The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here. The window might be closed across the top leagues in Europe, but here are the best rumours from around the globe.
TOP STORY: Man United enter race for Bissouma
The Seagulls sensation has produced a handful of strong performances at the Amex and, while the club isn't doing particularly well in the Premier League, the midfielder is one of a few names that has really stood out in the early portion of the season.
Sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens a few days ago that Bissouma is being closely followed by Liverpool ahead of the January transfer window, with manager Jurgen Klopp tracking him as a potential replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, while Arsenal have also been linked with the 24-year-old.
22.18 GMT: That will do it for the latest edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We hoped you enjoyed following along with us and remind you to check back shortly for the latest transfer rumours, reports and completed deals. Goodnight!
21.42 GMT: Could the New York Red Bulls be set to lose a key attacking piece?
TyC Sports in Argentine claims that the Alejandro Gamarra, better known as Kaku, is in the sights of an unnamed Liga MX side. Kaku, 25, has spent the last three seasons with the Red Bulls, scoring 14 goals and adding 21 assists. According to the outlet, the Paraguay international is not on the best of terms with Red Bulls at present and would be open to a January move.
20.51 GMT: Bad news for Premier League clubs as Norwich boss Daniel Farke has ruled out selling stars Emi Buendia and Todd Cantwell in January.
Speaking to Pink Un, the German manager said "We are in a very good position approaching the halfway stage and selling them is not a topic for us," he said. "They will be important players as we look to build on the good start we have made. (Selling in January) is not something I am thinking about."
Norwich are currently five points clear atop the Championship table.
20.06 GMT: FC Dallas have signed centre-back Jose Antonio Martinez on a permanent deal from La Liga side Eibar.
𝐃𝐎𝐍𝐄 𝐃𝐄𝐀𝐋— FC Dallas (@FCDallas) December 21, 2020
FC Dallas has acquired defender José Antonio Martinez from SD Eibar on a permanent transfer.
Dallas have used Targeted Allocation Money to sign the 27-year-old, who has spent the last two seasons on loan at Granada. Martinez appeared 56 times for Granada over the past two seasons, helping the club first earn promotion to La Liga and then last season achieve a surprising seventh-place finish.
The centre-back previously spent time at the B teams of both Barcelona and Sevilla.
19.12 GMT: Leicester City are being tipped to sign a highly-rated Portuguese defender in January.
O Jogo claims that the Foxes have Braga's David Carmo in their sights, with Brendan Rodgers previously speaking highly of the 21-year-old.
Speaking about Carmo back in November after facing Braga in the Europa League, Rodgers said: "He's a young player who is doing very well.
"His profile is very good, he's tall, he's aggressive.
"He can play very well. Portugal has always produced fantastic players who can come into the Premier League once they've had their development here in Portugal.
"He may be the next one to arrive in the Premier League."
Liverpool and Man United have also been linked with the towering, six-foot-five centre-back of late.
18.23 GMT: Juventus already boast some strong attacking options in Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata but could they add another forward in January?
Tuttosport suggests that Juve CFO Fabio Paratici is keen to add another frontman with Lyon's Memphis Depay and Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik potential options. Barcelona are still considered favourites for Depay, while Milik, who is currently frozen out at Napoli, is out of contract at the end of the season and is reportedly looking for first-team football ahead of Euro 2020.
Napoli are hoping to recoup €18 million for Milik, while Lyon are asking for €25m for the Dutch international Depay.
17.38 GMT: The New England Revolution have a new left-back, the club announcing on Monday that they have signed Colombian Christian Mafla from Atletico Nacional.
The 27-year-old defender has made nearly 200 professional appearances, including stints in Colombia, Argentina and Uruguay, and has been with Nacional since 2017.
"Christian Mafla is a left-sided defender who offers both experience and skill in his position, making him a very good addition to our backline," sporting director and head coach Bruce Arena said in a club statement. "Christian is a strong one-on-one defender, a talented passer, and is comfortable moving into the attack. We are delighted to welcome him to the Revolution."
17.00 GMT: Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho has been Manchester United's top transfer target, but is he still worth €120m?
16.24 GMT: Everton left-back Lucas Digne has been linked with Manchester City and now the club are ready to offer him a new contract, says The Times.
Digne is injured, having picked up an ankle ligament problem in training at the end of November, and is expected to miss another month of games. The Frenchman signed from Barcelona in the summer of 2018 for £18m and his contract ends in 2023.
Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico is another player of interest to City if Everton can keep hold of Digne.
15.45 GMT: Former Barcelona president and presidential candidate Joan Laporta has told ESPN that the club have repeatedly lied to Lionel Messi, but he does not think the Argentina international will be playing his football elsewhere next season.
