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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Liverpool consider Jack Butland as Simon Mignolet replacement

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Stevie Nicol tackle the latest rumours in Transfer Talk, which include a few key names that may head to Manchester United.

The transfer window is heating up! Transfer Talk brings you live updates on all the latest rumours and done deals. Check out all the confirmed January moves so far on our transfers page.

TOP STORY: Stoke's Butland to Liverpool?

Liverpool could be set to crack open the Philippe Coutinho piggy bank and reinvest some of the £142 million raised from the Brazilian's exit in Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland.

According to the Daily Star, Jurgen Klopp is eyeing Butland as a potential upgrade on current number one Simon Mignolet, who came under fire for his performance in the 3-3 draw at Arsenal before Christmas.

There are also doubts surrounding Loris Karius' long-term future at Anfield, with the German failing to dislodge Mignolet after an error-strewn run in the team last season.

Butland, 24, is believed to have ambitious plans for his career and would be a more affordable target than alternatives such as Leicester's Kasper Schmeichel and Atletico Madrid's Jan Oblak.

LIVE BLOG

23.00 GMT: That's going to bring to a close Friday's live edition of Transfer Talk. Thanks very much for joining us, and be sure to check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest gossip pulled from Saturday morning's back pages.

22.53 GMT: Championship relegation strugglers Birmingham City are eager to offload Arsenal loanees Carl Jenkinson and Cohen Bramall, the Mirror reports, after the pair have made just four appearances between them since being recruited in the summer by former manager Harry Redknapp.

22.22 GMT: According to journalist Chris Williams, Naby Keita will become a Liverpool player on Sunday -- six months ahead of his planned summer move from RB Leipzig.

21.47 GMT: Aston Villa are hopeful of taking Manchester United's 20-year-old defender Axel Tuanzebe on loan through the rest of the season, writes the Birmingham Mail.

21.14 GMT: Manchester City have formalised their interest in Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred, according to the Manchester Evening News, informing the Ukrainian giants that they'd be willing to spend as much as £45 million on the 24-year-old Brazilian international.

20.41 GMT: The Daily Star cites Portuguese outlet A Bola as reporting that Everton have joined Fenerbahce in the race for Porto wing-back and Mexico international Miguel Layun.

20.08 GMT: Barcelona expect to collect €80 million from the sales of Javier Mascherano, Gerard Deulofeu, Rafinha and Aleix Vidal this month, according to CalcioMercato.

19.45 GMT: Tottenham have cooled their interest in Bordeaux forward Malcom, paving the way for the 20-year-old Brazilian to move to North London rivals Arsenal in a £45 million deal, the Mail reports.

19.22 GMT: DONE DEAL -- Saint-Etienne have confirmed the signing of 27-year-old former France international midfielder Yann M'Vila on an 18-month deal from Rubin Kazan.

18.59 GMT: Noted Barcelona blogger Rafael Hernandez has picked up on a report from Der Spiegel that states that in 2013, prior to signing Gareth Bale, Real Madrid planned to activate Lionel Messi's €250 million buyout clause, offer the Argentine an eight-year contract worth €23m a year and pressure the Spanish prime minister to make Messi's tax problems go away.

18.36 GMT: Jose Mourinho has refused to rule out a January bid for Alexis Sanchez while describing the Arsenal forward as a "phenomenal player." Read the full story.

18.13 GMT: Super-agent Jorge Mendes is pushing Barcelona to allow his client, midfielder Andre Gomes, a move away from the Camp Nou, according to Sky Sports' Guillem Balague.

17.50 GMT: DONE DEAL -- Major League Soccer side New York City FC has confirmed the signing of 23-year-old attacking midfielder Ismael Tajouri from Austria Wien.

17.27 GMT: Rafa Benitez is still waiting to find out his January transfer budget as takeover talks continue at Newcastle, reports The Times' George Caulkin.

17.13 GMT: Robin van Persie is going back to where it all began. The former Arsenal and Manchester United forward is lined up for an imminent return to Feyenoord, according to Voetbal International reporter Martijn Krabbendam.

17.00 GMT: Argentine side Independiente have reached an agreement to send 18-year-old starlet Ezequiel Barco to Atlanta United in an MLS-record deal, sources have told ESPN Argentina's Alejandro Ruzal. A fee of $15 million, plus 30 per cent of any future transfer before December 2019, has been reported, which would smash the $10 million fee Toronto FC paid Roma for Michael Bradley in 2013. Full story.

