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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Manchester City target Leroy Sane wanted by Barcelona and Real Madrid

The ESPN FC panel discuss Barcelona and Bayern Munich's front men, if Leroy Sane is the real deal, and more.

The winter window opened Jan. 2, and as always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Barca, Real Madrid join the race for Sane

Leroy Sane won high praise from Pep Guardiola in November for his fine performances at Schalke, with the Catalan coach's approval possibly explaining why Manchester City have been so heavily linked with the 19-year-old midfielder. City may be targeting Sane as a welcome gift for Guardiola this summer, but German magazine kicker reports Barcelona and Real Madrid are joining the chase for the Germany under-21 international.

The Clasico duo are reportedly in the hunt, with Schalke "increasingly unlikely" to hold on to Sane amid talk of a huge January bid from City. While the Bundesliga club may be able to keep the promising player this month, any bids around the €50 million mark are likely to seal a deal. Meanwhile, Yaya Toure's agent Dimitri Seluk has rolled out the welcome wagon for Guardiola by claiming his own grandfather could have achieved Pep's success in Spain and Germany.

Looks like Yaya may be off this summer...

LIVE: 

An early end today to the transfer reports today because of the Ballon d'Or ceremony, but we'll be back tonight with a fresh look at the UK papers.

17.58 GMT: DONE DEAL Bournemouth have completed their deal to bring James Grabban back to the club after paying Norwich City an undisclosed fee. Full story

17.51 GMT: AFC Bournemouth's Jayden Stockley has gone to Exeter City on loan until the end of the season. 

LOAN: City snap up Jayden Stockley from @afcbournemouth: https://t.co/aAmmkqwJ9G #ECFC #Stand4City pic.twitter.com/lUa1b5KkcY

17.33 GMT: Chelsea are looking at bring in a new striker during this transfer window -- according to The Telegraph -- with Carlos Bacca the man currently being touted for a possible move to Stamford Bridge. The AC Milan foward is also attracting interest from Manchester United and a fee of £30m is being reported as the amount that'll be needed to secure the Colombian's services.

17.15 GMT: Rio Ferdinand has told Manchester Evening News that his former club should do everything in their power to sign John Stones and Raphael Varane.

17.00 GMT: L'Equipe says that Marseille midfielder Alaixys Romao may have played his last game for the club on Sunday. The Togo international, who is out of contract in the summer, is wanted by Saudi club Al-Ahly.

16.43 GMT: Slaven Bilic revealed West Ham were one of the clubs in the hunt for Charlie Austin back in the summer, but he's ruled the Hammers out of a potential move for the striker in the near future. 

16.29 GMT: "You don't leave FC Bayern, even when England offers a lot," says Thomas Muller. Read the full story here.

16.13 GMT: Southampton are interested in Palermo midfielder Oscar Hiljemark, according to Gazetta World. The 23-year-old was signed from PSV in the summer after an impressive showing at the Under-21 European Championships.

16.00 GMT: Hamburg coach Bruno Labbadia has extended his contract with the club by another year. Read the full story here.

15.38 GMT: Lazio insist they have yet to receive a bid from Manchester United this window for Felipe Anderson, according to The Daily Mail

15.25 GMT: Jurgen Klopp has ruled out a move for Brazilian forward Alexandre Pato in his latest press conference. 

15.15 GMT: And today's lunchtime gossip (see the 13.20 GMT entry) is turning into reality... Full story here. 

15.00 GMT: Bournemouth are closing in on the signing of Norwich City forward Lewis Grabban, sources have told ESPN FC. Read the full story here.

14.47 GMT: Despite Zinedine Zidane's insistence that Cristiano Ronaldo won't be sold, The Express are reporting Paris Saint-Germain still remain confident of landing the Real Madrid star and have offered a £500-a-week contract. 

14.31 GMT: The reigning MLS Cup champions Portland Timbers are poised to acquire out-of-contract forward Jack McInerney from the Columbus Crew SC. Read the full story here.

14.17 GMT: Monaco have snubbed the chance to bring Radamel Falcao back from his loan at Chelsea, according to talkSPORT.

"Falcao is currently injured," Monaco vice-president Vadim Vasilyev told the club website.

