Saturday, 20 January 2018

Transfers: Alexis Sanchez Signs For Manchester United for £35m

Goal takes a look at the biggest transfer rumours from the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A and beyond as we head into the winter window

Alexis Sanchez signs for Man Utd

Alexis Sanchez has signed for Manchester United after agreeing terms on his new contract, according to the Daily Mail .

The Chilean forward, who will earn £450,000 per week at Old Trafford, will complete his medical on Saturday evening and be revealed as a new signing shortly afterwards.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan will travel in the other direction, with Arsenal bagging the former Borussia Dortmund player in addition to £35 million for Sanchez.

PSG name their price for Lucas Moura

Paris Saint-Germain have named their price to sell Manchester United target Lucas Moura in the January transfer window, reports France Football .

Lucas is keen to leave PSG in search of regular first-team football this month, with United, Tottenham and Napoli all linked with an offer for the Brazilian.

Those clubs would prefer a loan deal with a view to a permanent move, while PSG hope to recoup €40 million for the winger, although it is more likely that an offer of €30m will be enough to clinch his signing.

Arsenal make Aubameyang bid

Borussia Dortmund have confirmed Arsenal have made a first official offer for striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Goal understands Aubameyang has already agreed personal terms to move to the Emirates Stadium in this transfer window, with Olivier Giroud tipped to head in the opposite direction.

The Gunners have now made their first bid for the Gabon striker, although Dortmund have not specified the amount following reports in Kicker that the bid was €50 million .

Read the full story right here on Goal!

Arsenal & Man Utd scout Porto midfielder

Arsenal and Manchester United scouts watched Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira produce an impressive performance against Tondela on Friday night, reports A Bola .

The Portugal international has been in fine form this season, with the likes of Atalanta, Burnley and Celta Vigo also taking in Friday’s match.

Both Arsenal and United have been linked with moves for new midfielders in the January transfer window, and have watched Danilo more than once this season.

Rafinha cleared to complete Inter move

Barcelona have granted Rafinha permission to complete a move away from the club, with Inter set to take him on an initial loan agreement.

With Philippe Coutinho having arrived in a club-record €160 million deal to provide further competition, coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed that the 24-year-old is heading for the exits.

He told reporters on Saturday when pressed for an update on Rafinha’s future: "He won't be at the training session today as he has permission from the club to sort his situation."

Read the full story right here on Goal!

Dzeko still motivated to play for Roma

Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco has insisted that Edin Dzeko still wants to give his all for the club despite rumours linking him to Chelsea.

The former Manchester City man has become one of the most potent strikers in Serie A since moving to the Giallorossi, smashing 39 goals in all competitions last year on his way to the Capocannoniere award.

That form has not gone unnoticed, with the Bosnian reportedly unsettled by the interest shown in him from Stamford Bridge, however, Di Francesco confirmed that Dzeko would start in Sunday's vital clash against Inter.

Read the full story right here on Goal!

No January exit for Andre Silva

AC Milan are not willing to let Andre Silva leave the club in January, coach Gennaro Gattuso insists.

Silva earned a reported €38million move to Milan after impressing in his maiden full season in Porto's first team, but the 22-year-old has endured a dismal start to life in Italy.

Wolves, Swansea City and Arsenal have all been linked to the striker, but Gattuso is adamant he will not be going anywhere.

Read the full story right here on Goal!

Moyes to watch Joao Mario

West Ham United manager David Moyes will watch Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario against Roma on Sunday night, reports the Mirror .

Moyes is looking to sign a new midfielder in the January transfer window and has described Joao Mario as ‘very talented’ .

Reports have claimed that West Ham have agreed a loan deal with a view to a permanent transfer for the Portugal international, who has recently been linked with a move to Manchester United.

Juve close on North Korean striker

Juventus are closing in on a deal to sign North Korean striker Han Kwang-song at the end of the season, according to Corriere dello Sport .

The 19-year-old is impressing on loan at Perugia from Cagliari this season and his performances have caught the eye of Juventus.

Premier League duo Liverpool and Tottenham have previously shown an interest in Han, while his agent has admitted that a move to Juventus would be a ‘dream’ for the player.

Zidane reveals Neymar admiration

Zinedine Zidane has revealed his admiration for reported Real Madrid target Neymar, while refusing to speculate on a possible transfer.

The Brazilian has been strongly linked with a move to the Bernabeu, with Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo tipped to move to PSG as part of the deal.

Read the full story right here on Goal!

