LIVE Transfer Talk: Aubameyang's Arsenal exit more likely in summer than in January

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's the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Aubameyang summer move more likely

Arsenal are open to letting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave in January, but a summer departure is more likely, as has been reported by The Daily Mail.

The drama is the latest between the player and the club, who is "not available for selection" when Arsenal face Leeds United on Saturday, according to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta.

It is felt that his exclusion could even last until he returns from playing at the Africa Cup of Nations with Gabon.

Aubameyang was stripped of the captaincy on Tuesday following a series of disciplinary issues, the latest of which saw him returning from an overseas trip later than agreed last week.

With Arteta's stance in mind, it is perhaps unsurprising that the Gunners are willing to discuss any transfer offers that come their way in next month's window.

However, it is stated that a move is more likely to materialise in the summer as things stand, meaning Arteta could be faced with the task of reintegrating Aubameyang into the group.

It is suggested that Arsenal could wait to see how they fare without the attacker before deciding whether or not to bring him back in.

Though, in not doing so, they would see a player on £350,000-per-week not getting onto the pitch. Aubameyang's current contract runs until the summer of 2023.

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21.34 GMT: Alexis Sanchez's return is not a priority for Barcelona, multiple sources told ESPN's Adriana Garcia and Moises Llorens, after the club were offered the chance to sign the Inter Milan forward.

Barca are looking to reinforce their attack in the January transfer window following Sergio Aguero's premature retirement but club sources insist other candidates are ahead of Sanchez, with Manchester City's Ferran Torres and Manchester United's Edinson Cavani their main targets.

"Many things would have to happen for Alexis to return to Barcelona," a club source told ESPN amid reports there was a preliminary agreement for the Chile international to return to Barca in a swap deal that would see Luuk de Jong join Inter.

Sanchez scored 37 goals in 141 appearances in his three seasons at the Camp Nou before joining Arsenal in 2014. Barca are not considering re-signing him as yet because Torres and Cavani represent better options, sources said, although the LaLiga side are aware their financial constraints mean a move for Torres in January is highly unlikely.

Cavani's signing would be a less costly alternative as his contract at United expires in the summer, but sources said the Premier League side are reluctant to sanction a departure next month. Barca, meanwhile, are still working on lowering their wage bill. President Laporta has said that salaries and amortisation payments still account for around 80% of their predicted revenue of €765m for the season.

LaLiga's economic controls demand that figure is around 70%, although Barca's is even lower this season as they must make amends for recent losses. Gross debt, meanwhile, stands at around €1.4 billion.

20:39 GMT: Antonio Rudiger is in the final year of his deal at Chelsea, with multiple clubs chasing his signature, where will he end up?

19.45 GMT: Manchester United are yet to receive a serious enquiry about Anthony Martial's availability in January more than a week after the Frenchman's agent announced he is keen to leave Old Trafford, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson.

Philippe Lamboley went public with Martial's desire to leave, insisting the 26-year-old wants to find more regular first team football.

But sources told ESPN it has not yet prompted a wave of interest and there are doubts at United about which clubs could afford a fee for the striker plus a significant wage. Martial is under contract until 2024 with the option of another year.

Sources added that United are willing to consider offers for Martial, particularly because interim coach Ralf Rangnick has made it clear he only wants to work with players who are happy at the club. Still, they are unlikely to sanction a cut price exit and would also be reluctant to subsidise Martial's wages as part of a loan arrangement.

Following Lamboley's comments last week, Rangnick hit back by insisting Martial would have to inform the club himself if he wants to leave.

Martial is yet to feature under Rangnick because of a knee problem and has made 10 appearances so far this season.

18.06 GMT: New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos is being chased by a number of Premier League clubs including West Ham, sources told ESPN's Rob Dawson.

Castellanos helped New York to their first MLS Cup triumph this season, scoring 22 goals. The 23-year-old's form has alerted clubs across Europe and Turkish giants Besiktas have also made an enquiry about his availability along with teams in Spain, Italy and the Championship in England.

Despite being a key part of New York's success this season, sources told ESPN that the City Football Group would listen to offers of around £15m for Castellanos if the Argentina under-23 international decides the time is right to take the next step in his career.

City boss Pep Guardiola has also been impressed by reports sent back by his scouting network. Guardiola watched New York's MLS Cup triumph against Portland Timbers on Saturday during which Castellanos scored.

Sources added that City could explore the possibility of having Castellanos train at the City Football Academy now the MLS campaign is complete, although the process could be complicated by the United Kingdom government's COVID protocols amid a surge in cases in recent weeks.

