LIVE Transfer Talk: Gonzalo Higuain close to Maurizio Sarri reunion at Chelsea

AC Milan, Álvaro Morata, Blog - Transfer Talk, Blog Post, Chelsea, Clubs, English Premier League, Gonzalo Higuaín, Italian Serie A, Juventus, Transfers
With Gonzalo Higuain enduring an inconsistent season at Milan, the FC crew assess whether he is worth the price for top-four hopefuls Chelsea.
Mark Ogden joins the panel to answer your tweets on Liverpool’s FA Cup defeat, Man United’s transfer targets, bold predictions for 2019 and more.
The FC crew question if Mauricio Pochettino is preparing himself for a new job, after voicing his concerns with Tottenham’s lack of transfer activity.

The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is open again. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world’s media and setting our correspondents loose to see who could be heading to/out of your club this month.

TOP STORY: Higuain set for Sarri reunion

Marca in Spain claim that Chelsea are close to signing Gonzalo Higuain from AC Milan.

Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is keen to add a striker to his squad this month with Alvaro Morata possibly returning to Spain.

But Chelsea seem close to pulling off a major coup with Higuain having “accepted their offer.” The Argentina international thrived under Sarri at Napoli, scoring a record 36 Serie A goals during the 2015-16 season.

The deal would involve the 31-year-old joining the Premier League side on loan with an option to sign permanently in the summer for approximately £36 million.


09.33 GMT: Toulouse prodigy Jean-Clair Todibo is set to join Barcelona in the summer, but he could actually move this month according to his agent.

Speaking to RMC, Bruno Satin stated the 19-year-old centre-back had agreed to move next summer, but that “contact has been made to bring forward his arrival.”

09.23 GMT: Munir‘s agent, Francisco Valdivieso has explained the reasons for his client deciding to turn down a new contract with Barca — news that ESPN FC brought you first — with his current deal ending this summer.

“There’s nothing signed with Sevilla,” he told Cadena Cope. “It’s an option but no agreement has been reached. Munir decided not to renew with Barca because he wants to play. If he leaves in January, it’s because Barca has made that decision.”

09.12 GMT: Seeking to significantly reinforce their squad in the winter window, Monaco are making progress elsewhere than in their moves to sign Cesc Fabregas, L’Equipe reports.

Lille left-back Fode Ballo-Toure is set to move to the principality, the paper claims, while last season’s Ligue 1 runners-up, currently second from bottom of the table, are also seeking to bring former Nice left-back Dalbert back to France from Inter Milan.

09.00 GMT: Benjamin Pavard will move from Stuttgart to Bayern Munich in the summer. Done deal.

08.35 GMT: Arsenal have activated a clause within Nacho Monreal‘s contract to extend his deal until the end of next season, sources have told ESPN FC.

Monreal, 32, had entered the final year of his contract with the club, but Unai Emery said in September he wanted the left-back tied down to a new deal.

Talks over a longer-term contract have been put on hold for now, but the move means Monreal will not be leaving for nothing at the end of the season.

08.20 GMT: Sevilla sporting director Joaquin Caparros has confirmed his club is interested in signing Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata in the winter transfer window but admits it will be difficult to do so.

Morata has scored 24 goals since arriving for £60m from Real Madrid at the start of last season, but has not found the net in the Premier League since Nov.4.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has often taken to starting Eden Hazard as a false No. 9, rather than field Morata or fellow centre-forward Olivier Giroud.

Asked about Morata, Caparros told the club’s TV channel: “It’s true that we are interested in the player. But it’s a very, very complex operation.

“The player may want to come but it’s very complicated because Chelsea is a club that’s very difficult to negotiate with.”

Caparros also confirmed that Barca forward Munir El Haddadi is also “an option” for Sevilla to strengthen their attack.

PAPER TALK (Matt Gault, Football Whispers)

Dortmund step up Hazard pursuit

Borussia Dortmund have begun negotiations with Borussia Monchengladbach winger Thorgan Hazard, according to Sport Bild.

Dortmund are in the market for a wide player after confirmation that Christian Pulisic will join Chelsea in the summer and they have made Hazard their top target.

The Belgium international, the brother of Chelsea star Eden, has excelled in the German top flight this season with nine goals and six assists in 17 games.

The 25-year-old has also attracted interest from the Premier League but the Bundesliga leaders have emerged as clear frontrunners. Hazard would cost Dortmund around £38m.

City open talks with Kompany over new deal

Manchester City have opened talks with club captain Vincent Kompany regarding a contract extension. The 32-year-old’s current deal with the Premier League champions expires at the end of the season but Pep Guardiola is hopeful he will commit to fresh terms.

“We are talking about that — I would like it,” Guardiola said. “He’s our captain, 11 years here, we saw in the last two [league] games the huge quality and personality he has to play. The only problem with Vincent is one: his injury problems.”

Kompany’s injury problems have restricted the defender to just six Premier League starts this season.

Abraham targeted by Palace after Wolves snub

Crystal Palace want to sign Tammy Abraham after the striker turned down the chance to join Wolves on loan.

The 21-year-old, currently on loan at Aston Villa from Chelsea, was expected to make the switch to Molineux before a change of heart saw him stay at Villa Park on Tuesday.

But Abraham’s future may not be resolved yet with The Mirror saying he is now subject of interest from Palace.

The Eagles are shopping for reinforcements up front after pulling out of a deal to sign Dominic Solanke before he joined Bournemouth from Liverpool.

Football Whispers’ transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of 5.

Fernando Llorente to Athletic Bilbao — 3.4

Bilbao sporting director Rafa Alkorta has confirmed the club’s interest in re-signing Spurs striker Llorente. The 33-year-old is one of several players being targeted by the Basque side as they attempt to avoid relegation from La Liga. Llorente has been behind Harry Kane in the Tottenham pecking order since joining from Swansea in 2017 and may be tempted by the opportunity for regular first-team football given that he is yet to start a Premier League game this season.

Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester United — 3.6

Although United are expected to have a relatively quiet January window, the club are willing to break the bank to sign Koulibaly in the summer. The Senegal international is reportedly one of United’s top defensive targets but would likely cost in excess of the world record £75m Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk. Real Madrid are also showing interest in the 27-year-old.

Gary Medel to West Ham — 2.6

The Hammers are set to make an improved offer for the defensive midfielder, who is open to leaving Besiktas this month. The 31-year-old, who has 114 caps for Chile, spent one year in England with Cardiff City before joining Inter in 2014. He moved to Besiktas in 2017 but the Turkish club are willing to sell Medel if their valuation is met.

Luka Modric to Inter — 2.7

Having made overtures to the Croatian in the summer, Inter are ready to revive interest in Modric and test Real Madrid’s resolve with another bid. The 33-year-old has struggled to recapture the form that saw him win the Ballon d’Or at the end of 2018 but the Nerazzurri believe Real’s current struggles, with the club lying fifth in La Liga, may help their pursuit of the playmaker.

Hector Herrera to Inter — 1.9

Modric may be joined at the San Siro by Herrera, with the Mexico international said to have his heart set on a move to the Italians. The 28-year-old, who has previously attracted interest from Tottenham, is out of contract at Porto at the end of the season and is ready for a new challenge after almost six years in Portugal.

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