Transfer Talk: Liverpool snub last straw for Paul Pogba, Juventus return likely
The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs might be closed, but they are still working tirelessly behind the scenes to line up the arrivals of their next stars. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives.
TOP STORY: Pogba's Juve return moves closer after latest snub
It has been talked about for a while, but the back page of Monday's Tuttosport suggests Juventus are ready to make their move for Paul Pogba after he was left out of the Manchester United team once again on Sunday.
Liverpool versus Man United is one of the flagship contests of the Premier League season but Pogba not only started the game on the bench, he remained there throughout despite his side desperately needing a goal during the 3-1 defeat.
The World Cup winner has been a substitute for three of the last four matches, despite becoming the world's most expensive player when Jose Mourinho signed him for £89 million in 2016. And Tuttosport claim Juventus are now lying in wait, ready to make their move for the 25-year-old, as his relationship with Mourinho continues to deteriorate.
However, Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio reports that the Red Devils have no intention to sell in January. If Mourinho is still around come summer, that could change, but if it's The Special One who leaves Old Trafford, Pogba could have a future with United after all.
23.07 GMT: That's going to bring Monday's live edition of Transfer Talk to a close. Thanks very much for joining us, and be sure to check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest gossip pulled from Tuesday's back pages.
22.30 GMT: It seems Adrien Rabiot will be leaving Paris Saint-Germain sooner or later. The Metro cites Yahoo Sport France as quoting PSG sporting director Antero Henrique as saying: "The player informed me that he would not sign a contract and that he wanted to leave the club by being free at the end of the season, at the end of his contract."
All that's left to sort, it seems, is whether the 23-year-old midfielder will leave the club for a fee in January or on a free transfer in the summer.
21.14 GMT: Manchester United just triggered a one-year extension to Anthony Martial's contract earlier today, but the player's agent doesn't have much confidence his client will pen a long-term deal at Old Trafford.
"I am very pessimistic about discussions going positively," agent Philippe Lamboley is quoted as saying, according to the Evening Standard, who cites RMC Sport. "They've already made several offers that come nowhere near to what we expect."
19.58 GMT: Steven Gerrard is set to return to Liverpool in search of reinforcements as he seeks to strengthen his Rangers midfield, but rather than Anfield, the Glasgow side will instead head to Goodison Park in hopes of landing Everton's 21-year-old midfielder Kieran Dowell on loan, the Liverpool Echo reports.
18.42 GMT: Amid interest from Real Madrid and Chelsea, Mauro Icardi remains some distance from Inter in their contract negotiations, Calciomercato cites Gazzetta dello Sport as reporting. The Nerazzurri have reportedly lodged an offer of €6m a year -- a raise from his current €5.3 annual salary -- but Icardi and his representatives are said to be holding out for €8m a season.
17.26 GMT: Everton have told 22-year-old defender Mason Holgate he can leave the Merseyside club on loan in January, according to the Liverpool Echo.
16.10 GMT: Manchester United have triggered an option in Anthony Martial's contract to extend his deal until 2020, sources have told ESPN FC.
His contract was set to expire at the end of the season but United have exercised a clause that will see the 23-year-old stay for an additional 12 months. It follows their decision to trigger a similar option in David De Gea's contract.
"I'm happy to have re-signed with the Revolution after five great seasons and I'm grateful to remain on the team," he said. "I look forward to helping the Revolution and building off of last season. I'm excited to see my teammates next month and prepare for the 2019 season."
15.38 GMT: Fulham need some good news and, sitting bottom of the Premier League, they aren't getting much right now. Sky Sports are happy to report that Steven Sessegnon, academy graduate and twin brother of Ryan, is ready to sign a new three-and-a-half-year contract -- helping solve their right-back issues at the same time. Then 22 minutes later, he did.
