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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Fernandes rubbishes Barcelona links
Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes slammed rumours linking him with a transfer to Barcelona.
Fernandes became the latest United ace to squash gossip about discontent surrounding the United squad.
Portuguese outlet SPORT TV reported the playmaker had been offered to Barca.
But the Portugal international issued the following response on Instagram: “And I thought the new year only started a few days ago, yet we’re already on April 1!
“Or is this once again just bad journalism?”
Fiorentina star Dusan Vlahovic would ‘love’ to play under Tottenham boss Antonio Conte.
Vlahovic is a major Arsenal target during the ongoing January transfer window.
According to 90Min, however, the centre-forward is a big fan of Spurs masnager Conte and would like to join forces with him one day.
The Serbia international, who is willing to wait until the summer to move away from the Viola, is also linked with Tottenham who are likely to lose Harry Kane at the end of the season
Aston Villa team news
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard said he will field a strong line-up against Manchester United.
Tyrone Mings and Ollie Watkins appear set to return after missing the defeat at Brentford last week.
But Kortney Hause is facing a late fitness call after reporting some “tightness” at Brentford.
And ex-United skipper Ashley Young will be checked after fracturing his toe.
Star January signing Philippe Coutinho is unlikely to be involved after agreeing to join on loan from Barcelona.
Coutinho’s debut may take place against United in the Premier League on January 15
Borussia Dortmund superstar Erling Haaland fumed at Eintracht Frankfurt star Rafael Santos Borre in the closing stages of yesterday’s 3-2 victory.
And eagle-eyed observers couldn’t help but notice that Haaland was shouting in Spanish.
The star striker has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona this summer.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich are also keeping tabs on the Norway international.
So when a clearly incensed Haaland started shouting ‘Que pasa?’, meaning ‘what’s going on?’ at Colombian Borre it got people talking.
The enraged 21-year-old also appeared to grab his crotch as he had to be separated from Borre by the referee and opponent Timothy Chandler
Man Utd team news
Manchester United host Aston Villa at Old Trafford in the third round of the FA Cup tomorrow.
United skipper Harry Maguire is a doubt as he is still dealing with an injury and has yet to start training again.
Victor Lindelof, on the other hand, returned to training on Thursday after testing positive for coronavirus, but Paul Pogba remains sidelined with a thigh injury.
Eric Bailly and Hannibal Mejbri are out on international duty at the Copa Africa
FA Cup draw
Here is the FA Cup’s fourth-round draw in full following Arsenal’s shock elimination by Nottingham Forest:
Crystal Palace vs Hartlepool
Bournemouth vs Boreham Wood
Huddersfield vs Barnsley
Peterborough vs QPR
Cambridge United vs Luton
Southampton vs Coventry
Chelsea vs Plymouth
Everton vs Brentford
Kidderminster Harriers vs West Ham
Man Utd or Aston Villa vs Middlesbrough
Tottenham vs Brighton
Liverpool vs Cardiff
Stoke vs Wigan
Nottingham Forest vs Leicester
Man City vs Fulham
Wolves vs Norwich
Nottingham 1-0 Arsenal
Arsenal have been eliminated from the FA Cup after losing to Nottingham Forest!
Forest picked up a major victory thanks to Lewis Grabban’s winner on 83 minutes.
That means they are going to face Leicester in the competition’s fourth round.
The Championship side are set for another tough encounter as they will take on the FA Cup holders
Leicester have joined the transfer war for for Norwich ace Todd Cantwell.
Liverpool, Tottenham, Newcastle, Leeds and Roma are also keeping tabs on the midfielder.
The Canaries want around £15million for Cantwell, whose contract expires in the summer.
But if no club meets his asking price it is believed that Norwich intend to trigger the option to keep the former England Under-21 international for another year.
The 23-year-old fell out of favour under former boss Daniel Farke after failing to regain form following back and Achilles injuries.
New manager Dean Smith has given the academy graduate two starts since he replaced Farke
‘Nothing ruled out’
Manchester United great Cristiano Ronaldo has held crisis talks with his agent Jorge Mendes about his future at Old Trafford.
Mendes flew to the UK to address Ronaldo’s fears as his dream return to United is in danger of ending in disaster.
Sunsport understand the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is frustrated by how the Red Devils are performing.
The Portugal international is also disillusioned with interim manager Ralf Rangnick’s tactics and style of football.
A source close to Ronaldo revealed: “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”
Barcelona ace Sergino Dest may be available for €40million (£33.4m) in the January transfer window.
