With just a few weeks remaining before the opening of the January transfer window, there's plenty of gossip swirling about who's moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Leao stalls on new Milan deal
Rafael Leao is reluctant to agree to a new contract with AC Milan, writes Sky Sports Germany.
The 23-year-old Portugal international forward has been in talks with the Serie A champions since the beginning of the season, and with his deal set to expire in the summer of 2024, the latest indicates that he is planning to leave the San Siro if the Rossoneri do not improve their offer.
Chelsea were one of the first clubs interested in his signature, but they are also joined in the race by Real Madrid and Manchester City. The Blues previously had a proposal of €70 million rejected, with Milan looking for his release clause of €150m to be met -- and a number of impressive displays at the World Cup could see future offers improved for his signature.
Leao has maintained his impressive form that helped Milan lift the Scudetto title last season, contributing 10 goals in 14 Serie A matches in the current campaign.
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21.26 GMT: Barcelona midfielder Pablo Torre is attracting interest from Villarreal, reports Sport. The 19-year-old Spain youth international has made just a single substitute appearance in LaLiga this season, and while he wants to fight for his place at the Camp Nou, he is set to begin talks with manager Xavi Hernandez to discuss his future.
20.53 GMT: Fulham are leading the race to sign AS Roma right-back Rick Karsdorp, writes Calciomercato. With the Italian capital club looking to move on from the 27-year-old Netherlands international, the player's representatives are reported to have also enquired with Lille and Juventus, but it is the Premier League side who are most willing to acquire him on a permanent basis.
20.20 GMT: Sevilla left-back Marcos Acuna is set to stay at the Andalusian club, reports Marca. The 31-year-old Argentina international was previously seen as a player who could be moved on after a number of discipline problems, but with Alex Telles not set to return to action until February, the LaLiga side are now prepared to keep Acuna at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium.
19.47 GMT: Chelsea are looking to make a move for a striker in January, reports Fabrizio Romano. The Blues are said to have always been considering a number of options up front, but they are now expected to step up their search after Armando Broja sustained an ACL injury.
19.14 GMT: Barcelona have been alerted by their scouts to the progress of Boca Juniors midfielder Alan Varela, according to Sport. The 21-year-old, who has been compared with legendary Blaugrana maestro Sergio Busquets, has been a standout performer in the Primera Division this season, having made 22 appearances.
18.41 GMT: AS Roma attacker Nicolo Zaniolo remains on the radar of Juventus, reports Tuttosport. It is reported that the 23-year-old Italy international has made no progress regarding a potential contract extension with the Giallorossi, is and set to enter the final 18 months of his contract in January.
18.08 GMT: Arsenal are set to make a final attempt to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans next month, according to the Mirror. The 25-year-old Belgium international will be able to agree to a pre-contract agreement with clubs outside of the Premier League in January, and it's said that that factor could tempt the Foxes to accept a proposal to avoid losing him on a free transfer this summer, having signed him from AS Monaco for a £40m transfer fee in 2019.
17.35 GMT: Bayern Munich have no interest in signing Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford, reports Bild's Christian Falk. Despite reports suggesting that the Bundesliga side were set to test the waters with an offer for the 25-year-old England international, the latest indicates that they currently have no plans to make a move for him, despite his contract at Old Trafford expiring in the summer.
17.02 GMT: Benfica have reached an agreement with goalkeeper Odysseas Vlachodimos over a new contract, according to Sky Sport Deutschland's Florian Plettenberg. The 28-year-old Greece international was linked with a number of clubs in the summer, but it looks as though he is now set to sign a five-year extension at the Estadio da Luz.
16.29 GMT: Real Madrid see Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez as their "Plan B" if they cannot sign England star Jude Bellingham next summer, Sport reports.
Fernandez, 21-year-old was already one of Europe's most sought-after young talents for his performances with Benfica, but his showing in Qatar for World Cup semifinalists Argentina have thrust him further into the global spotlight.
The former River Player player scored his first senior international goal in the 2-0 group-stage win over Mexico, since when he has started every match for the Albiceleste.
Sport reports that, if Madrid are unable to negotiate a deal with Borussia Dortmund to sign Bellingham for next season, then Fernandez is the player the European champions will turn to.
15.41 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur remain interested in signing Sporting Lisbon right-back Pedro Porro but, according to O Jogo, the Premier League side are concerned about the player having recurring muscular problems.
Porro missed nine games last season with muscular injuries and that is cause for concern for Spurs coach Antonio Conte, who would prefer to strengthen other positions in the squad although Porro remains a target.
The Spain international has provided eight assists in 18 games in all competitions for Sporting, who paid €45m to Manchester City to trigger Porro's release clause and make his loan deal permanent in May.
Sporting would only consider a transfer for the 23-year-old -- who has a contract until 2025 and has been linked with interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus -- for a minimum €30m.
14.49 GMT: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag said centre-back Harry Maguire had a really good World Cup and urged him to replicate his England form at the club when the Premier League restarts, giving the club captain hope that he has future at Old Trafford.