Laporta was the Barca president between 2003 and 2010 and is running for re-election on Jan. 24 when the club will appoint a replacement for Josep Maria Bartomeu, who resigned in October. If he is elected, one of Laporta's first tasks will be to get Messi -- who equalled Pele's scoring record for a single club with his 643rd Barca goal against Valencia on Saturday -- to extend his stay at Camp Nou.
Messi's Barcelona deal expires on June 30 2021 and he is allowed to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with other clubs from Jan. 1.
"I am sure Messi wants to continue at Barca," Laporta said in an exclusive interview with ESPN. "It will depend on the proposal that the new president makes him. He needs to see that there is a competitive team to reignite the love story Barca had with the Champions League but which has been on hold in recent years.
"[The club] have repeatedly lied to him and, on top of that, things haven't gone as everyone wanted. He is at a point in his career where he still wants to be successful and win titles.
"He cannot keep accepting that other teams win the Champions League and Barca, with Lionel, the best player in the history of the game, do not have a team competitive enough to be able to win it."
15.04 GMT: USWNT's Alex Morgan will return to Orlando Pride for 2021 after spending the first half of the 2020-21 season with Tottenham Hotspur in the Women's Super League.
Morgan announced a surprise move to Spurs at the end of the summer transfer window and made her first competitive appearance since giving birth on Nov. 7 in a 1-1 draw against Reading. She went on to make five appearances in total and scored two goals.
"I will be forever grateful to the club, my teammates and Spurs supporters for taking such good care of me and my family," Morgan said in a statement. "From the moment I arrived in London, I realised I was part of a first-class organisation, one that helped provide me the opportunity to immerse myself back into the game I love. Thank you to everyone who helped make this chapter in my soccer journey so special... COYS."
14.40 GMT: Did Bayern Munich really do this to their €49m summer signing?
13.46 GMT: Lionel Messi says he's motivated to help Barcelona fight for titles this season after turning the page on a difficult summer.
Messi, 33, told Barca he wanted to leave in August via burofax, with ESPN reporting at the time that Manchester City wanted to sign him, but the Catalan club refused to sanction an exit.
The Argentina forward, who levelled Pele's one-club scoring record at the weekend with his 643rd Barca goal, has revealed his failure to force a move away from Camp Nou affected his form at the start of the season. However, with five goals in his last seven league games, he says he's moved on from that disappointment and is ready to help Barca compete on all fronts this season.
"Honestly, I am fine now," Messi told La Sexta's Jordi Evole in an interview that will air in Spain on Sunday. "It's true I had a bad time in the summer. It came from everything that happened before the summer, how the season ended, the burofax, all of that. I carried that into the start of the season a little bit.
"Right now, I feel good, motivated to seriously fight for everything we have ahead of us. I feel excited. I know the club is going through a complicated moment -- both the club and the team -- and that makes everything surrounding Barcelona difficult, but I am motivated."
13.00 GMT: ICYMI - Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi are among the players being offered to Manchester United as Juventus look for ways to put together a deal to sign Paul Pogba, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson.
Juventus are keen to re-sign Pogba, after he left for United in a £89.3 million deal in 2016, following comments from agent Mino Raiola that the midfielder will not sign a new contract at Old Trafford. The contract will expire in 2022 -- United have exercised their one-year extension option -- when he will become a free agent. Rather than try to sign Pogba in January, Juventus are hoping to agree a deal with United next summer.
Sources told ESPN the Serie A champions are aware they are unlikely to be able to match United's asking price having taken a financial hit because of the coronavirus pandemic and are exploring other options, including offering players in exchange.
12.06 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have some seriously good young players, but they also have a lot of gaps.
11.50 GMT: Several major clubs will be on high alert after it was confirmed that Lille's highly-rated transfer chief Luis Campos has left the club.
President of the French outfit, Olivier Letang, confirmed that Campos will be departing with immediate effect.
Campos has been the subject of links to several clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, with his work in discovering Kylian Mbappe, Bernardo Silva and Fabinho, to name but a few, creating wide interest.
11.34 GMT: A quality defensive midfielder is hard to find, which is why West Ham United's Declan Rice is attracting plenty of attention. Rice, 21, has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United in recent months due to his fine performances for the Hammers and his ability to play either in midfield or at centre-back. Here ,Tor-Kristian Karlsen brings us a scouting report of the youngster as Chelsea prepare to face West Ham tonight.
Tactically Rice is best suited to playing alongside a more creative, ball-playing central midfielder -- although that's not necessarily the case at West Ham, where the creativity usually comes from wide areas or from "half-positions" further up the pitch.
