LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal willing to pay Ozil to leave; Chelsea closing in on Higuain
The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is open again. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media and setting our correspondents loose to see who could be heading to/out of your club this month.
TOP STORY: Ozil out, whatever the cost
Arsenal are willing to pay some of Mesut Ozil's wages after he leaves the Emirates if that would make a potential move more likely, according to the Mirror.
Just one year ago, the German signed a new contract that made him the club's highest-earning player on £350,000 per week, and it's not surprising that that eye-watering sum is putting off clubs.
There has been interest from China and loan interest from Inter Milan, but with Unai Emery seemingly not a fan and the wages proving burdensome, Arsenal look like they're getting desperate.
23.30 GMT: That will wrap up another edition of our LIVE Transfer Talk blog. We remind you to check back in a few hours for the latest on Gonzalo Higuain, Mesut Ozil and all the other happenings in the January transfer market. Thanks for joining us and have a goodnight!
23.16 GMT: We talked earlier about Gonzalo Higuain having possibly played his last game for Milan. It turns out he may not be the only Milan player on the move.
ESPN's Serie A commentator Matteo Bonetti is hearing that Hakan Calhanoglu could also have played his last Milan game, with Bonetti reporting a move to RB Leipzig is imminent.
Hearing Hakan Calhanoglu to Bundesliga side RB Leipzig is close to being done— Matteo Bonetti (@TheCalcioGuy) January 16, 2019
Part of Milan's huge spending spree during the summer 2017 window, the Turkey international has produced nine goals and 23 assists in 69 games for the Rossoneri. The German-born winger previously played in the Bundesliga with Hamburger SV (2013-14) and Bayer Leverkusen (2014-17).
There has been speculation in the last few days that Calhanoglu, still just 24, could join Higuain out the departure gate with recent rumours saying Milan are trying to free up cash to sign 23-year-old Genoa ace Krzysztof Piatek.
22.23 GMT: A couple of MLS bits to catch you up on...
- According to Costa Rican outlet Yashin Quesada, Minnesota United have rejected a $2 million offer for Costa Rican defender Francisco Calvo.
Minnesota United has said they will not accept anything short of $4 million for Calvo, who was named to CONCACAF's best XI last season and appeared twice for the Ticos at the World Cup.
- LAFC have resigned veteran defenders Danilo Silva and Dejan Jakovic.
- Orlando City have signed Brazilian defender Ruan from Internacional. The 23-year-old joins on a one-year deal after spending last season on loan at Brazilian Serie B side Ponte Preta.
- The Portland Timbers have acquired French defender Claude Dielna from the New England Revolution for $100,000 in General Allocation Money.
- Finally, the LA Galaxy have resigned veteran midfielder Servando Carrasco. Carrasco, who is set to begin his 11th season in the league, played 19 times for the Galaxy in 2018 and is probably best known as the husband of USWNT star Alex Morgan.
21.48 GMT: According to the Guardian, Man City have reached an agreement with a young star. Sorry Man City fans, no that player is not Ajax's Frenkie de Jong or Matthijs de Ligt...
The player is 18-year-old central midfielder Ante Palaversa from Croatian side Hajduk Split. Palaversa will cost the Premier League champions an initial £7 million and is expected to finish the season on loan with the Croatian club.
The central midfielder, who serves as Croatia's Under-19 captain, has reportedly been on City's radar for some time now and has been compared to Real Madrid's Toni Kroos in terms of playing style.
21.03 GMT: Chelsea are reportedly growing increasingly confident of signing striker Gonzalo Higuain in January.
Juventus are open to having talks with Chelsea according to the Serie A club's vice president Pavel Nedved.
"It's right that we don't talk about it now out of respect for the player and for AC Milan, but we can talk about it from tomorrow," Nedved told RAI television prior to Wednesday evening's Supercoppa, which Juve won 1-0.
The Argentine striker, who is currently on loan at AC Milan from Juventus, has been linked with Chelsea for months now.
Higuain has just six goals in 15 Serie A games for Milan but is a favourite of Maurizio Sarri, whom Higuain scored 36 goals under at Napoli in 2015-16.
