Liverpool are in talks with Monaco and Inter Milan over a loan-to-become-permanent deal for Keita Balde, while Chelsea have been lifted in efforts to prise €100m worth of defensive targets – all in Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk.
LIVERPOOL CLOSING ON JANUARY DEAL FOR KEITA BALDE
Liverpool are close to agreeing a shock swoop on Monaco for on-loan winger Keita Balde, according to reports.
Reds boss Jurgen Klopp was first linked with Senegal forward in the summer of 2017, with the club instead opting to sign Mohamed Salah from Roma.
And while the capture of Salah has paid enormous dividends for the Merseysiders, Klopp has kept tabs on Balde – who that summer instead joined then Ligue 1 champions Monaco – and it now seems the Liverpool manager is ready to pounce, if reports in Nigeria are to be believed.
News outlet The Wistle claims Inter are willing to cancel the loan arrangement that saw them sign Balde in the summer. Inter paid a €5m loan fee for the winger in the summer and have the option to make that a permanent €30m switch next summer.
However, Balde has struggled to make much of an impact at the San Siro, making 16 appearances in all competitions and scoring three times.
But it’s reported that Inter are willing to cancel that arrangement. That would leave Liverpool free to take over that arrangement themselves, with a view to meeting the €35m (£31.1m) buyout that exists in the player’s contract in summer 2019 and a small loan fee paid to the Ligue 1 club in January.
The story does appear to make a lot of sense too. Balde has long since been on Klopp’s radar and the chance to bring him to the club in a cut-price deal, with a view to a permanent move if he impresses, appears – on the surface at least – a no-lose situation for the Liverpool boss.
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AND THE REST
Chelsea are in talks with Napoli over a €50m move for right-back Elseid Hysaj (Tuttosport)
Juventus hope to keep Daniele Rugani in January despite reports he wants to leave the club amid reported €50m interest from Chelsea (Calciomercato)
Real Madrid will open talks over a deal to sign River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios in Madrid after the Copa Libertadores (AS)
Real Madrid believe they will win the race to sign Dortmund star Christian Pulisic, who is also wanted by Chelsea and Liverpool – and plan to finance his transfer by selling Gareth Bale for up to €100m (Don Balon)
The mother of Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali has revealed her son “would prefer to stay in Italy” when he moves on from the Serie B side. Chelsea, Man City, Juventus and Inter Milan have all been linked (Radio Kiss Kiss)
Piotr Zielinski has rejected the chance to sign a new deal with Napoli amid a row over the escape clause. The Pole does not want it setting higher than €50m, while Napoli are looking at a figure nearer €90m. Liverpool and Arsenal remain keen (Calciomercato)
James Rodriguez has reportedly told Luka Modric he plans to return to Real Madrid, rather than move to the Premier League, at the end of his two-year loan stay at Bayern Munich in summer 2019 (Diario Gol)
Barcelona fear Brazilian forward Malcom faces a lengthy spell out with an ankle injury sustained in Wednesday’s Copa del Rey victory over Cultural Leonesa (Marca)
Real Madrid will bring forward the signing of Manchester City’s Brahim Diaz to January in order to beat off Paris Saint-Germain interest (AS)
Edinson Cavani is not happy with life at Paris Saint-Germain and could look to leave this summer (Le10 Sport)
Mario Balotelli has slammed AC Milan after ridiculing talk he could sign for the club for a third time in his career (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Nabil Fekir is set to discuss his future with with Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas. The midfielder, who almost joined Liverpool last summer, will make a decision on his long-term prospects before the Christmas period (Le Progres)
Carlo Ancelotti believes he could stay at Napoli for a long time saying the club has “the characteristics to let me do so” (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Bayern Munich have begun their rebuilding proccess by making a crazy offer for Ajax duo Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt (SportBild)
Liverpool could be lining up a record-breaking move for out of favour Real Madrid star Isco (OK Diario)