That is according to El Nacional, who claim that Dest has been linked with Arsenal as well as Chelsea.
In fact, Blues owner Roman Abramovich has already offered €30m (£25m) for the full-back.
The west Londoners see the USA international as the perfect fit to fill in for the injured Ben Chilwell, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season
Entire Cambridge team copy Ronaldo’s celebration
Ronaldo’s ‘Siu’ celebration is a well known sight to both Premier League and Champions League opposition.
Newcastle themselves have already seen it twice this season after Ronaldo’s double on his emotional return to Manchester United, but now Cambridge United have also performed the celebration against the Magpies.
It rubbed salt into the wound for Newcastle, as the richest club in world football were dumped out of the FA Cup by League One Cambridge.
A solitary Joe Ironside goal was enough to decide the game, as Kieran Trippier’s Newcastle career got off to the worst possible start.
And after the memorable win, Cambridge’s heroic squad celebrated in front of their raucous 4,830 strong travelling support.
The celebrations including a rendition of Ronaldo’s ‘Siu’ celebration, much to the delight of the away fans.
Onana’s AFCON howler
Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana was left red-faced after conceding the first goal of of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Cameroon shot-stopper was directly at fault for Burkina Faso’s opener after a moment of madness between the sticks.
Onana, 25, was playing in just his third game back after serving a NINE month banfrom football for a doping violation.
He actually finished the suspension in November, but has been out of favour at Ajax, playing just twice since.
The keeper is still No1 between the sticks for Cameroon, but might not be for much longer after his absolute howler in the AFCON opener.
After being rescued by a goal-line clearance following a header by Aston Villa man Bertrand Traore, Onana then made a right mess of a resulting cross.
His blushes were spared momentarily as the ball rebounded off the crossbar, but it was quickly whipped back into the box.
And as he tried to punch clear, Onana missed the ball completely, leaving Gustavo Sangare free to volley home at the back post and give Burkina Faso a shock 1-0 lead.
Edouard Mendy tests positive for Covid
Chelsea star Edouard Mendy won’t be part of Senegal’s opener against Zimbabwe in the Africa Cup of Nations on Monday as he tested positive for COVID-19.
According to Sky Sports, Mendy became the ninth player to be ruled out for the Lions of Teranga as he joins Napoli star and the nation’s captain Kalidou Koulibaly in the sidelines.
Famara Diedhiou, Alfred Gomis, Saliou Ciss, Bamba Dieng, Mame Baba Thiam, Pape Matar Sarr and Leicester’s Nampalys Mendy also returned positive tests.
The Blues ace and Gomis’ diagnosis means Senegal will have to field Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Seny Dieng, who is their third-choice goalkeeper, between the sticks.
Man Utd top global list for social media hits
Man United top the global list for most social media hits among ALL sports teams in 2021.
The Old Trafford giants racked up a staggering 2.6BILLION post engagements across their social media platforms last year.
United saw off competitions from some of the biggest clubs in the world to snatch the top spot.
There tally was no doubt boosted by their eye-catching and well-documented transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer.
Barcelona were the only other team in any sport to accumulate more than 2bn social media clicks, with 2.1bn.
Struggling on the pitch, off it they held off third-placed Real Madrid (1.3bn).
Paris Saint-Germain ran Los Blancos close with 1.2bn hits, with their total boosted by the shock move for ex-Barca star Lionel Messi on a free transfer.
Chelsea (1.2bn) and Liverpool (1.1bn) were the only other sports teams to break the one billion mark in 2021.
Cavallo slams homophobic abuse
Josh Cavallo has taken to social media after being subjected to vile homophobic abuse while playing for Adelaide United.
Cavallo became the only active male professional in the world to come out as gay in a powerful announcement in October.
The abuse came during the 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
And in a heartfelt post on Instagram, the courageous Cavallo, 22, revealed there were ‘no words’ to hide his disappointment.
Newcastle approach Burnley striker Chris Wood
Newcastle have reportedly made an approached for Burnley striker Chris Wood as they look to provide cover for Callum Wilson.
The Magpies are waist-deep in a relegation battle and are currently without their main striker Wilson, who picked up an injury in the draw with Manchester United.
In a blow to boss Eddie Howe, Wilson is set to miss two months of action.
And the injury has forced Newcastle to dip into the transfer market in the striker department.
Milan want Bailly on loan
AC Milan reportedly want to sign Man United defender Eric Bailly on loan for the rest of the season.
The Italian giants are on the hunt for a new centre-back due to Simon Kjaer’s lengthy injury absence.
