With the January transfer window now open around Europe 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: Arsenal and Newcastle eye Barcelona’s Balde
Newcastle United and Arsenal are following Alejandro Balde‘s renewal talks with Barcelona with interest, according to Diario Sport.
Balde, 19, is out of contract in 2024 and Barca are keen to get the left-back to sign a new long-term deal to reward him for his performances in the first team this season. Talks with his agent, Jorge Mendes, are reported to be going well, but Barca’s difficult financial situation is slowing down an agreement.
As things stand, the Catalan club are unable to register any potential new terms within their LaLiga-imposed spending limit. Newcastle and Arsenal, therefore, are reportedly monitoring Balde’s situation and are ready to step in if no new deal is signed before the summer.
Barca want to keep Balde at the club but if a new contract is not signed when he moves into the final year of his deal, they may be forced to listen to offers. He has been a regular at left-back in Xavi Hernandez’s side this season, despite competition from Jordi Alba spirit Mark Alonsoand was part of the Spain squad at the World Cup in Qatar.
– Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga and more (US)
11.30 GMT: Are Chelsea in real trouble?
Frank Leboeuf reacts to Chelsea’s 4-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup.
10.55 GMT: France forward Kylian Mbappe has come out in support of Zinedine Zidane after the country’s football federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet said he would not pick up the phone if the former midfielder called him to discuss coaching the national team.
The FFF had announced head coach Didier Deschamps’s contract extension on Saturday after he led France to a second consecutive World Cup final, where they lost to Argentina on penalties in Qatar last month. Zidane had previously been a favorite to succeed Deschamps.
When asked if Zidane, a World Cup winner with France in 1998 and a national icon, would now manage Brazil instead, Le Graet told RMC: “I don’t give a damn, he can go wherever he wants. I know very well that Zidane was always on the radar. He had a lot of supporters, some were waiting for Deschamps’s departure … But who can make serious reproaches to Deschamps? Nobody.”
“Zidane is France, we don’t disrespect the legend like that,” Mbappe said on Twitter after Le Graet’s interview was aired.
10.30am GMT: Veteran Uruguay defender Diego Godin has confirmed he will continue playing at Velez Sarsfield until June.
Amid reports that Godin, 36, would retire, the former Atletico Madrid star said in a video on Instagram: “There’s been a lot said about my future and I wanted to let you know that I will continue at Velez. The past few months weren’t ‘t the best but now I have the necessary strength to return the love I have received.”
Godin joined the Argentine outfit from Brazilian club Atletico MG in June but struggled to make an impact due to a tendinitis injury. The Uruguay captain admitted after the country’s elimination from the World Cup in Qatar that he would make a decision if he would continue playing. He is under contract with Velez until December 2023.
09.50 GMT: LaLiga side Mallorca have not received any formal offers to sign South Korea attacking midfielder Lee Kang-in, despite reported interest from Premier League clubs.
According to Marca, Newcastle, Aston Villa and Burnley are among the English clubs monitoring the former Valencia player, while he is also a target of Dutch club Feyenoord.
Lee, 21, has made 18 appearances across all competitions for Mallorca since joining as a free agent in the summer and has a €17m release clause.
While Mallorca have not yet received a formal offer, they are aware of strong interest in Lee but are hopeful to at least keep him until the end of the season.
09.19 GMT: Racing Club midfielder Carlos Alcaraz is in talks to join Southampton, according to TyC Sports.
Argentine team Racing Club turned down a first offer of €11m from Southampton to sign Alcaraz, but are still negotiating with the Premier League outfit as he reportedly has a €25m release clause.
Alcaraz, 20, is under contract with Racing until December 2026 and was promoted to the first team in January 2020. Wolverhampton have also shown an interest in the midfielder but have yet to make an offer.
09.00 GMT: Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo hopes Joao Felix will continue at the club amid reports the Portugal forward wants to leave in this transfer window.
A reported target of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, Felix is reportedly unhappy at Atletico and wants to leave LaLiga. Cerezo says Felix, who is under contract with Atletico until June 2026, will have the final say.
“Players play where they want to,” Cerezo said. “I don’t know exactly where Joao Felix would like to play. I believe he is very well at Atletico but everything depends on him and the situation we find ourselves in.
“In life there is nothing impossible but the normal thing would be for Joao Felix to remain with us.”
Julien Laurens feels new signing Benoit Badiashile isn’t what Chelsea need right now despite his obvious talent.
– Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer has asked club vice president Rainer Bonhof for approval to join Bayern Munich, according to Sky Sports Deutschland. There is a chance that Bayern could recall Alexander Nubel from his loan with AS Monaco, but they are still pushing to sign Sommer.
– After renewing midfielder Ismael Bennacer‘s contract, which now lasts until 2027, AC Milan are focusing on extending forward Raphael Leo‘s deal, according to Tuttosport. The Rossoneri expect to keep the Portugal international beyond his current deal, which expires in 2024, to discourage any potential suitors in the summer transfer window.
– Atalanta attacking midfielder Ruslan Malinovskyi is expected in Marseille on Monday ahead of a loan move to The Olympians, with the option to make the move permanent, reports L’Equipe. The deal is said to be worth €10m and an added €3m in bonuses and would keep the Ukrainian with Marseille until 2026.
– Florian Plettenberg has suggested that a deal between Hoffenheim and Leeds United for the transfer of George Rutter could be finalized by Wednesday. The Premier League outfit could be seen to spend around €30m to €40m to sign the French forward, while Rutter will not be training with Hoffenheim or take part in their upcoming friendly.
– Dango Ouattara spirit Hello Moffi have both impressed for Lorient this season, with Foot Mercato suggesting they are now drawing interest from the Premier League. Everton are reported to have made a €20m transfer offer for Ouattara, with the two clubs in negotiations, while Southampton have seen a €10m bid to sign Moffi rejected.