The 2022 January transfer window is closed, but there’s still plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Barca and Chelsea want De Ligt
De Ligt, 22, will enter the final two years of his contract at the end of the season and, with the Serie A club yet to begin contract talks, Xavi Hernandez’s Blaugrana are the latest team to join Chelsea in the race for his signature.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri wants to make De Ligt a leader within the Bianconeri as he looks to rebuild the Italian giants, but is reportedly open to moving the Netherlands international on if contract negotiations with the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, don’t go smoothly.
Despite their financial issues, Barcelona are reportedly ready to offer a fee of €75 million for the centre-back, which the Old Lady will seriously consider as it would see them recoup all of the money they paid to sign him from Ajax Amsterdam back in 2019.
21.44 GMT: Liverpool, Atletico Madrid and Juventus are all interested in AS Roma attacking midfielder Nicolo Zaniolo, reports Calciomercato. The 22-year-old’s deal in the Italian capital runs until 2024, and talks of a contract renewal to keep him at the club have stalled, clearing a path for the interested trio.
21.11 GMT: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola discussed the importance of Raheem Sterling amid questions over the winger’s future at the club. The England international has just 18 months remaining on his contract and was linked with a move to Barcelona last summer.
“In the future I don’t know what’s going to happen, because the club decides,” Guardiola said in a news conference on Friday, according to the Manchester Evening News. “The club all the time. When they extend the player contracts, I give my opinion but the club takes the decisions all the time.”
20.38 GMT: Juventus are interested in a number of potential centre-back options for the summer, reports Calciomercato. The Bianconeri are said to be building for the future, with Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini 34 and 37, respectively, and Matthijs de Ligt linked with a move away. Among the list of potential signings are Antonio Rudiger, Sven Botman, Matthias Ginter, Gleison Bremer and Alessio Romagnoli.
20:05 GMT: Newcastle United are planning to extend the contract of defender Fabian Schar, writes Ekrem Konur. The 30-year-old’s deal at St. James’ Park expires in the summer, but Eddie Howe is hoping to keep the Switzerland international for a further two years, despite offers from other Premier League clubs.
The Blues are contending with the possibility of losing three defenders of their own this summer, with Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta all having contracts that expire at season’s end. As a result, Thomas Tuchel has been linked with a number of centre-backs, with 27-year-old Webster the latest.
18.57 GMT: Sevilla are eyeing a move for Real Madrid playmaker Isco, according to Ekrem Konur. The 29-year-old is a free agent in the summer, having only made 11 appearances in LaLiga this season under returning boss Carlo Ancelotti.
The 24-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and has already decided to leave the club once his deal expires. Sevilla are reported to have already agreed personal terms with the Brazilian, with current defenders Jules Kounde and Diego Carlos linked with moves away.
17.41 GMT: Inter Milan are in talks with Sassuolo to sign striker Gianluca Scamacca, reports Nicolo Schira. The 23-year-old has shown some promise in the Serie A, scoring nine goals in 23 appearances this season, and was part of the Italy squad that won the European Championship last summer.
17.16 GMT: The New England Revolution announced on Monday that they have signed former United States forward Jozy Altidore through the 2024 season. The 32-year-old joins coach Bruce Arena’s side as a free agent, after Toronto FC exercised its one allowable offseason buyout of a guaranteed contract.
He will earn $5m over the next three years on a Targeted Allocation Money deal in New England, sources said. The Revs said in a statement that Toronto will pay a portion of Altidore’s salary in 2022 and 2023. Read the full story.
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) February 14, 2022
17.00 GMT: Chelsea centre-back Antonio Rudiger has claimed that a contract renewal with the Blues is held up by the club’s decision makers. The 28-year-old will be a free agent in the summer and has been linked with a number of Europe’s top clubs, including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.
Speaking to the Athletic, the Germany international said: “I feel great here, I have always said it. I think the way I play, you can see that I’m happy here, but there are also other people who have to make decisions.”
