Real Madrid target Eden Hazard, John Stones and David De Gea ahead of ban
The winter window opened Jan. 2. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Real Madrid target Hazard, De Gea, Kane, Stones, Aguero
The January transfer window took an interesting turn on Thursday when FIFA announced both Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have been banned from registering new players for the next two transfer windows -- bad news for Premier League clubs this winter.
The Guardian reports Real may "stockpile" talent before the ban kicks in, with the Star claiming English clubs are "on alert" with Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, John Stones and David De Gea targets for Real in an "amazing [mega-money] swoop." The Sun adds Sergio Aguero and Paul Pogba to a £250 million wish list.
It's not all bad news as the Mirror says Chelsea will try to pinch Atletico coach Diego Simeone, while Real's ban has increased Manchester United's hopes of keeping De Gea. However, the punishment could dent United's chances of signing Real's Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos or Atleti's Saul Niguez, leaving stars in "limbo" according to the Mail.
Despite all this, Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez said the club are not considering emergency big-name signings this month.
22.48 GMT: OK folks, that will wrap things up for Transfer Talk on this Friday! Ben on the lookout for Saturday's edition, which should contain plenty of juicy transfer tidbits.
21.43 GMT: Could Ramires be leaving Stamford Bridge? Brazil's Globo Esporte reports that the Chelsea midfielder is unhappy at the club and could be Borussia Dortmund-bound.
21.14 GMT: DONE DEAL Real Salt Lake of MLS got a big boost on Friday with the return of Yura Movsisyan, who will play this season on-loan from Spartak Moscow.
I am happy to announce my return to MLS and my former team Real Salt Lake who I won the cup with back in '09. My... https://t.co/QltxC4qXJo- Yura Movsisyan (@YuraMovsisyan) January 15, 2016
20.33 GMT: With an impetus to sign players before their transfer ban kicks in, Real Madrid have cast their eyes on Boca Juniors starlet Rodrigo Bentancur. Argentine daily Clarin reports that Real would pay a €15 million fee for the 18-year-old Uruguayan midfielder.
20.01 GMT: DONE DEAL Spain's Celta Vigo have confirmed the signing of Chilean defender Marcelo Diaz.
19.19 GMT: Gianluca Di Marzio's website reports that Frosinone defender Modibo Diakite is close to signing with Sampdoria. The 28-year-old played seven matches on loan at Sunderland in 2014.
18.09 GMT: AC Milan are looking to pick up one of the key components of River Plate's Copa Libertadores-winning team, left-back Leonel Vangioni. In a Friday news conference, River president Rodolfo D'Onofrio revealed that the Italian club have made an offer for the 28-year-old, who becomes a free agent in the summer.
17.56 GMT: News from Liga MX as MedioTiempo report that Atlas are close to signing Universidad de Chile forward Sebastian Ubilla, who has a career total of 61 goals in Chilean football since 2008.
17.26 GMT: More on David De Gea now -- Louis van Gaal is confident that Madrid's transfer ban won't affect the goalkeeper's Manchester United form, telling reporters: "I don't think that is the kind of thing that plays on the mind of David De Gea.
"I never thought about it in the period before the transfer window and now I am seeing David De Gea who is enjoying to stay here and play good games."
17.07 GMT: Further to earlier reports that Real Madrid could potentially look to sign David De Gea this month before their FIFA transfer ban kicks in, Don Balon suggests that the Spanish giants have started discussing a potential move with the goalkeeper's agent Jorge Mendes.
It'd take something pretty spectacular for Real to land the 25-year-old this January, but never rule anything out where the Bernabeu behemoths are concerned.
17.00 GMT: Toulouse defender Francois Moubandje, 25, is of interest to Wolves, Hellas Verona and his former club Sion, according to L'Equipe.
16.46 GMT: Valencia coach Gary Neville has welcomed the appointment of Jesus Garcia Pitarch as sporting director, saying he can bring extra La Liga knowledge to the club. Read here.
16.33 GMT: Sunderland obviously liked the look of Andre Ayew's impressive solo goal against them on Wednesday night, as Sky Sports reports that the Black Cats have approached Swansea regarding a potential deal for the 26-year-old forward.
Would the Swans really be willing to let another player leave for a direct relegation rival having just sold Jonjo Shelvey to Newcastle?
16.26 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain manager Laurent Blanc says Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid's transfer bans will come as a significant setback if their appeals fail. Story here.
