TOP STORY: Stones tops Arteta’s Arsenal wish list
John Stones could be in line for a stunning Premier League switch, with new Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta keen on signing the England international, The Sun reports. The City defender is represented by the same agency as Arteta and would be keen to discuss a move, even if it’s only on loan.
Stones’ season has been plagued by injury and loss of form, with no sign of a new contract offer from City and just two years left to run on his deal at the Etihad.
The Sun claims that there is also an understanding that City boss Pep Guardiola has lost faith in Stones, a potential problem ahead of this summer’s Euros, with England manager Gareth Southgate keen to see the 25-year-old featuring regularly for his club side.
Arsenal’s defensive struggles have cost them this season. No team in the top 10 of the Premier League has conceded more than the 31 goals the Gunners have shipped this term.
15.58 GMT: Quite why they need another creative midfielder is beyond us, but Chelsea are ready to bid €55m for Isco, according to El Desmarque Madrid.
Isco has found himself some playing time in recent weeks, which has attracted the interest of the Blues. But Real Madrid are likely to want a lot more money for the Spain international.
15.31 GMT: Stoke City forward Tyrese Campbell is highly rated by Wolves, Bournemouth and Crystal Palace, who are all reportedly interested in signing him. But they have been joined by Scottish giants Celtic and Rangers, according to talkSPORT.
RB Leipzig are also watching him, apparently, and you can read why they are the most hated team in the Bundesliga here.
15.08 GMT: There was talk in the summer of Thomas Muller leaving Bayern Munich and, though he stayed, the 30-year-old will be considering his future in the summer. Manchester United are keen, but then a lot of clubs will be if the forward becomes available.
“My focus is exclusively on being successful this season,” Muller told Sport1. “What will happen in the summer, I will talk to the club and consider my options. Then let’s see in which direction things will go.”
14.53 GMT: Aston Villa are keen to bring Stephen Nzonzi back to the Premier League after he was suspended by Galatasaray following a bust-up at their training ground.
Nzonzi is on loan at the Turkish side from AS Roma, but the 14-cap France international is open to ending that spell early and moving back to England, according to the Mirror.
With John McGinn ruled out for several months with a fractured ankle, Villa are keen to bolster their midfield options ahead of a relegation scrap. They have already signed Danny Drinkwater on loan from Chelsea, but they could be tempted to dip into the market again following his nightmare debut against Manchester City at the weekend.
14.12 GMT: It’s fair to say Olivier Giroud hasn’t had the best of times under Frank Lampard at Chelsea, and now he is ready to head to Inter Milan this month in order to find more first team football.
The French World Cup winner has agreed personal terms with the Serie A side and is now waiting for the two clubs to agree a fee, the Daily Mail reports.
The fee is becoming a bit of a sticking point, though. Inter have offered £4.5m for the wantaway striker, but the Blues want at least £6.5m in order to allow him to move this month.
Giroud’s contract with Chelsea runs out in the summer, but the former Arsenal man is keen to leave the club this month.
13.37 GMT: Nigel Pearson has revitalised Watford since taking the reigns, and now he is lining up his first signing as Hornets boss with Udinese winger Ignacio Pussetto set to join the club.
Udinese, who are owned by the same family who own Watford, are set to let the Argentine move to Vicarage Road for £7m, the same fee the Serie A outfit paid for him back in 2018.
He is set to join the club on a four-and-a-half year deal, according to Sky Sports.
The Argentine became the highest scoring overseas player in the Premier League’s history when he claimed his hat-trick against Aston Villa last weekend — his 177th goal in the competition.
Aguero, who has 18-months left on his deal at the Etihad, surpassed Thierry Henry’s tally with his three goals against Villa.
Inter are desperate to add a left-back to their squad with Young, whose Manchester United contract expires this summer, entering talks with the club over a transfer.
Liverpool have made a €15m to Trabzonspor highly-rated stopper Ugurcan Cakir, according to Turkish newspaper Sabah.
The 23-year-old has one cap for Turkey to his name, making his debut for the national side in a friendly against Greece last year.
11.23 GMT: A big happy birthday goes out to West Ham’s Declan Rice, who turns 21 today, but could he be moving to Manchester United in the near future?
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sent his personal scout to watch Rice in action during West Ham’s 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United on Friday ahead of a potential summer pursuit, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
Closer to home for Rice, teammate Jack Wilshere played a rather nasty (and hilarious) prank on the England international to celebrate his birthday. Wilshere wished Rice a happy birthday by climbing into a washing machine at West Ham’s training ground, jumping out as Rice walked past, before sharing the footage on Instagram.
West Ham’s Jack Wilshere surprising Declan Rice on his birthday ???????? pic.twitter.com/KLjPNwMtob
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 14, 2020
Poor Declan! He doesn’t take too well to being scared!
10.57 GMT: Big managerial news from Ecuador — they have appointed Jordi Cruyff as the new coach of their national team.
10.41 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is remaining coy on Manchester United’s pursuit of Bruno Fernandes, amid reports from Portuguese outlet A Bola that Andreas Pereira could be offered to Sporting Lisbon on loan in order to complete a deal for Fernandes.
“I’ve got no transfer updates,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Tuesday. “If we get something that we can tell you about we will but I’ve got no news now.”
Sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson last week Sporting Lisbon are keen to cash in on Fernandes in order to ease their financial difficulties, with Solskjaer interested in pursuing the Portuguese international in order to reinforce their midfield option.
Shaqiri has only made 10 appearances for the Reds in all competitions this season with Takumi Minamino’s arrival set to make game time even harder to come by for the Swiss international, but Jurgen Klopp is keen to ensure none of his senior attacking options leave this month as the club close in on their maiden Premier League title.
Begovic, who has made 62 appearances for the Cherries since arriving from Chelsea in 2017, slipped to being Bournemouth’s fourth choice goalkeeper towards the back end last season. He spent the first half of the season on loan at Qarabag in Azerbaijan, but he will now spend the remainder of the campaign providing cover for Gianluigi Donnarumma at the San Siro.
Reports that Fernandes will join Manchester United for €65m this month have intensified in recent days. The Portugal international is the highest paid player at Benfica, earning €4m per season, and was a target of Tottenham and Real Madrid in the summer after scoring 31 goals in 50 appearances for Sporting in all competitions last season.
According to Record, Sporting have chosen Sporar as the ideal candidate to replace Fernandes should the latter leave for United. The Slovenian is the leading scorer in the Fortuna League with 12 goals.
08.48 GMT: You may have noticed that Barcelona sacked manager Ernesto Valverde last night, then hired Quique Setien as his replacement.
This may well have repercussions over their transfer business in January but find out all you need to know about the new man here.
08.28 GMT: Former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina joined Aston Villa on a short-term deal from AC Milan on Monday night.
The 37-year-old, who has also played for Barcelona, Villarreal, Bayern Munich and Napoli and was part of the Spain squad that won the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in 2008 and 2012, was mainly a back-up to Milan No. 1 Gianluigi Donnarumma during his time at the San Siro.
Villa were keen to sign a goalkeeper after their first-choice Tom Heaton sustained a season-ending injury.
Reina spent eight years at Liverpool between 2005 and 2013, winning an FA Cup, a Football League Cup, a FA Community Shield and a UEFA Super Cup.
08.00 GMT: Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho says he will continue to play Christian Eriksen despite acknowledging the midfielder is not playing at his best for the club as he edges closer to leaving.
According to The Times, the 27-year-old has agreed a deal in principle with Inter Milan over a four-year contract worth £100,00 a week after tax.
Mourinho told a news conference ahead of Tuesday’s FA Cup third-round replay against Middlesbrough (stream the match LIVE at 3:05 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.): “Is this the best Christian Eriksen? I have to be honest and say no. I know the reasons, I’m not an idiot.
“A player in this situation, even if he wants — and I am not criticising him… It’s normal a player in this situation doesn’t perform in the highest level. But he is helping us in matches he has played for us. He’s had positive performances and contributions like against Olympiakos and Norwich.”
Spurs take on Middlesbrough at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Tuesday and will potentially then have a fourth-round tie as well as Premier League fixtures against Watford and Norwich before the January transfer window closes.
“He plays tomorrow,” Mourinho said of Eriksen. “After that I have a match on Saturday and he maybe plays on Saturday again. I cannot tell you much more than that.”
PAPER TALK (by Tom Fenton)
Atletico ready Lacazette as Cavani backup
Atletico Madrid are set to splash out for a new striker in the coming weeks. PSG forward Edinson Cavani is thought to be the Spanish giants’ first choice but, according to Marca, Diego Simeone’s second option might well be Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette.
Simeone is reportedly desperate to land a forward, but with PSG potentially keen to hold on to Cavani, other options such as Lacazette could now be assessed. The Spanish publication reports that the France international has hinted at his desire to move to the Wanda Metropolitano but has thus far failed to see a move materialise.
Should Atletico bid for the 28-year-old, it is likely that fellow Frenchman Thomas Lemar could be sent in the opposite direction, after enduring a torrid time in La Liga since arriving in 2018.
Van de Beek set for blockbuster summer move
Ajax fans might be forgiven for thinking that the pillaging of their major assets is finally over for the time being, but if Sky Sports News is to be believed, they might be about to lose yet another star man next summer.
Sky claims that Donny van de Beek is likely to leave Amsterdam, with the Premier League a possible destination. The Dutch playmaker has most recently been linked with the likes of Manchester United (via ESPN sources) and Real Madrid, following last season’s heroics in the Champions League.
The 22-year-old is expected to remain at Ajax in the short term, despite claims that he could depart this month. However, it’s certain that if the four-time European champions do eventually decide to sell, they will have an array of suitors waiting to snap him up.
– After a disappointing spell at Leeds, youngster Jack Clarke is set to go out on loan once again — this time at fellow Championship outfit Queens Park Rangers, reports Sky Sports News The outlet reports that a deal is imminent between the midfielder’s parent club, Tottenham, and QPR, now managed by Mark Warburton.
– Southampton bosses are set to meet for a “transfer summit,” with the future of Che Adams expected to be at the top of the agenda. Leeds Live claims that Ralph Hasenhuttl is meeting club chiefs in an attempt to map the future direction of the club, with a decision yet to be made regarding the immediate future of the in-demand Adams.
– Arsenal are one of several clubs monitoring teenage sensation Isaac Lihadji, La Provence reports. The 17-year-old winger plays for Marseille, but after he recently failed to agree a new deal with his employers, some of Europe’s biggest clubs are now set to tussle for his signature.