The 2022 winter window is open as of Jan. 1 and there's plenty of gossip swirling about who's moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: PSG see Dembele as Mbappe replacement
Paris Saint-Germain are preparing for life without Kylian Mbappe as he enters the final six months of his contract, with reports that they are planning a move for Ousmane Dembele if he does not agree to an extension at Camp Nou, according to Le 10 Sport.
The Barcelona star, whose career has been beset by injuries since arriving in Catalonia, is well and truly back in the squad under new manager Xavi Hernandez. But after the Blaugrana recently secured the signature of Ferran Torres for a fee of €55 million, the 24-year-old winger's representatives are now demanding a large increase in his salary.
And PSG are ready to take advantage. Like Barcelona, the Ligue 1 club is enduring a similar contract uncertainty with Mbappe, and with little progress made on a new deal, they see Dembele as a potential successor if they are able to land him as a free transfer in the summer.
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23.30 GMT: New York City FC announced on Saturday that the club had reached a deal to extend the contract of attacking midfielder Maxi Moralez. The new deal will keep him with last season's MLS Cup champions through 2022, with an option to extend for the 2023 campaign.
Moralez, who was instrumental in NYCFC's run to the championship, said: "I am very happy, and my family is happy too which is the most important thing to me. This was what we were always looking for, to try to continue with NYCFC, especially after finishing a beautiful year.
"We're in one of the best Cities in the world. I've been here five years now, the people have treated me marvelously, our fans have always shown me their affection. I feel very fortunate to be here longer at a Club and City that feels like home. I'm already looking forward to what this group can achieve together next season. We all want to have another incredible season."
22.55 GMT: The Daily Mail is reporting that Newcastle are ready to make a January move for Lille's Sven Botman. The Netherlands U21 international has been a stalwart for the defending Ligue 1 champions since joining in 2020 from Ajax 2 is seen as a quick solution to the Magpies issues at centre-back. The report adds that a fee of £30m pounds could be on offer for the 21-year-old's services.
20.20 GMT: A bit of manager news here as AS Monaco have decided to part ways with head coach Niko Kovac, the French club announced on Saturday, with the team sixth in the Ligue 1 table.
French sports daily L'Equipe reported that Club Brugge coach Philippe Clement will become the new permanent coach, but ESPN sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens on Friday that former New York Red Bulls and RB Leipzig boss Jesse Marsch is also in contention.
Kovac, 50, replaced Robert Moreno as the head coach in July 2020 and took charge of the team in 74 games in all competitions.
The Croatian led them to a third-place finish in the league last season but they have fallen to the sixth spot this term on 29 points after 19 matches, 17 points behind leaders Paris St Germain.
Marsch took over RB Leipzig at the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign after two years managing Salzburg, but only lasted four months before being sacked on Dec. 5.
Monaco said that they informed Kovac of their decision on Thursday and that the club will soon name a new coach.
Monaco play away at second-tier Quevilly Rouen in Sunday's round of 32 tie in the French Cup.
19.35 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte says he is confident that goalkeeper Hugo Lloris will sign a new contract with the club with his current deal having only six months left.
The 35-year-old France World Cup winner is free to negotiate a precontract agreement deal with a new club, raising the possibility that he could part ways after a decade.
Lloris, who has played more than 300 Premier League games for Tottenham, had one of his easier matches in the 1-0 win at Watford on Saturday that boosted Tottenham's top-four ambitions.
"You can see the level of the keeper in these circumstances," Conte told reporters. "When for the whole game he didn't make a save but he continued to be focused. To be focused for the team, for me that's very important.
"Hugo today showed that he's top and he's always focused. For us, he's very important and I'm sure that in a short time they can find a solution with the club, because he loves Tottenham and Tottenham loves him."
18.45 GMT: Who says the transfer window has to be serious business all the time? Certainly not Wolves manager Bruno Lage, who had a fairly hilarious response when asked about Cristiano Ronaldo swapping Old Trafford for Molineux.
Daryl Dike's top 5 goals for Orlando City
Relive Daryl Dike's best goals for Orlando City after the USMNT star joined West Bromwich Albion on a permanent transfer.
17.57 GMT: Chelsea's interest in Lucas Digne could be complicated by Newcastle's desire to sign the left-back on a permanent basis, sources told ESPN's James Olley.
The Blues are weighing up possible targets in the January transfer window after learning Ben Chilwell is set to miss the rest of the season following a decision to undergo surgery on a knee injury sustained in late November.
