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LIVE Transfer Talk: Man Utd ponder €80m bid for Sevilla’s Kounde

The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here is the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Man United eye Sevilla defender KoundeManchester United are keen to sign Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde despite the LaLiga club holding out for €80 million, as has been reported by ABC.

It is even suggested that the Red Devils could move to sign the France international during the January transfer window to address their defensive issues.

Clubs from across Europe are showing interest in the 22-year-old, but the Premier League seems his most likely destination due to the league’s financial strength. This comes after Chelsea had an offer of €50m knocked back during the summer transfer window.

Recent losses to derby rivals Liverpool and Manchester City have made Man United look into signing another centre-back despite bringing in Raphael Varane from Real Madrid in the summer.

However, Sevilla will also assess how they feel about losing Kounde halfway through the season. The Andalusians are one point behind LaLiga leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand. They sit at the bottom of their Champions League group, but still have a chance to progress to the knockout stage.

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LIVE BLOG19.58 GMT: Newcastle United could struggle to make signings during the January transfer window due to an “anyone but Newcastle” policy adopted by clubs across the Premier League, according to the Telegraph. It is suggested that the club’s controversial new ownership has led some rival outfits all but rule out doing business with the Magpies.

19.25 GMT: Barcelona manager Xavi wants the Blaugrana to strike a deal with Wolverhampton Wanderers for Francisco Trincao to return from his loan spell in January, according to Record. The Portuguese winger is supposed to stay with the Premier League outfit until the end of the season, so the Catalan giants would need to negotiate a deal to bring him back to Camp Nou early.

18.52 GMT: While Dusan Vlahovic remains Juventus’ priority signing in attack, the Turin club see Benfica’s Darwin Nunez as an alternative, according to Tuttosport. The Uruguay international already has eight goals in all competitions this term, including three in the Champions League, which has seen him get plenty of attention.

18.19 GMT: Chelsea are debating whether to allow Ross Barkley to leave during the January transfer window after the midfielder received opportunities from Thomas Tuchel in recent weeks, reports TEAMtalk. The midfielder reportedly believes he could still play a part for England at the World Cup, with Newcastle United, Leeds United and Everton all showing interest in the 28-year-old playmaker — although an initial loan with an option to make the move permanent is the club’s preferred option.

17.46 GMT: Reyes Cleary is yet to make his first-team debut for West Bromwich Albion, but his performances for the U23s have been so impressive that Bayern Munich are showing interest in him, according to the Mail. The 17-year-old is also being looked at by Newcastle United, Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace, Hoffenheim and Schalke 04.

17.13 GMT: With a move for Sassuolo’s Jeremie Boga seeming increasingly difficult, Atalanta have identified PSV Eindhoven winger Noni Madueke as an alternative, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A side is looking to see off competition from various clubs, including Borussia Dortmund, by moving before the winter window has opened — as they did with Joakim Maehle in December 2020.

16.40 GMT: Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne doesn’t look like he’ll be moving to MLS, according to comments from his agent Vincenzo Pisacan.

Insigne, 30, has yet to sign a new contract with Napoli after 11 years with the club and has been linked with a host of destinations next summer.

“He’s out of contract in June 2022,” Pisacan told Il Roma. “Napoli are offering a new contract with a 50% reduction in salary and Lorenzo was surprised by this proposal. We’re in talks and we’ll see. The MLS rumours are completely fake.”

16.11 GMT: Footmercato reports that Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez could depart in January.

Mahrez, 30, has been tracked by Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid after falling down the pecking order at the Etihad this season.

But with Raheem Sterling also looking for a potential exit, it’s unlikely that City will let both wingers leave at the same time.

15.32 GMT: Man United aren’t making plans to get a new manager yet.

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Mark Ogden describes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as limping on, but believes Man United are sticking by him for now.

14.21 GMT: Czech billionaire Daniel Kretinsky has completed a deal to purchase a minority stake in West Ham United, the club announced on Wednesday.