A move for Higuain would also allow Chelsea to move on from sputtering frontman Alvaro Morata, who has been rumoured with a move to Atletico Madrid in recent days.
20.30 GMT: From an ex-Monaco player to a current one...
French outlet Telefoot indicates that current Monaco striker Radamel Falcao could leave for China in January.
With ex-Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim in negotiations to become the next manager of Chinese Super League club Dalian Yifang, there are rumours Jardim could seek to bring his former No. 9 with him to China.
The 32-year-old Colombian has seven goals for Monaco this season but has only come off the bench in recent games under new manager Thierry Henry. Could El Tigre land in China? A lot of that could depend on what happens with his former Les Monegasque boss.
19.29 GMT: Is James Rodriguez's time in Germany coming to an end? Recent comments from Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac indicate that no final decision has been made on the Colombian's future but that the onus is on James to put his best foot forward during the second half of the season.
"James is playing for his future. I expect him to keep pushing," said Kovac on Wednesday. "I see that he is motivated and focused, he wants to play more than in the past.
"As a coach, I can only rate what I see on the pitch, which is the standard for him, but also for everyone else. Nothing else matters."
With the end of his two-year loan deal at Bayern arriving in the summer, James has started just five games in the Bundesliga this campaign and has been linked with a once seemingly impossible return to the Bernabeu with Real Madrid.
18.58 GMT: It is no secret that Cardiff City could use some help in attack, as the Bluebirds have only bagged 19 goals this season, the third fewest in the Premier League.
Help is reportedly on the way, with Cardiff chief executive Ken Choo confirming to Sky Sports News that striker Oumar Niasse is in Wales for a medical.
The Everton forward, who has gone from out of favour to back in favour to out of favour again in the last year, has yet to score this season in seven appearances for Everton but scored 12 times over all competitions in 2017-18.
The Senegalese would join Cardiff on loan through the end of the season and his goal output could go a long way in determining whether Cardiff can avoid the drop.
18.08 GMT: DONE DEAL -- Turkish giants Galatasaray have completed a January signing.
Brazilian centre-back Marcao is the newest "Lion", the 22-year-old signing from Portuguese side G.D. Chaves. According to the official release from the club's website, Marcao will join for an initial €4 million and will sign on for a 3.5 year contract.
17.30 GMT: Shifting over to MLS for a moment...
Atlanta United have announced they have signed MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez to a five-year contract extension.
Martinez, who broke MLS' single-season scoring record last season with 31 goals, is now signed on with the defending MLS Cup champions through 2023.
"They recognize the effort that you give and they know you did everything to win, and I think that's why we love playing here, said Martinez in a release on the club's official website.
"I have to thank everyone. My teammates, the city, my family and friends, because this is a dream I've always had. I've said before that I don't want to go anywhere because this is my home. You can expect more work, more intensity, because that's who I am. I want to win. I want to do everything for my teammates and for the city."
Martinez has scored 54 goals in 60 games for Atlanta since arriving from Serie A side Torino in 2017, far and away the most in MLS during that timespan.
PSG boss Thomas Tuchel has been vocal about his need for midfield reinforcements since his arrival, but sporting director Antero Henrique failed to deliver in the summer.
16.01 GMT: More on Cardiff target Emiliano Sala -- it appears he will be staying and Nantes are quite happy with that.
15.41 GMT: Treble-winner Maicon has officially been presented as a Criciuma player -- the former Inter Milan right-back played for the Brazilian side at youth level.
And, though the 37-year-old acknowledged his "age and fitness are now what they once were," he assured Criciuma fans he has "always told friends and family that one day he would return."
15.17 GMT: Chelsea will hold talks with Petr Cech at the end of the season over a potential return to Stamford Bridge in a non-playing capacity after the Arsenal goalkeeper announced his intention to retire, sources have told ESPN FC.
Cech, who spent 11 years at Chelsea before joining Arsenal in 2015, confirmed on Tuesday that he will hang up his gloves at the end of a campaign that has seen him lose his starting spot to summer signing Bernd Leno.
