Transfer Talk: Tottenham braced for Real Madrid to poach Mauricio Pochettino
The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs might be closed, but they are still working tirelessly behind the scenes to line up the arrival of their next star. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives.
TOP STORY: Mauricio Pochettino to Real Madrid
Tottenham are having to ready themselves for Mauricio Pochettino to be taken off their hands, reports the Guardian.
Fresh off the back of an unexpected qualification from Champions League Group B, a new round of reports have emerged that Spurs are "bracing" for a move from Real Madrid for their manager.
Pochettino has overseen three successive top-three league finishes at Tottenham, a feat the club hasn't done since the early 1960s.
Madrid, meanwhile, are fourth in La Liga under Santiago Solari, who took over from Julen Lopetegui.
23.08 GMT: That's going to bring to a close Thursday'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 Friday's back pages.
22.18 GMT: The Mail reports that Chelsea will allow Gary Cahill, Victor Moses and Danny Drinkwater leave in January after manager Maurizio Sarri has decided the trio don't fit into his plans.
21.02 GMT: Manchester United are considering making Kalidou Koulibaly the most expensive defender in football, according to the Evening Standard, with Napoli reportedly demanding a fee of £100m for the 27-year-old centre-back.
19.46 GMT: AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso has given his blessing to the Rossoneri in their pursuit of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Julian Weigel, writes Calciomercato, who reports that Manchester City and Roma are also interested in courting the 23-year-old Germany international.
18.30 GMT: While Wolves would like to sign on-loan striker Raul Jimenez on a permanent £30m deal as early as January, the Mirror reports that the Mexico international would prefer to wait for the end of the season before committing his future to the West Midlands club.
17.14 GMT: Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba has weighed in on the prospect of Chelsea striker, and former Real Madrid starlet, Alvaro Morata potentially joining the Catalan club: "I respect him a lot. He has kept up the level of his game for years. If it is true that he is interested in playing here, he would be well received," Marca quotes him as saying.
15.58 GMT: Further down the page you'll read that Tottenham probably aren't going to sign anyone in January, yet the Daily Telegraph maintain that Everton loanee Andre Gomes is on their radar.
That's what a few good performances in the Premier League after failing to make the grade at Barcelona will do for a player.
15.14 GMT: Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are on high alert, say the Daily Mirror, as they have been told Dortmund winger Christian Pulisic is available in January for the right price.
The price? "If an offer in excess of £50m arrives ... they are expected to cash in."
13.34 GMT: Liverpool target Nabil Fekir has suggested he is not ready to meet Lyon's demand to clarify his future by the end of the year.
With just 18 months left on his current deal, Fekir was recently told by club president Jean-Michel Aulas he needed to provide the seven-time French champions with a clear indication of his plans with Chelsea also among those linked to the 25-year-old. Fekir, however, wants to keep his options open.
"It's an objective the club set itself. We'll see with the president about a contract extension," he told L'Equipe. "Why not stay? There's no departure for the moment, even if in football, nothing is certain."
13.20 GMT: Beppe Marotta has been appointed Inter Milan's new general manager less than two months after being forced out of a similar role with Juventus.
"From today, I will be part of this great Inter, which is something I am really proud about -- to fulfil such an important role, being the general manager for the sporting aspects," he said. "It's certainly an important experience and chapter in my professional life, full of great responsibility, although this certainly doesn't frighten me as we are at the start of an important path, and it has to be a winning one."
13.04 GMT: Everyone loves a German wunderkind, probably because it actually feels right to use that word for once.Bayer Leverkusen attacking midfielder Kai Havertz is the latest to attract attention and has scored six goals and assisted six so far this season. Manchester City and Barcelona are keeping a close eye on the 19-year-old, say SportBild.
12.07 GMT: Ronaldo Nazario, the majority owner of La Liga club Real Valladolid, is doing his best to persuade Real Madrid to part with Brazilian youngster Vinicius Jr. on loan.
"We do not have that money [to sign Vinicus] but of course I would like to see Vinicius at Valladolid," he said. "I have already requested his loan to Madrid but he is a huge talent and Madrid want to keep him. But if one day there is any possibility ... Florentino [Perez] told me that it was difficult"
12.01 GMT: Come on, admit it. You want your daily dose of Swedish side Ostersunds FK gossip don't you...
Well, Swedish media are reporting that 19-year-old Crystal Palace U23 starlet Francis Jno Baptiste is on their radar.
11.30 GMT: Tottenham's Danny Rose really knows how to endear himself to the fans... First up he says he doesn't like playing at Wembley, now he reckons the club won't make any new signings in January either.
