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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool linked with Mario Gotze; Galatasaray eye Chelsea duo

The departure of Mario Gotze to Bayern in 2013 was the beginning of the end for Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund.
Jurgen Klopp is apparently eyeing a reunion with former Borussia Dortmund star Mario Gotze.

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.

Liverpool in for Gotze, Galatasaray in for Chelsea duo?

Jurgen Klopp has brought in just one player since taking charge of Liverpool so far, but Bild suggests there could be a much higher-profile deal in the offing: Bayern Munich attacking midfielder Mario Gotze.

Bild reporter Jorg Weiler, who was close to Klopp during his Dortmund days, says the Reds boss wants the Germany international more than any other Bundesliga player. Gotze is under contract until 2017, and on Thursday kicker reported that contract talks have not even begun, but of course everything depends on incoming Carlo Ancelotti.

A note of caution. Bild says Bayern would want €50 million at least, and Liverpool have not made an offer yet. Bayern's Matthias Sammer also gave the rumour short shrift in Sport Bild (see update at 09.58 GMT).

Elsewhere, Galatasaray are said to be interested in Chelsea's Loic Remy and Branislav Ivanovic. Turkish news outlet AMK are reporting Fatih Isbecer -- Galatasaray's general secretery -- has been in London holding talks with the Serbian international's representative. The Metro are reporting the Turkish club are also interested in acquiring the French striker, too.

LIVE BLOG:

23.00 GMT: That's going to wrap up Friday's live edition of Transfer Talk. Thanks very much for joining us, and please check back in just a few hours when we return with all the latest gossip pulled from Saturday's back pages.

22.44 GMT: Arsenal have identified Watford striker Odion Ighalo as a potential cut-price alternative to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose asking price has reportedly been set at £60 million, reports the Mirror.

22.27 GMT: Real Madrid have entered the race to sign Everton's John Stones after former manager Rafa Benitez identified the 21-year-old England international as one of the best young defenders in Europe, according to the Daily Mail.

21.49 GMT: While Manchester United and Tottenham have been linked with a move for Fulham sensation Moussa Dembele, Crystal Palace have emerged as the bookmakers' favourite to secure the services of the 19-year-old Frenchman, reports the News Shopper.

21.25 GMT: DONE DEAL Palermo have confirmed that Benfica's 20-year-old Italian midfielder Bryan Cristante has joined the Sicilian club on loan.

21.02 GMT: Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Mario Gotze has refused to rule out a possible summer exit from the Bundesliga club. Full story.

20.39 GMT: Bournemouth are on the verge of signing Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Benik Afobe after offering £10million, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.

20.15 GMT: Manchester United have upped their efforts to sign £30-million rated Ricardo Rodriguez this month, the Express cites German publication Bild as reporting.

19.59 GMT: Chelsea are prepared to allow highly touted academy graduate Charly Musonda to leave the club on loan, according to the Daily Mail.

19.37 GMT: Spanish journalist Guillem Balague has told Sky Sports that Diego Costa "would love to go back to" Atletico Madrid, but La Liga's leaders won't be so quick to make a move with Jackson Martinez and Luciano Vietto beginning to find their feet at the Vicente Calderon.

19.14 GMT: MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers are set to add Ned Grabavoy and Zarek Valentin to their squad, reports Goal. Grabavoy spent last season at New York City FC, while 24-year-old Valentin played for Norwegian side FK Bodo Glimt last season.

18.51 GMT: Liverpool face growing competition for the signature of Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia as Serie A outfit Sampdoria have joined the race, according to a report in the Express.

18.28 GMT: DONE DEAL Dani Osvaldo has sealed a permanent return to Argentina and Boca Juniors after several turbulent years in Europe. Read the full story.

