With the January transfer window now open around Europe there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Race for Dumfries includes Chelsea, Man United and Tottenham
The Nerazzurri had rejected any advances for the Netherlands international during the summer, but his impressive displays during the World Cup have reignited interest in signing him.
Chelsea see the 26-year-old as an alternative to Reece James, who has been a key figure for the Blues both before and since manager Graham Potter’s arrival, but James has struggled with injuries and is currently out.
Man United have also been looking for somebody who can provide an option on the right side of defence beyond Diogo Dalot, and while Aaron Wan-Bissaka has filled that position for the Red Devils since domestic football returned after the World Cup, Dumfries would be considered a significant upgrade.
Both Chelsea and Man United are willing to invest in that position, though it is expected to take at least €60 million for Inter Milan to negotiate for Dumfries.
Dumfries has played 20 times for Inter Milan across Serie A and the Champions League this season, recording two goals and three assists.
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12.00 GMT: Could Chelsea land Benfica and Argentina star Enzo Fernandez for €120m?
Julien Laurens and Stewart Robson discuss reports linking Chelsea with a move for Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez.
11.19 GMT: MLS side Charlotte FC are signing Premier League veteran Ashley Westwood from Burnley, says MLSsoccer.
The 32-year-old defensive midfielder made 286 appearances in England’s top flight with Burnley and Aston Villa from 2012-22.
He started 26 matches in 2021-22 before sustaining a broken ankle in April. He has not appeared in a game this season since Burnley’s relegation to the Championship.
11.01 GMT: Leeds United have signed Austria defender Max Wober from FC Salzburg on a 4½ year deal for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League side announced on Tuesday.
Wober was the Austrian league’s most expensive signing when Salzburg, then coached by current Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, signed from Sevilla for €10.5m in 2019.
The 24-year-old has won the Austrian League and cup double three times in a row, in 125 appearances with Salzburg and joins former teammates Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen at Leeds.
10.28 GMT: Liverpool are looking at a £44m deal to sign Wolves midfielder Matheus Nunes, says The Daily Telegraph.
Nunes, 24, moved to Wolves from Sporting CP in the summer for a club-record £38m, with Liverpool and Manchester City having been linked previously.
The Portugal international has yet to score for Wolves, with the club ready to move him on for a quick profit.
09.53 GMT: World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister says he is in no rush to leave Brighton.
Mac Allister, 24, was a regular starter during Argentina’s winning run in Qatar and has attracted plenty of attention, with reports of a £35m move to an elite club in Europe on the cards.
“I feel really good with this club and my teammates, and everyone who works here,” he told BBC Radio Sussex. “I try not to read too much. I always say I am really happy here and I don’t have any rush to leave. I am focused on the next game with this club.”
09.15 GMT: Arsenal have submitted a second offer for Shakhtar Donetsk winger Mykhailo Mudryk, sources have told ESPN.
The Gunners had an opening bid of around €65m rejected last week but have returned with an improved figure, thought to still be significantly below Shakhtar’s €100m asking price.
Sources have told ESPN that the structure of the bid has also changed to include a higher amount up front in an effort to convince Shakhtar to let him go.
Arsenal believe they are in pole position to secure a deal with the player strongly hinting on social media that he would prefer a move to Emirates Stadium. Although Chelsea are among several other clubs to have scouted Mudryk, as of Monday no other club had made a formal bid.
08.33 GMT: Arsenal have activated clauses to extend the contracts of Bukayo Saka and William Saliba by an extra year as talks continue over long-term agreements, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
Both players were entering the final six months of their present deals but the Gunners have triggered extensions keeping the pair at the club until 2024.
Negotiations are ongoing with Saka, Saliba and Gabriel Martinelli — who is contracted until 2024 with Arsenal holding an option to extend by a further two seasons — as sources insist the Premier League leaders are confident of securing their futures beyond next year.
Saka will command a huge increase in salary after establishing himself as a key player in Mikel Arteta’s side before enjoying an impressive World Cup campaign with England in Qatar. Sources with knowledge of Saka’s talks suggest he is in line for a huge jump to around £200,000 a week although the precise terms are as yet unclear.
Arsenal are also privately bullish about retaining Saliba after his stunning start to life in England. The 21-year-old signed from Saint Etienne for £27m in 2019 but returned to the Ligue 1 club on a season-long loan before languishing in Arsenal’s reserves prior to further temporary spells at Nice and then Marseille.