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel has repeatedly bemoaned the depleted nature of his squad in recent weeks as they have fallen eight points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City and have Marcos Alonso as their only fit specialised left wing-back. With Chilwell expected to make a full recovery this summer, Chelsea are ideally looking for short-term cover and would be keen to take Digne on loan.
However, Everton prefer a straight deal given a deterioration in the relationship between Digne and boss Rafa Benitez, who is also looking to raise funds to reshape his squad in the transfer window. Everton are thought to want in the region of £25m, a figure that would not deter Newcastle following their Saudi-led takeover. Newcastle are 19th in the table with the joint-worst defensive record in the division and will look to sign at least two defenders in January. Inter Milan and Napoli have also registered an interest, but it is not clear at this stage whether either club would be prepared to meet Everton's valuation.
There is obvious appeal for Digne in trying to push for a move to European champions Chelsea, rather than a spell fighting relegation with Newcastle, but the clubs have to find an agreement first, with talks expected in the coming days.
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17.11 GMT: Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez says he's not given up hope of getting Ousmane Dembele to sign a new contract despite a setback in negotiations this week.
Dembele, 24, is out of contract in June and is now free to talk to other clubs with Barca and his agents still unable to reach an agreement over new terms.
"I am not disappointed," Xavi said of the situation. "It's a negotiation. Sometimes advisors and agents can be difficult. But Barca's position is clear and the process is ongoing.
"I am optimistic and I hope that Ousmane will make an effort [to renew]. He has a fantastic offer. There's always a back and forth."
Xavi also confirmed that tying Dembele down to a new deal would allow Barca the financial room to register "one or two signings" in January.
By getting the France forward to commit to the club, Barca can spread the remaining amortisation payments on the transfer fee they paid for him in 2017 over the length of his new terms, creating room within their LaLiga-imposed spending limit of €97m for the season.
16.27 GMT: United States international Daryl Dike has joined West Bromwich Albion from Orlando City on a permanent deal on a four-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee, the Championship club announced on Saturday.
Dike scored 11 goals in 19 appearances in MLS last season, and the 21-year-old has experience in the Championship following his loan spell at Barnsley last season, when he netted nine goals in 19 league games.
West Brom will be hoping that Dike's goals can help push them toward promotion back up to the Premier League. They are fourth in the table, but their total of 30 goals scored in 24 league games so far this term is much lower than the teams above them.
Speaking of Dike goals, here are the prolific scorer's top-five goals during his time with Orlando.
15.44 GMT: Real Madrid are trying to sign Erling Haaland as well as Kylian Mbappe next summer in an attempt to take advantage of the financial problems at Barcelona by landing the two most sought-after players in world football, sources told ESPN's Mark Ogden.
However, Real manager Carlo Ancelotti insisted on Saturday that he's not thinking about their chances of landing Mbappe next summer.
"The last thing I'm thinking about right now is what's going to happen on June 30," Ancelotti said in a news conference ahead of Madrid's LaLiga trip to Getafe. "We're back playing in the league again, we play in the cup next Wednesday, then we have the Supercopa. It's an important moment."
Real failed with a €200m move for Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe during the summer transfer window, but the France international is expected to move to the Bernabeu as a free agent when his PSG contract expires at the end of this season.
And although they face competition from Manchester City, Manchester United and PSG for Borussia Dortmund forward Haaland, Real believe they can structure a deal to take the 21-year-old Norwegian to Madrid.
With four big earners -- Gareth Bale, Isco, Luka Modric and Marcelo -- due to be out of contract and off the wage bill at Real at the end of the season, the LaLiga leaders will have the financial headroom to fund a move for Haaland and also pay his and Mbappe's wages.
ESPN reported in October that Haaland will command an annual salary of £30m if he leaves Dortmund, where a €75m release clause will be active at the end of this season.
Sources told ESPN that Haaland and his advisers will consider interest from a range of clubs, but Real are the leading contenders to sign the Norway international.
15.09 GMT: The coronavirus pandemic continues to impact football's finances, but unlike recent times, the January window will be open as normal for Europe's top leagues (find out when each league's window opens and closes here).
Clubs across Europe in Italy's Serie A (€550 million), Germany's Bundesliga (€415m), France's Ligue 1 (€375m) and Spain's LaLiga (€295m) spent a lot less over the summer, but the Premier League went big and splashed €1.1 billion on players, according to Deloitte. January is usually a quiet month, but will global events see some different strategies for the top sides?
Here are the grades for all the major deals. The most recent write-ups are at the top; each day is in order of highest price. If you don't see a grade for a move that has been completed, check back later. All fees are reported unless confirmed with an asterisk.
14.40 GMT: Real Madrid aren't considering a move for Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer next summer despite being frequently linked with the Chelsea defender in recent weeks, according to ABC.