Rahman set for Schalke loan

Chelsea left-back Baba Rahman is set to join Schalke on loan, the German club's sporting director Christian Heidel has confirmed.

The Ghana international suffered anterior cruciate ligament damage at the start of 2017, ruling him out for the remainder of the year.

However, he is now on the comeback trail and Schalke, who took Baba on loan in the 2016-17 season, are in talks to secure him for the rest of the season.

Read the full story right here on Goal!

Barca deny secret plot to sign Griezmann

Barcelona have denied reports that they have already reached an agreement to sign Antoine Griezmann behind the backs of Atletico Madrid.

Speculation surrounding the forward's future continues to grow as Spanish outlet Sport reported on Saturday that the France international has reached an agreement with the Catalan side that will see him move to Camp Nou at the end of the season.

The deal is said to include financial penalties should either side back out before it goes through, but the Catalan side have moved to dismiss suggestions that they have entered a secret pact with the 26-year-old.

Read the full story right here on Goal!

Man Utd to miss out on Diarra

Paris Saint-Germain are set to beat Manchester United to the signing of former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Lassana Diarra, reports ESPN .

Diarra is available on a free transfer after leaving Al Jazira and reports had suggested Jose Mourinho was keen to bring the 32-year-old to Old Trafford.

The France international played under Mourinho at Real Madrid, but has decided on a return to Ligue 1 to sign for PSG.

Liverpool join Bale race

Liverpool have joined arch-rivals Manchester United in the battle to land Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, according to Don Balon .

The Wales international has been heavily linked with a return to the Premier League after struggling for form and fitness at Santiago Bernabeu.

Jurgen Klopp has the funds available to make a move after offloading Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona and is prepared to spend over €100 million on Bale.

Bale eyes Man Utd move, Real want swap

Gareth Bale wants to leave Real Madrid and join Manchester United, but the club are keen on using the Welshman in a swap deal, according to Don Balon .

Bale is keen to return to the Premier League with Jose Mourinho's men, but Real, who are set to break up the 'BBC' trio, would rather utilise him as part of any deal for Eden Hazard or Harry Kane.

However, the former Tottenham winger does not want to move to Chelsea, and is not highly regarded by Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea line up Vidal bid

Chelsea are interested in signing Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich this summer, report Bild .

Bayern have agreed a deal to sign Leon Goretzka from Schalke once the season ends, and that acquisition could trigger a transfer for Vidal, with Antonio Conte's side leading the pack.

Alexis bids farewell to Arsenal

Alexis Sanchez has edged another step close to completing a move to Manchester United, with The Mirror claiming he has said his goodbyes at Arsenal.

The Chilean was back in training with the Gunners on Friday as a switch to Old Trafford was held up, but he could see a transfer pushed through over the weekend.

Gunners to pay £53m for Auba

Arsenal are ready to push through a move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang by meeting Borussia Dortmund's £53 million asking price, reports German website WA .

Goal revealed on Friday that the Gunners have agreed personal terms with the prolific Gabon international striker.

Arsene Wenger is now prepared to step up his efforts to get the frontman on board and get a high-profile deal over the line during the January window.

Real in secret Salah talks

Real Madrid have been in secret transfer talks with Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, claims El Chiringuito TV .

The La Liga giants are said to want the Egypt international as their next 'Galactico' signing after seeing him impress since moving to Anfield in the summer of 2017.

PSG piece together Pep plan

Paris Saint-Germain have made Pep Guardiola their top managerial target, claims The Daily Mirror .

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is currently at the Manchester City helm, but a big-spending outfit in Ligue 1 have him in their sights.

Messi urges Barca to renew Umtiti's deal

Lionel Messi is urging Barcelona's board to offer defender Samuel Umtiti a new contract, according to Don Balon .

Manchester United are mulling over a bid for the 24-year-old, who has a £53 million release clause.

Chelsea could turn to Benteke

As Chelsea's search for a new striker continues, the Blues could set their sights on Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke, according to The Sun.

The 27-year-old has struggled this season at Selhurst Park, scoring just one goal in 17 Premier League appearances.

Griezmann agrees to join Barcelona

Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann have reached an agreement over a deal that will see the striker move to Camp Nou at the end of the season, Sport claims.

The Atletico Madrid star has been heavily linked to Premier League clubs, but the Catalan side have managed to lure him to partner Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele up front.

The Spanish outlet says Griezmann has struck a deal with Barca that will see either party face a financial penalty should they back out before the move is complete.

