TOP STORY: Liverpool identify Wijnaldum replacements
It seems increasingly likely that Georginio Wijnaldum will be leaving Liverpool during the summer window, and Fabrizio Romano has named two players who could help fill his shoes if the Netherlands international does leave Anfield.
This means Jurgen Klopp and his team will be considering possible replacements, and the transfer journalist has claimed that Yves Bissouma and Renato Sanches, of Brighton & Hove Albion and Lille, respectively, are the two main targets.
Sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens in December that Bissouma was being closely followed by Liverpool, as he fits the profile of potential players that Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards and the club's recruitment team are interested in.
Sanches' rose to prominence as part of Portugal's Euro 2016-winning team, but a move to Bayern Munich did not work out for the young midfielder. He has now resurrected his career Lille, where he moved in 2019 after a loan spell at Swansea City.
21.42 GMT: Jesse Lingard has moved to West Ham from Manchester United on loan until the end of the season, the clubs announced on Friday. Sources have told ESPN the deal will cost West Ham £1.5 million and they will also cover Lingard's wages for the remainder of the campaign. Read the full story.
21.29 GMT: AC Milan could be ready to move for Douglas Costa this January, according to Tuttosport. Costa has spent the season on loan at Bayern Munich from Juventus, where he has made 17 appearances in all competitions and scored one goal.
The report suggests that Bayern will not take the option to sign him permanently in the summer and Juve could sell him this January with Milan interested in bringing him on board. It is early stages, but the Rossoneri are analysing whether a move in this window would be viable.
20.42 GMT: Fabrizio Romano reports that Atletico Madrid have beaten Internazionale and Parma to the signing of 19-year-old Fluminense forward Marcos Paulo, who will move to the Spanish capital as a free agent when his contract expires this summer.
19.55 GMT: Jean Michael Seri has made just one start for Fulham this season, in the Carabao Cup, and as such is set to join Bordeaux on loan for the remainder of the season, according to the Guardian. The 29-year-old is said to also have interest from Galatasaray, where he spent the 2019-20 season, but prefers a return to France, where he played between 2015 and 2018 with Nice.
19.08 GMT: Overnight came news that Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles could be set to leave the Gunners on loan, and the Athletic writes that while West Bromwich Albion have pushed hard to complete a deal for the 23-year-old, Southampton have emerged as a contender and are said to be the England international's preferred destination.
18.21 GMT: Nineteen-year-old Manchester United winger Facundo Pellistri, who joined the club in the summer from Penarol and has yet to make his first-team debut, will fly to Spain on Sunday to undergo a medical and complete a six-month loan at Alaves, according to Goal.
17.34 GMT: Just six months into a two-year loan at Benfica, Barcelona centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo has been told he can leave the Portuguese giants, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that in addition to Nice, the France U20 international is also attracting interest from AC Milan, Napoli, Lazio, Saint-Etienne, Parma and Benevento.
16.47 GMT: Stephan El Shaarawy is back in Italy ahead of a return to Roma from Shanghai Shenhua, Corriere Dello Sport reports.
The Italy international had moved from Roma to the Chinese Super League side in 2019, where he made 16 appearances and scored one goal.
Roma hope El Shaarawy can help them back into the Champions League after a two-year absence.
16.19 GMT: Should Borussia Dortmund have sold Jadon Sancho last summer when they had the chance?
15.56 GMT: DeAndre Yedlin's future remains unclear with Galatasaray still locked in discussions with Newcastle United over a potential transfer, sources have told ESPN's Tom Hamilton.
USMNT international Yedlin has received an offer of a three-and-a-half year contract from Galatasaray, but the Turkish side are still trying to work on a fee to tempt Newcastle to allow the defender to move the club this January.
Yedlin's contract with Newcastle is up in June and his long-standing preference was to sign a new deal with the Premier League side. But to date there is no new contract on the table.
Galatasaray are trying to tempt him to the Super Lig and are keen to add the right-back to their squad as they continue their push for the title. But the deal now hinges on the two clubs working out a suitable deal for the player. Discussions are ongoing and Newcastle have rejected Galatasaray's opening offer, sources said.
15.29 GMT: A proposed swap deal which would have seen Alexis Sanchez move to Roma and Edin Dzeko join Inter Milan is close to collapse, sources have told ESPN's Andrew Cesare Richardson.