16.58 GMT: AC Milan left-back Theo Hernandez has been identified by Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel as a player the European champions could target in January, according to El Nacional.

Chelsea's first-choice left-back Ben Chilwell has missed the last five games since suffering a knee injury, but Tuchel said earlier this week that he is optimistic the England international will not be out for two long.

However, El Nacional reports that France international Hernandez is a player that Chelsea could target if Chilwell's recovery does not progress as quickly as it is hoped.

16.07 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur coach Antonio Conte admits that he finds striker Harry Kane's continued lack of form "very strange."

Kane has scored just one Premier League goal since his unsuccessful push for a transfer to Manchester City in the summer. While he has 14 goals from 25 appearances in all competitions for club and country this season, his league performances for Spurs have been largely anonymous, especially when just last season he was the Premier League's top scorer and registered more assists than any other player too.

"Harry is a world-class striker. Every day that I train him I understand very well that he's a world-class striker," Conte said. "He's one of the best I've had the pleasure to train. He's amazing. I like to have him in my team.

"For sure Jurgen [Klopp, Liverpool boss] likes to have [Mohamed] Salah. But I like to have Harry in my team. He's an important player for us and my expectation was very high and to play an important game against Liverpool."

Conte then added: "It's very strange, no? It's very strange. If you compare what he did in the past, this is very strange. But also in the past, in my experience, before as a player and then as a coach, it happens. I played with important strikers who, for a long period, didn't score.

"But my judgement about them didn't change. I wanted to have them in my team also if they don't score. Because if you have Harry Kane in your team, you feel stronger, for sure."

15.14 GMT: Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford would be interested in a move to Barcelona if he keeps struggling for game time at Old Trafford, Sport reports.

Rashford, 24, has started just eight games all season for United as he competes for a place in the side with Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial and Mason Greenwood.

Sports reports that the England international, who has a contract at United until 2023, has been a target for Barca before, and coach Xavi is ready to reignite that interest.

However, United youth product Rashford may also wait to see who replaces interim manager Ralf Rangnick in the summer before making any firm decision on his future.

14.21 GMT: United States women's national team player Kristie Mewis was the highest profile player traded during the National Women's Soccer League expansion draft, with San Diego Wave FC picking her before immediately agreeing a deal with NJ/NY Gotham for her rights.

Mewis had been left unprotected by Houston Dash for the expansion draft, which also saw the blockbuster move of striker Alex Morgan from Orlando Pride to Wave FC confirmed.

San Diego traded Mewis to NJ/NY Gotham for $200,000 in allocation money, which is money that teams can spend above the league salary cap and will offer San Diego flexibility as they continue to build out their debut roster.

Mewis is a nine-year veteran of the NWSL, playing both as a defender and a forward throughout her career.

In 2020, she enjoyed a career resurgence, winning the NWSL Challenge Cup with the Dash and finding her way back onto the USWNT after five years out of the fold.

13.28 GMT: Arsenal are keen for young defender Omar Rekik to go out on loan next month in order to gain more first-team experience, The Athletic reports.

Rekik, 19, recently made his first two appearances for Arsenal's U21 side on the EFL Trophy after a run in the youth team, and he has shown enough to give the Gunners hope that he is ready to develop elsewhere.

The Tunisia international centre-back, who has a contract with Arsenal until 2025, suffered a series of injuries after joining from Hertha Berlin in January 2020..

12.35 GMT: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says he is not thinking about the contract situations of Divock Origi or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Origi is out of contract in the summer, meaning he can open talks with foreign clubs from Jan. 1 over a free transfer at the end of the season, while Oxlade-Chamberlain's deal is up on 18 months' time.

Both players have been on the fringes of the Liverpool first team, but have stepped up when needed during a recent spate of injuries at Anfield.

"It's about how you play in the moment and then you are in the starting line-up -- if your contract expires in two days, four months or five years it makes absolutely no difference," he said.

"So, yep, all important but not because they are happy when they don't start. They are important because they can really contribute in the moment when they start or when they come on and that is why they are Liverpool players.

"We don't have to talk about the potential of these boys or whatever, it is about what makes sense for both sides in six or 18 months or whatever.

"But it is not important at all at the moment. It is not just about the two players you mention. We will not stay together forever. That is how it is.

"If someone wants to go somewhere else we have to find a solution for it. If we want to find somebody from another club we have to find a solution for it but it has nothing to do with now."

11.39 GMT: Inter Milan terminated the contract of midfielder Christian Eriksen, the reigning Serie A champions announced on Friday.

Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Denmark at Euro 2020 and was fitted with a heart-starting device, something that prevents him from playing in Italy.

