THE January transfer window is OPEN and deals are being completed all over Europe.
Leicester are narrowing their sights on Norwich’s Todd Cantwell with the Canaries wanting around £15million for the star whose contract expires in the summer.
SunSport can exclusively reveal Liverpool are eyeing a £60m deal for Porto’s Colombian winger Luis Diaz.
And the Reds are also interested in Barcelona’s wonderkid Gavi and are prepared to pay him 50 TIMES his current salary at the Nou Camp.
Philippe Coutinho has completed a return to the Premier League.
Barcelona have accepted a loan offer from Aston Villa, bringing the former Liverpool star back to England.
And Erling Haaland is a summer target for Real Madrid, who are confident they can land both him and Kylian Mbappe.
Meanwhile the big Premier League clubs are taking part in the FA Cup third round.
When does the 2022 January transfer window close?
The transfer window opened on January 1, and closes on the 31st at 11pm.
Clubs will be able to sign and sell players during that time, with the Premier League’s winter break due to take place while the final week of the window is going on.
Get all the latest transfer news, gossip and updates here…
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City youngster set for switch
Stoke are set to add a fresh face to their defensive line this month with the news that Manchester City youngster Taylor Harwood-Bellis is on his way to the Potters on loan, as reported by John Percy of The Telegraph.
The youngster is highly regarded at the Etihad and has already racked up a lot of experience considering his age.
Most recently, he even spent some time on loan in Belgium, where he continued to shine.
Milner earns Cristiano Ronaldo comparison
James Milner is in physical shape to rival the chiselled Cristiano Ronaldo.
That’s according to ex-Manchester City physio Paul Webster, who has lifted the lid on the now-Liverpool star’s fitness regime.
Milner celebrated his 36th birthday earlier this month but is still turning out in huge games for Jurgen Klopp’s Reds.
And Webster revealed the midfielder has the stamina to match the sculpted Ronaldo – also 36 – telling Goal: “I watched (Milner) against Chelsea and he was probably one of the fittest on the pitch.
“He looks young, he looks fit, he’s probably got eight percent body fat or something ridiculous.
“He’s a bit like Ronaldo. I’ve never worked with Ronaldo, but I know people that have and I get the same impression.”
Bling boots for Salah & Mane
Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have received custom boots ahead of the start of their Africa Cup of Nations campaigns.
And they will be hoping they can light up the tournament with their incredible new footwear.
Salah has a deal with Adidas who have produced a gold and red boot for him to wear.
The shoe has ‘MO’ marked into the back of the left boot and a crown marked into the back of the right.
Meanwhile, Mane’s deal with New Balance has seem them customise a fiery orange and blue shoe for him to showcase at the Cup of Nations.
The laces read: “The Lion Roars: Sadio Mane” in reference to Senegal’s nickname “The Lions of Teranga”.
Familiar faces missing for United
Manchester United arrived at the Hyatt hotel this afternoon ahead of their FA Cup clash with Aston Villa – but Cristiano Ronaldo and Harry Maguire were nowhere to be spotted.
The Red Devils welcome their fellow Premier League side to Old Trafford this evening for their third-round clash.
Ralf Rangnick’s troops arrived at the Hyatt this afternoon before making their way to the Theatre of Dreams.
But club legend Ronaldo and skipper Maguire weren’t with their team-mates as they checked into the plush hotel.
Their absences are likely not a cause for concern as neither man is understood to have any injuries.
It’s more than likely they’re making their own way to the hotel later this afternoon.
Shinji Kagawa makes Belgium switch
Former Manchester United star Shinji Kagawa has joined Belgian side Sint-Truiden on a free transfer.
The 97-cap Japan international, 32, was released by Greek side PAOK last month after less than a year at the club.
But Kagawa has been given a chance to revive his career with a move to the Belgian top-flight club.
On the move, Kagawa told the club website: “Hello STVV supporters.
“I have made the decision to come with a strong determination.
“I want to contribute with my football and experience and help the team achieve its goals.
“I look forward to serving the fans and supporters. Thank you for your support.”
Magpies on hunt for striker
Newcastle have reportedly identified an alternative striker target in the Championship after being linked with Chris Wood, Divock Origi and Eddie Nketiah.
Callum Wilson could be sidelined for up to eight weeks after a scan revealed the extent of his calf injury.
That means Eddie Howe is keen to sign a new striker, with Queens Park Rangers star Lyndon Dykes another option.
Ake linked to Milan move
AC Milan are weighing up a move for Manchester City defender Nathan Ake.
Coach Stefano Pioli is on the look-out for a new centre back after losing Simon Kjaer for the rest of the season with a knee ligament injury.
A host of names have been linked with a move to Milan and Dutch international Ake is the latest.
Reports in Italy on Monday suggest they could make an enquiry about the former Chelsea and Bournemouth man, 26.
However City are unlikely to agree to let their £40 million signing leave this month – particularly with Covid still causing problems.
Ronaldo set for Messi link-up?
Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly lining up a sensational move for Cristiano Ronaldo that would see him link up with rival Lionel Messi at the Parc des Princes.
SunSport revealed the 36-year-old has held crisis talks with agent Jorge Mendes about his future in England.
And reports in France claim PSG are ready to pounce if the forward signals it’s time to move on.
Any move to the French capital would see Ronaldo team up with Messi in a duo that most football fans would never have dreamed of seeing.
Samuel Umtiti extends Barcelona stay
Samuel Umtiti has agreed to extend his Barcelona contract until 2026. He had a year and a half left on his deal.
The Frenchman has agreed to a pay cut which will allow the Catalan giants to register Ferran Torres in line with LaLiga’s financial fair play rules.
Umtiti has been heavily linked with a Nou Camp departure in recent months but he has agreed to prolong his stay.
A Barca statement on Monday read: “FC Barcelona and Samuel Umtiti have reached an agreement to extend his contract until 30 June 2026.
“The French defender is reducing a part of the salary that he was due to receive in the year and a half remaining on his contract.
“Through this contract extension, FC Barcelona will be able to increase its ‘financial fair play’ quota and thus register Ferran Torres with the Spanish Professional Football League.”
Transfer setback for the Magpies
Burnley are ready to rebuff any bids for striker Chris Wood from relegation rivals Newcastle this month.
However Burnley are in a scrap of their own and believe Wood will be vital if they are to beat the drop.
And they have no intention of strengthening one of the clubs who will be battling with them for survival over the next four months.
Wood, 30, only has three Prem goals this term – but hit double figures in each of his previous four campaigns at Turf Moor.
And that’s why the former Leeds forward has appeared on the radar of Howe who is desperate to bolster his club’s chances of staying up.
Newcastle have also been linked with Burnley’s long-serving defensive duo of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski.
Newcastle edge closer to signing
Newcastle have held talks with Monaco over their £35million centre-back Benoit Badiashile, according to reports.
Toon boss Eddie Howe is desperate to add to his defensive ranks as the Magpies look to stave off the looming threat of relegation.
The 20-year-old has previously attracted interest from Manchester United, Wolves and West Ham.
He has played 20 times in all competitions this season.
Newcastle are struggling to agree terms with Lille for Sven Botman and have upped their efforts to sign Badiashile as a result, according to the Mail.
The France Under-21 international is valued at around £35m by Monaco.
Villa target promising young defender
Steven Gerrard has made a move to sign Dundee United wonderkid Kerr Smith.
SunSport understands Aston Villa have put a sizeable cash offer on the table – up to £800k – for the highly-rated 17-year-old defender in a bid to get him tied down first.
Smith, who made his Dundee United debut last year just 24 hours after his sixteenth birthday, has been tracked by several big-name clubs south of the border.
In the last 12 months, the teenager has spent time training with Manchester United and Everton as well as Villa.
The Birmingham-based side have been long-time admirers so have now jumped to the front of the queue.
Rose set to leave Watford
Danny Rose has been told he can leave Watford after just seven months, according to the Daily Mail.
And that could see the left-back make a free transfer exit this January.
The Hornets reportedly informed the player he would never play for the club again.
However, with 18 months left on his two-year deal at Vicarage Road, the report adds Rose has no intention of being forced out.
It is understood there has been a serious breakdown in his relationship between the 29-cap England international with manager Claudio Ranieri.
Wigan aim to strengthen attack
Millwall striker Matt Smith is a target for Wigan.
And the Lions are willing to let the frontman leave if he wants to.
Just six of his 21 Championship appearances for the south Londoners this season have been starts. And he has netted one League goal.
The League One Latics want the experienced star, 32, to bolster their promotion bid.
After leaving university, Smith was snapped up by Oldham at the age of 22.
He then went on to play for Leeds, Fulham and Bristol City before he joined the Lions from QPR in 2019.
Spurs willing to sell Ndombele
Tottenham face a challenge to offload Tanguy Ndombele after he was booed off the pitch in Sunday’s FA Cup win over Morecambe.
Spurs are open to offers for Ndombele but remain conscious of the difficulties involved in any deal, and they are set to explore a number of possibilities this month.
Sources close to the French midfielder last night acknowledged that he may have to leave the club in the transfer window, while insisting he was still happy at Spurs and determined to fight for a place in Antonio Conte’s team.
Ndombele was booed by sections of the home support as he left the pitch at walking pace after being replaced by Oliver Skipp during yesterday’s 3-1 comeback win in the third-round.
West Ham dealt transfer blow
West Ham have discovered if they will be able to sign in-form striker Patrik Schick as he has directly responded to the transfer links.
Sources put West Ham in the frame to land the 25-year-old as they search for competition for Michail Antonio. But they are not alone as Schick has also appeared on the radars of Everton and Newcastle.
“But I’m really, really happy in Leverkusen and I want to go to the Champions League with Bayer 04. I love living in Germany.