14.30 GMT: Sorry for getting your hopes up, Norwich fans...
And just to be clear, that's North Carolina FC, not Norwich City FC.— Jeff Carlisle (@JeffreyCarlisle) December 17, 2018
14.30 GMT: Ajax CEO Edwin van der Sar has told ESPN FC the club will not sell Matthijs de Ligt or Frenkie de Jong in the January transfer window.
Asked whether Ajax would be open to selling any of their star players in the January transfer window, Van der Sar told ESPN FC: "No, no, no. That's a no. We're not going to sell a player halfway through the season. No way. If you have financial difficulties you might look at it, but for us no."
14.10 GMT: Thomas Vermaelen has been ruled out for another month. This is interesting because A) It's Vermaelen injured again and B) with Samuel Umtiti out, it increases the chance of Barcelona looking to the transfer market in January. Sources have told ESPN that there will be meetings this week to decide how to handle centre-back situation. Stay tuned.
13.46 GMT: L'Equipe report that Arsenal are closing on Ivory Coast and Lille winger Nicolas Pepe.
Pepe reportedly has a clause in his contract allowing him to leave for around £45m and the 23-year-old has already scored 12 goals to help Lille into second spot behind PSG this season. So he he might be worth it.
12.30 GMT: Oh Zlatan Ibrahimovic, you tease. Are you staying at LA Galaxy then?
MLZ Im not done with you yet pic.twitter.com/1F68siOV16— Zlatan Ibrahimović (@Ibra_official) December 17, 2018
12.30 GMT: The future of Adrien Rabiot at PSG is still up in the air but his coach Thomas Tuchel has provided some kind of an update."I cannot promise you that Adrien will finish the season with us," he said. "He has not said 'yes' to us yet, so anything is possible. I need a No. 6. It was the case this summer and it still is the case, especially with things the way they are with Adrien and Lassana Diarra (chronic knee problems)."
Tuchel admits that Adrien Rabiot could leave PSG in January if he has not signed a contract extension by then & confirms that a defensive midfielder is still wanted.— Jonathan Johnson (@Jon_LeGossip) December 17, 2018
12.05 GMT: Any Man United fans getting excited by the prospect of Eder Miliato arriving might get even more excited with ANOTHER defensive signing as Turkish outlet Aksam claim United want Galatasaray's Ozan Kabak.
The 18-year-old is worth around €20m (£17.9m) after some impressive performances in the Champions League.
11.46 GMT: Steven Gerrard believes Ovie Ejaria has made the wrong decision in ending his Rangers loan spell early and returning to Liverpool.
Ejaria joined Rangers on a season-long loan in June and made 28 appearances for the Scottish side, but returned to Liverpool on Saturday after feeling unsettled in Glasgow. Gerrard held talks with the 21-year-old on Friday after he was left out of the Rangers squad that travelled to Austria for Thursday's Europa League encounter with Rapid Vienna.
"Look he's a Liverpool player so I first and foremost have to respect the kid and the privacy," Rangers boss Gerrard said on Sunday. "I'd like to thank Liverpool for the opportunity to have him here for half the season. Am I disappointed he's gone? Yes. Do I think it's the right decision? No, because I think he had an incredible opportunity here."
10.20 GMT: Watching his Manchester United defenders against Liverpool might have tipped Jose Mourinho over the edge as he has personally got involved in the club's transfer business to try and land Porto defender Eder Militao, according to UOL.
It will be an ongoing battle with the man who holds the purse strings, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, but Militao is evidently high on the list.
9.52 GMT: AS report that Barcelona have received an offer of €65m from China to sign Malcom.
The Brazilian winger hasn't exactly set the world alight at Camp Nou since arriving in the summer, so the club may be considering this one pretty seriously.
09.35 GMT: Fresh from helping his club, Club America, win the Liga MX Apertura, 18-year-old star Diego Lainez is set to join Ajax according to ESPN Mexico.
Lainez was linked with Lyon earlier this week and has indicated previously that a move to Europe is in his plans for the future.
