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Transfer Talk: Man Utd prepping bid for Coutinho

Transfer Talk
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Zinedine Zidane hints at interest in Liverpool star Mohamed Salah

With the calendar soon turning over to the new year, the gossip ahead of the January transfer window is heating up. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest rumours.

Zidane hints at Salah interest

This might sound like 2 + 2 = 5, but Zinedine Zidane has been impressed with Mohamed Salah's displays for Liverpool and could try to bring the forward to Real Madrid, according to the Sun.

Salah has been in fine form since moving to Anfield in the summer and leads the Premier League goal-scoring chart with 13 strikes so far, catching Zidane's eye in the process.

"Salah is a great player. He showed that at Roma, now at Liverpool," the report quotes Zidane as saying. "He's still young and is improving all the time. I don't talk much about other players, but he is a player I rate a lot."

It had been assumed that Eden Hazard was Real Madrid's next Galactico target, but Egypt coach Hector Cuper has also suggested that the Spanish giants are plotting a huge bid for Salah.

Mourinho prepared to spend in January

Despite his usual reluctance to get involved in the January sales, Jose Mourinho is preparing to splash the cash when the transfer window opens, the Daily Mail reports.

The Manchester United boss has been strongly linked with a move for Arsenal contract rebel Mesut Ozil, with the Gunners possibly tempted to cash in on their want-away star rather than lose him for nothing next summer.

Mohamed Salah is red-hot at the moment for Liverpool.
Mohamed Salah has caught the eye of Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane this season.

"I'm not a big defender of the January market but there are players and situations that sometimes you have the chance to do and you shouldn't lose that chance," Mourinho said Friday.

One such situation may have presented itself at Atletico Madrid, where Diego Simeone has admitted that Antoine Griezmann will be allowed to leave at some stage in the future.

"Of course Griezmann will be able to leave at some point, the same way [Diego] Costa and Arda Turan were allowed to leave," Simeone told L'Equipe. "I love my players a lot and I love to see them grow. I am not ungrateful."

United have long been regarded as a possible destination for Griezmann, along with Barcelona, and with Atletico third in La Liga and having dropped out of the Champions League, Mourinho may decide to test the water in January.

Spurs want Viola's Chiesa

United aren't the only club looking to loosen the purse strings to boost an ailing title fight as Tottenham also plan to be busy in January, reports the Sun.

Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa, son of Italian legend Enrico, is thought to be a top target for Mauricio Pochettino as he aims to strengthen his attacking options.

Chiesa's price tag could prove to be a stumbling block, however, with Fiorentina demanding around £53 million for the 20-year-old.

Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are also monitoring the versatile forward, who has four goals in 15 Serie A matches this season.

Arsenal heading for an exodus?

While speculation surrounding most clubs is focused on potential incomings, Arsenal are worried that a host of first-team stars could depart next summer.

Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil could lead an exodus at Arsenal beginning in January.

According to the Mirror, up to eight key players are heading toward the exit door at the Emirates Stadium, with soon-to-be out-of-contract duo Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez first in line.

Doubts also remain over the futures of Jack Wilshere, Per Mertesacker, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Danny Welbeck ahead of what could be the biggest overhaul of Arsene Wenger's reign in north London.

However, the London Evening Standard writes that Wenger will hold talks with Wilshere over a new deal before the end of December. The midfielder completed his first 90 minutes for Arsenal in more than three years when they faced West Ham on Wednesday.


- Islam Slimani could be on his way out of Leicester in January after playing only 10 minutes under new boss Claude Puel, claims TalkSport. The striker has struggled since his big-money move from Sporting Lisbon in 2016, with Watford listed as a potential escape route.

- Carlo Ancelotti is heading back to Chelsea to replace Antonio Conte at the end of the season, reports the Daily Record. There has been fierce speculation over Conte's happiness at Stamford Bridge, with Roman Abramovich apparently already holding discussions with Ancelotti over his mooted return.

- Chelsea will offer Michy Batshuayi as part of an £80 million deal for Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, claims the Mirror. Arsenal and Liverpool are also in for Lemar, but Chelsea may have the upper hand given that former technical director Michael Emenalo joined Monaco earlier this month and will be leading negotiations.

- Brighton and Aston Villa are eager to sign Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic on loan in January, according to the Liverpool Echo. The 21-year-old has struggled for game time at Anfield and could benefit from regular action elsewhere.

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