Maguire lost his first-team spot for United in August but the 29-year-old started every game for England in Qatar, where they were knocked out in the quarterfinals by France.
"It's clear he is good enough to play at the highest level," Ten Hag said at United's training camp in Spain. "He had a period in Manchester where he performed badly and then, of course, there are difficulties. For England, he has good games almost all the time.
"We want him to bring that back to Manchester with him so he can bring it on the pitch for United.
"I think he had a really good World Cup. He was really consistent. When he is playing with his confidence like now, he is a massively important player for us and that is what everyone expects."
14.03 GMT: Atletico Madrid have made Joao Felix one of four players available for transfer in the January window as the LaLiga club look to balance their books by moving on between three and five players, sources have told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.
Atletico's finances were hit by their early elimination from the Champions League -- finishing bottom of group B behind FC Porto, Club Brugge and Bayer Leverkusen -- and missing out on a Europa League run which would have recouped some of that lost income. They are fifth in LaLiga, level on points with Athletic Club and Real Betis in the race for the top four.
Sources said Atletico believed that their planned January business -- with Matheus Cunha (see 10.07 GMT), Felipe and Mario Hermoso also made available -- coupled with qualification for next season's Champions League, would help get the club's finances back on track.
Felix joined Atletico from Benfica for €127m in July 2019 as one of the most highly rated teenagers in European football, intended as a replacement for the Barcelona-bound Antoine Griezmann.
The Portugal forward, 23, has struggled to make a consistent impact at the Metropolitano stadium, scoring 33 goals and providing 18 assists in 129 competitive appearances for the club.
Sources told ESPN that club executives and coach Diego Simeone still believed that Joao Felix would go on to become a world class star and would like to give him another chance to do so at Atletico, but would now be willing to listen to offers of over €100 million.
13.16 GMT: Reports in Brazil on Monday named Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti as a candidate to take over from Tite as national team coach, with the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said to be willing to wait until the summer of 2023 to appoint the Italian.
Sources told ESPN that Ancelotti was not aware of the interest and is happy in Madrid, where his contract is due to expire in June 2024. Ancelotti has previously said that the Real Madrid job is likely to be his last before retirement.
The CBF released a statement on Monday saying that they had "not authorized any person, inside or outside the confederation, to look for any coach or football professional to join the Brazilian Men's Football Team" with an announcement on Tite's successor not due until January 2023.
12.31 GMT: River Plate coach Martin Demichelis has publicly invited Benfica's Nicolas Otamendi to "make his dream come true" by joining his club. The Argentina international becomes a free agent next summer.
"I know you are a River fan, come and make your dream come true," Demichelis said in a news conference regarding Otamendi. "At 34, you are among the best defenders in the world."
Otamendi, who has been one of Argentina's first-choice defenders at the 2022 World Cup, has been a crucial player for Benfica since joining the Portuguese outfit in September 2020 from Manchester City. The veteran centre-back began his playing career in his country with Velez Sarsfield but is a fan of River.
12.08 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil forward Neymar has been acquitted of fraud and corruption charges over his 2013 transfer from Santos to Barcelona, a Spanish court ruled on Tuesday.
Neymar's father, the two clubs, former Barca presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell and ex-Santos president Odilio Rodrigues have also been found not guilty following a trial in October.
The case, brought by Spanish prosecutors, stemmed from a complaint made by DIS, a Brazilian company that owned 40% of Neymar's when he was at Santos.
DIS argued they lost out on their rightful cut from the transfer because the true value of the deal was understated by the parties involved.
They were demanding a five-year jail term for Neymar and also requested jail terms for Rosell and Bartomeu, and a total fine of €149m fine for the defendants.
Spanish prosecutors, meanwhile, wanted a two-year prison term for Neymar and the payment of a €10m fine, plus a five-year jail term for Rosell and an €8.4m fine for Barcelona.
11.42 GMT: Aston Villa manager Unai Emery will look at two of his former players when his new club host Villarreal in a midseason friendly on Thursday, according to the Daily Mirror.
Emery led Villarreal to Europa League glory in 2020-21 and reached last season's Champions League semifinals before the ex-Arsenal boss returned to the Premier League to replace Steven Gerrard at Villa Park on October.
Now the Mirror reports that two of the Yellow Submarine's wingers -- Arnaut Danjuma and Nicolas Jackson -- are potential transfer targets for Villa, who have scored just 16 goals from their 15 league games so far this season.
10.55 GMT: Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has likened Marcus Rashford to Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe and said "there is almost no better player in the world" than the England forward.
Rashford has enjoyed a much-improved season for United, already equaling his goal tally from last season in 11 fewer appearances while also scoring three goals for England at the World Cup.
"From the first moment, I recognised huge potential," Ten Hag told the club's official website. "And now to get out the potential, I believe when Marcus' positioning is on the back of the defending line, there is almost no better player in the world. There is Mbappe in this moment, a type like him, but when he [Rashford] is getting in that position, he's great and you see he's really improved also out of possession."
