewis Holtby could be on the move to Wolfsburg this month, reports the Mirror. Hannover and former side Schalke are both interested in the 23-year-old's signature as he struggles for game time under new Spurs boss Tim Sherwood. 18.27 GMT: DONE DEAL - Alex Marrow extends Fleetwood loan stay from parent club Blackburn. 18.12 GMT: Bryan Ruiz has passed a medical at PSV Eindhoven ahead of a loan move from Fulham, his agent has confirmed. The Costa Rica forward is now just waiting for Fulham and Dutch side PSV to finalise their agreement before a deal can be completed. "He did have a medical at the club on Monday and I can say that everything went well," Ruiz's agent Rene Vijt told Press Association Sport. "Now it is up to the two clubs before anything else can happen." 17.35 GMT: Here's our full story on Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez completing his loan move to Norwich until the end of the season. The Canaries are just two points off the relegation places, and the Argentine's skill down the flanks could provide Chris Hughton's side with some much-needed creativity during the run-in.READ MORE. 17.20 GMT: More Manchester United news now, and the truth hurts -- especially when it comes from a footballing great like Zinedine Zidane. The Real Madrid assistant coach told the Mirror that letting Paul Pogba leave Old Trafford was a "mistake" by Sir Alex Ferguson. ""He will go on to be one of the best central midfield players in Europe and he was the natural successor to Paul Scholes, someone they could have built the team around." Zizou's words wouldn't have anything to do with los Blancos buttering up the Juventus star for a possible move to the Bernabeu, surely... 17.05 GMT: The Mail reports that Manchester United midfield misfit Anderson could be a Fiorentina man by the end of play today, but suggests Napoli could also make a late bid for the Brazilian. Whether Rafa Benitez saw enough promise in the 25-year-old during his time in the Premier League is an interesting premise, as the United man certainly has untapped potential after a big-money move to Old Trafford in 2007. 16.51 GMT: DONE DEAL! Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez has joined Norwich City on loan until the end of the season, the club have confirmed on their official website. The Argentine winger said: "I'm happy to be here. It's an opportunity for me to get back in the game and to try and do my best for the team." Canaries boss Chris Hughton added: "He's somebody that will certainly bring experience -- he's played close to 200 games for Newcastle so he knows the Premier League very well... he's a very welcome addition and we look forward to working with him."

Argentinian international midfielder Jonas Gutierrez joins City on loan from Newcastle until June 30 pic.twitter.com/leKSHJTd3L

— Norwich City FC (@NorwichCityFC) January 13, 2014
16.45 GMT: More Roma news for you now -- Football Italia reports that i Giallorossi are set to wrap up the signing of Barcelona talent Antonio Sanabria. According to Sky journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, the Paraguayan striker is waiting in a Rome hotel to meet with director Walter Sabatini to finalize the deal. Sanabria's proposed move -- and the signing of Radja Nainggolan -- could well have convinced Michael Bradley his future lay away from the Italian club. 16.30 GMT: DONE DEAL! Toronto have confirmed on their official website that Roma midfielder Michael Bradley has joined the club, and was unveiled alongside Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe at a press conference just now. The Canadians have struggled in the MLS of late, but the signature of Bradley is a huge coup for the Reds given he is just 26 years old and was still regarded as hot property by a number of European clubs.

Michael Bradley joins Toronto FC #TFClive pic.twitter.com/MqUjINuck0

— Toronto FC (@torontofc) January 13, 2014
16.18 GMT: More from Italy now, and Fiorentina could be ready to rescue Alessandro from his nightmare in Milan with a loan move, according to Football Italia -- they've picked up on Gazzetta dello Sport reports that la Viola's sporting director Daniele Prade will ‘imminently’ meet with Rossonero Vice-President Galliani to discuss terms to a possible move until the end of the season. 16.05 GMT: We've got the latest on Manchester United target Claudio Marchisio now -- Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta insists the midfielder will not be moving to Old Trafford in January. He told Radio Rai: "There is no problem with Marchisio. Claudio is a player who grew up in the Juventus youth teams and he loves the shirt." READ MORE. 15.52 GMT: DONE DEAL! Bristol City have agreed to keep Nottingham Forest midfielder Simon Gillett on loan for the rest of the season, the club revealed on their official website. The 28-year-old has impressed for the League One strugglers, and manager Steve Cotterill said: "We've spoken to Nottingham Forest and they've agreed that we can extend the deal for the rest of the campaign."