Spurs step up Malcom bid

Tottenham are ready to step up their efforts to land Bordeaux forward Malcom after seeing north London rivals Arsenal pull out of the running, reports ESPN .

Representatives of the Brazilian have held talks with Spurs and the Gunners, with the path having now been cleared for Mauricio Pochettino to land a top target.

United lead hunt for £35m Seri

Manchester United have jumped to the front of the queue to sign Nice midfielder Jean-Michael Seri, says the Daily Mail .

Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have also expressed an interest in the Ivorian, but the Red Devils are ready to complete a £35 million deal.

Dzeko agrees to Chelsea switch

Edin Dzeko has agreed to join Chelsea in a £44 million deal, according to Gianluca Di Marzio .

The former Manchester City striker has been a regular source of goals at Roma and could be set for a second stint in the Premier League.

Atletico eyeing Lemar

Atletico Madrid are prepared to beat Liverpool and Arsenal to Monaco winger Thomas Lemar if Antoine Griezmann leaves for Barcelona, according to Mundo Deportivo .

The France international has been linked with a move to England for some time, but he could be offered the opportunity to fill a fellow countryman's boots in Spain.

Pellegrini wants Mascherano move

Manuel Pellegrini is hoping to see Javier Mascherano complete a proposed switch from Barcelona and join him at Hebei Fortune, the experienced coach has told Marca .

He said of the versatile Argentine: “The plan is that he comes. We have to see his situation at Barcelona, but he is a player that I am very interested in.”

Reds warned off Butland

Liverpool have been warned not to waste their time making a £40 million move for Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland.

New Potters boss Paul Lambert insists the England international is not for sale, telling reporters: “There is absolutely no way he is going in January. Absolutely no chance. As long as I’m here I’ll do everything I can to keep him.”

Enrique lined up by Blues

Chelsea will look to replace Antonio Conte with former Barcelona boss Luis Enrique if their current coach walks away in the summer, reports the Daily Star .

It is also claimed that the Blues will seek to bring Juliano Belletti back to Stamford Bridge as the club's director of football.

Oblak not on Anfield radar

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak is not among those currently being considered by Jurgen Klopp as possible additions at Anfield, Guillem Balague has told Sky Sports .

The Reds are expected to try and bolster their options between the sticks either in January or the summer, but no move has been made towards the Spanish capital as yet.

Chelsea make Crouch contact

Chelsea have approached Stoke regarding a possible deal for Peter Crouch, reports The Daily Mirror .

The experienced striker has emerged as a shock target for the Blues, with efforts to secure his signature now stepped up after seeing routes to other targets blocked.

Klopp leading Konsa chase

Liverpool have overtaken neighbours Everton in the race to land Charlton's highly-rated defender Ezri Konsa, claims Kent Live .

The Toffees were reported to be readying a bid for the 20-year-old talent, but the Reds are now in pole position to land a player valued at £4m.

Mahrez to stay put?

Leicester remain confident that interest from the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool in Riyad Mahrez can be fended off.

Foxes boss Claude Puel, who values the Algerian at £100m, has said of a much sought-after asset: “He's enjoying playing for Leicester with his team-mates. This is the most important thing - we have this good feeling that the player wants to stay with us.”

Mkhitaryan In Tears As He Bids Farewell to Manchester United Team-Mates

Henrikh Mkhitaryan bid a tearful farewell to his Manchester United team-mates and club staff at Carrington on Friday as his swap deal with Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez moved a step closer.

Mkhitaryan’s switch to the Emirates has been holding up negotiations after his agent Mino Raiola warned that he could torpedo United’s hopes of signing Sanchez.

Jose Mourinho claimed there was ‘nothing new’ to report at a 12.45pm press conference on Friday other than to say that Mkhitaryan had once again been left out of United’s match-day squad to face Burnley.

However, just over an hour later the Armenia international said goodbye to his teammates and other members of staff at 2pm following what is expected to be his last training session with the club.

‘It was very tearful,’ said one United source. ‘Henrikh has been a very popular figure here at United.

‘We know he isn’t too happy at the way this deal has been forced upon him. He realises he has more chance of playing at Arsenal, but he would have preferred to leave on his own terms.’

Mkhitaryan, who joined United from Borussia Dortmund for £26million just 18 months ago, is now expected to travel to London to meet with Raiola and conclude the deal.

It’s understood that United will pay £35m for Sanchez, including a £20m transfer fee to Arsenal and £15m to the player’s agent Fernando Felicevich.

