The transfer window for Europe’s biggest clubs is open again. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world’s media and setting our correspondents loose to see who could be heading to/out of your club this month.
Arsenal move for Inter winger Perisic
Arsenal fans have long known that when the BBC’s David Ornstein reports something about their club, they can believe it. So time to get excited …
He tweeted: “Arsenal have made an approach to sign Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic. #AFC want loan with £35m option to buy. 29yo open to #Inter exit. Fits plan of versatile midfielder e.g. Suarez (still possible) / Nkunku + winger. Unclear if injuries mean defender wanted but Sokratis not bad.”
The Gunners can only sign players on loan after manager Unai Emery revealed that the club don’t have the money to be bringing in players on permanent deals, while Perisic (long linked with Manchester United) has never hidden his desire to move to the Premier League. So this seems like a match made in heaven.
But will the Croatia international be tempted by the move? Ornstein says it could happen.
LIVE BLOG TRANSFER
That’s going to bring Saturday’s live edition of Transfer Talk to a close. Thanks very much for joining us, and be sure to check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest headlines pulled from Sunday’s back pages.
DONE DEAL: Inter Milan have confirmed the signing of Southampton full-back Cedric Soares on loan with an option to buy.
Callum Hudson-Odoi has handed in a transfer request at Chelsea with Bayern Munich’s £35m offer still on the table, sources have told ESPN FC. Read the full story.
DONE DEAL: New York City FC have signed U.S. U20 international midfielder Juan Pablo Torres from Belgian outfit KSC Lokeren.
New York City FC sign Juan Pablo Torres from @KSCLokeren
Bakary Sako has joined Crystal Palace on a short-term contract until the end of the season, say Sky Sports.
Sako only moved to West Brom in October and now heads back to Palace, while he will become a free agent this summer.
Borussia Dortmund could allow Shinji Kagawa to leave for as little as €3m, say Bild. The report says that the Japan international’s preferred destination is La Liga.
Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti has confirmed the Serie A club have received enquiries for Ivan Perisic amid reports Arsenal are keen to take the Croatian on loan.
Speaking at a news conference on Saturday, Spalletti said it is “normal” that Perisic’s name is being linked with other clubs, adding that “everybody would like him in their side,” but adding that if the price is not right, he will not be leaving.
“People don’t talk about players if they are not in demand and he’s a great player and people want him,” Spalletti said. “But the numbers have got to add up in support of this. He knows what his profession is and, as a consequence, he’s expected to do what he’s always done, trying to give that little bit more.”
Spalletti did not confirm whether Perisic will play for the Nerazzurri against Torino on Sunday.
It is being reported in The Sun that Manchester City have rejected an £8m bid from Schalke for Rabbi Matondo.
The German club will return this week with an improved offer and expect to land the 18-year-old Wales forward for £10m.
We’re not sure Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi will have endeared himself to his club’s fans with his latest comments following Martin Caceres‘ move to Juventus.
“Caceres wanted to play — and you can’t turn down Juventus,” he said.
The two sides meet on Sunday
Joel Campbell has completed a move to Mexican side Cultural Leon from Frosinone.
He joined the Serie A side in the summer but failed to score in 17 appearances.
Newcastle have confirmed the deal to sign Jordan Lukaku from Lazio is off.
A club statement said: “Newcastle United can confirm that Jordan Lukaku will not be joining the club. The Belgian defender was on Tyneside on Friday after being given permission to travel by his current club, SS Lazio.
“It has now been decided that a loan deal will not be pursued and the player will return to Rome. We wish Jordan all the best for the future.”
Could Leicester make a big-money move for Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans? The Mail Online believe so…
Former Aston Villa and Arsenal director Hendrik Almstadt will join AC Milan to work alongside Ivan Gazidis, according to an ESPN source.
Jurgen Klopp is happy to send Ben Woodburn on loan, but only if he plays.
Klopp told the club’s website: “We have to see. There are a couple of clubs interested, but to be honest if these clubs don’t give me the guarantee that he will play, there is absolutely no reason from my point of view to give him on loan.”
Oh and a return to Juventus for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is “very unlikely,” according to Allegri.
Both before and during the January transfer window there had been a lot of talk about Pogba returning to Turin as he struggled under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford and was dropped from the starting XI, but the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen the France midfielder reinvigourated.
Indeed, when asked about whether Pogba might return, Allegri put an end to the speculation.
“I think it’s very unlikely that Pogba will come back to Juve,” he said at a news conference “With the arrival of [Martin] Caceres and the departure of [Medhi] Benatia, our [winter] transfer dealings are over.”