17.50 GMT: DONE DEAL Coventry City have signed former Reading, Brentford and Hull City midfielder Stephen Hunt.

17.45 GMT: Rumours have emerged that LA Galaxy have signed former Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole. However, despite the club's supposed interest towards Cole back in December, the MLS outfit reportedly seem just as interested in bringing in Joleon Lescott from Aston Villa

17.31 GMT: Bournemouth are still in for Napoli midfielder Jonathan De Guzman, according to Gazetta World. Eddie Howe's side already confirmed the earlier loan signing of Serie A star Juan Manuel Iturbe and they're now eyeing De Guzman as a second later this month.

17.15 GMT: DONE DEAL And we've got a completed transfer! Jason Gilchrist has joined Chester on an emergency 28-day loan from Burnley.

17.03 GMT: The odds on Joel Matip joining Liverpool have dropped from a distant 8/1 to 11/4, according to The Metro. The Cameroon international has been surrounded with Liverpool transfer talk since Jurgen Klopp came in and given the club's dire injury situation, now could be good time to take a plunge on the 24-year-old defender.

16.50 GMT: Zinedine Zidane is ruling out any transfer dealings this month, according to Goal. Isco has been heaviliy linked with a departure but now that Rafa Benitez is no longer in the managerial position, he may be more inclined to stay put.

16.35 GMT: Stuttgart are after Chelsea's Papy Djilobodji, acccording to The Express. The defender joined the Blues from Nantes in the summer on a four-year deal and is still yet to play in the Premier League.

16.21 GMT: Borussia Dortmund coach Thomas Tuchel is keen for the club to bring in a replacement for the recently departed Adnan Januzaj.

Speaking to Sport Bild, he said: "We have a pretty small group of players at the moment. I generally like that, but we lost two players in attack this month. That's why we are looking into signing someone in attack."

16.11 GMT: Arsene Wenger has refused to comment on speculation that Pep Guardiola could replace him as Arsenal manager after this season, saying he is only focused on making sure the club is in great condition on the day he does step down. Read the full story here.

16.08 GMT: Mario Balotelli back to Liverpool? The Metro and Tuttomercatoweb seem to think so...

15.45 GMT: DONE DEAL Granada have signed Sergi Guardiola, the player that Barcelona let go hours after originally signing him when the Catalan club discovered he had posted "offensive tweets" on his Twitter account. Full story here.

15.38 GMT: Harry Kane is not for sale, according to Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

15.30 GMT: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas may have denied the possible transfer, but Newcastle boss Steve McClaren didn't...

15.20 GMT: Nottingham Forest are continuing their day's transfer dealings with The Nottingham Post reporting ex-England keeper Paul Robinson is training at the club with the chance of a full contract. Gary Gardner is back on loan at the club from Aston Villa, too.

15.03 GMT: Eden Hazard's father has denied that the Belgium international is seeking a move away from Chelsea and said his current injury problems are down to playing too many games. Read the full story here.

14.50 GMT: DONE DEALPalermo have signed Italy Under-20 midfielder Bryan Cristante on loan from Benfica.

The 20-year-old graduated from AC Milan's academy but moved to Lisbon on a five-year contract in 2014. He is now back in Italy, with Sicilian club Palermo announcing his arrival on their official website on Friday. Cristante, who also holds a Canadian passport, could join the Rosanero on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

14.37 GMT: The Telegraph are reporting Arsenal are looking to bid for Benedikt Howedes. The German international has a year left on his contract but has a release clause of £9m.

14.26 GMT: DONE DEAL Rotherham United have completed the signing of Tunisian international Aimen Belaid from Bulgarian side Levski Sofia. The Millers have also released Aidy White by mutual consent. 

14.05 GMT: Cristiano Ronaldo isn't going anywhere, according to new Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane. Full story is available here.

"Cristiano Ronaldo is non-transferable," Zidane said at his press conference today. "He's the soul of this team." 

14.00 GMT: Swansea City have rarely featured on the transfer talk blog since the opening of the January window, but they're here now. According to the South Wales Evening Post, they're being linked with Sampdoria striker Luis Muriel.

13.45 GMT: Alexandre Pato's name is cropping up a lot in today's transfer talk, with Tuttomercatoweb now reporting Liverpool have made an £11.1m approach for the striker.

