Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard could swap Real Madrid and Chelsea
The winter window opened on Jan. 2, and, as always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See all the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Chelsea, Real plotting Bale, Hazard swap?
With Gareth Bale reported to be "intensely disappointed" at Rafa Benitez's Real Madrid sacking, the most expensive player in the world is on the back pages once again. The Guardian says although Bale "has no plans to leave" the club, "his future at the club will hinge largely on how [new manager] Zinedine Zidane deploys him between now and the end of the season."
The Mail reports that Manchester United won't wait that long to make a move, and are hoping the chance to work with compatriot Ryan Giggs could tempt the Wales international this month for a cool £75 million.
But United aren't the only interested party -- the Mirror suggests Chelsea also want Bale, with the Premier League champions aware of how much Zidane wants Eden Hazard at Madrid. The Star says Los Blancos are readying a £100m summer offer for the Belgian, and Chelsea's reported interest in Bale might see the clubs line up a summer agreement.
23.58 GMT: That's going to do it for Wednesday's live edition of Transfer Talk. Thanks very much for joining us, and please check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest gossip plucked from Thursday morning's back pages.
23.46 GMT: Tottenham are on the verge of signing highly rated teenager Shilow Tracey from Ebbsfleet United. Press Association Sport understands a deal for the 17-year-old was close to being finalised on Wednesday, with Tracey expected to seal his switch by the end of the week.
23.25 GMT: Leeds United manager Steve Evans has hinted that the club have inquired about the availability of 20-year-old Jack Grealish, but Aston Villa have stymied the club's attempts, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.
23.04 GMT: Manchester United have asked Borussia Dortmund to cancel their season-long loan deal for Adnan Januzaj, sources have told ESPN FC. Get the full details on the move here.
22.43 GMT: Southampton have no plans to sell Sadio Mane to Manchester United in the January transfer window, a source close to the club has told ESPN FC. Read the full story.
21.22 GMT: Joe Cole's Aston Villa career is nearing its end as the former England international is set to make his Coventry City loan permanent, according to the Birmingham Mail.
21.01 GMT: Belgian international Adnan Januzaj is set to cut short his loan stay at Borussia Dortmund and return to Manchester United, first reported by the Daily Mail. There are conflicting reports over whether United or Dortmund have triggered Januzaj's return, but regardless, the Belgian's time at the Westfalenstadion looks to be over.
20.27 GMT: Bournemouth have inquired about the availability of AC Milan's 23-year-old Italian international Stephan El Shaarawy, who is on loan at Monaco, the Daily Mail reports.
19.58 GMT: Manchester United have attempted to broker a deal for Southampton attacker Sadio Mane, according to the Daily Mail, but "have been told in no uncertain terms that Mane is not available this month."
19.37 GMT: Liverpool have followed up the signing of 19-year-old Marko Grujic by adding 17-year-old goalkeeper Kamil Grabara from Ruch Chorzow for £250,000, according to the Guardian.
<19.09 GMT: DONE DEAL Former Borussia Dortmund wide man Kevin Grosskreutz has returned to the Bundesliga just six months after joining Galatasaray, signing for Stuttgart. Full story.
18.50 GMT: Liverpool and Watford are keen on signing Fiorentina midfielder and former Atletico Madrid man Mario Suarez this January, reports Corriere dello Sport.
18.31 GMT: DONE DEAL Arsenal midfielder Gedion Zelalem has extended his loan deal with Rangers until the end of the season after helping the Scottish club climb to the top of the Scottish second division. Full story.
18.12 GMT: Juventus general manager Beppe Marotta says that he doubts Borussia Dortmund would consider selling Ilkay Gundogan, despite reports in Italian media linking the midfielder to the Serie A side. Full story.
17.53 GMT: French international Mathieu Debuchy has entered into negotiations with Roma over a January transfer to Serie A after falling behind Hector Bellerin in Arsenal's right-back pecking order, according to the Mirror.
17.24 GMT: PSG youngster Hervin Ongenda, 20, is set to be loaned out in winter. Le Parisien says Ligue 2 side Paris FC are interested but the player has also been offered to top-flight side Angers.
17.05 GMT: RMC says that Marseille have not received any offers for French midfielder Lassana Diarra or Argentine attacker Lucas Ocampos. Diarra, 30, has been linked with Inter Milan but took to Twitter to deny that he would be leaving. Ocampos is a reported target for Fiorentina.