"It's no secret all the teams have spent a lot more than what we have," Rose said in quotes reported by the Independent. "The manager did not make any signings in the summer and he is probably not going to make any signings in January.
10.21 GMT: Real Madrid want to sign Manchester City youngster Brahim Diaz in the January transfer window and hope to agree a deal for around £10m, sources have told ESPN.
Diaz, 19, is out of contract at the end of the season but the Spanish giants want to complete a move in the new year to ensure he moves to the Bernabeu Stadium.
09.51 GMT: He only signed for Cruz Azul in the summer but Ivan Marcone has already impressed enough for Villarreal to show interest in the midfielder, according to ESPN Deportes sources.
09.35 GMT: River Plate midfielder Juanfer Quintero has hit the headlines in recent months, first for his role in Colombia's fine World Cup, then for helping River win the Copa Libertadores.
The 25-year-old is on loan from FC Porto until the end of the December, with River having a €3.2m option to sign him. But ESPN Argentina reports he's also had a multi-million offer to move to China.
08.58 GMT: Some news from Germany as kicker links a trio of young players, Thorgan Hazard, Luka Jovic and Christian Pulisic, with a move to Bayern Munich in the summer. However, the paper adds that Pulisic is more likely to head to Premier League.
Jovic, meanwhile, tells Bild that "if Frankfurt (currently fifth in the Bundesliga) play Champions League next season, I won't leave."
08.20 GMT: Ajax duo Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong are two of the most touted players in European football -- between them they have been linked with Barcelona,Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.
After their crazy 3-3 draw with Ajax last night, Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic did little to rule out moves for the pair, saying: "Both are good players and played a good match. We must see what we need. We'll analyse it, but the transfer market will be interesting."
For his part, De Jong said after the match when asked if he had reached an agreement with PSG: "No, I definitely haven't made a decision yet."
PAPER TALK (by Mark Thompson, Football Whispers)
Pogba back to Turin?
Juventus have €80 million to spend and they may splash it on Paul Pogba, according to Tuttosport.
While Real Madrid's Isco is also a target, Pogba is the closest, despite Manchester United wanting to make as much of their €105m outlay back from a potential sale. Will United want to cut their losses on the midfielder or keep him around to see if they can (finally) make it work?
Atlanta ace Almiron less affordable than ever
Prospective buyers of MLS star Miguel Almiron will have to pay £30m or more to capture the 24-year-old Paraguayan, who has made waves for Atlanta United on their way to MLS Cup victory.
Club president Darren Eales told the Mirror that he'll "only get out of bed when it starts with a 3!" Presumably he didn't mean £3m...
Almiron nabbed 22 goals and 19 assists during his two years in MLS, but a move to England is a near-certainty. All that remains to be seen is where he ends up.
Arnautovic suited for a step up
Marko Arnautovic could play a decisive role for Manchester United if he joins the club from West Ham, says Austria teammate Marcel Sabitzer.
With United struggling and Arnautovic exceeding expectations at West Ham, the two have been linked, and Sabitzer believes his compatriot can "play a major role" at the Red Devils, according to AS.
It's always nice for someone to put in a good word for you.
Football Whispers' top-five emerging whispers
Football Whispers' transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of five.
Piotr Zielinski to Liverpool: 2.7
Napoli midfielder Zielinski is still unsure about contract-extension talks with his club, at the same time as his agent is spotted in the stands with Liverpool board members. The 24-year-old mentioned in an interview with Polsat Sport that his agent also represents a Liverpool under-19 player, Kamil Grabara, but wasn't sure which hat his agent had on.
Alvaro Morata to Barcelona: 1.8
With his time at Chelsea proving turbulent, Morata's representatives have offered him out to Barcelona. The news comes hot on the heels of rumours of a move to AC Milan, who failed in a recent attempt to agree a loan move for Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Marcus Rashford to AC Milan: 1.7
One of the alternatives to Zlatan at Milan is Rashford. The Italian club have the 21-year-old on a list of options for a loan until the end of the season. Rashford has scored just four goals in all competitions this season with Man United, although he also has five assists.
Marco Asensio to Spurs: 1.7
Expecting a rival European club to move for Christian Eriksen, Spurs have opened talks with Asensio, according to Marca. Asensio hasn't been firing on all cylinders this season (although not many Real Madrid players have been); he has only one goal and one assist to his name in La Liga.
Jermain Defoe to Crystal Palace: 1.4
Roy Hodgson is considering trying to bring in Defoe on loan until the end of the season. Only Huddersfield have scored fewer than Crystal Palace's 13 in the league. Defoe is also considering his options, having played only 22 minutes of Premier League football this season for Bournemouth.