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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi says future is uncertain; Falcao's Man United career in doubt

Lionel Messi has hinted that his future could still lie elsewhere from Barcelona.

The winter window is now open, and that means the LIVE transfer blog swings back into action. Find out the latest news, gossip and done deals here.

TOP STORY: Lionel Messi says Barcelona future is uncertain

Lionel Messi fuelled speculation he would consider an exit from Barcelona, just one day after saying he had "no intention" of leaving the Camp Nou for Chelsea or Manchester City.

Speaking after he had scored and assisted a Luis Suarez goal in a 3-1 win against Atletico Madrid on Sunday, the Argentine had denied rumours that he was looking to exit the club, telling Barca TV he was fed up with whoever was making such claims.

However, on Monday, when speaking at a preliminary news conference for the Ballon d'Or, Messi hinted that his future could still lie elsewhere from the Catalan club.

"I don't know if I will finish my career at Newell's [Old Boys], I don't know where I'll be next year. I would like to finish my career at Barcelona, but you never know what will happen in the world of football," Messi told reporters.

But don't get too excited. After the ceremony, Messi met with reporters to tell them he had only been using a figure of speech, saying: "It was just a way of talking. I always say the same thing, I always clarified it. The truth is you get tired of having to clarify everything you say."

HEADLINES:

- Ronaldo hints future may lie elsewhere from Madrid
- Nastasic to join Schalke on loan, subject to medical
Allegri rejects talk of Balotelli moving to Juventus
- Juve keen on Mkhitaryan after Sneijder deal issues
Milner could extend Man City deal soon - Pellegrini
- Falcao 'set for crunch United talks' after Saints snub
- Juventus: We have no plans to sell Paul Pogba

LIVE BLOG:

23.26 GMT: That's all for today's Transfer Talk! Don't fret though -- Tuesday's Paper Round is only hours away!

22.18 GMT: The Jermain Defoe sweepstakes continues. Sky really narrows it down:

22.10 GMT: Another Europe-to-MLS bit for you. Sky Sports says Northern Ireland international Martin Paterson is near a deal with Orlando City. The longtime Burnley striker is now with Huddersfield Town in the Championship.

22.01 GMT: Finland international Markus Halsti is the latest player to move from Europe to Major League Soccer. D.C. United announced they have signed the midfielder/defender from Malmo.

21.51 GMT: Not so fast, Man United. Leo Messi clarified his earlier statements that he has an uncertain future, saying "It was just a way of talking." Remember, he also said today that he would like to retire at Barcelona.

Of course, he also praised Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, so never say never! Click here for the full story.

20.57 GMT: The Transfer Talk doors are open to the most remarkable of rumours so, in that spirit, we present this from the Guardian: 

"Manchester United on alert over future of Barcelona's Lionel Messi"

Alrighty, then...

20.50 GMT: This one is from left-field -- West Ham's Ravel Morrison is being linked with Lazio!

BREAKING NEWS: Sky Sources - Lazio in talks to sign Ravel Morrison from West Ham. More on #SSNHQ

20.12 GMT: Given that all the movers and shakers in world football are in Zurich for the Ballon d'Or award, perhaps it is not surprising that things are quiet right now in the Transfer Talk world.

Cristiano Ronaldo won, ICYMI

17.21 GMT: Manchester United striker Will Keane is attracting interest from Reading, according to Goal.com.

The 22-year-old has struggled to break into United's first-team squad this season and Louis van Gaal is considering loaning him out, with the Royals believed to be at the head of the queue.

17.05 GMT: Liverpool misfit Oussama Assaidi has agreed a deal to leave Anfield to join Al-Ahli in Dubai, sources have told ESPN FC.

The Reds have cut short Assaidi's loan spell at Stoke after agreeing a fee with Al-Ahli to enable him to secure his switch to the Middle East. Sources say he has agreed a three-year deal with the club.

Read the full story here.

16.56 GMT: Joining Lionel Messi at the preliminary news conference for the Ballon d'Or was Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, who also suggested his future may lie elsewhere from his current club. What teases they both are...

16.41 GMT: Lionel Messi has fuelled speculation he would consider an exit from Barcelona, just one day after saying he had "no intention" of leaving the Camp Nou.

