The 2022 January transfer window is closed, but there’s still plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Gnabry could leave Bayern for England return
The 26-year-old will enter the final year of his contract in the summer, but despite the Bundesliga side being keen to extend his stay at the Allianz Arena. Bayern are struggling to agree to personal terms, with reports that the winger and club are some ways off in negotiations over an improved salary.
Just over 10 months remain before Gnabry can be officially approached by a team in Europe, and that has seen the two Premier League sides begin to circle in a bid to force Munich’s hand. If a deal isn’t reached by the end of the campaign, they may be resigned to letting him go for a low price to avoid losing him on a free transfer.
The Germany international has remained a key part of Julian Nagelsmann’s side this season, contributing to 16 goals in 31 appearances across all competitions.
21.50 GMT: Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku wants a return to Internazionale and is willing to take a pay cut to get a deal over the line, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The 28-year-old Belgium international is reported to have been in contact with the Serie A club to try to convince them to make a move for him, though there are concerns over whether they will be able to afford to take him back to the San Siro.
21.17 GMT: Arsenal have made fresh contact with the representatives of forward Alexander Isak, writes Sport. Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly keen to bring him to the Emirates in the summer, but not for his €80mn release clause. With the 22-year-old not scoring in LaLiga since Dec. 18, there is hope in north London that his scoring drought will force Real Sociedad to accept a lower transfer fee.
20.44 GMT: Manchester United have made an approach for Borussia Dortmund centre-back Manuel Akanji, reports BILD. The Red Devils have offered the 26-year-old Switzerland international a four-year deal worth €15m a season, and with Akanji having little more than a year remaining on his contract at the Westfalenstadion, Dortmund could be persuaded to sanction his departure for a transfer fee in the region of €30m.
20.09 GMT: Real Madrid are hopeful of signing Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz in the summer, according to Nicolo Schira. The 25-year-old Real Betis academy graduate has already informed the Serie A club that he would like a return to Spain, and that has put contract talks on standby as he nears the final year of his deal.
19.46 GMT: TUDN reports that Houston Dynamo GM Pat Onstad is set to meet with Hector Herrera, whose contract ends with Atletico Madrid in the summer. The 31-year-old Mexico midfielder reportedly will be offered a two-year deal, with an option for a third, worth approximately $4m a season.
19.30 GMT: Andreas Christensen has no interest in signing with another Premier League club out of respect for Chelsea, reports Fabrizio Romano. The 25-year-old centre-back’s contract will expire at the end of the season, and with no signs of progress over a new deal at Stamford Bridge, it is reported that talks are underway with both Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
18.47 GMT: Kylian Mbappe has rejected a two-year contract offer from Paris Saint-Germain, according to Marca. This proposal was reportedly worth in excess of €90m a season, a development that will delight Real Madrid, who’ve been working tirelessly to position themselves to sign the 23-year-old France forward on a free transfer this summer.
18.00 GMT: There’s been plenty of speculation surrounding the future of Lautaro Martinez of late, though the latest indicates that he will remain at Inter Milan, despite recent reports of a move to Liverpool or Arsenal.
“There are no problems,” Fabrizio Romano cites the 24-year-old forward’s agent as telling FC Inter 1908. “Lautaro Martinez is not going to leave as he’s really happy at Inter.”
17.09 GMT: Newcastle United are already planning ahead for next season with reports that they are now on red alert in the pursuit of Jason Denayer, the Daily Mirror reports.
Talks between Lyon and the 26-year-old centre-back have failed to make much progress as the final months tick down on his contract, and it is reported that Eddie Howe is keen to sign him on a free transfer before the end of the current Premier League campaign. Denayer has made 17 appearances for the Ligue 1 side this season.
16.14 GMT: Eden Hazard is open to making a return to Chelsea, according to Ekrem Konur.
Since joining Real Madrid for £130m in 2019, the 31-year-old winger has failed to make the impact that the Santiago Bernabeu hierarchy expected. A disappointing campaign this season has seen most of his appearances come from the bench, and amid reports that the Blues were considering a short-term move to bring him back to Stamford Bridge, the latest suggests that he would be willing if Thomas Tuchel can give him a place in the team.
15.19 GMT: Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick has revealed that he had to persuade young forward Anthony Elanga to stay at the club in January rather than go out on loan.
