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LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal eyeing Gabriel or Koulibaly as Barca plan January refresh

January is just around the corner. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

TOP STORY: Arteta plots Gabriel, Koulibaly moves

New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is already making plans to strengthen his squad, and The Athletic claims the Spaniard is keeping tabs on Lille defender Gabriel.

The Gunners look set to be priced out of a move for Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, with Arteta being told by the Arsenal hierarchy that there would be limited funds to spend in the new year following extensive spending in the summer. Brazilian Gabriel is seen as a cut-price alternative to Koulibaly -- the 22-year-old has impressed in his 23 appearances for Lille this season, including six outings in the Champions League, but his potential involvement in an Olympic pre-qualifying tournament next month with the Brazil under-23 side could scupper a January raid.

The former Dinamo Zagreb loanee's contract in Ligue 1 expires in 18 months, which means Arsenal could be in a position to drive a hard bargain next month.

Gabriel has impressed for Lille in Ligue 1 and the Champions League this season, which has put him on Arsenal's radar for much-needed reinforcements.

LIVE BLOG

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!

22.44 GMT: Jose Mourinho's arrival at Tottenham has regenerated some buzz at Spurs and most are eager to see how much money the clubs spends once the transfer window opens next week.

One player that is being linked with the club is Real Madrid centre-back Raphael Varane. Spanish outlet Eldesmarque claims that Mourinho and Spurs are set to table an €80 million offer for the France World Cup winner. Varane was a target of Mourinho's when the Portuguese boss was at Man United and could be in Mourinho's plans again. 

Would Madrid part with a player like Varane for a fee of €80m? We'll have to wait and see...

21.59 GMT: Toronto FC could use another game changer to partner with Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore.

Reports from Europe indicate that PSV and Portugal winger Bruma is in the crosshairs of the MLS runner-ups. The 25-year-old, who previously played with Sporting Lisbon, Galatasaray, Gaziantepspor, Real Sociedad, RB Leipzig, was bought by PSV this summer for €15 million but is reportedly unhappy in Holland. 

A tricky wide player, Bruma would be a major coup for TFC and MLS, as at just 25 he has a lot of good days in front of him.

20.43 GMT: New Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta came out on Thursday backing former captain and out-of-favour midfielder Granit Xhaka to have future at the club. 

Arteta called the Swiss international a "terrific" player and says he plans to stand behind Xhaka, despite his standoff with Arsenal supporters back at the end of October. Xhaka, who removed his jersey, swore at supporters and later was stripped of the captain's armband, has become a marked man at the Emirates, with fans pushing the club to sell him in January.

Arteta's backing contrasts comments from Xhaka's agent Joel Noguera. Xhaka's agent told German publication BLICK that Xhaka has already agreed to a contract with Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

"Look, I will say it frankly and honestly, we are in agreement with Hertha BSC and would like to go to Berlin.

"We have told Arsenal's club boss Raul Sanllehi and sporting director Edu Gaspar, as well as the new coach Mikel Arteta.

"It's only about the transfer fee of the clubs."

Hertha Berlin have reportedly offered Arsenal £21 million for the disgraced midfielder. Stay tuned...

20.00 GMT: Olivier Giroud to... Rangers?

Not so fast says Gers boss Steven Gerrard. After French outlet L'Equipe claimed that Gerrard was keen on signing the 33-year-old Chelsea man, Gerrard was quick to say he knows nothing of such a move.

"We are getting linked with some good players. I don't know anything about it, to be honest.

"If someone knows something about it, give them my number. That's the first I've heard of it.

"He's [Giroud] a good player, though."

Giroud has 

19.09 GMT: It sounds as if the Zlatan Ibrahimovic Sweepstakes are finally over.

Reports in Italy indicate that the prolific Swedish striker has agreed to return to AC Milan on an initial six-month contract. The 38-year-old has been a free agent since the end of the MLS season and absolutely dominated the past two seasons in the United States, scoring 53 goals in 58 games as a member of the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Ibrahimovic previously played for Milan between 2010-12, scoring 56 goals in 85 games.

18.22 GMT: Leeds United chief executive Angus Kinnear confirmed in his programme notes that Jack Clarke will return to Tottenham in January.

Spurs signed the 19-year-old in the summer and then loaned him back to Leeds for the rest of the campaign, but he only played 19 minutes of Championship football at Elland Road.

"We thank Jack Clarke for his services and wish him the best of luck in his career as Spurs have confirmed, due to a lack of playing time, he will be recalled in the January window," Kinnear wrote.

17.03 GMT: The Times reports that Arsenal are interested in signing Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot on loan when the transfer window reopens in January.

The newspaper claims that Juventus, who signed Rabiot from Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer in the summer, are not willing to offload him next month.

The Italian champions are reportedly more eager to let the former Liverpool man Emre Can leave the club.

15.52 GMT: Real Betis captain Joaquin has signed a contract extension with the club until 2021.

The 38-year-old has made over 350 appearances with the La Liga side and he has been one of the most impressive performers in Spain over the past two seasons.