16.17 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Lazio are weighing up a move for AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli this summer. The 27-year-old, who hasn’t appeared for Italy since 2019, is out of contract in the summer, with the Rossoneri working to re-sign the player at a wage cut of greater than 50% from his €6m-a-season-earnings. Romagnoli is a longtime Biancocelesti fan, and with the Roman club reportedly willing to pay slightly more than what’s on offer at San Siro, a dream return to the capital city could be on the cards.
15.35 GMT: PSG right-back Achraf Hakimi has revealed how he ended up leaviing Real Madrid as he prepares to face his former club in the Champions League round of 16.
“In the end it was a mix of two things,” he told Marca. “It’s normal that you don’t get much trust from the club when you’re still a young player from Castilla. But then I joined Dortmund on a two-year loan deal and I think I performed well there, so Real Madrid had to make another decision and they didn’t take a chance on me even though I could’ve kept performing well.
“Then, when I joined Inter, Madrid also had an option to buy me back and decided not to trigger it, so I believe that Real Madrid didn’t take a chance on me as much as other clubs. And I’m happy about that because I think that those clubs didn’t make the wrong decision.
“I’ve changed quite a lot, I’m older, more mature and more experienced. In Madrid I was still a Castilla player who was playing with canteranos and I lacked experience at a high level. These years I spent in other big clubs and teams helped me become the player I am today, more experienced, mature and with more responsibility,”
14.57 GMT: Chelsea are world champions and owner Roman Abramovich will back manager Thomas Tuchel with a big summer transfer budget, says the Evening Standard.
The report says: “Jules Kounde from Sevilla is the top choice centre-back on his wish list, while midfielders Declan Rice and Aurelien Tchouameni have been identified as options.
“Conor Gallagher will return from loan at Crystal Palace. A further centre back could be targeted dependent on contract negotiations with Toni Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta.”
14.00 GMT: Do Bayern Munich need to upgrade their defence?
Janusz Michallik is heavily critical of Bayern Munich’s defending after a 4-2 loss to Bochum.
13.09 GMT: Juventus striker Paulo Dybala has yet to sign a new contract, despite his current terms expiring in the summer.
Dybala, 28, could leave the club after Juve signed Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina for €70m in January and has been linked with a host of top teams like Liverpool, Inter and PSG.
But Juve sporting director Pavel Nedved told DAZN when quizzed on Dybala: “We have to deal with more renewals at home.
“There are four or five of them due in June and we will certainly work in the coming weeks to address this individual problem. They are professionals and you can see they care”.
12.37 GMT: Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapie is on the radar of Tottenham, says Football Insider.
Hincapie, 20, starred at last summer’s Copa America with Ecuador before moving to Leverkusen from Argentinian top-flight club CA Talleres for around €6m.
Leverkusen would demand significantly more than that to let him go so quickly, though AC Milan, Roma, Napoli, Sevilla and Zenit are also reportedly keen to sign him now.
12.15 GMT: Fabrizio Romano reports that AC Milan star Franck Kessie has yet to make up his mind over his future.
Kessie, 25, has a contract which expires in the summer and has PSG, Barcelona, Tottenham, Man United and a host of other top clubs interested in his services.
11.46 GMT: Arsenal have issues in their striking department following the free departure of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona, as Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah have contracts which expire in 2022 .
After missing out on €70m-man Dusan Vlahovic to Juventus, a host of names have been linked. Sources told ESPN that Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak, Lille’s Jonathan David, Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins were all under consideration in January but no move came to fruition.
Now The Athletic reports that “Arsenal also had the opportunity to explore a potential exchange involving Paris Saint-Germain’s Argentinian forward Mauro Icardi.“
The 28-year-old has scored 38 goals in 87 appearances but has struggled for minutes behind Kylian Mbappe, Lionel Messi and Neymar.
It’s not clear who the exchange included, though it’s possible it was Aubameyang before he left for Camp Nou.
10.38 GMT: Do Man City even need to sign a No. 9 striker?
Janusz Michallik praises Raheem Sterling after his hat trick helped Manchester City win 4-0 vs. Norwich.