Elanga scored five minutes after coming off the bench to seal a 1-1 draw for United at Atletico Madrid in Wednesday’s first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie.
The 19-year-old had only made one first-team appearance this season before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked as manager In November, prompting him to seek a January loan move in search of game time. However, interim coach Rangnick kept him at the club.
“Apart from his name, of course, I had heard about his name before but not as a player because he didn’t play for Manchester United,” Rangnick said after the Atletico match. “The first training session the night before the Crystal Palace game, he was the player with the best training performance.
“I asked my staff members about him and found out he had almost already decided to leave the club on loan. So a week after the Palace game I said, listen, I want you stay and see how you are doing in the training games until the end of the closure of the transfer window.
“I think right now he has just shown what is possible in football with the right mentality, the right approach, this is exactly what he did and what he always does in every training session.”
14.22 GMT: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has moved to clarify his recent comments after James Milner‘s future at the club.
Klopp said last week that “but I am in talks, the club is in talks with Milly” over a new contract, with the veteran midfielder’s current deal due to expire this summer.
However, in his programme note for Wednesday’s match against Leeds United, Klopp insisted that reports the club had made Milner a formal offer were wide of the mark.
“It’s no secret that James is in the last year of his current deal — and again — I emphasise ‘current,'” Klopp wrote. “I spoke recently about ‘talks’ taking place to extend his stay with us and I thought it might make sense to use this platform to clarify that as I’ve seen some misleading reporting around it.
“By talks I mean I indicated my wish that James stays with us beyond this season, in a playing capacity. James will keep playing, he has told me this. So he should, by the way.
“The level he is at, physically, technically and in terms of personal desire and hunger for more, means he should play on for as long as that lasts. I hope it will be here and that is what I have told those at the club who take on these tasks.
“It’s not fair or right to then jump to the conclusion that an offer has been made, because I don’t think that’s fair on James. I know I don’t normally go into this much detail on matters such as this, but given how conscientious James is when it comes to not putting private things into the public domain, I wanted to make the actual position clear.”
13.38 GMT: Antonio Conte reacted to Tottenham’s loss at Burnley on Wednesday by hinting that he could quit the club (see 11.29 GMT). He couldn’t really leave, could he?
Julien Laurens and Nedum Onuoha discuss Antonio Conte’s position as Tottenham manager after he made some strong comments after defeat to Burnley.
12.33 GMT: AS Roma will renew their attempt to sign Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka at the end of the season, according to Calciomercato.
Roma tried to sign the Switzerland international last summer, but Arsenal would not budge on the €15m transfer fee they wanted for their former captain.
Xhaka has a contract with the Gunners until 2024, but he has started just 10 Premier League games this season and has received two red cards, so manager Mikel Arteta may well reconsider the 29-year-old’s place in the squad this summer.
11.29 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte appeared to question his own future at the club after his side slumped to a fourth loss in five Premier League games with a 1-0 defeat in pouring rain at Burnley on Wednesday.
Saturday’s 3-2 win at Manchester City briefly lifted the gloom of three successive defeats, but Spurs failed to fire up against relegation battlers Burnley and went down to Ben Mee’s 71st-minute header.
Conte described the current run as “unacceptable” and raised doubts about his ability to turn around the club’s fortunes, having been hired in November to replace Nuno Espirito Santo.
“We are doing everything to change the situation, but it’s not enough. Four defeats out of five is not good enough. This doesn’t happen to me,” the Italian, a serial winner with Juventus, Chelsea and Internazionale, told reporters.
“Maybe I’m not so good. Tottenham called me to change things but I’m too honest. I could just take my salary, but I’m too honest. We’ve lost four out of five games. This is unacceptable.”
10.38 GMT: Juventus are to hold important talks with Paulo Dybala and other players regarding their contract extensions at the end of this month, according to the club’s CEO.
Dybala has been holding talks with Juve over an extension since 2020. The Argentina international’s current deal expires this summer and there have been reports that the forward could leave Juve after seven seasons at the club.
A reported target of Manchester United and Tottenham in previous transfer windows, Dybala has also recently been linked to Barcelona.
“At the end of February, we will meet all of the players whose contracts are about to expire,” Maurizio Arrivabene told Sky. “We look ahead and besides that of Dybala, we will also discuss the contract renewals of other players. We will do it in the right time and with an eye to the future.”
