LIVE Transfer Talk: Man United to target Southgate or Pochettino?
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: Man United to target Southgate or Pochettino?
Manchester United may be looking for a new manager by the end of their next two fixtures. With former boss Jose Mourinho bringing Tottenham to Old Trafford on Wednesday and then Pep Guardiola's champions Man City the next test, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's future has been the talk of the town.
The Sun reports that United could turn to England manager Gareth Southgate, though he may still harbour a grudge over Sir Alex Ferguson trying to block his chance to take the Middlesbrough job in 2006.
Having been sacked by Tottenham, Mauricio Pochettino is also available and the MEN says he's "enchanted" by the prospect of taking over at United, claiming he first wanted the role following Mourinho's dismissal last December.
United have taken 26 points from the 22 league games since Solskjaer was appointed permanent manager in March, so things need to turn around quickly. But there are also reports that United will back the Norwegian until things become as "untenable" as they did for Unai Emery at Arsenal.
23.30 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!
22.22 GMT: Could Liga MX's top scorer be headed north to MLS?
Mexican outlet TUDN has joined MedioTiempo in writing that MLS clubs are in for Chivas hitman Alan Pulido. Medio Tiempo reports that Orlando City are is for the Mexico international, while TUDN tips the San Jose Earthquakes, managed by his former Chivas boss Matias Almeyda, as the favourites to land Pulido.
The 28-year-old, who led Liga MX's Apertura with 12 goals, is keen on a move to MLS which brings with it more exposure and likely a pay rise. TUDN reports that Almeyda are engaged in talks with Chivas for Pulido and that they could shell out $10 million to ensure Almeyda gets his man.
Pulido, who is in the final year of his current contract with Chivas, played for Almeyda in Guadalajara between 2016-18, and has publicly said he's "most likely going to MLS."
21.39 GMT: Chelsea are being linked with players in January but remember the club are still in the midst of a transfer ban.
Chelsea have been awaiting the verdict of their second transfer ban appeal and it sounds as if the wait is nearly over. A report in the Telegraph indicates that Thursday is 'Judgement Day' for the Blues, who will reportedly finally get their final answer from the Court of Arbitration for Sport, in Switzerland.
Chelsea's original two-window ban is supposed to expire in February but Chelsea are hoping their appeal will half their punishment to one window (already served) and allow them to buy news players this January. Chelsea got back on track with a 2-1 win on Wednesday but Thursday's result could be an even bigger victory for Frank Lampard and Co.
20.53 GMT: Ivan Rakitic is still a top player and all the out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder wants is to play football.
The Croatia international, 31, has been relegated to the bench for most of this season under Ernesto Valverde, and rather amazingly, has only started three games the entire campaign. The midfielder has not been quiet about his disappointment regarding his current situation at the Camp Nou and has been linked with a January move to clubs such as Inter Milan and Manchester United.
Rakitic is now being linked with Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid and a sensational return to former club Sevilla. In a recent interview, Rakitic acknowledged he wants to play more but that he still wants to fight for his place in the Barcelona team.
"You never know, my idea is to continue," he said at the DEX Awards, as quoted by Spanish newspaper AS. "What I want is to play and enjoy my football. I still have a lot to give and if I can play, for me there is no better place than Barcelona right now."
When asked about a possible move to the Spanish capital he admitted: "These are things that only time will tell. Atlético are a great club, who have showed everyone they fight for titles. I want to fight for everything and to help my teammates, but if that can be at Barcelona then there is no better place."
Rakitic was much more forthcoming when former club Sevilla came up: "If I ever was to return to a club then it would be Sevilla, hopefully this can happen one day but above all, I'm glad to see how the club is growing, their results. Sevilla are better every year.
"From afar, that fills me with pride and happiness. My dream would be to wear the Sevilla shirt once again."
Rakitic is still near the top of his game and if he is available in January, suitors figure to be queuing up.
20.18 GMT: The New England Revolution have brought back a familiar face, signing free agent midfielder Kelyn Rowe to a contract.
Rowe, 28, played his first seven professional seasons with the Revs before splitting last season between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake. A popular player and community servant during his team in the Boston area, Rowe called"New England a "special place."
Capped four times for the USMNT, the former #3 overall draft pick has made 224 career appearances in MLS, tallying 29 goals, and 42 assists.
19.50 GMT: Barcelona have locked up what could be their next homegrown phenomenon.
The club announced Wednesday that they have agreed to a new and improved contract extension with teenage sensation Ansu Fati. The 17-year-old has signed on through the 2022 season with the club also upping his release clause from €100 to €170 million.
Ansu Fati 🔵🔴 https://t.co/MtVXbPrx3j— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 4, 2019
Fati, who became Barcelona's second-youngest debutant at 16 years, 298 days earlier this season, has played well beyond his age this season, chipping in two goals and an assist in just 11 appearances.