16.51 GMT: Reims have joined St Etienne in the battle to sign Staebek's Belgian midfielder Yassine el-Ghanassy, 25, according to L'Equipe.
16.38 GMT: Nicklas Bendtner has told Bild he is "unhappy" at Wolfsburg amid suggestions he is looking for a return to England. Story here.
16.16 GMT: The London Evening Standard reports that Tottenham have agreed a deal to sign 17-year-old Shilow Tracey from Ebbsfleet United.
15.51 GMT: Juventus are ready to rival Leicester City for young Sampdoria defender Pedro Pereira, sources have told ESPN FC. Story here.
15.28 GMT: Younes Belhanda is edging ever closer to his loan move to Schalke from Dynamo Kiev.
15.18 GMT: Cristiano Ronaldo is still expected to leave Real Madrid in the summer despite Zinedine Zidane coming in to replace Rafa Benitez, according to the Daily Telegraph.
15.09 GMT: Hannover are interested in former Borussia Dortmund striker Lucas Barrios, according to Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung. The Paraguay international is currently playing for Palmeiras in Brazil.
14.56 GMT: Ecuador international Carlos Gruezo, 20, will be allowed to leave Stuttgart, with Kicker reporting that the holding midfielder, under contract until 2018, is keen to stay in Germany. Second-tier club Union Berlin are said to be interested, as well as his former club Barcelona Guayaquil and MLS clubs.
14.44 GMT: The transfer market is open in our fantasy game too. All managers need to select a brand new squad for the second half of the season -- and new players are welcome too.
14.33 GMT: LA Galaxy midfielder Steven Gerrard could be tempted by an A-League stint before he retires.
14.15 GMT: Jurgen Klopp has told Liverpool's official website that Marko Grujic -- who will return to Red Star until the summer -- has the ability to succeed at Anfield.
"We're very pleased because Marko is a big talent and we've seen him a lot of times," Klopp said.
"When I came here, our scouts showed me some footage of a very skilled player from Red Star Belgrade. We watched it, we spoke to him, we met each other -- he's a good boy, a young boy, but plays an important role at the moment at Red Star, who are the best team in Serbia.
"To describe him, I would say he's a tall boy, but quick and good at technical things. He can play passes and can dribble. But he is young, so he has to develop. He will do this, so everything is OK."
14.04 GMT DONE DEAL Liverpool have signed Marko Grujic from Red Star. Story here.
13.56 GMT: Marseille's Michy Batshuayi and Benjamin Mendy have now officially signed their new contracts, lasting until 2020 and 2019 respectively. Story here.
13.49 GMT: Barcelona youngster Lee Seung-woo will now have the chance to show his worth to senior coach Luis Enrique after the South Korean forward became eligible to play again for the club. Read that one here.
13.34 GMT: Leeds United boss Steve Evans says Norwich forward Kyle Lafferty wants to move to Elland Road. He told Sky Sports News: "I don't think he's made it any secret he would like to be here, but I have to be very respectful to [Norwich boss] Alex Neil, who ultimately will have a huge say on whether we can get a deal done."
13.19 GMT: Jan Kirchhoff is closing in on his move from Bayern Munich to Sunderland.
Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchhoff to undergo medical at Sunderland #SSNHQ- Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) January 6, 2016
13.05 GMT: Marseille president Vincent Labrune has confirmed to RMC that he expects top scorer Michy Batshuayi and full-back Benjamin Mendy to extend their contracts at the club in the near future.
12.41 GMT: Bayern Munich star Douglas Costa says he has no intention of leaving when "genius" coach Pep Guardiola leaves at the end of the season. Story here.
12.13 GMT DONE DEAL Israeli winger Gai Assulin, once tipped for big things during his time at Barcelona and Manchester City, has joined Hapoel Tel Aviv on a free transfer. The 25-year-old, who had last been with Real Mallorca, signed an 18-month contract. He told the club's official website he is "delighted" to make the move, having come close to joining the club in the summer.
11.47 GMT: Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all monitoring Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, according to Sky Sports.
11.35 GMT: Bild reports that Bas Dost is considering leaving Wolfsburg as he is frustrated by his lack of playing time.
11.16 GMT: Aston Villa midfielder Joe Cole is set to make his loan deal to League One side Coventry City permanent this week, the Birmingham Mail reports. The 34-year-old former England international made little impact for Villa after signing in 2014.
