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Latest

LIVE: Sergio Ramos courted by Chelsea

Transfer Talk
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Arsenal revelling in squad balance

Arsenal
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Chelsea to test Real Madrid's resolve with audacious move for Sergio Ramos

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses the Lucas Silva move to Real Madrid, where he will serve as a defensive specialist in the centre of the park.

The winter window is now open, and that means the LIVE transfer blog swings back into action. Find out the latest news, gossip and deals here.

TOP STORY: Chelsea in talks with Ramos' agent?

Sergio Ramos is never one to back down from a confrontation, and it seems Chelsea might look to capitalise on his current contract impasse with Real Madrid.

The Daily Express reported Jose Mourinho will seek to add Ramos to his leaky back line, with the Blues inquiring with the player's agent as to whether...

 By Jim Daly

Wilfried Zaha has been revitalised at Crystal Palace under Alan Pardew

Marouane Chamakh inspired Crystal Palace's progress to the FA Cup fifth round with a 3-2 win over Southampton.

Some things are just meant to be together; Morecambe and Wise, tea and biscuits, Ben and Jerry. Wilfried Zaha and Crystal Palace can probably be added to that list now.

Reports suggest that the winger is about to rejoin the Eagles on a permanent deal, two years after leaving Selhurst for a dream move to Manchester United.

An extended period of being ignored by former United boss David Moyes, followed by an unsuccessful loan at Cardiff, saw Zaha find his way back to Palace last August on loan. And...

Arsenal revelling in newfound squad balance

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses Arsenal's defensive cover in Gabriel Paulista. Marcotti feels the centre-back position may now be well covered for Arsene Wenger's side.

For most of this season, Arsenal have had an imbalanced squad.

Some of that was down to the fact players were missing through short, mid and long-term injuries. However, when you looked at how the squad had been constructed in the summer, it boiled down to the fact that the Gunners had too many attacking options, and not enough defensive depth.

So far this January, three forwards who hardly featured have left the club on loan. Lukas Podolski went to Inter Milan, Yaya Sanogo to Crystal Palace...

 By David Usher

Liverpool, Mario Balotelli should part ways after yet more disappointment

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes his side were better than Chelsea in both legs of the Capital One Cup and praises Thibault Courtois as the difference between the two sides.
ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes goes play-by-play to break down Chelsea's extra-time triumph over Liverpool on their way to the Capital One Cup final.

If they haven't already, then Liverpool need to make some calls over the next few days to see if there are any takers out there for Mario Balotelli. It hasn't worked out for the Italian at Anfield (and it's clearly not going to) but as long as he's still a part of the squad, the temptation to select him on the basis that "this might be his day" will always be there. That temptation needs to be removed, even if the only solution is to send him on loan somewhere.

Brendan Rodgers clearly does not...

 By Chris Wright

St. Pauli players score after five seconds despite not taking the kick-off

What's faster than the "Route One" approach in football? Why, the "Route Zero" approach of course, wherein a given team simply go all out and take an instant pot-shot at goal directly from kick-off, usually resulting in the concession of a slightly embarrassing goal-kick/throw-in.

There are several examples of the direct approach paying off, with several teams scoring in under 10 seconds after catching the opposing keeper unaware directly from the first whistle.

However, we think St Pauli's reserve...

 By Chris Wright

Arsenal's Mesut Ozil sends heartfelt message to his Twitter fans

Defiantly perched atop his garden steps like Winston Churchill in his younger days, Mesut Ozil has delivered a stirring sermon from his mount to thank his vast legions of social media followers for their unerring support over the years.

Word of warning: You may want to have a silken handkerchief nearby in case the raw passion on display causes you to involuntarily cry tears of pure emotion.