Transfer Talk: Man United will give Solskjaer £50m for January window
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: Solskjaer to be given £50m for January transfers
Manchester United interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be handed a £50m transfer war chest in January, according to the Mirror. United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is prepared to sanction the capture of a top central defender and will also look to add a more attack-minded player.
Tottenham centre-back Toby Alderweireld, Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly and Eder Militao of Porto are the three defenders mentioned in the report. The club are also weighing up a move for Juventus winger Douglas Costa, who has fallen out of favour at the Italian champions.
Speaking of splashing cash, the Telegraph claims United want Mauricio Pochettino as their next manager "at any price," even if it means paying Tottenham a whopping £42m compensation fee. Sources have told ESPN FC that United regard Pochettino as the top candidate to replace Jose Mourinho full-time but know prising the Argentine away from Spurs represents a significant challenge.
23.12 GMT: That's going to bring Thursday'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 all the latest gossip pulled from Friday's back pages.
22.54 GMT: Minnesota United announced on Thursday that it has signed Copenhagen midfielder and Slovakia international Jan Gregus to a designated player contract. Read the full story.
21.38 GMT: West Ham will make a decision on whether to sign out-of-contract midfielder and former Manchester City and Arsenal playmaker Samir Nasri "probably next week," the Evening Standard cites Hammers boss Manuel Pellegrini as saying.
20.22 GMT: Barcelona have reached an agreement with Valencia to sign centre-back Jeison Murillo on loan until the end of the season, the Spanish champions have confirmed. Read the full story.
19.06 GMT: Monaco have joined AC Milan in the race to land Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas in January, Calciomercato cites Gazzetta dello Sport as reporting.
17.50 GMT: Inter Milan have not given up hope of signing Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric, according to AS, and the Nerazzurri will return for the Croatia international in the summer with new CEO Beppe Marotta tasked with landing the
16.34 GMT: The Independent reports that Arsenal would be open to selling Mesut Ozil in January as Unai Emery and his No. 10 not seeing eye to eye over the German's tactical deployment at the Emirates.
15.18 GMT: Eight years after he left the club, is Victor Moses on his way back to Crystal Palace? The Evening Standard seem to think so as the Chelsea winger/right-back has made just five appearances for the Blues this term.
The paper reports that "Wolves and West Ham are also monitoring the situation but Palace believe Moses favours a switch back to Selhurst Park."
15.09: The Daily Telegraph report that Croatia international goalkeeper Lovre Kalinic has signed for Aston Villa. The club have landed him for around £6m from Belgian side Gent.
14.38 GMT: Real Madrid are set to sign 18-year-old starlet Mohamed Mizzian from Melilla, Marca says that he has already passed a medical, while AS reports that the deal is not done yet but that the negotiations are advanced.
There was also reported interest from Barcelona too, so he must be pretty highly rated. Though he will be playing in the second team when he arrives.
14.29 GMT: Well that didn't take long. Fresh from being sacked by Manchester United, Jose Mourinho is being lined up for a return to Real Madrid, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Ex-Real Madrid player Predrag Mijatovic was asked by Cadena Ser whether Mourinho could return to Real Madrid in the summer and said: "I don't see it as impossible. Quite the opposite. I know that Florentino has always liked Mourinho a lot ... Hypothetically speaking, if the season ends badly, aside from going to the market to sign players, maybe, I think, I do not know ... maybe they will consider signing another manager.
13.45 GMT: Alphonse Areola has committed his long-term future to PSG and the news may be good for Manchester United fans too.
Prospect of De Gea moving to PSG have diminished even further with Alphonse Areola signing a new deal until 2023 today. PSG see him as their long-term keeper.— Mark Ogden (@MarkOgden_) December 20, 2018
"It was very important for me to continue my career and my progress here at PSG," Areola told PSG.fr. "This club is not just where I have trained -- it is also in my heart. I grew up here and have now managed to make the first team squad."