One for the future, Fati, a graduate of La Masia, doesn't look to be going anywhere, anytime soon.
19.03 GMT: Things are bad at Napoli right now as the Partnepoi sit seventh in Serie A and recently revolted against the club's brass.
All the recent turmoil at the club points to a January fire sale which could include some of Napoli's biggest stars. Defender Kalidou Koulibaly, one of the highest-rated centre-backs in the world, is one player who could hit the exit door, as could striker Dries Mertens.
Calciomercato suggests that Real Madrid are preparing a bid for Koulibaly, which would have to be in the neighborhood of €100 million. The report adds that Florentino Perez sees Koulibaly as an ideal long-term replacement for the aging Sergio Ramos, 33.
On the Mertens front, Belgian outlet Het Nieuwsblad reports that Inter are set to move for the 32-year-old forward, who is out of contract at the San Paolo next summer. Inter are keen to pair Mertens with Belgium international teammate Romelu Lukaku, who has been in fine form this season and has shown brilliant chemistry playing alongside Mertens with Belgium.
Changes are coming at Napoli so don't be surprised if either -- or even both -- Koulibaly and Mertens depart the San Paolo next month.
18.10 GMT: Atlanta United made a splash last season by signing River Plate star Pity Martinez and it looks as if one of his former River teammates could soon join him in MLS.
AS has linked River midfielder Ignacio Martinez with two MLS clubs: the Los Angeles Galaxy and Inter Miami CF. Martinez, 29, formerly played with Galaxy coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto at Gimnasia La Plata back in 2011.
AS claims Inter Miami are targeting the all-around midfielder for one of their Designated Player slots ahead of its inaugural season in the league. MLS has had great luck in luring players from Argentina in recent years as Miguel Almiron, Ezequiel Barco, Pity Martinez and Cristian Pavon have all made the move north in the last two seasons.
17.39 GMT: Man United star Paul Pogba wants to leave Old Trafford and Real Madrid are reportedly keen to add the World Cup winner to their midfield.
Real manager and compatriot Zinedine Zidane is a big admirer of Pogba and reports in Spain suggest that Madrid could offer talented youngster Vinicius Junior plus cash in exchange. The 19-year-old Vinicius was signed from Flamengo in July 2018 for a record for €46 million, a record, and is viewed as one of the brightest teenagers in Europe.
That said, with summer signings Eden Hazard and Rodrygo now ahead of Vinicius in the pecking order, Madrid could seemingly afford to offload the teenage wide player in exchange for a much-needed central midfield playmaker like Pogba, 26.
16.45 GMT: Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho to Liverpool or Man United? Mark Ogden explains.
15.51 GMT: Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell is the top target for Chelsea, if the club get their transfer ban overturned, says the Athletic.
Chilwell, 22, has had a fine season and Chelsea are looking for an upgrade on Emerson, with Corriere Dello Sport reporting that Juventus are preparing to make a bid for the Brazilian in January.
14.48 GMT: Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has called striker Paco Alcacer's plans to return to La Liga one day "hardly surprising."
In a recent interview with Marca, the Spain international said that he would love to return to Spain in the future as he misses "Spanish weather; the food." But having joined Dortmund on a permanent contract this summer, Zorc has no fears that the former Barcelona and Valencia man could turn his plan into reality in the near future.
He told Bild: "That a striker, who is from Spain, says he wants to play there again one day, is hardly surprising for me."
14.09 GMT: Where do we think Zlatan Ibrahimovic will end up?
13.55 GMT: Young English players are becoming increasingly sought after so Norwich centre-back Ben Godfrey is like gold dust at £25m.
Godfrey, 21, has had a good season and is now an England U21 international after making the breakthrough. Jose Mourinho wants the defender to replace Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld at Tottenham, according to Football Insider.
Norwich, Watford, Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Sheffield United are all reportedly watching the striker, dubbed "the next Jamie Vardy," who has 18 goals in 19 games in non-league action.
According to NTV, Besiktas want to sign the wayward Italy striker and give him a chance to start again.
11.43 GMT: Bayern Munich interim boss Hansi Flick has somewhat revived the club, despite suffering a first defeat at the weekend to Bayer Leverkusen, and German outlet Sport Bild reports that Flick could remain at Bayern beyond Euro 2020.
Around Christmas, Bayern and Flick will discuss his future beyond the winter break but, with a prominent advocate in Jupp Heynckes on his side, the interim boss might as well be leading Munich into the summer.
Heynckes, a legend at the Allianz since winning the Treble in 2013, reportedly has his reservations over former Spurs coach Mauricio Pochettino, who does not speak German. But another option is Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel, who reportedly remains interested in the job if he becomes available next summer (which will depend on PSG doing well in the Champions League this season.)
A Tuchel/Flick partnership could now be the solution to Bayern's search for a new coach, as the two are friends and could work well together.