"I don't know if I will finish my career at Newell's [Old Boys], I don't know where I'll be next year. I would like to finish my career at Barcelona, but you never know what will happen in the world of football," Messi told reporters during a preliminary news conference for the Ballon d'Or.

Read the full story here.

16.33 GMT: DONE DEAL Another done deal from France, with Rennes confirming the loan departure of Axel Ngando to Angers until the end of the season...

16.26 GMT: DONE DEAL Evian have signed Costa Rica international David Ramirez on loan for six months from Deportivo Saprissa with the option to buy the player at the end of the season...

16.18 GMT: DONE DEAL News now of a player temporarily leaving Manchester United...

16.07 GMT: Simon Mignolet says he is not concerned by Liverpool's pursuit of a new goalkeeper.

The Reds have been linked with January moves for the likes of Fiorentina keeper Neto, but Mignolet is only focusing on his own displays.

"There's no point me even thinking about whether the club are going to sign a keeper," he told The Sun. "I just have to do my thing. I need to keep working hard in training and show what I can do on the pitch."

15.49 GMT: DONE DEAL Millwall have signed right-back Shaun Cummings from fellow Championship side Reading, with the 25-year-old penning a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Lions.

"We're delighted to have Shaun on board as I think he can be a real asset for us over the short and long-term," Millwall boss Ian Holloway told the club's official website. "He gives us a new option and as a player he can contribute in defence and in attack."

15.19 GMT: Saint-Etienne defender Loic Perrin does not seem to know where exactly his future lies, despite revealing last week that he has been approached by Arsenal about a move to the Premier League.

"Frankly I don't know anything," Perrin is quoted as saying by the Daily Mirror. "There are always rumours, even though Arsenal have inquired and have contacted my agent. But Saint-Etienne still haven't been [contacted], and that's the most important thing. Full stop."

15.08 GMT: Mainz goalkeeper Loris Karius, who has been linked with the likes of Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Valencia, has signed a new contract, keeping him at his current club until 2018.

14.54 GMT: Leicester are interested in signing Tottenham defender Kyle Naughton, according to Sky Sports.

The Foxes have reportedly tabled a three million-pound bid for the full-back, who has also been linked with a move to Queens Park Rangers.

14.47 GMT: Major League Soccer side Chicago Fire will find out this week whether they have been successful in their pursuit of Wigan Athletic forward Shaun Maloney, sources have told ESPN FC.

Sources say that Maloney, who has also been linked with Leicester and Celtic, is open minded about the scramble for his services and would relish the chance to move to Chicago, who are believed to have made the most attractive financial offer.

Read the full story here.

14.21 GMT: Portuguese media are reporting that Benfica are set for talks with Arsenal regarding the signing of Joel Campbell on loan with the option of making the deal a permanent one...

14.06 GMT: Manchester United fans excited about speculation that Paul Pogba could return to the club for 77 million pounds will be disappointed to hear Juventus have no plans to sell the midfielder.

"Every European club is watching him and have been in contact with us," Juve general director Giuseppe Marotta told Sky Italia. "We, however, want to have a strong team made up of champions. We have an important player in Pogba and we don't have a need to sell him.''

Read the full story here.

13.38 GMT: New Borussia Dortmund signing Kevin Kampl has spoken of his excitement at playing with the likes of Marco Reus following his move from Salzburg.

"To play with stars like him is extremely nice," he told a news conference. "I am looking forward to the time with those super players."

Read the full story here.

13.32 GMT: Championship outfit Wolves have announced that they have reached an agreement to cancel the remainder of Kevin Foley's contract.

The defender's deal was due to expire at the end of the season, but his seven-and-a-half years at Molineux have now come to an end.

13.21 GMT: Some more details for you now on the Matija Nastasic deal...

The defender joins Schalke on a six-month loan until the end of the season, with Sky Sports News reporter Dirk Schlarmann claiming the Bundesliga club will pay two million euros to complete the loan as well as a further 2.4 million euros to cover his salary until the end of the season. Schalke will then be able to complete a permanent deal in the summer for 13 million euros.

Read the full story here.

