TOP STORY: Real Madrid's Mbappe, Haaland hopes dashed
Haaland and Mbappe have been linked with a switch to the Bernabeu in recent windows, but it's not clear as to when Real will be able to raise the funds necessary for either as the club deals with financial implications from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The star strikers both had braces in Friday night action, with Haaland's coming in a losing effort against Borussia Monchengladbach (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.) and Mbappe helping PSG to an easy win over Montpellier.
Mbappe spoke about his future after the match, saying: "We are talking with the club, to find a project. I am thinking about it because if I sign and extend my contract, it is to commit myself on the long term to PSG."
21.49 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Fulham, who are desperate for a No. 9 to help them avoid relegation, have offered Spezia €12m for forward M'Bala Nzola, in hopes that the 24-year-old's nine goals in 13 Serie A appearances will translate to success in the Premier League. Unfortunately for the Cottagers, there is a second, unnamed club also interested, and they've offered €15m.
21.02 GMT: Aston Villa have struck a £14m deal for 26-year-old Marseille midfielder Morgan Sanson, according to the Athletic, with the former France youth international expected in the Midlands early next week to undergo a medical and complete his move from Ligue 1 to the Premier League.
20.15 GMT: Thirty-five-year-old Napoli striker Fernando Llorente, who's played just 56 minutes across all competitions this season, has OK'd a move to Udinese with a deal set to be finalised after this weekend, Corriere dello Sport writes.
19.28 GMT: Tuttosport reports that the exceptional play of 23-year-old Fulham centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo, whose Premier League experience is limited to the 14 appearances he's made since joining the Cottagers from Manchester City this summer, has attracted the interest of nine-times-defending Italian champions Juventus.
18.41 GMT: Sevilla's €5m offer for Atalanta forward Alejandro Gomez falls short of the Italian outfit's €10m valuation, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, but the 32-year-old Argentine's preference is to move to Spain, having turned down an offer from FC Cincinnati that would've seen him earn €8m annually.
17.54 GMT: Southampton's Ryan Bertrand is one of a number of players that Arsenal are monitoring as they look to strengthen their options at left-back, the Evening Standard reports.
Bertrand, who played in Saturday's 1-0 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.), is out of contract in the summer.
The 31-year-old is a potential candidate for the Gunners, who want to add quality to their squad as cover for Kieran Tierney.
17.21 GMT: Liverpool are prioritising Virgil van Dijk's new contract over giving Mohamed Salah a new deal, according to Eurosport.
Salah, whose contract runs until 2023, said last month that his Liverpool future is "in the club's hands" and hinted at potential interest from clubs in Spain in an apparent push for them to extend his stay at Anfield.
"I think Madrid and Barcelona are top clubs," he told Diario AS in December. We never know what's going to happen in the future. Right now I'm focused on winning the Premier League and the Champions League again with [Liverpool]."
When asked how long he would stay at Anfield, he added: "That's a tough one. Right now I can say everything is in the club's hands. Of course I want to break records here, every record at the club, but everything is in the club's hands."
However, Eurosport reports that centre-back Van Dijk will be the first to have his future settled. The Netherlands international, who is working his way back to fitness after having surgery on a cruciate knee ligament injury, is on the same terms as when he signed from Southampton in January of 2018. His current deal expires in 2023.
16.48 GMT: Leicester City are considering a move for Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard as a long-term successor to Jamie Vardy, talkSPORT reports.
Eduouard, 23, worked under Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers at Celtic, where the striker has scored 53 goals in 96 league games since joining them from Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
The French forward has just 18 months remaining on his contract with the Scottish champions.
Vardy, 34, has been ruled out for "a few weeks" after undergoing an elective hernia operation. The former England striker was the Premier League's top scorer last season, and was instrumental in Leicester's 2015-16 title win.
15.37 GMT: Rafa Benitez has left Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro, with the Spaniard saying on Saturday that the COVID-19 pandemic was a factor in his decision. The Spanish coach was hired on a lucrative contract worth a reported $16m per year after he left in 2019.