Simon Gillett is set to remain with #BristolCity for the rest of the campaign. http://t.co/QdxK0WBYPe

— Bristol City FC (@bcfctweets) January 13, 2014
15.45 GMT: Sky Sports reports that Nikica Jelavic is on the verge of a move to Hull. The Everton man told Jutarnji list: "Steve Bruce called me and told me that he wants me in his team as a leading attacker. The club suits me and I'm happy that the clubs have found an agreement for my transfer." That deal looks all but done and dusted then, and rest assured we'll have confirmation for you as soon as it happens. 15.34 GMT: Big Chelsea news now as Bild reports that Kevin de Bruyne has finally completed his move to Wolfsburg. The Blues midfielder will sign a contract until 2019 for a fee thought to be around 20 million euros, but will not join up with Die Wolfe until they return from their winter training camp. We'll have more on this as the story develops. 15.25 GMT: Toronto are really kicking into gear with their PR campaign for Jermain Defoe -- they've even hired a double-decker for the occasion. It's almost as if the former Spurs forward never agreed to leave London.

The bus has arrived. Let's hope that Defoe has his bus license. #TFCLive pic.twitter.com/BZS7bQVlWU

— Toronto FC (@torontofc) January 13, 2014
15.18 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Fluminese are set to make a move for Napoli defender Paolo Cannavaro. The centre-back is not in Rafa Benitez's immediate plans, and Brazilian site Globo Esporte says a move looks likely -- although Genoa also retain an interest in the 32-year-old's services. 15.08 GMT: Samir Nasri has confirmed he will be out of action for eight weeks after suffering an injury against Newcastle on Sunday, and could potentially miss 11 games of Manchester City's run-in. It is unlikely the length of the injury could force Manuel Pellegrini into the January transfer market for an expensive replacement, though the Chilean may start searching for short-term cover for the Frenchman in order to keep up his side's Premier League title charge.

Thank you everyone for your kind words and overwhelming support, i suppose its kind of good news that i will be out around 8 weeks

— Samir Nasri Official (@SamNasri19) January 13, 2014
15.00 GMT: Fulham boss Rene Meulensteen has backed Clint Dempsey to get back to his best form while on loan with the Cottagers despite a muted performance in the 4-1 home defeat to Sunderland on Saturday. "Clint's a fit boy and that comes pretty quickly. The more minutes and games he gets under his belt the quicker that will all come. It won't take long for him to be right back up there." READ MORE. 14.52 GMT: Ravel Morrison could be a shock target for Manchester City, according to talkSPORT. The former Manchester United youth player has impressed at West Ham this season, but the Hammers could be tempted to sell given their precarious position in the Premier League and the fact that the 20-year-old as he only has 18 months left on his current deal. The youngster is unpredictable and has a temper, but there's no denying his potential. 14.45 GMT: Hamburg are on the lookout for for a new striker after loaning Artjoms Rudnevs to Hannover and Maximillian Beister’s anterior cruciate ligament tear. Kicker has linked Ingolstadt’s Philipp Hofmann, 21, to the financially-stricken club. Hofmann is on loan from Schalke 04, and NDR also mentions Sunderland’s Dong-Won Ji as a potential candidate. 14.30 GMT: ESPN FC's Newcastle United blogger and Evening Chronicle journalist Lee Ryder has revealed that Jonas Gutierrez has agreed terms with Norwich over a move to Carrow Road -- more on that as soon as we get it.

