Alvaro Morata’s Barcelona move on hold; Juventus, PSG at odds over Mauro Icardi


The 2022 January transfer window is open (find out when it closes here) and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Morata’s Barca move on hold as Juventus, PSG at odds over Icardi

January transfer windows can bring up some awkward negotiating scenarios for clubs and players, with Calciomercato reporting that Juventus’ search for a new striker is causing a traffic jam across the market.

This scenario begins with Alvaro Morata, who wants to cut his loan at Juve short and return to Spain to join Barcelona, who have already signed forward Ferran Torres from Manchester City for €55m this winter despite debts of over €1 billion.

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However, Juventus are insisting that they must find a suitable replacement before letting Morata depart, with Fiorentina’s Dusan Vlahovic and Sassuolo’s Gianluca Scamacca unlikely to join in January as they are summer targets.

Paris Saint-Germain striker Mauro Icardi is one player who could make the move to Turin this month, however, the Italian giants are hoping to sign the Argentina international on loan with an option to sign him permanently later, whereas PSG are only willing to accept a permanent move right now.

If Morata is to get his move to Barcelona, then it seems either Juventus or PSG will have to alter their stance on Icardi. Considering there have been no signs of them doing just that yet, everyone appears to be stuck in limbo.

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14.04 GMT: The Daily Mail says that Manchester City expect Raheem Sterling to sign a new contract.

Sterling, 27, seems back to his best but has struggled at times to cement his place in the City first-team this season.

The England forward was linked with a January loan move before City let winger Ferran Torres depart for a €55m move to Barcelona, with Sterling still tied to the club until 2023.

13.00 GMT: Can you imagine Tottenham striker Harry Kane at Man United?

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Gab and Juls debate whether Harry Kane would have been a good signing for Man United.

12.22 GMT: Barcelona still have some work to do before they can register Ferran Torres, according to club directors.

Barca signed the Spain forward from Manchester City for €55m last week and then loaned midfielder Philippe Coutinho to Aston Villa until the end of the season.

“Phil Coutinho’s departure helps us, generates fair play, but it’s not enough,” Barcelona football director Mateu Alemany said after Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Granada. “We are working a lot to find other departures, other situations, that will allow us to get that fair play needed to register Ferran. Ferran is still not available to play because he still has COVID.”

Barcelona vice-president Rafa Yuste said the club is working around the clock to make this happen: “We need more departures. We are working on it, all the club professionals are working so that this gets done as soon as possible.”

Austrian forward Yusuf Demir and French centre-back Samuel Umtiti are expected to be next to leave Camp Nou in the January transfer window.

Yuste, meanwhile, gave an update on negotiations for a contract extension for forward Ousmane Dembele, who has offers from clubs in the Premier League and Serie A and is in no hurry to sign a new deal. While Barca coach Xavi is keen for the France international to remain, it seems likely Dembele will leave Barca this summer as a free agent.

“We are focused on Dembele’s contract talks and the team we have,” he said. “Ferran’s arrival means we have a more consolidated team and we hope and desire that Dembele’s contract extension does happen as soon as possible. That’s what the coach wants, what we all want. The club has given his [Dembele’s] agents, and the player knows it already, the best that the club can currently offer and at this time we are waiting for his agents to respond. We hope to get it as soon as possible.”

11.47 GMT: The Houston Dynamo are closing in on a deal for Libertad and Paraguay youth international striker Carlos Sebastian Ferreira Vidal, sources have confirmed to ESPN.

Telemundo’s Roberto Rojas was among the first to report the news. The sources added that Ferreira, 23, is expected to fly to Houston in the next few days to finalize the deal, with the agreed transfer fee around $6m.

If the deal is completed, Ferreira will join a Houston side in need of attacking help, with Dynamo’s 36 goals in 2021 tied for the second-worst mark in Major League Soccer.

11.03 GMT: PSG forward Kylian Mbappe could yet sign a new contract with the club, says Le Parisien.

Mbappe, 23, made is clear that he wanted to leave for Real Madrid last summer but PSG rejected an offer of €200m. The France international’s contract expires in the summer and he looks set to sign for the Spanish club then for nothing.

However, Mbappe has also said that he doesn’t want to leave the club on a free transfer and so could sign a short-term deal, perhaps with an achievable release clause, allowing him to move and PSG to pick up a fee.

