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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool target Chicharito; Man United want Nigeria star Ahmed Musa

Javier Hernandez
Javier Hernandez has scored 19 goals in 23 games in all competitions for Bayer Leverkusen.

The winter window opened Jan. 2. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Liverpool target Chicharito

It's no secret that Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez has fully rediscovered his mojo since leaving Manchester United for Bayer Leverkusen in the summer, and the Mexico striker's fine form has reportedly caught the eye of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp.

The Times reports that Hernandez, 27, is "one of their priority targets" for the summer after they apparently failed with an effort to tempt him to Anfield in 2014, prior to his loan switch to Real Madrid. Liverpool apparently looked into the possibility of a January move but have accepted that there's no business to be done yet.

The report also says Liverpool are interested in Udinese's Polish midfielder Piotr Zielinski, who is currently on loan at Empoli.

Meanwhile, Manchester United could be looking to bolster their attack with Nigeria international Ahmed Musa -- check out the paper round below.

LIVE BLOG:

23.00 GMT: Right, folks. That's all for Friday's edition of Transfer Talk. Check ESPNFC.com again very soon for the beginning of Saturday's rolling liveblog!

22.50 GMT: Is all this Chicharito to Liverpool stuff legitimate? Our ESPN FC crew break down the day's dominant rumour.

22.25 GMT: And we've got another DONE DEAL from Twitter because let's face it, if it's not on Twitter it may as well not exist.

Bonus style points to Fulham for embedding a rather artful/intense video along with their news.

Madl, 27, is a defender/midfielder who has recently been capped by the Austrian national team after four reasonably solid years at FK Sturm Graz. Good luck to him.

21.56 GMT: Here's another DONE DEAL from the world of Twitter...

That's West Brom adding bodies for a critical relegation battle, namely that of QPR and Brazil midfielder Sandro on loan until the end of the season. Sandro, 26, has made just 11 league appearances for the Championship side this season, meaning he should be fairly fresh and capable of bullying opposing playmakers. Vital.

21.36 GMT: Continuing our stroll through DONE DEAL involving club official social media accounts, we have this completed bit of business out of La Liga...

Of course, that's Chelsea and Belgium U-21 midfielder Charly Musonda Jr. off on loan. Musonda Jr. has reportedly grown frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities and had been amenable to a loan. Now, he's got one.

21.19 GMT: Here's another DONE DEAL involving a Premier League side...

20:55 GMT: DONE DEAL Swansea have wrapped up their deal for Chievo striker Alberto Paloschi for an undisclosed fee. He signs a deal that lasts until 2019.

20:41 GMT:  DONE DEAL Canada international Fraser Aird is coming home to join Vancouver Whitecaps from Rangers on a season-long loan with an option for a permanent deal.

20:31 GMT: Dutch defender Johan Kappelhof has agreed to join the Chicago Fire in MLS from Groningen, according to the Eredivisie club's website.

19:56 GMT: Leicester City have taken a step ahead of Newcastle in the race to sign Loic Remy from Chelsea, according to the Mirror.

ESPN FC's own Leicester blogger Ben Jacobs claims £11.5 million will get the job done.

19:15 GMT: The BBC and other outlets report that Celtic have agreed to take 18-year-old Patrick Roberts on loan from Manchester City for the next year and a half.

18:54 GMT: And Real have finally confirmed that their suspension has also been provisionally suspended (though they've yet to actually appeal!)

18:29 GMT: Marca and AS both report that Real Madrid have also had their transfer ban suspended.

18:14 GMT: Some major news as FIFA has temporarily lifted Atletico Madrid's transfer ban, pending the outcome of the club's appeal. The move will allow Atletico to sign players this summer if the case is not resolved by then. Read the full story.

17.44 GMT: DONE DEAL Wolfsburg have signed Brazilian forward Bruno Henrique from Goias Esporte Club. The 25-year-old has signed with the club until 2019. Read the full story.

17.27 GMT:  DONE DEAL James Alabi was released from Ipswich Town on yesterday, but he's already found a new club. He's signed for Chester for the remainder of the season.

17.16 GMT: The Metro are reporting that Manchester United are in danger of losing Guillermo Varela to Genoa.

17.02 GMT: Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink on rumours that Gary Cahill wants out: "He's of value. As far as I'm concerned, I will have him in the upcoming months and the club will have him in the upcoming years. He signed a new contract recently which is a signal he loves the club and likes to be here."

16.43 GMT: Manchester City will not jump into the transfer market before the January window closes despite Kevin De Bruyne being ruled out with a long-term knee injury. Read the full story here.