Jonas has agreed personal terms with #ncfc #nufc

— Lee Ryder (@lee_ryder) January 13, 2014
14.25 GMT: Over in the MLS, Toronto can barely contain their excitement as they are set to unveil their big January signing Jermain Defoe at a press conference later on today. 14.20 GMT: This could be bad news for Manchester United fans among you -- Marco Reus has denied any rumours of an imminent move to Old Trafford. "Some of those speculations are funny, but I am not paying attention to them,” the Borussia Dortmund midfielder told reporters during a news conference in Spain today. 14.15 GMT: The Mirror reports that Fulham midfielder Derek Boateng could be on the verge of joining Watford for the rest of the season. The 30-year-old has fallen down the pecking order since Rene Meulensteen took over at the Cottagers, and the Hornets could provide a temporary escape route for the Ghana international to keep his World Cup dreams alive. 14.08 GMT: DONE DEAL! Marlon Harewood has joined Hartlepool on a free transfer, the club announced on their official website. The 34-year-old former West Ham frontman was released by Bristol City a fortnight ago, and will now try to prevent Pools getting stuck in a relegation fight.

New signing Marlon Harewood tries on the blue and white stripes for the first time... pic.twitter.com/tQc7jOmA7U

— Hartlepool United FC (@Official_HUFC) January 13, 2014
14.03 GMT: More on Nottingham Forest now, and manager Billy Davies has called on club owner Fawaz Al Hasawi for backing in the January window. "The plan between myself and the chairman in the summer was quite clear," he told reporters at a press conference. "It was to be in the mix until January, when we could bring in a clinical finisher to give us firepower." 13.56 GMT: Goal reports that Gerard Pique has dashed any hopes Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United had of signing the Barcelona centre-back by signing a new deal to keep him at Camp Nou until 2018. The trio of clubs apparently approached Barca to try and tempt the defender back to England, but the contract extension ensures his long-term future with the Liga champions. 13.50 GMT: We've got more on Jonas Gutierrez for you now -- Norwich boss Chris Hughton is keen on the Newcastle winger, but denied a deal has been done with the Magpies yet. Hughton, speaking at a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s FA Cup third-round replay at Fulham, said: "There is an interest in Jonas Gutierrez but there's nothing to confirm at this moment. If that changes, we will let you know." READ MORE. 13.43 GMT: Napoli are closing in on Verona youngster Jorginho according to Il Mattino. The reports suggest the deal for the 22-year-old could be worth as much as 10 million euros, and will net the player an annual wage of 800,000 euros. 13.35 GMT: West Ham are on the lookout for a striker this January, but Sam Allardyce has yet another headache with the news that Carlton Cole's contract runs out today. The forward scored in the Hammers' 2-0 win against Cardiff on Saturday, and while he hasn't set the Premier League alight this season, any goals at this point of the season are crucial for the struggling Londoners -- and losing Cole for free is not ideal, especially with Andy Carroll still finding match fitness. 13.25 GMT: DONE DEAL! Wolves have signed Wigan striker Nouha Dicko on a permanent deal, the club have announced on their official website. The 21-year-old forward has moved to Molineux for an undisclosed fee after spending six weeks on loan with the club this season, and signed a two-and-a-half year contract after completing his medical this morning.

