With a week to go in the January transfer window, Premier League sides are still on the hunt for new additions and some stars are set to be offloaded – here are Friday’s key headlines.
- PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has given his approval to a loan deal for Arsenal to sign Christopher Nkunku
- Anthony Martial is edging close to signing a new contract at Manchester United
- Philippe Coutinho has been advised to snub any potential interest from Old Trafford and Chelsea at Barcelona
Gomez wanted by West Ham regardless of Arnautovic
West Ham are in talks over the signing of Maxi Gomez – and he is being pursued irrelevant of Marko Arnautovic’s immediate future.
While Celta Vigo are unwilling to negotiate a price with West Ham mid-season, they cannot stand in Gomez’s way if his buyout clause is met.
Sky Sports say West Ham are still discussing Gomez, who has a £43.3m release clause, with Celta.
They spoke with the Spanish outfit last summer over a potential move and have carried over their interest into 2019.
While the £43.3m figure is substantial and would break the club’s transfer record to meet, West Ham are considering a transfer.
And the club want to go forward with the move now regardless of whether Arnautovic remains.
Liverpool unlikely to land Werner
Liverpool’s attempts to sign RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner could be about to be made a whole lot harder after the German club offered him a new deal.
Reports suggest Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are all monitoring his situation as he enters the final 18 months of his current deal.
However, in a bid to ward off potential suitors, German publication Bild claim they have now offered him a double-your-money deal, worth £5.2million-per-year.
But, most worryingly for Liverpool, the contract would include a £60m release clause for 10 of Europe’s biggest clubs, that includes the Reds, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Hazard backs Higuain to flourish
Eden Hazard believes Gonzalo Higuain will fill the huge void left by Diego Costa at Chelsea and will ensure they are a major force for the rest of the season.
He said: “I like to play with top, top players. At Chelsea I was able to play with one of the best in Costa for three years. I think Higuain is one of the best at the moment.
“He has scored a lot of goals. When you see his career he has done it everywhere, Real Madrid, Napoli and Juventus. I think he can do the same here.
“This season we have been playing good but we missed the guy to score just one goal. We have had a few games where we have played well and in the end we finished with zero goals, even though we created chances.
“It was like that against Spurs. If we had a striker that could score three goals, the game would have finished 5-1. But that hasn’t been the case. Higuain can do that. He is a top scorer, he can score anywhere.”
Juve have Audero proposal for Arsenal
Juventus will offer Arsenal their young goalkeeper Emil Audero in a bid to prise Aaron Ramsey away from the Emirates this month.
Juventus are desperate to get hold of Ramsey this month with Arsenal opting not to hand him a new deal with his contract expiring at the end of the season.
Widespread reports claim Ramsey has already signed a pre-contract agreement with Juve to move in the summer but they hope to sign him earlier.
Arsenal are not entertaining the idea of parting with the Welshman before the January 31 deadline though with Unai Emery well aware they don’t have the funds available to bring in a permanent replacement this month.
However, Italian publication Calciomercato claim Juve are now ready to offer one of their players as a makeweight in the deal in a bid to convince the Gunners to do business.
The 22-year-old shot-stopper is currently on loan at Sampdoria from the Serie A champions and his impressive displays have not gone unnoticed with seven clean sheets from 20 appearances.
Arsenal in Mata hunt with European rivals
Arsenal are eyeing a raid on Manchester United for Juan Mata.
Mata is in the final six months of his contract at Old Trafford and could be off in the summer on a free transfer, and Arsenal are said to be interested in landing his signature.
Juventus, Paris St-Germain and Barcelona are all eyeing up the 30-year-old midfielder, and they can begin negotiating a pre-contract agreement for him now.
Unai Emery could have some pulling power, though, with Mata, having played under him at Valencia earlier in his career.
The Mirror report United have held preliminary talks with the ex-Chelsea man about a new deal but have reservations about dishing out contracts to players who are 30+.
Sanllehi scuppers Suarez move to Arsenal
Arsenal target Denis Suarez is pushing for a move to north London – but the Gunners’ Director of Football Raul Sanllehi is scuppering the move.
Negotiations have become increasingly protracted, as a £2m loan fee had been agreed, but Barca want a compulsory purchase option.
Mundo Deportivo say he’s rejected the offer of a three-year deal from Barca.
Complicating matters, though, is Arsenal director of football Raul Sanllehi.
The 49-year-old has been actively involved in negotiations, but having quit Barca to join Arsenal 12 months ago, relations with his former employer are strained.
Mundo Deportivo add that Sanllehi has been an obstacle in talks over Suarez.
Nkunku to Arsenal approved by Tuchel
Thomas Tuchel has given his approval to Christopher Nkunku leaving PSG on loan for Arsenal.
The 21-year-old France youth international is surplus to requirements at the Parc des Princes.
But a loan deal, with a £17m option to buy, is only likely if PSG sign two midfielders before the end of next week, according to L’Equipe.
Leandro Paredes, who Chelsea targeted at Zenit this month, is close to joining, while Everton’s Idrissa Gueye is being pursued too.
Arsenal are struggling to reach an agreement with Barcelona for Denis Suarez, so Nkunku could prove a solution.
“He is a player that Manchester United fans want to see”
Martial won’t snub contract under Solskjaer – Mason
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival at Manchester United has been significant in progressing contract talks with Anthony Martial.
That is the view of former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason, who says he can understand why the Frenchman did not want to sign a new one under Jose Mourinho.
On Sky Sports’ The Debate, Mason said: “Jose Mourinho had just been given a new contract and if he’s there for the next four or five years and Martial is in a system he doesn’t enjoy and doesn’t get the best out of him then I can’t blame him for rejecting a deal.
“But I am sure now if they are talking then it’s a different story altogether.
“Martial is such an exciting prospect. He is a player that Manchester United fans want to see.”
Coutinho urged to stick with Barcelona
Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho has been told to stay in Spain by ESPN FC pundit Paul Mariner despite being linked with a Premier League return.
The 26-year-old has been linked with both Manchester United and Chelsea having struggled to fill the void left by either Neymar or Andres Iniesta as of yet.
Barca secured a deal that could rise to £75million for 21-year-old Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax this week, causing further speculation Barca could sell Coutinho to offset their latest spend.
But ex-Arsenal forward Mariner believes Coutinho stay with the Catalan giants, speaking on Coutinho and De Jong: “I think they’re different players.
“Since we started to talk about this, I think he [Coutinho] has been playing fairly well.
“I think he’s a Barca player, I think he fits the bill, great for Brazil. I like him. I’m saying no, stay where you are mate.”
Liverpool make Tonali contact
Liverpool have made contact with Brescia owner Massimo Cellino regarding Sandro Tonali.
Italy Under-19 midfielder Tonali appears to be on Jurgen Klopp’s radar, even though the boss is adamant he won’t make any January additions.
Cellino, who used to own Championship leaders Leeds United, has now confirmed Liverpool have been in touch over Tonali.
Although it seems Klopp faces a battle with Roma for the 18-year-old.
“Yes, Roma asked me for Tonali,” Cellino told Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport. “But I have to keep him as long as possible.
“Is he ready? I do not know, he’s 18 years old. But a little while ago, Liverpool also contacted me.”