"I think I'm in my prime," said Joaquin. I still can go on for a while. "I should keep enjoying and making the Beticos happy. I landed here 23 years ago and I will be here for another year."

14:37 GMT: Jose Mourinho has insisted that Tottenham are not going to be very active in the upcoming transfer window.

"I am at Tottenham Hotspur. I know the profile of the club, I know the project, I know the vision, I know the objectives," he said.

"I know that in our transfer market we are going just to react to things that can happen to us in the market. Like I was saying if some player leaves we need to adapt to it.

"But we are never going to be the kings of the market, attacking important targets, fighting with clubs that are ready by their profile and philosophy to splash the cash and to go to the important targets."

13.12 GMT: Chelsea are looking to sign RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner in January, according to the Express.

The Germany international has scored 18 goals in 17 Bundesliga matches this season, and his release clause is reported to be £27million.

Chelsea will be able to sign players after transfer ban was lifted and Frank Lampard is reportedly looking to freshen up his squad with new faces.

11.56 GMT: Mikel Arteta has revealed that he wanted Manchester City to sign Granit Xhaka before the midfielder moved to Arsenal three years ago.

The new Gunners boss said Xhaka was one of his preferred options when Pep Guardiola was looking to purchase a midfielder at the Etihad in 2016.

"When I was going from Arsenal to City to start coaching and we were looking in that position, he was one of the players on my list," he said.

"This is how much I liked him. I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player."

10.31 GMT: Moise Kean has been linked with a move back to Italy after a disappointing start to his Everton career after moving from Juventus in the summer.

The Italy under-21 international has yet to score a goal since moving to England, but new Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti says he should be given time to adapt. 

"When I was a player, I remember Falcao [at Roma], or [Michel] Platini, who arrived from St-Etienne to Juventus. It took six months [for him to adapt] -- and that was Platini," Ancelotti said. "We need to be patient with the young players. We wanted to sign him [Kean] in Napoli but Everton arrived first. He showed a fantastic quality, he is a top talent but he is 19 years old. He has to adapt."

09.30 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are to recall defender Jack Clarke from his season-long loan deal at Leeds United due to a lack of playing time, reports The Athletic.

Clarke, who joined Spurs from Leeds for £9m last summer, has made only one Championship appearance back at Elland Road and will be loaned to another Championship club in January.

Arsenal are also expected to recall Eddie Nketiah for the same reason. Nketiah has scored five goals in all competitions but hasn't started a single league game for Leeds, and Arsenal want him to get better experience of first-team football. 

PAPER ROUND: Pep preps move for Ihattaren

Manchester City are interested in PSV Eindhoven midfielder Mohamed Ihattaren, who has already established himself as a first-team regular for the Eredivisie giants. The 17-year-old has made 24 appearances in all competitions for PSV, scoring six goals in the process, and City boss Pep Guardiola has identified the youngster as a long-term successor to David Silva, who looks set to leave the Etihad at the end of the season.

In addition to Ihattaren's domestic exploits, the playmaker is also making waves on the continental stage, scoring once and assisting a further three goals in just six Europa League games this season.

Guardiola is desperate to integrate a wave of youngsters into his City lineup as he prepares to replace many of his aging stars, and Liverpool's runaway Premier League title charge has further accelerated the former Barcelona boss' plans to strengthen the squad.

Barca plan new year facelift

Barcelona have prioritized the signing of a deep-lying playmaker and a centre-forward in the new year, and Sport claims the La Liga leaders have identified their preferred targets for both positions. The Spanish publication believes Donyell Malen of PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez are Barca's chief targets for the attacking No. 10 position, while Martinez's Inter colleague Stefano Sensi is rumoured to be manager Ernesto Valverde's favoured candidate to be the long-term successor for Sergio Busquets.

Martinez, 22, has had a hand in 11 goals in 18 games for Inter this season, while former Arsenal trainee Malen, 20, has 11 strikes of his own in just 14 Eredivisie appearances. Midfielder Sensi, meanwhile, has impressed at the San Siro during a season-long loan spell from Sassuolo, but Malen is seen as the cheaper option for the No. 9 position, with Inter valuing Martinez at north of €100 million.

Tap-ins

- Fiorentina are interested in Torino's former West Ham striker, Simone Zaza, but Calciomercato claims La Viola face competition from several clubs in La Liga, including Sevilla and Espanyol. The 28-year-old has struggled for regular game time in Turin, with Andrea Belotti the preferred striking option for Walter Mazzarri's side.

- Barcelona are planning loan moves for two of their fringe players, with Jean-Clair Todibo and Carles Alena both being lined up for temporary switches. Alena has been linked with a move to either Getafe or Real Betis, while 19-year-old Todibo has offers on the table from clubs in Germany and Italy, according to Marca.

- Yari Verschaeren is the latest prospect to fly off the Anderlecht youth production line, and a trio of Premier League clubs are rumoured to be in the race for the 18-year-old, according to Calciomercato. Wolves, Leicester City and Aston Villa are all believed to be keen on the two-cap Belgium international.

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