13.16 GMT: After this morning's speculation, Schalke have now confirmed that Matija Nastasic will join the club from Manchester City on loan, subject to a medical...

12.58 GMT: Roberto Martinez also spoke about Seamus Coleman during his news conference, with the full-back having reportedly attracted recent interest from Manchester United...

12.55 GMT: Everton boss Roberto Martinez has been telling a news conference of his hunt for a new goalkeeper, with first-choice Tim Howard currently out injured.

12.34 GMT: Mario Balotelli may have been linked with a January move from Liverpool to Juventus, but Bianconeri boss Massimiliano Allegri says there is no truth in the rumours.

He told Italian TV station RAI: "I think this is a made-up story. Balotelli has done very well with me but he belongs to Liverpool and he is not a player that can arrive at Juventus.''

Read the full story here.

12.22 GMT: An update for you now on Matija Nastasic, with German media claiming that the Manchester City player has completed his move to Schalke...The defender is to join the Bundesliga outfit on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

12.16 GMT: Winston Reid has been attracting interest from the likes of Arsenal due to being out of contract this summer, but West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is hopeful that the club will not look to cash in on him over January.

"There's no choice for me, he stays -- that's it. If somebody makes a big offer then obviously the chairman decides, but for me he's staying," Allardyce is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

Read the full story here.

11.46 GMT: Some Championship news up next, with Sky Sports reporting that Leeds full-back Stephen Warnock is to have a medical at Derby on Monday ahead of a proposed move.

The Rams are believed to be prepared to offer the former Liverpool, Blackburn and Aston Villa man an 18-month deal, with Leeds having agreed to release him from the final six months of his contract.

11.29 GMT: According to the Evening Standard, Emmanuel Adebayor's high wage demands look to have priced him out of a move to Parma.

The paper claims that the Tottenham striker's 100,000-pounds-a-week salary has put off the Serie A side, who have held a preliminary meeting with the player's representatives.

11.08 GMT: Alan Pardew has already made an impact at Crystal Palace after Saturday's victory over Tottenham, and now he is looking to bolster the club's strikeforce.

"We still need one or two players," Pardew said. "That is progressing pretty good and we hope to have some news this week, which I think might help us. We are kind of monitoring strikers. I don't think my pool of strikers have any problem with that. They know competition is coming in."

Read the full story here.

10.54 GMT: There has been speculation of late that Hamburg are after Bayer Leverkusen's Josip Drmic, however, the latter's sporting director Rudi Voller has ruled out an exit for the striker.

"Both [a loan or permanent move] are out of the question, we won't do it," Voller told Bild. "He will play an important role for Bayer in the future."

Read the full story here.

10.37 GMT: Juventus general director Beppe Marotta has suggested the club could consider a move for Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan after admitting a move for Galatasaray's Wesley Sneijder no longer appears viable.

"We had really hoped [to sign] Sneijder, but we feel we don't want to complete any deal which is so financially significant," he told Sky Sport Italia. "Yes, [Mkhitaryan] is on our list, but at the moment he is just a hypothesis."

Read the full story here.

10.10 GMT: Staying in the Bundesliga, Borussia Monchengladbach are set to enter into new contract talks with Granit Xhaka.

The 22-year-old is currently under contract until 2016 and the Foals could trigger an option for another year, however, they are looking to tie him down for longer than that, kicker reports.

"There were offers, but it was never my goal to leave the club," Xhaka, who was linked with Inter Milan in the summer, said.

09.56 GMT: Over in Germany, Bild claims that Schalke are lining up a move for Wolfsburg midfielder Vieirinha, who has yet to extend his Die Wolfe contract past 2015.

The Portugal international could replace Jefferson Farfan, who has not featured for the Royal Blues in the past month following a career-threatening knee injury.

09.51 GMT: According to AS, Valencia and Aston Villa have reached an agreement for the transfer of midfielder Carles Gil.

The 22-year-old is due to undergo a medical with Villa on Monday and the Premier League club are believed to be paying a fee of six million euros for his signature.

09.15 GMT: Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini is optimistic James Milner will sign a new contract, with the reported Liverpool target's current deal due to expire in the summer.

"I hope that James will stay here and he will sign his contract in the next few days," Pellegrini told reporters.

