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: Dortmund to step up interest in Werner
Werner, 25, scored 91 goals and provided 42 assists in 222 Bundesliga appearances across his time with Stuttgart and RB Leipzig and, while there haven’t been any concrete negotiations yet, Dortmund feel that the Germany international could enhance Marco Rose’s squad.
While Werner hasn’t proved quite as productive in the Premier League — 18 goals and 17 assists in 75 matches — Dortmund believe they can get him back to his best and there is further reason for optimism as the striker’s agent, Volker Struth, recently engineered an agreement for defender Niklas Sule to make a free transfer from Bayern Munich to Dortmund this summer.
Money could prove an obstacle, though, as Werner joined Chelsea for €50 million in 2020 and currently earns a reported €16m-per-season — €4m more than Marco Reus, who is Dortmund’s top-earner.
There is also the fact that Chelsea are not dissatisfied with Werner or pushing to move him on, even if the Blues are willing to discuss a possible move.
Any deal could also depend on the situation surrounding FC Salzburg striker Karim Adeyemi. Dortmund have been heavily linked with a move for the Germany international striker but don’t want to pay over €30m, with the Austrian club wanting at least €40m to sign him.
16.18 GMT: Discussions are ongoing between PSG and Kylian Mbappe‘s entourage over a potential contract extension, a source told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.
Mbappe, 23, is expected to join Real Madrid as a free agent once his contract expires in the summer, but has not made his mind up yet and wants to take his time.
PSG are still hoping to convince their star striker to extend his stay at Parc de Princes, having rejected offers up to €200m for him last summer, and are ready to hand Mbappe a two-year extension with a salary of €50m-a-year and a bonus of €100m.
Former PSG player-turned-pundit Jerome Rothen, who is close to the club and the Mbappe camp, stated last week on his RMC radio show that “there used to be a 99% chance of Kylian leaving, now it’s only 65%.”
A source told ESPN that the mood at PSG is much better over the potential deal and that discussions have been positive. They hope that knocking Real Madrid out of the Champions League in their round-of-16 second leg next week will impact the striker’s decision, as well as the fact that he is closing on Edinson Cavani‘s PSG goal-scoring record (he currently has 156 goals, to Cavani’s 200.)
Not only will PSG offer Mbappe a huge contract but will also promise a very competitive team for next season with some stellar new signings.
15.31 GMT: Former Seattle Sounders FC player Alex Villanueva has signed a multi-year contract with Orange County SC in the USL Championship, sources told ESPN.
The 19-year-old left back spent time in the Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders academies before making his first-team debut with the Sounders last season. He fielded interest from multiple MLS teams this offseason — including a prolonged training stint with LAFC — before deciding to make the move to OCSC, which won the USL Championship title last season.
15.00 GMT: The Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid was apparently different to the one at Juventus.
Former Real Madrid midfielder Sami Khedira talks about working with Cristiano Ronaldo at Real Madrid and Juventus.
14.22 GMT: Barcelona want to sign AS Monaco midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni but have been put off by an asking price of €60m, says Sport.
Tchouameni, 21, is wanted by Europe’s biggest clubs and has specifically seen interest from Real Madrid, Chelsea and Manchester United.
The France international is viewed as a perfect replacement for Sergio Busquets at Camp Nou, but Barcelona’s priority is to land a striker — namely Dortmund’s Erling Haaland for €75m — and they don’t have enough money to bring in both.
13.55 GMT: Bayern Munich are interested in signing Middlesbrough full-back Djed Spence, says Sky Sports.
Spence, 21, has impressed on loan at Nottingham Forest this season, most notably with a man-of-the-match performance as Forest knocked out Arsenal in the FA Cup third round, and sources told ESPN’s James Olley that Tottenham had two bids rejected in January. Both offers fell considerably below ‘Boro’s £15m valuation.
Bayern are now keen to make a move, while Arsenal have also expressed an interest.
13.07 GMT: Diego Costa is close to sealing a free transfer move to Corinthians, says Diario AS.
Costa, 33, helped Brazilian side Atletico Mineiro to the league and cup double, having had a fine European career with Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.
The Spain international, who was born in Brazil and played twice for the country in friendlies before switching allegiance, reportedly wanted to return to England but had no offers.
12.20 GMT: Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has emerged as a surprise short-term option as Manchester United explore contingency plans in their pursuit of a new manager, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.
Ancelotti has a close personal relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson, someone new United CEO Richard Arnold has sought advice from since taking over from Ed Woodward earlier this year.
United are hopeful of making a long-term appointment ahead of next season after drawing up a five-man shortlist which includes Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag.
Sources have told ESPN that Ferguson is an admirer of Pochettino but has recommended that the club consider Ancelotti if the former Tottenham Hotspur boss rules himself out of the running.
11.32 GMT: Should Milan hand Zlatan Ibrahimovic a new contract at 40?
Gab Marcotti likes the idea of AC Milan extending Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s deal, providing he takes a pay cut.
10.59 GMT: Sparta Prague forward Adam Hlozek is on the radar of Liverpool, according to Jeunes Footeux.
Hlozek, 19, caught the eye as he has scored eight goals and provided 12 assists this season. He can play on the wing or up front and has been linked with Bayern Munich as they look to find a long-term replacement for Robert Lewandowski.
However, the Czech Republic international has a contract until 2024 so won’t come cheap.