16.42 GMT: Arsenal youngster Tafari Moore has joined Wycombe on loan until the end of the season. The 20-year-old spent the previous campaign at FC Utrecht in Holland.

16.30 GMT: Spurs and Bournemouth are keeping tabs on promising Aston Villa youngster Andre Green, who is valued at around £10 million. The 19-year-old started the season in impressive form but has spent the last few months on the sidelines after undergoing hamstring surgery.

16.15 GMT: The UK representative of Russia captain Fyodor Smolov is surprised by the lack of Premier League interest in his client this month. West Ham were keen on an £11 million deal for the in-form hitman before David Moyes' appointment as manager, but Smolov's club Krasnodar want £15 million for their star player.

"I cannot believe nobody in the Premier League has made a move for Fyodor Smolov this window," The Sun quotes agent Mark McKay as saying. "We brought Dmitri Payet to the Premier League and West Ham when nobody had really heard of him. But they soon knew about him after what he did there and I think Smolov would be the exact same."

16.00 GMT: Manchester City are prepared to abandon their pursuit of Alexis Sanchez and allow the Arsenal forward to move to Manchester United this month due to the escalating costs of completing a deal, sources have told ESPN FC. City value Sanchez at £20 million, given the Chilean has only six months remaining on his contract, but Arsenal are holding out for closer to £35 million. Full story.

15.44 GMT: Manchester United will offer David de Gea a new contract worth £300,000 a week, according to The Sun. The club hope to fend off interest from Real Madrid, who have also expressed an interest in Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.

15.34 GMT: Chris Coleman is steeling himself for plenty of movement at Sunderland this month. Jack Rodwell, Aiden McGeady and rumoured West Ham target Lamine Kone are thought to be heading towards the exit door, while Burnley's Jon Walters could be on his way to the Stadium of Light.

15.26 GMT: Pep Guardiola was reluctant to discuss transfer rumours in his Friday press conference, saying "everyone knows the quality of Alexis [Sanchez]", but he would prefer to focus on Sunday's clash against Liverpool.

15.14 GMT: Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool had "no other option" but to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona after it became clear there was "no chance" the Brazilian could play for the Reds in the second half of the season. Full story.

15.00 GMT: Arsene Wenger may have played down talk of a move for Malcom, but the BBC's Ian Dennis understands the Gunners are still favourites for the Bordeaux winger. Manchester United and Tottenham are also tracking the 20-year-old.

14.44 GMT: Former Chelsea midfielder Ramires is keen on a move to Inter Milan this month, reports Sky Italia. The Brazilian joined Chinese side Jiangsu Suning two years ago but is ready to move back to Europe.

14.28 GMT: Manchester United youngster Axel Tuanzebe is heading to Aston Villa on loan, sources have told ESPN. The defender has made three appearances for Jose Mourinho's side this season.

14.24 GMT: Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are not close to any January signings and suggested that clubs have to pay over the odds to buy players mid-season. "Until today, now, no-one is close to arriving in this transfer window," said the Spurs boss.

"If you want to sign players [in January], there must be an opportunity and it's difficult to find these opportunities. Like Liverpool or Barcelona, they pay a lot of money and you cannot stop the players like Van Dijk and Coutinho from leaving. Or it's players that have six or four-and-a-half months until the end of their contract -- like the Alexis [Sanchez] rumours. It's always difficult in this transfer window."

14.19 GMT: Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says "everything is possible" in football amid speculation that he will leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. Juventus boss Max Allegri and former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique are both in the frame to replace the Italian.

14.17 GMT: According to the Evening Standard, Crystal Palace are planning a £25 million double swoop for Diafra Sakho and Oumar Niasse. The Eagles are in desperate need of more firepower after seeing Christian Benteke find the net just once so far this term.

14.04 GMT: Everton youngster Brendan Galloway could be on his way back to Goodison Park after struggling to hold down a place at Sunderland. The 21-year-old has made only 10 appearances for the Black Cats this season.

13.51 GMT: Are Manchester United edging closer to a deal for Alexis Sanchez? Sky Italia reporter Mario Giunta says the club are on the verge of agreeing a contract with the Chilean before thrashing out terms with Arsenal.

13.35 GMT: Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield is a top target for Rangers this month, according to the Scotsman. The Canadian international started his career in Scotland and has also caught the eye of Crystal Palace and West Ham.

13.20 GMT: Sunderland boss Chris Coleman has told Watford to stump up the cash if they want to sign midfielder Didier Ndong. "What do we get out of a loan deal as a club?" said Coleman. "There will be no loan deal unless it suited us financially."