Back in gold and black...Nouha Dicko! http://t.co/bkBY4M0sap

— Wolves (@OfficialWolves) January 13, 2014
13.15 GMT: We've got the news on Gus Poyet's desire to sign Ki Sung-Yueng permanently after confirming the South Korea international will remain at the club on loan for the rest of the season. “I am hoping there will be a chance for us to do something this month,” Poyet told the Journal. “They had an opportunity to recall him, but that is finished now, so hopefully that has strengthened our hand." READ MORE. 13.05 GMT: Here's our full story on Juergen Klopp's reluctance to comment on speculation he could sign Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema in a swap deal with midfielder Ilkay Gundogan. Dortmund need a forward after Robert Lewandowski signed a pre-contract agreement with Bayern Munich, but the BVB coach says the club may wait until the summer to make key signings. READ MORE. 12.55 GMT: Nurnberg fringe player Markus Mendler is currently on trial at second tier team Sandhausen. Nurnberg want to loan the 21-year-old to Sandhausen to continue his development. 12.40 GMT: Cardiff may be set to miss out on Mame Diouf, but new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is remaining coy on Manchester United duo Fabio and Wilfried Zaha. "I can't say anything on them [Zaha and Fabio] because they are players from Manchester United and I can't comment on players from other teams," Solskjaer told Sky Sports. READ MORE. Both players are out of favour at Old Trafford, and could be tempted by regular football in the former United striker's Bluebirds side. 12.30 GMT: We've got the full story on Yoann Gourcuff's future now, and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas suggests that the playmaker is now likely to stay at the club -- despite having recently hinted he could cash in on the midfielder. "It's true that we've received a number of calls about him from abroad. But we also have to think about the second half of the season. That's why, for the four or five players we've been asked about, the idea is to keep them, because I remind you that we're still in all competitions." READ MORE. 12.24 GMT: Off to Germany, and Hannover 96 have announced they were not able to finalize their proposed deal for Nicolas Castillo. "We have had long negotiations and I don't like the result. As of now Castillo will not join us," sporting director Dirk Dufner told Bild. This also means that Cardiff target Mame Diouf will stay at Hannover if nothing else happens on the transfer market. The Bluebirds had already put in an offer for the Senegal international, but as of now the attacker may well have to see out the final six months of his contract with the Bundesliga side. 12.15 GMT: From the bottom to the top now -- Manchester City may sit first in the Premier League, but Manuel Pellegrini is not resting on his laurels according to Sport Bild, as they link the Blues with a big move for Bayern Munich defender Dante. The Brazilian centre-back confirmed an approach has been made by City, but whether they can prise the 30-year-old away from the German treble winners is another matter altogether. 12.10 GMT: We've had plenty of Newcastle news this morning, so it's only fair to move on to their rivals Sunderland now. The Black Cats will have the in-form midfielder Ki Sung-Yueng on loan for the rest of this season, but coach Gus Poyet is hoping to make the South Korean's stay at the Stadium of Light permanent this month -- though he will have to persuade Swansea to part with the 24-year-old. Poyet also believes Sunderland's improved form should make concluding any deals this month easier, with his side now off the bottom of the table on goal difference. 12.05 GMT: Off to Germany once again, where Bayer Leverkusen have denied striker Eren Derdiyok a winter transfer. "That’s a clear statement, it's a fact: Eren stays," manager Michael Reschke told Bild. Derdiyok -- currently on loan from Hoffenheim -- had been linked with a switch to Kasimpasa Istanbul. Meanwhile 19-year-old holding midfielder Dominik Kohr has joined FC Augsburg on loan from Leverkusen, signing until the summer of 2015. 12.00 GMT: According to reports in Norway, Celtic have been given permission to talk to Stromsgodset midfielder Stefan Johansen after agreeing a fee understood to be in the region of 1.5 million pounds. 