Manchester City eye Inter’s Lukaku as part of £200m plan

The transfer window opened in early January, and speculation is heating up about potential deals. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Man City interested in Lukaku

Manchester City are showing an interest in Internazionale striker Romelu Lukaku, according to the Telegraph.

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City have scored the least goals of clubs in the top five (29) and there have been questions surrounding Sergio Aguero‘s future, as the Argentine’s contract ends this summer.

There is still a chance that City’s leading scorer of all-time could stay put, despite his injury issues this season, but City are still on the lookout for a big-name striker who could come in to lead their line.

While reports have linked them with Tottenham’s Harry Kane, it is also suggested that a move for ex-Manchester United player Lukaku could be part of a £200 million spending spree led by Pep Guardiola during the summer.

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20.37 GMT: Aston Villa already have an impressive trio of midfielders in Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Douglas Luiz but could the rich get even richer?

The Telegraph understands that Villa are in talks with Marseille regarding Morgan Sanson. The versatile and classy central midfielder has been a target for Villa since the summer but now could be available for a cut-rate price. Valued at £30 million by Marseille, Sanson could be available for almost half that due to the French club’s financial troubles in the midst of COVID-19.

West Ham have also been linked with the former France Under-23 midfielder, whose potential arrival would likely spell the end for Conor Hourihane at Villa.

19.55 GMT: Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is set to play out the final six months of his playing career at Schalke 04, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.

Huntelaar, 37, will retire at the end of the season and originally planned to finish his career at Ajax. He has played a key role for the Eredivisie giants this season and scored two late goals to help Ajax to a 3-1 win at Twente on January 14 . But it was around this time Schalke were linked with a short-term move for the veteran striker. The striker, who won 76 caps for the Netherlands and scored 42 goals, spent six-and-a-half years at Ajax across two spells from 2006 to 2009 and then from 2017.

He previously played seven years at Schalke, from 2010 to 2017, and returns to Gelsenkirchen to help the club battle against relegation. Ajax signed Sebastien Haller from West Ham for €22.5 million earlier in the January transfer window, while Schalke hope to have Huntelaar available for Wednesday’s match against Cologne where he will look to aid their goal-scoring efforts alongside Matthew Hoppe.

19.19 GMT: Arsenal desperately lack a creative attacking midfielder and Norwich’s Emiliano Buendia has been linked with the London club in recent weeks.

The Argentine, who has seven goals and seven assists this season for the Canaries, won’t come cheap, though. In fact, Sky Sports’ Kaveh Solhekol estimates that Buendia, 24, would cost Arsenal between £40-50 million!

For that price Arsenal could return for Lyon”s Houssem Aouar.

18.41 GMT: Atalanta have set their sets on Porto’s Otavio as a replacement for wantaway ace Pau Gomez, writes Calciomercato.

With either Inter and Roma expected to land Gomez, Atalanta have lined up Otavio as potential replacement. The Brazilian, 25, was named to the Primeira Liga Team of the Year last season and so far this campaign has factored in on 11 goals in 20 games.

AC Milan, Roma and Arsenal have also been linked with a move for the Porto attacking midfielder.

18.02 GMT: From an ex-MLS player to a potential future one…

NYCFC have tabled $10 million offer for Benfica winger Franco Cervi, according to Portuguese outlet Record. The Argentine, 26, has 20 goals and 26 assists in 157 career appearances for Benfica, but has fallen out of favour at the club since Jorge Jesus returned as manager in the summer.

Cervi would replace Alexandru Mitrita on the left-wing, the Romanian having left the club in October to join Saudi side Al-Ahli Jeddah on loan.

17.37 GMT: Hungarian champions Ferencvaros have signed ex-Seattle Sounder Henry Wingo from FK Molde.

📣𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙣𝙨𝙛𝙚𝙧 𝙉𝙚𝙬𝙨
Henry Wingo will continue his career in Ferencváros 💚🤍#fradi #ftc #ferencvaros

— Ferencvárosi TC (@Fradi_HU) January 18, 2021

The American right-back, 25, had made 31 appearances for the side since arriving in Norway in Aug. 2019.

17.00 GMT: AC Milan are planning some moves to keep their Serie A title chase on track.



Gab Marcotti explains the roles he envisions for Mario Mandzukic and Fikayo Tomori if they join Milan.

16.45 GMT: ICYMI – Lille centre-back Sven Botman is on the radar of a string of clubs in England, sources told ESPN’s Julien Laurens, but the Ligue 1 club are desperate to keep him.

Rumours of Liverpool making a move this month appear wide of the mark, with another source insisting there has been no contact between the two clubs.

