LIVE Transfer Talk: Chelsea planning Kounde, De Ligt, Insigne moves in January

The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here’s the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Chelsea plotting three moves in January

Chelsea are planning moves for Jules Kounde, Matthijs de Ligt and Lorenzo Insigne in January, according to Marca.

The Blues currently sit top of the Premier League and are looking to consolidate that position with three big signings in the winter market.

Kounde, 23, was of interest to Thomas Tuchel’s side in the summer, however they couldn’t meet the valuation of Sevilla to land the player. That may have changed with their defensive future unsure, due to the Blues having four centre-backs out of contract in the summer.

Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen, Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta are defenders that are currently set to leave Stamford Bridge next year if they don’t sign new deals.

De Ligt, 22, is another name linked. The Netherlands international is reportedly seeking a move away from Juventus and has asked agent Mino Raiola for possible destinations away from the Serie A side.

Napoli veteran Insigne is viewed as a potential signing with the 30-year-old winger’s deal expiring come the end of the season.

Chelsea are said to have been monitoring the Italy international’s situation, who is believed to have been offered a new deal by the club but with a pay cut involved.

Although he has spent his whole career at Napoli, the cut to his pay has come as a shock and he would be willing to move away from the club.

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13.13 GMT: Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma admits he is bothered by his situation at Paris Saint-Germain.

Donnarumma, 22, signed for PSG as a free agent after turning down a contract extension with AC Milan shortly after helping Italy win Euro 2020, where he was voted the player of the tournament.

He has played just five of PSG’s 13 league games this season and two from four games in the Champions League, with coach Mauricio Pochettino often opting for experienced Keylor Navas.

“It has no effect on my performances, but it bothers me because it’s not at all easy,” he said. “I was used to always playing and it hurts to be sometimes on the bench but I’m calm because the situation will resolve itself.”

12.28 GMT: Roma are hopeful of bringing in Portugal defender Diogo Dalot on loan from Manchester United in January, according to Corriere Dello Sport.

Dalot spent last season loan at AC Milan, making 22 league appearances as the Rossoneri finished second in Serie A.

The 22-year-old has only made six appearances in all competitions this season back at Old Trafford, raising the prospect that he could go out on loan again in the coming transfer window.

Corriere Dello Sport reports that Roma hope to sign Dalot on an initial loan for a €1.5m fee, which could be made permanent in a €15m transfer if he makes a set number of appearances for Jose Mourinho’s side.

11.42 GMT: Manchester City will resist any approach from Barcelona to sign Raheem Sterling in January, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson. The Spanish giants have been linked with a move for Sterling, who has said he would be open to a move abroad if he cannot find regular football at the Etihad Stadium.

However, sources told ESPN that City will not consider any offer for the 26-year-old — either permanent or on loan — during the January window because he remains a key part of Pep Guardiola’s squad.

Sterling has paused contract talks with City until he is sure he will play a prominent part for the club in the future. His existing deal expires in 2023. The England winger has been in and out of Guardiola’s team this season and is reluctant to sign a new long-term contract if it means spending a lot of time on the bench.

If fresh terms cannot be agreed by next summer, City would be left with a decision to make about whether to sanction a departure for Sterling or risk letting him enter the final year of his contract.

The former Liverpool man, who has won three Premier League titles at the Etihad, would be available as a free agent in 2023, by which time he would still be only 28.

10.59 GMT: Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares has told ESPN’s James Olley that he is determined to fight for his place in the team and is not looking to leave the club.

Cedric, 30, has not made a Premier League appearance for the Gunners for more than two months, but he says he is yet to go knocking on manager Mikel Arteta’s door to ask why he is not playing.

“We haven’t had this chat yet this season,” he said. “But there are some things you don’t need to talk about. With age, you learn how to understand things.

“Last year, I fought a lot to come in the team. Not just one training, two training sessions. No, I was every week — and you can ask the manager as well — very consistent. He knows, and that’s why I ended up winning a space in the team. This season we haven’t qualified for European football, which is frustrating because we have a big squad, everyone wants to play and this affects me as well.