11.57 GMT: The BBC reports that Hull City are weighing up a "substantial offer" for defender Jack Hobbs from Reading. The 25-year-old has played 27 times while on loan at Nottingham Forest, but Steve Bruce says the Reds will have to match any offer made for Hobbs. "The way it stands is we've have a substantial offer from Reading," Bruce told BBC Radio Humberside. "Ultimately it's always in Jack's hands, but Nottingham Forest have to come to the table and play ball with us." 11.52 GMT: With Gutierrez looking set to move on, the Magpies could be on the lookout for attacking options -- but Borussia Moenchengladbach's director of sport Max Eberl has confirmed the club are yet to receive an offer for Luuk De Jong. The striker has played just 85 minutes of football this season and this weekend confirmed he would be willing to join Newcastle. "If we receive an offer for a player, we'll consider it, of course," Eberl said. "In Luuk de Jong we have a player who didn't play that often in the first half of the campaign. I can understand him being unhappy. We keep getting enquiries about him -- but there have been no concrete offers. We don't intend to give matters like this one our attention until something concrete happens." 11.45 GMT: Confirmation for you now that ESPN Sources in the north east have indicated Jonas Gutierrez will join Norwich City on loan in the coming days. The Argentine has played little football this season, and is eager to be reunited with former Magpies boss Chris Hughton. 11.40 GMT: Norwich are close to completing a deal with Newcastle for winger Jonas Gutierrez, according to Sky Sports sources. If those reports are true they would serve to confirm Gutierrez's tweets on Saturday wishing the Magpies the best for the future. 11.36 GMT: News now that could have repercussions for Italian clubs in January -- Milan have announced coach Massimiliano Allegri has been sacked after the 4-3 defeat to Sassuolo on Sunday. READ MORE. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Rossoneri, before Clarence Seedorf -- who is still playing for Botafogo -- could free himself from his contract with the Brazilian club to take charge of Milan immediately. The precarious position of i Rossoneri could necessitate some swift spending this month as they look to rescue a disastrous start to the season. 11.26 GMT: We've got more on Arsene Wenger's comments that he is not looking to replace Olivier Giroud with a new striker in January, but simply to bolster his attacking options. "I looked for a striker last summer to play with Giroud and without Giroud," Wenger told reporters. "In my mind, it was absolutely not to replace Giroud, it was to play with or without him." READ MORE. 11.22 GMT: Here's our full story on Carlo Ancelotti's relief that yesterday's match-winner Pepe decided to stay with Real Madrid last summer. READ MORE. 11.16 GMT: More for the Magpies among you now -- France Football reported on Sunday that Newcastle United would like to extend Hatem Ben Arfa's contract, which has 18 months left to run. According to the magazine's website, the 26-year-old's representatives are due in England at the start of the week to begin talks. If they fail to reach an agreement, Ben Arfa could buy out the last year of his contract in June under FIFA's 'stability clause', which allows players under 28 to move to a foreign club after three seasons. 11.12 GMT: Michy Batshuayi's proposed move to Everton could be entering choppy waters according to the Mirror, who reports that Standard Liege want a 7 million-pound fee up front for the striker. The Belgian club are reportedly upset with the Toffees' interest, and seem to be making things as difficult as possible for Roberto Martinez's men to take the 20-year-old off their hands. 11.07 GMT: Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz is having a medical at PSV Eindhoven, according to Sky Sports sources. There has been plenty of speculation about the Costa Rican's future this month, and it now looks almost certain to lie away from Craven Cottage. 11.02 GMT: Here's our full story on Stoke boss Mark Hughes hoping to add both Stephen Ireland and John Guidetti to the Potters squad within the next 24 hours. "[Guidetti] is a natural goalscorer, and if we can get him into the right areas he will take chances." READ MORE. 10.57 GMT: The Newcastle Evening Chronicle reports that Norwich City boss Chris Hughton could move for Jonas Gutierrez as the winger looks for first-team football away from Newcastle United. The 30-year-old Argentine revealed on Twitter on Saturday that he is set to leave the club, thanking the club and wishing the team well for the rest of the season.

