The 2022 January transfer window is closed, but there’s still plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Chelsea join race for Rice
Sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson that West Ham United midfielder Rice is a summer target for United, who are preparing for life after Paul Pogba this summer, but the 23-year-old is reportedly keen to see what level of interest, if any, exists at Chelsea.
Rice was released by Chelsea aged 14 and would seemingly love a return to west London, but the Blues would need to free up space in the squad, possibly by moving on N’Golo Kante, before they can make a bid.
Manchester United face a summer rebuild but it is not yet known who their long-term manager will be following the interim spell of Ralf Rangnick.
And the Reds’ uncertainty could play into Chelsea’s hands, if they can free up funds to land the player they once released.
18.44 GMT: AC Milan are looking to beat Liverpool in the race to sign Fulham youngster Fabio Carvalho, reports Calciomercato.
The Reds had seemingly secured a transfer for the 19-year-old winger on deadline day, however the deal fell through at the last hurdle. Reports have since stated that Jurgen Klopp will go back in for Carvalho, though Serie A giants Milan are also interested in landing him on a free transfer come the summer.
18.04 GMT: PSG winger Kylian Mbappe insists that he is yet to decide on his future, amid speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old’s contract with Les Parisiens expires in the summer, and he could sign a pre-contractual agreement with a club abroad, though PSG’s Champions League tie with Real Madrid may have complicated the situation.
Speaking to Prime Video Sport, Mbappe said: “I’m only focused on winning vs Real Madrid in Champions League — and then we’ll see what happens.”
17.31 GMT: Carlos Tevez is in discussions to join MLS side D.C United, sources have confirmed to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle. TyC Sports in Argentina was the first to report the news.
One source speaking to ESPN cautioned that a deal is not close to being completed, but that talks are moving forward.
Tevez has been without a club since announcing his departure from Boca Juniors in June of 2021. Reports have also linked Tevez with Orlando City and Minnesota United, though sources have indicated there is little to no chance that Tevez will end up at either club.
16.34 GMT: Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips wants a new contract to settle his future after West Ham made an unsuccessful bid to sign him in January.
The Sun reports that the Hammers made a club-record £55m offer for the England international late on deadline day, only for Leeds to turn it down.
“Kalvin was pleased that Leeds turned those offers down,” said the 26-year-old’s agent, Kevin Sharp. “He has never asked to leave Leeds in all his time with the club and has no intention of doing that now or in the summer.
“But I understand the offer that was turned down would have been a record for both buying and selling clubs.
“So I would hope that Leeds would honour their promise of a new contract for him which would then end any unsettling speculation about his future this summer.”
15.41 GMT: Toronto FC has signed Spanish forward Jesus Jimenez from Polish club Gornik Zabrze.
Jimenez has signed a two-year contract with Bob Bradley’s side which contains the option of a further year. The 28-year-old scored 43 goals in 134 appearances for Gornik after signing for them in the summer of 2018.
“Jesus is a skillful attacker who has a combination of excellent movement and dribbling,” Bradley said. “He scores goals and creates chances for teammates. We are looking forward to having him join our team in training camp as we prepare for the season.”
15.23 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have announced that Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule will sign for them in the summer when his contract expires.
Sule, 26, has played more than 250 matches for Bayern since joining hem from Hoffenheim in 2017. The 26-year-old has signed a four-year contract with Dortmund.
“Niklas has shown us in personal discussions that he is very interested in Borussia Dortmund,” said Sebastian Kehl, who will succeed Michael Zorc as Dortmund sporting director in the summer. “He has a lot of experience, calmness in the build-up game and the necessary physique to take the next step with us from the summer.”
Borussia Dortmund has signed Niklas Süle for the 2022/23 season ✍️ pic.twitter.com/WC7EeffRXj
— Borussia Dortmund (@BlackYellow) February 7, 2022
14.17 GMT: Ralf Rangnick insists he has “no problems whatsoever” with Jesse Lingard and says the Manchester United midfielder will be back in the squad to face Burnley on Tuesday.
Rangnick said last week Lingard had asked for time off to “clear his mind” after a proposed deadline day move to Newcastle failed to materialise. Lingard later said it was the club who had advised him to take a break in a post on social media.
The 29-year-old missed the FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough on Friday but Rangnick says he will be available for the trip to Turf Moor while insisting the pair remain on good terms.
“With regard to Jesse, I have a very good relationship with him,” Rangnick told a news conference on Monday. “He knows I would have been willing to let him go [to Newcastle] at least until the issue with Mason [Greenwood] came up.
“There are no problems whatsoever between myself and Jesse and vice versa. I’m very happy to have him in the squad and he’ll be in the squad for tomorrow night’s game.”
13.25 GMT: New York City FC has announced the signing of defender Thiago Martins from Japanese club Yokohama F. Marinos.
The Brazilian defender joins NYCFC as a Designated Player ahead of the 2022 Major League Soccer season and has already joined his new club at its preseason training camp in Cancun, Mexico
Martins, 26, could be available for the first leg of NYCFC’s CONCACAF Champions League round of 16 tie against Santos de Guapiles on Feb. 15, subject to visa approval.
Officially official 🖊
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) February 7, 2022
12.37 GMT: RB Leipzig insists that forward Christopher Nkunku will still be at the club next season, and ruled out any further departures to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich.
Nkunku has scored 18 goals and claimed 13 assists in 30 appearances in all competitions this season. The 24-year-old has long been linked with interest from Arsenal, but Leipzig managing director Oliver Mintzlaff says he is planning to have the former PSG player on his books in 2022-23
“He will also play with us next season because of course he is a very important player,” Mintzlaff told Sky. “In football nothing is ever certain, but that’s our plan.