13.36 GMT: Borussia Monchengladbach are set to sign RB Salzburg defender Martin Hinteregger, according to Bild. The paper claims he'll have his medical today, joining initially on loan with a buy-option for €12m. 

13.27 GMT: According to GianlucaDiMarzio.com, Liverpool are interested in signing former Arsenal target Dennis Praet.

13.12 GMT: Fawaz Alhasawiv -- chairman and owner of Nottingham Forest -- has announced that the club are signing Villarreal's Bojan Jokic

13.07 GMT: German World Cup winner Lother Matthaus has said Pep Guardiola is not 100 percent committed to the Bayern Munich, claiming he's already planning signings for his potential new side Manchester City. 

He told Bild: "The squad-planning for Manchester City is too important for him to have his head 100 per cent with Bayern Munich." 

13.03 GMT: Branislav Ivanovic is keen on a move to Galatasaray, according to Turkish newspaper AMK. The defender, who has also attracted interest from AC Milan, could be one of the players Chelsea decide to let go as they look to give their squad a revamp after the disastrous first half of the season. 

12.52 GMT: According to Eurosport, Alexandre Pato turned down £190,000 a week to play for second division Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian.

Corinthians president Roberto de Andrade said: "He [Pato] didn't see himself in a country like China. The decision to stay or leave is not in the club's hand."

12.37 GMT: Brighton are said to be after Ecuadorean striker Miller Bolanos, according to El Diario. The Seagulls are said to have made a £7.3m bid for the player who has scored six times in 12 games for Ecuador.

12.22 GMT: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has said striker Alexandre Lacazette will not join Newcastle this month and has predicted that the France international will stay at his club for a long time. Read the full story here.

12.08 GMT: Sheffield Wednesday agreed a fee with Bolton for midfielder Mark Davies, sources have told ESPN FC.

12.04 GMT: 33-year-old Aston Villa defender Joleon Lescott is a target for Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy, a source has told ESPN FC. Read the full story here.

11.50 GMT: Argentina international Rodrigo Palacio extends his contract with Inter. 

11.48 GMT: Bayer Leverkusen are set to receive €3.2m (£2.4m) for Renato Augusto's transfer from Corinthians to Beijing Guoan. The club held 40 percent of the transfer rights. "We get a significant amount," Voller told Bild.

11.31 GMT: Steve Mandanda released a statement regarding his future, and he's staying at Marseille.

"My agent received offers from different clubs in order to leave this January," his statement read.

"We studied these proposals, I weighed up the pros and the cons of what is best for me.

"And this is what has come out of it - I've decided to stay at Olympique de Marseille until the end of the season.

11.17 GMT: Wolfsburg left back Ricardo Rodriguez says he has "not heard" anything about Real Madrid's interest.

"It's nice to hear," he told Wolfsburger Allgemeine Zeitung. "But it's nothing right now. My agent would have informed me about it." 

11.06 GMT: DONE DEAL Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Jake Forster-Caskey has rejoined MK Dons on loan for the rest of the season. The 21-year-old played five games on loan at Karl Robinson's Championship strugglers earlier this campaign.

10.50 GMT: DONE DEAL Former Manchester City midfielder Rony Lopes has returned to Lille for a second loan spell. The 20-year-old spent last season on loan at the club before joining Monaco and he has now returned for six months along with former West Brom and West Ham attacking midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, who has signed a permanent deal.

10.35 GMT: DONE DEAL Jed Wallace -- former England U19 international -- has gone on loan to League 1 outfit Millwall for 28 days. 

10.20 GMT: Former CSKA Moscow striker Vagner Love, 31, is reportedly close to returning to Europe. The Brazilian has been liked with a move from Corinthians to Monaco.

10.08 GMT: Arsenel are set to wrap up the signing of Mohamed Elneny in 'two to three days'. Read the story here.

09.58 GMT: Bayern Munich sporting executive Matthias Sammer has cooled -- albeit not specifically denied -- speculation in Bild that Liverpool are in for Mario Gotze.