The Spanish newspaper reported on Saturday that Madrid feel "used" by the Chelsea defender's agent, believing the club's name is being taken advantage of to help Rudiger get a bumper contract and signing on bonus elsewhere.
Madrid are happy with David Alaba and Eder Militao as their first-choice centre-back pairing, ABC says, and will seek a younger, back-up option in the summer rather than an experienced, top-level player like Rudiger, 28.
Both Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with the Germany international, who is expected to leave Chelsea in June after failing to agree a new deal at Stamford Bridge.
14.03 GMT: Mikel Arteta has a shortlist of strikers to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at Arsenal with Alexander Isak, Dusan Vlahovic, Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ollie Watkins among his targets, sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens.
Aubameyang's future at Arsenal has been thrown into considerable doubt over disciplinary issues, and Arteta is willing to listen to offers for him in January.
Arteta and Arsenal's recruitment team are planning for life without Aubameyang and have a range of options that they are considering. Among them is Watkins, who joined Villa for £27.7m from Brentford last summer and has scored 18 league goals in 51 appearances for the club. Sources said Arteta is a fan of Watkins' playing style and his ability to play in a number of different roles in attack. There has been no direct contact between Arsenal and Aston Villa over Watkins, and sources said a switch in January would be highly unlikely, but the 25-year-old will be monitored ahead of a summer move.
Real Sociedad's Isak, Fiorentina's Vlahovic and Everton's Calvert-Lewin are also options in the event Aubameyang moves on, although sources said Arsenal are aware of how expensive a replacement may turn out to be and that other options are being considered.
Elsewhere, after failing to sign Jorginho from Chelsea 18 months ago when the Italy international was surplus to requirements under Frank Lampard, Arteta is still keen on a holding midfielder. Watkins' Villa teammate, Douglas Luiz, is on his radar, sources added.
13.16 GMT: Diego Simeone has opened the door for Kieran Trippier to leave Atletico Madrid this month, saying "it depends on what the player wants."
Sources told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez last week that Atletico were anticipating a bid for Trippier from Newcastle United during the January window, while the England full-back has also been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. On Saturday, Sky reported that Newcastle had lodged a bid for Trippier.
"We've always had to live with these situations," Simeone said in a news conference on Saturday. "Very good, important players for the team have always had the chance to leave. After that, it depends on what the player wants."
He added: "We coaches can't do too much in terms of players' decisions. We can only tell them how we see them, how important Trippier is for our team. Depending on what happens, we'll look for solutions."
Trippier, 31, has been a key player for Simeone's LaLiga champions since joining in 2019 but is open to a return to the Premier League.
12.49 GMT: Brentford defender Christian Norgaard has signed a new contract, with the Denmark international committing himself to the Bees until 2025.
Norgaard has start all but one of Brentford's 18 Premier League games so far. The 22-year-old scored in their 2-0 win over Arsenal on Aug. 13, their first match of the season following promotion from the Championship last term.
12.25 GMT: Everton have signed Ukraine international defender Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev.
The 22-year-old has signed a contract at Goodison Park that runs until 2026.
Everton boss Rafa Benitez says he hopes Mykoloenko is just to first of several midseason arrivals. He said ahead of Sunday's match against Brighton: "We are in contact with clubs but it's not just me -- the board are [also] looking for the right options.
"Not everybody has a lot of money to spend so we have to be careful when we buy, sell or loan players.
"I knew what we were looking for in August, we are working to find the right players for the present and the future.
"We are trying to be sure we have chances to improve. What can [the fans] expect? Two or three players, and players who want to be here."
Happy New Signing! 🎉 pic.twitter.com/dUmPpBuxEj— Everton (@Everton) January 1, 2022
11.34 GMT: West Ham United manager David Moyes says he plans on building his team around midfielder Declan Rice in the years to come.
Rice, 22, has a contract with the Hammers until 2024 with the option of another year, but he has attracted attention from several clubs including his boyhood side, Chelsea.
"Declan's under a long contract so from that point of view we've not got a big panic on," Moyes said. "We've no intention of selling him and I've said already many, many times, if we ever had to, it would be a shoot to the moon.
"My job is to keep building the club and the level up. We need players around Declan who are at a similar level. He has been a revelation for us this season and hopefully he keeps driving the team on."
England international Rice is set to make his 150th Premier League appearance later on Saturday when West Ham visit Crystal Palace.
10.41 GMT: Napoli have asked Manchester United about Axel Tuanzebe's situation for the January transfer window, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson.
