Chelsea want Shakhtar's Alex Teixeira; Jamie Vardy worth £30m to Leicester
The winter window draws closer with each passing day, and the transfer rumour mill is starting to pick up steam. As always, Transfer Talk has the latest and greatest. See all the summer deals here.
TOP STORY: Chelsea want Shakhtar star Alex Teixeira
With Chelsea starting to doubt if Diego Costa's long-term future lies at Stamford Bridge, the search is on for another top-class forward to get the misfiring Spain international back on track and to rescue the Premier League champions' season.
The Express reports Alex Teixeira fits the bill. The 25-year-old has scored 23 goals in 23 games this term for Shakhtar Donetsk. And he brings the added bonus that he predominantly operates as an attacking midfielder -- which is music to the ears of Jose Mourinho, who needs somebody (ideally an in-form Cesc Fabregas) in behind Costa to get the Spain striker scoring again.
The former Brazil youth international would set the Blues back around £30 million -- a small price worth paying if he helps guarantee Champions League football. And January could be the perfect escape route for Teixeira given Shakhtar have failed to qualify for the knockout stages of this year's competition.
Leicester stand firm over Vardy
You may have heard/not be able to avoid the news that Jamie Vardy can break Ruud van Nistelrooy's Premier League record by scoring in an 11th successive game if he nets against Manchester United on Saturday. So predictably Leicester City seem determined not to lose their star striker on the cheap in January.
The Telegraph reports the Foxes will demand at least £30m should either United or Chelsea make a January approach for the 28-year-old, and are willing to hold out for "huge money" given Vardy has two-and-a-half years left on his contract.
Leicester reportedly view Vardy in the same bracket as Liverpool's Christian Benteke (£32m) and United's Anthony Martial (£36m) despite the English forward's more advanced age. However, the Telegraph suggests Chelsea may consider West Brom's Saido Berahino as an alternative given the 22-year-old's potential and likely £20m price tag.
Real Madrid in for Moreno?
Real Madrid are clearly still reeling from their Clasico humbling by Barcelona, nearly letting a four-goal lead slip at Shakhtar in midweek. Rafa Benitez will have been alarmed to watch his side ship seven goals in two games, so what's the best way to solve that crisis? By buying an attacking wing-back, of course!
Alberto Moreno has begun to show his rich promise at Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp having felt marginalised by Brendan Rodgers, and Marca reports the 23-year-old Spain international "fits the bill" for Los Blancos for a number of reasons.
First-choice left-back Marcelo continues to struggle with injury, while Madrid have no space for non-EU players in their squad, pushing Moreno up the wish list. Liverpool aren't in the Champions League, meaning Moreno isn't cup-tied and could play in the knockout stages.
Most Anfield fans would readily admit the excitement Moreno offers in attack more than makes up for his questionable defending, though it remains to be seen whether Madrid would push through a deal for such a defender given Benitez's desire for tactical discipline. But such a move would perhaps shed some light on just how long Los Blancos are planning to keep Benitez.
Real, Barca to battle for Pjanic?
Meanwhile, Marca leads with the story that Madrid are interested in Roma free-kick specialist Miralem Pjanic, but add that Barcelona could also be in for the 25-year-old given that Luis Enrique actually signed him while coaching the Giallorossi.
Expect a queue at set pieces if he moves to either Clasico rival.
Guardiola has eyes for English clubs
Bayern Munich's season was going so well -- top of the Bundesliga with record profits -- but the Bundesliga leaders' joy came to a screeching halt Friday after Pep Guardiola cancelled a routine news conference reportedly "for private reasons" amid claims he has agreed to coach Manchester City from next summer.
The Telegraph reports Guardiola is "understood to have told friends that when he leaves Bayern his next managerial job will be in the Premier League," which is likely to put Arsenal, Man United, Man City and Chelsea on alert. The paper also says that the 44-year-old coach is likely to step away from club football at 50 due to the intense nature of his approach, with England the "logical destination" after Spain and Germany.
However, the Mail says that there is "no appetite in Munich to lose [Guardiola]," with the Bavarians "prepared to fight" to keep their coach. All will be clear by Christmas after Guardiola has sat down with club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, it seems.
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Milan starlet worth the earth
You should always take anything the ever-entertaining Mino Raiola says with a liberal pinch of salt. And it will come as no surprise that the agent of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba also represents AC Milan's 16-year-old goalkeeping sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The preposterously young Italian is currently Milan's No. 1, and has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of Azzurri great Gianluigi Buffon. The Juventus stopper still holds the world record fee for a keeper at €52m (then £32.6m), but Raiola thinks Donnarumma is worth a little more -- over €100m more, to be precise.
"I'd compare him to a [piece by Italian artist Amedeo] Modigliani," Raiola told Mediaset. "He's worth $170 million [€160m]. He has a great future. He's an extraordinary kid and everyone loves him. He's already a little champion but he can become a great one."
- Vincent Kompany's injury struggles may not be enough to keep Martin Demichelis at Man City, with the Mirror reporting that Rosario Central are interested in taking the 34-year-old back to his homeland. However, New York City FC -- co-owned by Man City -- are also rumoured to be keen on a loan move, which could trump Rosario's plans.
- Andre Gray's name has begun to grace Transfer Talk's pages in recent weeks, and the Mirror now reports that the 24-year-old striker's nine goals for Burnley this season could see the likes of Everton, Aston Villa and West Ham make a move. Gray has played for two clubs already this season though, so a summer bidding war is much more likely.