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: Poch wants Kane at Man United
Rumours surrounding the Paris Saint-Germain manager have heavily linked him to the dugout at Old Trafford, with growing confidence from the club hierarchy that they will be able to strike a deal for the former Tottenham Hotspur boss.
ESPN sources revealed on Wednesday that the club’s top players had become keen on the idea of Pochettino being recruited as head coach, with belief that he is the right man to take the job on a permanent basis and guide the team to silverware.
And with Pochettino open to the switch, the latest suggests that he will urge the board to grant him the funds to reunite him with Kane, who played a key role during the Argentine manager’s success in north London.
The 28-year-old forward has recaptured his form since the appointment of Antonio Conte and indicated that he would like to remain at Spurs despite his efforts to leave for a bigger challenge in the summer. Thus the temptation of working with Pochettino again could present the England international with a dilemma.
12.21 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are likely to beat Barcelona to the summer signing of AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie, according to SPORT.
Kessie, 25, is out of contract at the end of the season and is not expected to agree a new deal with Milan, where he has emerged as one of their key players.
SPORT reports that the Ivory Coast international was offered to Barca last summer, but the Spanish clubs did not want to pay out a transfer fee for a player who would become a free agent in 12 months’ time.
Now, Spurs have reportedly made a more attractive offer to Kessie that Barcelona are not willing to match given their ongoing financial struggles.
11.29 GMT: Ralf Rangnick says it is “obvious” Manchester United will need a younger striker next season.
Rangnick is having to rely on 37-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, who turns 34 on Monday, to provide the goals in the second half of the season with Anthony Martial out on loan and Mason Greenwood currently unavailable for selection.
Cavani is set to leave Old Trafford at the end of his contract in the summer and Rangnick admitted it was an area the club needed to address ahead of next season.
“This is obvious,” Rangnick told a news conference when asked if United could look to add a “younger” striker to the squad. “Edison’s contract is running out in the summer, and the club needs the best possible centre forward. This is an obvious one. I think everyone is aware of that.”
10.35 GMT: Barcelona have made extending Gavi and Ronald Araujo‘s contracts a priority following the closing of the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens, who concede they have both outgrown their existing deals.
Initial talks between Barca and the players’ respective representatives have revealed some differences in terms of expectations, but there’s a desire from all parties to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
Sources close to Gavi and Araujo, whose terms expire in 2023, confirm several top European clubs have made contact with regard to a possible transfer. ESPN revealed in November that Liverpool and Manchester United are tracking Araujo.
However, both players have made it clear they want to stay at Camp Nou — although they also want to be compensated in relation to their new status at the club.
Gavi, 17, signed his contract when he was 16 and part of the under-19 team. The midfielder has since skipped the B team, going straight into the first team this season, where he’s been an ever-present player under first Ronald Koeman and now Xavi Hernandez. His performances have earned him international recognition with Spain, too.
Araujo, 22, is still on the same deal he agreed when he joined the B team from Uruguayan club Boston River in 2018. Like Gavi, he’s now a regular fixture in Barca’s XI, alongside Gerard Pique at centre-back.
– Barcelona vs. Espanyol: Stream LIVE Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+ (U.S.)
09.44 GMT: Carlo Ancelotti has backed Gareth Bale to “deliver” for Real Madrid for the remainder of the season and praised the forward’s “committed” attitude in training after returning from his latest injury setback.
Bale, 32, has not played for his club since August and has been an unused substitute in Madrid’s last four matches.
Madrid are going into a crucial period, travelling to sixth-placed Villarreal in LaLiga on Saturday (stream LIVE at 10:05 a.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.) before facing Paris Saint-Germain in the first-leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash on Tuesday.
“He’s training well, and he’s committed,” Ancelotti said in a news conference on Friday when asked if Bale could still contribute this year. “It’s one thing seeing something in training and another to see it in a game.
“I think when I pick him, he’ll deliver. You might ask why I haven’t picked him yet, but since his last injury it’s been hard for him to get back to a good physical condition… I think he’s ready to play.”
09.00 GMT: Arsenal have agreed terms to sign United States international goalkeeper Matt Turner from the New England Revolution, pending the successful completion of a medical.
Turner is set to join Arsenal in summer, allowing him to remain with the Revs for the start of the 2022 MLS regular season. It will also keep travel to a minimum for Turner for the remainder of World Cup qualifying.
Sources told ESPN last month that Arsenal and Turner had agreed to terms ahead of the move, and now the MLS club have announced that there is an agreement in place for his transfer.
The transfer is the latest in a series of giant steps Turner has taken in the past few years. In 2016, he went undrafted by MLS clubs, then signed as a free agent with the Revs after a successful trial.
Following loan stints with second-tier side the Richmond Kickers, he took over the starting spot in 2018 and has been a mainstay ever since, making 107 league, cup and playoff appearances. He was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year in 2021, a campaign in which he was also named the MVP of the MLS All-Star Game.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Manchester United are ready to capitalise on Antonio Rudiger‘s contract situation and are prepared to meet his salary demands, according to Football Insider. Chelsea have struggled to make progress in talks over a new deal for the 26-year-old defender, who is currently one of the lowest earners among first team players at Stamford Bridge. And with there now being just a matter of months before he becomes a free agent, the Old Trafford hierarchy are ready to make a move for his services.
– AC Milan have removed the €50 million release clause from Ismael Bennacer‘s contract amid interest from clubs in Europe, according to Nicolo Schira. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder is set to sign a new deal at the San Siro until 2026 that includes a salary of €3.2m per year. He has made 27 appearances this season for the Rossoneri.
– Talks are ongoing between PSG and Marquinhos as the Ligue 1 club look to extend his stay at the Parc des Princes, according to Fabrizio Romano. His deal expires in 2024, but the club’s hierarchy want to add on a three-year extension for the 27-year-old centre-back. Marquinhos first joined PSG from AS Roma in 2013, and he remains a stalwart in their team, starting 25 games this season.
– Former Premier League forward Mauro Zarate is set to sign with Brasileiro Serie A side Juventude, according to Cesar Luis Merlo. The 34-year-old last made three appearances in England’s top flight for Watford in 2017, but he has since enjoyed spells at Boca Juniors and America MG. He has signed a deal until the end of the year, with his medical set to take place on Monday.
– Youri Tielemans will not extend his contract with Leicester City, reports Fabrizio Romano. The Belgium international is contracted at the King Power Stadium until 2024, but despite efforts from the Foxes to agree to fresh terms, it looks as though the 24-year-old midfielder is looking for a new start. A number of top clubs are reported to be monitoring him, though he is expected to remain professional if Leicester choose to not let him go.
– Federico Bernardeschi wants a better offer if he is to remain with Juventus, despite wanting to find a solution to contract talks, reports Calciomercato. The 27-year-old attacking midfielder has found improved form of late, but the Serie A side are still looking to lower his salary by a figure between €1m-€1.5m. It is reported that talks will recommence after Massimiliano Allegri’s side learn more about the future of Paulo Dybala.
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