10.47 GMT: Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid hierarchy remain at odds over the signing of Paul Pogba, with the coach "crazy" about the Manchester United midfielder but president Florentino Perez deeming him overpriced.
Madrid will look to strengthen their midfield next summer and Pogba has been a long-term target, with reports of a transfer resurfacing in the Spanish media on Wednesday.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Zidane is desperate to sign Pogba but United would expect a fee well in excess of £120m and Perez deems that excessive.
10.14 GMT: Napoli are a mess, so how is selling one of their best players going to make anything better?
09.31 GMT: We know that Christian Eriksen is unlikely to sign a new contract at Tottenham, and now the Evening Standard are reporting that chairman Daniel Levy is pushing for the sale of the midfielder in January.
Eriksen's deal expires in the summer but, while he reportedly has a £200,000-a-week offer on the table to stay, he's looking for a new challenge.
Sources have told ESPN that he wants a move to Real Madrid, Barcelona or Juventus. And if one of those clubs want to steal a march on the others in January then the report states: "Levy was prepared to sell Eriksen to Tuesday's opponents Manchester United in August for £80m and he would be willing to consider offers of less than £40m in January."
08.52 GMT: Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni says he would like to see Leandro Paredes have more regular playing time at PSG.
The Argentinian midfielder has made eight league appearances for the French giants, but just four as a starter.
"It's a player that we obviously like," Scaloni told TyC Sports. "Right now it's complicated because he is not playing for his club and we would like him to have more continuity at his club. He has our trust. He is an interesting player. We are talking about a player that can still be better than he is. When he has the ball, he is one of the best in the world."
The 22-year-old joined from Watford for a fee of £40m as manager Marco Silva's first Everton recruit in July 2018 and has scored 20 goals for the club in all competitions.
"I intend to be here a long time," Richarlison, who has earned 19 caps for Brazil, told the club's official website. "This was the club which gave me the opportunity to show my football. It was here I managed to get a place in the Brazil national team and it was here I have scored lots of goals in the Premier League... now it's time to continue the focus and to make the fans happy."
08.00 GMT: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has moved to assure fans that "we do have a plan" when it comes to the club's transfer business.
Solskjaer was handed a three-year contract when he was named permanent manger in March. He spent nearly £150m on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James in the summer and he expects to be in charge to lead another overhaul at the end of the season.
"Players are playing for their place in the long term," he said. "We have a situation at the moment where we've had injuries, so players have played.
"We do have a clear picture of what the squad is going to look like in June and July. Hopefully, you get as much done as soon as possible. With Harry [Maguire] coming in, Romelu [Lukaku] going out, it was late. We do have a plan now."
PAPER TALK (by Tom Fenton)
Man City join race for Inter's Martinez
Barcelona have been exploring options to replace Luis Suarez for some time, and one name that has routinely been mentioned in the same sentence in recent months has been Inter Milan forward Lautaro Martinez.
But now Manchester City have registered their interest, according to Sky Sport Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
The 22-year-old Argentina international -- who reportedly has an admirer in Lionel Messi -- has a buyout clause of €111m, but the report suggests that the Nerazzurri are in discussions with his representatives to negotiate a new contract that would see that buyout clause rise significantly.
Cavani headlines Atletico's striker shortlist
Last summer, Atletico Madrid failed in their attempts to get a deal done for Valencia forward Rodrigo. As the winter window approaches, No. 9 is still a position of need for the Spanish capital club.
AS reports that Rodrigo remains Diego Simeone's preferred choice to fill the role, but that a deal is highly unlikely. However, the story states that there are three other forwards Los Rojiblancos are considering: Paris Saint-Germain's Edinson Cavani, AC Milan's Krzysztof Piatek and Torino captain Andrea Belotti.
Before they bring in a new forward, however, Atleti will need to sell. The report suggests that Thomas Lemar would be the ideal candidate, but considering the €70m the club paid for him and the 24-year-old's average form since joining, it will be challenging to get fair value for the France international.
Juve, Barca battle for 'the new De Ligt'
If 20-year-old Matthijs de Ligt represents the present and the future of Juventus, then the distant future of the club could be 16-year-old Lenny Lacroix, according to Calciomercato.
In addition to Juve, the France U16 international has also attracted the interest of Barcelona. Both clubs reportedly have made an approach to the player, but he remains with Metz's U17s.
Lacroix has yet to sign a professional contract, and could move this summer should the French club receive an offer they deem suitable.
- According to Brazilian publication O Dia, Flamengo are keen to keep hold of Gabriel Barbosa, who is set to return to parent club Inter in January. "He wants to stay and Flamengo wants to buy him," club vice-president Marco Braz is quoted as saying.
- The Mail writes that Dalian Yifang manager Rafa Benitez has admirers at both West Ham and Arsenal, but that if either London club want to bring the former Liverpool boss back to the Premier League, they'll have to pay his £20m buyout clause.