The move has been scuppered by Chile forward Sanchez's wage demands, which are much higher than those earned in the Italian capital by Bosnian striker Dzeko and would have led to an unbalanced deal. Inter have offered to include other young players in the transfer, but unless Sanchez agrees to lower terms the deal cannot proceed, sources said.
Dzeko was close to joining Inter in the summer and was also a target for Nerazzurri boss Antonio Conte while at Chelsea. The ex-Manchester City striker's time at Rome is likely up following his latest row with manager Paulo Fonseca.
It would not be the first swap deal in which Sanchez has been involved. Manchester United signed him from Arsenal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan -- who the 32-year-old would team up with should he move to Roma -- going in the other direction and both failing dismally at their new clubs.
14.38 GMT: Angel Di Maria has spoken of the possibility that fellow Argentina international Lionel Messi could join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, as well as his own future at the Ligue 1 champions.
Di Maria is under contract with PSG until June 30 and does not know yet if he will continue at the club for another season. Speculation that Barcelona captain Messi could join PSG as a free agent this summer has got Di Maria excited.
"I always had the wish of playing with him in the same team," Di Maria told TyC Sports. "Whenever we got with the national team, it always felt too short. I always had that hope, to play with him every day. I had in the past the possibility to join Barcelona but it wasn't to be. Now it seems there may be a chance although my contract ends soon.
My wife even told me that 'if Leo does come, we at least stay and you can make him an asado [barbecue].' With that, I say it all. I don't know what will happen but I would love to, and it would make me very happy. I've had the possibility of playing with Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe. To play with Leo ... I could then happily retire. I couldn't ask anything more from football."
14.03 GMT: The New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long has caught the attention of English Premier League giants Liverpool with an eye towards taking the defender on loan, multiple sources have told ESPN's Jeff Carlisle.
Liverpool has been beset by injuries to their backline, with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all sidelined. Such has been the Reds need that midfielder Jordan Henderson has been forced to deputize in the center of Liverpool's defense. Long would provide a short-term depth option to alleviate the Reds' shortage of backline options.
The link with Long comes amid increasing European interest for the USMNT international defender. The Washington Post reported that English Championship side Reading want to bring Long in on loan, while MLSSoccer.com said there was "interest from clubs in England and France."
A league source told ESPN on Thursday that the Red Bulls had yet to receive any formal offers for Long. The transfer window in Europe closes Monday night.
13.48 GMT: Zinedine Zidane's number two David Bettoni has refused to rule out more Real Madrid departures before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Martin Odegaard and Luka Jovic have both left the Bernabeu on loan this month, and the assistant coach -- filling in at a news conference ahead of Madrid's La Liga game with Levante as Zidane continues his recovery from COVID-19 -- was asked if Alvaro Odriozola, Eder Militao or Isco could follow them.
"As the boss always says, until February 1, anything could happen," Bettoni said. "Right now we have a squad, we're happy with the players, and then we'll see."
Bettoni also denied being worried about Sergio Ramos' contract situation, describing the Madrid captain -- who'll miss the Levante game with a knee problem -- as a "great professional." The veteran Spanish defender becomes a free agent on June 30 and has yet to sign a contract extension with Los Blancos.
With no progress being made on Ramos' contract renewal, well-connected El Chiringuito host Josep Pedrerol claimed on Thursday night that "Real Madrid believe Sergio Ramos will leave on June 30." Pedrerol -- who is close to Florentino Perez -- said that the club president had made Ramos a two-year extension offer, with a 10% wage cut, in face-to-face talks. The report is the latest move in an ongoing PR battle between player and club, with both sides looking to put pressure on each other through the Spanish media.
Paris Saint-Germain coach Mauricio Pochettino was asked by Marca about PSG's reported interest in Ramos , saying "we'll see in the next few months" and the Madrid captain "would find a great club here with an obsession with always winning."
Ramos, Luka Modric and Lucas Vazquez's renewals are all a pressing concern, and sources have told ESPN's Rodrigo Faez that talks over a new deal for Ramos will resume soon. Sources added that Modric's one-year extension is expected without too many problems but that Vazquez has turned down one offer of a new deal, which included the same terms he is on at present
13.25 GMT: The January transfer deadline is on Monday, Feb. 1 for all of Europe's major league. The transfer window can throw up some surprises -- Odion Ighalo joined Man United on deadline day in January 2020, after all -- so there might be a few things to catch the eye. However, it might be only loan deals, swaps or free transfers this month.
