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The transfer windows in Europe’s top leagues are closed, but it’s never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.
TOP STORY: Dortmund could beat heavyweights to Haaland
Europe’s most coveted young striker, Erling Haaland, could be available for as little as €20 million next summer, according to Bild.
The 19-year-old Salzburg striker is wanted by a host of top clubs including Juventus, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Sources told ESPN last month that Manchester United have enquired as to the Norway international’s availability in the January transfer window.
Now Bild reports that Borussia Dortmund could steal a march on the rest of Europe by signing him up. The German outlet claims that Dortmund’s good relationship with Haaland’s agent, Mino Raiola, and their reputation as a place where he can continue his rapid development with regular playing time at the Westfalenstadion.
Bild reports that Haaland’s release clause stands at just €20m, making the Champions League breakout star the bargain of the season.
10.05 GMT: Zlatan Ibrahimovic will have to lower his wage demands or risk missing out on a move to AC Milan, sources have told ESPN.
The former Sweden international announced he was ending his two-year spell with Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy at the end of 2019, and Milan remain his preferred destination should he return to Europe.
However, despite various meetings between the forward’s agent, Mino Raiola, and Milan’s hierarchy, both parties are yet to agree a deal, with the financial aspects of the deal proving a stumbling block.
Sources told ESPN FC that Ibrahimovic’s camp is waiting for a response from Milan. There is still plenty of time to find an agreement, though, as the ex-Paris Saint-Germain forward is still under contract with the Galaxy until Dec. 31.
09.29 GMT: Valencia’s French striker Kevin Gameiro has turned down a move to Nantes in the winter transfer window, according to Superdeporte.
Nantes want to strengthen their attack in January and are considering Gameiro as the ideal candidate. Les Canaris have struggled in front of goal, scoring 14 goals in 16 games, and are ninth in the Ligue 1 standings.
Gameiro has scored two goals and set up one more in 10 league appearances for Valencia this season. The former Paris Saint-Germain player, who joined Valencia from Atletico in the summer of 2018, is tied to Valencia until June 2021. According to Superdeporte, Gameiro, 32, is happy at Valencia and wants to stay put.
09.08 GMT: Atletico Madrid are on the verge of completing a deal for Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, sources have told ESPN.
The club will pay Atletico Paranaense around €30 million for the 22-year-old. He is expected to join next June, although a January arrival is not being ruled out.
Atletico had secured a purchase option for Bruno when negotiating the transfer of then-teammate Renan Lodi this summer.
They had faced serious competition for the signing from Brazilian giants and Copa Libertadores winners Flamengo, who were willing to pay a higher fee.
08.28 GMT: Zinedine Zidane and the Real Madrid hierarchy remain at odds over the signing of Paul Pogba, with the coach “desperate” for the Manchester United midfielder but president Florentino Perez deeming him overpriced.
Madrid will look to strengthen their midfield next summer and Pogba has been a long-term target, with reports of a transfer resurfacing in the Spanish media on Wednesday.
Sources have told ESPN that Zidane is desperate to sign Pogba but United would expect a fee well in excess of £120m and Perez deems that excessive.
08.00 GMT: Barcelona teenager Ansu Fati has signed a new contract with the Spanish champions until 2022 increasing his buy-out clause from €100m to €170m.
Ansu, who turned 17 in October, only signed his first professional deal with the club in July but those terms were agreed with the assumption he would be playing for the under-19s and B team.
He has since broken into the first team, featuring 11 times this season, and forcing Barca to update his contract and improve his salary for the second time in six months. His buy-out clause will automatically rise to €400m when he’s officially promoted to the first team.
While he is training on a day-to-day basis with Ernesto Valverde’s side, he is not yet been registered as a first-team player and did not appear in last week’s official squad photograph.
The club negotiated the deal with Lionel Messi’s brother, Rodrigo, who works as Ansu’s agent and is an adviser to the youngster’s father, Bori.
– Hunter: Ansu proving Barca DNA as strong as ever
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 4, 2019
PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd): French billionaire to reunite Messi, Pep in Milan?
In one of this week’s more ambitious rumours, Italian title La Repubblica are suggesting that French billionaire and potential new AC Milan owner Bernard Arnault wants to spend whatever it takes to bring Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola to the San Siro.
The third richest man in the world according to Forbes, Arnault not only wants to buy the Rossoneri in an attempt to take them back to the top of Serie A, he also wants to bring in Messi and Guardiola to help him do it, and usher in a new era of glory in the Italian capital.
The deal looks unlikely on paper. Messi has stated on numerous occasions he’s happy to see out his career in Barcelona while Guardiola recently stated he was content in Manchester. Moreover, to sign both would cost a silly amount of money. However, if anyone can afford to do it, it’s Arnault, who is believed to have a net worth of around $107 billion.
Arnault is successful at many things, namely owning a conglomerate that looks after brands such as Louis Vitton and Moet Hennessy, but he is yet to dip his toe into the sporting world. This project could be one step too far for the French magnate.
Arsenal, Everton among options for Atleti’s Simeone
Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone seems to be on exit path at the Spanish club amid reports that he could entertain a Premier League challenge.
Simeone has seen his side relatively struggle this La Liga campaign and according to Marca, his tenure could soon be coming to an end.
The Argentine has previous been linked with a move to manage a club in England, and is believed to be on the radars of both Everton and Arsenal.
Arsenal have put their hopes this season in the hands of interim manager Freddie Ljungberg after sacking Unai Emery, while Everton are now in the relegation zone under struggling boss Marco Silva.
– Arsenal are set to recall Eddie Nketiah from Leeds United due to the 20-year-old lacking game time since his loan move in the summer. The Daily Mail reports that the Gunners have been far from impressed with Nketiah’s two starts so far this season, and while he’s scored five goals in 13 appearances in total, they feel he will benefit from a move elsewhere, with Bristol City favourites to benefit.
– Inter Milan are going toe to toe with Juventus in the title race in Serie A, and they’ve identified Roma skipper Alessandro Florenzi as a transfer priority in January to help them continue their title push, according to Tuttosport. The 28-year-old can play in midfield and as a full-back and so brings great flexibility and Inter are keen to offer him more game time than he’s had at Roma this season. Florenzi has made just 10 appearances, playing only one full game.
– Alaves are keen to sign Brahim Diaz from Real Madrid, reports Radio Marca. The 20-year-old forward was imperious at the end of last season but has been unable to break into Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up on a regular basis this time around, and Alaves are one of several clubs looking to offer him more game time. The Basque club see Diaz as the perfect man to play behind striker Joselu and Lucas Perez.
– Italian side Atalanta are interested in making Mario Palasic‘s loan move from Chelsea a permanent one, write Gazzetta dello Sport in their print edition. Pasalic is nearly midway through his second season in Italy and Atalanta have been impressed with the 24-year-old Croatian to the extent that they’re prepared to spend £15m on the midfielder. Palasic has scored four goals and provided two assists in 18 appearances this season. He’s contracted to the west London club until 2022 but is yet to play a game for the Blues.