14.52 GMT: Bayern Munich sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has said the club are hopeful of completing a deal to sign Callum Hudson-Odoi from Chelsea.
"We want to sign the player," he said. "I am fully convinced of his abilities; we are in talks with Chelsea. "Both [Benjamin Pavard and Hudson-Odoi] are not finished players yet, but we have many leaders in our team, that's why it would not be a problem if no player came in the transfer window.
"We have to find a good mix between young talents and experienced leadership players."
14.21 GMT: A report in Il Corriere dello Sport suggests Roma will push to sign Hector Herrera from Porto in the summer.
13.48 GMT: Manchester City midfielder Yangel Herrera has joined Spanish club Huesca on loan until the end of the season.
The Venezuela international has spent the past two seasons on loan at MLS club New York City but missed much of last season with an ankle injury.
Herrera, 21, has passed a medical and will be unveiled by La Liga's bottom-of-the-table side on Wednesday night.
13.22 GMT: AC Milan players are in Saudi Arabia as they prepare for their Supercoppa clash with Juventus in Jeddah -- but the big story still surrounds the future of forward Gonzalo Higuain, who has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea.
And, here the whole squad had a picture with Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. Just one player was missing -- Higuain.
The club have since communicated he was in fact having a massage while this picture was being taken. Sure.
12.59 GMT: According to a report in The Sun, Manchester United will send scouts to watch PSV Eindhoven winger Steven Bergwijn.
The report adds a deal for the 21-year-old would likely cost around £25m.
12.36 GMT: Gareth Bale's Real Madrid future would be plunged into doubt in the event of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union in a "no deal" Brexit, ESPN FC has been told.
Wales international Bale, 29, is one of an estimated 800,000 British citizens living elsewhere in the EU who could potentially lose their right to work where they are living if a "no deal" Brexit takes place on March 29.
12.13 GMT: Reports in France suggest Nantes have ended negotiations with Cardiff over the transfer of Emiliano Sala after the Premier League side lowered their offer.
At least Neil Warnock will be happy.
Breaking | Nantes have called off negotiations with Cardiff for Emiliano Sala after the Welsh side lowered their formal offer from €22m to €15m. (OF)— Get French Football News (@GFFN) January 16, 2019
11.49 GMT: Stuttgart have reached an agreement with Galatasaray for the transfer of Ozan Kabak, according to ESPN sources.
The Bundesliga outfit tabled a €12 million offer for the highly rated 18-year-old defender which the Lions accepted. Stuttgart beat off competition from Cardiff City, Watford and Roma to strike a deal with the defender who is rated one of the brightest prospects in Turkish football.
The transfer is expected to be completed before the end of the week.
Galatasaray are likely to release an official statement regarding the move later today.
Kabak was promoted to the first team from the academy side earlier in the season before establishing himself as a first choice centre-back in Fatih Terim's side.
11.25 GMT: Goalkeeper Kiko Casilla is undergoing a medical at Leeds ahead of his proposed moved, a source has told ESPN FC -- while he has been left out of the squad for tonight's Copa del Rey clash with Leganes.
11.02 GMT: In case you missed this yesterday, Fulham welcomed back a face to the Premier League as they completed a loan to deal to sign Ryan Babel from Besiktas.
10. 39 GMT: Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is set to stay at the club until the end of the season, sources have told ESPN FC.
The Premier League leaders are unwilling to entertain offers for Mignolet, who is the backup to £65 million Alisson, this month.
10.11 GMT: Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman is under no illusions as to just how good in-demand central defender Matthijs de Ligt can become.
"He is Ajax captain and a product of the youth team," Koeman told Radio Catalunya. "This is like saying he has come through at Barcelona in terms of his technical and tactical quality.
"He will be the best defender in the world in two years' time."
De Ligt is a target for Barcelona and Bayern Munich as well as several other top European clubs.
09:45 GMT: In times of transfer windows, fans will look to anything as a sign of movement -- especially when it's concerning a high profile agent.
And Inter Milan fans have been left concerned after Mauro Icardi's wife and agent, Wanda Nara, posted a picture of herself by a private jet on Instagram, with the cryptic caption: "While you're waiting for something that will never happen, appreciate what is waiting for you."
