LIVE Transfer Talk: Eden Hazard wants Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid
The transfer windows in Europe's top leagues are closed, but it's never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.
TOP STORY: Hazard warning ahead for PSG
Kylian Mbappe's list of admirers grows longer by the week. First, more than 40 ESPN FC experts from around the world ranked the French star as the No. 3 forward in the ESPN FC 100, and now Belgian star Eden Hazard has joined Mbappe's growing legion of fans.
The Real Madrid star admits that he's a big fan of PSG's prize asset and, in an interview with Le Parisien, Hazard even suggested that if he could help the move happen by tempting Mbappe to join him, he would do it.
Hazard's boss Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to bring the sensational Frenchman to the Spanish capital to line up alongside Hazard, although the Los Blancos supremo also knows it would probably take a very high fee, perhaps a record deal, to do so.
Mbappe is contracted to the Parisiens until 2022 but has openly admitted he is up for a new challenge, and Real are one of few clubs who would be able to afford to land one of football's hottest properties.
Still, Hazard whispering sweet nothings in Mbappe's direction isn't going to hurt.
23.20 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
23.07 GMT: Tottenham have their new manager in Jose Mourinho but if reports are to be believed they could have a new defender in January.
Football Insider understands that Spurs are looking to overhaul their backline over the next two windows to suit Mourinho's style and that Bournemouth's Nathan Ake is one of their top targets. Ake, 24, is a classy centre-back who can also play on the left, and would be an optimal replacement for the aging and out-of-contract Jan Vertonghen, 32 and Toby Alderweireld, nearly 31.
Ake previously worked with Mourinho at Chelsea and it is understood that Mourinho is a big fan of the Dutch defender, who has also been pursued in recent windows by Man City and Leicester.
22.02 GMT: We mentioned Leicester's desire to add a centre-back in January, and 90mins reports that Brendan Rodgers could sign a familiar face: Kristoffer Ajer
The report says that Rodgers wants a reunion with the 21-year-old Norwegian, who has quickly become one of the top young defenders in Europe. Ajer, who joined Celtic in 2016 when Rodgers was in charge, is valued at around £20 million and could be viewed as the heir to Harry Maguire, who was sold to Man United this past summer.
21.09 GMT: Another one from MLS...
Portuguese outlet Record writes that Sporting Lisbon are eyeing Atlanta United and Argentina Under-20 dynamo Ezequiel Barco as a potential replacement for in-demand Bruno Fernandes. Barco, 20, is one for the future and was the most expensive signing ever by an MLS team when he joined the Five Stripes from Independiente in 2018. An All-Star last year, Barco tallied four goals and four assists over all competitions last season.
Bruno Fernandes, who wanted to leave Sporting in the summer, is expected to leave the Portuguese side in January and has been linked with clubs like Tottenham and Manchester United.
20.19 GMT: Mario Balotelli's return to hometown Brescia has not gone as planned: Brescia sit rock-bottom of Serie A, he's scored just two goals and the former Man City striker has been the target of multiple racist incidents, including one directed by Brescia's president Massimo Cellino.
Balotelli is understandably unhappy with Cillino's most recent comments, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the 19-year-old request a move in January. Transfer expert Nicolo Schira is reporting that MLS side Toronto FC are "interested" in Balotelli, as are Turkish giants Galatasaray.
TFC have an open Designated Player spot with Michael Bradley's contract expiring and could pair Balotelli up front with USMNT striker Jozy Altidore.
19.33 GMT: The New England have signed defender Michael Mancienne to a contract extension.
The 31-year-old centre-back will be back in Foxboro for a third consecutive season after joining the club in 2018. Mancienne, who originally came through the pipeline at Chelsea, has previously played for the Blues, QPR, Wolves, Hamburger and Nottingham Forest.
18.42 GMT: Man United have shown signs of life in recent games but former Red Devil and English football Gary Neville still believes United are a long way off.
After United's 3-3 draw with Sheffield United, Neville had the following to say about the current state of the club: "They need a striker, they need two midfield players, they need a left-back - they need five or six signings," Neville said.
"Even with Scott McTominay in it's a problem. They haven't strengthened in that area, obviously Pogba's injured.
"It's a problem for them and it's just not good enough, the midfield just doesn't have good enough quality."
Man United currently sit ninth in the Premier League and seven points out of a top-four spot.