13.01 GMT: Inter Milan are hoping to sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha on loan with a view to a £17.7 million permanent move, reports Sky Italia. The 24-year-old has recently returned from a lengthy injury absence and is seeking first-team football to earn a place in Brazil's World Cup squad.

12.40 GMT: Liverpool plan to reinvest some of the funds raised by Philippe Coutinho's sale to Barcelona in Stoke goalkeeper Jack Butland. The Daily Star says Jurgen Klopp views the England shot-stopper as a potential upgrade on Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius.

12.15 GMT: Done deal! Huddersfield have completed the signing of Norwich midfielder Alex Pritchard for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £11.5 million.

12.10 GMT: According to various reports, Manchester United are plotting a move for £35 million-rated Brazil sensation Arthur Melo. The 21-year-old midfielder starred in Gremio's 2017 Copa Libertadores triumph and has been tipped to make Tite's World Cup squad.

11.54 GMT: Liverpool still hope to fast track Naby Keita's move to Anfield this month, claims the Daily Mail. Talks between the Reds and RB Leipzig are ongoing, with the suggestion that an additional £13 million will be enough to bring forward Keita's arrival.

11.46 GMT: In the Championship, Cardiff have boosted their promotion hopes by loaning Norwich winger Yanic Wildschut until the end of the season.

11.35 GMT: As well as pursuing Alexis Sanchez, Manchester United are set to go head to head with Manchester City in the race to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred. The Sun says the Brazilian has emerged as a target for Jose Mourinho and could replace Marouane Fellaini, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

11.17 GMT: Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah isn't fazed by rumours that Real Madrid will try to sign him next summer, according to Spanish outlet Sport. "Well, I've listened to so many rumours that now they don't bother me," he said. "They have treated me well at Liverpool and in this moment I belong to them and I'm happy at Anfield. We'll leave it at that."

11.02 GMT: Arsene Wenger has rejected reports that Arsenal are eyeing Bordeaux forward Malcom as a potential replacement for Alexis Sanchez. "He's a good player, but at the moment, there as well, nothing is happening," said Wenger. "We are not on that case at the moment."

11.01 GMT: Meanwhile, midfielder Arnau Puigmal has signed his first professional contract at Manchester United. The 17-year-old, who arrived from Espanyol in the summer, has followed Angel Gomes, Aliou Traore and Aiden Barlow in penning professional terms.

10.59 GMT: Manchester United full-back Demi Mitchell has joined Scottish Premiership side Hearts on loan for the rest of the season. The 21-year-old, converted from a winger to a left-back last season, made his senior debut in the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in May.

10.53 GMT: Francis Coquelin has told L'Equipe it was "difficult" to leave Arsenal, but insisted a move to Valencia is a necessary step to boost his career. Full story.

10.44 GMT: Liverpool winger Ryan Kent has agreed a loan move to Bristol City. The 21-year-old spent the first half of the season on a temporary deal at Freiburg.

10.36 GMT: Manchester United are monitoring Alexis Sanchez's situation at Arsenal but expect the forward to join Manchester City this month, sources have told ESPN FC. There has been talk of United submitting a £25 million bid for the Chilean with the option of Henrikh Mkhitaryan heading to the Gunners in part-exchange.

10.28 GMT: Former Germany international Bastian Schweinsteiger could be set to extend his stay with Chicago Fire after revealing he is in talks over a new contract.

10.15 GMT: Speaking of Neymar, Brazil legend Ronaldo believes his compatriot took a step down "on a sporting level" when he left Barcelona for PSG. More here.

10.06 GMT: French outlet Le10 Sport claims Manchester United are preparing a stunning €500 million bid for Neymar -- but not until summer 2019. The Brazilian has also been linked with a move to Real Madrid despite only joining Paris Saint-Germain in August.

09.58 GMT: Former Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini will be allowed to leave Napoli in January, according to his agent. The Italy international has only made five appearances for the Serie A club this season.

09.46 GMT: Rudi Garcia has dismissed speculation that he could be reunited with Kevin Strootman at Marseille. Strootman played under Garcia for two-and-a-half years at Roma, but isn't on the Frenchman's shortlist this month.

09.37 GMT: Arsene Wenger has been speaking about Alexis Sanchez's future this morning. Here's what he had to say.

09.29 GMT: Sam Allardyce has confirmed Everton's interest in Theo Walcott ahead of the Toffees' trip to Tottenham this weekend. Walcott has been linked with a £20 million move from Arsenal, with Southampton also keen to bring the winger back to St. Mary's. Full story.

