Transfer Talk: Manchester United to make David De Gea world's best-paid goalkeeper
The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs might be closed, but they are still working tirelessly behind the scenes to line up the arrival of their next star. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives.
TOP STORY: De Gea will be staying at United
Manchester United look set to land arguably their biggest target of 2019 -- with the news goalkeeper David De Gea is ready to sign a new contract at the club, reports The Sun.
De Gea was named the best goalkeeper on the planet in the latest ESPN FC 100, but it looked as though he may be set to depart Old Trafford within the next 18 months, as the one-year contract extension which was recently triggered by United would only keep him there until the summer of 2020.
Paris Saint-Germain and a host of Europe's biggest clubs were ready to pounce, with a cut-price deal a possibility if he entered into the final year of his contract.
But The Sun has reported that De Gea has told friends he is close to signing a new deal and it is believed he would be paid around £400,000 per week, which would make him the best-paid goalkeeper in the world.
22.30 GMT: That will wrap up our Transfer Talk LIVE blog for the evening. Enjoy the games at the weekend and remember to follow this space for the most up-to-date rumours, rumblings and reports from around the transfer market. Have a great weekend!
23.20 GMT: For those Liverpool fans clamouring to see Harry Wilson in red this season, Jurgen Klopp has provided an update.
Unfortunately for those fans it doesn't sound promising, as Klopp hinted that Wilson will not be returning to Anfield from Derby County early, barring an injury to any of Liverpool's wide attacking players.
Speaking on Friday, the Liverpool boss said "And that's exactly the same with Harry. If something happens in an offensive wing position, why should I say today, '100 percent we will not do it'?
"That's the only thing Derby had to accept in the moment they signed the contract. They have to wait until the last second and we can decide."
Klopp hasn't completely ruled it out but it sounds as if the only way Wilson returns to Liverpool this season is if the German manager's hands are tied due to injury.
The 21-year-old Wilson has been brilliant on loan at Derby County, scoring eight goals -- including a stunner vs. Man United -- and adding two assists, while also making a name for himself with the Wales national team by scoring the decisive goal with a beautiful free kick in a 1-0 win in Ireland in October.
22.08 GMT: -- DONE DEAL -- Staying in MLS we have a completed deal on Friday evening!
Sporting Kansas City have signed Costa Rican winger Rodney Wallace to a one-year contract.
An MLS veteran, Wallace was most recently with NYCFC and has amassed 26 goals and 33 assists in all (including playoffs) in the league, with stops at D.C. United, Portland and NYCFC.
Wallace has 32 caps for Costa Rica and joins an SKC side that was recently eliminated in the MLS Cup semifinals.
21.19 GMT: Now one from MLS. New boys FC Cincinnati continue to make headlines and are now being linked with a French full-back who formerly played in Ligue 1.
France Football report that 27-year-old Troyes defender Mathieu Deplagne has reached an agreement with the MLS expansion side and will undergo a medical next week.
Deplagne joined Troyes, now of Ligue 2, ahead of the 2017 season and previously played at Montpellier from 2010-17, winning the Ligue 1 title alongside Olivier Giroud with La Paillade in 2011-12.
Deplagne would be Cincy's second European signing, joining Polish goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton, who signed on Thursday.
20.31 GMT: Could Jamie Vardy have a new strike partner come January?
Spanish outlet AS suggests that Leicester have joined the race for Alaves' Ibai Gomez. The 29-year-old, Basque-born forward has played his entire career in Spain, accumulating nearly 200 La Liga appearances with first Athletic Bilbao and now Alaves.
Playing mostly on the wing for upstarts Alaves -- currently 5th in La Liga -- Gomez has three goals and two assists so far this season.
Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds are another club being linked with Gomez, who is out of contract at the end of the season, in January.
19.28 GMT: Shifting back to South America for a minute, Brazilian side Flamengo look to have a couple of irons on the fire.
After finishing second to Palmeiras in the 2018 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A, the Mengao are looking to add some reinforcements to push them over the top. ESPN have confirmed reports from Brazil that Flamengo have begun negotiations for Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa, aka Gabigol.
The one-time Brazil sensation has flopped in Europe so far but last season rediscovered his shooting boots while on loan at Santos in Brazil, scoring a league best 18 goals. There is no word on whether Flamengo would purchase the 22-year-old outright or just secure the player on a loan deal.
The other player Flamengo are reportedly courting is Brazilian veteran Felipe Melo. GloboEsporte.com reports that the 35-year-old's representative Eduardo Cornachi met with the Rio de Janeiro club's board members on Thursday.