17.29 GMT: Major League Soccer has had great luck in recent years luring Liga MX strikers north of the border.
Raul Ruidiaz, Brian Fernandez, Gustavo Bou and Darwin Quintero are just a few of the attackers who have set MLS alight since arriving from Mexico over the past couple of seasons and reports from Mexico indicate Puebla's Lucas Cavallini could be next.
The 26-year-old, who is a full Canada international, has played the last three seasons in Mexico with Puebla, scoring 27 goals and adding seven assists in 80 games. TUDN reporter Rodrigo Celoria asked Puebla manager Juan Reynoso about the seasons potential departures, and Reynoso indicated Cavallini could be one of four to six casualties from the club.
It is thought that Cavallini would fetch between $7-8 million, an amount of money that Puebla could divvy up to sign two or three key players. Sporting Kansas City are the club most often linked with Cavallini.
16.11 GMT: Leicester have yet to replace Harry Maguire since selling the England centre-back to Man United in the summer.
Are Leicester looking to fill Maguire's boots? A report from The Athletic suggests that Schalke central defender -- and summer target -- Salif Sane is still on the radar for the in-form Foxes.
The 29-year-old defender was targetted in the summer by Leicester but ultimately the Foxes elected to stand pat with Jonny Evans and breakout star Caglar Soyuncu. The Athletic writes that Leicester are continue to monitor the Senegal international and are hopeful of signing him in January. One potential tangle in a deal for Sane is that he is currently out injured with a torn meniscus.
15.08 GMT: Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has said he is "in love" with Kylian Mbappe as his team prepare to host Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Madrid were beaten 3-0 by PSG in September in a disastrous opening Group A game that Mbappe, a long-term transfer target for Real Madrid, missed through injury.
"I've known him for a long time" Zidane told a news conference ahead of the game at the Bernabeu. "I've been in love with him for a long time, but as a person first.
"He came here for a trial a long time ago. Tomorrow he comes here as an opponent."
He added: "What's important to me is what we are going to do. We know the player he is and his importance to his team. We have to be ready."
14.24 GMT: Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho has ruled out the possibility of signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The 38-year-old is a free agent following his departure from LA Galaxy, and last week the Daily Telegraph linked the Swedish striker with a move to Spurs to reunite with Mourinho, after the pair worked together at Manchester United.
"I have more than a connection [with Ibrahimovic]," Mourinho said in a news conference ahead of Tottenham's Champions League clash with Olympiakos. "Amazing player, amazing guy, but I would say no chance.
"We have the best striker in England. It doesn't make any sense for a striker of Zlatan's dimension to come to a club where we have Harry Kane."
Mourinho revealed he has spoken to playmaker Christian Eriksen about his future at the club, although he would not divulge the content of that conversation.
"I'm not going to tell you what we said. Just me and him... and Amazon," Mourinho said, referring to the documentary film crew that is following the squad this season.
13.37 GMT: Former Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta and ex-Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri are in the frame to replace Unai Emery if the Spaniard is fired, according to The Times.
Emery is under increased pressure following Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Southampton which leaves them eighth in the Premier League table.
Arteta had been reported to be a candidate to replace Arsene Wenger in the Emirates dugout last year, but eventually moved to join Pep Guardiola's coaching staff at Manchester City. However, The Times reports that Arteta is "keen to talk" to Arsenal.
The report adds that Allegri, who has won six Serie A titles at AC Milan and Juventus, as well as getting the latter club to two Champions League finals, has been working on improving his English in recent months.
12.15 GMT: The ritiro row at Napoli rumbles on with club president Aurelio De Laurentiis issuing fines totalling over €2.5m to the first team squad following their mutiny, sources have told ESPN FC.
A number of Napoli's star players have been linked with moves away from the club as part of the fallout, with Kalidou Koulibaly a target for several Premier League teams and Dries Mertens reportedly of interest to Inter Milan. January could be a busy month in Naples.
11.39 GMT: Aston Villa manager Dean Smith has dismissed any talk of star midfielder John McGinn leaving the club in January.
McGinn has scored three goals since Villa returned to the Premier League in the summer, and has also netted seven goals in his last six appearances for Scotland.
The 25-year-old has been linked with interest from Manchester United, but Smith insists he's going nowhere.
"There's been a lot of speculation about a lot of our players," he said. "But we've two owners who want to build a football club, challenging in the top half of the table, and top six in a few years' time.