“I’m not thinking about other clubs at all. Everyone knows my contract situation. And I would never cause problems for a club and push through a transfer.”
Emerson Palmieri could be recalled
Chelsea are reportedly ‘attempting to recall’ Emerson Palmieri from loan at Lyon and will pay compensation to get him back.
According to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are willing to offer Lyon compensation if they approve the loan recall of the left-back.
He had moved to France on a season-long loan deal, but he could be in line to return to Stamford Bridge should the French side give in to the demands.
Tuchel has asked the Blues to end the arrangement with Lyon due to his defensive crisis.
Gunners like look of Guimaraes
Arsenal are eyeing up Lyon midfielder Bruno Guimaraes as their top transfer target in the January window, according to reports.
The Gunners are said to have comprised a three-man shortlist as they look to bolster their options in the middle of the park.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Juventus man Arthur Melo is also in the picture as a possible signing for Mikel Arteta – along with a third unnamed player.
But it is Guimaraes who remains the frontrunner as Arsenal assess the likelihood of prising him away from the Ligue 1 side.
Ibrahimovic matches superb Ronaldo record
Zlatan Ibrahimovic equalled a remarkable Cristiano Ronaldo record with a goal for AC Milan on Sunday.
The Serie A giants ensured rivals Inter would remain just one point ahead of them in the title race as Ibrahimovic’s second minute strike helped them to a 3-0 win over Venezia.
And the Swede’s early goal was a momentous one as it was the 80th team he has scored against in Europe’s top five leagues.
The feat means he pulls level with Ronaldo – who netted against his 80th different side in Man Utd’s 3-1 win over Burnley in December.
‘Nothing has been ruled out’
Cristiano Ronaldo has held crisis talks with his agent Jorge Mendes about his future at Manchester United.
Mendes jetted into the UK to address Ronaldo’s fears his dream return to Old Trafford is in danger of ending in disaster.
A source close to Ronaldo revealed to SunSport: “Cristiano is very concerned about what is happening at United.
“The team is receiving a lot of criticism and he knows he is regarded as one of the leaders. There are quite a lot of problems and Cristiano is feeling the pressure and is very stressed by the situation.
“He desperately wants his United move to be a success, but he is starting to recognise that winning trophies with the current set up could be a real struggle.
“Jorge came to see him and they spent time chatting through how things are going, what they think are the problems, how they might be solved and what the solutions may be. Nothing has been ruled out.”
Real to hijack Barca move
Liverpool, Chelsea Paris Saint-Germain are all in the picture to sign Franck Kessie, along with La Liga rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, reports El Nacional.
It had been recently reported by some outlets that Barça had taken the lead in pursuit of the 25-year-old Ivory Coast international as Xavi Hernandez & co. sought to add the powerful box-to-box midfielder to their ranks.
However, according to the aforementioned report from El Nacional, Real Madrid have eked ahead in the race as Florentino Perez looks to bring in a long-term replacement for Luka Modric.
Mbappe to stay in Paris?
Kylian Mbappe could make a dramatic u-turn and snub a summer move to Real Madrid in favour of signing a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.
According to a report in French publication Le Parisien on Monday, Mbappe is deciding whether to commit his long-term future to the club.
Mbappe’s current idea expires at the end of the season and Real are ready to pounce.
And Mbappe is believed to have harboured a long-standing desire to play for the Spanish giants.
But the Frenchman could put that dream on hold by penning a new deal with PSG.
Arsenal learn Bissouma asking price
Brighton are ready to stand firm amid interest in midfielder Yves Bissouma, who the Seagulls value at £50million, according to The Athletic.
Bissouma has plenty of admirers across the Premier League, with Manchester United and Liverpool both also keeping tabs on the 25-year-old, while Arsenal have a long-term interest.
The Mail report that both Newcastle United and Aston Villa are also in the hunt for his signature.
But Arsenal have good relations with Brighton after agreeing a £50m deal with the south coast club for the transfer of Ben White in the summer.
Barkley to leave on loan?
Thomas Tuchel has refused to rule out the possibility of Ross Barkley securing a move away from Chelsea in the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old midfielder has started just four games for the European champions so far this season – only one of which has come in the Premier League.
As a result of his lack of game time, Barkley has been linked with a loan return to former side Everton this month.
The Chelsea boss said: “We haven’t discussed it yet [a loan deal]. It depends what Ross wants and what possibilities there are and what makes sense. Let’s see.
“There’s always a chance it is not like it is the FA Cup and here’s your chance. There’s always a chance to make it onto the pitch, especially with a lot of Covid and injury cases.
“The situation has not changed, not for Ross, not for anybody else.”
Barca eye Ajax defensive star
Barcelona are keen on signing Ajax and Argentina defender Lisandro Martinez this month, according to Tutto Mercato Webb.
The 23-year-old, who came through the ranks at Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina, joined Ajax in 2019 after a stint at Defensa y Justicia.
Barca have also been linked wth moves for Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen and Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt.
But Martinez is a more realistic and less expensive alternative,
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