Real Madrid have ruled out any moves for a striker in January, while Liverpool are lining up a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, while Liverpool target Javier Mascherano has been offered a €7million a year deal, according to Thursday’s European papers.
ZIDANE RULES OUT REAL STRIKER MOVES
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has categorically ruled out the chances of signing a striker in the the upcoming January transfer window.
The Frenchman was quizzed on the matter after his side beat UAE side Al Jazira at the Club World Cup, amid continued reports of interest in Tottenham hotshot Harry Kane and Inter Milan captain Mauro Icardi – with Karim Benzema said to be surplus to requirements.
“I will not ask for any strikers in the winter transfer market,” he insisted at the post-match press conference.
Reports out of Spain in recent weeks stated that Zidane was looking at Kane and Icardi, along with Bayern Munich’s Roberto Lewandowski to replace Benzema but it would that is not the case.
KLOPP WANTS KOVACIC
With Liverpool almost resigned to losing Philippe Coutinho, Jurgen Klopp is looking towards Real Madrid midfielder Mateo Kovacic to replace him.
That’s according to Spanish outlet Diario Gol. Klopp is pondering a January move for the 23-year-old Croatian, who he believes can go some way to filling the boots of Coutinho.
Kovacic has only made three La Liga appearances and has yet to start this season under Zinedine Zidane, but with Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco and Casemiro, Dani Ceballos and Marcos Llorente all ahead of him in the pecking order he will be allowed to leave.
According to ESPN in August, Kovacic has a release clause of €50million.
BARCELONA LINE UP SURPRISE JANUARY MOVE FOR BLIND
Barcelona are lining up an unexpected January move for out-of-favour Manchester United defender Daley Blind, according to reports in Spain.
The La Liga pacesetters have struggled for options in defence this season and their options look set to be further depleted in January with Javier Mascherano likely to leave the Nou Camp.
The club are busy scouring the globe for reinforcements and Palmerias centre-back Yerry Mina is expected to sign for around €9million.
However, the club are still looking for more cover and Marca claims the club has identified Blind as a possible target.
The versatile Dutch star started the first three matches of the season for Jose Mourinho, but has been a periphery figure ever since, with his last Premier League appearance coming on September 23 when he came on for the final minute of their 1-0 success at Southampton.
Blind joined United for £13.8million in 2014, but at 27, is approaching his peak and wants to be playing more.
The defender is contracted to United until the summer, though the Red Devils do have a one-year option on his deal.
However, Marca claims the two clubs could agree a deal in January, which would see the player move to the Nou Camp for a similar fee for which United bought him, with the player due to hold talks on the move in the coming days.
If a deal can be agreed, it is expected the transfer would go through without too many hitches with Mourinho unlikely to stand in Blind’s way as he looks to clear the decks for some possible arrivals of his own.
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AND THE REST
Malaga are interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain winger Lucas Moura (RMC Sport)
André Villas-Boas is being lined up as a possible successor to Unai Emery (ArabNews)
Javier Mascherano has been offered €7million a year to move to Manuel Pellegrini’s Hebei China Fortune (Mundo Deportivo)
Real Madrid have offered Juventus their pick of anyone one, or all, Karin Benzema, Luka Modric, Marcos Llorente, Dani Ceballos and Lucas Vazquez as part of any deal for Paulo Dybala (Don Balon)
Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, and Arsenal are making aggressive pushes to bring precocious footballers to England from Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. Goalkeeper Ramon Vila, defender Joel Lopez, midfielders Alex Rico and Nico Gonzalez, winger Robert Navarro and strikers Ansu Fati, Pablo Moreno and Jaume Jardi are all being targeted (Mundo Deportivo)
Liverpool will miss out on a deal for Sime Vrsaljko with the right-back agreeing to join Napoli in January from Atletico Madrid (Corriere dello Sport)
Fabinho is keen to leave Monaco at the end of the season but has ruled out a departure when the transfer window re-opens next month (L’Equipe)
Chelsea will offer Monaco Michy Batshuayi as part of any deal to sign Thomas Lemar (L’Equipe)
Sporting Lisbon have left open the possibility of re-signing Islam Slimani from Leicester in the January transfer window (A Bola)
Angel Di Maria has spoken of his unhappiness at his lack of game time for PSG
Inter Milan are looking to bring Gerard Deulofeu to the club on loan during the winter window (Tuttosport)
Jose Mourinho is stepping up his efforts to sign Inter Milan’s Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario as a replacement for Henrikh Mkhitaryan at Manchester United (Corriere dello Sport)
Andres Iniesta says he would be annoyed if Neymar wound up at Real Madrid – less than a year after leaving Barcelona (Sport)
Iniesta is hopeful that Javier Mascherano will stay put at Barcelona despite the Argentine being linked with a move away from the Camp Nou in January (Sport)
Juventus midfielder Claudio Marchisio is being strongly linked with a move to the MLS (Tuttosport)
AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso has rushed to the defence of Gianluigi Donnarumma after he was targeted by fans before the club’s 3-0 win over Verona on Wednesday. The teenage goalkeeper is said to be looking to leave the club in thes ummer, just a matter of months after signing a new deal
Real Madrid will end their interest in Thibaut Courtois with a deal for Spain international Kepa Arrizabalaga close (Marca)
Arda Turan’s wages could scupper his hopes of finding a way out of Barcelona in January (TRT Sports)