11.00 GMT: Schalke sporting executive Horst Heldt has said there has been "no offer" for reported Manchester City target Leroy Sane.
However, he said it "would be wrong to not prepare for all contingencies" and added: "We are experienced enough. But we have learnt one thing: To only deal with issues in concrete terms once they are actually tangible. That is not the case right now. But it's clear to us that this issue will drag on, unless the player no longer plays well."
10.48 GMT: Arsenal officials have flown to Switzerland to tie up the move for Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny, sources have told ESPN FC. Story here.
10.33 GMT DONE DEAL Derby County have signed Nick Blackman from fellow Championship side Reading. The striker had scored 11 goals for the Royals in the league this season.
10.25 GMT: Schalke winger Leroy Sane's father is "proud" his son is attracting interest after he was linked with Manchester City but said the Germany international can decide his own future. Story here.
10.04 GMT: Barcelona reportedly looking to sign 19-year-old Romanian striker Andrei Ivan from Universitatea Craiova. Sport says Steaua Bucharest have bid €3 million and Barca can't afford to match that fee at the moment, so they would prefer a loan move now and to complete permanent move in summer. Ivan is already a full Romania international, but he would play for the Barca B team in the third tier and move into the senior squad if he settles well.
09.40 GMT: According to several media outlets in France, including L'Equipe, former West Ham midfielder Morgan Amalfitano is close to sealing a move to Lille. Amalfitano, 30, ended his contract at the Hammers in October and is expected to sign a two and a half year deal with Lille.
09.25 GMT: L'Equipe says that Lyon forward Alexandre Lacazette is not interested in a move to Newcastle, who are willing to offer more than €25 million for Ligue 1's top scorer and player of the year from last season. The paper suggests that Newcastle made an initial bid orally last week.
L'Equipe says Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas could be willing to negotiate over the transfer of the France international, who has scored six goals in 15 league matches this season. But Lacazette does not want to leave Lyon in the middle of the season, especially with Euro 2016 on the horizon. L'Equipe says Newcastle have also approached Bordeaux about signing Henri Saivet and that Chelsea's Loic Remy is another target.
09.07 GMT: Jan Kirchhoff was not part of the Bayern Munich squad boarding the flight to Qatar this morning. "He is in talks with his agent over a transfer," a statement on the club's official website read. The 25-year-old versatile defender has been linked with a €1 million switch to Premier League strugglers Sunderland.
08.58 GMT: The Guardian's Ed Aarons has tweeted that Manchester United are edging closer to a deal for Lazio attacking midfielder Felipe Anderson.
Felipe Anderson's agent was in England yesterday to meet officials from Manchester United. No official bid made yet #mufc- Ed Aarons (@ed_aarons) January 6, 2016
08.40 GMT: L'Equipe says Liverpool are tracking Lorient left-back Raphael Guerreiro. The paper reports that the Portuguese international, 22, is part of a short list for the position. Guerreiro was reportedly a target for Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain last summer.
ESPN FC's Michael Yokhin profiles Guerreiro here.
08.20 GMT: L'Equipe is reporting that Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu injured himself in training on Tuesday. There is no indication of how serious the problem is but it could potentially scupper the Italian's chances of sealing a move from the club this winter. Sirigu, 28, lost his place in the PSG starting XI following the arrival of Kevin Trapp last summer and the former Palermo keeper has said he would consider offers as he seeks to nail down a place in Italy's Euro 2016 squad.
07.50 GMT: Dynamo Kiev attacking midfielder Younes Belhanda is set to join Schalke on loan until the end of the season. Sporting director Horst Heldt said in kicker that "only little details" remain before the deal will be completed, but did "could not confirm" that the loan includes an option to buy.
07.16 GMT: Bayern Munich midfielder Sinan Kurt is expected to join Hertha today for around €1 million. The 19-year-old will sign a three-and-a-half-year deal, with the contract including a buy-back option, kicker reports. He will become the second youngster to make the move from Bayern to Berlin this season, following Mitch Weiser.
06.54 GMT: Today's Transfer Talk kicks off with the news that Melbourne City FC have signed former Liverpool youth keeper Dean Bouzanis on a short-term deal.
- Atletico sell Jackson Martinez to Chinese club for €42m
- How your Premier League side did in the transfer window
- Prem spending hits £1bn | Imbula joins Stoke for £18.3m
- Bayern loan Tasci | Doumbia to Newcastle | Sanogo loan
- Anderlecht sign Buttner | Perotti to Roma | Eder to Lille
- Fletcher to Marseille | Van Ginkel get PSV | Powell loan
- Fer to Swansea | Fazio rejoins Sevilla | Jones, N.E. talks?
