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: Chelsea to return for Barca’s Dembele
The Blues last made an attempt to get a deal over the line for the 24-year-old winger in January, but that move — that would have involved a transfer fee of around €20 million — was shelved by the player and his representatives to allow Chelsea the chance to improve their salary offer in lieu of a fee.
Dembele’s future at Camp Nou has remained unclear for a number of months and, though he is willing to continue under Xavi, it looks certain that the France international will depart in the summer.
Speaking at a news conference before Barcelona’s clash with Napoli at the Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, the Barcelona manager said: “He is an exemplary professional. As for the rest, let’s see. His deal is up at the end of the season. All I can say is he is a player I really like.”
Dembele moved to LaLiga from Borussia Dortmund for an initial €105m back in 2017 but has struggled with injury issues and has never reached his full potential in Spain.
15.27 GMT: RB Leipzig left-back Angelino could depart this summer, with Barcelona, Arsenal and Tottenham keen to land him, says Calciomercato.
Angelino, 25, left Manchester City for the Bundesliga club in 2020 for around €20m, but he could be open to a return to the Premier League.
15.05 GMT: Antonio Conte insists he remains committed to Tottenham following talks with chairman Daniel Levy but warned his players they to work harder to rescue their season.
The Italian cast doubt over his future following Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Burnley — their fourth loss in five games — by stating: “I came here to help the club and if the problem could be the coach, I’m ready to go, no problem.”
However, speaking 36 hours later on Friday afternoon at Spurs’ Hotspur Way training base, Conte moved to dampen concerns he could quit after receiving assurances from the club.
“I spoke with Daniel,” he said. “Sometimes I don’t like that I see that someone tried to create a problem between me and the club because this is not true, believe me. This is not the truth.
“Our chairman Daniel Levy he knows very well that I’m here to help the club in every moment and will help the club until the end. This is the reality and he knows this and he knows that we are working very hard and he has great consideration about my job, about the job of my staff and we speak.
“I repeat, I want to help the club in every aspect, also with my vision, with my idea and my ideas about football, for improvement and I repeat, no problem. He shows me great consideration every day and for this reason I am committed for this club much more because I know that the consideration of the club for myself is very high.”
14.45 GMT: Liverpool want to sign forward Marco Asensio from Real Madrid, says Superdeporte.
Asensio, 24, has struggled to assert himself at the Bernabeu in recent seasons but has nine goals in 28 game so far this season. The Spain international’s contract runs out in 2023 and Liverpool are reportedly set to offer him double his current salary.
Arsenal are also keen on Asensio, but wouldn’t want to compete with the Reds on that kind of contract offer.
13.43 GMT: Juventus did pretty well to land Dusan Vlahovic in January.
Craig Burley and Steve Nicol are full of praise for Dusan Vlahovic after Juventus’ 1-1 draw with Villarreal.
13.10 GMT: Mexico striker Carlos Vela would like to retire at LAFC but says the decision is out of his hands as his contract ends in the summer and he is yet to be offered a new deal.
“Of course if it’s a good option for me I’m happy I love [playing] in LA…But it’s not in my hands. I’m waiting for the offer from the club,” Vela said.
12.48 GMT: Palmeiras recently launched an official offer to sign Pedro but Flamengo immediately turned it down as they don’t want to strengthen a direct rival, according to ESPN Brazil.
Pedro, 24, was ready to listen to the offer but Flamengo made it clear that they won’t let the striker go to Palmeiras so the negotiations are now over.
12.22 GMT: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba looks set to leave the club when his contract expires in the summer, but where will he go?
Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus and PSG have all reportedly got an interest in signing the 28-year-old on a free transfer and ex-France striker Nicolas Anelka says he could move to Paris.
“I spoke with him six months ago and he wouldn’t mind coming to PSG,” Anelka told RMC. “f he joins, we’ll forget all of his injuries and see that he’s a top player.
“It’s been very difficult for him since he came back [from injury at Man United]. He’s been criticised a lot. It’s not the best club where he can have fun and show his talent. I think PSG would be great for him. Some say it wouldn’t be good for Paris, because he’s supposedly often injured. But I think his injuries are due to his life in Manchester, because he’s not psychologically well.”
Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are out of contract at the end of the season, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Barcelona on a free transfer last month, so the club are ready to move for Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak.
Isak, 23, has only four goals in 20 LaLiga games this season but netted 17 in 34 last year to make his name. The Sweden international has a release clause of €90m, though the report does say that Arsenal aren’t keen on paying anywhere near that so would have to negotiate a better deal.
10.41 GMT: Sport1 claims that Manchester United have tabled a €30m offer to sign Borussia Dortmund defender Manuel Akanji.
Akanji, 26, has a contract which expires in 2023 and has rejected a new deal as the club will sign Niklas Sule from Bayern Munich on a free transfer in the summer.
But Man United are looking to take advantage and bring the Switzerland international to the club.
10.15 GMT: Are Tottenham going to have to find a new manager soon?
Julien Laurens and Nedum Onuoha discuss Antonio Conte’s position as Tottenham manager after he made some strong comments after defeat to Burnley.