Loan moves have been top of the agenda, and there are already a number of deals completed, but what does Deadline Day hold? Who are the players available for a bargain, and what do the top clubs in Europe still need to do?
Feb. 1 deadlines: Bundesliga (12 p.m. ET) | Serie A (2 p.m. ET) | Premier League (6 p.m. ET) | La Liga (6 p.m. ET) | Ligue 1 (6 p.m. ET)
12.56 GMT: Manchester City centre-back Eric Garcia is willing to play the waiting game to join Barcelona this summer, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Garcia, who becomes a free agent on June 30, turned down a contract extension with City. A reported target of both Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, Garcia's wish is to return to Barcelona, the club where he began his career.
The 20-year-old had hoped to re-join Barcelona this month, but it will not happen. With Barcelona's presidential elections that were due to take place on Jan. 24 now postponed until March 7 due to the coronavirus pandemic, his return will have to wait.
Barcelona presidential candidates Victor Font and Toni Freixa want the club to sign Garcia in the winter transfer window. Font had reportedly considered offering City €3m plus variables which Barca would pay later in the year. Garcia would also renounce his wages for the next few months for the move to happen. However, fellow presidential candidate Joan Laporta doesn't want the club that is in a financial predicament to pay now for a player that can join for free in the summer.
12.29 GMT: A member of Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo's entourage appears to have confirmed the player will join Boca Juniors.
The 30-year-old is set to reach an agreement to terminate his contract with Manchester United, that currently runs until the summer and join the Argentine giants as a free agent.
Rojo's training coach posted a photograph on social media of Rojo in the gym and said in the accompanying caption: "Marcos Rojo is happy, improving day after day, before he begins to train with Boca. As a coach, I am in awe of his physical capacity, his recovery and that extra temperament typical of a great high-performance athlete."
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he expectis Rojo to join Boca before the end of the January transfer window, telling a news conference on Friday: "It's likely that Marcos goes back to Argentina, there's little bit of paperwork left to be done."
Marcos Rojo, esta feliz, mejorando día a día, a poco de empezar con los entrenamientos en BOCA, Como entrenador estoy...Posted by Castro Team Competicion on Thursday, 28 January 2021
12.09 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain have started contracted renewal negotiations with Angel Di Maria, sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens, with the forward rejecting the club's first offer.
Reports in Italy have claimed Tottenham are watching developments between PSG and Di Maria but sources said the Ligue 1 giants are hopeful over finding an agreement to extend the player's stay at the club.
Di Maria, who spent an unhappy season at Manchester United in 2014-15, is settled in Paris with his family. He arrived in a €63m deal and has been a success, with 86 goals and 102 assists in 243 appearances.
The 32-year-old is ready to lower his salary, which is €12m gross a year, but wants a two-year deal, sources said. New PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino is a fan of Di Maria and has used him in a new role since taking over, with the forward playing in a more central position than he did under former coach Thomas Tuchel.
PSG sporting director Leonardo is also eager to keep Di Maria at the club, with both parties hopeful an agreement can be reached soon.
11.35 GMT: RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano is arguably Europe's most sought-after centre-back. Could Chelsea tempt him into a move to the Premier League rather, than that stay in Germany and join Bayern Munich?
11.19 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says the Gunners could look to extend on-loan midfielder Martin Odegaard's stay if he adapts to life in the Premier League, but that decision would be down to the player and his parent club, Real Madrid.
Odegaard, who has made only three La Liga starts for Real, has joined Arsenal to the end of the season. Arteta said that, while the 22-year-old has all the qualities and characteristics the London club are looking for any move to keep him beyond, the initial deal will come down to two things.
"First of all, how well he adapts here and how much of an impact he can have in our team," he said. "Secondly, what Real and the player think about it because he's owned by Madrid and the player has a big say in that too."
10.49 GMT: Jan Oblak has insisted he's happy at Atletico Madrid, saying his desire to win trophies at the club has convinced him to stay despite interest from elsewhere.
"I have a contract here and I've never talked about interest from other clubs," Oblak -- now in his seventh season at Atletico -- told El Larguero. "I've stayed here because I've always thought we could win a trophy."
Diego Simeone's team are top of the table, seven points clear of second-placed Real Madrid with a game in hand. They last won La Liga in 2014, the summer that Oblak joined from Benfica.