The 21-year-old impressed for Heerenveen last season, on loan from Ajax, and moved to Lille in the summer as a replacement for Gabriel, who joined Arsenal. Botman signed a five-year deal at the Ligue 1 club and has shone this term with Lille in third, one point off leaders Lyon.

Sources said the Netherlands Under-20 international is likely to command a fee around £40m if he was to become available and that various top clubs in England had expressed an interest in him.

16.22 GMT: Inter Miami CF have named Phil Neville as its coach, reuniting the former Manchester United player with David Beckham, who is co-owner of the Major League Soccer club.

Sources told ESPN that Beckham had begun talks with his former Old Trafford teammate Neville last week about coaching Miami. The MLS recently team parted ways with Diego Alonso, further adding speculation to Neville’s hiring.

Neville, a co-owner of EFL League Two club Salford City alongside Beckham, had coached the England women’s national team since 2018.

“I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with Chris and the entire ownership group,” Neville said. “This is a very young club with a lot of promise and upside, and I am committed to challenging myself, my players and everyone around me to grow and build a competitive soccer culture we can all be proud of. This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality, and I look forward to getting to work.”

16.12 GMT: Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic only scored twice in 32 games after his €60m move in 2019.

He scored twice in 28 minutes in his first game back after rejoining Eintracht Frankfurt on loan.



Gab Marcotti and Julien Laurens debate whether Real Madrid should have let Luka Jovic leave on loan.

15.30 GMT: Lionel Messi caused a stir by getting himself sent off for Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup defeat last night and now PSG sports director Leonardo has been speaking to France Football about him.

Messi, 33, can leave Camp Nou for nothing in the summer once his contract expires and PSG are one of the clubs linked with signing him.

“Great players like Messi will always be on the PSG list,” Leonardo said. “But this is of course not the time to talk about it, or to dream about it… But we are seated at the large table of those who are following the file closely. In fact, no, we are not yet seated, but our chair is reserved just in case… Four months in football is an eternity, especially during this time.”

Leonardo also spoke about two key PSG players whose contracts expire in 2022.

“I hope Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe are convinced that PSG is a good place at the moment for a high-level, ambitious player,” he said. “We just have to find an agreement between their desires, requirements and our expectations and means.”

15.04 GMT: Bournemouth have completed the signing of midfielder Jack Wilshere.

The 29-year-old has put pen to paper on a contract until the end of the season, having spent a loan spell at the club during the 2016/17 campaign.

“It feels great to be back and I can’t wait to get started,” Wilshere told afcbTV. “From the minute I walked through the door three weeks ago, it felt natural and like I had never been away.

“I know a lot of the players and staff here and I’m pleased they allowed me to train initially, and then it just went from, there. I’ve been impressed by the coaching staff, the way they work and the ambitions of the club to get back in the Premier League. We all share the same ambitions and I’m looking forward to playing my part in helping achieve those.”

14.44 GMT: Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has been speaking on Sky Sports about two possible deals involving Tottenham this month.

“Paris Saint-Germain are pushing,” he said. “They want Dele Alli on loan until the end of the season with no buy option, just a simple loan until the end of the season. Dele Alli is pushing also because he wants to leave Tottenham. He respects the club, the manager, the owner, everyone at the club, but he just wants to play and he’s not playing for Tottenham in this moment.”

Also: “Christian Eriksen wants to leave Inter. He would love to be back in the Premier League and in particular with Tottenham. Obviously, he had a fantastic time with Tottenham so he would love to be back at Spurs, but at the moment it is not so easy because of his wages.”

14.15 GMT: Juventus have some midfield issues to solve.



Gab Marcotti and Jurgen Klinsmann agree Andrea Pirlo and Juventus have a big problem in the midfield.

13.31 GMT: AC Milan and West Ham United have sounded out a move for out-of-favour Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.

Barca are open to letting Junior leave the club and are looking at possible replacements should he depart this month, although the lack of a president at Camp Nou is complicating any potential January transfer business.

Milan are keen to bring in backup for Theo Hernandez, with the versatile Diogo Dalot (who is on loan from Man United) their only alternative at left-back, to strengthen the squad as they fight to win a first Italian title since 2011.

Sources have told ESPN the Serie A leaders have enquired about taking Junior on loan, although Barca, in need of money, would rather let him leave on a permanent deal. West Ham would be willing to sign Junior, who moved to Barca for around €20m from Real Betis in 2019, but cannot guarantee first-team football, either.

13.13 GMT: ICYMI – Manchester United are prepared to rival Chelsea for West Ham midfielder Declan Rice next summer, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to continue his overhaul of the squad at the end of the season with a forward, central defender and a defensive midfielder his priorities. January is not expected to be a busy month in terms of outgoings, though United have rubber-stamped Amad Diallo‘s move from Serie A side Atalanta and a number of fringe players, including defender Marcos Rojo and goalkeeper Sergio Romero, could leave.