He prospers as a second, deep-lying "sitting" midfielder who can leave the attacking aspects to somebody better suited to picking out gaps for a pass between the lines and dictating the pace of the game.
At long-term suitors Chelsea, where he would team up with best friend Mason Mount, he would perform similar duties to Kante, providing Jorginho or Mateo Kovacic with defensive support by protecting the centre-backs, in a similar vein to how Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg does it at Tottenham. Although Rice is more static than Kante, he's got more of an aerial presence and tends to be slightly more reliable in possession.
11.01 GMT: Manchester City are unlikely to dip into the transfer market in the January window, despite their issues in attack, due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the club's finances, manager Pep Guardiola has said.
City have scored 19 goals in 13 Premier League games, just over half of the 37 they had netted at the same stage of the previous campaign. But when asked if City were looking to strengthen their strikeforce in the January window, Guardiola said: "No, I don't think so because the economic situation around the world is what it is. All the clubs struggle -- we are not an exception."
While City have lacked a cutting edge up front their defence has been rock solid and they have conceded a total of 12 league goals, the fewest of the 20 teams.
Ruben Dias has flourished since his €68m arrival from Benfica in September and Guardiola expects the Portuguese defender to be an integral part of the club's future.
"Ruben doesn't make a single mistake and he is always focused," Guardiola said. "Our club bought an exceptional defender -- especially for the personality. What is important when you buy a player is that you have a feeling they will be settled for the next years. And we are pretty sure Ruben will give us big moments."
10.27 GMT: Valencia striker Maxi Gomez has caught the eye of Arsenal as he could be available for a cut-price fee in January, says The Daily Mirror.
Gomez, 24, has a €140m release clause but Valencia are in dire financial straits and need to raise funds quickly.
The Uruguay international has 14 goals in 53 matches for Valencia since his €20m move from Celta Vigo in 2019.
10.02 GMT: Arsenal are a mess, but what can they do?
09.18 GMT: Manchester City winger/full-back Oleksandr Zinchenko is attracting interest as he continues to play backup.
Zinchenko, 24, has only played three times this season and The Daily Express says that Wolves are monitoring his situation.
08.38 GMT: Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud's future has been the subject of much discussion in recent months.
Giroud, 34, has impressed when he has been given a chance to play, but is a backup to Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham at Stamford Bridge. Knowing he needs game time to play for France at Euro 2020 in the summer, the striker could move on in January and Le10 Sport claims that Marseille and AC Milan are keen.
08.00 GMT: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has backed major reform of the European football calendar, with "new formulas" needed to make football "more competitive and exciting."
The apparent reference to a European Super League -- which has been touted as a replacement for the Champions League -- is the latest sign that La Liga's biggest clubs are in favour of such a project.
In October, outgoing Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed that the club had provisionally agreed to take part.
"The pandemic has changed everything. It has made us all more vulnerable, and the world of football too," Perez said, speaking at Real Madrid's annual assembly of club members.
"Football needs new formulas to make it stronger, more competitive and exciting. As always, Real Madrid have to remain at the forefront of this sport. Our club has participated in every necessary innovation over the years.
"The model needs a boost. Football must face these new times.
"Everyone supports the reform of the current competitive panorama. Football fans themselves are finding a saturation of the calendar. The reform of football cannot wait and we have to face it as soon as possible."
PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)
No Liverpool exit for Williams
It seemed as if the 19-year-old would depart Anfield during the January transfer window, with Middlesbrough favourites to take him on a short-term deal, but all that has changed over the course of the last few weeks.
Williams has been able to step up in the Reds' first team due to a string of injuries in defence -- notably to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez -- which has left Klopp to reconsider his position.
Manchester United exit for Jones?
Jones was left out of manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's 25-man squad at the start of the new Premier League campaign and as the Red Devils continue to build momentum in the league, it seems unlikely that he'll find his way back into the first team.
- Lucien Agoume and Roberto Piccoli are both contemplating cutting their loan tenure with Spezia short, Calciomercato reports. The two are on loan from Inter Milan and Atalanta respectively, but as they continue to struggle in their attempt to make an impact there, they're now hoping they could fight for a place in the starting XI at their parent clubs.
- Celtic are interested in pursuing loan moves for West Bromwich Albion pair Rekeem Harper and Kyle Edwards, the Scottish Sun reports. Neil Lennon is reportedly hoping that both men will be able to bolster their squad, and with new Baggies manager Sam Allardyce hoping to do plenty of business in January, this could be an idea that works out for everyone involved.