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The transfer window opened in early January, and speculation is heating up about potential deals. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY: Diop joins Long, Mustafi on Klopp’s wanted list

Liverpool have made an enquiry over the potential signing of West Ham United defender Issa Diop, the Athletic reports.

It’s no secret that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp wants to bring in an emergency centre-back this transfer window to plug a hole in his injury-laden defence, and while the New York Red Bulls’ Aaron Long and Arsenal’s Shkodran Mustafi are both in the running, per ESPN and the Evening Standard, Diop has also emerged as a leading contender.

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Diop, 24, has made 69 appearances for the Hammers since joining them from Toulouse in 2018, but he has fallen out of favour with manager David Moyes in recent times. The centre-back, who has been capped by France at under-21 level, is reportedly hoping a move to Anfield can reignite his career.

Meanwhile, sources told ESPN that an unnamed Championship club had a loan bid for MLS star Long rejected late on Saturday, meaning Klopp’s side are still in the running for the 28-year-old United States international.

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11.02 GMT: Manchester City academy star Jayden Braaf has been being tracked by Bundesliga sides RB Leipzig and Borussia Dortmund but is set to head to Italy to join Udinese on loan for the rest of the season, reports Goal.

Braaf, 18, has not made the breakthrough into the City first-team but is one of the stars of the club’s academy and is keen to play at a higher level.

The Dutch winger has a contract until 2023 and is valued at around €9m if they choose to move him on permanently, along with add-ons.

10.46 GMT: Former Chelsea goalkeeper Marcin Bulka, who is now at Paris Saint-Germain, has moved on loan to Ligue 2 side Chateauroux for the rest of the season. The deal doesn’t contain an option to make it permanent in the summer.

10.39 GMT: United States forward Jozy Altidore won’t play in Sunday’s friendly against Trinidad & Tobago due in part to injury, as well as a possible transfer involving the Toronto FC star, according to U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter.

Berhalter, addressing reporters via a Zoom call ahead of the match, said that Altidore was training hard and well, but sustained an injury two weeks ago, one that was a “very, very minor strain” that didn’t show up in scans.

“From there on in he just worked his way back and he was also in full training today,” said Berhalter about Altidore. “But with the transfer window looming, and the game being tomorrow, it’s a chance we didn’t want to take with Jozy, so he will not be participating.”

The U.S. manager added that “a number of clubs” have expressed interest in Altidore. Sources confirmed the possibility he could be on the move, and emphasized the fact that the player’s relationship with TFC — and GM Ali Curtis in particular — had reached a breaking point, and that he no longer wants to play in Toronto.

10.20 GMT: Leicester want to sign Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan from Arsenal, reports The Athletic.

West Bromwich Albion and Southampton have been tracking the 23-year-old but Leicester are reportedly keen to play him in midfield, rather than full-back where he has been filling in for the Gunners.

10.07 GMT: Manchester City aren’t planning on making any major signings this window but they are snapping up some young talent.

The Daily Telegraph reports that they have approached Rochdale over a deal for 18-year-old winger Kwadwo Baah.

There are other clubs interested in him — namely Bayern, West Ham and Rangers — but City are willing to loan him back to Rochdale for next season.

09.31 GMT: Manchester United have been tracking Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho for a while now. His contract is valued at €120m, but recent poor form suggested he might be allowed to leave for less. Not any more.

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Jan Aage Fjotoft and Jurgen Klinsmann laud Jadon Sancho for how exceptionally he took his goal for Borussia Dortmund.

09.16 GMT: Sami Khedira is set to leave Juventus and join Hertha Berlin, reports kicker.

Khedira, 33, hasn’t play a single game under manager Andrea Pirlo and his contract expires in the summer. The report says he will undergo a medical at Hertha on Sunday.

09.09 GMT: United States defender DeAndre Yedlin is set for a move to Galatasaray from Newcastle United, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.

Yedlin, 27, is to travel to Turkey for his medical after both clubs agreed on a fee for the right-back.

Yedlin’s contract was up in June and his original preference was to stay at Newcastle, but he has taken up a three-and-a-half-year deal with Galatasaray.

08.44 GMT: United States youth international Bryan Reynolds is set to join Serie A side AS Roma from FC Dallas, sources have told ESPN’s Tom Hamilton.

Roma have agreed a deal that would bring Reynolds to Italy originally on loan, but has an obligation to sign the player for €7m plus add-ons, sources say.

Reynolds, 19, departed Dallas for Rome on Saturday and will undergo his medical on arrival. Once Reynolds has passed his medical, he will sign a four-and-a-half year deal with the Italian club.

08.30 GMT: El Mundo claims it has obtained a copy of Lionel Messi‘s Barcelona contract, saying figures confirm the star player’s deal is the biggest in sports history.

According to the report, Messi would receive a maximum of €555,237,619 (US$673,919,105) over four seasons, if a series of conditions were met.

The contract was agreed in November 2017 and expires on June 30 this year, when Messi will leave Camp Nou if there is no agreement with the club over an extension.

Messi tried to leave Barcelona last summer, arguing that a clause in the deal allowed him to walk away for free, before eventually backing down.

The size of Barca’s financial commitment to Messi, 33, is one of a number of deals that have left the club’s accounts in a perilous position.

Their most recent set of accounts revealed that Barca’s total debt is over €1 billion and player wages are responsible for almost three-quarters of the club’s budget.

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ESPN FC’s Mark Ogden doesn’t think Sergio Ramos to PSG is a forward thinking move.

PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

Ramos wants to move to Old Trafford

Sergio Ramos is ready to quit Real Madrid in favour of a move to Manchester United, the Mirror reports.

In addition to contract talks between Ramos and Real falling apart, the Spaniard has now also reportedly decided that he isn’t interested in a move to Paris Saint-Germain, instead preferring to test himself in the Premier League.

Possible switches to Manchester City or Liverpool have previously been described as very difficult, whereas Old Trafford is thought to be top of the Spain international’s wishlist.

Manchester United go after Kounde

The Mirror is also reporting that Manchester United are keen to make a move to sign Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer views Kounde as his primary target during the upcoming summer transfer window as he goes in search of the perfect centre-back partner for Harry Maguire.

Kounde’s contract is considered to be worth around £60m and the player is viewed as one of La Liga’s most promising defensive stars.

Tap-ins

– Arsenal are contemplating a late push to sign Crystal Palace defender Patrick van Aanholt, the Mirror reports. Mikel Arteta is eager to bring in another left-back as cover for Kieran Tierney before the January window closes, and with Van Aanholt having only six months left on his contract, the Eagles could be tempted into letting him go before he potentially leaves on a free transfer.

– Calciomercato says that Torino are pursuing the signing of Juventus defender Daniele Rugani. The defender is enjoying a loan spell with Rennes with many believing he would return to the Old Lady for another run at the first team, but instead, Torino are hoping to take advantage of the situation by signing him for themselves.

– Trabzonspor have seemingly pulled the plug on a move to sign Tottenham Hotspur’s Danny Rose, TalkSPORT reports. While it did seem like Rose was destined to head to Turkey, the club’s president has said it would be “very difficult” because of the time it would take to complete the deal — potentially indicating that the problem is related to COVID-19 quarantine rules.


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