LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United to spend £40m on Diop to fix defence
TOP STORY: Man United think Diop can help defence
Manchester United look set to launch a £40 million bid for Issa Diop in a bid to solve their back-four woes. That's according to the Sun, which also reports that Chelsea are keen on luring the player to Stamford Bridge. United's back four was torn to shreds in a 3-1 Carabao Cup loss to Manchester City in midweek, with Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's side destroyed 3-1 in the semi-final.
The France Under-21 sensation was signed by West Ham for £22m from Toulouse in the summer of 2018. And despite scoring an own goal in his opening appearance -- a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal -- he has become a mainstay of the Hammers' defence.
However, with David Moyes looking to rebuild his side, West Ham could be tempted to cash in on one of their most saleable assets. Although United will fancy their chances of snaring his signature, Solskjaer is likely to face stiff opposition with the aforementioned Chelsea interest and Spurs also mulling an offer in the wake of uncertainty over Jan Vertonghen's future.
22.56 GMT: New York City FC have announced the signing of former Arsenal academy product and U.S. youth international Gedion Zelalem, who spent the 2019 season with Sporting Kansas City.
22.03 GMT: The Portland Timbers are in the final stages of completing the transfer for Legia Warsaw forward Jarosław Niezgoda to a Designated Player deal, league sources have confirmed to ESPN.
21.10 GMT: With minutes seemingly increasingly harder to come by at Crystal Palace, 26-year-old striker Connor Wickham is closing in on a loan move to Championship side Sheffield Wednesday, the Mail writes.
20.17 GMT: Chelsea have signed England U20 full-back Tariq Lamptey to a new contract, according to the Athletic, with the Blues academy product entering the final six months of his contract and drawing significant interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Wolves and Nice.
19.24 GMT: Inter are closing in on a pair of January additions, with Italian transfer guru Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that the Nerazzurri "are especially close" to a deal for Manchester United left-back Ashley Young, and adding that the difference between their offer and Chelsea's asking price for striker Olivier Giroud is now just €1m.
18.31 GMT: Twenty-eight-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino has been mooted as a potential makeweight in Inter's proposal to sign Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen, according to Sky Sport Italia.
17.38 GMT: Manchester United are interested in signing Wolves striker Raul Jimenez, according to Sky Sports.
However, the report says a deal for the Mexico international is likely too difficult to finalise before the end of the January transfer window.
Jimenez, 28, has scored 17 goals in 34 club appearances since making his loan move from Benfica permanent last summer. That cost Wolves £33m to make happen, and United could be expected to pay more than double that fee if they were to sign him this month or at the end of the season.
14.42 GMT: Ashley Young has been left out of the Manchester United squad to face Norwich in the Premier League on Saturday amid interest from Serie A side Inter Milan.
Young is in talks with Inter over a possible transfer, sources told ESPN on Wednesday. The 34-year-old could sign for the Italian side this month or, if United block the deal, sign a precontract agreement and move to Serie A on a free transfer at the end of the season.
He was also left out of the squad ahead of the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City on Tuesday.
13.46 GMT: PSG boss Thomas Tuchel refused to be drawn on striker Mauro Icardi's option-to-buy clause in his loan deal in a news conference on Saturday.
Icardi, 26, arrived arrived at the Parc des Princes on a season-long loan deal in September, with an option of a permanent transfer for around €70 million.
"I will not be speaking about Mauro's option to buy," Tuchel said. "I have been very impressed by him. We met here and I was impressed as he is a very reliable guy and a top professional.
"He understands football at the highest level. He knows what needs to be done to make the team more balanced and efficient.
"He is dependable. He knows how to score goals, but also how to help the team."
13.16 GMT: One of the longest careers in football has been extended after 52-year-old striker Kazuyoshi Miura signed a contract with J-League club Yokohama FC on Saturday. Miura, who turns 53 on Feb. 26, will enter his 35th season this year.
"I hope to enjoy playing football and remember to be grateful as I make an effort to achieve the club's goal of staying in the J1," Miura said in a statement. "I'll work hard to contribute to the team's wins."
Miura played in just three matches last year and did not score any goals but extended his record as the oldest player in the J-League.
Miura joined Yokohama in 2005 and in March of 2017 became the oldest player to appear in a professional match at the age of 50 years and seven days, catching global media attention by surpassing England legend Stanley Matthews' longevity record.
Nicknamed "King Kazu," Miura played for Brazilian club Santos and in Italy with Genoa earlier in his career, and represented Japan's national team 89 times, scoring 55 goals.