"There is new nonsense every day," he told Sport Bild. "I don't want to say more about it."

09.43 GMT DONE DEAL Norwich have signed Portuguese right-back Ivo Pinto from Dinamo Zagreb.

09.26 GMT DONE DEAL  Hannover striker Mevlut Erding, 28, has joined Guingamp on loan until the end of the season. The Turkey international had only joined the German club from Saint-Etienne in the summer.

09.08 GMT: We've just had an exclusive quote through from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

"Let me say this first: I am not going to Arsenal," he told ESPN FC's Colin Udoh. "Dortmund is my club and I am not leaving soon."

08.50 GMT: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has ruled out leaving Borussia Dortmund as the club announced that there were no plans for any January sales. Neven Subotic had been strongly linked with Liverpool but a deal is looking less likely. Story here.

08.40 GMT: Rayo Vallecano coach Paco Jemez has confirmed his interest in signing Ghanaian midfielder Thomas from Atletico Madrid.

"Atleti have a lot of players," he said. "They could lend us some ... We have asked for Thomas, but now it will be difficult. We asked for him in summer, and again now [in January]."

08.06 GMT: PSG manager Laurent Blanc says that attacker Hervin Ongenda, 20, will be allowed to leave the club on loan this month but that striker Jean-Kevin Augustin, 18, who is wanted by Reims, and defender Presnel Kimpembe, 20, will stay at the club. 

07.41 GMT: GianlucaDiMarzio.com says LA Galaxy are on the verge of signing former England centre-back Joleon Lescott from Premier League strugglers Aston Villa, while they also want to tie up a deal for AC Milan midfielder Nigel de Jong.

07.24 GMT: Borussia Dortmund forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang -- linked with Arsenal recently -- has told the SID agency he is staying at the Westfalenstadion.

06.44 GMT: Good morning all and welcome to another fun-filled day of live transfer blogging. We kick things off with this bit from Gazzetta World, who are reporting that Roma are interested in the services of out-of-favour Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy. Rudi Garcia will have to battle Aston Villa for the Frenchman, with Remi Garde keen to keep the 30-year-old in England.



PAPER ROUND

Real to buy Kane as Ronaldo replacement?

It sounds like something out of a comic book, but the Telegraph reports that Harry Kane -- who only made his first Premier League start for Tottenham in April 2014 -- could be the man to replace Ballon d'Or holder Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid. Kane has risen through the ranks at White Hart Lane to become Mauricio Pochettino's star player in a squad competing for a Champions League spot, and the England international's form hasn't gone unnoticed around Europe.

According to the Telegraph, Los Blancos have paid "close attention" to the 22-year-old for well over a year now, and Kane could be a summer target as the Spanish giants look to rebuild their squad with Zinedine Zidane at the helm. With Ronaldo's future as Madrid's No. 1 goalscorer in doubt, Kane may follow Gareth Bale's path from White Hart Lane to the Bernabeu with a sale abroad "much easier for Spurs to take than to sell to domestic rivals" such as Manchester United.

United enter Hazard race?

Despite Eden Hazard's woeful season for Chelsea so far, it seems the Belgian winger will have no shortage of suitors this summer -- and Man United may just be shock contenders for his signature. The Star says that with the likelihood of United signing either Cristiano Ronaldo or Gareth Bale a "long shot," the Red Devils will turn to Hazard for the pace and incision lacking under Louis van Gaal's leadership.

The paper says that the 25-year-old would set United back a cool £65 million for his fee along with a £250,000-a-week wage package and a potential deal isn't that far-fetched. After all, who could have predicted United nabbing Juan Mata from the Blues two years ago? Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich have all been linked with the winger, though the Telegraph reports that Hazard will wait to find out who Chelsea's next permanent manager will be before deciding whether to join Zinedine Zidane at the Bernabeu or move on elsewhere.

