Transfer news LIVE – Thursday December 12
- Arsenal chiefs would like their next manager to be a former Gunners ace
- Man Utd have stolen a march on their rivals in the hunt for Kai Havertz
- Liverpool have been advised against launching a raid to sign PSG’s Neymar
- Chelsea are focussing on two targets after their transfer ban was halved
Pep Guardiola talks up Dani Olmo
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola might just have dropped a hint that Dinamo Zagreb’s Dani Olmo is on his radar.
Guardiola hailed his fellow Spaniard, who scored against City on Wednesday night, saying: “He’s a top player – he has a bright future, of course.
“His performance today shows it. About the transfer and the money he deserves, that is not the point. The point is he is an incredible player and I am pretty sure he is able to play in the strong leagues in Europe. Hopefully if Dinamo wants and he wants, it can happen.”
Olio – who played for Barcelona as a youngster – has previously been linked with City’s local rivals Manchester United.
Transfer news LIVE: Pep Guardiola hailed Dani Olmo after Manchester City beat Dinamo Zagreb
Leicester plot striker deal
Leicester could add Fenerbahce striker Vedat Muriqi to their squad in the new year to give their title hopes a boost.
Brendan Rodgers’ side are Liverpool’s closest challengers at the top of the Premier League and face the Reds on Boxing Day.
They’ll be hoping to secure a positive result then and potentially follow it up with a raid for Muriqi.
Turkish football reporter Yagiz Sabuncuoglu says Leicester are interested in landing Muriqi, who plays his international football with Kosovo.
Transfer news LIVE: Leicester want to sign Vedat Muriqi from Fenerbahce
Chelsea decision praised
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has been hailed by Joe Cole for offloading David Luiz and putting his faith in Fikayo Tomori.
“He’s galvanised the club having him in,” Cole said. “He hasn’t put a foot wrong since the moment he started in management.
“When he took the Derby job by the way, that wasn’t an easy job. What he did there, he deserves a lot of credit there.
“But he’s come into this one and big decisions like allowing David Luiz to move on because he knew he had Tomori.
“That’s a massive decision, there would have been a lot of people within the club, fans, people around the club thinking: ‘It’s another young player amongst a lot of young players’.”
Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea star Fikayo Tomori has thrived under Frank Lampard
Celtic and Rangers transfer claim
Celtic and Rangers are in for contrasting January transfer windows as they battle it out for the title, says former Hoops boss Gordon Strachan.
“Celtic will sign players in January,” said Strachan. “Recruitment, for both Glasgow teams, is going to be big in January.
“I expect Celtic to sign players, and that’s why I’d have them as favourites for the title still, as they know they need to strengthen. For Rangers, it’s the other way, they cannot, must not, sell Alfredo Morelos. At any cost.
“He’s the most important player for them, who can take them to the league title. They need to keep him at the club, and keep him fit. If they do, they’ll have a real chance.”
Transfer news LIVE: Celtic boss Neil Lennon has been tipped to splash some cash in January
Barcelona keen on Thiago reunion
Barcelona are reported to be eager to take Thiago Alcantara back to the Nou Camp if he’s to leave Bayern Munich.
The Spain international rose through the ranks at La Masia before moving on to pastures new with the Bavarian giants.
He could, however, return to where it all began with Bild reporting Barcelona are very interested in re-signing the midfielder.
Thiago’s brother, Rafinha, is on Barcelona’s books – although he’s currently on loan at fellow La Liga side Celta Vigo.
Transfer news LIVE: Barcelona would love to sign Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich
Chelsea want Jadon Sancho
Chelsea fan Jadon Sancho could see his boyhood dreams come true with Frank Lampard keen to lure the winger to Stamford Bridge.
Lampard has a kitty at his disposal after Chelsea successfully appealed to have their transfer ban cut in two.
And, among the names on the former midfielder’s wish list, is that of Borussia Dortmund and England international star Sancho.
The Guardian claim Sancho – who grew up supporting Chelsea – is one of five players Chelsea want to bolster their attack.
Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea are eager to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund
Man Utd deal sweetener
Manchester United are hoping to bring Mario Mandzukic on board by offering Juventus Tahith Ching in part exchange.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to add a striking option and experience in January – so Mandzukic fits the bill.
And, according to CalcioMercato, United are prepared to sacrifice young winger Chong in order to make a deal happen.
Juventus are interested in the Dutchman anyway, so that could be enough to convince them to let Mandzukic join United.
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United want to sign Mario Mandzukic from Juventus in January
Tottenham transfer explained
Tottenham ace Ryan Sessegnon admits playing in Europe’s premier club competition played a big part in his summer move from Fulham to Spurs.