10.40 GMT: Arsenal defender Pablo Mari has told ESPN why he chose to play in Serie A. The 28-year-old moved on loan last month to join Udinese until the end of the season, seizing an opportunity to experience Italian football for the first time.
“In Italy, we see it is where the best centre-backs in the world are born. For me, it is my area. At the end, I am a centre-back, I am a tactical player so for me, playing in Italy is a pleasure.
“When I was really, really young the players I watched were [Alessandro] Nesta, [Fabio] Cannavaro. Now you look at [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Leonardo] Bonucci: they are the best centre-backs in the world, more or less. Of course you have [Virgil] Van Dijk, Sergio Ramos, [Gerard] Pique. Coming to that level is [Matthijs] De Ligt, we have really good centre-backs now who play in Italy.
“I don’t like to compare how they look and how I look but of course you can take something they are doing really well and you can put it in yourself and try to do as your own. These are more or less the centre-backs I like to be when I grow.”
10.09 GMT: Roman Abramovich is willing to listen to offers for Chelsea as pressure grows over his ownership amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
The 55-year-old attempted to separate the club from a possible personal sanction from the U.K. government by passing “stewardship and care” of Chelsea on to its trustees on Saturday.
However, sources have told ESPN that the trustees are seeking legal advice before responding to Abramovich’s instruction due to concerns a charitable foundation is not a suitable entity to run a football club.
In the meantime, Abramovich is understood to be seriously considering selling Chelsea with the U.K. government under mounting pressure to freeze the assets of high net-worth Russians in England with any alleged links to Vladimir Putin.
09.15 GMT: Sevilla coach Julen Lopetegui has expressed his admiration of Isco amid reports his club will sign the Real Madrid midfielder this summer.
Isco, 29, is expected to leave Los Blancos when his contract expires at the end of the season after nine years at the club.
The Spain international has made 14 appearances for Madrid this season and has slipped down the pecking order under Carlo Ancelotti. However Lopetegui, who coached Isco at Real Madrid and with Spain’s national team, said: “He is a great footballer and I can’t hide my admiration for Isco.”
08.53 GMT: AC Milan technical director Paolo Maldini says he is not surprised that Barcelona are among the clubs keen to sign midfielder Franck Kessie.
Kessie, who is also a reported target of Juventus, becomes a free agent this summer. The Ivory Coast international has not reached an agreement on a new deal to remain at San Siro and looks likely to move on.
“Barcelona’s interest in Kessie? It’s normal. The player’s contract expires this summer and we still haven’t got an agreement,” Maldini told Sportmediaset. “The line is the one dictated by the club, we absolutely do not deviate from it.”
Kessie, 25, joined Milan from Atalanta for €28m in 2019, having spent the previous two seasons on loan at the club. Milan are keen to keep the midfielder, who has scored six goals in 27 appearances for the Rossoneri in all competitions this season but may have to admit defeat.
08.30 GMT: The Houston Dynamo have acquired Atletico Madrid and Mexico international midfielder Hector Herrera on a Designated Player deal, sources confirmed to ESPN.
Herrera, 31, will join up with Houston on a free transfer when his contract with Atletico expires in the summer.
TUDN was the first to report that a deal between the Dynamo and Herrera and been agreed.
The move amounts to the second massive acquisition of general manager Pat Onstad’s tenure. Earlier this year, thanks to the deep pockets of new owner Ted Segal, Onstad signed Libertad forward Sebastian Ferreira. In Herrera, Houston has now acquired a well-known El Tri player in a city with deep ties to Mexico, one that should generate a significant uptick in interest for the club.
Julien Laurens doesn’t think anyone is playing better than PSG’s Kylian Mbappe right now.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
– Paris Saint-Germain‘s hopes of signing Kylian Mbappe to a new deal have long been reported, but Le Parisien have published new details that the French giants will hope can be a turning point. The 23-year-old’s contract ends in the summer, but PSG have now offered him a new two-year contract that is worth a net €50m annually and includes “an XXL bonus.”
– A deal between Chelsea centre-back Andreas Christensen and Barcelona is in its advanced stages after the Catalans improved their offer and had direct contact with the Denmark defender, according to Fabrizio Romano. Christensen’s contract at Stamford Bridge ends in the summer and Barcelona are now confident of signing him on a free transfer in the summer, though Bayern Munich have still not given up hope.
– AC Milan, Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund are all interested in signing Ajax Amsterdam right-back Noussair Mazraoui, as has been reported by De Telegraaf. The 24-year-old, who will leave Ajax when his contract ends in the summer, also has attracted the attention of numerous Premier League clubs. However, the Morocco international currently has no interest in moving to England.
– Sassuolo and Lazio have inquired about signing Empoli‘s Nedim Bajrami in recent weeks, says Calciomercato. The Albania international has impressed this season and Sassuolo would have liked to sign him immediately, while Lazio would prefer to wait until next summer before making their move.
– Atletico Madrid are moving for Gil Vicente winger Samuel Lino, according to AS. The Brazilian has 15 goal contributions in all competitions, which has led to Atleti aiming to bring in the 22-year-old before he makes a move to a bigger Portuguese club.
– Marca has suggested that Ousmane Dembele‘s situation at Barcelona will be resolved at the end of the season and that patience will be key. The Frenchman’s current deal comes to an end this summer, making it vital that an agreement is reached. There are currently differences of opinion when it comes to the contract being offered to the 24-year-old, meaning there is plenty of work to be done before Dembele’s future is secured.