16.29 GMT: Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega's out of contract in the summer, and he's already decided he'll be playing for Inter next season.

16.15 GMT: DONE DEAL Tony Watt has left Charlton on loan to play for fellow Championship club Blackburn Rovers.

16.03 GMT: Galatasaray's Lukas Podolski is the latest player to be receiving attention from China, according to Bild.

15.49 GMT: Is Alexandre Pato's move to Chelsea a good signing? 

"It's not a gamble. Coming on loan makes it possible to view if he can adapt to the league," said Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink.

Want to read more about Hiddink's comments? Click here.

15.39 GMT:  DONE DEAL Bradford City have signed Birmingham City striker Wes Thomas on a three-month loan deal.

15.19 GMT: They just won't leave Chelsea alone!

According to the Daily Star, Chinese club Jiangsu Suning aren't happy with just the one Chelsea player Ramires -- who signed for £25m earlier in the week -- but they've also got their eye on striker Radamel Falcao.

15.04 GMT: Newcastle's transfer dealings don't end at Andros Townsend and Jonjo Shelvey, because according to The Daily Express, they're in for Argentina international and Valencia player Lucas Orban.

14.50 GMT: Jurgen Klopp hasn't ruled out the possibility of further transfer activity during this window.

"We are always busy and checking possibilities," he said. "If something happens we will see. There's nothing to say."

14.35 GMT: The Sevenoaks Chronicle are reporting that Charlton Athletic's proposed loan move for West Ham United teenager Reece Oxford is on the verge of collapse.

14.19 GMT: According to The Daily Mail, Swansea have made a £7m bid for Crystal Palace's Dwight Gayle.

The striker's failed to scored this season but the Wales-based side are looking for a potential replacement for their currently misfiring frontman Bafetimbi Gomis.

14.07 GMT: DONE DEAL Leicester City target Eder has signed for Inter!

13.52 GMT: Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has said the club would like to keep hold of striker Fernando Torres

13.40 GMT: Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud said his club have turned down the chance to sign Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa. Full story's available here.

13.27 GMT: How much longer until Alexandre Pato is a Chelsea player?

13.14 GMT: Birmingham City have extended Will Buckley's loan until the end of the season.

12.59 GMT: West Bromwich Albion have agreed a deal to sign Queens Park Rangers midfielder Sandro on loan, sources have told ESPN FC. Read the full story here.

12.46 GMT: The Daily Star are reporting that Everton have had a £13m bid for Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani rejected.

12.32 GMT: Wolfsburg have signed Victor Osimhen from the Ultimate Strikers Academy, while also announcing an immediate partnership with the Nigerian football school. Read the full story here.

12.20 GMT: Shakhtar Donetsk chief executive Sergei Palkin has said Liverpool target Alex Teixeira has a release clause in his contract of €70 million (£53m). Read the full story here.

12.08 GMT: Nemanja Vidic has retired!

12.02 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Mousa Dembele has signed a new contract that ties him to the club until 2019. Read the full story here.

11.51 GMT: DONE DEAL Another Premier League departure! 

And, sources have told ESPN FC that Legia Warsaw goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak is set for medical at Hull City today.

11.40 GMT: DONE DEAL Leicester's Harry Panayiotou has joined Raith Rovers on loan.

11.31 GMT: Sunderland have agreed a £9m fee with Bordeaux for forward Wahbi Khazri.

11.15 GMT: Basel coach Urs Fischer is delighted that the club turned down Wolfsburg's offer for Braal Embolo.

"It's great he still is here," he tells Blick, with club president Heusler adding: "Of course the player was interested in the offer, otherwise he would not be ambitious." 

11.03 GMT: Arsenal are hoping to sign two talented Nigerian teenagers before the transfer deadline, but manager Arsene Wenger has ruled out a move for Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and doesn't expect to bring in any more senior players this month.

10.49 GMT: Hamburger SV have pulled the plug on the Carlos Mane deal. They were unable to agree terms with Sporting Lisbon and the player -- who had hopes of signing on loan -- looks likely to stay in Portugal for at least the rest of the season.

10.35 GMT: David Alaba has reiterated that he sees his future in midfield, and not at left-back or centre-back, but is willing to fill in for Jerome Boateng if required. 

Could we see the Bayern Munich star leave is he's continued to be played out of position? Read the full story here.

10.20 GMT: Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski wants a move to Real Madrid, according to The Independent.

The striker actually agreed to join Manchester United from Borussia Dortmund back in 2012, but instead opted to see out his contract and leave at the end of the 2013/14 season for Bayern.