Rice, 22, is among the options in midfield for the summer and sources told ESPN he is aware of the interest, although United accept Chelsea are in pole position should he be allowed to leave West Ham in the summer.

The England international would command a large fee as he has a contract at West Ham until 2024, with the option of another year. Sources said that the Hammers hope a £70m fee would be enough to ward off interest from interested parties.

12.44 GMT: Chelsea flop Danny Drinkwater has joined Turkish side Kasimpasa on loan until the end of the season.

Drinkwater, 30, moved to the club for £35m in 2017 — a year after winning the title with Leicester — but has not played since coming on as a substitute in the 2018 Community Shield.

12.33 GMT: Manchester United could send Dylan Levitt and Teden Mengi on loan in January, reports the Manchester Evening News.

With Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones frozen out, Mengi, 18, is the fifth-choice centre-back for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team and the U23 captain made his debut over the summer.

Welsh midfielder Levitt, 20, was recalled from his loan move at Charlton Athletic after he made just three league appearances.

The report reads: “MEN Sport understands there has been significant interest in both Levitt and Mengi from Championship and League One clubs — though both could be kept at United, as club staff weigh up the youngsters’ futures.”

12.04 GMT: Liverpool are having trouble up front.



The FC guys dive into the struggles of Liverpool’s attacking trio after their scoreless draw vs. Man United.

11.51 GMT: Phil Neville has stepped down as head coach of England with immediate effect, the Football Association announced on Monday, with his move to MLS side Inter Miami edging closer.

Neville has been in the role since January 2018 but announced in April 2020 that he would not continue the job past summer 2021 following the postponement of the European Championships until 2022.

He had been due to lead Team Great Britain in the Olympics this summer but sources have told ESPN that Neville has held talks with Inter Miami about taking over as head coach there after the departure of Diego Alonso. Sources added that Neville has flown out to Miami for further talks over the vacant manager’s job.

11.40 GMT: Bayern Munich midfielder Angelo Stiller will move to Hoffenheim on a free transfer in the summer.

Stiller, 19, has found his path to the first-team blocked (with only three appearances under his belt) and Tiago Dantas‘ loan to Bayern Munich hasn’t helped. After being watched by Wolves and Arsenal, the defensive midfielder opted to leave at the end of his contract.

Former Bayern Munich II manager Sebastian Hoeness is in charge of Hoffenheim, so this one makes sense.

11.29 GMT: Jesse Lingard and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer are in a tug-of-war over the Manchester United midfielder’s future, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Lingard is desperate to find regular first-team football after making just three appearances so far this season. Solskjaer is sympathetic to the 28-year-old’s situation but is keen to keep him at Old Trafford this month as he prepares for a busy second half of the season with games in three competitions.

United have exercised a one-year extension in Lingard’s contract that will keep him at the club until 2022 but he remains keen to play regularly after falling down the pecking order under Solskjaer.

Lingard, capped 24 times by England and a starter at the 2018 World Cup, has plenty of suitors in the Premier League and abroad. Marseille, Porto, Inter Milan, Nice, Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and West Ham United have all registered an interest but United have not yet provided a definitive answer as to whether the former academy graduate is available.

11.04 GMT: The Athletic reports that Chelsea want to sign prolific striker Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund this summer.

Haaland, 20, has scored 35 goals in 35 games since moving to Dortmund from FC Salzburg in January 2020, and has a reported release clause of €75m (£66.6m) in his contract which becomes active at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Real Madrid, Barcelona, Man United, Man City, Liverpool and basically every top club in the world are after Haaland, but Chelsea believe they can get ahead of their rivals.

The report reads: “Chelsea are determined to bring a top striker to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season and that Haaland is the player they want… Given the impact of COVID-19 on many club’s finances, Chelsea feel the end of the season is the opportune time to move for one of the world’s most sought-after talents — despite the ambitious nature of the move.

“The west London side are aware they face stiff competition for Haaland’s signature, but they believe many of their rivals will wait for the summer of 2022 and the release clause to kick in.”

10.25 GMT: Former Arsenal and West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere has agreed a short-term contract to join Bournemouth until the end of the season, says Sky Sports.

Wilshere, 29, was released by West Ham this summer and has been training at Bournemouth, where he spent the 2016-17 season on loan.

10.17 GMT: Manchester City are making a charge for the Premier League title and they have a defender to thank.



Steve Nicol examines John Stones’ turnaround amid Man City’s 15-match unbeaten run.

09.44 GMT: Eintracht Frankfurt have taken a swipe at Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane by posting a message on their twitter account in Spanish to highlight the talent of Luka Jovic, who scored twice for the German club in a win over Schalke on Sunday.