It appeared at one stage that he may not ever play for Arsenal but a hugely impressive campaign with Marseille last term — named Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year — convinced Arteta to give Saliba a chance and he has not looked back, starting all 16 league games this season.
08.00 GMT: Erik ten Hag has said Manchester United need to add a striker to their squad during the January transfer window, but added he won’t “burn money” by signing the wrong player.
United face Bournemouth at home on Tuesday having climbed into the top four at the weekend despite having the lowest strike rate in the top six with just 24 goals from 16 games so far this season. With only 12 goals from seven games at Old Trafford, no club in the top 10 has scored fewer times at home than United.
United cancelled the contract of Cristiano Ronaldo, last season’s 24-goal top scorer, before the World Cup and Ten Hag said he is concerned about the lack of goal threat in his team, with Marcus Rashford the leading scorer on six Premier League goals. But having missed out on PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo to Liverpool, partly due to a lack of finances at Old Trafford, Ten Hag insisted United will continue to look for the right striker, with the caveat that he must offer instant value for money.
“I think we have a good team when all the players are available, but with many games coming up, I think there is a need [for a new striker],” Ten Hag said. “But you need one who can have an impact, otherwise you are just burning money and you don’t strengthen the squad. It doesn’t help you.”
Despite United’s need for greater firepower, Ten Hag said he is reluctant to cut short Amad Diallo‘s season-long loan spell with Championship club Sunderland. Diallo, a £37m signing from Atalanta in January 2021, has scored six goals in 19 appearances for Sunderland this season, but after a difficult loan spell in Scotland with Rangers last season, Ten Hag said he is wary of interrupting the 20-year-old’s progress at the Stadium of Light.
“We consider everything, but I have a little bit of reservation about that [recaling Diallo] because I don’t want to stop the process,” Ten Hag said. “He has made really good progress there so I’m happy with that. But young players need experiences and when we decide for him to come back, he has to be a player who can compete for the starting XI or minimum to come on for a lot of games and make an impact.
“I see and value and his potential and capabilities. What I saw is that he needs experience in men’s football, senior football. I think there are many aspects of football to get strong physically and mentally, and also skills wise to improve and develop that so he can have value for us.”
Julien Laurens believes Graham Potter is “under pressure” at Chelsea ahead of facing Man City twice in one week.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Manchester United and Bayern Munich are interested in Eintracht Frankfurt striker Randal Kolo Muani, as reported by L’Equipe. Despite the Red Devils’ attention, a move to Bavaria is said to be the France international’s main priority for the summer.
– AC Milan are increasingly hopeful that they will be able to extend Rafael Leao‘s contract past its expiration of 2024, according to Sky Sports Italia. Milan have offered €7m per year, and the winger wants to stay with them, which should help in further negotiations. The Serie A outfit also want a renewal for midfielder Ismael Bennacer and striker Olivier Giroud.
– U.S. men’s national team defender and current free agent Aaron Long is expected to make a decision on his future soon, as reported by MLS blogger Tom Bogert. The former New York Red Bulls player has already rejected interest from Saudi Arabia and has narrowed his list of prospective destinations down to two MLS clubs, which ESPN’s Taylor Twellman has identified as the Seattle Sounders and Inter Miami, Liga MX sides Cruz Azul and CF Monterrey, as well as some European clubs with two in England among them.
– Talks are progressing well between Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper Yann Sommer‘s management and Bayern Munich, according to Florian Plettenberg. While it is reported that Gladbach need to find a replacement first, Plettenberg adds that they have been offered Copenhagen’s Mathew Ryan, who would be available for €500,000 and is also the subject of interest from Dutch and English clubs.
– Arsenal have set their sights on Montpellier‘s record-breaking 20-year-old striker Elye Wahi, according to Footmercato. Wahi has reportedly been watched by a number of clubs including Juventus, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, but Arsenal are believed to be ahead in the race for his signature. The young forward has already bagged 20 goals in Ligue 1 this season, and in doing so, became only the second player to score 20 times before his 20th birthday in the past 40 years. His record is not quite as good as Kylian Mbappe, who scored 20 times when he was 18 years and 10 months old, but it is better than Karim Benzema (18 goals at the same age) and Thierry Henry (15 goals).