Should Hazard opt against United, the Manchester Evening News reports that Van Gaal's striker shortlist includes £365m worth of talent -- with prices based on the latest CIES survey -- of Neymar (valued at £112m), Ronaldo (£83.6m), Kane (£66.9m), Thomas Muller (£52.3m) and Bale (£50.7m). Muller is a near-impossible target given his new contract with Bayern, but the Mirror adds that United could launch a £40m bid for Romelu Lukaku this summer with Everton "certain to resist their advances" for a potential deal this month.

Chelsea want the next Xavi

With the aforementioned Hazard potentially moving on this summer, Chelsea are starting to look to the future. The Sun reports that the Blues are looking at a surprise move for Arsenal's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who could "need a new challenge" having failed to secure a regular starting role with the Gunners. The paper suggests Jose Mourinho was keen on the England midfielder, though the Blues' interest in The Ox "has not waned" despite sacking the Portuguese coach.

It's increasingly common to see gifted youngsters unfairly labelled as "the next [insert star name here]" on the basis of a few grainy video clips, but it really does seem that Chelsea are after the next Xavi at Barcelona -- Xavi Simons, to be precise. The Mail reports that the Premier League champions are just one of the clubs interested in the 12-year-old -- who starred at the La Liga Promises tournament in Miami last month -- with Xavi's father Regillio Simons quoted as saying: "We have spoken to Chelsea and you know it's going to be good money at Chelsea."

Meanwhile, Chelsea's loan list grows with full-back Wallace joining Brazilian side Gremio on an 18-month loan.

Benteke fighting for Anfield future

Jurgen Klopp has challenged Christian Benteke to prove he can lead the line in his new-look Liverpool side, and the Belgium international has responded with a mixed bag of match-winning goals and inept performances. The Mail reports that Klopp is yet to be "fully persuaded" by the 25-year-old's talents, and suggests that while he will not let Benteke go this month, the forward is "fighting for his future" as the coach is already scouting for summer striking additions.

Meanwhile, Klopp has been given a boost over a potential bid for Borussia Dortmund star Ilkay Gundogan, with Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta quoted by the Express as telling Bild: "Gundogan is a name we have not mentioned in relation to the winter transfer market. I do not think Borussia Dortmund want to sell the player. Why should we rely on Gundogan, when we have midfielders such as Claudio Marchisio? We have several options in midfield."

Baggies breaking the bank?

With the Premier League so open this season, plenty of teams will be feeling the squeeze with some unexpected top-10 finishes increasingly likely. West Brom are neither here nor there in 12th position -- 10 points off the top four and nine off the relegation zone -- and both the Guardian and the Telegraph report that the Baggies could face the risk of losing Saido Berahino to Stoke City this month, with Mark Hughes considering a bid for the wantaway 22-year-old striker.

In better news for Baggies fans, the Telegraph suggests that Tony Pulis' side are leading the race for Andros Townsend with the England international said to have told Mauricio Pochettino that he wants to leave Tottenham on loan this January after struggling for a first-team role.

TAP-INS:

- LA Galaxy have been shedding players to lower their salary cap for new signings, and Sky Sport Italia reports that the MLS franchise have approached AC Milan's Nigel de Jong about a potential move to the U.S.

- Swansea are keen to spend big on a striker, but the Guardian reports that Napoli have rejected a £14.1m bid from the Swans for Manolo Gabbiadini, with the Serie A side "holding out for £16m for the Italy international."

- Everton are going to have to spend big if they want to prise goalkeeper David Marshall away from Cardiff City, with the Mirror reporting the Bluebirds have placed a "massive" £10m price tag on the Scotland international's head.

- Coventry have signed Joe Cole on a free transfer from Aston Villa, with the former England international penning a deal until the end of the season after being on loan at the Ricoh Arena since October.

- Sunderland have made Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchhoff their first addition of the winter window, signing the 25-year-old centre-back on an 18-month deal for a reported fee of £750,000.

- Newcastle Jets have been busy in the past few days having secured a number of youngsters to new contracts, and the A-League club have now signed Olyroos midfielder Steven Ugarkovic until the end of the 2016-17 season.

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