“I’m there fighting. Every week, every day, I will be there knocking [on the door], making him a problem — in a good way — that he needs to think who to put on the pitch. Of course, it is his decision. I respect that and he knows that. But I will not make it easier. Never. This is how I grow up in my career: fight and win. And also [the Portugal] national team, it wasn’t straightforward to play but I ended up winning my space. It is like this.

“Some players just have it a little bit easier. With me, I know I always had to fight a little bit extra to get it and in the end I was there.”



Arsenal defender Cedric tells ESPN FC’s James Olley where his love for the Gunners started.

10.26 GMT: Luka Jovic is now “open to leaving” Real Madrid in January, Diario AS reports, and would listen to offers for a loan move away from the Bernabeu if he continues to get limited minutes in the team.

Jovic has made just five substitute appearances in LaLiga this season, without scoring, with Karim Benzema coach Carlo Ancelotti’s undisputed first choice at centre-forward.

According to AS, Jovic won’t ask to leave, and hasn’t given up on succeeding at Madrid, with a contract until 2025.

Ancelotti decided to keep Jovic at the club last summer and AS says the player’s agent is yet to receive any approaches this campaign, despite reports of interest from Arsenal and Inter Milan.

09.52 GMT: Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is searching for a house in Cheshire as he moves closer to becoming the frontrunner to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United, The Sun reports.

The same outlet reported on Saturday that Rodgers has been put forward by a recruitment agent as the leading candidate to take over at Old Trafford in the event that Solskjaer is fired.

Rodgers was reportedly on a four-man shortlist of potential successors put together by the United board which also included Antonio Conte, Zinedine Zidane and Erik ten Hag, with a recruitment agent was tasked with approaching those targets. Conte has since taken over at Tottenham Hotspur, while former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane indicated that he would not be interested in the job and Ajax coach Ten Hag was unwilling to enter into a discussion about a job that was not available.

The agent, however, has reported to United their confidence that Rodgers could be hired is needed. The 48-year-old, who led Leicester to an FA Cup final victory over Chelsea last season, has won each of his last three matches against Solskjaer’s United, most recently in last month’s 4-2 victory at the King Power Stadium.

09.00 GMT: Sergio Busquets has welcomed the return of Dani Alves to Barcelona, praising the veteran defender’s “character, winning mentality and leadership.”

Barca confirmed the signing on Friday of the 38-year-old Brazil international, who left previous club Sao Paulo in September, on a free transfer.

Alves left Camp Nou in 2016 after eight successful years at the club and now returns on an initial short-term deal until the end of the season.

“It’s a joy,” Busquets said in a news conference with Spain on Saturday. “We know the player Dani is, knowing the professional he is and what he’s delivered at his clubs and with his national team, he’ll bring us a lot in the dressing room with his character, his winning mentality, his leadership.

“Let’s hope it goes well. I’m looking forward to sharing a dressing room with him again.”

PAPER GOSSIP (by Luke Thrower)

Barcelona are eyeing a potential move for Chelsea trio Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Hakim Ziyech. According to Sport, the LaLiga club are weighing up all three forwards on loan as a potential backup option if they cannot sign Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling in January.

Newcastle United are interested in Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, with Calciomercato claiming that €10 million – €15 million could be enough to land the player. The 26-year-old is reportedly out of favour at the Old Lady, with Massimiliano Allegri looking to make changes in his central ranks.

Internazionale are interested in a move for Robin Gosens or Filip Kostic as a replacement for winger Ivan Perisic, reports Tuttosport. Perisic, 32, is out of contract in the summer and is set to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season. In order to replace him, the Serie A side have turned to Gosens and Kostic as potential incomings.

Manchester United are willing to move on playmaker Jesse Lingard in January, reports the Sun. The 28-year-old was linked with a move to West Ham United in the summer, but the two clubs couldn’t agree on a valuation. However, United are now willing to reduce their desired transfer fee to £10m to offload the England international. Lingard enjoyed a successful loan spell with David Moyes’ team last campaign.

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