Transfer Talk: Man United join race for Inter Milan forward Martinez

The transfer windows in Europe's top leagues are closed, but it's never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

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TOP STORY: Man United join race for Inter Milan forward Martinez

Clarin reports that Manchester United have joined the race to sign Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan.

Martinez, 22, joined Inter in 2018 from Argentinian outfit Racing club and scored nine goals in 35 appearances for the Nerazzurri -- 17 as a starter -- last season.

Since the departure of Mauro Icardi on loan to PSG in the summer, Martinez has enjoyed regular playing time at Inter while he has scored nine goals in 15 games for Argentina. According to the Argentinian newspaper, Barcelona have been monitoring Martinez since the Copa America and view the player as a the possible successor to Luis Suarez.


23.00 BST: Despite a desperate shortage of midfielders, Roma have opted against offering Jack Rodwell a contract following his trial, according to Sky Sports.

21.43 BST: With Napoli decimated by injuries to full-backs, Calciomercato reports that the Partenopei are targeting a January move for Benfica's Alejandro Grimaldo, whom the Lisbon club value at €40m and has also attracted the attentions of Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona.

20.26 BST: Some of the biggest clubs in the world will have their sights firmly set on Brazil ahead of the Under-17 World Cup, and Real Madrid are no different, with AS reporting that Talles Magno, Naci Unuvar, Adil Aouchiche, Samson Tijani, Johan Mina and Fernando Ovelar all have caught Los Blancos' eye, but Argentina star Matias Palacios is seen as the tournament's crown jewel and Madrid's No. 1 priority.

19.09 BST: Juventus rejected a bid from Manchester City for 22-year-old midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur last summer, Calciomercato cites Corriere dello Sport as reporting. Barcelona were also interested in the Uruguay international, and the report states that either club could return with an improved offer in the near future.

17.52 BST: While Mario Mandzukic is reportedly ready to join Manchester United in January, the Express cites Tuttosport as reporting that the 33-year-old would change his mind should Bayern Munich -- where he spent two seasons -- come calling amid their overdependence on Robert Lewandowski.

16.35 BST: Speaking of Juventus, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been talking about his move to PSG and back again on the Tiki Taka show.

"I went to Paris as I could not refuse PSG's sporting and economic offer," he said. "When a club calls you at 40, it is also a source of pride. I wanted a different experience and to exit my comfort zone. One evening, I decided on my own to return to Juve. At 41, what can you do alone in Paris when your family is in Italy? I forced PSG's hand and immediately accepted when Juve made me a fair offer."

As if they haven't been burned once by signing a player from the Italian champions already, Le Parisien also reports that Juventus' Mattia De Sciglio is PSG's winter transfer window priority.

15.30 BST: Juventus' scouts were busy at Liverpool vs. Tottenham this weekend.

Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min were on the radar, but evidently Mohamed Salah was too, according to Tuttosport. Quite why the Italians need a scout to tell them that one of the world's best players would be good enough to play in Turin is anyone's guess, but maybe they just fancied a nice trip to England.

14.26 BST: Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Denis Zakaria is becoming daily fodder for the transfer rumour mill now.

Manchester United, Tottenham, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Atletico Madrid and Inter Milan have all been linked with the 22-year-old Switzerland international but now Liverpool and Arsenal have reportedly "made contact" with the player over a move, says Sky Deutschland.

13.52 BST: Gareth Bale believes his situation at Real Madrid is irreversible and has decided he needs to leave at the earliest possible opportunity, sources at the club and close to the player have told ESPN FC.

The former Tottenham forward was close to leaving the Bernabeu in the summer and the same situation has resurfaced after the Wales international travelled to London on Monday to meet with agent, Jonathan Barnett.

Sources said that Bale's unhappiness at Madrid stems from his lack of relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane and constant injury problems.

Despite his desire to leave in January, his high wage demands and lack of options available to him in the Premier League make a winter exit difficult, with sources at the club reiterating the same.

13.02 BST: Fabinho took a while to get going at Liverpool but it was €50m well spent.

12.09 BST: Barcelona's top brass have been in Brazil to scout some young players. Sporting director Eric Abidal and transfer guru Andre Cury were in Sao Paolo to chat with Dani Alves and Juanfran, according to reports in Globo Esporte, and spent time at the club.

The players who were the focus of attention were evidently Antony, a forward aged 19; Igor Gomes, an attacking midfielder, 20; and 21-year-old midfielder Liziero.

11.30 BST: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has seemingly announced his next move. But which club?

11.01 BST: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has backed Fred to replace Paul Pogba in midfield during the France international's absence.

Fred has shown promise in starting four of United's last five games and Solskjaer said he believes the Brazil international can soften the blow of losing the injured Pogba until December.

"Fred will probably take Paul's position for a while now," Solskjaer said. "He's been brilliant for us. There is no use talking about who is not going to be here for a long, long time, because he is not going to come on the pitch and help us until he is fit."

No word yet on whether Solskjaer believes the £52m man will replace Pogba if he departs for Real Madrid or Juventus this January.

10.11 BST: Tottenham, Tottenham, Tottenham ...

The Daily Star reports that amid their woes, the club aren't going to be spending much in January. Instead, they will rely on youngsters to see them through.

However they have, according to the Guardian, turned down a move to Inter for defender Jan Vertonghen. So at least they'll have him around.