"He has six to eight weeks to go like that. We have decided not to take him back to Monaco for the moment."

14.03 GMT: Ben Pearson has joined Preston from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee. 

13.51 GMT: West Brom, Besiktas and AC Milan are all interested in Lyon's Henri Bedimo, according to L'Equipe

13.31 GMT: "Yes, definitely," Harry Kane said when asked if Tottenham was where he wanted to spend his long-term future, dismissing suggestions of a future move to Real Madrid. Read the full story here.

13.20 GMT: According to The Express, Newcastle are favourites to sign Henri Saivet -- ahead of other interested party Southampton -- after the midfielder is reported to have been in the north east last night to discuss terms.

13.05 GMT: Walsall have extended the loan of Manchester City midfielder George Evans for a second time until 26 January.

13.00 GMT: The official Twitter account for the South African national football team has let slip on one of their star players, claiming that Everton's Steven Pienaar could leave for Ajax.

12.50 GMT: Brazilian centre-back Dante has vowed to stay at Wolfsburg amid MLS links.

"It's in my head that we'll be here for the next three years," he told kicker. "I am happy in Wolfsburg, and we've made the right step." 

12.39 GMT: According to Gazetta World, Crystal Palace and Sunderland are both chasing Senegalese forward Khouma Babacar. Fiorentina reportedly turned down a €11m (£8.2m) bid for the 22-year-old. 

12.25 GMT: Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan has said he is happy at the club but is ruling nothing out as agent Mino Raiola prepares to enter contract talks. 

"We'll see what happens in the future," he told kicker. "I've got my agent for that [negotiations]. My job is to play football."

Read the full story here.

12.18 GMT: Hungary international Laszlo Kleinheisler is on trial at Werder Bremen at the training camp in Belek.

12.15 GMT: No new defenders for Liverpool then...

12.08 GMT: DONE DEAL Newcastle United youngster Kyle Cameron has just returned from his loan spell at Workington FC -- a side in England's seventh division -- but he's already back out, this time at League 2 outfit York City. 

11.56 GMT: Borussia Dortmund boss Thomas Tuchel says he is not planning to sell reported Liverpool target Neven Subotic, calling him "an important part of the group" despite his lack of game time this season.

11.45 GMT: Schalke defender Benedikt Howedes -- who has been linked to Arsenal recently --  has told kicker he hasn't made up his mind as to whether he'll stay but is in positive talks with the club. He said that, as he is turning 28, he has to bear in mind that he is only likely to get one more major contract before he retires.

11.32 GMT: Borussia Dortmund centre-back Mats Hummels is under contract until 2017 but has yet to hold talks on an extension, saying in kicker that he is "relaxed about the issue because I don't see that I am pushed for time."

11.22 GMT: Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas says there is not yet any agreement between all three parties in view of Celta Vigo's proposed move for striker Claudio Beauvue. He said he doesn't think they can let the summer signing go without getting a replacement.

11.11 GMT: Eurosport are reporting Newcastle are keen to sign Swansea's Jonjo Shelvey for a fee of around £10m.

The Englishman is looking to secure a place in Roy Hodgson's Euro 2016 squad and due to his lack of playing time at the Liberty Stadium, he's being forced to look elsewhere for minutes on the pitch.

11.00 GMT: Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan, linked with Juventus and Barcelona recently, is keeping his options open.

"No decision has been made, and everything has to be carefully considered, because a career does not last forever," he told Bild. "But to be honest, everything's open. I know what I have at this club, and I will include that in my considerations."

10.45 GMT: Trabzonspor forward Dame N'Doye is to undergo a medical at Sunderland today, sources has told ESPN.

10.37 GMT: Have Liverpool found the answer to their goalkeeping problems?

10.31 GMT: Manchester United's Ben Pearson set to join Preston in permanent deal, a source has told ESPN. 

10.25 GMT: Borussia Dortmund boss CEO Hans Joachim Watzke tells Bild that players should not head for Premier League since "they are pressed out like a lemon" there, citing the schedule for English clubs.

10.16 GMT: Sao Paolo midfielder Michel Bastos, formerly of Lyon, wants a return to Ligue 1. Nantes and Lille are said to be interested in the 32-year-old former Schalke player.