Sanchez will earn £350,000-a-week plus an extra £100,000-a-week to make up his signing-on fee over the course of a four-and-a-half-year contract.

It remains to be seen how much Arsenal must pay for Mkhitaryan, but Raiola has been negotiating the best possible personal terms for his client who earned £140,000-a-week at United and is set to become the highest earner at his new club.

PSG Have Made Pep Guardiola Their Top Managerial Target

Paris Saint-Germain have made Pep Guardiola their top managerial target and want him in place by next summer.

Guardiola's contract at Manchester City expires next year and PSG are understood to be doing everything they can to hire the 47-year-old.

The Mirror report that Guardiola is the club's prime target to succeed manager Unai Emery.

PSG demonstrated their financial muscle last summer when they signed Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.

Guardiola, however, seemed focused on the task in hand as he took City's first-team training on Friday.

The Premier League leaders are back in action against Newcastle United on Saturday afternoon.

It's Not Easy to Compete With Manchester City And United in The Transfer Market - Conte

The Blues have been linked with less fashionable names, while the Manchester clubs are targeting superstars in the January window

Chelsea don't find it easy to compete with the likes of Manchester City and United for top players in the transfer market, Antonio Conte hinted Friday.

The Blues broke their transfer record this season by bringing in Alvaro Morata for £58 million, a move that could rise to £70m with the add-on involved in the deal, but they lag behind the two Manchester sides in terms of net spending during the transfer windows.

Chelsea made a number of high-profile sales to fund spending and are now being linked with the likes of Stoke City's Peter Crouch and West Ham's Andy Carroll. But Conte admits that it might be tricky for the Premier League champions to keep up with some clubs on transfers.

"This question is one for the club," Conte said during a press conference at Cobham Training Centre. "For sure, now there are strong, big realities and it's not simple to fight them. But I don't know. I'm not in condition to follow up with that.

"In this moment, about Ross Barkley, I think the club took a good opportunity to buy an important player, an important English player, and not spend a lot of money. Ross' evaluation is more than £15m."

Chelsea go into the Brighton game on Saturday with a 15-point gap between them and Man City, who sit in first place in the Premier League table.

The Blues have slipped to fourth after playing to a 0-0 draw with Leicester last weekend, while Liverpool beat Man City. Conte thinks that the Premier League is the toughest league in world football, and understands how difficult it is to win the trophy.

“In every sport you have to fight if you want to reach great achievements," Conte said. "I think in England, it's very difficult to win the title, more than in other country. Because you start the season with six top teams trying to win the title.

"This is the only country where you can find this type of situation. At the same time, it's very difficult to fight and find a place in the top four. Last season, Manchester United and Arsenal stayed out.

"Two seasons ago, Liverpool were out and Chelsea finished 10th. They were out. But we must be ready, we must be ready to fight for a place in the top four. It won't be easy because every team wants to reach this target.

"This target is very prestigious for every team because this competition, [along with] the Champions League, is the biggest in the world for clubs. We must be optimistic. There are four months to play. Good targets.

"We are in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with the possibility of reaching the final, the fourth round of the FA Cup, the Champions League, and we're fighting for a Champions League place in the league. We must be optimistic and continue to work. Our work must give us the right optimism.”

“At this moment, Manchester City are one of those in the Champions League places. I don't know if they'll win the (Premier League) or not, but they are 12 points from the second and 20 from Arsenal."

Chelsea don't go into the game against Brighton in great shape having played 120 minutes in the FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday against Norwich.

Conte saw Morata and Pedro both get sent off for two yellow cards and they will miss the game, while the manager confirmed Gary Cahill and Cesc Fabregas are out with injuries. Conte admits he's unhappy that Pedro dived but says that he knows he has made a mistake.

“I think, during the game, the player can be tired, a bit tired, but Pedro's reaction was to stand up quickly," Conte said. "I think the player understood, at that moment, the mistake and wanted to stand up and admit it was a mistake, 'I was a bit tired'.

"But, sometimes we can make mistakes. The most important thing is to try and recognise the mistake and try and avoid repeating them next time. If you see, he didn't ask for a penalty.”

De Bruyne Ready to Sign Mega Six-Year Contract With Manchester City Worth More Than £260k a Week

Kevin De Bruyne is gearing up to sign a new deal at Manchester City worth more than £260,000 a week.

The Belgian, comfortably Pep Guardiola’s shining light this season, is ready to put pen to paper on a fresh six-year deal worth around £200,000 a week plus an additional £60,000 in image rights.