16.20 GMT: Cardiff City wont be making any moves this January, with the Bluebirds being placed under a transfer embargo by the Football League relating to financial fair play (FFP).
A statement on the Championship club's official website read: "Cardiff City Football Club can confirm that it has been made subject to an FFP embargo during the January 2016 transfer window.
"Whilst extremely disappointed that the Football League has decided to take this action, we will remain co-operative and compliant with the League's position in respect of FFP."
16.14 GMT: New signing Anthony Caceres is not expected to be part of the Manchester City squad after joining from Central Coast Mariners, according to City boss Manuel Pellegrini. Story here.
16.05 GMT: Sources have told ESPN FC that the Colorado Rapids are attempting to acquire Everton and U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard after being rebuffed in their attempt to land midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.
The Rapids acquired the top spot in the MLS allocation order from the Chicago Fire during Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, meaning that among MLS sides, they have the inside track to land the veteran goalkeeper.
15.58 GMT: Borussia Dortmund midfielder Nuri Sahin -- linked with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal in the past -- believes that the money in the Premier League will lead to many Bundesliga players moving to England. Is that a come-and-get-me plea, Nuri? Story here.
15.45 GMT: DONE DEAL Sunderland winger Will Buckley has joined Birmingham on loan for the rest of the season -- that's to plug the gap in the Championship side's team after Demarai Gray joined Leicester earlier this month.
15.38 GMT: West Brom boss Tony Pulis has had his say on how the January transfer window is affecting his striker Saido Berahino, who has been linked with Tottenham, Chelsea and Leicester to name just a few potential suitors.
15.22 GMT: The London Evening Standard has reported on Friday that Chelsea have postponed their long-standing interest in Everton defender John Stones until the summer.
Guus Hiddink admits the club's current standing in the Premier League -- combined with his status as an interim manager -- could put off potential signings, saying: "This is a very realistic view and Chelsea has to deal with that."
15.12 GMT: Wolfsburg "are closely looking at options" to reinforce their attack, sporting director Klaus Allofs has said, with Basel's Breel Embolo a potential option.
"We've got a list of players we like who could play a role for us someday," he said. "Should we do something now, it would be in anticipation of next season."
15.03 GMT DONE DEAL Norwich have now signed Ben Godfrey from York, but boss Alex Neil was quiet on suggestions Utrecht striker Sebastien Haller might follow. Story here.
14.50 GMT DONE DEAL Middlesbrough have signed Kike Sola on loan from Athletic Bilbao. Story here.
14.28 GMT: Carpi forward Marco Borriello's agent says Major League Soccer is one of the options the former Italy international is assessing. Story here.
14.14 GMT: Palermo and Sporting Gijon are vying to sign Tottenham's 20-year-old defender Milos Veljkovic, sources have told ESPN FC.
13.56 GMT: Jurgen Klopp did not confirm or deny rumours that Liverpool had struck a pre-contract agreement to sign Schalke centre-back Joel Matip on a free transfer this summer, adding: "There is nothing to say about it. If and when something is fixed you will be the first to know." Read more from the German's news conference here.
13.43 GMT: Lille boss Frederic Antonetti has confirmed that he is interested in signing Newcastle's Yoan Gouffran, but L'Equipe predicts that the 29-year-old will prove too costly for the French club.
13.21 GMT: Mauricio Pochettino says Christian Eriksen wants to stay at Tottenham, and backed his playmaker to start scoring regularly soon. Story here.
13.02 GMT: Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez says he expects many more European clubs to be hit by transfer bans for breaking youth transfer regulations -- and that cases are already advanced against some Premier League clubs. Story here.
12.49 GMT: Mediaset suggests Marseille want to bring Roma forward Gervinho back to France. The Ivory Coast international, 28, made his name by helping Lille win a league and cup double in 2011 before joining Arsenal.
12.37 GMT: St Etienne boss Christophe Galtier has confirmed there is an agreement in principle to re-sign Franck Tabanou from Swansea. Tabanou, 25, only moved to Swansea in the summer but has only featured in three League Cup and FA Cup matches. Le Progres earlier said he would return on loan for the rest of the season.
12.24 GMT: Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev says negotiations with a "big Italian club" are ongoing with a view to ending Stephan El Shaarawy's time in the principality. More on that one here.
11.54 GMT: Arsene Wenger does not think Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will suffer as a result of their FIFA ban.
"Straight away they will appeal," Wenger told reporters. "The appeal will cancel the ban. And they will be allowed to buy in the next two transfer windows like they did before. That's what will happen."
