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Man United, Real Madrid, PSG on alert as Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger talks stall


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: Man United, Real, PSG on alert as Rudiger talks stall

There are currently no talks ongoing between Chelsea and Antonio Rudiger over a new contract, reports Sky Sports.

The 28-year-old’s deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of the season, with discussions taking place last month but no improved official contract offer from the Blues to keep the defender on past the summer.

The report says that Real Madrid and PSG are said to be keen on a move for the Germany international, while adding that Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick is a “long term admirer.”

Rudiger has become a key player at the back for Chelsea, with his aggressive defensive style fitting the system introduced with the arrival of Thomas Tuchel. The defender was heavily involved in Chelsea’s Champions League victory last summer, with the Super Cup and Club World Cup shortly following for the Blues.

Real Madrid are reported to be in discussions with the player’s representatives over a pre-contract agreement, with Los Blancos yet to fully replace the void left by Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane departing last year.

PSG are also interested, though the report claims that an uncertain future for manager Mauricio Pochettino may have complicated any potential deal. The Ligue 1 giants have made use of the free transfer market wisely before, signing Ramos, Lionel Messi and Gianluigi Donnarumma last summer.

A potential move to Premier League rivals Man United for Rudiger could also be on the cards, with Rangnick set to become an advisor at the end of the season to help the club rebuild.

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20.47 GMT: AS Roma winger Nicolo Zaniolo has yet to open talks with the club over a new deal, says his agent.

The Italy international has two-years left on his current deal, but he has recently been linked with a move away from the club. Speaking to Corriere dello Sport, Claudio Vigorelli said: “I wish to make clear that at this moment there are no negotiations with Roma.”

20.12 GMT: With just 18 months remaining on his contract and Valencia mired in the bottom half of LaLiga, Jose Gaya is considering his future at the club. Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona have identified the 26-year-old Spain international as the heir apparent to Jordi Alba on the left side of defence, and could wait for summer 2023 to sign him on a free transfer should Gaya decide to call time on his career at his boyhood club.

19.33 GMT: AC Milan are confident of signing midfielder Renato Sanches in the summer, says Calciomercato.

The Portugal international has been linked with a move away from Lille, with the report claiming €20m will land him. The 24-year-old is said to be a midfield replacement for Rossoneri player Franck Kessie, who looks set to leave the club on a free transfer at the end of the season.

18.45 GMT: Atletico Madrid have signed 18-year-old winger Gabriel Carvalho as a free agent from Porto, according to journalist Pedro Sepulveda.

He is set to sign a contract until 2026 with the club after reaching an agreement, with a release clause included set at €40m.

18.05 GMT: Serie A side Lazio are hoping to sign centre-back Alessio Romagnoli to replace the outgoing Luiz Felipe, reports Nicolo Schira. Felipe, 24, is out of contract in the summer and set to leave the club as a free agent, while 27-year-old Romagnoli is expected to do the same at AC Milan.

17.32 GMT: Internazionale are closing in on contract renewals for pair Marcelo Brozovic and Ivan Perisic, according to Fabrizio Romano. The Croatia internationals both have deals that expire at the end of the season, but the Nerazzurri are confident of finalising fresh terms for both, with signing a new centre-back the priority in the summer.

16.59 GMT: Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has said that he wouldn’t accept an offer for midfielder Wilfred Ndidi that included a transfer fee of less than £50m, according to Sky Sports. The 25-year-old Nigeria international has been linked with a move to Aston Villa, but the Foxes boss wants to see Ndidi remain at the King Power Stadium: “A player of that quality and mentality, of course you want to always keep, but when you have that player, he will always attract interest.”

16.26 GMT: Barcelona have offered pending free agent Cesar Azpilicueta a two-year contract with an option for a third, according to Fabrizio Romano, and are now waiting on a response from the Chelsea captain. The Blues famously have a policy of only offering players over the age of 30 one-year deals (with exceptions made to David Luiz and Willian, in recent years), so the term offered in the Catalan capital could convince the 32-year-old Spain international defender to leave Stamford Bridge after 10 years in west London.