"Wanting to win an important trophy here has helped me stay," he said. "I've never got into conversations about other clubs, that's more something for my agent. I'm happy here. In the end, players play where they want to."
Oblak has been linked with the Premier League, including a move to Chelsea last summer as a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga before they signed Edouard Mendy.
10.24 GMT: Jurgen Klopp has hinted Liverpool could yet sign a new defender before the January transfer window closes.
Liverpool's injury problems in defence increased during Thursday's 3-1 Premier League win at Tottenham Hotspur as Joel Matip joined Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Fabinho on the treatment table.
"If you have a centre-half available at a reasonable price, and one with the quality we need, then send me a message," Klopp told BT Sport after the match.
"We thought [about making signings] and we think the whole time but it's about doing the right thing. We need to find the right player. It's incredible what's happening in the defensive line."
- Olley: Liverpool's front three are back
09.59 GMT: West Ham have announced the permanent signing of midfielder Said Benrahma from Brentford.
Algeria international Benrahma had been on loan with the Hammers since October, but the the 25-year-old has now signed a contract that runs until 2026.
09.18 GMT: Mauricio Pochettino has said he believes Kylian Mbappe will stay at Paris Saint-Germain "for many years" despite long-term interest from the likes of Real Madrid.
"There are a lot of rumours, but I see him at PSG for many years, that's the hope of the club," Pochettino, who took over in Paris this month, told Marca in a frontpage interview on Friday.
Pochettino signed a contract at PSG until June 2022 -- which is also when Mbappe's current deal expires -- although the former Spurs boss has the option of another year if things go well.
"We're counting on him during the time we're here," he said. "It's true that he has to take a decision but he looks happy and committed."
Mbappe has been a major Real Madrid target for the summer of 2021, but the Spanish club's tight financial situation is a potential obstacle.
08.41 GMT: Parma have beaten Everton to the signing of young Bayern Munich forward Joshua Zirkzee, according to Bild.
Zirkzee, 19, wants to get his career up and running elsewhere rather than struggle for game time as a back-up to Robert Lewandowski at the Allianz Arena.
The Netherlands U21 international is yet to score in three Bundesliga appearances in the 2020-21 season, having netted four goals in nine league games last term.
08.00 GMT: Manchester United and West Ham have reached an agreement in principle to loan Jesse Lingard, sources have told ESPN's Rob Dawson.
West Ham have beaten competition from Newcastle, West Brom and Sheffield United to sign the 28-year-old England international until the end of the season.
West Ham are set to pay United a loan fee of £1.5m and cover Lingard's wages. Lingard has been desperate to seal a temporary move after only playing three games for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team this season.
Possible Sanchez and Dzeko loan swap
Internazionale are currently negotiating a loan swap that would send Sanchez to Roma and see Dzeko arrive in Milan.
The reports says that Christian Eriksen was initially going to be heading to Roma instead of Sanchez, but Inter were not keen on swapping a midfielder for a striker.
The January window hasn't yet come to an end, but Calciomercato is reporting that AC Milan are already making offers for the summer.
This has seen them offer the Frenchman a four-year contract, adds the story, which will see him earn €2.8 million per season.
They have also moved for Porto's Otavio, who also has a contract coming to its culmination in the summer. The 25-year-old has been offered a contract of the same length that would see him make €1.5m per season.
- Saint-Etienne are interested in signing Besiktas forward Cyle Larin, as has been reported by Foot Mercato. Their attack has faltered so far this term, scoring 20 goals in 21 games, and they see the Canada international as the solution. The Turkish outfit might be willing to let him leave to make room for Cenk Tosun, if they are able to bring the striker in from Everton.
- Gedson Fernandes has had a torrid time during his loan spell with Tottenham Hotspur, and Tuttomercato is claiming that he might now leave. The story suggests that the Portuguese midfielder will be recalled by Benfica before heading off to Galatasaray. The outlet adds that 23-year-old Benfica defender Ferro might also be set to join the Turkish Super Lig giants.
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles is open to leaving Arsenal on loan in the coming days, as has been reported by The Mirror. The 23-year-old is determined to get more game time to help his chances of making Gareth Southgate's England squad for the summer's European Championship. If he is allowed to leave, Wolverhampton Wanderers might be interested, after they attempted to sign Maitland-Niles in the summer.