09.58 GMT: Manchester United have added Christopher Nkunku to their list of summer targets after interim manager Ralf Rangnick urged the club to step up their interest in the RB Leipzig midfielder, sources told ESPN’s Mark Ogden.
United, who are aiming to hire a permanent successor to former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of the season, have prioritised the midfield department for strengthening due to the expectation that Paul Pogba will leave Old Trafford as a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June.
Nkunku, 24, has scored 19 goals and registered 13 assists in 31 appearances at Leipzig this season and is regarded by many as one of the best emerging players in the Bundesliga.
His performances in Germany since leaving Paris Saint-Germain in 2019 — when he signed for Leipzig while Rangnick was the club’s director of football — have attracted the attention of Europe’s leading clubs including Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.
But sources have said that United’s interest has only emerged since Rangnick arrived at Old Trafford in December and reviewed the club’s list of potential signings.
09.13 GMT: ICYMI – Arsenal have agreed terms to sign United States international goalkeeper Matt Turner from the New England Revolution, pending the successful completion of a medical.
Turner is set to join Arsenal in summer, allowing him to remain with the Revs for the start of the 2022 MLS regular season. It will also keep travel to a minimum for Turner for the remainder of World Cup qualifying.
Sources told ESPN last month that Arsenal and Turner had agreed to terms ahead of the move, and now the MLS club have announced that there is an agreement in place for his transfer.
08.55 GMT: AC Milan are top of the Serie A table after this weekend and are looking to complete contract extensions for midfielder Ismael Bennacer and striker Rafael Leao, says Fabrizio Romano.
Milan announced a renewal for left-back Theo Hernandez last week and want the pair to follow suit.
The club are also keen to bring in a new centre-back in the summer, with Lille’s Sven Botman a priority target who is likely to be available.
08.30 GMT: Barcelona have made extending Gavi and Ronald Araujo‘s contracts a priority following the closing of the January transfer window, according to sources, who concede they have both outgrown their existing deals.
Initial talks between Barca and the players’ respective representatives have revealed some differences in terms of expectations, but there’s a desire from all parties to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
Sources close to Gavi and Araujo, whose terms expire in 2023, confirm several top European clubs have made contact with regard to a possible transfer. ESPN revealed in November that Liverpool and Manchester United are tracking Araujo. However, both players have made it clear they want to stay at Camp Nou — although they also want to be compensated in relation to their new status at the club.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang explains why he had to swap Arsenal for a move to Barcelona.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Arsenal are monitoring Armando Broja as they seek to add a striker to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Football London reveals. The 20-year-old Chelsea forward has enjoyed an impressive campaign on loan at Southampton and has reportedly caught the eye of Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.
– Liverpool continue to be interested in the signature of West Ham United forward Jarrod Bowen, according to the Mirror. It is reported that Jurgen Klopp remains an admirer of the 25-year-old, as uncertainty continues to grow over the contract situation of Mohamed Salah. Bowen is enjoying some of his best form of his career this season, scoring eight goals including the opener in West Ham’s 2-2 draw with Leicester City on Sunday.
– Atletico Madrid are plotting a move for RB Bragantino forward Artur, according to Ekrem Konur. The 23-year-old contributed 20 goals in 28 league starts in the Brasileiro Serie A last season, with his impressive attacking play beginning to catch the eye of clubs across Europe. He has also represented Brazil at youth level.
– Napoli have been working to find a replacement for MLS-bound Lorenzo Insigne and have identified Barcelona’s Memphis Depay as a target for the summer. That’s according to Calciomercato, which writes that the clubs are close to reaching a full agreement over the move, though there is still work to be done to convince the 28-year-old forward to make the switch to Serie A.
– Liverpool are ready to prepare contract talks with James Milner, with there being no chance of him retiring beyond this season. Speaking after the 1-0 win against Burnley on Sunday, Jurgen Klopp said: “The club will be in talks with Milner, so we will see. There is no chance that Milly will retire.” The 36-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, but has still played a part in the Reds’ campaign so far, making 24 appearances.