Não participei de reunião nenhuma e nem vou participar. Para deixar claro, estou na praia, curtindo férias e qualquer assunto de trabalho é tratado com as pessoas que me representam. A única coisa que tenho procurado é o sol! E ja encontrei!— Felipe Melo (@_felipemelo_) December 13, 2018
In the tweet above Melo denies he has had involvement with the club and that his people are the only ones talking business right now.
Melo played last season with Palmeiras but began his career with Flamengo, playing for the club between 2001-03.
18.42 GMT: With the worst defensive record in the Premier League by some margin (40 goals conceded), Fulham and new boss Claudio Ranieri are obviously keen to add some defensive help in January.
The latest name linked with a move to the Cottagers is out-of-favour Chelsea centre-back Gary Cahill. West London Sport writes that the 32-year-old is on Fulham's radar with Ranieri looking for a veteran with Premier League experience to help solidify Fulham's leaky backline.
Maurizio Sarri recently told Cahill he has no role to play at Chelsea and that he's free to seek a transfer in January. Cahill, a two-time Premier League winner with the Blues and a two-time World Cup participant with England is a no-nonsense defender who would bring a wealth of experience to a Fulham defence that lacks much at the Premier League level.
A reason Fulham could make sense for Cahill? He won't even need to move house! Stamford Bridge and Craven Cottage are located just two miles apart from one another...
17.35 GMT: Italian outlet Tuttomercatoweb claims Arsenal have made a bid on one of the most in-demand players in the transfer market.
Roma's Cengiz Under is the player we are speaking about, the 21-year-old Turkish winger being a hot name in the transfer market ahead of the January window. The source writes that Arsenal have submitted a bid of €32 million (£29m) for the former Istanbul Basaksehir star.
Under has scored five goals and assisted five others for the Giallorossi so far this season and has also been linked with Premier League clubs Manchester City and Chelsea.
16.48 GMT: Exequiel Palacios' move to Real Madrid in January may not be as much of a "done deal" as was once thought.
Speaking with Argentine sports outlet TyC Sports on a potential transfer for his client to Real Madrid, Palacios' representative, Renato Corsi said "He [Palacios] wants to stay until June and does not want to go for the clause."
There is a condition in the River Plate midfielder's contract which states he does not have to leave if someone meets his €15 million release clause, so there is a chance he will not be heading abroad just yet.
The likelihood is that Palacios still ends up a Real Madrid player but it sounds as if the Bernabeu outfit may have to wait a little bit longer for the prized 20-year-old attacker to don that famous white jersey.
16.00 GMT: Manchester City are considering a £50m move for Leicester City and England defender Ben Chilwell, according to the Daily Mirror.
City are short at left-back with Benjamin Mendy ruled out until around February, and City certainly have previous when it comes to spending big money on full-backs.
However, City boss Pep Guardiola insists he will make no signings in the January transfer window, not even as a replacement for any long-term injuries.
"In January, we are not going to sign anyone," he told a news conference on Friday.
15.20 GMT: Jurgen Klopp has said it remains improbable that Liverpool will use the January transfer window to solve their current injury concerns.
Trent Alexander-Arnold has been wearing a protective boot on his left foot and is a major doubt for Sunday's game against Manchester United. Joel Matip has a broken collarbone and Joe Gomez is out with a fractured lower leg, with both players ruled out until the New Year.
"Our situation is like this; if you would have asked me two weeks before if we'll do anything in the transfer market, I would have said: 'Probably not,'" Klopp told a news conference on Friday.
"Now we have two centre-halves left. Will we do something? It's not really likely because they [Gomez and Matip] are not out for a long time. But we have to judge it new.
"It's not cool, but as long as we still have enough players, it is our job to find solutions and we will have a solution for the weekend."
14.40 GMT: Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente will ask for a move away in January if he is not still playing regularly, sources close to the player have told ESPN FC.
Despite having started each of Madrid's last six games while first choice holding midfielder Casemiro was out injured, Llorente has not changed his mind over his need for regular first-team football between now and the end of the campaign.
He barely featured during the first four months of 2018-19, and was subsequently linked with a move to Arsenal, Liverpool, Roma, Napoli, Sevilla and Alaves. Several Premier League clubs are believed to have made an informal approach to Llorente's representatives.
