As the dust settles on arguably the greatest World Cup final of all time and Lionel Messi cementing his legacy among the true sporting greats with Argentina, attentions begin to turn back toward club football and the looming January transfer window. Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham are among the clubs competing to get some major early business over the line to boost their hopes for the second half of a busy season.
Arsenal have opened talks over Mykhaylo Mudryk, who is now pushing for a dream move to the Emirates. The Gunners are also reportedly chasing the likes of Cody Gakpo and former Tottenham target Nicolo Zaniolo, with Facundo Torres also prominent on Mikel Arteta’s list of targets.
Chelsea are poised to launch a £45million move for Josko Gvardiol and may also pursue Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, having already lined up deals for Christopher Nkunku and Datro David Fofana. The Blues are also tracking the likes of Joao Felix, Youssoufa Moukoko and Memphis Depay as they look for more firepower, while rivals Spurs could battle Liverpool for Sofyan Amrabat. Follow the latest transfer news, rumours and gossip LIVE below!
Howe downplays Fernandez talk
Eddie Howe has downplayed talk of Newcastle making a move for Enzo Fernandez.
The Benfica midfielder starred for Argentina at the World Cup as his country went all the way, picking up the Young Player of the Tournament award.
It seems inevitable that most of Europe will now be linked with the 21-year-old, though Newcastle might not be at the front of the queue.
“I’m aware of him and I know him,” Howe said. “But I think the transfer fee might be quite lumpy!”
Alan Shearer suggested during his punditry on BBC that Fernandez would look good at Newcastle, though Howe missed those comments for a good reason.
How responded: “I apologise to Alan, I was on the other channel!”
PSG to find ‘best solution’ with Messi
PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi has insisted there is no rush to enter discussions with Lionel Messi over his future at the club.
The 35-year-old’s current focus will be celebrating Argentina’s World Cup success, but he will soon turn his attention back to his club. His contract at PSG expires at the end of the season.
Recent reports have suggested that a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami is very much on the cards, but Al-Khelaifi believes Messi is content in Paris.
“No decision will be made on Leo Messi’s contract before the new year,” he told Gazzetta.
“We are very happy and Leo’s very happy with us too. We will find the best solution together with Messi, we’re so happy and this is fantastic.”
Van Nistelrooy on Gakpo rumours
Ruud van Nistelrooy has admitted PSV may have no choice but to sell Cody Gakpo.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been linked with the Dutchman, who scored in all three group-stage matches at the World Cup, and while the PSV boss’ comments will certainly give them some encouragement.
“If I have the choice, I prefer the summer, but it can also be now,” Van Nistelrooy told Voetbal International when asked about when Gakpo could leave.
“You just know there comes a time when you can’t say no.”
Liverpool target Enzo Fernandez backed for big transfer
Enzo Fernandez is being backed for a high-profile Premier League move after his World Cup heroics with Argentina.
The 21-year-old midfielder picked up the award for best young player at the tournament after helping his country to their first global triumph since 1986 in Qatar yesterday.
Fernandez has been most strongly linked with Liverpool, whom reports have claimed have already agreed a deal with Benfica.
However, Newcastle are among the other clubs also believed to be in the running.
“Enzo Fernandez, I like this guy. 21 years old – he’s done nothing but enhance his reputation. There will be clubs sniffing around him. Top, top clubs,” said BBC pundit Rio Ferdinand.
“He was so composed, for a kid so young at this level. Tactically very good as well.”
Pablo Zabaleta added: “He showed his personality, class on the ball. I think maybe next summer, he will go to a better league.
“A very complete midfielder. He can put tackles in, good on the ball and can pass it effectively.”
Chelsea eye Hincapie as Gvardiol alternative
Moises Caicedo isn’t the only one of Ecuador’s World Cup stars to have caught the eye of Chelsea it seems.
Along with Brighton midfielder Moises Caicedo, La Tri team-mate Piero Hincapie is another name on the Blues’ extensive list of January targets.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea see the versatile Bayer Leverkusen defender as a potential alternative in the event that they cannot land Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig.
Like Caicedo, Hincapie was a key member of the Ecuador squad that narrowly missed out on a place in the knockout stages in Qatar, giving away a penalty in the decisive Group A loss to Senegal.
De Jong still keen on Man United switch
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, but Manchester United are being linked with Frenkie de Jong.
In what felt like one of the longest-running summer transfer sagas of recent years, United pursued the Dutch midfielder relentlessly in Erik ten Hag’s first window at the helm.
They were rumoured for ages to have agreed an €85m fee, but ultimately the deal never materialised and De Jong said he was more than content to remain at Barcelona.
But could there be renewed hope at Old Trafford?
Per The Manchester Evening News, De Jong gave former Ajax boss Ten Hag assurances that he was happy to join United and still plans on a switch to the Premier League.
Chelsea to battle Liverpool for Caicedo
Josko Gvardiol is far from the only name on Chelsea’s January radar.
While a short-term striker solution is the obvious priority after the season-ending injury suffered by Armando Broja, Christopher Nkunku not arriving until the summer and David Datro Fofana not considered an immediate first-team signing, Standard Sport understands that the new transfer ‘think tank’ at Stamford Bridge is not limiting themselves to just strengthening one position.
According to Sky Sports, Chelsea – as well as Liverpool – are interested in a deal for Moises Caicedo, though formal talks have yet to take place.
Ecuador midfielder Caicedo has shone since joining Brighton last summer and is obviously a player that current Blues boss Graham Potter knows very well indeed.
Tottenham step up Amrabat interest
Tottenham are stepping up their interest in Sofyan Amrabat, reports suggest.
Like Gvardiol, the Fiorentina midfielder is attracting enormous interest after a superb World Cup campaign, where he helped Morocco to become the first African nation ever to reach the semi-finals.
Rumours regarding Amrabat have been swirling for a while, with Spurs and Liverpool among the suitors most persistently linked so far.
According to French outlet Foot Mercato, Tottenham are moving forward with their pursuit of Amrabat, though could prove disappointed with Jurgen Klopp having apparently made the 26-year-old his priority for the January window.
Chelsea to launch £45m Gvardiol move
Josko Gvardiol went some way to redeeming himself after his Lionel Messi nightmare by scoring and producing another fine display to help Croatia finish third at the World Cup on Saturday.
Despite that semi-final heartache, the 20-year-old centre-back was still one of the best defenders at the tournament and is inevitably receiving major interest from across the continent.
Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City have all been linked with moves for Gvardiol, who is being tipped for a massive future.
And The Sun claim that Chelsea will launch a £45m move to win the race next month, having also successfully negotiated with RB Leipzig for the summer signing of Bundesliga top scorer Christopher Nkunku.
Mudryk ‘pushing’ for Arsenal move
We kick things off at Arsenal, who appear to have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Standard Sport understands that the Gunners opened talks with Shakhtar Donetsk over their no1 target last week, with confidence they could agree a fee less than the current £85m asking price.
And according to Teamtalk, though the two clubs are still apart on their respective valuations of Mudryk, the player himself is pushing hard to force a deal through.
The Ukraine star has spoken glowingly of Arsenal in the past and desperately wants that switch to the Emirates.