Icardi has not entered contract talks with Inter as yet but, with so many high profile clubs looking for a new forward, the prolific Argentina international will be a key protagonist in this and the summer transfer window.
Wanda's post gives little away -- but it wouldn't be the transfer window if fans didn't go into meltdown over something as cryptic as this, would it?
09.20 GMT: La Liga president Javier Tebas believes Atletico Madrid would have to sell a player in order to have any chance of signing Chelsea forward Alvaro Morata in the winter transfer window.
"In order to sign Morata, Atletico has to let a player leave," Tebas told Cadena Cope. "They are very limited financially due to the wage cap."
08.30 GMT: Real Madrid goalkeeper Kiko Casilla is reportedly close to leaving the Bernabeu for England, to sign for Championship club Leeds United.
Leeds are looking for a goalkeeper in the winter transfer window and, according to AS, the club sporting director Victor Orta has convinced Madrid to allow the 32-year-old Casilla to leave the club as a free agent.
Casilla missed Tuesday's training and Madrid did not give any information as to why the Spaniard was absent from the session. The deal is expected to be completed today, with Casilla set to undergo a medical before signing a new contract with the Marcelo Bielsa's side.
Since Thibaut Courtois signed for Madrid this summer, Casilla has only sat eight times on the bench in 31 games Los Blancos have played this season. He is the only player in the squad that has not played a single minute. In his three-and-a-half seasons at Madrid, he has played 43 games, giving away 50 goals and keeping 15 clean sheets.
PAPER TALK (by Mark Thompson, Football Whispers)
Spurs might take a lesson in trapping attackers
Arsenal might be hoping their creative attacking midfielder leaves, but their North London rivals are hoping theirs stays. However, Christian Eriksen is unlikely to sign a new contract with the club, Spanish outlet AS reports.
Instead, the Denmark international is likely to join Real Madrid, with the £100 million mark being discussed by the two clubs. It won't be in January, though, particularly now that Harry Kane is out until March with an ankle injury.
Better Cech your coaching availability
The Arsenal and former Chelsea goalkeeper posted a tweet Monday announcing the news, but the doors of Stamford Bridge are open for him to return as a goalkeeping coach.
The club have reportedly kept in close contact with the shot-stopper since he left for Arsenal four years ago and would like to welcome him home in a coaching or ambassadorial role.
Morata Madrid move might be muddled
Atletico, the club where Morata started his youth career, had been linked with a move for the 26-year-old but are interested in bringing the striker in on only a short-term loan.
To add to the Spaniard's transfer problems, Sevilla reportedly pulled out of the race to sign him on Monday, citing other big clubs who had joined the fight as an obstacle.
Javier Hernandez to Valencia: 4.5
Personal terms have been agreed between Hernandez and Valencia, according to Marca. West Ham are holding out for a mega offer to let him go in January. Otherwise, the move will go through in the summer.
Julian Weigl to PSG: 4.0
Thomas Tuchel wants to be reunited with his former player Weigl, Le Parisien reports. Weigl is still only 23 but has made only four appearances in the league this season under new manager Lucien Favre.
Malcom to Tottenham: 2.6
Now that Tottenham have confirmed that Kane will be out with ankle ligament damage until March, the Daily Star has reported that the London club might turn to Barcelona winger Malcom to add some more attacking threat. The 21-year-old's time at the club has not quite worked out since he joined from Bordeaux in the summer, and he has made only five appearances in La Liga.
Mario Balotelli to Genoa: 2.1
Italian outlet Mediaset is reporting that Balotelli could be a domino in a chain. If AC Milan's Gonzalo Higuain joins Chelsea and Milan turn to Genoa's Krzysztof Piatek, then Genoa might turn to Balotelli to fill the gap in their forward line.
Cengiz Under to Manchester United: 1.9
As ESPN FC reported, United have joined the race to sign the Roma winger. The 21-year-old won't be leaving Italy this January, but his representatives are preparing a summer move, and Old Trafford could be a landing place.