January 18, 2021

Sambaad Patra

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LIVE Transfer Talk: Liverpool’s Wijnaldum holding out for new contract offer – ESPN India

10 min read

The January transfer window opens in a matter of days and speculation is heating up about potential deals. Check out the latest gossip below and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Wijnaldum still considering Liverpool offer

Liverpool‘s Georginio Wijnaldum is “desperate” to remain at Anfield but is still holding off on agreeing a new contract with the club amid interest from Barcelona, the Liverpool Echo reports.

Wijnaldum’s contract with the Premier League champions expires at the end of the season, and he is able to open talks with potential new clubs from Friday over a free transfer in the summer.

The 30-year-old became a target for Barca during the extended summer window after Ronald Koeman, his former coach at international level with Netherlands, took over at Camp Nou.

Following reports that Liverpool have made their offer of a new deal to Wijnaldum, the Echo cites sources close to the player indicating that he and his family are settled on on Merseyside and don’t want to move.

However, given Wijnaldum’s standing as one of Klopp’s senior members of the squad, the midfielder may be waiting for the club to come back with a package that he feels better reflects that status.

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LIVE BLOG

21.18 GMT: Norwich defender Max Aarons is on the radar of Manchester United, according to The Sun. The 20-year-old is seen as potential competition for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, says the report, and could arrive for a fee in the neighborhood of £20m.

20.31 GMT: A new report in Bild suggests that Dortmund could look to raid Manchester City for another promising young talent in Jayden Braaf. Dortmund famously lured England international Jadon Sancho away from the Etihad and have watched him blossom into a star in the Bundesliga and could be hoping to do the same with 18-year-old winger Braaf. The report says the move would cost Dortmund €10m and would include a buy-back clause.

19.39 GMT: Veteran Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda is leaving Brazilian club Botafogo after coming to the end of his contract. The 34-year-old former Japan international confirmed his departure on social media Wednesday after reports linked him with a move to Europe.

Honda signed as a free agent until the end of the year but had a fairly disappointing stint at the club, scoring three goals in 27 matches, including two from the penalty spot.

“As you know, I am leaving Botafogo,” Honda wrote. “At first, I accepted all your criticism that I could not bring results. Criticism is natural and I am not giving excuses. I have also been disappointed and I am sorry.”

18.52 GMT: Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport report Inter Milan could hand Liverpool forward Divock Origi a lifeline after finding first-team action hard to come by at Anfield.

Origi has made just three appearances in the Premier League this season with the arrival of Diogo Jota this summer limiting the Belgium international’s gametime.

The striker has yet to score in both the Premier League and the Champions League in his handful of appearances.

Italian side Inter Milan are looking to bolster their attacking options as they chase down city rivals AC Milan, who top Serie A at the expense of Antonio Conte’s side by a single point.

18.27 GMT: Villareal have confirmed the signing of former Tottenham Hotspur and Watford midfielder Etienne Capoue for an undisclosed fee.

The 32-year-old makes the move to La Liga after five years in Hertfordshire with Watford after signing for the club in 2015.

Capoue played 181 games for Watford under 10 different managers. A fan favourite during his spell with the club the midfielder formed a solid partnership with now Everton player Abdoulaye Doucoure.

The former France international reunites with left-back Pervis Estupinan, who made the move to Villareal from Watford earlier this year.

Villareal sit 5th in La Liga, one point ahead of Barcelona and six points off league leaders Atletico Madrid.

17.55 GMT: Sport BILD report that Borussia Dortmund are interested in Manchester City youngster Jayden Braaf.

The 18-year-old winger would see Dortmund fork out €10 million for his services with the Manchester based club inserting a buy-back clause in his contract.

The path between City’s youth academy and Dortmund is a well trodden one with Jadon Sancho and Jamie Bynoe-Gittens both making the switch to Germany in 2017.

Braaf joined City after spending time with PSV Eindhoven and Ajax, the player still has over two years remaining on his deal at the Etihad.

17.35 GMT: Atletico Madrid look set to sign Chelsea over outcast Marcos Alonso, according to the Independent.

Alonso, who recently celebrated his 30th birthday, has made just three Premier League appearances under manager Frank Lampard.