09.13 GMT: Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante is such a nice man you can always trust what he says. So if he says that PSG made contact to try and sign him last summer, you can believe it.
He told RMC: "There wasn't particularly a desire to go elsewhere ... There was some interest [from PSG]. But after talking to Chelsea, I realised the most important thing was to feel good where you are, and I feel good at Chelsea, and that it was good for me to stay at Chelsea."
08.55 GMT: According to L'Equipe, forgotten PSG man Jese Rodriguez (he of Stoke loan fame) has been offered to Real Valladolid after Real Betis passed on the opportunity to sign him.
08.30 GMT: Pepe left Besiktas club staff a cash tip as a parting gesture after agreeing to have his contract with the Turkish club terminated, sources have told ESPN FC.
The former Real Madrid defender's deal was set to run until June 2019 but he has left with the Istanbul-based club in the process of slashing their wage bill to reduce expenses amid struggles with growing debts.
Reports in Spain over the weekend had claimed Pepe had covered the wages of several members of staff who had not been paid. However, sources told ESPN FC that, while the Portugal international did not make up for unpaid salaries, he did leave an envelope with a large tip as a gesture to the maintenance, kit and cooking staff at Besiktas.
Pepe is 36 in February but, with his experience and status as a free agent, there could be plenty of clubs interested in taking the defender on a short-term deal.
PAPER TALK (by Frank Smith, Footballwhispers)
City target Napoli star
Manchester City are not short of talented midfielders but they are keen to add yet another to their ranks in the form of Napoli's Allan, according to Calcio Napoli 24.
The 27-year-old, who made his full Brazil debut last month, is said to be attracting the interest of City, Bayern Munich and Monaco.
Allan has become an integral part of the Napoli side since joining from Udinese in 2015, making 153 outings in all competitions.
Allan signed a new deal which will keep him at the club until 2023 in March and new boss Carlo Ancelotti has made it clear he wants to keep the Brazilian at the club despite the interest.
Benitez wants striker to stay
Rafa Benitez wants to sign a few players in January and one of those already frequents St James' Park on a regular basis, with the Magpies boss keen to make Salomon Rondon's switch permanent, reports the Independent.
It will hardly come as a surprise considering Rondon has found the net four times in his last six games, despite Newcastle struggling to create chances this season.
Benitez attempted to sign the 29-year-old permanently in the summer for £16.5 million but the club's board refused to sanction the move.
That saw a temporary switch agreed, with Dwight Gayle going in the other direction, but it is understood the Magpies will make another approach either in January or at the end of the season, with the striker's contract due to expire in 2020.
Football Whispers' top five emerging whispers
Football Whispers' transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of five.
Andreas Christensen to Barcelona -- 4.1
Barcelona are said to have made a formal loan offer to Chelsea for Andreas Christensen. It is feared Samuel Umtiti will require surgery on a knee injury and Barcelona have lined up the 20-year-old Dane as his temporary replacement.
Cengiz Under to Arsenal -- 4.1
Arsenal are said to have bid £29m for Roma winger Cengiz Under but it is understood to have been rejected. Tottenham are among a host of clubs keen on the 21-year-old Turkey international.
Christian Pulisic to Chelsea -- 3.8
Chelsea are ready to pay Borussia Dortmund £60m for Christian Pulisic, if reports are to be believed. At just 20, "Captain America" is one of the most sought-after talents in world football and it is claimed he has told Dortmund he wants to sign for the Blues in January.
Andreas Pereira to West Ham -- 3.4
West Ham are ready to make a loan bid for Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira. The 22-year-old started against Valencia last week but has been limited to just six outings in all competitions this season.
Reece Oxford to Everton -- 2.2
Everton have joined Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach in trying to sign West Ham defender Reece Oxford. The 20-year-old has been limited to just two cup outings for the Hammers this season but his performances on loan at Gladbach last season really caught the eye.