- FC TV: Not sure Teixeira's worth the money | Paul Pogba
- LIVE: Transfer Talk | Done deals | ENG | SPA | GER | ITA | FRA
City want Pep and Messi reunion
On Tuesday, Pep Guardiola confirmed what the football world has known for a while -- he is looking for a job in the Premier League once his Bayern Munich contract expires this summer. Manchester City are favourites to land the Catalan coach given their spending power and new state-of-the-art youth facilities, but rivals United are still in with a chance -- though not for long, according to The Sun.
The paper reports that Guardiola has so far spoken to City and United, rejected Chelsea, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain and would consider Arsenal. United "could still steal the departing Bayern Munich boss -- if they move quickly." However, the Express is confident that Pep has already decided on taking the City job, with the club "ready to pull out all the stops to bring in Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi in a world-record transfer."
Meanwhile, current City boss Manuel Pellegrini is standing strong despite the speculation, telling reporters, "You ask me personally, my way of thinking is that if I have the option to renew here for five years more or to win the title and be sacked, I'd prefer to win the title." How the City owners will love to hear that.
Chelsea moving forward with forwards
Who'd be a Chelsea striker these days? Loic Remy looks keen on a move away from Stamford Bridge considering he barely got a kick even when Diego Costa was out of form and in a tantrum, but The Sun reports that the French striker has been told he is "almost certainly staying put."
Meanwhile, England youngster Patrick Bamford could be handed a chance in the first team by Guus Hiddink despite failing to start a Premier League game in his failed loan spell at Palace, according to the Mail. He can hardly do worse than Radamel Falcao now, can he?
Klopp clipped by injuries
Liverpool's Capital One Cup win on Tuesday came at a cost to the Anfield club, with Jurgen Klopp's side suffering more injury woe as Dejan Lovren and Philippe Coutinho both picked up hamstring injuries while Kolo Toure was limping at the end of the game.
With fellow centre-backs Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho also out, Klopp told reporters after the game that he could be forced to buy a new defender this month: "In this situation with no centre-backs fit I would say [transfers] is something we could look at."
The former Borussia Dortmund coach also seems frustrated with the lack of a winter break in England, saying of the injuries, "We don't train, we only recover so that's the situation now. When should we train? There's no training. But no problem, really. I am responsible for these things, and if you want to make me responsible for our hamstrings -- that's the next step, I know this. I know this."
A message to all defenders then -- beware of your hamstrings if Liverpool are suddenly interested in your signature. ...
Eagles on the lookout for poachers
Alan Pardew is looking for a goal scorer this January, and the Mirror reports that Crystal Palace have made a move for £10m-rated Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar. The Mail reports that Palace have also joined the race for Fulham starlet Moussa Dembele, but face competition from Roma.
Meanwhile, the same paper says Palace have also spoken to Emmanuel Adebayor regarding a short-term deal, as Watford are not interested in the 31-year-old, who is available as a free agent.
That could be because the Mail reports that the Hornets are instead looking at a loan deal for Fiorentina's Mario Suarez, who worked with Quique Sanchez Flores at Atletico Madrid.
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- Any minor changes to routine are scrutinised in the January transfer window, and the Independent has picked up on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang -- a target for both Arsenal and Liverpool -- missing his first Borussia Dortmund training session back from the winter break "for personal reasons." That could literally be anything, but it's all grist for the mill.
- Marouane Fellaini might be relatively unloved by both Louis van Gaal and Manchester United fans, but the Mirror reports that the Red Devils have told AC Milan that the combative Belgian is "going nowhere" this month.
- Everton are looking to complete the signing of 20-year-old Swiss "wonderkid" Shani Tarashaj from Grasshopper Zurich on Wednesday, according to the Liverpool Echo. Roberto Martinez might fund that move with the sales of Republic of Ireland duo Darron Gibson and Aiden McGeady, says the Star.
- Over to Leicester now -- Leicester Mercury reports that Claudio Ranieri is not after World Cup finalist Nigel De Jong, while the Mirror says the Foxes want to sign 23-year-old Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar to take the pressure off Jamie Vardy.
- Aston Villa outcast Joe Cole looks increasingly likely to complete a permanent move to Coventry City this week, according to the Birmingham Mail.