The former Fiorentina defender has been frozen out of first-team action following the signing of Ben Chilwell, plus a string of uncovincing performances.

La Liga leaders Atletico are said to be keen admirers of the player and wish to bring Alonso to the club initially on-loan. Talks between the two clubs are ongoing.

Should he join Diego Simeone’s side Alonso would join the likes of Alvaro Morata and Diego Costa who have also joined the Spanish club from Chelsea in recent years.

17.19 GMT: Just as Tottenham are prepared for former boss Mauricio Pochettino to come in for some of their players when he officially takes over at Paris Saint-Germain (see 11.33 GMT), so too Crystal Palace are reportedly braced for a bid for star man Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha, 28, was a long-term target for Spurs while Pochettino was in charge, although Palace were able to resist any advances from their London rivals.

Now, however, The Sun and the Daily Mirror both report that Palace are wary that Pochettino could make a move for the forward in order to reinvigorate French giants PSG.

Zaha, who has scored eight goals in 15 appearances so far this season, has a contract with Palace that runs until 2023.

16.35 GMT: Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud announced on Wednesday that the agent Josep Maria Minguella will be his vice president if he’s elected, and the man who helped bring Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona to Barca has hinted that an agreement is already in place to sign Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland if they gain power.

“We know the conditions [to sign Haaland],” Minguella said. “I have spoken with [his agent Mino] Raiola personally and if Rousaud wins I will phone him the next day and accept them — if the sporting director signs it off.”

Minguella also said he’s sounded out Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, who he pushed for the club to sign in 2018 when Neymar left, but said a deal for the France international wouldn’t be straight forward.

“It is a little more complicated because his contract ends the next year [2020],” he said. “But we are on top of the issue and movements have already been made. We are there. Mbappe’s name was always going to come up. His name was on the table when Neymar left but the sporting director decided [Ousmane] Dembele was more necessary.”

Rousaud is one of nine candidates hoping to be elected as the successor to Josep Maria Bartomeu as Barca president when the vote takes place on Jan. 24.

15.48 GMT: Former Arsenal and West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere is aiming to make a Major League Soccer club his next destination, according to The Times.

Wilshere is a free agent after he had the final year of his West Ham contract terminated in October, following a two-year spell at the club in which constant injury problems limited him to just 19 appearances.

The former England international, who turns 29 on Friday, is training with Championship club Bournemouth in a bid to regain fitness as he searches for a new club.

Wilshere said in October: “I don’t think I’m too young for the MLS. There’s been a big improvement in that league. If the right opportunity came up I’d be open to it.”

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14.56 GMT: Arsenal are keen on taking Real Madrid midfielder Isco on loan in January, according to reports in the British media.

The 28-year-old’s contract at the Bernabeu runs until 2022, and AS reported on Tuesday that the Spain international has “chosen Sevilla” as his next club, with Madrid willing to accept €15-20m for a player who has only started three league games this season.

However, the Daily Telegraph reports that Madrid would prefer for him to move abroad, and ideally on a permanent basis.

The Press Association reports that Arsenal would prefer a loan, and for Madrid to pay a percentage of Isco’s wages, if they can make space in their squad by shifting out another player in the winter window.

14.11 GMT: There is lots of speculation about Lionel Messi‘s future, but don’t expect anything to be settled any time soon.

play

1:36

Sid Lowe gives his thoughts on Lionel Messi’s latest comments concerning his future with Barcelona

13.19 GMT: Real Madrid winger Takefusa Kubo‘s loan at Villarreal hasn’t gone as planned, with the Japanese teenager struggling to get enough game time.

The 19-year-old has started just two of Villarreal’s 16 La Liga games so far, with coach Unai Emery preferring to use him off the bench.

There’s been speculation a new club could be found for the Real Madrid winger in January, and El Larguero has reported Getafe are his most likely destination.

“It seems like the lad wants to come,” Getafe president Angel Torres told another late-night radio show, El Transistor, on Tuesday. “I spoke to the manager and he said if there’s a possibility, we need a right winger.”