"To do that you have to keep your best players and I've no doubts in my mind the owners will want to keep those players."
10:24 GMT: Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante has opened up in an interview with Canal+ on his decision to stay at Chelsea despite being targeted by Paris Saint-Germain in recent seasons.
PSG had a long-held interest in signing the France international but eventually signed Idrissa Gueye and Ander Herrera last summer after Kante decided to stay at Chelsea.
Kante, 28, told Canal Football Club: "Sometimes, you do not know where you want to go. However, we know what we have. I know I am with Chelsea and I am good with them.
"If I did not want to join PSG, it was more of a sporting choice. I feel good in London, with the project, and I am happy to stay."
09.40 GMT: Derby County may not be able to officially register Wayne Rooney as a player until Jan. 1 but the former England captain is set to begin work as a coach at the Championship club this week, according to The Times.
Rooney recently left Major League Soccer club DC United after a 15-month stint in the U.S. in which he scored 23 goals in 49 appearances.
The 34-year-old will start work under Derby boss Phillip Cocu with the club 11th in the table, five points off a playoff spot.
The first for which Rooney will be eligible to play is a home game against Barnsley on Jan. 2.
09.07 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have got themselves a Jadon Sancho issue, according to The Athletic.
With Barcelona, Liverpool, Manchester United and Real Madrid all interested, plus former club Manchester City watching developments closely, the 19-year-old England winger reportedly feels "frustrated and scapegoated" by recent events at the German club.
Sancho, 19, was taken off after just 36 minutes of Dortmund's 4-0 defeat away to Bayern Munich. He was hit with an internal suspension ahead of the clash with Borussia Monchengladbach following a late return from international duty with England.
However, he payed the full 90 minutes against Paderborn on Friday, and his goal just after half-time sparked Dortmund's sensational comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3.
Plenty of clubs will be bidding, should the winger become available, and you can expect his price to exceed €100m.
08.33 GMT: Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa will remain at Flamengo beyond this season, according to the club's president.
Barbosa joined Flamengo on a season-long loan from Inter Milan and scored two goals in three minutes to help the Brazilian side win the Copa Libertadores on Saturday. In all he has 40 goals in 52 games for the club.
Inter were willing to sell Gabigol to Flamengo for a reported €22m at the end of the loan deal but, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Nerazzurri hope to capitalise on his great form and want a fee of around €35m to €40m.
"He is a great player and the idol of the fans," Flamengo president Rodolfo Landim told reporters. "Nowhere else will he be as happy as he is here. I really hope he will stay."
Twenty-four hours after that win over River Plate in Lima, Flamengo won their seventh Brazilian championship after Gremio scored a last-gasp winner against their closest rivals Palmeiras to give Flamengo a 13-point lead with four points remaining. Not since Pele had won the league and the Libertadores Cup with Santos in 1963 had a Brazilian team had won the league and the Libertadores in the same year.
08.00 GMT: Liverpool, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are all monitoring Wolves' versatile young defender Owen Otasowie, according to The Sun.
Otasowie, 18, has only made three appearances for Wolves in the EFL Trophy since joining the club this season, but has already attracted plenty of attention.
The Sun reports that PSG became interested in him after a recent Premier League International Cup match between the two club's U23 sides last week.
Otasowie has represented the United States at U18 level, but is also eligible to play for England and Nigeria.
PAPER TALK (by Tom Fenton): Umtiti doesn't rule out Lyon return, denting Arsenal's chances
A homecoming for Umtiti would effectively end Arsenal's hopes of signing the highly rated defender, who is currently tied down to a long-term deal at Barcelona.
The Spanish publication quotes the French international as saying: "Returning to Lyon is a possibility, as a player or as a coach."
Umtiti played for the Ligue 1 side for five years before joining Barcelona in 2016.
In addition to Aston Villa's interest, the paper claims that the 19-year-old is being targeted by the likes of Swansea, Leeds United and Crystal Palace, after failing to make a single Premier League appearance so far this season.
The 33-year-old, who has been capped 82 times by Colombia, featured in the final half-hour of West Ham's 3-2 home defeat to Tottenham yesterday -- his first outing for the club since a trio of appearances from the bench in August.
- Juventus are keeping tabs on Swedish starlet Dejan Kulusevski, with sporting director Fabio Paratici watching him in action for Parma against Bologna this weekend. That is according to Calciomercato, who also say Inter are monitoring the €30 million target.