Manchester United, AC Milan to lose out to Gladbach on Kouadio Kone

The transfer window opens 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: Kone to snub United and Milan

Borussia Monchengladbach are close to signing Kouadio Kone from Toulouse, according to Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano.

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The 19-year-old was only yesterday linked with Manchester United, AC Milan and Leeds United, but Romano believes a move to Monchengladbach is just “one step away.”

Toulouse are believed to have accepted a bid of €9 million, while personal terms are also supposed to have been agreed. Milan are rumoured to have offered just €5m plus add-ons in comparison, but Toulouse have now agreed a deal closer to the €10m they were after.

The deal is believed to be for five and half years, and he’ll link up with a number of players to have played in the French league, including Marcus Thuram and Alassane Plea.

Kone has played 17 times this season and helped Toulouse to second place in Ligue 2. He is a powerful box-to-box player described by many as a similar to Paul Pogba.

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09.17 GMT: Getafe president Angel Torres says it’s only “a question of time” before Japanese midfielder Takefusa Kubo joins his club on loan from Real Madrid for the remainder of the season.

“We’ve asked Real Madrid,” Torres told Cadena COPE about Kubo’s possible arrival. “If they do sort it out, he will come. It’s a question of time. He wants to come and Villarreal just like Real Madrid want to make it happen. I think he will come. It’s a three-way negotiation. The player is very young and wants to play. We will wait a few more days.”

Kubo has made 13 league appearances for Villarreal but just two as a starter since joining the Yellow Submarine on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in the summer. The 19-year-old is keen to leave in the winter transfer window in search of more playing time.

08.40 GMT: Ajax have signed sign striker Sebastien Haller from West Ham.

The Hammers would not disclose the fee paid for the Ivory Coast international, but sources have told ESPN’s James Olley that the deal could be worth up to €27.5m, little more than half the club-record €50m fee they paid to sign him in July 2019.

Haller scored just 10 goals in 48 Premier League games for West Ham and fell out of favour under current manager David Moyes.

Haller will reunite with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag, who previously coached the 26-year-old at Utrecht.

Search completed: #CestSébastien 🚨

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08.00 GMT: Borussia Dortmund are willing to listen to offers for Germany international Julian Brandt in the January transfer window, sources have told ESPN’s Stephan Uersfeld.

The midfielder’s erratic form has left Dortmiund fans frustrated ever since he signed from Bayer Leverkusen for €25m in the summer of 2019. Having scored seven and set up a further 13 goals in 42 competitive matches (32 as a starter) in his first season at Dortmund, his stock has fallen this season when his form went missing. He has only started in 10 games, and at the weekend for the first time went without a minute in the 2-0 win against Wolfsburg.

With just one goal and one assist to his name this term, the versatile midfielder, who flourished in his partnership with Kai Havertz at Leverkusen, could now leave the Westfalenstadion. Dortmund are willing to listen offers for the 24-year-old and, depending on the offer on the table, would either send him on loan or also agree to a permanent transfer just 18 months after signing Brandt from their league rivals.

Brandt’s name is one of many linked with Arsenal for a possible January move. Struggling at Dortmund, he would agree to a transfer also to not lose his place on the Germany team ahead of the re-scheduled 2020 European Championships this summer.

“He’s got a lot of skills, but his performances are shaky. He must get over the next hurdle,” Germany coach Joachim Low in late 2020, reminded him that he has yet to book his ticket to this summer’s tournament. If the deal is right, Brandt might try and get over this hurdle somewhere other than the Westfalenstadion.

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

West Ham want King move

West Ham United are in the market for a striker following Sebastien Haller’s move to Ajax nearing completion on Thursday, and Joshua King is said to be top of David Moyes’ list, according to The Sun.

Moyes attempted to capture the Bournemouth striker in the summer, but the Cherries rejected the Hammers’ bid of £13m.

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West Ham still value King around that price, but they may have to search behind the couch to find some more pennies. Newcastle United and West Bromwich Albion are also interested in King’s services, which is driving up his value.

Newcastle and West Brom are said to be willing to pay around £15m, which is more than West Ham owner David Sullivan is willing to offer.

However, now that Haller has completed his move, that gives West Ham not only more of an incentive to fill his shoes, but also some money to help them do it.

King is out of contract at the end of the season, but Bournemouth are still unwilling to let him go for cheap this month.

Atletico eye Dembele as Costa replacement

Atletico Madrid are on the hunt for a new striker after having terminated Diego Costa’s contract, and the club are keen to land Moussa Dembele from Lyon, according to L’Equipe.

Dembele has only just returned from an arm injury and despite finishing the last two seasons as the club’s top scorer, he is open to a move away from France, says the report. He has scored just once this season, and has started six games.

Madrid have registered their interest in the last couple of days. Dembele is under contract at Lyon until 2023, but is said to be keen on a move to the Spanish capital to join Atletico.

West Ham are also said to be interested, though they’re likely to be linked with every available striker given the aforementioned departure of Haller.

Lyon are reluctant to sell anyone in January, but could be persuaded to cash in while Dembele is out of form.


– Nice are hoping to land Mamadou Sakho as their second defensive signing of the January transfer window following the arrival of William Saliba on loan from Arsenal, according to Nice Matin in France. The 30-year-old has made just four appearances this season after four campaigns at Crystal Palace, and Eagles’ boss Roy Hodgson is keen to reduce the age of his squad, while also freeing up some budget to reinforce it.

– Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero has apparently been saying his goodbyes to his Manchester United teammates ahead of a move in January, according to the Manchester Evening News. Romero hasn’t been training at Carrington this month and it’s reported that the goalkeeper, who’s out of contract in the summer, has agreed a move to Boca Juniors.


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