12.54 GMT: Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong has yet to make up his mind over his future but revealed some of the things that he is looking for in a club to Voetbal International.
"For me, the most important thing in all of this are my prospects," he said. "A club that plays good football. A team that attacks and dominates its matches and one that will allow me to play each week. Honestly, I still have not taken a final decision yet. Anyway, all of my options are good -- I must choose only one, though."
His agent Ali Dursun added: "The sporting aspect is the priority. Frenkie must play and not be fifth in line in midfield. I think that his choice will be made in the coming weeks, so that he can totally concentrate on his football with Ajax and the Dutch national team after the winter holidays."
12.33 GMT: Pablo Zabaleta wants you to know that he's not leaving West Ham to retire just yet. "There was something in the papers saying 'Zabaleta is thinking about retiring' and let me tell you that is absolute rubbish!" he told the club website. "I'm enjoying my football and am so proud to be part of West Ham United Football Club."
12.09 GMT: David De Gea is edging closer to committing his long-term future to Manchester United, sources have told ESPN FC, with the goalkeeper unconvinced by the merits of a move away from Old Trafford to Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Juventus would be unable to come close to matching United's contract offer and that PSG's interest is now on the wane due to the club's belief that France international Alphonse Areola can become their long-term goalkeeper, either before or after Gianluigi Buffon leaves the French champions.
11.28 GMT: PSG want a No. 6 midfielder, that much is clear. But they might want to look for a cheaper alternative to Frenkie de Jong at €75m and that is Southampton's Mario Lemina, say the Daily Mail.
Watford's Abdoulaye Doucoure and Everton's Idrissa Gueye are some other options, according to the Sun.
10.45 GMT: Sky Sports report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will cost £7.2m in compensation if Man United want him to be their permanent manager in the summer. However, the statement from Molde on Wednesday was pretty clear about getting him back, while sources have told ESPN that United will be looking for a new manager irrespective of results for the rest of this season.
10.12 GMT: Barcelona are close to finalising a deal to sign Valencia centre-back Jeison Murillo on loan until the end of the season, sources have confirmed to ESPN FC.
Talks are ongoing between the two clubs to close the transfer ahead of the January transfer window, with Valencia pushing for a fee in the region of €2m for the six-month loan.
09.43 GMT: Does Mesut Ozil have a future at Arsenal?
09.24 GMT: America starlet Diego Lainez says that his dream of playing in Europe is "very close" amid links to Ajax. The 18-year-old led his side to Liga MX success and is now looking to take the next step in his career, which looks likely to be in the Netherlands.
09.06 GMT: Staying with PSG.... Adrien Rabiot's mother, Veronique, told RTL about her son's decision to leave the club on a free in the summer and confirmed an offer from Barcelona.
"Adrien's decision is firm and definitive," she said. "As everybody knows, the situation today is that things have totally deteriorated. We wanted to leave in the summer of 2018. I asked Antero Henrique for Adrien to be transfer listed and there was an offer from Barcelona. The situation is complicated as the player can leave and the club does not want him to."
PSG sporting director Antero Henrique had his own take on the situation and told RMC Sport: "Barcelona submitted an offer for Adrien Rabiot on August 29 at 20h00 before the end of the summer transfer window. This means that Barcelona had an agreement with him before coming to us. Barcelona's offer was ridiculous -- it was disrespectful. It should be noted that we found an agreement in principle over a contract extension at one point. I am sure that he has reached an agreement with another club -- to me, this is clear."
08.59 GMT: Brazil legend Zico had some interesting things to say on Neymar and his future.
"He needs to stay with PSG because the owners made a big effort to sign him and they merit some return from Neymar," he said. "He should change a little and think about his football career more. In this sense, he is very different to Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi -- they only think about football. Neymar thinks about other stuff. All Neymar needs to worry about is his career -- he is an extraordinary talent and he does fantastic things."
08.46 GMT: As it says in the Whispers below, West Ham United are stepping up interest in Gabigol. The forward will return to Inter Milan in January, but is likely to be sent out on loan elsewhere according to Sky Italia.