thanks for the messages. I enjoy my 5 years at the club, I hope the club finish the highest this season and the best to my team mates.

— jonas gutierrez (@elgalgojonas) January 11, 2014
10.52 GMT: Jens Keller tells kicker that Schalke “would really like to do something on the transfer market.” The Bundesliga side are looking for a holding midfielder following Jan Kirchhoff’s injury -- but there's no news on Jermaine Jones, who is still looking at offers. 10.47 GMT: A little news from Spain now -- Primera Liga strugglers Real Betis have already signed Leo Baptista on loan from Atletico, and Boca Juniors midfielder Cristian 'Pichi' Erbes is also set to arrive today. The club paying around 1 million euros for 50 per cent of his rights, according to Marca. 10.42 GMT: One for Newcastle fans now -- Alan Pardew will not let Papiss Cisse leave the Magpies for less than 10 million pounds, according to the Mail. The Senegal striker has apparently been linked with a 9 million-pound bid bid from a Qatari club today, but it remains to be seen whether Cisse will leave St James' Park this January. 10.35 GMT: Goal reports that Manchester United are moving closer to signing Benfica centre-back Ezequiel Garay as David Moyes looks to rebuild his back line. The 27-year-old defender is valued at 25 million pounds by the Portuguese club, and the Red Devils are eager to conclude a deal given the uncertain futures of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra. 10.25 GMT: The Mirror reports that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is looking to make a January move for Nottingham Forest's young centre-half Jamaal Lascelles. The Gunners boss apparently sent chief scout Steve Rowley to watch the 20-year-old defender this weekend as he continues to impress in the Championship. 10.15 GMT: Salomon Kalou has dampened speculation he will leave Lille. The Ivory Coast international, 28, is reportedly being tracked by Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, who are all keen on affording the Ivory Coast international a path back to the English top flight where he played for Chelsea between 2006 and 2012. However, he told Le Parisien last weekend: "Why change club in the middle of the season? We've started well and I'd like to see it through to the end." 10.10 GMT: Time for some transfer window analysis from Philip Buckingham, who reports that Hull are ready to secure their top-flight status by moving for Everton striker Nikica Jelavic and West Brom forward Shane Long. "The pursuit of Jelavic and Long is an admission of City's failings. They have defensive strength and midfield purpose but lack a goalscorer to provide total peace of mind... More coal is needed on the fire before the warmth really begins to fade." READ MORE. 10.03 GMT: Auxerre president Guy Cotret says they have received an offer from "a major French club" for Paul-Georges Ntep, 21, and a move could be completed within 48 hours. L'Equipe believes the bidder to be Rennes, who are ready to part with four million euros for the youngster. Arsenal, Roma, Borussia Monchengladbach, Marseille, Lille and Lyon have all been linked to Ntep, who was watched by Schalke during last Friday's Ligue 2 encounter with Arles-Avignon. 10.00 GMT: Celtic manager Neil Lennon has demanded striker Georgios Samaras makes his mind up on a new deal so that he can finalise his January transfer plans. "We need an answer because that will define how the rest of the month will pan out," he told reporters. "We've given him time, he's been a great servant. It's been a tough few months for him. Georgios has had the chance to go home to Greece, clear his head and make a decision." 09.52 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are said to be keen on Rennes attacker Romain Alessandrini, according to L'Equipe. Reports claim the German side sent scouts to watch the 24-year-old forward in action on Saturday. The former Clermont player, who had a sensational first season in Ligue 1 cut short by a serious knee injury early last year, wanted to join his hometown club, Marseille, last summer. 09.45 GMT: The Express has interpreted David Moyes' trip to Italy a different way, and reports that the Manchester United manager could be lining up a shock bid for Juventus star -- and former United starlet -- Paul Pogba. The central midfielder is now an integral part of the Bianconeri set-up after leaving Old Trafford, but it may cost as much as 30 million pounds to bring Pogba back to England -- a steep mark-up from the tribunal fee Juve paid United of around 1.3 million pounds. 09.35 GMT: Pepe headed Real Madrid to a valuable 1-0 victory at Espanyol yesterday -- and coach Carlo Ancelotti revealed the centre-back almost left the club last summer: "[Pepe] is having a very good season. At first he was hesitant about staying and I told him that he that he was important for us. We have two good centre-backs. We've got Varane too, who we hope to get back soon, and Nacho, who is doing well. It is no coincidence that the team has done better defensively in recent matches. The defenders have improved a lot." 09.28 GMT: Some Manchester United news for you now -- David Moyes was in Italy on Sunday to watch Juventus’ Claudio Marchisio as he looks to bolster the Red Devils' midfield options. READ MORE. 09.20 GMT: VfB Stuttgart centre-back Benedikt Roecker, 24, has joined Greuther Fuerth on a contract until 2017. The fee is believed to be in the region of 100,000 euros. 