09.23 GMT: Inter Milan are set to make Lisandro Lopez their first signing this winter, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport. Luciano Spalletti said last week that even his mother could see his side needed a new centre-back, and Benfica defender Lopez appears to fit the bill.

09.13 GMT: Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says coach Maurizio Sarri will have the final say over transfer targets Gerard Deulofeu and Simone Verdi. Inter are also interested in Deulofeu, who looks set to leave Barcelona following the arrival of Philippe Coutinho.

08.45 GMT: Marca leads with new links between Real Madrid and Neymar. They say Madrid are planning for the long-term and believe a star name is needed to reinvigorate the team's fortunes and lead them into a new era.

08.24 GMT: Eden Hazard claimed that he will "never" leave Chelsea and indicated that both he and Thibaut Courtois will sign new contracts with the Premier League champions during an appearance at the NBA London Game on Thursday. Read more here.

07.52 GMT: If Sturridge does move this month he won't go cheap -- the Liverpool Echo reckons that there is a £30m value on him.

07.29 GMT: Friday's Transfer Talk live blog kicks off with news that Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino is looking to sign players on permanent deals rather than loan ones this month.

He said: He said: "Obviously [we prefer permanent deals] because when you bring somebody for five years it is not the same as bringing somebody for six months.

"I have played on a six month contract and for three or four years and the feeling is completely different.

"It depends obviously. There are some player on the market that it is impossible for us to buy them and others it depends on the age, and you can bring them with the option to buy them in June."

Southampton have been linked with Arsenal forward Theo Walcott and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge among others.

Man United consider 'Chicharito' return, eye Leicester's Jamie Vardy

After Thursday's bombshell rumour that Manchester United could be ready to beat crosstown rivals City to Alexis Sanchez, come reports that Jose Mourinho's team are also weighing a move to bring Javier Hernandez back to Old Trafford and also have interest in Leicester's Jamie Vardy and Borussia Dortmund's Christian Pulisic.

The Telegraph says Mourinho wants more competition for places in attack with Romelu Lukaku scoring only five times in his last 21 matches and Zlatan Ibrahimovic continuing to struggle for fitness.

It's thought Vardy would cost around £35 million, while former United striker Hernandez -- who TalkSport claims is a target for MLS expansion outfit LAFC -- is available for the £17m fee West Ham paid to sign him in the summer.

The Independent adds that United are keeping a close eye on Christian Pulisic and will move for the Dortmund winger if Liverpool try to sign him at the end of the season. Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who must be feeling pretty unwanted by now, could once again be used as a makeweight as was suggested in a United swoop for Sanchez.

Ancelotti to replace Wenger, Conte out at Chelsea

Moving away from speculation surrounding player transfers for a moment, Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport claims Carlo Ancelotti has been lined up to replace Arsene Wenger at the end of the season. 

The former AC Milan, Chelsea, PSG, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich coach has reportedly agreed a four-year contract with Arsenal worth €40m.

And Antonio Conte has also been tipped to leave his post next summer, with the Daily Mail writing that Juventus boss Max Allegri and former Barcelona coach Luis Enrique are both in the frame to take over at Chelsea.

Conte has endured a strained relationship with the Blues board this season, owing to a disagreement over the club's transfer policy back in the summer.

Tap-Ins

- Liverpool have opened negotiations with Riyad Mahrez as they look to replace Philippe Coutinho this month, claims the Daily Express. Arsenal are also interested in the Algeria international, who is keen to leave Leicester.

- According to the Liverpool Echo, the Reds are prepared to sell Daniel Sturridge as the striker seeks regular first-team football to boost his World Cup hopes. The only issue is the 28-year-old's £30m price tag, which has put off potential Premier League suitors.

- Everton will offer £20 million for Theo Walcott as the winger ponders life after Arsenal, reports the Telegraph. Walcott has failed to hold down a regular place this season and was left on the bench for Wednesday's League Cup semifinal at Chelsea.

- A host of Premier League clubs are eyeing Norwich playmaker James Maddison following his impressive performances in the Championship. According to the Mirror, Liverpool lead the race for the 21-year-old's signature, with Tottenham and Southampton also expressing an interest.

- New Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka wants to bring Chelsea youngster Charly Musonda on loan to the City Ground for the rest of the season, reports the Telegraph. The 21-year-old has been part of the Blues' first-team squad this season, but has made only two sub appearances in the Premier League.

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