11.40 GMT: Atletico Madrid could increase sought-after attacker Antoine Griezmann's release clause to €100 million as part of a policy of "protecting the club's assets," according to president Enrique Cerezo. Story here.
11.23 GMT: Several French media outlets, including L'Equipe and RMC, Marseille want to bring Florian Thauvin back to the club on loan just five months after he joined Newcastle. Thauvin, 22, has started just three Premier League games for Newcastle this season. The Magpies have yet to make a decision on the proposed transfer.
11.02 GMT: Former Real Madrid and AC Milan forward Robinho is a target for Sion, the Swiss club's president has confirmed. Story here.
10.47 GMT: Tuttosport and Sport Mediaset in Italy are reporting Juventus want to sign Monaco's attacking midfielder Bernardo Silva this winter and PSG's Edinson Cavani in the summer. The reports say the reigning Italian champions hope to sign Portuguese international Silva on loan with the option to buy the 21-year-old at the end of the season.
10.32 GMT: Monaco had been planning to recall Radamel Falcao from his loan spell at Chelsea before the Colombia striker suffered his latest injury setback, according to the club's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev. Story here.
10.14 GMT: AS thinks Real Madrid want Juventus duo Alvaro Morata and Paul Pogba, among others, as they prepare for their transfer ban.
10.02 GMT: Manchester City have agreed a deal to sign Central Coast Mariners playmaker Anthony Caceres, the A-League side have confirmed. Story here.
09.55 GMT: Real Madrid director general Jose Angel Sanchez said the club are not considering emergency big-name signings this month despite facing a FIFA transfer ban in the summer. Story here.
09.38 GMT: York City midfielder Ben Godfrey is undergoing a medical at Norwich right now, sources have told ESPN FC.
09.22 GMT: L'Equipe says Real Madrid's transfer ban has all but ended Paris Saint-Germain's chances of buying Cristiano Ronaldo. Instead they're dreaming of signing Barcelona forward Neymar as a replacement for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who's out of contract in June.
Alternatively they could target two top-level players rather than one star name. Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus fall into that category, according to L'Equipe.
Chelsea's Eden Hazard is no longer a priority and they could also keep Ibrahimovic, 34, for another year.
09.05 GMT: Dario Lezcano is set to join FC Ingolstadt from FC Luzern. The Swiss club's coach, Markus Babbel, told local media that "the transfer fee of €2.5m shows the incredible work done at Luzern." The Paraguay international has scored nine goals in 12 matches.
08.44 GMT: Leicester City are in talks to sign Ghana international Daniel Amartey from FC Copenhagen, the Danish club has confirmed. Story here.
08.28 GMT: Younes Malli, a Turkey international, is another Borussia Dortmund transfer target this winter. While he has a release clause in the summer, the 23-year-old would have to be bought out of his Mainz contract in the winter. According to Spox, those close to Malli do not rule out a winter transfer, but Mainz would need a replacement. Malli, who scored eight in the first half of the season, has also been linked with Tottenham. Bild suggests Dortmund could offer €12m and striker Adrian Ramos.
08.03 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are interested in Dynamo Kiev winger Andriy Yarmolenko, according to Sport Bild, with the transfer fee a reported €30 million.
07.47 GMT: Robert Lewandowski's agent has said Bayern Munich do not need to target Gonzalo Higuain because in the Poland international they already have "a beautiful bride." Read here.
07.13 GMT: Bologna are closing in on a deal to bring Gaston Ramirez back to Serie A. The Uruguayan has had a nightmare run since joining Southampton in 2012, following two decent years with Bologna. Gazzetta World reports that Ramirez's agent met with officials from the Serie A club and a deal could be in place by early next week.
06.33 GMT: And away we go transfer fans, with the Jan. 15 edition of ESPN FC's live Transfer Talk blog.
We start the day with the biggest transfer related story from yesterday: the FIFA transfer ban imposed on Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid that could ostensibly shut them out of the 2016 summer window and the 2017 winter window if appeals don't lead to an overturned ruling.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti spoke at length about the ramifications of said ban. Here's what he had to say:
- 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
United lose interest in Anderson?
Felipe Anderson is a regular on Transfer Talk, with the Lazio midfielder constantly linked with a January move to Man United. Unfortunately for the 22-year-old Brazilian, the BBC reports that "it is now thought United do not intend to sign the playmaker despite their present struggles in front of goal," and will instead target a left-back.