“It’s a great feeling to be here,” said Sessegnon, who scored in Wednesday night’s defeat to Bayern Munich. “It’s one of the main reasons why I came to the club, to play Champions League football.
“It is another occasion for me to hopefully play and show what I can do. I’ve come to a bigger club, bigger expectations, it’s just another way of me trying to play at the highest level and you can see last season wasn’t too good for me.
“Of course [Fulham] went down to the Championship. I just felt it was time for me to go to another level and I’m here now and I’m enjoying it.”
Transfer news LIVE: Ryan Sessegnon left Fulham for London rivals Tottenham in the summer
Carlo Ancelotti job preference
Arsenal and Everton managerial target Carlo Ancelotti would like his next job to be in London – where the former Chelsea boss still owns a house.
Arsenal and Everton are taking a look at Ancelotti following their sackings of Unai Emery and Marco Silva respectively.
The Italian is available having left Napoli earlier this week and The Sun claim he is keen on a quick return to frontline duty.
Everton face being snubbed, however, with Ancelotti said to be planning a return to the capital if he makes a Premier League comeback.
Transfer news LIVE: Carlo Ancelotti would sooner move to a London club – giving Arsenal a boost
Chelsea transfer prediction
Former Chelsea midfielder Craig Burley says Frank Lampard will only add a striker to his Blues squad in the January transfer window.
“January? January no, I don’t think so,” Burley told ESPN FC, when asked if Chelsea will make plenty of signings in the new year.
“I do think he will look to back up Tammy Abraham because Oliver Giroud might want to go, because of the Euros, lack of game time and all that. So that’s a position [Lampard may strengthen].
“Just because they’ve got money to spend doesn’t mean they’re going to spend it. I think it could be the summer.”
Transfer news LIVE: Frank Lampard has money to spend at Chelsea after the Blues’ ban was halved
Real Madrid get Kylian Mbappe boost
Real Madrid transfer target Kylian Mbappe reportedly has no interest in signing a contract extension at Paris Saint-Germain.
Mbappe is on course to be one of the world’s leading players once Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi hang up their boots.
And Real would love to snap up the fleet-footed forward, who won the World Cup with France last summer.
Marca claim the Spanish giants have seen their hopes of snapping up Mbappe increase, with the former Monaco ace unwilling to commit his long-term future to PSG.
Transfer news LIVE: Real Madrid would love to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris Saint-Germain
Former Everton candidate eyed by Arsenal
Everton could see Vitor Pereira take the reins at Arsenal shortly after being snubbed by the Shanghai SIPG coach.
Transfer expert Duncan Castles broke the news of Arsenal being interested in the Portuguese manager, saying: “We can add Vitor Pereira to the very extensive mix of coaches that Arsenal are considering as a replacement for Unai Emery.
“I can tell you that basically the managerial selection committee that the Kroenkes have put in place to come up with a list of potential successors to Unai Emery have been exploring the possibility of hiring Pereira, who has been proposed to them by his agent Kia Joorabchian, as he was proposed to Everton by Kia Joorabchian.
“They’ve been making calls to assess his suitability for the job with a view to interviewing him, adding him to that long list of potential interviewees.”
Transfer news LIVE: Arsenal are now considering an approach for Shanghai SIPG boss Vitor Pereira
Man Utd eye Paul Pogba replacements
Manchester United are gearing up to offload Paul Pogba next summer with Donny van de Beek and Saul Niguez lined up to replace the midfielder.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have been touted as potential destinations for Pogba for the past couple of years and United are looking set to let him go.
The Daily Mail claim United are identifying players to fill the void he’d leave behind in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s midfield, with Van de Beek and Saul on their radar.
Van de Beek has excelled at Ajax, while Saul is a mainstay of Diego Simeone’s impressive Atletico Madrid side.
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United are preparing for when Paul Pogba leaves Old Trafford
Steven Gerrard given Liverpool message
Rangers boss Steven Gerrard must get his hands on some silverware as a manager if he’s to return to Liverpool one day.
That’s the view of Gordon Strachan, who said: “I’m sure he’ll go to Liverpool when his time comes, but you don’t know when that’ll be – it could be when you’re 21, it could be when you’re 61. As a manager, you’ve got to strike when your stock is high.
“We’ve seen it when managers have stayed at a club too long and then never get their big move, I know loads of managers like that. You saw last season Brendan Rodgers deciding what was best for him – and, in a funny way, everybody has come out of that alright.
“Steven Gerrard has just got to keep winning. He can’t get a move to Liverpool, or anywhere else, if he isn’t. Most managers want to test themselves at the highest level, but Liverpool won’t come for him if he isn’t winning games and winning trophies.”