“Of course, players like Dani Olmo, Nkunku or Andre Silva are very, very important pillars who can and should continue to develop with us … that we will start the coming season with these players.”
Leipzig lost coach Julian Nagelsmann, captain Marcel Sabitzer and star defender Dayot Upamecano to Bayern last summer, but Mintzlaff said he has no plans to do any more business with the Bavarian giants.
“We have now done so many deals with Bayern and let Julian Nagelsmann go for too little at $10m, so we certainly won’t meet for a coffee.”
11.44 GMT: Brighton & Hove Albion have announced that technical director Dan Ashworth has left “to take a similar role at another Premier League club.“
Ashworth has been linked with a position at Newcastle, which was recently created by the club’s owners following the recent takeover at St James’ Park.
Brighton added that Ashworth, who joined the club in 2019 after six years at the English FA, will begin a period of gardening leave before taking up his new position.
10.53 GMT: Lille will discuss a possible transfer of Sven Botman at the end of the season after the defender was unable to sign for Newcastle United last month.
Netherlands international Botman, 21, had been Newcastle’s top target to strengthen at centre-back but, after reigning Ligue 1 champions Lille blocked a move, the Premier League side instead signed Dan Burn from Brighton.
“Sven already had opportunities to leave last summer,” Lille president Olivier Letang told Le Parisien. “I told him that he wouldn’t leave and that we would discuss it again at the end of the season.
“He’s a great person and a top player who deserves to play in a club that can win the Champions League.
“If there’s something which allows everyone to be satisfied next summer, we will discuss it. It’s important to stick to your commitments.”
09.58 GMT: There are still major differences between Barcelona and Gavi as the Catalan club attempt to tie the 17-year-old down to a new long-term deal at Camp Nou, according to Diario SPORT.
Talks have been ongoing since January but the initial exchanges between Barca’s hierarchy and Gavi’s agent, the former midfielder Ivan de la Pena, have failed to yield an agreement.
However, sources told ESPN last week that there’s confidence on both sides an agreement will be reached eventually, with Barca’s sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff recently saying tying the teenager down to a new deal “is a priority.”
Mundo Deportivo, meanwhile, reports that De la Pena will meet with the club again this week with his client’s current deal up in 2023.
Gavi, who scored in Sunday’s 4-2 win over Atletico Madrid, has had an outstanding first season after being handed his debut by Ronald Koeman. He is already a regular for Barca and Spain and his camp believe that should be reflected in his new contract.
Former Barcelona and Arsenal star Overmars had held the position at Ajax for almost a decade and has recently been linked with a post at Premier League side Newcastle United.
“A series of inappropriate messages sent to several female colleagues over an extended period of time underlies his decision to leave the club,” Ajax said in a statement.
Ajax supervisory board chairman Leen Meijaard added: “Marc is probably the best football director that Ajax has had. We upgraded and extended his contract for a reason. But, unfortunately, he has really gone over the line, so continuing as director was not an option, as he recognized himself. It is extremely painful for everyone. I want to express the wish that everyone involved is given the peace and privacy to process this.”
Overmars said: “I am ashamed. Last week I was confronted with reports about my behavior. And how this has come across to others.
“Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that I was crossing the line with this, but that was made clear to me in recent days. I suddenly felt enormous pressure. I apologize.
08.00 GMT: Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez asked fans not to boo Ousmane Dembele after he was jeered as he returned to the squad for Sunday’s thrilling 4-2 win against Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
Dembele has not featured for Barca since Jan. 12 because of a failure to agree a new contract, with his terms up in the summer, but Xavi said he will look to use him after he failed to secure a move away from the club last month.
The French winger was named on the bench against Atletico and remained an unused substitute as Barca moved into the top four in LaLiga, but his name was whistled when it was read out ahead of the game.
“The fans were 10 of 10 and the support was brilliant throughout the game,” Xavi said in his post-game news conference. “But I would like them to support Ousmane, too. I’d ask them to stop booing him.”
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
– Sampdoria will sign Sebastian Giovinco as a free agent to replace the injured Manolo Gabbiadini, reports Gianluca Di Marzio. The 35-year-old returns to Serie A from Canada, where he has been training with former club Toronto FC.
– Flamengo are hoping to secure Andreas Pereira on a permanent deal from Manchester United, reports Ekrem Konur. Pereira was loaned to the Brazilian side last summer and they have an option to make the deal permanent for a fee of £17m. Flamengo officials have flown into Old Trafford to try and complete the move, but they remain hopeful of being able to cut a cheaper deal. Flamengo had previously submitted a bit of £6.8m, which United ignored.
– Boca Juniors are considering making an offer to Javier Pastore after he refused to extend his contract with Spanish side Elche, reports Ekrem Konur. The former Paris Saint-Germain, Roma and Palermo midfielder could be available for Boca’s Copa Libertadores campaign should they prove successful in their quest.
– Antonio Rudiger‘s future at Chelsea continues to be shrouded in mystery with the Mirror reporting that the defender has laid out his wage demands. The paper says that the Blues have offered the Germany international — who is out of contract in the summer — £140,000 a week, but that he’s pushing for £225,000 a week.
– Carlos Tevez is in talks with DC United over a potential move to Major League Soccer after having left Boca Juniors in the summer, according to the Athletic. The former Manchester City striker has been offered a return to football by the MLS side, but it depends on whether the two parties can agree on a financial agreement.
– Liverpool are considering a move for Le Havre youngster Andy Elysee Logbo, a player dubbed “the next Romelu Lukaku” in the summer, according to Footmercato. Jurgen Klopp is said to be keeping an eye on the 17-year-old striker, who comes from the same academy that developed players such as Paul Pogba, Dimitri Payet and Riyad Mahrez.
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