09.36 GMT: Atletico Madrid are looking at Napoli right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo as a potential long-term replacement for Kieran Trippier, according to Diario AS.
Atletico signed Daniel Wass from Valencia in January as short-term cover after Trippier’s departure to Newcastle, but his natural position is in midfield.
Italy international Di Lorenzo, 28, signed a contract extension in Naples last year which runs until 2026.
“If I were Napoli, if I received an important offer, I’d sell him,” AS quotes the player’s agent as telling Radio Punto Nuovo. “In my opinion he’s worth €25m to €30m… Atletico Madrid have always been interested.”
09.08 GMT: LA Galaxy midfielder Victor Vazquez has given an interview to Mundo Deportivo and the 35-year-old, who recently signed a contract extension with Galaxy, says his intention is to retire with the club.
“I’m very happy and more so having just renewed my contract [2023+1],” he said. “My wish is to retire in this league. Thanks to Greg Vanney, who was my coach at Toronto, I’m here. He called me and offered me this opportunity. I didn’t look at the financial aspect. Galaxy is the most important club in the MLS. I see myself playing for at least two or three more years.”
Regarding Galaxy’s ambitions this season, the former Barcelona player said: “Qualifying for the playoffs because last year we fell short. They eliminated us in the last minute of the last game. Here that is the most important thing. Then, of course, we. want to fight for the title.
“For me it would be incredible to win it for the second time after achieving it in 2017 with Toronto. We have a team. Douglas Costa has just arrived, a great signing that will bring a lot to the team. There is also Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez. They both have a goal.”
08.35 GMT: Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly is Barcelona’s first choice to strengthen the team’s defensive line next season, according to Mundo Deportivo.
The Senegal international has not signed a contract extension with Napoli, with his current deal expiring in June 2023. Koulibaly, who started in Napoli’s 4-2 loss to Barcelona in Thursday’s Europa League round-of-16 return leg, is widely expected to leave the Italian outfit this summer.
Napoli demanded €70m from those clubs interested in Koulibaly last summer and reportedly turned down offers from Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain for the 30-year-old. Barca are also considering other alternatives such as Chelsea centre-backs Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta, whose contracts expire this summer. However, Barca coach Xavi Hernandez’s preferred choice remains Koulibaly.
08.00 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says that Alexandre Lacazette is acting “like someone who wants to stay” at the club after he forced a late goal in Thursday’s 2-1 win over Wolves.
Lacazette, 30, is out of contract at the end of the season but has been the Gunners’ stand-in captain ever since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was stripped of the role late last year. The Evening Standard reports that the striker and the club have put talks of a new deal on hold until the end of the season.
Arteta said postmatch, after Lacazette’s stoppage-time shot was palmed into the net by Wolves keeper Jose Sa: “When I see our striker in the 85th minute, chasing a full-back in the corner flag, winning the ball back, playing, going, fighting, missing one chance, missing two chances, going again. What can I do?
“We don’t know what is going to happen at the end of the season. What he needs to do is put aside that future. It is part of our game, we don’t have contracts that run for 20 years. That’s part of our job and we have to be conscious of that.
“There’s nothing to tell him but to praise him, because every single day he behaves like someone that wants to stay with us.”
Julien Laurens and Stewart Robson discuss Cristiano Ronaldo’s impact on Manchester United.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
– Manchester United are setting their sights on a move for Antonio Rudiger with doubts beginning to emerge over Harry Maguire, reports the Mirror. Maguire signed for the Red Devils in 2019 from Leicester City for a fee of £80m, but the Old Trafford hierarchy are not reportedly still not convinced by his performances since joining the club. Rudiger has been identified as the solution at centre-back, with the 28-year-old now into the final months of his contract at Chelsea. It is reported that United could be prepared to pay the Germany international up to £400,000-a-week.
– Multiple teams are preparing to battle for the signature of Lille forward Jonathan David, according to Calciomercato. Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal and Newcastle United are three of the latest teams to enter the race for the 22-year-old, whose performances have caught the eye of teams across Europe. He has scored 12 goals in 21 league starts this season.
– Corinthians are ready to reignite their pursuit for Diego Costa with the 33-year-old striker failing to secure a move to a side in Europe, according to Ekrem Konur. The former Chelsea star recently won the Brasileiro Serie A title with Atletico Mineiro, and there is optimism from Corinthians and the player’s camp that an agreement can be reached. Costa was previously linked with a move to Atalanta in Serie A.
– Atletico Madrid are keen to sign Georginio Wijnaldum in the summer, reports Calciomercato. The 31-year-old midfielder joined Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent from Liverpool last season, but he has struggled to settle in at the Parc des Princes. Newcastle, West Ham United and Aston Villa are also interested in securing his services.
– Barcelona are interested in acquiring Saul in the summer transfer window, according to Sport. The 27-year-old midfielder is currently on loan at Chelsea, though it isn’t clear whether Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will activate the €40m option to make his loan from Atletico Madrid permanent. With the Blaugrana awaiting Atletico’s obligatory payment of €40m to sign Antoine Griezmann permanently after his loan expires, Saul could be used as part of the deal.