10.07 GMT: L'Equipe are reporting that Lorient have become the latest club to make a bid for Troyes attacker Jimmy Cabot. Lille have already had one for the 21-year-old refused, while Lyon have yet to follow up on their interest.

09.57 GMT: Philippe Senderos could return to Switzerland, with Zurich-based Grasshoppers apparently keen on the defender after he left Aston Villa. "We can't say anything about it right now," the club told Swiss media

09.44 GMT: Former Liverpool winger Tom Ince will face Manchester United in the FA Cup tonight with Derby County, and he says he would relish the chance to play for the club at which his father, Paul, starred.

"I have always based my game around Ryan [Giggs] and being an old-fashioned winger, so United has always been a club I have looked at," he told The Independent. "It would be a dream of mine to play for them one day."

09.34 GMT: Bordeaux are set to complete the signing of 20-year-old Defensor Sporting midfielder Mauro Arambarri. Sud Ouest says the captain of Uruguay's under-20 side will sign a four-and-a-half year contract.

09.11 GMT DONE DEAL Leicester have signed 18-year-old keeper Daniel Iversen from Esbjerg for an undisclosed fee.

09.02 GMT: Marseille appear to have missed out on signing TP Mazembe forward Mbwana Aly Samatta. The 23-year-old indicated on his Twitter account that he had arrived in Belgium and that that would be his final destination, which indicates he is sticking by a pre-contract agreement he signed with Genk.

08.33 GMT: Bournemouth have had a busy January but boss Eddie Howe isn't ruling out another addition.

08.12 GMT: Schalke still hope to convince defender Joel Matip to stay at the Veltins Arena despite suggestions he is set to join Liverpool. Story here.

08.05 GMT: QPR midfielder Sandro is due to have a medical at West Brom today, according to Sky Sports News. 

07.46 GMT: La Gazetta dello Sport says Leicester have made an offer of €16 million for AC Milan forward M'Baye Niang. The former France under-21 international, 21, has scored twice in 10 matches in Serie A this season.

07.36 GMT: Swansea's sale of Michel Vorm to Tottenham will be the subject of a hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport on Friday, with Utrecht feeling they are owed money from the 2014 deal. Story here.

07.24 GMT: Sunderland are interested in signing Bordeaux attacker Wahbi Khazri, according to L'Equipe. The 24-year-old Tunisian international, who has five goals and seven assists in Ligue 1 this season, has already rejected moves to Aston Villa and Celta Vigo this winter.

07.12 GMT: Now from Gazzetta World, who are reporting that D.C. United representatives are in Italy to try to secure a deal for AC Milan's Antonio Nocerino. Inter Milan president Erick Thohir, who is also majority owner of the MLS outfit, is reportedly taking part in the talks to try to persuade the midfielder to make a move to the U.S.

06.55 GMT: The first item of business comes from the Bundesliga, where current Schalke manager Horst Heldt says there's "still hope" that Joel Matip will stay with the club past the summer. German outlet kicker quotes the Royal Blues boss, who is leaving the club in the summer himself, as saying he knows of no agreement with another club. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool have been rumoured suitors for the 24-year-old centre-back.

06.53 GMT: We start another day of live Transfer Talk knowing that the pressure is on for teams to get their winter business done by the end of business Monday -- Deadline Day!

PAPER ROUND

Red Devils to steal Foxes' top target?

Manchester United and Leicester are both on the lookout for strikers as the transfer window draws to a close, and the Express reports that the Red Devils could well rival the Foxes for one of Claudio Ranieri's long-term targets.

Leicester top target Ahmed Musa has caught the attention of Manchester United.

According to the paper, United are ready to join the race for CSKA Moscow striker Ahmed Musa, with Leicester reported to have had an opening £15.1 million bid rejected. With CSKA thought to be holding out for £18.9m, United would surely be in the driving seat for the fleet-footed Nigerian forward in terms of transfer fees and wages, despite the Foxes' table-topping form.

The 23-year-old striker's agent Tony Harris told the Leicester Mercury that "Ahmed will most likely remain in Moscow," but added "playing in England is tempting for each player." If United get desperate enough, money is obviously no object for a potential late move.

Neymar in MLS?

Neymar is a sly dog. The Barcelona star is only 23, and already knows how to play the system to his advantage. The Blaugrana are likely to offer him a huge wage increase off the back of reported interest from Real Madrid and Manchester United, and the Brazil captain has gone one step further by declaring his desire to work with former Camp Nou coach Pep Guardiola, as well as in Brazil and the United States.

