With just a few weeks remaining before the opening of the January transfer window, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Moukoko’s murky Dortmund status amid Chelsea interest
Youssoufa Moukoko has yet to sign an extension at Borussia Dortmund as interest from other big clubs like Chelsea continue to swirl around the 18-year-old striker.
There have previously been reports that Dortmund offered the Germany international a salary between €5-6 million a year to renew, but this has now been disputed.
Speaking to Sky Sport Deutschland, Moukoko’s agent Patrick Williams said: “I can confirm that we are not yet about to sign a contract extension with Borussia Dortmund. I can also assure you that the numbers that are circulating are simply not correct and Youssoufa was never offered that way. But we are still in contact with Borussia Dortmund and will see what the next few days bring.”
The striker would like to stay with the Bundesliga club as he feels comfortable there, but he also wants clarity over his future and to play for a club that believes in him, offering him a competitive contract.
Sky’s Marc Behrenbeck has stated that Chelsea are the closest when it comes to signing Moukoko away from Germany, although Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Newcastle United are making efforts of their own.
While he didn’t directly respond to those links, Williams stated: “Be sure: we do our job! A player like Youssoufa is interesting for all top clubs in the world. Especially when he is free of charge and has a future in the German national team.”
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19.44 GMT: Salomon Rondon has terminated his contract at Everton and is now a free agent, according to the club.
The 33-year-old Venezuela striker joined the Toffees in 2021 and made 31 appearances, scoring three goals.
18.51 GMT: West Ham, Leeds United and Leicester City have joined the race for Morocco World Cup star Azzedine Ounahi, according to talkSPORT.
Ounahi has impressed at Qatar 2022, and the 22-year-old central midfielder could leave Ligue 1 side Anger in January.
His ability on the ball, playmaking and calmness under pressure have caught the eye of clubs around the world, with Spain coach Luis Enrique also noting Ounahi’s quality after Morocco knocked La Roja out of the World Cup.
17.43 GMT: Chelsea are close to announcing the appointment of Christopher Vivell as their new technical director, Sky Sports reports.
Sources told ESPN’s James Olley that Chelsea were set to hire Vivell after his departure from RB Leipzig in October, when it was suggested Leipzig took a dim view of Vivell discussing another position. It is thought he met with officials from Stamford Bridge before his exit “with immediate effect” was announced.
Now Sky journalist Florian Plettenberg reports that Vivell, 36, has obtained a UK work visa and he will soon be officially installed as the club’s first technical director since Michael Emenalo resigned from the position in 2017 (former Blues goalkeeper Petr Cech had the title of technical and performance advisor before his departure earlier this year.)
Given the report from Fabrizio Romano this morning (see 11.38 GMT) that Christopher Nkunku‘s transfer from Leipzig to Stamford Bridge is also all but confirmed, it’s not hard to imagine that the two bits of recruitment are realted.
16.38 GMT: Christian Pulisic has said he is focused on Chelsea amid speculation about his future at the club but didn’t rule out a transfer, adding that “things change quickly.”
Sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden last month that Manchester United would consider United States international Pulisic as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.
United, Newcastle and Arsenal have all been made aware of Pulisic’s likely availability when the transfer window opens, and sources told ESPN the player’s representatives are keen to find him a new club four years after he signed for Chelsea in a £58 million transfer from Borussia Dortmund.
Speaking to “Indirect,” a podcast hosted by Steve Schlanger and USMNT teammate Tim Ream, Pulisic said: “Right now I’m absolutely back at Chelsea, focused and ready to finish the season. But you know how things work in football… things change quickly and anything can happen.
“At the moment, I am just pushing myself in training and working at Chelsea, because that’s where I am right now.”
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15.42 GMT: Manchester United are planning a January bid of €50m for PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Gakpo, 23, impressed during Netherland’s World Cup campaign, scoring three goals in Qatar in addition to the 13 he netted in the first half of the season for his club.
The Telegraph reports that PSV are already resigned to losing Gakpo, who was already on United’s radar in the summer as an alternative to Antony if the €100m signing of the Brazilian from Ajax had not been completed.
14.57 GMT: Athletico Paranaense centre-forward Vitor Roque is the next young Brazilian talent on Real Madrid’s radar, according to AS.
The European champions announced earlier this week an agreement to sign Palmeiras forward Endrick in 2024, with the 16-year-old set to tread the same path as Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes is arriving at the Bernabeu from Brazil as a teenager and becoming a star.
Already, Madrid have turned their attention to 17-year-old Vitor Roque, who has scored seven goals in 36 appearances since signing for Atletico Paranaense from Cruzeiro in April. But they may have to fend off interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and Paris St-Germain in order to sign him.
14.03 GMT: United States midfielder Malik Tillman is hopeful that he can make his loan spell at Rangers into a permanent deal this summer.
Tillman, 20, has scored four goals in 24 appearances since joining Rangers on a season-long loan from Bayern Munich, and the Scottish club have an exclusive option to sign him for £5m at the end of the season as part of the deal.
“I think there have been some ups and downs but as I said before I always try and give my best and keep improving the whole time,” Tillman said. “I came here to play as many games as I can. I love the club and everything around it so we will see what will happen in the summer.”
The Germany-born US international, who has been with Bayern since he was 13, then responded to the question of whether Rangers was the right place for him to continue developing by saying: “I think so, yes.”
13.14 GMT: Former France defender Patrice Evra believes that Atletico Madrid forward Antoine Griezmann should think carefully about potential interest from Premier League clubs.