Sticking with Italian targets, AC Milan have not received a bid for goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma from United and will not consider selling the 16-year-old, general manager Adriano Galliani has said. However, the Manchester Evening News says 16-year-old Italian centre-back Luca Ercolan is on the verge of a Red Devils contract, having been offered a deal after he impressed on loan at Old Trafford in recent months.
Louis Van Gaal could let yet another young talent leave on loan, with Andreas Pereira saying of a potential spell away: "Perhaps. We will see what happens. I want to stay here, of course, but you never know." Such deals may have a serious effect on United's youth policy, with The Times reporting that academy chief Derek Langley is set to leave this summer due to "disillusionment about the state of the academy."
Chelsea closing on Pato?
The Mail reports that Man United could rival Chelsea for Alexandre Pato's signature to boost Van Gaal's attacking options. The Star adds that the Blues may struggle as Guus Hiddink has been told there is a "one-in, one-out" rule regarding strikers this month.
However, ESPN Brazil reports that Chelsea are closing in on Pato, with the Brazilian's representatives "confident" of a Stamford Bridge move being completed. The Telegraph suggests the Blues will have to match Corinthians' £10m valuation, but a deal could be close.
Foxes join Berahino race?
It looks increasingly likely Saido Berahino will leave West Brom having not started a Premier League game for the Baggies in over two months. Tottenham and Chelsea are heavily linked with bids for the English striker. While both London clubs would probably view the young forward as a backup for their established starters, the Mirror reports that Leicester City could be surprise contenders for his signature.
According to the paper, Claudio Ranieri is keen on adding the 22-year-old to his title-chasing squad to ease the burden on Jamie Vardy, and Berahino would almost certainly get more first-team chances -- and possibly a better crack at a title race -- at the Foxes for now. But the Telegraph suggests that West Brom have told suitors that Berahino isn't for sale this month, so in the words of Joey Tribbiani of "Friends," this could all be a "moo point."
Ranieri is also close to signing FC Copenhagen's "highly rated" defender Daniel Amartey, according to the Leicester Mercury.
Better news for Spurs fans is that sources have told ESPN FC the club are planning a move for highly rated forward Moussa Dembele before the close of the transfer window, to presumably shadow Mousa Dembele as a doppelganger. Another young talent on the radar is Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, with the Mail reporting that Spurs and Liverpool are monitoring the 20-year-old on trial at Crystal Palace. He has been described as the "non-league Riyad Mahrez."
Summer shakeups at Arsenal, Man City
Mohamed Elneny's arrival at Arsenal on Thursday could have wider implications for Arsene Wenger's current midfielders, according to a number of British newspapers. The Mail reports that the Gunners are set for "significant changes" in the centre of the park, with Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky all set to depart at the end of the season and Southampton's Victor Wanyama to be "heavily scouted" with a view to a summer transfer.
Further north at Manchester City, the Telegraph reports that the title chasers are planning a "costly overhaul" to tempt Pep Guardiola to the Etihad, with Eliaquim Mangala and Wilfried Bony poised to make way and John Stones, Jamie Vardy, Aymeric Laporte and, of course, Lionel Messi all listed as targets. The Mail adds Borussia Dortmund's 20-year-old midfielder Julian Weigl to the list, with Pep a "known admirer."
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- Paris Saint-Germain defender Thiago Silva believes his club have a better chance of signing Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo than bringing Neymar to the Parc des Princes. "I like Neymar a lot, but I think Barcelona will not allow him to leave," Silva told France 3 on Thursday. "It would perhaps be easier for Barcelona to let go of Messi. Could Messi come to PSG? Perhaps ... I mean, why not? Everything is possible."
- Lyon's star forward Alexandre Lacazette says a move to England this summer would be "very attractive." Contenders ... ready!
- Everton have had a bid accepted for Leeds defender Sam Byram, Press Association Sport reported on Thursday. The 22-year-old is out of contract at the end of this season and the Toffees have agreed a fee likely to be worth up to £5 million.
- Graziano Pelle has gone off the boil for Southampton this season, so it's a tad surprising to see the Mirror reporting that the Italian striker is a "cut-price £5m summer target for Juventus."
- The Sun reports that Newcastle will make a £12m bid for Tottenham's "forgotten star" Andros Townsend. Meanwhile, The Times says Florian Thauvin is on the verge of returning to Marseille on loan from the Magpies.