Transfer Talk: No Jose Mourinho at Man United, no problem for Nikola Milenkovic
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: No Mourinho, no problem for Milenkovic
Jose Mourinho wanted a defender and Manchester United are still looking to sign one even though the Special One has moved on.
Nikola Milenkovic is on the club's short list with or without Mourinho, and Italian newspaper La Repubblica claim that the Fiorentina centre-back's agent is trying to get a deal done over the festive period.
Valued at £45 million (€50m) by the Serie A club, Milenkovic won't come cheap though. So there had better be a good bit of Christmas spirit if the transfer is to be sorted out.
23.18 GMT: That'll do it for Wednesday's version of Transfer Talk! Tune back in tomorrow morning as we cover another day of transfer rumors with less than a week remaining until the opening of the winter transfer window!
23.13 GMT: Apparently a managerial change can do more than simply change the direction of a club, because according to The Mirror, it seems like Manchester United's transfer fortunes are taking an upturn!
The article states that bookies have slashed the odds of star Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli to just 2/1, signaling that there's newfound confidence that the Manchester United board has confidence in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and will give him the funds to pull off the deal.
21.59 GMT: According to football.london, Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente is wanted by both Olympiakos and Galatasaray. The Spanish striker will be out-of-contract in the summer, so he'll be free to begin negotiating a free transfer on January 1st.
This won't be Schelotto's first experience in the MLS as he played 4 seasons with the Columbus Crew, winning league and MLS Cup MVP honors.
19.53 GMT: According to the Birmingham Mail, AFC Bournemouth are challenging Championship side West Brom for Nottingham Forest winger Joe Lolley, who will be the subject of a £10m bid.
Lolley has been on a roll this year, notching seven goals and six assists in 27 appearances across all competitions.
18.33 GMT: Fresh off a Boxing Day victory, Manchester United have received some news regarding Juventus winger Douglas Costa, though maybe not exactly what they were hoping for.
According to The Mirror, Juventus have informed Costa that he can leave the club, but not right now. Maybe some negotiating can be done, but it looks like this transfer item is going to be tabled until the summer.
17.21 GMT: Back to transfer news, as talkSport reports that Arsenal are interested in bringing one of manager Unai Emery's favorite players, Sevilla midfielder Ever Banega, to the Emirates in an £18 million deal.
15.51 GMT: Well that didn't take long. AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso is in danger of losing his job as the club drew 0-0 with next-to-bottom Frosinone and Calciomercato reckon he's a goner if they can't beat SPAL at the weekend.
If that happens, former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and ex-Milan (as well as a host of other top clubs) manager Fabio Capello are on the Rossoneri's shortlist.
15.25 GMT: Juventus may now have a free run at signing Ajax central defender Matthijs de Ligt as Calciomercato report Barcelona have ended their interest in the highly rated Dutchman.
14.40 GMT: A report in Mundo Deportivo suggests River Plate's Exequiel Palacios is on Real Madrid's radar, along with Manchester City's Brahim Diaz.
Both players have been heavily linked with moves to the Bernabeu, but both's clubs would like to hold on to the youngsters for at least at last a little bit longer.
13.45 GMT: Former Inter Milan and Manchester City right-back Maicon is still playing and has begun a new chapter in the Brazilian second tier.
The 37-year-old former Brazil international has joined Criciuma in Serie B.
13.10 GMT: A report in French sport outlet Le 10 Sport claims Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele is a target for Monaco.
Dembele worked closely with Monaco boss Thierry Henry during the Frenchman's time as Roberto Martinez's assistant with Belgium.
12.30 GMT: Arsenal fans have been getting excited with Real Valladolid defender, and reported transfer target, Fernando Calero, posting an image of himself in London over the Christmas period.
Of course, with the winter break in Spain, it's likely Calro has just been enjoying some time off in the English capital -- but who knows?
Reported Arsenal centre back target, Fernando Calero is in London right now. 👀 pic.twitter.com/DgIAyjrz1V— LTArsenal™️ (@ltarsenal) December 24, 2018
11.50 GMT: Watford have a huge battle on their hands to keep hold of Abdoulaye Doucoure if reports in The Sun are to be believed, with claims Everton, Arsenal and PSG are interested in the Frenchman.
11.15 GMT: The transfer window opens on Jan. 1 and offers football clubs everywhere a little retail therapy. Though many teams in the Premier League might be panic-buying, instead.
Ian Darke has ranked the best buys of the summer and has assessed who could be the top movers in the coming window. Read it here.
10.39 GMT: On a season-long loan from Real Madrid, Mateo Kovacic has said he can imagine himself staying with Chelsea for a longer term.
The Croatia international, who has impressed under Maurizio Sarri this season, said: "I need to respect my previous club, Real Madrid. I can imagine myself staying here, but I have a contract I need to respect, and that is what I will do."
09.50 GMT: On Sunday we reported that Radja Nainggolan was suspended by Inter Milan for their crucial Serie A clash with Napoli. Now, it is being claimed in Italy that Nainggolan is looking to escape Inter and return to former club Roma. Things are never boring when he is around.
09.05 GMT: Christmas Day is done but Transfer Talk is not. We're one day closer to the January transfer window sales starting and some can't even wait that long, it would seem. Celtic are said to have signed U.S. phenom Timothy Weah on loan from Paris Saint-Germain.
Celtic have stuttered since the departure of Moussa Dembele to Lyon in the summer so maybe Weah, 18, who will join on loan, will help them have a happy new year and clinch an eighth successive Scottish Premiership title.
Zaha to become one of the world's best-paid players in China?
Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang are ready to offer Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha £11m a season over a four-year contract, say the Daily Mail.
Former Real Madrid player and manager Bernd Schuster is in charge of the club but even Real struggle to pay their players that much! The papers says: "The package would be worth around three times his current contract, under which he is reported to earn £130,000 a week."
Agent Arthur to tempt Neymar back to Barcelona
Neymar left Barcelona to join PSG in the summer of 2017 for a mere €222m, but now he apparently wants to go back. Barca midfielder and Brazil starlet Arthur is front and centre in the 'keep asking him until he gives in' plan.
"Personally, I'm doing a lot of work to get him back," he told Mundo Deportivo. "But he has his life, he knows what he's doing and I do not know how deep those negotiations are, if there are options for him to come or not. But he is a personal friend and a professional that I admire a lot and would be very happy if he could come back here."
By all accounts, Neymar won't need that much persuasion as AS claim the forward's agents are "constantly calling" Barcelona to try to get their client a return to Camp Nou. The paper also says he can leave for "just" €160m (£143m) in 2020.
Calero to sign for Arsenal?
Fernando Calero has revealed he is in London, which of course means he's going to sign for Arsenal (the club he's been linked most with) and not just there on holiday.
The 23-year-old Real Valladolid defender should realise in the world of football that you can never just innocently post pictures of your trip on social media.
- Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was the subject of a £10m bid from Chinese side Beijing Renhe at the start of the year and will likely be the subject of more interest in January. But manager Steven Gerrard doesn't want to sell. "I'm not resistant to bids," said the Rangers boss. "But I won't have his head turned in January, that's simple. He won't be going anywhere. The player knows what I think on that situation."
- United States phenom Timothy Weah will leave Paris Saint-Germain to spend the next six months on loan, the 18-year-old announced on Christmas Day. And he is reported to be on his way to Celtic.
- That moment you kick yourself when it's revealed Liverpool could have signed Virgil van Dijk three years before they did for £75m. Still, at least they did in the end.