Jovic, who re-joined Eintracht on loan from the remainder of the season last week after a disappointing 15-month spell at Real Madrid, came off the bench and scored twice in 28 minutes in his team’s 3-1 triumph.

Frankfurt tweeted: “All you had to do is put him in…What a great return home, Luka!⚽⚽.”

The Serbian striker, who had failed to score for Real Madrid in his five appearances this season, wrote on social media after the game: “Amazing feeling! Victory, 2 goals. Couldn’t have imagined a better comeback. I hope this is only the beginning and that the best is yet to come. Thank you all for your support….”

09.28 GMT: Barcelona’s signing of Manchester City defender Eric Garcia seemed like a formality, but Marca has news that it could be scuppered.

Garcia, 20, is available on a free transfer next summer and won’t sign a new contract at City. The Spain centre-back had reportedly agreed to move for €8m this month, but Barcelona acting president Carles Tusquets has suggested that the deal has to be agreed by all three of the club’s presidential candidates before it can go ahead.

And with the presidential elections due for Jan. 24 now postponed until March, Victor Font, Joan Laporta and Toni Freixa didn’t agree over the signing.

The report then says “Barcelona’s lack of a president and lack of funds will see them go without signing any new players in January, with [manager] Ronald Koeman having to make do with what he’s already got.”

09.08 GMT: Bundesliga club Hoffenheim are considering making a move for free agent Max Meyer, kicker reports.

Meyer, once a rising star with the German national team, had his contract at Crystal Palace terminated last week to end a dismal two-and-a-half years at the Premier League club.

The 25-year-old, who made 146 Bundesliga appearances for boyhood club Schalke, could now return to Germany to boost Hoffenhiem’s battle against relegation from Germany’s top flight.

08.31 GMT: Melbourne City have bolstered their A-League defence for the long-term, signing Portuguese centre-back Nuno Reis on a three-year deal.

The former Portugal youth international, who captained his country to runner-up at the 2011 U20 World Cup, joins from Bulgarian club Levski Sofia.

A Sporting Lisbon youth product, Reis also played in Portugal with Olhanense and Vitoria Setubal.

He had stints in France with Metz, in Belgium with Cercle Brugge and at Greek club Panathinaikos.

08.00 GMT: Mesut Ozil has landed arrived in Turkey to complete his move to Fenerbahce, the Istanbul club confirmed on Sunday evening.

Ozil confirmed his move from Arsenal, saying he was “very excited” to play for the former Turkish champions and that he was fit despite missing nearly a year of football.

Sources told ESPN on Saturday that Ozil has a verbal agreement with Arsenal to terminate his contract and will join Fenerbahce in the coming days.

Fenerbahce posted images of Ozil late Sunday, stopping short of officially announcing a done deal by stating: “Our club is bringing Mesut Ozil to Istanbul to continue the transfer processes.”

Ozil, 32, has not played for Arsenal since March and was left out of the club’s Premier League and Europa League squads at the start of the season. He has long been linked with a move to Fenerbahce, Turkey’s second-most decorated club.

Mesut Özil İstanbul’da! 💛💙

— Fenerbahçe SK (@Fenerbahce) January 17, 2021

PAPER TALK (by Danny Lewis)

Trio of big clubs want Bellerin

Hector Bellerin may be set to leave Arsenal during the summer transfer window, as has been reported by Calciomercato.

Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus are all reportedly showing an interest in the right-back.

There has long been talk around the Spaniard’s future at the Emirates and that is refusing to go away as clubs already look to the next transfer window — even with this one not yet being over.

Bellerin has been a key man for Mikel Arteta this term, starting 16 of the Gunners’ 18 Premier League matches so far.

Inter struggling to pay Hakimi instalment

Inter Milan are struggling to pay Real Madrid an instalment they owe them for signing Achraf Hakimi, reports AS.

The expected €40m fee is split up into instalments, with the first €10m of that due. However, the Italian giants are struggling financially due to how heavily Inter owners Suning Group have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

With the two clubs having an amicable relationship, a new deadline has been set for March 30.


– Genoa want Atalanta frontman Sam Lammers on loan before letting Gianluca Scamacca return to Sassuolo, reports Sky Sports Italia. Scamacca has impressed so much on loan at Genoa that Sassuolo are looking to recall him, either to keep, loan out again or leave permanently. Parma, Udinese and Bologna want the forward on loan, while Juventus are interested in a move.

– Benevento are looking into the possibility of signing former Inter Milan striker Eder, reports Calciomercato. The Italian has been plying his trade for Chinese side Jiangsu Suning since 2018, but Benevento are looking to bring him back to his homeland. In 2020, Eder played 21 matches in all competitions, scoring nine goals and assisting a further six.


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