10.05 GMT: Lyon left-back Henri Bedimo is the subject of interest from AC Milan, Besiktas and West Bromwich Albion, according to L'Equipe. The Cameroon international, who won the Ligue 1 title with Montpellier in 2012, is out of contract at the end of the season.

09.55 GMT: Arsene Wenger says Arsenal are still hopeful over Mohamed Elneny but the deal to sign the Egypt international from Basel is proving difficult.

"I think this week we are positive it can happen," he said. "We hope we can finalise it this week. There are a lot of work permit problems and other paperwork.

"As long as it's not definitely signed, you have to be cautious, but I'm optimistic."

09.33 GMT DONE DEAL Werder Bremen have signed Thanos Petsos from Rapid Vienna. The 24-year-old Greek midfielder, born in Dusseldorf, has penned a contract until 2019 and will make the switch in the summer. He has already played for Kaiserslautern and Greuther Furth in Germany.

09.23 GMT: Brentford midfielder Toumani Diagouraga, a target for Rangers, has handed in a written transfer request, sources have told ESPN FC.

09.18 GMT: Le Parisien says New York City manager Patrick Vieira was interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain centre-back Prisnel Kimpembe on loan in the summer. Le Parisien says Monaco were willing to offer €5 million for the 20-year-old while Copenhagen also wanted the player. However, PSG plan to hold on to him for the second half of the season before loaning him out in the summer.

08.43 GMT: Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Harvard Nordveit, 25, has entered the final six months of his contract. He said "no decision has been made yet" but hinted at a Premier League move: "For every Scandinavian, England is the big deal, I have to say that clearly." Hs been linked with Arsenal and United by Bild and sporting executive Max Eberl said: "We can't compete with Premier League money."

08.27 GMT: Bild claims Liverpool have contacted Schalke about a possible deal for Sidney Sam. The 27-year-old winger has rarely been seen on the pitch, and has disappointed since joining as a Germany international from Leverkusen in 2014, but maybe Jurgen Klopp thinks he can revive him.

08.05 GMT: Liverpool are to recall goalkeeper Danny Ward from loan at Aberdeen six months early, the BBC has reported.

The 22-year-old was due to remain at Pittodrie until the summer but the arrangement allowed for him to be recalled from Jan. 1, an option that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has now decided to exercise, the report stated.

07.30 GMT: Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. We start Monday's live Transfer Talk blog at Arsenal, where Nacho Monreal could be set to sign a new deal. The left-back is a key member of Arsene Wenger's XI and had been linked with a move to Athletic Bilbao last summer.

PAPER ROUND

Pato to Anfield?

Alexandre Pato has made European clubs well aware he wants a return to the continent this winter, and multiple British newspapers have picked up on Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla suggesting that the Brazil striker has turned down a massive offer from China to agree an £11 million move to Liverpool this January. With the long-term Anfield futures of both Daniel Sturridge and Christian Benteke in doubt under Jurgen Klopp, Pato would represent a reasonably cheap forward gamble who, at just 26, could still conceivably have his best years ahead of him.

Elsewhere at Anfield -- Klopp is a manager to stand by his players through thick and thin, but Adam Bogdan once again tested the Liverpool coach's patience again on Friday as he let in a goal direct from a corner as the Reds drew at Exeter. With Simon Mignolet also struggling to fully convince as first-choice keeper, BBC Sport reports that Klopp will recall Danny Ward from his loan spell at Aberdeen. The 22-year-old said in December he has his eyes on the Anfield No. 1 jersey, and may get that chance soon enough.

Bale plays down exit talk

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale called it "disappointing" to see Rafa Benitez sacked as coach, and although he is already feeling happy under the reign of his boyhood hero, Zinedine Zidane, he is not looking too far ahead when it comes to his future.

Bale was the star of Zidane's first game in charge on Saturday with a hat trick in a 5-0 win against Deportivo, though reports last week suggested the sacking of Benitez had the former Tottenham player pondering a Premier League return next summer, with Manchester United said to be considering making a world record £120 million-plus bid for his services.

However, Bale said after the game: "I had a very good relationship with Rafa, obviously it was a big disappointment to see him go. But things like this happen in football, you're professional and you get on with it and carry on. I feel good at the moment, I feel fit and I'm just trying to enjoy my football."