Griezmann has been a revelation for France in their run to the World Cup final, immediately settling into an unfamiliar midfield role in the absence of Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante.
His performances have led to renewed reports of interest from clubs in Engand, including Evra’s former club Manchester United. However,
“You should not have to praise Antoine Griezmann that much when he has a good tournament,” Evra told Betfair. “Everyone can have a good month. Griezmann has had a lack of consistency at club level except for when he’s been at Atletico Madrid. Griezmann made the wrong choice in going to Barcelona, then he came back to Atletico Madrid and had his problems.
“People should not be blind to the fact he’s played well for one month. I’ve never seen Griezmann playing at this level, running this much and tackling everywhere. Griezmann is doing the job of N’Golo Kante and Paul Pogba. I love ‘Grizou‘ but I won’t give him the status as one of the greatest French players.
“Could he move to a Premier League team? It depends on the club, Griezmann would do well at Manchester City. Other clubs, I’m not sure about. Mentally, the Premier League is very tough. If he plays in a Pep Guardiola system he will be able to use Griezmann but I’m not sure any other Premier League manager would be able to use him.
“Griezmann should stay in Spain, you can’t hide in the Premier League, even when you don’t have the ball, you get tackled.”
12.24 GMT: Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a January target for Wolverhampton Wanderers, The Express & Star reports.
Wan-Bissaka, 25, has made just one appearance since Erik ten Hag took over in the summer, when he came on as an 86th-minute substitute in the 2-1 win over Liverpool back in August.
United are open to loaning out the player, who has a contract at Old Trafford until 2024 with a view to a permanent deal. Crystal Palace — who got a £50m transfer fee for Wan-Bissaka when he moved to United in 2019 — Leeds United and West Ham United are also all interested in the defender.
Meanwhile, The Times reports that new Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui wants six new signings in the January transfer window, with Atletico Madrid forward Matheus Cunha a primary target,
11.38 GMT: Chelsea have completed the signing of RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, Fabrizio Romano reports.
Nkunku, 25, will move to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season in a transfer that sources told ESPN’s James Olley back in September would be worth €60m.
The France international, who missed out on a place at the World Cup because of injury, had attracted interest from several top clubs, including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich after scoring 52 goals for Leipzig since the start of last season.
The France international can play as a centre-forward, a second striker or an attacking midfielder. Co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital are keen on pursuing a transfer strategy involving acquiring younger players committed to long-term contracts and have identified Nkunku as a target.
Sources have told ESPN that Chelsea were keen on signing Nkunku this summer but that Leipzig wanted to keep him for another season and agreed a two-year contract extension with the player to 2026.
10.43 GMT: Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic has said he believes Luka Modric will extend his international career to Euro 2024, raising the prospect that he could extend his stay at Real Madrid beyond the end of his contract.
The 37-year-old is set to extend his own national record by earning his 162nd cap in Saturday’s World Cup third-place playoff match against Morocco at Khalifa International Stadium.
Although Modric has been in fine form during the finals in Qatar, speculation has grown that the midfielder could retire from representing his country. But speaking on Friday, Dalic said: “I hope that he will be with us.
“I’m looking forward to that and I think it is quite certain that he will be — but Luka Modric will decide personally as well how he feels.
“Knowing how he feels about football and the Croatia national team I’m quite sure he will, but it is his decision only.”
Modric’s latest one-year contract at the Bernabeu expires at the end of the season, meaning he would either need to sign a new deal with the reigning European champions or find a new club to continue playing in the year leading up to the next Euros.
10.00 GMT: Liverpool academy coach Tim Jenkins has left the club after 10 years to join the coaching staff at Bournemouth, The Athletic reports.
Jenkins had been an analyst and assistant coach for Liverpool’s under-18 side, and had previously worked with the U23 squad under Neil Critchley.
Bournemouth manager Gary O’Neil was given the job on a permanent basis last month, having stepped in as caretaker in August following Scott Parker’s dismissal. The Cherries are currently 14th in the Premier League table
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Paris Saint-Germain are convinced that they will be able to sign Milan Skriniar as a free agent in the summer, having offered the Internazionale centre-back in excess of €9m-per-season, according to Calciomercato. Inter are still doing all they can to keep the Slovakian, having offered an amount of €13m-per-season, with the Serie A outfit now looking for clarity regarding the situation.
– Newcastle United want to sign £50m-rated winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia from Napoli, as reported by The Times of London, with the Magpies having scouted him prior to the World Cup break. It’s no surprise that they’ve been impressed by the Georgia international, who has scored eight goals and assisted a further 10 in 17 appearances across Serie A and the Champions League this season.
– Napoli and Sampdoria have closed a goalkeeper swap loan deal that will see Bartosz Bereszynski represent the former and Alessandro Zanoli play for the latter, reports Corriere dello Sport. Napoli will have the right to make Bereszynski’s deal permanent, and are also keen on bringing back Nikita Contini from his loan at Sampdoria.
– Bayern Munich are looking at goalkeeper options following Manuel Neuer‘s season-ending injury due to a skiing accident and the uncertain status of Alexander Nubel, who is currently on loan at AS Monaco, reports Sky Sports Deutschland. Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer is somebody the Bavarian giants are looking at and have contacted, with the Switzerland international’s contract expiring in the summer.
– Besiktas defender Romain Saiss has received plenty of attention following his impressive displays for Morocco during the World Cup, according to Foot Mercato. The 32-year-old is not interested in offers from Gulf nations as he wants to stay in Europe, with two Italian teams looking at his profile.