Transfer Talk: Goal-starved Man United plan Wilson, Mandzukic moves
The transfer windows in Europe's top leagues are closed, but it's never too late to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.
TOP STORY: United plan Wilson, Mandzukic moves in January
Manchester United have prioritised the signing of a striker in the January transfer window, and Sky Sports claims the Red Devils are lining up moves for Bournemouth's Callum Wilson and Mario Mandzukic of Juventus.
The Red Devils have been woeful on the goal scoring front this season, with the latest blemish coming in a 0-0 Europa League draw against AZ Alkmaar in which United failed to get a single shot on target against their Dutch opposition.
The 33-year-old Mandzukic turned down a move to the Qatar Stars League in the summer transfer window, with reports claiming the Croatian is holding out for a move to Old Trafford.
Wilson, meanwhile, has started the season in blistering form with five goals in seven Premier League games, and fits in with the United strategy of signing top English talent, but will command a big transfer fee thanks to a lengthy contract on the south coast.
A move for Mandzukic is believed to less complicated, as well as less expensive, with the former Atletico Madrid man having just 18 months remaining on his deal in Turin.
22.20 BST: We'll bring Friday's live edition of Transfer Talk to a close with some gossip coming out of Italy. Calciomercato reports that amid interest from Real Madrid, Suso has put negotiations over a new contract at AC Milan on hold.
21.13 BST: Having overseen just one win since becoming Anderlecht player/manager, Vincent Kompany is hoping to bring in Bristol City centre-back Ashley Williams to help steady his side's defence, reports the Sun.
20.06 BST: Without a club since his AC Milan contract expired in July, Andrea Bertolacci is set to undergo a medical at Sampdoria, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, and will sign a one-year contract with the Blucerchiati on Saturday.
18.59 BST: At 19, Jose Juan Macias was Liga MX's top-scoring Mexican in the Clausura at the age of 19. Now 20, the Chivas academy graduate on loan at Leon is turning heads across Europe, with Marca writing that Real Betis, Cologne and Manchester United all interested in the Mexico international.
17.52 BST: A free agent come the summer, Toby Alderweireld has been linked with a host of clubs in the past few months, most frequently with Manchester United. But Calciomercato cites Tuttosport as reporting that Juventus are also keen on adding the 30-year-old as their latest Bosman transfer coup.
16.45 BST: Some explosive gossip comes to us courtesy of French outlet Le10 Sport, which suggests that the relationship between Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann is not as rosy as Barcelona would like it to be, and if it doesn't improve in the coming months, the Catalans and Paris Saint-Germain could well work out a swap deal that would see the Frenchman move to Paris in exchange for Neymar's long-awaited return to the Camp Nou.
15.38 BST: Chelsea are looking to secure new five-year Chelsea deals for Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori, and Sky Sports are reporting that they have made some progress.
Both youngsters have impressed after being given chances in the first-team this season, but the report adds that there has been no movement over Willian, whose deal expires in the summer.
14.45 BST: FC Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland has been linked with a move to Manchester United after scoring 18 goals in 11 appearances this season, but the 19-year-old is getting tired of the speculation.
"The club is good at shielding me a little, but I hope it will be more shielding in the future," he said. "It will be difficult, but we will try. I want to be shielded. It's boring. I'm bored now. On a scale of 1 to 10 [of how bored]? 9.9."
Mark Ogden reports on the man who idolizes Zlatan, eats like Ronaldo and scores goals like them both.
13.54 BST: After the 7-2 defeat to Bayern, Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed suggestions he could walk away from the club and said he intends to stay for five more years.
"This is a moment to stay all together," he told a news conference. "It doesn't only happen at Spurs, but all clubs in the world.
"In the end all that happens is we lost a game. No doubt we stay all together and we find a way to be successful again. I think every single press conference we have talked about my future. I hope we are still talking, in five years more, about my future here."
13.05 BST: Los Angeles Galaxy could be preparing for the exit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The 38-year-old has joked he could join Genoa to help them win the Serie A title, but the Major League Soccer side are monitoring Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, says the Daily Star.
Morelos, 23, has impressed for Steven Gerrard's team and has 61 goals in 108 appearances. The Colombia international was on the scoresheet in the 5-0 thrashing of Aberdeen at the weekend, a game watched by Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski.
"Jovan is a friend of mine and I sat next to him at the game on Saturday," Rangers club ambassador Richard Gough told The Scotsman. "He is in Europe to see a number of things at the moment. He was asking me about Alfredo and I told him he's just a pure goalscorer."
12.14 BST: Clubs across Europe are looking for good young defenders and they don't come much more highly-rated than RB Leipzig's Dayot Upamecano.
Arsenal were interested in the summer but put off by his £82m release clause. However, according to L'Equipe, Upamecano's clause will be slashed to £53m unless he signs a new deal this season.
11.30 BST: Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli has been hitting the headlines for his performances, but he told ESPN Brasil back in March that he once had a trial at Manchester United.