09.12 GMT: The Mail reports that Nemanja Vidic could be a target for Turkish giants Galatasaray, with the Super Lig side ready to offer the Manchester United defender a massive contract to join Roberto Mancini's team when his Red Devils deal finishes in the summer. Drogba and Vidic in the same side? You won't want to be giving Galatasaray any corners if that move materialises. 09.00 GMT: Kicker reports that Kevin de Bruyne's move to Wolfsburg finally is all but done. The German side are set to pay Chelsea paying 22 million euros, with another five million as an additional payment. This will make him the most expensive transfer in Wolfsburg's history. 08.40 GMT: Malaga want to take erratic attacker Thievy from Espanyol, and it might well happen too as the youngster missed training without permission over the weekend. A two-million euro price-tag mentioned in Andalucian press, which they say could be a sticking-point given Malaga's finances. "Pablo Perez is not enough," Malaga coach Bernd Schuster said on Sunday. "We are working so that another player comes in - we want some more quality in some positions, most of all in attack." 08.21 GMT: Over in Spain, Valencia are still pushing to sign Eduardo Vargas on loan from Napoli, and have made an offer for an 18-month deal for the Chilean attacker. Santos are apparently willing to offer Napoli a higher loan fee, but Valencia hope the player's wish to prove himself in Europe will help their cause. Los Che are also considering Lisandro Lopez, Felipe Caicedo and Iago Aspas as alternatives to Vargas, according to AS, while Inter de Porto Alegre striker Ignacio Scocco's agent apparently told reporters in Brazil that "Sunderland and Valencia" are interested. 08.08 GMT: Former Manchester United academy keeper Ron-Robert Zieler has a 6.5 million-euro buyout clause in his contract and has stopped all contract talks with Hannover, who had hoped to extend his current deal which ends in 2015. Bild suggests Zieler could move to Gladbach, Schalke, Dortmund or even abroad, with Napoli believed to be interested in him. 07.54 GMT: In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp has refused to entertain speculation linking the club with Real Madrid's Karim Benzema. "No comment," Klopp told Bild after Dortmund's defeat to Hertha Berlin. "I’m not a fan of buying because of the scoring rate, which means to buy someone who scored 15 and set up 10. In two years there will again be strikers nobody talks about today." On the profile of Robert Lewandowski's potential replacement, Klopp says: "No-one should believe that we will not continue if don’t get a Real, Barca or Manchester United striker. To me, it's equally important to sign a striker, who might only score 10 now, but maybe 20 in the next season." 07.39 GMT: Juventus are closing in on Frankfurt's 18-year old centre-back Marc-Oliver Kempf, the German club's sporting director Bruno Huebner has told kicker. Kempf only played two competitive games for Frankfurt this season, but a possible loan deal -- worth 500,000 euros and including a buying option -- appears to be on the cards. 07.23 GMT: Vincenzo Montella has confirmed Fiorentina are interested in Manchester United midfielder Anderson, but director of sport Prade says no deal is yet done and also insisted the club have other objectives. FULL STORY HERE 07.00 GMT: Time for Monday morning's scan around Europe. Starting in Italy, where Germany's all-time leading goalscorer Miroslav Klose says he has not yet made up his mind whether he will leave Lazio in the summer or renew his contract, though he says he will carry on playing. GMT 05.10: The Mirror is reporting that Manchester United are targeting the son of former Sweden international Henrik Larsson. Teenager Jordan Larsson currently plays for Swedish fourth division side Hodaborks BK but could be set for a switch to the Premier League. GMT 03.40: Australia international Tom Rogic could be on his way to Japan with the player’s home club -- Celtic -- agreeing to a loan move to J-League club Vegalta Sendai. But according to AAP, the move is dependent on the decision from senior officials from the Japanese club. Arsenal’s eternal search for a new striker continue but with little result with the Daily Star claiming that the Gunners have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Roma forward Mattia Destro. As has been well documented, Arsene Wenger is currently experiencing a dearth of striking talent in his ranks and has been on a world-wide search for a new man upfront. However that won’t be Roma’s 22-year-old Italy international with the Serie A club refusing to part ways with the striker despite playing him only six times all season. However, good news could be on its way with Arsenal rumoured to be leading the race to sign Chelsea’s Demba Ba. Talking of Chelsea, the Mirror is reporting that the Stamford Bridge outfit have ‘turned’ the head of Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin. The Colombia international has been in good form this season, scoring three goals in 18 appearances, earning admiring looks from rival clubs. And it looks like that attention may have gone to the 27-year-old’s head with club president Erick Thohir admitting the club may have to sell the player rather than keep a player whose “heart is not in it”. Finally, Turkish giants Galatasaray have made Real Madrid attacker Angel di Maria their main target on the January window. According to Turkish publication Hurriyet and reported by AS, Di Maria could be on his way out of the Bernabeu and heading to the Super Lig. The 25-year-old has had a solid season so far for Madrid, scoring six gaols in all competitions. However, Madrid president Florentino Perez is thought to be open to the move with the two clubs in agreement as to the valuation of the Argentina international.