"Unfortunately, like so many things in the last year, COVID-19 has changed our lives and our projects. From today, both my coaching staff and I will sadly no longer be coaching Dalian," Benitez said in a statement. "The pandemic is still here, for all of us, and supporting our families has been a priority when making this decision."
Benitez leaves his job at an interesting time, with coaches at several of his former clubs -- Liverpool, Chelsea, Real Madrid and Newcastle United -- all enduring difficult spells at the moment.
14.50 GMT: Ousmane Dembele is approaching a crossroads in his career as he moves towards the final 12 months of his contract at Barcelona, and a report in Diario Sport on Saturday says the Catalan club must decide this summer whether they sell the French forward or hand him a new deal.
Dembele's current terms, signed in 2017 when he joined from Borussia Dortmund for an initial fee of €105m, expire in 2022. Barca have sounded out whether he would be willing to extend his contract but his agent doesn't want to talk until a new president is elected in March.
If Barca are unable to come to an agreement with Dembele, Sport claim they will look to sell him at the end of the season. Manchester United, Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern Munich are all said to be monitoring the situation.
Dembele, 23, was close to joining United on loan last summer but a deal fell through in the final days of the transfer window. Since then, he's worked his way back into coach Ronald Koeman's plans, making 19 appearances this season and scoring six goals.
13.38 GMT: Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane wants to leave the Spanish champions, according to Diario Sport.
France international Varane, who joined the club in 2011, has 18 months left on his contract. But the team's stuttering form this season, most recently seen in Wednesday's Copa del Rey exit to third-tier Alcoyano (stream the reply on ESPN+ in the U.S.), has led him to decide that this summer would be the right moment to leave the Bernabeu for a new adventure.
Madrid are already facing the prospect of losing their other first-choice centre-back with club captain Sergio Ramos out of contract this summer.
12.49 GMT: Swansea City have secured a loan deal for Seattle Sounders FC forward Jordan Morris. Morris, 26, left U.S. men's national team training earlier week ahead of the move and will join Swansea for the remainder of the Welsh club's Championship campaign.
Swansea are currently second in the Championship on 46 points through 24 matches as they look to secure a return to the Premier League for the first time since 2017-18.
Morris, who grew up in near Seattle in Mercer Island, Washington, has spent his entire professional career with the Sounders, spurning offers from Werder Bremen when he signed with the MLS club in 2016. He has scored 42 goals in 129 league, playoff and cup appearances. During his tenure in Seattle, the Sounders claimed two MLS Cups and reached the final on two other occasions, including the 2020 season when Seattle fell 3-0 to the Columbus Crew.
12.11 GMT: Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho has played down the prospect of his club making a move for Southampton striker Danny Ings.
England international Ings is out of contract at the end of next season and has so far not opened talks over a new deal at St. Mary's. However, Mourinho insisted that he has sufficient support for Harry Kane in Son Heung-Min and Carlos Vinicius.
"We are not a team that needs a third striker because the third striker is Sonny," Mourinho told a news conference. "Of course we have the best. We are happy with Carlos. Carlos is not our player, he's a Benfica player, but he's a player we're looking to develop.
"Ings, of course, I refuse totally to say any word about him because he's a Southampton player."
11.28 GMT: Roma are leading the race to sign USMNT right-back Bryan Reynolds, sources have told ESPN's Tom Hamilton.
Reynolds, 19, has drawn interest from Juventus, Club Brugge and another unnamed club during the January transfer window, but Roma are now in pole position and sources have told ESPN they are optimistic of confirming the move next week.
Roma are set to pay FC Dallas a fee in the region of €8 million plus add-ons for Reynolds and and he will initially join the Serie A side on loan.
Juventus were close to signing Reynolds earlier in the window but encountered complications due to having filled their non-EU allowance for this season. There were talks of Juventus signing Reynolds and then loaning him to Benevento, but that move stalled.
10.52 GMT: Sergio Aguero and David Alaba have both been linked with a summer move to Barcelona in the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo.