08.30 GMT: Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has played down the prospect of in-form striker Callum Wilson leaving the club during the January transfer window, amid reported interest from several Premier League sides, including Chelsea.
When asked whether there was any scenario in which Wilson could be sold in January, Howe replied: "Not from my perspective, no."
PAPER TALK (by Matt Gault, Football Whispers)
Chelsea and Spurs lead Hummels chase
Chelsea and Tottenham are the front-runners in the race to sign Mats Hummels, who wants to leave Bayern Munich.
According to Bild, the 30-year-old's agent, Marc Kosicke, travelled to London recently to work on a possible move to the Premier League.
Hummels has won two Bundesliga titles since moving from rivals Borussia Dortmund in 2016. Although a January move was touted, Bayern chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge confirmed Wednesday night that the Germany international would stay at the club until at least the end of the season.
Pep wants Lyon starlet as Fernandinho successor
Pep Guardiola views Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar as the ideal long-term replacement for Fernandinho, as per the Sun.
The Manchester City boss is said to have been impressed by the 20-year-old's two performances against his side in the Champions League this season.
Aouar, who is contracted to Lyon until 2023, is valued at approximately £50m.
Atleti deny Hernandez-to-Bayern story...
Atletico Madrid have rubbished reports linking Lucas Hernandez with a £76.6m move to Bayern Munich.
Marca claims the French World Cup winner, who penned a new contract with Atleti in the summer, will sign a four-year deal with the Bundesliga champions to become the club's record transfer, smashing the £38m they paid Lyon for Corentin Tolisso in 2017.
Atleti were quick to deny Marca's report, however, releasing a statement late on Wednesday night in which they said Hernandez wishes to remain at the club.
... while De Jong targeted by Germans
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail says Bayern will rival Manchester City for Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who is valued at £70m by the Dutch side. The 21-year-old, a star pupil from the Eredivisie club's revered talent factory, has also attracted interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
Football Whispers' top five emerging whispers
Football Whispers' transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of five.
Gabigol to West Ham: 3.3
The Hammers have stepped up their interest in the Brazilian, currently on loan at Santos from Inter. Manuel Pellegrini is expected to bolster his striking options in January and will push to sign the 22-year-old. Gabigol has impressed in Brazil after having struggled to make an impression at the San Siro. The Nerazzurri are open to selling but will demand close to £25m.
Isco to Chelsea: 2.9
Linked with a move to Manchester City this week, Isco is also attracting interest from Chelsea, who have reportedly moved ahead of their rivals in the race for the 26-year-old's signature. The Blues are willing to pay £70m for the Real Madrid playmaker and offer him a contract worth around £250,000 a week. Maurizio Sarri believes Isco would fit his system at Stamford Bridge and has the potential to forge a fruitful partnership with Eden Hazard.
Tammy Abraham to Newcastle: 1.3
The in-form striker has been linked with a move to St James' Park. Abraham, on loan at Aston Villa from Chelsea, has scored 12 goals in 16 Championship appearances this season and can count Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez as a longtime admirer. Crystal Palace are also interested in the England under-21 international.
Lorenzo Insigne to Liverpool: 1.4
The Premier League leaders are weighing up a big-money move for the Napoli forward as Jurgen Klopp aims to strengthen his squad and deliver the club's first league title in 29 years. The 27-year-old, a product of the Italian side's youth academy, has scored 10 goals in all competitions this season and netted the winner in Napoli's Champions League win over the Reds in October.
Matthijs de Ligt to Juventus: 1.7
Juventus appear to have stolen a march on Europe's top clubs in the race to sign De Ligt. Juve chairman Andrea Agnelli has opened talks with Ajax chief executive Edwin van der Sar over a move for the 19-year-old Golden Boy winner, who is one of European football's most sought-after prospects after a string of impressive displays for Ajax and the Netherlands.