Equally, he may decide that he’s happy in Paris and put his dream Madrid move on hold for another few years. He has time on his side.

10.25 GMT: Fabrizio Romano reports that Manchester United are prepared to let winger Amad Diallo leave on loan.

United spent €21m (with another €20m in add-ons) to sign Diallo from Atalanta last year but he has only made nine appearances since.

The Ivorian is set to join Birmingham on loan to gain more experience, though there are apparently four other clubs also interested.

09.56 GMT: Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga doesn’t seem to have a long-term future at the club and was left on the bench for the 5-1 win over Chesterfield in the FA Cup, with Marcus Bettinelli given the chance.

Kepa, 27, became the world’s most expensive goalkeeper at €80m when he joined Chelsea, but now can’t usurp Edouard Mendy as No. 1.

With Mendy playing for Senegal at the Africa Cup of Nations this month, Kepa has a chance to shine and The Athletic says that Lazio are interested in signing him permanently. However, his €200,000-a-week wages are a bit of an issue for the Serie A side.

09.34 GMT: A raft of Tottenham players are fearing for their futures as Antonio Conte plans a ruthless overhaul of the squad with more than half a dozen players at risk of being moved, sources told ESPN.

The Italian delivered a scathing assessment of the group in the aftermath of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup semifinal, first leg defeat at Chelsea, claiming “we are a team in the middle” and nowhere near ready to compete at the top end of the Premier League.

Sources told ESPN that view has been replicated in private meetings Conte has held with senior figures at the club in mapping out how to reshape his squad, a strategy that centres on a major overhaul taking place.

It is understood that Dele Alli, Steven Bergwijn, Matt Doherty and Tanguy Ndombele are among the list of players Conte is willing to part with. There is also some uncertainty over Japhet Tanganga and Giovani Lo Celso, among others.

09.00 GMT: Ralf Rangnick fears dressing room unrest at Manchester United could derail their bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four this season, sources told ESPN.

Speaking after the 1-0 defeat to Wolves on Monday night — Rangnick’s first loss as interim manager at Old Trafford — Luke Shaw said the team had not felt “together” on the pitch while also questioning their motivation and intensity during the game.

Sources told ESPN that although Rangnick was disappointed with the comments, Shaw’s interview did not come as a huge surprise and that there are concerns that if the issues are not fixed, United’s hopes of securing Champions League football next season will fade quickly.

Rangnick has been in his post for a month, and a number of players have said they want to leave. Sources said that fringe players who became frustrated at a lack of game time under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believed they were getting a clean slate under the 63-year-old but again feel underused.

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Craig Burley and Jan Aage Fjortoft say Ralf Rangnick needs to make some big statements to the players at Manchester United.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Cristiano Ronaldo has held crisis talks with his agent, Jorge Mendes, regarding his Manchester United future, according to The Sun. The Portugal international forward, 36, is frustrated by the Red Devils’ performance and disillusioned with interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s tactics. Nothing is said to be ruled out for now.

Julian Alvarez‘s agent, Fernando Hidalgo, is set to travel to Italy in the coming days in an attempt to find a deal for the River Plate attacker, says Calciomercato. Fiorentina are currently the most interested club, but Hidalgo is looking bigger for now and is hoping to continue talks with Juventus, Atletico Madrid and AC Milan over a $20m move.

– It has already been reported that Atletico Madrid are interested in Arsenal’s Cedric Soares as they look for Kieran Trippier‘s replacement after the Englishman’s move to Newcastle United. However, Nicolo Schira has added two more names to the mix, mentioning Lille’s Zeki Celik and RB Leipzig’s Nordi Mukiele.

– West Ham United have made an approach to sign Aston Villa centre-back Kortney Hause, according to Football Insider, with Kurt Zouma and Angelo Ogbonna having both suffered injuries for the Hammers. Steven Gerrard is reportedly willing to let the 26-year-old leave if another centre-back is signed in January, with Watford having also made an enquiry.

– Marseille are looking to bring in Spartak Moscow’s Samuel Gigot and Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac during the January transfer window, as has been reported by L’Equipe. The club president, Pablo Longoria, is under pressure from Jorge Sampaoli to strengthen his squad while working with tight finances. Kolasinac would act as a replacement for Jordan Amavi, who has joined Nice on loan.



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