15.53 GMT: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has defended star striker Romelu Lukaku.

Lukaku, 28, scored in the Club World Cup final but has failed to live up to expectations following his €115m move from Inter Milan last summer, with 10 goals in all competitions so far.

“We need a bit of more patience than we perhaps all wanted to have with his signing,” Tuchel said on the striker’s performances. “We demand a lot of our strikers in terms of intensity, so there are several reasons why things are maybe like this.

“There are teams who heavily rely on one goal scorer, that is no secret, but there are teams who rely on more shoulders. So both ways work and we want to bring Romelu to better situations. It’s an ongoing process. We still have trust because he has proved at any of the club’s he’s been that he is the guy who gets the last touch on the end of attacks.

“Disappointed is not the right word but, of course, we thought for him, I’m pretty sure for him as well he wanted to produce the numbers right from the start. We are all humans and we keep on going.”

15.30 GMT: Leicester defender Ricardo Pereira has signed a contract extension until 2026.

Pereira, 28, joined the Foxes from Porto for around €25m in May 2018 and has impressed at right-back.

“I would say this is the natural thing to happen,” he said. “I’m happy here. I think the Club is happy. It’s a win-win situation. To be in the Premier League, at a club like Leicester, it’s something when I was young which was far, far away. Now, I have to enjoy the moment and enjoy the present and keep doing by best for the Club and for me.”

14.40 GMT: Donny van de Beek has no desire to return to Man United and will look to secure a permanent move to Everton this summer, says The Daily Star.

Van de Beek, 24, moved to Old Trafford in 2020 for £35m but wasn’t given much of a chance to shine in midfield and opted to join Everton on loan in January.

The Netherlands international has impressed in only two games so far for the Toffees and could be offered a permanent deal for around £20m.

14.18 GMT: Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick said the dressing room atmosphere at the club has improved since his arrival as interim boss.

There have been reports of rifts within the squad at Old Trafford but Rangnick said the mood is “better” after allowing “unhappy players” like Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek to leave on loan in the January transfer window.

“My focus is on the team, the next game,” Rangnick told a news conference on Friday. “Obviously, I have heard about what was written. I can only tell you from my personal experience in the last 12 weeks, yes there were players unhappy.

“The squad was too big, players realised they wouldn’t get game time and the atmosphere is better than it used to be a couple of weeks ago for all those reasons I spoke about. For us it’s about performing well, showing togetherness on the pitch, winning games and those are the things we can influence, all the other things we can’t.”

Rangnick, who takes his team to Leeds United on Sunday, also dismissed suggestions he could look to replace Harry Maguire as captain while the England defender works to rediscover his form after suffering a dip.

“I have never spoken with any player about a possible change of captaincy,” Rangnick said. “This has never been an issue for me. It’s me to decide who’s captain. Harry is our captain and will stay our captain until the end of the season and there is nothing else to that.”

14.00 GMT: Borussia Dortmund may need some serious changes.

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Mark Donaldson and Steve Nicol discuss Borussia Dortmund’s defensive shortcomings in their 4-2 defeat to Rangers.

13.20 GMT: Kylian Mbappe‘s match-winning display for PSG grabbed the headlines against Real Madrid and subsequent reports in France have suggested that the club are set to offer the forward a contract that would make him the world’s best-paid player.

Mbappe, 23, could be handed a new €1m-a-week salary to convince him to resist Madrid’s long-term interest ahead of his contract expiry in the summer.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was asked how Mbappe should decide his future and said: “Everyone can think what he wants. I’m paid a lot and I’m privileged, but what I like isn’t the money, it’s what I do… This club is always thinking about the future, every year you try to make the squad better, that will be [the case] next year too.”

12.49 GMT: Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez believes Ousmane Dembele will earn back the respect of the fans after he was jeered by fans as he came off the bench in Thursday’s 1-1 draw against Napoli in the Europa League.