Transfer news LIVE: Rangers boss Steven Gerrard has been backed to manage Liverpool one day
Barcelona want Carlos Vela
Barcelona are in the hunt for Los Angeles forward Carlos Vela following the Mexican’s stunning 2019 season in the MLS.
Vela’s international team-mate Jonathan Dos Santos said: “As I am now on vacation, I have not had much contact with [Vela]. But it is true, he has that offer on the table [from Barcelona]. I don’t know what he’s going to do.
“He’s very happy in Los Angeles, he had a spectacular season, but Barca looking for you is a very nice opportunity. I’m happy for him. As a Mexican, I hope this possibility can be given.”
Vela – who used to be on the books at Arsenal – has previously plied his trade in Spain with Celta de Vigo, Salamanca, Osasuna and Real Sociedad.
Transfer news LIVE: Barcelona want to get Carlos Vela on board in January
Leicester contract plan
Leicester are planning to get ahead of the game by tying down James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu to new contracts ahead of the January transfer window.
Maddison is attracting plenty of admiring glances – most notably from Manchester United – following a stellar first half of the season.
Soyuncu, likewise, is being showered with praise having formed a formidable centre-back partnership with Jonny Evans.
The Mirror report Leicester want to reduce the chance of losing either of the duo by securing them on new deals as soon as possible.
Transfer news LIVE: Leicester want to keep hold of James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu
West Ham sack stance
West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini is safe for now with London Stadium chiefs deciding against sacking the Chilean prior to this weekend’s showdown with Southampton.
Pellegrini is under the cosh following the Hammers’ 3-1 defeat to Arsenal which compounded their alarming start to the season.
However, The Athletic report Karen Brady and co. will not wield the axe until they at least see how the clash against Southampton pans out.
West Ham are reluctant to change personnel mid-season and would rather see Pellegrini turn things around in east London.
Transfer news LIVE: West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has been given a stay of execution
Chelsea eye Moussa Dembele and Timo Werner
Chelsea jetted in a team of scouts to make fresh checks on Moussa Dembele and Timo Werner when Lyon and RB Leipzig went head-to-head this week.
The Blues are on the lookout for new recruits having had their transfer ban halved following an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Frank Lampard and co. are eager to bolster their attack, with Dembele and Werner emerging as prime targets ahead of the January window.
The Daily Mail report Chelsea personnel took in Dembele and Werner’s performances in person as they faced off in the Champions League on Tuesday night.
Transfer news LIVE: Arsenal, Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Barcelona updates
Liverpool warned off Neymar
Liverpool will not be signing Neymar because the Paris Saint-Germain forward does not have the right profile for Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
That’s the verdict of former Premier League star Craig Burley, who’s given his verdict amid rumours Liverpool want to sign the Brazilian.
“He made a terrible decision to go to PSG from where he was, because he wanted to be the big cheese,” Burley said. “It’s all a bit of a mess, and eventually he will make his move out of there.
“I may look a fool if this happens but I’m quietly confident that Jurgen Klopp – who has galvanised one of the best squads in football with workrate, desire, hard-workingness, all those things, doesn’t want to obliterate it by bringing in some ‘Johnny Big Potatoes’. As good as he is, you can hit ‘miss’ on that. Neymar will not be pulling on a Liverpool strip.”
Transfer news LIVE: Chelsea are fans of Lyon hotshot Moussa Dembele
Man Utd lead Kai Havertz race
Manchester United are in pole position to land Bayer Leverkusen ace Kai Havertz with the Red Devils said to be showing the most interest in the midfielder.
Havertz is one of the most highly-rated young playmakers in the Bundesliga and his performances have turned the heads of plenty of scouts.
United, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are among the top sides keeping tabs on his development at the BayArena.
SportBild, though, indicate United are at the front of the queue to land the Germany international if he is to leave Leverkusen.
Transfer news LIVE: Liverpool have been advised against signing Paris Saint-Germain’s Neymar
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United are in the hunt for Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz
Transfer news LIVE: Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke would like a former Gunners star in the hotseat
Arsenal next manager decision
Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke and his son Josh have decided they want their next manager to be a former Gunners player if possible.
Express Sport understands Mikel Arteta has emerged as the frontrunner for the job after impressing during his fledgling coaching career at Manchester City.
And it seems that may in part be down to his ties with Arsenal, as the Daily Mail are reporting the Kroenkes want a man familiar with the north Londoners to replace Unai Emery.
Ex-Arsenal winger Freddie Ljungberg is currently in charge at the Emirates on an interim basis, while former captain Patrick Vieira is a candidate for the full-time job too.