Read the full story here.

08.57 GMT: Mainz have reportedly rejected Leicester's 10 million-euro offer for midfielder Shinji Okazaki. "Turning down such an offer is extremely difficult for us. But you'd need to have an alternative," club's sporting director Christian Heidel told Bild.

08.36 GMT: Oussama Assaidi has been recalled to Liverpool from his loan club Stoke, and is expected to move to a club in the Middle East on a permanent deal in the next few days.

08.23 GMT: According to kicker, Bayern Munich boss Pep Guardiola has no interest in signing Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. Marca had previously reported that he is very much interested in the centre-back.

08.00 GMT: Schalke are expected to confirm the signing of Matija Nastasic from Manchester City today. It will be a loan with a view to permanent deal. Official confirmation is expected sometime this morning -- but the Serb will not be able to join his new club on their winter training camp in Qatar as he has no visa.

Paper Round

Messi: Transfer rumours 'all lies'

Sunday night's showdown with La Liga champions Atletico Madrid was a huge match for Barcelona, given the pressure on Camp Nou coach Luis Enrique and rumours of Lionel Messi's unrest.

However, the Argentine star responded in spectacular fashion with two assists and a goal, as Barca won 3-1, before dismissing speculation regarding a Premier League move as "all lies."

The forward has been linked with a summer move to Manchester City and Chelsea, but the 27-year-old told Barca TV: "I have heard lots of things being said about me before and now. They make it look like I am the one who is in charge here, when I am just another player. I have never demanded anything [but] to stay because I don't have any intention of going.

"I heard people say that my dad had spoken to Chelsea, to City. It's all lies."

Falcao "crunch talks" after Saints snub

Sunday was not a good day for Manchester United, as they fell to a shocking 1-0 home defeat to Southampton, while Radamel Falcao failed to even make Louis van Gaal's 18-man squad for the match.

With the Monaco loanee not even a consideration for the Dutch coach off the bench, his future at Old Trafford beyond this season is in doubt, with the Manchester Evening News stating the striker is set for Monday crunch talks with Van Gaal to clarify his role.

Falcao might get his chance in the coming weeks, with Robin van Persie sweating over an ankle injury picked up against the Saints, though with the Dutchman, Wayne Rooney, Angel Di Maria and even Maroune Fellaini playing up front Sunday, it seems Van Gaal might have already decided the Colombian's fate.

Swans prosper from Bony sweetener

Swansea are set to sell Wilfried Bony to Manchester City for 28 million pounds, though The Sun reported the Welsh club are set to benefit from agreeing to a deal with their striker back in November.

The paper stated the Swans offered Bony 1 million pounds late last year to remove a 19 million pound release clause from his contract, and the Ivory Coast international is set to leave for 9 million more (minus the payment to Bony).

That's a profit of 8 million for some sound financial planning from Garry Monk's side, with the extra cash surely going toward a replacement for the outbound Swansea star.

United to raid Bilbao once more?

Not content with signing Ander Herrera from Athletic Bilbao last summer, Louis van Gaal is reportedly keen on adding 20-year-old defender Aymeric Laporte to his ranks for around 20 million pounds, according to the Daily Star.

Louis van Gaal wants to bolster his defence and reports say the Dutchman thinks Aymeric Laporte is the solution.

The paper said the French centre-back has impressed United after earning a first-team role at Bilbao and suggested reports in Spain say the deal is "80 percent done."

Sunday's home defeat to Southampton proved the Red Devils still lack leaders in the back-line, and signing another youngster from Spain (albeit a French one) could even perhaps help to tempt David De Gea into staying at Old Trafford.

Liverpool facing Juve battle for Neto

With Fiorentina goalkeeper Norberto Neto refusing a new Viola deal, the 25-year-old Brazilian is all but certain to leave the Serie A club.

The Daily Mirror reported Liverpool are considering a bid for the shot-stopper, with Brendan Rodgers unconvinced by Simon Mignolet's footwork, handwork and general essence, though they could face competition from Juventus.

The Bianconeri reportedly have a verbal agreement in place to sign Neto for free this summer, but Fiorentina could be tempted to sell the keeper abroad if Liverpool stump up a reported 2 million pound fee.

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