Fernandinho’s new two-year contract was confirmed on Friday morning, while central defender Nicolas Otamendi committed his future to the club earlier in the week. Talks have been ongoing with Gabriel Jesus.

City are working on a deal for Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred – interest revealed by Sportsmail last month - with a view to joining in the summer.

Guardiola also confirmed City will not go for another striker this month after pulling out of the Alexis Sanchez race, insisting that Sergio Aguero and Jesus are adequate for the remaining four months of this season. Jesus will miss Saturday’s visit of Newcastle through injury.

‘We do not need another one in that position,’ he added. ‘Other players can play there in different circumstances. To buy a striker who can only play there: that is not going to happen.

‘Raheem (Sterling) can play there. He did at Old Trafford and in the States in pre-season. He showed me that he can handle that pressure without problems.’

I Prefer Fekir to Neymar' - Lyon president Aulas

Jean-Michel Aulas is famously outspoken in his critiquing of PSG and the Lyon president prefers Nabil Fekir to Brazil superstar Neymar.

Lyon star Nabil Fekir is better than Neymar according to club president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Ligue 1 leaders PSG travel to Lyon on Sunday and the famously outspoken Aulas has again been stoking the fires of the rivalry.

Neymar has scored 15 times in France's top flight since joining for a world-record €222m from Barcelona in August, including a four-goal haul in the 8-0 demolition of Dijon during midweek.

France international Fekir also has 15 to his name this term and Aulas, whose club lie third and 11 points shy of PSG, would not swap his man for the Brazil superstar.

"I was already watching PSG without Neymar, inevitably he brings something more," he told Le Figaro.

"I prefer Nabil to Neymar. Do not put that in the title because Neymar will want to prove the opposite on Sunday against us!

"Nabil is our little Neymar. And [Bertrand] Traore looks a lot like Neymar in his dribbling, his way of accelerating.

"We are not outdone at OL [Lyon], with our means."

Aulas has resumed his customary theme of criticising PSG's lavish spending this week, prompting the capital club to tweet accusing him of "fake news" on Friday.

Asked about his motivations for persistently commenting on the Qatari-owned club, Aulas replied: "Do not mix everything up. On the one hand, there is a match between OL and PSG, and on the other, a battle of ideas between a sustainable economy of football, ours, and an economy, I would say, a little artificial.

"On the one hand, there are private investors who put in their own money with liberal competition rules and, on the other hand, an anomaly with state funds investing in much larger proportions.

"The budget of the first, PSG, is of the order of €800m and four times higher than that of the second, OL. And we play in the same competition."

Aulas also voiced concerns over PSG essentially ringfencing one of Ligue 1's Champions League spots with their financial might but he will be in their corner when they face Real Madrid in the last 16 next month.

"I applaud PSG with both hands," he added. "Against Real Madrid in the Champions League, even though their president Florentino Perez is a friend, I will obviously be a supporter of PSG.

"[PSG president] Nasser [Al-Khelaifi] is a super good guy, a quality leader. He is rich, handsome, young, intelligent.

"My reluctance does not concern him but the model in which he fits."

Manchester United 'Rule out Ronaldo Return' After New Arrival Sanchez is Allocated No 7 Shirt

Manchester United have 'no interest in re-signing Cristiano Ronaldo', scuppering the Real Madrid forward's hopes of a romantic return to Old Trafford.

According to Spanish newspaper Marca, the arrival of Alexis Sanchez from Arsenal has put paid to any chance of the 32-year-old Portuguese star coming back to United.

Sanchez will take the No 7 shirt in Jose Mourinho's squad, a number that had been reserved for Ronaldo until this point.

The Spanish press reported last week that Ronaldo had grown increasingly frustrated that Real had not acted on a promise to offer him a more lucrative contract following his role in their Champions League triumph last season.

They claimed Ronaldo had already told team-mates he was going to leave the Bernabeu and had his heart set on a return to United, where he played with distinction between 2003 and 2009.

But with United sealing a deal for Chile forward Sanchez, who will earn £450,000-a-week, the door appears to have closed on Ronaldo.

United are not planning any more signings this month and their priorities in the summer will be central midfield and central defence.

Marca also report that Mourinho is not interested in Gareth Bale, another key Real player who has been linked with a Premier League return.

Sanchez said farewell to his Arsenal team-mates at their team hotel on Friday evening as he prepares to join United.

A breakthrough was reached earlier in the day when Henrikh Mkhitaryan agreed to move in the opposite direction, although the Armenian wasn't pleased at how he had been pushed out.

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