Madrid academy graduate Llorente wants to continue at the club and has enjoyed his spell in the first team, but sources have told ESPN FC that if the situation changes again, and he returns to the bench after the winter break, then a meeting will be demanded with Bernabeu chiefs at which an immediate exit will be one of the options presented.
13.30 GMT: Speculation has increased recently that Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa could be on his way to the Chinese Super League -- once he has recovered from his recent foot operation, at least.
Tianjin Quanjian are one of the clubs reported to be interested in him, according to both AS and RMC. Gestifute, Costa's representatives, declined to comment on these reports when contacted by ESPN FC.
Atletico boss Diego Simeone is adamant that he needs the Spain international back in his squad when he is fit to play.
"I am never fully relaxed about anything," Simeone said at Friday morning's news conference. "But I expect, want and need to have Diego Costa in February."
12.50 GMT: Zinedine Zidane should make the next step in his coaching career in the Premier League, according to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
"If you want to work at the top level, you have to go to England," Wenger told beIN Sports. "England is the only country where six clubs can battle for the title. In other countries, you can generally say who'll be champion by December.
"Zinedine is in a complicated situation because he was at the biggest club in the world, and he can only go to the second biggest club. That means he's at a crossroads. Either he goes into a long-term project and he contributes to the construction of a club, or he goes back to a club capable of winning the Champions League."
Zidane has been out of work since choosing to leave Real Madrid last summer after guiding the club to a third successive Champions League triumph. Since then, he has been regularly mentioned as a potential replacement for Jose Mourinho at Manchester United.
11.45 GMT: Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez could be on his way to the Premier League in January, according to Marca.
Chelsea and Arsenal are the two clubs linked with a move for the 24-year-old, who could reportedly make a move if an offer of €10-15m is received.
Suarez has been in England before, having been a youth player at Manchester City.
10.45 GMT: Yaya Toure has inevitably been linked with West Ham ever since the surprise news that his contract with Olympiakos had been terminated after only five appearances.
However, Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini has said a reunion with the player who helped him win the Premier League title at Manchester City is "not a priority" target.
"I spoke with Yaya at the beginning of the season. Yaya is a great player, a top player that plays in every part of the role," Pellegrini said. "I don't know what happened with him in Greece. But in this moment we are just thinking about the next game that we are going to play and I don't want to talk until the end of December about the window and which players that we need.
"At this moment, I cannot answer your question. It's not a priority as in that position we already have players."
10.00 GMT: Athletic Bilbao striker Inaki Williams would welcome the return of Fernando Llorente to the club. Llorente revealed this week he is open to joining Athletic next summer when his contract with Spurs expires, while reports in Spain claim Athletic are willing to acquire the player in the winter transfer window.
The Spanish forward has made a total of just four appearances this season, all as a substitute, in the Premier League and Champions League.
Asked about that possibility, Williams said, as reported in Marca: "All the good players that can be bought would be welcomed to the team."
Llorente played for Athletic Bilbao's youth teams and spent several years with the senior side before leaving for Juventus in 2013.
09.20 GMT: Barcelona have pulled ahead in the Europe-wide race to sign Ajax duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Catalonia-based daily reports that the pair both want to play at the Camp Nou over potential moves to Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.
08.40 GMT: Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba says he would welcome the signing of Spain teammate Alvaro Morata by the club.
Marca reports that Barca are lining up a bid to sign the Chelsea player during the winter transfer window. Asked about the possible signing of Morata, Alba said: "I have enormous appreciation for Morata. He has been playing in the elite at a great level for some time. It's Barcelona's decision whether to sign him or not, or sign another player, but if that interest were true, he would be welcomed."
Morata has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea under manager Maurizio Sarri, who prefers to play Eden Hazard as a lone striker. The Spain international has scored 16 goals in 45 Premier League appearances since joining the Blues from Real Madrid in July 2017.
08.00 GMT: De Gea may look set to stay on at United, but all is not rosy among the players at Old Trafford.
Antonio Valencia is open to a move away from Manchester United in January because he wants regular first-team football, sources have told ESPN FC.
United's club captain has fallen down the pecking order this season and has made just four Premier League appearances, while the arrival of 19-year-old Diogo Dalot adding to Mourinho's options at right-back.
At 33 years old he is keen to play regularly and will consider a move away if the right opportunity presents itself during the January transfer window.
PAPER TALK: City consider January move for Chilwell
With Benjamin Mendy set to be out for another couple of months at least, Manchester City have set their sights on another left-back and that man is Leicester City's Ben Chilwell, if The Mirror has it right.