Rashford has amassed 322 appearances for United after his breakthrough 2015-16 season, contributing 101 goals and 60 assists. The 25-year-old's contract expires in the summer but United have an option to extend it by a year. Ten Hag said the club will trigger the clause and that a decision for a further contract lies solely with Rashford.
"He [Rashford] has to make a decision," he said. "The only thing we can do is show him this is the best club to be in, which has to do with the culture of the club and also in the way we are working, in the way we play and the way we train and if we are offering the right environment to progress. It's a financial issue as well. Then it is up to him to make the decision. But for one-and-a-half years, he will be here."
10.07 GMT: Brazilian striker Matheus Cunha is on the verge of leaving Atletico Madrid to join Wolverhampton Wanderers, according to Marca.
There were high expectations placed on Cunha after he helped Brazil win gold at the Olympics in August 2021. However, the 23-year-old has failed to score in 17 appearances for Atletico this season and the striker has been placed on the transfer list.
Wolves coach Julen Lopetegui confirmed last week that his club was interested in signing Atletico's Brazilian players Cunha and Felipe. Veteran defender Felipe has only made three appearances for the Rojiblancos this season and is keen to leave in search of regular playing time.
However, the 33-year-old's move to Wolves may not happen in the winter transfer market. Felipe reportedly wants to see out his contract with Atletico which expires in June before deciding his next club.
09.24 GMT: Australia coach Graham Arnold appears set to be offered a fresh contract as informal negotiations continue with Football Australia hierarchy.
Arnold's previous deal expired after overseeing the Socceroos' most successful World Cup at the tournament in Qatar and he said after their round-of-16 loss to Argentina that he "needed a break."
The head coach is on holiday in the United Kingdom, with FA chief executive officer James Johnson keeping in contact ahead of Arnold's return to Australia after Christmas. Johnson has pledged not to sound out any other potential coaching candidates before Arnold returns.
"We are in touch with Graham about what his involvement over the next four years will look like," Johnson told AAP. "Sure, having some stability with this team, given the rise, is a good thing and we will talk to Arnie about that.
"We won't talk to others until we have finished talking to Arnie. But we have got to be realistic, Arnie's value has increased, but so has the Australian game, and the Socceroos. Let's see where we land, but I must say I am very proud of Graham."
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08.47 GMT: Flamengo have reached an agreement with Spartak Moscow to sign Ayrton Lucas on a permanent transfer, according to Globo.
The Brazilian club will pay €7m to acquire Lucas' sporting rights at the end of this month when the deal will be made official.
Lucas, 25, has made 41 appearances since joining Flamengo on loan from Spartak in March. The Brazilian left-back is expected to sign a four-year contract with Flamengo.
08.00 GMT: Luis Enrique said he wants to return to club football after losing his job as Spain manager and has "infinite possibilities" ahead despite a disappointing performance at the World Cup.
The Spanish football federation (RFEF) announced last week that they would not be renewing Luis Enrique's contract after Spain were eliminated by Morocco on penalties in the round of 16, with former under-21 coach Luis de la Fuente presented as his replacement.
"It's been intense," Luis Enrique told Spanish streamer Ibai Llanos on Monday, in the only interview he has given since his departure. "My time with the national team is over, and infinite possibilities open up.
"I'm in a moment of my career where I feel excited and ready to take over a club. You can work in more detail and with more precision than you can with a national team. This period [of my career] is over. Unless anything very big or interesting comes up, I'll wait until next season."
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PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
- Arsenal are prioritising a move for Mykhailo Mudryk, reports the Athletic. The Gunners have been tracking the 21-year-old winger since the summer, and it is understood that Shakhtar Donetsk are expecting to receive enquiries for his signature when the transfer market opens. Mikel Arteta is currently looking for an alternative option after Gabriel Jesus suffered an injury while on international duty with Brazil.
- Austin FC are set to sign Gyasi Zardes, according to Tom Bogert. The 31-year-old forward was most recently a free agent, and he is reported to have signed a three-year deal with the Oaks. The United States international made 26 appearances for the Colorado Rapids in the MLS last season, contributing 11 goals in the process.
- Manchester City have joined the race for Josko Gvardiol, reveals Footmercato. Interest in the 20-year-old centre-back appears to be growing following a run of impressive performances at the World Cup for Croatia, and it looks as though Pep Guardiola's side are keen to land him. Both Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked.
- Malo Gusto is the latest right-back to be added to Manchester United's short list, according to Sky Sports Germany. Erik ten Hag is assessing potential options to acquire in the January transfer window, and while Denzel Dumfries and Jeremie Frimpong remain on his radar, the Red Devils could also make an approach for Gusto. The 19-year-old has made 14 appearances in Ligue 1 this season.
- While Paris Saint-Germain remain interested in Marcus Rashford, Manchester United are likely to exercise the option clause in his contract, writes Calciomercato. The 25-year-old England international forward is set to be out of contract in the summer, but the latest indicates that he will remain at Old Trafford until the summer of 2024.