Both the men’s and the women’s teams have enjoyed positive starts to the season. The men’s side sit in third place in the Premier League after manager David Moyes’ side claimed a 3-2 home victory over Liverpool on Sunday, leaving them just three points behind leaders Chelsea.

Meanwhile, the women’s side are in sixth place with two wins after six games as they look to build on their ninth-place finish last term.

The deal comes amid public protests from the West Ham fans in recent years over majority owners David Sullivan and David Gold following a move from to the London Stadium in 2016.

14.07 GMT: Newcastle’s new manager Eddie Howe may have a decent transfer budget for the January window but the Daily Express says he’s keen to land Atletico Madrid full-back Kieran Trippier.

The former Tottenham and Burnley defender has done well for LaLiga’s champions since moving in 2019 but could be tempted back to the Premier League, with Man United previously linked.

Trippier, 31, has two years left on his contract but whether he wants to get involved in a relegation battle remains to be seen. Atletico are likely to demand his release clause of €40m is paid in full to let him leave.

13.40 GMT: PSG want to re-sign RB Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku, according to Bild.

Nkunku, 23, has scored nine goals in 12 games this season and has caught the eye with some stellar performances since leaving Paris for Germany in 2019.

Manchester City have also been linked with the France U21 international, but PSG are keen to bring him back as a potential replacement for Kylian Mbappe.

12.33 GMT: West Ham United forward Jarrod Bowen is on the radar of Liverpool, says The Daily Mirror.

Bowen, 24, has three goals in 15 games so far this season and Liverpool will be looking for backups as Sadio Mane and Mo Salah depart to play in the African Cup of Nations in a few months.

However, the report states that Liverpool won’t be looking to bring Bowen in during the January window.

11.50 GMT: New manager Eddie Howe has a tough job at Newcastle.

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Gab and Juls debate whether Eddie Howe should be involved with Newcastle’s search for a director of football.

11.11 GMT: Dani Alves will meet with Barcelona this week to discuss a return to the club, according to a report in UOL Esporte.

Alves, 38, has been without a team since leaving Sao Paulo earlier this year and was present at Camp Nou for Barca’s 1-0 win over Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League in October.

Speaking at the presentation of new coach Xavi Hernandez on Monday, Barca president Joan Laporta confirmed that Alves “is helping the club in many ways and has also offered us help from a sporting perspective.”

Alves, who won a Gold medal with Brazil at the Olympic Games in the summer, spent eight successful years at Barca between 2008 and 2016, winning 23 trophies, before spells with Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Sao Paulo.

He left Sao Paulo in September and has been looking for a new team ever since as he looks to cement his place in the Brazil squad ahead of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Sergino Dest, Oscar Mingueza and Sergi Roberto have been alternating at right-back so far this season for Barca, which is Alves’ natural position, although he can also play further forward.

10.26 GMT: Real Madrid right-back Dani Carvajal says it’s good for Spanish football that Xavi Hernandez has returned to LaLiga after he was appointed Barcelona coach on Monday.

“It’s good that Xavi comes to La Liga,” Carvajal said in quotes reported by AS: “He’s been a very important player for Barcelona, for LaLiga, and gives an extra to our league. I wish him the best of luck even if he is a competitor of us. He is a colleague and you can’t wish bad on anyone. I hope he can do the best thing possible but we will try to extend our gap with Barca.”

Asked if he had mixed feelings when Lionel Messi left LaLiga for PSG this summer, the Spain international said: “A bit of both. You can’t be totally happy because LaLiga has lost Messi. But being at Real Madrid you know that Barca loses a lot more without Messi and we have more options of winning LaLiga and the Copa del Rey.”

10.02 GMT: Espanyol forward Raul de Tomas says he does not rule out returning to play for Real Madrid one day.

A youth product of Los Blancos, De Tomas left the club to join Benfica on a permanent transfer in the summer of 2019 in search of playing time. He returned to LaLiga six months later after Espanyol acquired his sporting rights in a €22.5m transfer. He has a contract with Espanyol until June 2026.