Chilwell doesn't turn 22 until later this month, but he has already established himself as a Premier League regular and earned his first senior England call-up this season.
The Foxes Academy graduate's excellent year saw him land a new £110,000-per-week deal that runs until 2024 a couple of months back, but that hasn't put off City. Pep Guardiola is believed to be a fan of Chilwell and The Mirror claims the defender would cost in the region of £50 million to sign.
Spurs want to snatch midfielder from under Everton's nose
Andre Gomes' performances in the blue of Everton have certainly caught people's attention in recent months and one of those to sit up and take note is Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino, according to The Sun.
Injury meant Gomes had a slow start to life at Goodison Park, having to wait until late October to make his debut following a loan move from Barcelona. But since then the 25-year-old has shown why Barcelona paid Valencia almost £30m to secure his services in the summer of 2016.
Gomes, who has 29 caps for Portugal, may have only impressed Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde enough to earn 11 starts in all competitions last season but he has certainly caught the eye since his switch to England. The Sun reports Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy may be willing to sanction a move for Gomes after the North London club failed to make a signing in the summer, and with some of Europe's biggest clubs circling for manager Pochettino, he is wary of disappointing the Spurs boss once more.
Is Robben returning home?
Even though he will be 35 at the time, Arjen Robben is not going to be short of offers after announcing he plans to leave Bayern Munich next summer, and he has been offered a return home to Netherlands by an old friend, Dutch publication Omroep Brabant has revealed.
Robben will be leaving Bayern after a decade at the club once his current contract expires despite still being one of Europe's most effective wingers. With more than 600 professional appearances, 245 goals and 188 assists under his belt, there are few who can rival Robben's career and he isn't ready to stop playing yet.
He is likely to have offers from around the globe and while he may receive more lucrative ones than this, a return home to Netherlands to play with former teammate Mark van Bommel could be enough to tempt him back to PSV. Robben spent two years at PSV between 2002 and 2004 before his switch to Chelsea and the club's CEO Toon Gerbrands has said manager Van Bommel has already been in touch with the former Real Madrid man about a return.
Takeover talks won't stop Newcastle from spending in January
It wouldn't be a transfer window without Rafa Benitez being frustrated by the business, or lack of it, done by Newcastle United. But one of the most trusted sources for news in the area, The Chronicle, claims the Magpies are expected to make two or three signings in January despite the ongoing takeover talks.
Fans would be forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu when hearing "Newcastle will spend in the transfer window despite takeover talks" and often their manager Benitez has been left disappointed at the end of it. But The Chronicle says Benitez has received assurances from owner Mike Ashley that he will be allowed to make two or three signings in January, although the manager has reportedly not been told how much there is to spend.
It is claimed Benitez is determined to bring in a winger, a left-back and potentially a striker if he gets his way. Newcastle's managing director Lee Charnley is said to be in talks with one of the MLS' best players, Atlanta United's Miguel Almiron, but the club's president Darren Eales has said they will need to pay in excess of £30m to sign the Paraguay international, which historically would rule him out of a move to the Magpies.
Football Whispers' top five emerging whispers
Football Whispers' transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of five,
Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid -- 3.8
Diaz is on the verge of signing for Real Madrid, according to ESPN FC sources, but Manchester City haven't given up hope he will remain at the Etihad. Diaz's contract expires in 2019 and the 19-year-old has so far turned down City's £25,000-per-week contract offers, which means from January he is free to agree a move to another club next summer.
Christian Pulisic to Chelsea -- 3.4
It is claimed Borussia Dortmund's rising star Pulisic is available come January and that will be music to the ears of several big English clubs. Chelsea are long-time admirers of the 20-year-old attacker, who is also wanted by the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham.
Kai Havertz to Manchester City -- 2.8
Manchester City are one of several clubs keen to sign Havertz, one of the rising stars of German football. City are said to be leading the race but Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Liverpool are all said to be actively monitoring the £70m-rated 19-year-old.
Ritsu Doan to Newcastle -- 2.4
Newcastle United have sent scouts to watch Japan international winger Doan on more than one occasion in recent months. It has been reported Newcastle may make a move for the the 20-year-old from FC Groningen in January.
Vinicius Junior to Real Valladolid -- 2.1
Brazil legend Ronaldo is now the majority owner of La Liga club Real Valladolid and he revealed he has approached his old club Real Madrid about a loan move for youngster Vinicius Junior. Ronaldo said Real are keen to keep hold of the forward but he hasn't given up hope.