Why are Juventus signing Martin Caceres? Simple. Medhi Benatia asked to leave and is reportedly on his way to Qatar to join Al-Duhail.
“Benatia asked to leave, he made a different choice to our intentions and the club gave him what he wanted,” coach Massimiliano Allegri told a news conference.
“There was no point keeping a player who didn’t want to be here. In any case, Benatia had some good years at Juventus and I too am sad he is leaving, but I cannot get inside his head and change his mind for him. He made this decision and that’s it. Along with the club, we evaluated other profiles that we could bring to Juventus and were fortunate that Caceres accepted. I’m very happy.”
A lot of reports that Tottenham are closing on a £20m move for Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot.
But here’s a reminder that a source close to the player has told ESPN FC the club are considered “below” Rabiot.
The 23-year-old’s mother and agent Veronique said earlier this month that her son has taken the “firm and definitive” decision to leave the French champions at the end of the season when his contract expires, while Barcelona have publicly denied that an agreement is in place for him to move to Camp Nou.
10.45 GMT: Martin Caceres has arrived to complete his Juventus medical ahead of a €600,000 move from Lazio. The 31-year-old Uruguay defender has had three previous spells with the club — twice on loan and a four-year spell from 2012-2016, so they should know him pretty well!
Sunderland confirm Josh Maja has left the club, with the 20-year-old joining Bordeaux in a permanent transfer.
Celtic’s Timothy Weah says he had initial fears about the toughness of football in the U.K. but says he is settling well at the club.
“I was really scared coming to Celtic because I have heard so much about UK football being tough, the fans expect so much,” he told PA. “I was always confident that I would get the hang of things but being young and inexperienced, you come here and there is a lot of expectation and I have to get going because the fans expect so much, coming from PSG and with the name that I have.”
Staying with Barcelona, Jordi Alba has done an interview with SPORT where he talks about his future, and that of Neymar too.
Asked if he was optimistic about a contract renewal (his ends in 2020), he said: “Yes, of course. It’s obvious that my dream is to stay at Barcelona. It’s cost too much to get here to then have to leave. I have my family here, their support, the fans and my teammates. I don’t think I’d be happier anywhere else.”
About Neymar’s return: “We don’t talk about it. At the end of the day, it’s what people are saying outside [the club]. But I don’t think it is true. Neymar’s a tremendous player, one of the best, but eh decided to go and I don’t see much logic in him wanting to come back. I don’t believe it. He’s a great player, a good friend with everyone in the dressing room, but people like Pedro and Marc Bartra were, too, for example, and they don’t talk about them coming back. At the end of the day, everyone makes their own decisions and you have to respect them. But to be honest, I don’t really believe it.”
Marca are reporting a rather odd deal whereby Real Betis and Barcelona are set to jointly sign Brazil U20 right-back Emerson from Atletico Mineiro. He would play for Betis immediately, with the fee around €12m split between the two, 50 percent of his rights going to each club, and Barcelona given first refusal over his future signing.
Emerson had been linked to Liverpool and Arsenal, so Barcelona might be stealing a march on more clubs than just PSG this window!
West Ham striker Marko Arnautovic says he’ll stay at the club despite almost leaving when a £35m bid from a Chinese club arrived.
In an Instagram post, Arnautovic wrote: “I guess it’s no secret there has been an offer for me and I have to admit the offer was a very tempting one for me and my family. I have given 100% to my club duties but I have also needed some time to talk to my club, my wife and the rest of my family. I have now decided to put a stop to all the writings and speculation.
“It is clear that London and West Ham United feels like home for me and I hope the West Ham fans have always seen that. Let’s focus on the rest of this season together and let those bubbles fly.”
ICYMI – Liverpool have completed the signing of 16-year-old French defender Billy Koumetio from US Orleans for a nominal fee, a source said.
Koumetio spent a period on trial with Liverpool in 2018 and travelled with the under-17s squad to Berlin for friendlies in November.
It’s official. Man City boss Pep Guardiola has gone mad. He says City … yes the incredible rich City … can’t compete with other teams over transfers and wages.
“I think we try to keep the harmony in the locker room with the wages,” Guardiola told a news conference ahead of the FA Cup clash with Burnley (live on ESPN+). “When you have no balance with that then there is always a problem with the mood in the locker room.
“One of the good things that City have done is keeping that balance. The reality is that it’s not just one or two teams paying a lot on wages. There are many. Many, many. Before the rumours was that it was just PSG and Manchester City. That is over. Everybody can pay a lot in fees and wages.
“It’s not just in England, it’s in Italy, in Spain, France. Maybe not in Germany. There are many and sometimes we can’t compete with that. We have to be quicker, faster and don’t get nervous. At the end we want players who want to come here.”