Tuanzebe is on loan at Aston Villa, but the Italian side have enquired about United's plans for the 24-year-old as they assess options to strengthen their defence. Sources told ESPN that Napoli are yet to make contact with Tuanzebe's representatives, who are first set to meet with United chiefs to discuss the former England under-21 international's future.
Tuanzebe signed a one-year loan deal at Villa Park in the summer and has made 11 appearances so far this season, although he has not started a game since Nov. 5. He has a contract at Old Trafford until 2023 and is highly rated by members of the coaching staff, but the centre-back is keen for regular games and remains behind Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in the pecking order.
United also have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones in their squad, as well as 19-year-old academy graduate Teden Mengi.
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09.49 GMT: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he fears Romelu Lukaku's controversial interview could destabilise his side's season and that he was surprised over the striker's claim he is unhappy at the club.
In an interview with Sky Sport Italia recorded three weeks ago but released on Thursday, Lukaku suggested he was "not happy" because "the coach has chosen to play with another system."
The 28-year-old joined Chelsea from Internazionale in a £97.5m deal last summer and went on to suggest he wanted to return to the Serie A side "not at the end of my career, but at a still good level to hopefully win more."
Although Lukaku has scored three goals in his last four games to represent an upturn in his personal form, the Belgium international's comments represent another difficult situation for Tuchel as a patchy run of form has left them eight points behind leaders Manchester City before facing Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
Speaking on Friday at a news conference ahead of that game, Tuchel said of Lukaku's comments: "We don't like it, of course because it brings noise that we don't need and it is not helpful.
"But on the other side we don't want to make more of it than it actually is. You know very well how it is. It is very easy to take lines out of context. It is very easy to shorten lines, make headlines and then later realise that it's maybe not so bad and not what he meant.
"Let's be honest, I don't like it because it is noise that we don't need. We need a calm environment and focus and this does not help. If it is an interview from a person of that kind of interest, that important player. I totally understand the process.
"That's why it is a lot of noise, not a little bit, a lot of extra noise. But still, we are not here to just read the headlines and maybe we can take the time to try to understand what's going on because it does not reflect the daily work, it does not reflect the daily attitude, it does not reflect the daily behaviour that Romelu shows here at Cobham.
"You need to ask him, not me, I cannot help you further with this because I was surprised."
09.00 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are set to make AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie a lucrative offer to tempt him into signing a pre-contract agreement with the north London club, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.
The 25-year-old's existing deal at the San Siro expires at the end of the season and he has so far resisted all attempts to agree an extension.
One of the main sticking points has been Kessie's proposed salary with Milan's latest offer at €6.5m-a-year, according to ESPN sources. Sources have told ESPN that Spurs are preparing to indicate they will surpass that figure with chairman Daniel Levy ready to sanction the deal given there would be no transfer fee involved.
Kessie will be free to negotiate directly with overseas clubs from Jan. 1 and sources told ESPN there are multiple clubs closely monitoring the situation. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are expected to strengthen their midfield options either from January or in the summer but as yet there has been no firm indication the Stamford Bridge have formally entered the running. Milan have also not given hope that Kessie will commit his future to the club.
PAPER GOSSIP (Adam Brown)
- Southampton are reported to be winning the race for Fleetwood Town defender James Hill. The 19-year-old centre-back has been scouted by the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool in recent months, but TeamTalk reports that it is the Saints who have eased their way into pole position in the race for his signature.
- Galatasaray are interested in a move for Krzysztof Piatek, according to Rudy Galetti. The 26-year-old striker has been out of form this season, having scored just one goal in nine Bundesliga appearances with Hertha Berlin. The Turkish Super Lig club is keen to acquire him on a loan deal, with negotiations between the two clubs ongoing.
- AS Roma have identified Almamy Toure as an alternative if they cannot secure a deal for Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Calciomercato writes that the 25-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt defender would be available for a fee of less than €8m, with Jose Mourinho's side keen to acquire a right-back. Toure has previously represented France at a youth level, and as a French citizen, the Serie A club is able to sign him while saving a non-EU squad player slot.
- Nicolas Tagliafico could leave Ajax in January, according to Fabrizio Romano, and there are already a host of Premier League clubs chasing his signature. Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Chelsea have all been linked with the 29-year-old left-back, though it is reported that talks are yet to begin with the Eredivisie side.
- Toronto FC are continuing their transfer business and are returning to the Serie A for reinforcements. Nicolo Schira reveals that the MLS club has increased their contract offer for Mimmo Criscito, after the Genoa captain previously rejected the opportunity to move to the U.S. And after it was reported earlier in the week that Lorenzo Insigne had agreed to make the switch, the Reds could now have better success as they look to make their next signings from Italy.