Dembele, 24, has been at odds with the club since refusing to sign a new contract, with his current deal expiring this summer. Barca president Joan Laporta admitted earlier this month the Catalan outfit were “disappointed” with the winger.

“The fans are sovereign and decide,” Xavi said of the France international’s first appearance at the Camp Nou in 2022. “Ousmane has a lot of personality and has turned the whistles into applause. In the end, with his performance and his play, he will make the boos fade away.”

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique would prefer for the fans to express their disapproval after the game and not during it.

“I don’t know how it’s going to affect him,” Pique said of the boos. “The fans are free to do what they want but I would like for them to express themselves after the game. For us it’s crucial that there are no whistles during the game because it’s distracting.”

Meanwhile, Barcelona director Jordi Cruyff appealed to the fans to support Dembele for the good of the team.

“What we have to do is support all of the players from the first to the last day,” he said. “The club wanted to renew his contract but at times things happen, and they don’t happen how you want. I hope we manage to avoid the boos. We are all here wanting for Barca to win.”

12.35 GMT: Reports that Barcelona are interested in signing Napoli pair Fabian Ruiz and Kalidou Koulibaly have been brushed aside by club football director Mateu Alemany.

Amid links to a host of clubs, defender Koulibaly and midfielder Ruiz have not signed contract extensions, with their current deals expiring in June 2023, and are expected to leave Napoli this summer.

Asked about reports Barcelona want to bring them in, Alemany said: “If was down to rumours, we would be signing 60 players in each transfer window. We are doing our job. We respect the players that are under contract with other clubs. Napoli is a very strong team.”

12.02 GMT: Lionel Messi‘s departure from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain has had “zero” financial impact on Spain’s top flight, according to LaLiga president Javier Tebas.

LaLiga have lost Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo the last four years. Messi left Barcelona as a free agent for PSG in September while Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Juventus in 2018 in a €100m transfer from Real Madrid in 2018.

Asked if LaLiga had suffered a negative financial impact by Messi’s departure, Tebas said: “No. Zero. A one-off departure by a star or two, just as it happened with Cristiano [Ronaldo] doesn’t affect [us]. If you look at it, Serie A did not grow with Cristiano.”

Tebas said at the time that Messi’s departure was particularly “painful” for LaLiga. However, he said now that LaLiga is in a good position.

“We signed [in May 2021] an eight-year [rights] agreement with ESPN,” Tebas said. “Do you think they know who will play in LaLiga in eight years’ time? Neither they nor anyone knows that. But they know it’s a financially sound league and that there will always be good players.”

11.33 GMT: Real Madrid are keeping a close eye on Shakhtar Donetsk right-back Dodo, says Defensa Central.

Dodo, 23, moved to the Ukrainian club in 2017 for around €2m but has been linked with a move and Madrid are looking to find a long-term replacement for Dani Carvajal at right-back.

10.46 GMT: Barcelona spent €55m to sign Ferran Torres from Man City in January.

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Sid Lowe says Ferran Torres needs to quickly move on mentally from missing multiple chances in Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Napoli in Europa League.

10.03 GMT: Torino central defender Bremer is in talks with Bayern Munich, according to Sport1.

Bremer, 24, is ready to make the step up and has a contract with Torino until 2024. Bayern view the Brazilian as an alternative to Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen, who is available on a free transfer in the summer, as they seek to replace Niklas Sule, who will join Borussia Dortmund once his contract expires at the end of the season.

The report suggests Bremer may cost around €15m to sign.

09.25 GMT: Roma are expected to make a fresh attempt to sign Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka this summer, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.

Jose Mourinho made a concerted effort to bring the 29-year-old to Italy last summer only for the two clubs to fail to reach an agreement and Mourinho was quickly made aware Arsenal would not consider letting Xhaka leave in January either, given the absence of Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny at the Africa Cup of Nations.

However, there is optimism a deal could be struck at the end of the season with sources claiming Xhaka remains open to a move and is particularly interested in working with Mourinho. The former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham boss has this week moved to reject criticism of his tenure amid reports he could be sacked before the season is out with Roma currently seventh in Serie A.