De Tomas has impressed at Espanyol this season and is the third highest goal scorer in La Liga behind Karim Benzema and Luis Suarez with seven goals.

The 27-year-old, who earned his first call up to Spain’s national team for the World Cup qualifiers against Greece and Sweden, said: “I’m focusing on the day to day and you never know. I was brought p ijn Madrid and I was at the club since I was eight. Of course, I would like to (succeed at the Bernabeu stadium). It would be a dream to return to Madrid because I was brought up there and since I was eight I would walk into Real Madrid’s sporting ground. Everyone holds the dream of returning to where you grew up. Why not?”

09.20 GMT: The Daily Star claims Manchester United are ready to listen to decent offers to sign Paul Pogba.

Pogba, 28, could be out for two months with a thigh injury suffered while on international duty with France, sources have told ESPN.

With his contract expiring in the summer, that leaves the midfielder’s future up in the air and United could make efforts to move him on in January so they don’t lose out on a fee.

Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG are all keen to land Pogba.

08.49 GMT: Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United are all on the trail of West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, but The Sun claims the club won’t let him leave.

Rice, 22, is considered one of the best young players in Europe but West Ham are fighting for a top four spot in the Premier League this season and aren’t keen to let one of their star players depart, even for over £100m.

The report says: “No bid has ever been submitted. And even if one came in for as much as £100m, the Hammers board have no intention of doing business, believing they can satisfy the player’s ambitions themselves.”

08.30 GMT: ICYMI – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects to survive the international break and remain in charge for Manchester United’s next game against Watford, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

The Norwegian has spoken to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward since the demoralising 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Saturday but has so far been given no indication he is set for the sack.

Sources close to Solskjaer, 48, accept that he is vulnerable after a run of six defeats in 12 games but insist he has been told to begin preparations for the trip to Vicarage Road on Nov. 20 and that he remains confident of turning the situation around.

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Jugen Klopp believes Aaron Cresswell deserved to be sent off and says that the referee relied on VAR too much.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)- Liverpool could be set to sign a winger during the January transfer window to make up for the loss of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane during the African Cup of Nations, as reported by Fabrizio Romano on the Here We Go Podcast. Arnaut Danjuma, who signed for Villarreal from Bournemouth during the summer, is said to be a player of interest.

– Juventus could look into signing one of several candidates if they are unable to bring in AS Monaco midfielder and long-term target Aurelien Tchouameni. According to Calciomercato, among the names are Borussia Dortmund’s Axel Witsel, Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria and Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso. But their top option is Marseille’s Boubacar Kamara, who also has a deal coming to an end in the summer.

– West Ham United are considering making a third attempt to sign Giovanni Simeone as they look to add a striker to their squad, according to The Daily Express. However, with the Argentine on loan at Hellas Verona from Cagliari, and the former set to trigger a clause that would make that move permanent, it could be difficult to land him.

– Internazionale are still in control when it comes to signing Ajax Amsterdam goalkeeper Andre Onana despite interest from Barcelona among others, as reported by Fabrizio Romano. He states that Inter have had a verbal agreement with the Cameroon international for months and that a deal will be officially agreed when the rules allow.

– Napoli are hoping to sign defender Federico Gatti from Serie B side Frosinone, as has been reported by Calciomercato. The 23-year-old is rated at around €6m, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem, as there is also interest from Juventus, Atalanta and clubs abroad. In fact, a move could even be made during the January transfer window.

– Seattle Sounders star Raul Ruidiaz is drawing interest from Liga MX side Cruz Azul, according to Telemundo Sports’ Diego Montalvan. The report adds that a return to Mexico’s top flight seems unlikely for the 31-year-old Peru striker at this time. Other reports out of Seattle indicate that the Sounders have already exercised their 2022 club option for Ruidiaz.

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