Van Gaal U-turn?

Things finally looked like they were going right for Louis van Gaal after he survived a potential Christmas sacking from Manchester United, but even progress in the FA Cup -- courtesy of a late Wayne Rooney penalty against Sheffield United on Saturday -- seems to have got the club's hierarchy worried again.

With one United fan appearing to fall asleep at Old Trafford on Saturday due to the tedium of the match, the Star reports that United's owners, the Glazer family, have "performed a dramatic U-turn" and are now considering letting the Dutch coach go "after seeing their patience tested to the limit." While Van Gaal was initially afforded time to turn around United's poor form, a "significant shift in stance from Old Trafford's powerbrokers" could see the former Barca and Bayern boss dumped this month in order to save United's top four hopes.

Meanwhile, United right-back Matteo Darmian insists his future lies at Old Trafford despite reports linking him with a loan move to Juventus, with the Italy international saying: "I am happy here with the team, the staff and the city. I am happy here so I just try to ignore the rumours. I want to continue on my way and that's it."

Magpies splashing the cash

Jonjo Shelvey's clash with Swansea supporters after their shock FA Cup exit at Oxford will have done him no favours with the club, and the Mail reports that Newcastle will look to capitalise with a £10m offer for the English midfielder this week.

The Magpies may be splashing the cash this winter with the Mail also reporting that Steve McClaren is interested in West Brom striker Saido Berahino, with a club-record £18m bid still on the table. The paper suggests a failed summer offer remains active should the Baggies wish to take them up on that, so Tottenham may have some work to do if they're going to land the 22-year-old ahead of Newcastle.

Loftus-Cheek the answer to Chelsea blues?

Chelsea are likely to have a huge shortlist for January transfers after their poor season so far, but Ruben Loftus-Cheek's fine goal-scoring display in Chelsea's FA Cup win over Scunthorpe may just have made Guus Hiddink's search for a combative midfield presence that little bit cheaper.

"We have these youngsters and I know them now after three to four weeks," Hiddink said. "I know their abilities, and when it's a possibility, an option, I don't hesitate to bring them in. [Loftus-Cheek] can be of big value now. We're in a difficult situation to finish in fourth place in the Premier League, so I say 'OK, give them [the younger players] a try.'"

Tap-ins

- The Mirror reports that Federico Fazio is nearing a Tottenham exit having failed to impress at White Hart Lane, with former club Sevilla a likely destination. That departure could be bad news for Kevin Wimmer though -- the defender hasn't featured in the league for Spurs this term, but Mauricio Pochettino may keep the 23-year-old as backup for the second half of the season instead of loaning him out to the likes of Marseille or Stuttgart.

- Young Australian right-back Scott Galloway has been attracting interest from Europe, according to ELF Voetbal. The 20-year-old is currently playing at Melbourne Victory, but could reportedly leave the A-League with Dutch side Feyenoord and Germans Hamburg interested in the Olyroos defender, with a €1m release clause mooted.

- Former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant says that he will stay in Singapore as long as it takes to secure a contract with S.League side, Tampines Rovers.

- Having watched a number of high-profile summer signings succumb to injuries, there was better news for Bournemouth on Sunday as the Cherries announced the signing of striker Benik Afobe from Wolves on a four-and-a-half-year deal for around £10m.

- Aston Villa's disastrous 1-1 FA Cup draw with League Two side Wycombe resulted in Remi Garde calling Micah Richards "brave" for confronting angry fans after the final whistle, and the Mirror reports that owner Randy Lerner has called a "crunch transfer summit" in New York to try and stop the club's downward spiral.

- Watford manager Quique Sanchez Flores is unconcerned about Arsenal's reported interest in Troy Deeney and is confident his captain will remain at Vicarage Road.

- Peter Crouch helped book Stoke's place in the fourth round of the FA Cup at Doncaster on Saturday, but then said he could move on from the Potters because of a lack of first-team football.

- Sunderland are confident of completing a £500,000 loan deal for Senegal and Trabzonspor striker Dame N'Doye -- formerly of Hull -- this week, according to The Sun.

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