And according to Sky Italia, Milan have identified Bailly as the right man to replace their crocked star.
Italia also claim that the Serie A giants are eager to wrap up Bailly’s signature before this month’s transfer window closes.
Man Utd want Sergej Milinkovic-Savic
Man United are interested in signing Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to reports.
The Red Devils have long been linked with Lazio midfielder Milinkovic-Savic.
And amid a reported rift with boss Maurizio Sarri, the Serbian could be on the move.
According to Calciomercato, United’s interest is the ‘most concrete’ of any of Milinkovic-Savic’s potential suitors.
The 26-year-old is also being courted by the likes of Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.
Lazio have previously demanded around £60m for their star midfielder.
But that fee could fall amid his rumoured falling out with Sarri.
Rangnick needs time at United
Villa boss Steven Gerrard is refusing to criticise new United boss Rangnick.
Rangnick’s come under since taking over at United but Gerrard thinks the German needs time to implement his way of playing.
Gerrard said: “When new managers take over they need time to put their identity and philosophy on it.
“If you analyse their results they haven’t been as bad as what people are suggesting.
“I’ve analysed it properly and I don’t get involved in some of the things that are said about opponents, managers or players.”
Kolasinac holds talks with Marseille
Marseille have reportedly held talks with forgotten Arsenal man Sead Kolasinac over a free transfer in the summer.
Kolasinac has made just two appearances for Arsenal this term and looks unlikely to extend his stay in north London beyond this summer.
And according to L’Équipe, Marseille are interested in bringing Kolasinac – whose contract expires in June – to France.
The French outfit sit third in Ligue 1 after 19 games played and could be playing Champions League football next season – a promising proposition for the left-back.
Villa will show United respect
Steven Gerrard says his Aston Villa side will show Man United respect when they face each other in the FA Cup.
Despite United’s woes they’re still a force to be reckoned with in Gerrard’s view.
Speaking before the sides meet, Gerrard said: “I think everyone still respects the fact that Manchester United are a good team at Old Trafford.
“They are capable of beating anyone there if they have a good night. There certainly will be no disrespect of the opponent we’re going to face.
“Everyone knows Manchester United deserve that respect in terms of what level they are operating at.”
Alexander-Arnold tests positive for Covid
Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Liverpool’s FA Cup third round clash with Shrewsbury after testing positive for Covid.
The right-back did not feature in the Reds’ starting XI when it was released before kick-off.
And Liverpool confirmed Alexander-Arnold had received a positive test result in the wake of last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Chelsea.
A statement on Twitter read: “Trent is missing after registering a suspected positive COVID test shortly after Chelsea.
“He is expected to return to training in the coming days.”
Morecambe captain issues warning
Morecambe captain O’Connor will be furious if he’s teammates aim to get a Spurs shirt after the teams meet in the FA Cup.
The League One side take on the Prem giants in the third-round of the competition this afternoon, but O’Connor doesn’t want his colleagues to be in awe of the Spurs side.
So he’s warned them that anyone caught trying to get a shirt from a Spurs player will be hit with a fine.
He told the Irish Independent: “I said to the lads in the dressing room the other day that anyone who is going around sniffing for a shirt of one of the Spurs players will be fined,” begins O’Connor, in an exclusive interview.
“Some people have a different mentality and they might ask for a shirt if they are marking one of Tottenham’s big names, but I just can’t do that.
“It is a bad attitude to go into a game thinking about what shirt you might get at the end of it. That almost feels like you are admitting you are there for the day out.
Rose to be thrown on Prem scrapheap
Danny Rose is about to be tossed on to the top-flight scrapheap at the age of 31.
He has now been absent from Watford’s six match-day squads, including for their trip to the King Power for their 4-1 loss to Leicester in the FA Cup this weekend.
And Hornets boss Ranieri has signed two defenders in the January window already to take his place.
Hassane Kamara – a left-sided player who can play at left-back from Nice – while Udinese centre-back Samir is also close to signing.
For a player who has been searching for a Prem revival for what now seems like an eternity, those second chances may finally be over the hill.
Ceara president thought Ribery retired
Franck Ribery has been offered to Brazilian club Ceara – and no-one was more shocked than their president.
President of Ceara Sporting Club, Robinson de Castro, has claimed his team were offered the chance to sign the icon.
But he also claimed that he thought the French veteran had hung up his boots a long time ago.
Castro said: “I didn’t know he was still playing.
“They called me yesterday and offered me the chance to sign Ribery.
“I didn’t even know he was still playing.”
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