09.10 BST: Brazil captain says has the "sensibility of a child" and must learn to take stances on issues because he is his country's flagship player.

Alves, who played with Neymar at Paris Saint Germain before leaving for Sao Paulo in the summer, recently told Brazilian TV SporTV Grande Circulo: "Ney has the sensibility of a child. Many things affect him. But he is not a child, he is a man ... Ney is and was our flag in the Brazilian team. Today he is still our flag. Neymar is the most important player of Brazil and among the best in world football. And you should position yourself, because you are in a position where you have to position yourself and people have to understand who Ney is, how he thinks and they need to start learning to respect Neymar.

"I give Neymar advice and tell him that he has a lot of responsibilities with many people and that he must take a stance. He has responsibility from the moment he became a reference to young people and young athletes. You cannot let them down. You have to show your face."

08.28 BST: Liverpool's James Milner has told The Guardian that he wants to extend his stay at Anfield beyond the end of the season.

The 33-year-old's contract is due to expire next summer, but the former Manchester City and England midfielder is hopeful he will get a new deal.

"I still feel very good and no different to what I did six years ago," he said. "My contract with Liverpool is up at the end of the season but hopefully we'll sort something out. I want to keep going as long as possible at the highest level."

08.00 BST: Manchester United are interested in recruiting French duo Boubakary Soumare and Moussa Dembele, sources have told ESPN FC.

Soumare, 20, has represented France at youth levels and plays at Lille. He has been followed for many years by the top European clubs, including United, who have scouted him several times this season and are now ready to get the ball rolling to try to recruit him before anyone else.

United see Soumare as a potential heir to Paul Pogba in the midfield, with both players sharing similar profiles. With Pogba's long-term future uncertain at Old Trafford, Soumare has impressed this season with his activity, physicality, and technical skills for someone his size. However, United are not looking to immediately replace Pogba, who has three years left on his contract.

Soumare also ticks the box of young, talented players that the club has recently signed such as Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The Paris-born player's contract expires in the summer but Lille are hoping that he will sign a new deal before a potential exit in June. He is rated at around €35m to €40m. If he doesn't extend his contract, however, he could be signed for nothing from January.

PAPER TALK (by James Capps)

Real preparing for Bale sale

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is edging closer to the exit door at the Bernabeu, with Marca claiming the Welshman is drifting further from the rest of the squad with each passing day.

The Spanish publication believes the former Spurs man will be on his way out in January, and according to Los Blancos, the 30-year-old trained Monday before heading to London for personal reasons, casting doubt over the player's availability for Real's local derby against Leganes in La Liga on Wednesday.

Rumours of further distrust between Bale and manager Zinedine Zidane have intensified in recent weeks after the Southampton academy graduate was left out of the squad for their 2-2 draw against Club Brugge in the Champions League.

News of such unrest is likely to be welcome news to Manchester United, as well as clubs in the Chinese Super League, with sources believing there is a growing sense of acceptance that a sale would be the best move for all parties.

In another interesting twist to the saga, Bale asked Real Madrid not to publish his medical records, exercising his right under the Spanish law on protection of personal data.

Liverpool's Gomez drawing rivals' attention

North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal are keen on Liverpool defender Joe Gomez, according to Calciomercato.

The 22-year-old has found himself on the periphery of Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool side after returning to the fold at the back end of the last campaign following a long-term injury layoff. Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren are currently ahead of the England international in the pecking order to play alongside defensive kingpin Virgil van Dijk.

The snub is believed to have angered Gomez, who is keen to secure regular game time ahead of next summer's European Championships, and a return home to London could be on the cards, with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino and Gunners counterpart Unai Emery both believed to be interested in the former Charlton man.

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Juve eye double Brescia deal

Calciomercato claims Juventus are lining up a double swoop for Brescia pair Sandro Tonali and Andrea Cistana.

Maurizio Sarri's side have been keeping tabs on midfielder Tonali since last season, but have been equally impressed with the development of central defender Cistana, who has made an encouraging start to life in Serie A, having spent all of his fledgling career outside the Italian top flight.

Reports claim that Juventus are wary of entering into negotiations with Brescia owner Massimo Cellino, with the former Leeds boss already valuing Tonali alone at €300 million. That's a three, with two zeros. No typos.

But there is greater sense of optimism regarding talk of a more prudent deal for 22-year-old Cistana, with the Italian news outlet claiming an agreement could be struck that sees the Brescia-born player remain on loan with his boyhood club before heading to Turin permanently.

Tap ins

- On-loan Roma defender Chris Smalling is expected to return to Manchester United at the end of his temporary stay in Serie A, with Sky Sports News claiming no talks have taken place to extend the centre-back's stay at the Stadio Olimpico. The 29-year-old has played six times for the Giallorossi this season.

- Juventus goalkeeper Mattia Perin looks set to leave the Serie A champions, with a loan move in the offing for the 26-year-old at the turn of the year. Sarri's side hope to eventually sell the former Genoa man for around €15 million, according to reports at Calciomercato.

- Celtic goalkeeper Fraser Forster says he would take a pay cut to complete a permanent move back to the Scottish Premiership champions from English Premier League side Southampton, according to the Scotsman. The 31-year-old is currently on loan at Celtic Park, having fallen down the pecking order at St Mary's.