Federico Bernardeschi, Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio and Mattia Perin are all Juve players whose contracts expire this summer.
Asked if he was optimistic about the upcoming talks, Arrivabene added: “Contracts are made in two, there can be optimism on one side and pessimism on the other and vice versa. The renewals involve a negotiation and, each party that participates in it, sets itself a goal.”
09.44 GMT: West Ham United have extended young full-back Ben Johnson‘s contract to ward off interest from London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, the Evening Standard reports.
Johnson has impressed this season for the Hammers, starting in Premier League wins over Spurs, Liverpool and Chelsea.
The 22-year-old was set to be out of contract in the summer, but West Ham have taken up a two-year option to extend his stay at the club until at least 2024.
08.51 GMT: Manchester United remain convinced they can attract their top targets — such as England duo Declan Rice and Harry Kane — to Old Trafford in the summer even if they miss out on a place in the Premier League top four, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Back-to-back wins over Brighton and Leeds United have moved Ralf Rangnick’s side into the Champions League places, although Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers are within seven points and all have games in hand.
Sources have told ESPN that United are prepared to spend in the summer regardless of whether they qualify for the Champions League.
Targets like West Ham midfielder Rice and Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane have made it clear they want to play in Europe’s top club competition but United believe they are still in a position to pull off marquee signings even if they miss out on a place in the top four this season.
Sources at United point to their capture of Paul Pogba for a world record fee of £89.3 million in 2016, ahead of a season in the Europa League, as evidence that they would not have to change their transfer plans depending on whether or not they secure Champions League football.
08.00 GMT: Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez said Ousmane Dembele has been an “exemplary professional” since he took over after restoring the France forward to the side following a standoff over his contract renewal.
Dembele, 24, was jeered by Barca supporters earlier this month when he was an unused substitute in the win over Atletico Madrid and again when he came off the bench against Napoli last week. Xavi then handed him his first start since Jan. 12 at Valencia on Sunday despite the uncertainty which surrounds his future at Camp Nou, with his deal up in the summer.
“He looks happy,” Xavi said in a news conference ahead of Thursday’s Europa League tie against Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium. “He is an exemplary professional. I have not had a single problem with him and I have heard all sorts. That he has not been professional, that he doesn’t take care of himself… it is the opposite. He trains well and he is positive around the group.
“As for the rest, let’s see. His deal is up at the end of the season and [what happens] depends on him and the club. All I can say is that he is a player I really like.”
Dembele has so far turned down all of Barca’s offers to renew, which led director of football Mateu Alemany to tell him to find a new club in January.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Paris Saint-Germain have joined AC Milan in the race and are monitoring the situation of Hugo Ekitike, reports Gazzetta Dello Sport. The 19-year-old forward’s form for Reims in Ligue 1 has seen him contribute to 11 goals directly in 21 appearances, with performances that have drawn a lot of attention from around Europe. Ekitike was linked with West Ham United in January.
– The Houston Dynamo sent general manager Pat Onstad to the Wanda Metropolitano on Wednesday night to watch Atletico Madrid’s Hector Herrera ahead of a possible transfer, reveals Tom Bogert. It was reported on Sunday that the MLS side had made an official offer to sign the 31-year-old midfielder, who played all 90 minutes in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Manchester United, and talks could now advance over the next few days with Houston stepping up their approach for the Mexico international.
– Cristian Pavon is nearing an exit from Boca Juniors, with reports that his agents are set to meet with Atletico Mineiro on Thursday. Cesar Luis Merlo reports that the final details of the deal are being finalised, with the 26-year-old winger expected to soon complete a move to the Brasileiro Serie A champions.
– The contract saga involving Marcelo Brozovic is expected to finally be coming to an end, according to Nicolo Schira. Despite interest from Barcelona and PSG, the latest suggests that a deal has been agreed and is now in its final stages before being officially announced. The Croatia international is expected to sign a four-year extension that will keep him at Internazionale until 2026.
– Toronto FC is facing pressure from European clubs with interest in Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, writes TSN. It is reported that the 17-year-old forward trained with Premier League sides including Arsenal and Liverpool during the offseason, and that they are now monitoring his situation in Major League Soccer. Toronto is looking to hold out for at least $20 million to part ways with the talented youngster.