Manchester City striker Aguero and Bayern Munich's versatile defender Alaba are both out of contract in the summer and will be available for free if they don't pen new deals with their respective clubs.
Barca are currently without a president and unable to make signings but Mundo Deportivo claims that some of the candidates for the presidency have held talks over possible deals for Aguero and Alaba.
The Blaugrana have been without an out-and-out striker since Luis Suarez left in the summer and Aguero, 32, could be a short-term solution until they can afford a longer-term option. The City frontman could also tempt Argentina teammate and friend Lionel Messi to stay at Camp Nou, although he would have to accept a reduced salary as Barca fight to drive their wage bill down.
Alaba, 28, is reportedly close to joining Real Madrid, although his agent, Pini Zahavi, enjoys a good relationship with Joan Laporta and could look to take his client to Barcelona if Laporta, president at Camp Nou between 2003 and 2010, is elected again on March 7.
10.15 GMT: Wolves have signed Real Sociedad striker on loan for the rest of the season.
The 29-year-old Brazilian makes the move to Molineux after scoring 62 goals in 170 appearances since signing for Real Sociedad in 2016.
Jose, a former Real Madrid Castilla player, has scored six goals in 21 appearances so far this season, most recently netting both goals in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Cordoba in the Copa del Rey (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
09.49 GMT: Emile Smith Rowe has made a strong impression of late after breaking into the Arsenal first-team but talk of a new contract is premature, sources have told ESPN's James Olley.
The 20-year-old's inclusion for the Gunners' last five Premier League games has coincided with a dramatic upturn in form, winning four and drawing one to ease the pressure on manager Mikel Arteta. Consequently, newspaper reports said that Arsenal are ready to offer the attacking midfielder an improved deal on his existing agreement which expires in 2023.
However, sources close to the player told ESPN Smith Rowe remains focused for the time being on cementing his place in the team before considering his contractual situation later in the season.
The Gunners are interested in offering fresh terms but have spent this month focusing on trimming the squad with Mesut Ozil, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Sead Kolasinac all departing rather than discussing renewals.
Arteta said on Thursday: "Let's go step by step. Emile has done really well, he deserves his chance, he's taken it and is grabbing it with both hands and in a really convincing way. Let him be and things will come naturally."
09.00 GMT: AC Milan have signed defender Fikayo Tomori on loan from Chelsea until the end of the season with the option of a permanent transfer, the clubs announced on Friday.
The 23-year-old has made just one Premier League appearance under Frank Lampard this term and joins the Serie A leaders to bolster their defensive options.
Tomori has signed put pen to paper on a contract until June 30 but the Serie A club have an option to make the deal permanent.
Tomori made his professional debut with Chelsea on the final day of the 2015-16 season, before loan spells with Brighton & Hove Albion, Hull City and Derby County in the English second-tier. Lampard, who had been Tomori's manager at Derby, used him 22 times across all competitions in his first campaign at Chelsea.
West Ham lower Rice price
The talisman is a major target for Chelsea, who could pursue him during the summer transfer window. In a rare piece of good news for the Blues of late, West Ham may be willing to lower the amount they want for Rice in order to make a deal.
Instead of £80 million, the England international could be available for as little as £50m.
Napoli interested in Mendes, Tavares
- Goal is reporting that Juventus are not in talks to sign AS Roma striker Edin Dzeko. The veteran forward was believed to be on his way out from the club after he was one of the players to protest Gianluca Gombar's removal as manager after a shock Coppa Italia exit at the hands of Spezia in midweek.
- Stephan El Shaarawy looks set to return to Roma and could have his medical as soon as tomorrow, Gazzetta dello Sport reports. The Italy international has been with Shanghai Shenhua since 2019, but prior to that he enjoyed three successful years with the capital club.
- Parma and Everton are both currently in talks to sign Bayern Munich's Joshua Zirkzee, Fabrizio Romano reports. The negotiations are on for the two clubs but no agreement has been reached for the teenage Dutchman, who has been tipped as one of Bayern's most exciting rising talents.