Neymar is quoted as saying: "Yes there is one: Guardiola is a guy that I really admire and who I would love to work. It's tough to say if I want to play in other countries. Nobody knows tomorrow, but I'm very happy where I am right now, at Barcelona.

"I have the will to go back to Brazil some day and I also would like to play in USA. Those two countries are two where I want to play later on my career. The U.S. is a place where the game is growing and attracting the interest of lots of players, who are becoming more and more popular there, so this makes me curious -- it makes me interested to see it closely."

With AS describing the wage increases of Neymar and Lionel Messi as a "stomach blow" to Barca, the Catalan club will either need to get creative with their finances or else risk losing at least one of their stars in the near future.

Neymar's efforts finally bore fruit with a goal in second half stoppage time for Barcelona against Athletic.
Former Santos man Neymar has his eyes on a future move back to Brazil, as well as the United States.

Van Gaal insists he's staying at Man United

Louis van Gaal is adamant that he will remain manager of Man United but knows he cannot afford any more slip-ups if he is to retain his job at Old Trafford.

The Dutch coach told reporters Thursday: "Now I cannot lose any more, because then I am condemned for the fourth time that I have been sacked. Then maybe you will have written the truth, because sometimes it happens."

Should United fall at Derby in the FA Cup on Friday night, a change is surely set at Old Trafford. Van Gaal needs those Friday night lights to shine in his favour for sure.

Conte first choice for Chelsea?

The Chelsea managerial merry-go-round never ends. Fresh from Wednesday's reports that Massimiliano Allegri was among the contenders for the Chelsea job, it appears that his Juventus predecessor is also one of the Premier League champions' main targets.

The Mail reports that Italy manager Antonio Conte is the "leading candidate" for the Chelsea job given that his future beyond Euro 2016 is in doubt, with the coach "understood to have met with club officials before Christmas and is ready to leave the Italian national team to manage in England next term."

Chelsea are expected to resume talks with Conte before the end of the season, and it seems Roman Abramovich could have the Azzurri coach wrapped up as the next Stamford Bridge manager before Italy prepare for the European Championship in France this summer.

Antonio Conte is now Chelsea's No. 1 choice to be manager next season.

The Berahino ripple effect

Saido Berahino's future seems to have an impact on a number of clubs, with West Brom and Tottenham not alone in planning for life with or without the forward. The 22-year-old striker has been heavily linked with a move to White Hart Lane since summer 2015, though PA Sport reports that Berahino is set to stay at The Hawthorns at least until summer 2016 despite the forward not starting for the Baggies since October.

The Telegraph reports that Newcastle have been interested in Berahino but will bid for Chelsea outcast Loic Remy if they receive "no encouragement" in their pursuit of the coveted youngster.

The Chronicle suggests that the Magpies have reached "D-day" regarding the West Brom striker, and are keen to "move quickly on alternatives" despite initially being open to paying £20m for him. With the paper suggesting that the next 24 hours are "likely to be crucial," no movement could see the Magpies launch a series of bids elsewhere.

Gerrard welcomes Cole; Jones upset

Steven Gerrard believes the addition of his former England teammate Ashley Cole was a "master stroke" by the LA Galaxy, saying: "I know he looks after himself, he's very professional, he's hungry, he loves the game, and defence is one of the areas we went wrong last year."

Meanwhile, U.S. defender Jermaine Jones is frustrated and angry about a six-game suspension that he says is making it tough to leave MLS. The 34-year-old Jones is out of contract after spending the last one-and-a-half seasons with the New England Revolution. But Jones has offers in Germany and other countries that are complicated by his pending six-game MLS suspension for touching referee Matt Geiger late in a New England playoff game last October.

TAP-INS

- Great news for West Ham fans: Slaven Bilic claims there is "no money in the world'' that would force the Hammers to sell Dimitri Payet. And the Mirror reports that Bilic is also considering a "shock move" for Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher.

- Jonathan de Guzman has joined Carpi in their Serie A relegation battle on loan from Napoli for the rest of the season.

- The Express reports that Liverpool are tracking Poland international Piotr Zielinski ahead of a summer move for the midfielder.

- Swansea are on the verge of signing Chievo striker Alberto Paloschi for around £8 million.

- Sampdoria have completed the signing of Andrea Ranocchia on loan from Serie A rivals Inter Milan until the end of the season.

- The Mail reports that West Ham and Norwich want to sign Inter Milan defender Davide Santon on loan, with the Hammers particularly keen considering Carl Jenkinson's knee injury. The Nerazzurri are reportedly willing to let Santon leave the San Siro on loan this month, so a Premier League bidding war awaits.

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