"From 2015 to 2017, I went to train there [at United] four times for around 15 days at a time," he said. "As everyone trains at the same training centre and is in the same cafeteria, I saw all the professionals.
"I asked to take pictures for [Patrice] Evra, [Marouane] Fellaini and others. [Paul] Pogba knew I was Brazilian and asked if everything was OK and where I played. We took a picture together."
11.09 BST: Arsenal manager Unai Emery has said other players deserve to be included in the matchday squad more than Mesut Ozil.
Ozil was left out of the squad for Arsenal's 4-0 win in the Europa League against Standard Liege on Thursday and has been linked with a loan move in January.
"I am thinking every time to decide with the best players for each match and the best players in the squad to play and help us," Emery told BT Sport after the game. "When I decided he isn't in the squad, it is because I think another player deserves it more."
10.21 BST: Fiorentina have already snapped up one impressive free agent in the form of ex-Bayern star Franck Ribery, but now they're after former PSG and Newcastle midfielder Hatem Ben Arfa, says Goal.
Ben Arfa, 32, left Rennes in the summer and has been linked to a host of clubs, including Turkish giants Fenerbahce, but will soon be making up his mind on his next move.
09.40 BST: David De Gea has signed a new deal at Manchester United, but Real Madrid are constantly being linked with a new goalkeeper as Thibaut Courtois has come under pressure.
Courtois has conceded an average of 1.37 goals per game at Real Madrid, has given away 24 goals in 19 games at home and hasn't kept a clean sheet since February. There are calls from Madrid fans for coach Zinedine Zidane to start Alphonse Areola, who joined on loan from PSG this summer, ahead of the Belgium international.
Though Courtois himself told Marca: "If you want to be Real Madrid goalkeeper you have to accept the pressure."
Belgium national team coach Robert Martinez has (unsurprisingly) come out in defence of Courtois, who has gone unbeaten in four straight games for the national team.
"I don't see another world-class goalkeeper more prepared for Real Madrid's goal than him," Martinez told Cadena Ser radio. "I don't think it [criticism] will affect him. He has a dream which is to define an era at Real Madrid."
Martinez also spoke about Belgium star Eden Hazard, who has yet to score for Madrid since joining Los Blancos from Chelsea for €100m this summer. "I'm convinced he is going to triumph at Real Madrid. He is world-class figure and has all the talent to lead a project like that one," he said. "In the Premier League, football is more about transition and it benefited him more."
08.44 BST: Altinordu signed 15-year-old midfielder Burak Ince to professional terms this summer and now the Turkish club may have a transfer battle on their hands.
Fotospor reports that Leicester City are leading the race, alongside Manchester City, Lille and Freiburg.
08.00 BST: Ajax defender Nico Tagliafico has revealed why he didn't sign for Atletico Madrid this summer.
The Argentina international was a target of several European clubs, including Atletico but he decided to remain in Amsterdam.
Tied to the Dutch giants until June 2022, Tagliafico, 27, was asked why he didn't join Atletico this summer, and he told Cadena Cope: ""We decided to stay one further year and at the time it was the most convenient thing. I didn't force the situation and with the club I decided to stay another year and we shall see next year."
PAPER TALK (by James Capps)
Eriksen agent set for Real talks
Christian Eriksen's future at Tottenham Hotspur is set to be cast into further doubt, with reports in the Daily Star claiming the player's agent is heading to Spain this weekend for talks with Real Madrid.
Despite telling Spurs chiefs he wanted to leave the club in the summer, the Denmark international was unable to secure a dream move to the Bernabeu, with boss Zinedine Zidane preferring to pursue an ultimately unsuccessful move for Manchester United's Paul Pogba.
With a move for Pogba now looking increasingly difficult, it appears that Los Blancos are set to reopen talks with the former Ajax man, who is set to pocket a huge signing-on fee if he waits until the summer of 2020 before completing a move.
The 27-year-old has struggled for regular game time amid continued transfer speculation, and has started just four of Spurs' seven Premier League games this season.
Spurs eye deal for David
The Brazilian struck 12 goals and notched a further 15 assists in all competitions last season, including impressive performances in the Champions League against Real Madrid as Ajax knocked the then defending champions out of the competition.
A string of European clubs have been circling for the past year, but the report says Spurs have now entered the race for the former Sao Paulo man, who has scored two goals in the Eredivisie this season.
The 22-year-old's contract expires in the summer of 2023, leaving Ajax in a strong negotiating position regarding a transfer fee, and it is believed it will take a deal worth in excess of £60m to secure the Brazil international's signature.
- Calciomercato claims Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra could leave Vicarage Road in January. The Argentine has just 18 months remaining on his contract at the Premier League side and has been in and out of the Hornets' side this season.
- Finally, Atletico Madrid are set to reopen negotiations with Valencia in January over a deal for Los Che forward Rodrigo Moreno, says Calciomercato. Diego Simeone's side failed with an attempted swoop for the 28-year-old in the summer, but have been given enough encouragement to return with a fresh proposal in the New Year.