The 29-year-old has not played since he collapsed during his country's tournament opener against Finland on June 12.

He returned to Milan to meet with the Inter hierarchy in August and in early December trained with Danish club Odense Boldklub, whom he represented at youth level.

Eriksen joined Inter from Tottenham Hotspur in January 2020, signing a contract to 2024.

He initially struggled for game time under Antonio Conte but became a pivotal figure in the side that won the Serie A title in 2020-21.

Denmark's doctor and physio, as well as team captain Simon Kjaer, who started CPR on Eriksen, received the UEFA President's Award.

10.43 GMT: The Times reports that Newcastle United are eyeing two signings in the January transfer window to bolster their defence and avoid Premier League relegation: Marseilles's Boubacar Kamara and Fulham's Tosin Adarabioyo.

Kamara, 22, is a holding midfielder who can also play in defence, while 24-year-old Adarabioyo is an out-and-out centre-back who came through the youth ranks at Manchester City.

Newcastle have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, with the three goals they conceded against Liverpool taking their total to 37 in 17 games so far this season.

Barcelona are also reported to be interested in Kamara, who is out of contract in the summer.

09.49 GMT: Chelsea are still pursuing Sevilla's Jules Kounde, sources told ESPN's Julien Laurens, with the possibility of a move in January not off the table as the LaLiga club are willing to drop their €80m valuation.

Antonio Rudiger, Thiago Silva, Andreas Christensen and Cesar Azpilicueta's deal all expire in the summer and no breakthrough has been made in negotiations with them. Sources have told ESPN that Barcelona are monitoring the situation with Azpilicueta.

While sources said a move for Kounde is more likely in the summer, a January transfer has not been ruled out. Tuchel is a huge admirer of Kounde, sources said, with his interest dating back to when he was Paris Saint-Germain manager and Kounde was at Bordeaux.

Chelsea were in direct negotiations with Sevilla over the transfer of Kounde last summer but a move broke down when neither side could agree on a fee for the France international. The LaLiga side wanted the full release clause of £80m for the centre-back but are now willing to negotiate a fee between €50m-€60m for a player with two-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

Sources told ESPN that Kounde is keen on a move to Stamford Bridge and the 23-year-old is believed to have agreed the framework of a four or five-year contract.

09.00 GMT: Diego Simeone has refused to rule out Joao Felix leaving Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window.

The 22-year-old joined from Benfica in 2019 in a deal worth €126m -- the second highest fee ever paid to sign a teenager -- but has failed to perform consistently since, or find a regular place in Simeone's starting team.

"I always understand everything, I'm open to everything," Simeone said in a news conference on Friday when asked if he would understand Joao Felix asking to depart.

"The most important thing is the team. Joao is an important piece of our team."

The Portugal forward has started just three LaLiga games for Atletico this season, but impressed as a second-half substitute in their 2-0 derby defeat to Real Madrid last Sunday.

"He has to repeat performances like the one he gave the other day at the Bernabeu," Simeone said.

"He played 30-35 minutes and showed all the talent he has. Let's hope he repeats it, because that's the player we need."

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

- Barcelona see goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen as untouchable, according to reports from Diario Sport. The Blaugrana may be forced to offload players due to their financial issues, with previous reports stating that Bayern Munich are interested in the German. However, Barça manager Xavi Hernandez sees Ter Stegen as a key player to get the club back on track, meaning he won't entertain any offers for him.

- Krasnodar are ready to spend between €10-12 million on a striker with New York City FC's Valentin Castellanos one of their targets after finishing as Golden Boot winner in Major League Soccer, reports Nicolo Schira. The Russian outfit is also considering Corinthians' Roger Guedes, who scored seven goals in 19 Brazilian league games.

- Barcelona have decided to cut Yusuf Demir's loan spell from Rapid Vienna short, which has alerted Bundesliga clubs, as reported by Diario Sport. The Catalan club had a €10m option to sign the 18-year-old permanently but won't be doing so, with Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkusen and Eintracht Frankfurt all looking to sign the Austrian permanently.

- Sitting third in the Serie A table, Atalanta are hopeful of securing the Scudetto and are looking to strengthen in the January transfer window to help them do so, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The first player they're aiming for is Sassuolo's Jeremie Boga, who they had also attempted to sign during the summer. They also want to bring in Morten Thorsby, though negotiations could be difficult due to Sampdoria's position in the league.

- LaLiga outfit Granada will begin talks to sign former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, as has been reported by Ekrem Konur. The 33-year-old has been with Atletico Mineiro since August and has a contract that runs until December 2022, having just completed the domestic Double in Brazil.