12.26 GMT: Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, Olivier Giroud and Nicolas Castillo are three strikers on the radar of MLS giants LA Galaxy, sources have told ESPN in Mexico.
Hernandez, 31, only joined Sevilla in the summer transfer window, but has since scored just one goal in nine La Liga appearances.
Giroud, 33, is struggling for game time at Chelsea and the France international looking for a club where he can get regular football in the run-up to the European Championship this summer. however, he is reportedly close to a move to join Italian club Inter Milan this month.
Chile international striker Castillo has scored nine goals in 22 Liga MX appearances since joining America a year ago. The 26-year-old previously enjoyed a prolific spell in Mexico with Pumas.
11.09 GMT: Tottenham have joined the race to sign Chelsea and West Ham target Gedson Fernandes from Benfica, according to the Daily Mail.
Earlier this week, Sky Sports News reported that Chelsea had made an offer for the midfielder on an initial 18-month loan with an obligation to sign him permanently for £55m at the end of that period while West Ham have already had a similar deal accepted in principle.
Now the Mail adds that Spurs have expressed an interest in beating their London rivals to Fernandes, 21, and that talks have already begun over a January move.
10.18 GMT: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said Leroy Sane's future is out of his hands as Bayern Munich continue their pursuit of the winger.
Sane has just 18 months left on his contract and has been on Bayern's wish list since the summer. The Bundesliga giants have indicated they will wait until the end of the season to make their next move and Guardiola suggested there is nothing he can do to convince the Germany international, who is recovering from a knee injury, to stay at the Etihad Stadium.
"It's a question for Leroy, his agents and the club, I'm not involved in that," Guardiola told a news conference on Friday. "What's important now is that he has to recover well, that's the most important thing, and after that he knows what we think of him, that we believe in him and after that it depends on him and the club.
"I was the guy who pushed for the club and convinced him to come here even though he didn't play regularly for Schalke. I have no doubts about him and his quality but what I've said many times is each one has his own family, desires, dreams and, above that, I cannot do anything else."
Sane has returned to training after more than five months out with a knee injury but is still not ready to be considered for a first team comeback.
09.30 GMT: Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign Sporting Lisbon midfielder Bruno Fernandes this month, sources have told ESPN FC.
The Portuguese side are keen to cash in on Fernandes to ease their financial difficulties. United monitored the Portugal international last summer before deciding against lodging a concrete offer but injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay, and Sporting's desire to strike a deal, could see manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the recruitment team at Old Trafford think again.
As well as Fernandes, United are also monitoring Emre Can at Juventus and Donny van de Beek at Ajax. Interest in Sean Longstaff has cooled because of Newcastle's reluctance to lower their £50 million valuation.
PAPER TALK (by Rich Edwards): Inter weigh up choices in battle for Eriksen
The Nerazzurri are set to choose between Barcelona's Arturo Vidal and Christian Eriksen before the transfer window closes at the end of January. That's according to Calciomercato, which reports that the club's CEO, Beppe Marotta, will make a decision on whether Inter will make a concerted bid to sign either the Chilean international or the Denmark star.
"It is right to do something since it is an important moment for us," Marotta said. "Vidal and Eriksen, in order to raise the quality level of our group, we need to achieve important goals and this means having great difficulties."
The outlet reports that the Inter hierarchy will be in touch with Spurs in the coming days, with a view to bringing Eriksen to the San Siro, even if it's not until the end of the season when he will cost them absolutely nothing. But with Jose Mourinho confirming that Eriksen can leave in January, Inter could bid for him formally sooner rather than later.
- James Madison is going nowhere, according to The Mirror, which will come as a hammer blow to Manchester United fans hoping to see him at Old Trafford next season. The England international has been sensational for Leicester since signing with the club from Norwich for a fee of £22.5m in June 2018. That fee now looks like a steal, with his market price having now soared way over that figure. United are still keen on getting him to Old Trafford, but after he scored six goals in the Foxes' European charge so far this season, Brendan Rodgers is confident that the player will be going nowhere.
- Frank Lampard has insisted that Olivier Giroud will be allowed to leave Chelsea, says The Telegraph, but only if the move is right for the club. The Chelsea boss also insisted on Friday that Giroud's exit isn't dependent on Chelsea finding a replacement for him in attack. Giroud's future has been the source of constant speculation, with the player reportedly having agreed to personal terms, leaving it down to Chelsea and Inter to finalise the deal to get the France international to Serie A.