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Messi prefers Coutinho to Ozil at Barca; Can agrees Juve terms

With the January window on the horizon, there's plenty brewing in the transfer market. All the latest deals and potential deals can be found here.

Messi wants Coutinho over Ozil

Lionel Messi has told Barcelona he would prefer the club to sign Philippe Coutinho instead of Mesut Ozil next summer, claims the Daily Mail.

Barca are considering Ozil as a cheaper alternative to Coutinho, who has thus far failed to convince Liverpool to let him leave for the Nou Camp.

But Messi has insisted that Barcelona should pull out all the stops to bring the Brazilian maestro to Spain after revealing his concerns over Ozil's suitability.

The report suggests the Argentina international is worried about the German's inconsistent performances for Arsenal, and the fact that he is four years older than Coutinho.

Juventus agree terms with Can

Liverpool contract rebel Emre Can is closing in on a move to Juventus, according to The Sun.

Jurgen Klopp is desperate to keep the midfielder at Anfield, but Can has refused to commit his future to the Reds amid talk of Juve's interest.

And it has now been reported that the Italian champions have agreed personal terms with the 23-year-old and could look to push through a deal in January.

Can's contract doesn't expire until the end of the season but it's believed he has asked for a huge wage rise, plus a release clause, to consider staying at Liverpool.

Chase on for Everton youngster

Henry Onyekuru is yet to play a game for Everton but the young Nigerian forward is already being tracked by several of Europe's biggest clubs, according to TalkSport.

The 20-year-old was immediately loaned to Anderlecht for the season after joining the Toffees in the summer, and both Manchester United and Barcelona have sent scouts to check on his progress.

They have now been joined by Fiorentina in expressing an interest in Onyekuru, with Juventus also waiting in the wings.

Everton paid £7 million to get their man in June and could make a healthy profit despite the youngster never making an appearance for the club.


- Henrikh Mkhitaryan's Manchester United future is hanging in the balance after Jose Mourinho ordered the midfielder to improve his performances. Mkhitaryan has been in and out of the first XI since signing from Borussia Dortmund in 2016 and could be sacrificed to free up funds for Mourinho to pursue other targets.

- West Ham are planning to take a £15m punt on Russia captain Fyodor Smolov in January, claims the Daily Mail. The 27-year-old striker scored twice in his country's recent 3-3 draw with Spain and has previously been tracked by Borussia Dortmund.

- Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti believes Mauro Icardi is happy at the San Siro following rumours linking the forward with a move to Real Madrid, according to Bleacher Report. The 24-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring 13 goals in 13 Serie A matches to spearhead Inter's title challenge.

- The Daily Mail reports that Jack Wilshere will hold crunch talks with Arsene Wenger ahead of the January transfer window as he weighs up his options to leave Arsenal. The midfielder is back to full fitness following his injury nightmare, but only has six months remaining on his contract at the Emirates Stadium.

Matthew Stanger covers European football for ESPN and is the editor of The Set Pieces. Twitter: @MatthewStanger


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