12.26 GMT: January is always a tough month to sign new players and even more so in 2021. What can clubs learn from some of the summer’s best deals?

ESPN’s Tor-Kristian Karlsen looks at some of the most impressive new arrivals from the last window such as Ruben Dias, James Rodriguez and Edinson Cavani to see what lessons clubs can learn for next month’s business.

– Karlsen: How summer deals can influence the January window

11.33 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur expect former manager Mauricio Pochettino to make moves for several of their players when he officially takes over at Paris Saint-Germain, Eurosport reports.

Sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that Pochettino is set to replace Thomas Tuchel, whose departure was officially announced by the club on Tuesday, five days after the German coach was relieved of his duties.

Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli was linked with a move to Paris in the summer after falling out of favour with boss Jose Mourinho, while Christian Eriksen — who has struggled at Inter Milan since joining them from Spurs at the start of the year — is another who is of interest to PSG.

However, Eurosport reports that Spurs are braced for approaches to come for other players at some stage, namely goalkeeper and club captain Hugo Lloris, right-back and former PSG player Serge Aurier and England midfielder Harry Winks.

– Laurens: Why PSG decided to sack Tuchel and chose Pochettino

10.40 GMT: RB Leipzig are hopeful that club captain Marcel Sabitzer will sign a new contract but aware of interest from other clubs including Tottenham Hotspur.

Sabitzer scored two goals against Spurs in the second leg of last season’s Champions League round-of-16 tie, and the Austria international was a key part of the German club’s run to the semifinals.

Speaking about the club’s talks over a new deal with the midfielder, RB Leipzig sporting director Markus Krosche told Bild: “We wanted to end the year first, both sides will deal more intensively with the topic in the spring.

When asked directly about tottenham’s possible interest, Krosche would only say: “As I said, he has developed well. It goes without saying that other clubs also notice this.”

09.52 GMT: Sergio Reguilon has laughed off suggestions that he could convince friend and former Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos to join him at Tottenham Hotspur.

Ramos’ contract at the Bernabeu expires in June 2021 and he’ll be free to negotiate with other clubs from Jan. 1.

“I think in the end it will be sorted out,” Reguilon, who joined Spurs from Madrid in September, told Diario AS. “For both Madrid and Sergio. Looking at it from the outside, I can’t see Madrid without Ramos.”

When asked if he’d message Ramos about a move to north London, Reguilon added: “He wouldn’t pay much attention to me!”

09.00 GMT: Diego Costa left Atletico Madrid when his contract was terminated by mutual consent on Wednesday, and The Times reports he could be returning to the Premier League.

Costa, 32, re-joined Atletico from Chelsea in January 2018 for €66m after spending three-and-a-half seasons at Stamford Bridge. However, if he now joins a La Liga rival (Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla) or a Champions League club, he will be liable to pay Atletico €15m due to the terms of his exit.

That means he could accept an offer to join Wolves, who desperately need reinforcements to their forward line after Raul Jimenez suffered a fractured skull.

play

1:06

ESPN FC’s Sid Lowe on Atletico Madrid’s stipulations towards Diego Costa after being released from the club.

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

Fosu-Mensah to leave Man United?

Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah could leave the club during the January transfer window, according to Football Insider.

The Red Devils have offered the 22-year-old a three-and-a-half-year deal but he has yet to accept, and with his contract expiring at the end of the season, it seems as if he’s weighing up his options.

The two clubs chasing his signature are Marseille and Hertha Berlin.

Tap-ins

Gianluca Di Marzio writes that Genoa are closing in on a deal to sign Lazio centre-back Denis Vavro. The report suggests that Vavro, who isn’t part of Lazio’s plans at present, will join the club on loan with an option to buy set at €15 million. He could make the trip over as soon as Wednesday in order to complete his medical prior to the deal becoming official.

Aston Villa are preparing to send Frederic Guilbert out on loan in January, according to Football Insider. Villa have no plans to part with Guilbert permanently, but the 26-year-old right-back slipped down the pecking order at Villa Park and a temporary move away could give him a chance for regular first-team minutes.

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