Sources claim he is already planning his summer transfer strategy which involves a move for Xhaka, who has a contract at Arsenal until 2024 with an option for a further year.

The Gunners valued Xhaka at €25m prior to extending his deal and are in a good negotiating position given the length of his contract. It remains to be seen whether Roma are willing to get closer to a valuation in that region, having indicated in previous talks that they would pay around €18m — but it won’t be for the lack of trying from Mourinho.

09.01 GMT: Nigeria and former Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo says he would grab a chance to return to the Premier League ‘with both hands’, and told ESPN that he would support the Red Devils ’till death’.

Ighalo, now with Saudi Arabian giants Al Hilal, was the first Nigerian to play for United when he went there on loan in 2020, even taking a pay cut to move to the club he’d supported since childhood. He played in 12 league fixtures, but made his mark in the Europa League and FA Cup before COVID-19 cut his deal short.

Winning trophies was not something he experienced at Manchester United, despite the club’s rich and trophy-laden history, but he looks back at his time there with pride.

Ighalo told ESPN: “In years to come, you need something to show your children… I have been talking to my children about Manchester United, the experience. I left Old Trafford with pride, with my head up, because it was my dream team and not everybody’s dream comes to pass. Mine came to pass so every day of my life, I’m grateful.

“To be the first Nigerian to play there and so far the only Nigerian, those are great achievements for me and I did well so I’m happy for that.”

08.00 GMT: New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner said he’s “not concerned” about what his pending move to Arsenal might mean for his spot on the United States national team.

Turner is set to officially join the Gunners this summer, meaning he’ll play around 20 games with the Revs before his departure. Once he arrives in London, he’ll face a steep climb to unseat incumbent goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.

Speaking to reporters via Zoom on MLS Media Day, Turner mentioned that U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter was a “big supporter” of his move to Arsenal, and he remains confident that he’ll maintain his place in the U.S. side, where he is battling Manchester City keeper Zack Steffen for the starting spot.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be how I continue to progress,” he said. “[I’ll] play in almost 20 games in the early parts of the season, and then get the move overseas and get to work in understanding a new culture, a new way of life, a different league, quality players from top to bottom that will really help me.”

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Ale Moreno showers Kylian Mbappe with praise after his performance in Paris Saint-Germain’s 1-0 win over Real Madrid in Champions League.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)

– PSG have made a new contract offer to Kylian Mbappe that would make him the best-paid player in the world, according to the Independent. The 23-year-old’s deal with PSG is set to expire in the summer, with Real Madrid heavily linked with a move on a free transfer. However, PSG believe the France international is a key part of their project and are reportedly ready to hand him a deal worth close to €1 million-a-week.

Manchester City‘s move for young Brazilian winger Savinho is entering its final stages, says Fabrizio Romano. The 17-year-old is set to make the switch to Manchester for €6.5m from Atletico Mineiro, with a medical set for the coming days along with an official announcement.

Newcastle United are interested in Stade Rennais winger Jeremy Doku, according to the Newcastle Chronicle. The 19-year-old Belgium international has struggled with injuries this season in Ligue 1, suffering knocks to both his knee and hamstring that has ruled him out of action. The winger has been set for big things in the future, already being capped 10 times for his country.

– Ligue 1 side Nice are interested in Lyon wonderkid Rayan Cherki, reports Foot Mercato. The 18-year-old’s deal expires in 2023, with a lack of minutes and struggles with injury restricting his game time this season, meaning a potential move away for the attacking midfielder could be on the cards.

– Newcastle have joined PSG, Real Madrid and Juventus in the race to sign Paul Pogba, says Ekrem Konur. The Manchester United playmaker is out of contract at Man United in the summer, so he is potentially free to join another club if he doesn’t extend his current deal. PSG, Real Madrid and Juventus have all been previously linked, while the Magpies are said to be interested as they look to build upon their recent financial power under new ownership.





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