TOP STORY: Arsenal starlet Martinelli on Real Madrid radar
There’s a young player doing well in Europe, so of course Real Madrid are going to be linked, but it’s amazing how quickly Arsenal’s 18-year-old striker Gabriel Martinelli has appeared on their radar.
Martinelli has impressed since arriving in the summer for around £6m from Brazilian club Ituano and scored a superb goal in the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Tuesday night.
His 10 goals in 21 games for the Gunners has alerted Real, says the Daily Mail, but Arsenal are keen to head off any speculation with talks underway over a new contract already (even though his current deal doesn’t expire until 2024), which would raise his wages from £10,000-a-week to £30,000.
09.57 GMT: RB Leipzig are set to sign Dinamo Zagreb attacker Dani Olmo.
The Spain under-21 international is reportedly hoping to showcase his talents in the Bundesliga to push for a place in Spain’s 2022 European Championship squad, kicker reports.
Barcelona had been interested but, should Olmo sign for RB Leipzig, the German club could allow Mattheus Cunha, 20, and former Everton winger Ademola Lookman to leave. The former has been linked with Jurgen Klinsmann’s Hertha Berlin and the latter with Newcastle United.
09.40 GMT: Lewis Baker has returned to Chelsea after his loan with Bundesliga club Fortuna Dusseldorf was cut short, the German side announced on Wednesday.
The 24-year-old made nine appearances in all competitions, but never fully settled in Germany. He failed to show up on time for training after the winter break after already being cut from the squad towards the end of the first half of the season.
09.20 GMT: Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has agreed to move to Barcelona in principle, says Mundo Deportivo.
Aubameyang, 30, will have just one year left on his contract in the summer and isn’t sure that the club is moving in the right direction. Barcelona are looking to replace the injured Luis Suarez this month and sources told ESPN that the Gabon striker is on their list of targets.
Arsenal would be mad to let him go in January though, so expect this one to drag into the summer.
09.02 GMT: Leicester are suffering a bit of a dip in form at the moment after their amazing start to the season, but they could bring in Southampton defender Jannik Vestegaard for £15m, says the Sun.
Vestergaard, 27, is seen as a solution to the Leicester defensive crisis which has seen Caklar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans left as the only fit central defenders at the club.
08.37 GMT: TyC Sports reports that River Plate have rejected an offer from West Ham for defender Gonzalo Montiel.
According to the Argentinian media outlet, the Premier League club offered €500,000 to acquire the player on a six-month loan with a €10m option to buy included in the deal.
Montiel, 23, is a regular at River and has made 64 appearances for the Buenos Aires giants since 2016. The right-back made his Argentina debut in March 2019 and is tied to River until June 2021.
08.24 GMT: Dani Ceballos has told Real Madrid he wants his loan spell at Arsenal to end early to be assured of regular first-team football ahead of Euro 2020, according to Cadena Ser radio.
The Spain midfielder moved to the Gunners in the summer on a season-long loan, but a muscular injury suffered in November has limited him to 17 appearances.
However, despite being back to full fitness since the start of the year, Ceballos has not featured off the bench under new manager Mikel Arteta and could opt to join another club on loan this month.
08.00 GMT: The agent of Manchester United target Bruno Fernandes has said he is not sure whether the Portugal international will move to Old Trafford this January.
Sources had told ESPN that United agreed personal terms with Fernandes over a move in this transfer window. However, failure to agree a fee with Sporting could lead United to walk away from a deal, according to ESPN sources.
“I don’t know what will happen with Bruno Fernandes,” Jorge Mendes told Sky Sports. “If he doesn’t leave now, for sure he will leave in summer.”
Meanwhile, former United manager Jose Mourinho took a slight jab at his former employers and their lengthy pursuit of Fernandes.
“How was Lisbon? Lisbon was good? So Bruno Fernandes come to United or no?” Tottenham boss Mourinho quipped after his side’s 2-1 win over Norwich. “So you go to Lisbon and he’s not coming? But coming or no?”
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
Chong destined for Manchester United exit
The Daily Mail is reporting that, while there is a lot of uncertainty in the January transfer window, one of the most obvious exits will come in the form of Tahith Chong. The teenager’s contract is set to expire this summer, with the suggestion that he isn’t at all interested in a renewal as he has not really broken into the United first team this season.
The likes of Inter Milan and Juventus are reported to be interested in making a move as Chong goes in search of a £50,000-per-week deal.
His agent, meanwhile, clearly isn’t happy with United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after claiming that he only “thinks about himself.”
Bayern Munich interested in Hakimi
The full-back is owned by Real Madrid but has been turning heads during his two-year loan spell at Borussia Dortmund, which ends this summer.
While Bayern have been looking at him since December, they previously felt as if a move in January would have been too complicated to arrange. Now, though, the Bundesliga champions are ready and willing to engage in a tug of war with Dortmund — although it’s unlikely that he’ll stay with them beyond his loan spell.
Chelsea could go after new goalkeeper
The Daily Express reports that Chelsea manager Frank Lampard could go after the signing of another goalkeeper. While No. 1 Kepa Arrizabalaga is the clear and obvious choice to start most games for the Blues, his form has been called into question in recent weeks following a string of questionable moments.
With Willy Caballero being out of contract in the summer, Chelsea could be ready to bring in a new keeper that will challenge Kepa’s position, though the report doesn’t offer any names being linked.
– Inter Milan youngster Sebastiano Esposito could leave the club on loan during the January transfer window, Calciomercato reports. The 17-year-old is considered to be a highly rated prospect at the club, and they aren’t considering the possibility of selling him. However, while a loan move may be possible, Inter boss Antonio Conte may not be as eager to see him depart.
– Malaga winger Hugo Vallejo is believed to be close to joining Real Madrid, Marca reports. All parties involved have agreed terms for his move, with Real being set to pay around €300,000 in addition to €1m in bonuses if he winds up playing 10 games for the senior squad. However, it’s not yet known whether or not he’d be loaned back out upon a deal being made.