<
>

LIVE Transfer Talk: Real Madrid closing as Antonio Rudiger set to leave Chelsea

play
Laurens: Dortmund have no chance of keeping Haaland (0:40)

Julien Laurens says Dortmund's loss to Hertha Berlin will push Erling Haaland closer to the exit door. (0:40)

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: Real closing in on Rudiger

Antonio Rudiger is drifting closer to the Stamford Bridge exit with reports that Real Madrid are set to intensify talks and agree the signing of the 28-year-old centre-back over the next few weeks.

That's according to Sport Italia, which writes that the LaLiga club are preparing a pre-contract agreement that will see the Germany international put pen to paper in the January transfer window before the move becomes official at the end of the season when his deal expires.

Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in the Chelsea defender's services, though they might now have to work quickly if they are to beat Los Blancos to his signature.

Chelsea have been keen to resolve Rudiger's precarious contract situation for a number of months but, with a failure to agree terms, it now looks as though he is destined to leave London after over three years in the Premier League.

- ESPN FC 100: Ranking the world's best players by position
- ESPN+ guide: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, more (U.S.)
- Stream ESPN FC Daily on ESPN+ (U.S. only)

LIVE BLOG

21.57 GMT: Juventus are looking for a new striker in January, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Edinson Cavani and Mauro Icardi on their list of potential transfer targets. According to Tuttosport, the Serie A side are eyeing a move for forwards to bolster their attack, with all three said to be interested in a move away from their respective clubs.

21.24 GMT: New Genoa manager Andriy Shevchenko is interested in signing Jorgen Strand Larsen from Eredivisie club Groningen in January. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the Serie A club are hoping to add reinforcements with the centre-forward at the top of their list, with a transfer fee said to be around €5m.

20.51 GMT: Arsenal could sign three Juventus players in the upcoming transfer window, writes Marca. The Gunners are looking to make a return to Champions League football next season, with Dejan Kulusevski and Arthur said to be of interest to Mikel Arteta, and a shock return for midfielder Aaron Ramsey could be on the cards.

20.18 GMT: West Ham United and Newcastle United are eyeing a potential move for Tottenham Hotspur playmaker Dele Alli, reports Eurosport.

The 25-year-old England international is said to be free to leave the north London club in January while he struggles to fight his way into the first team under new boss Antonio Conte. A potential Newcastle deal is said to depend on the value set by Spurs, while the Hammers are waiting to hear on the possibility of bringing Jesse Lingard to east London for the second consecutive January.

19.45 GMT: Real Madrid could land Bayern Munich midfielder Corentin Tolisso on a free transfer this summer, reports Cadena SER. The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season, with Los Blancos said to be interested in signing him among a number of other free transfers.

19.12 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain are in advanced talks to extend the contract of centre-back Marquinhos, according to Nicolo Schira. The Parisian club's captain has a deal that runs until 2024, but they are hoping that he extends until 2026 as he is considered a "key player."

18.39 GMT: Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a potential deal that involves swapping Mauro Icardi and Arthur on loan, writes Gazzetta dello Sport. Both players are struggling to force their way into the first teams at their respective clubs, and the Italian giants are on the lookout for a new striker while the Parisians seek to reinforce their central midfield ranks.

18.06 GMT: Newcastle United are looking to land both Anthony Martial and Edin Dzeko in January, reports the Sun.

Martial's agent recently publicly announced that his client wanted to leave Old Trafford, with a loan move for the 26-year-old forward said to be possible. Dzeko, 35, is also reportedly an option, despite joining Internazionale on a free transfer in the summer.

17.33 GMT: Lazio are willing to transfer 26-year-old midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, according to TuttomercatoWeb. The report suggests that the relationship between the Serbia international and coach Maurizio Sarri is at an "all-time low," and a departure is possible in January or next summer so long as a suitable offer arrives.

17.00 GMT: Bayern Munich have opened talks with Kingsley Coman over a new contract, reports SportBILD. The 25-year-old winger's deal expires at the end of next season, and there had been discussions over him leaving as a free agent, however he could be set to stay with talks now back on.

16.04 GMT: Barcelona are looking to land Man United forward Juan Mata when the transfer window opens.

The Daily Star says that Barca are looking for cut-price options to strengthen their squad and want United to let him leave for nothing in January, six months before his contract is set to expire.

The 33-year-old signed a one-year deal last summer but hasn't played much so far this season.

15.27 GMT: Xavi has been speaking about his young Barcelona players.

Gavi, 17, caught the eye this weekend but he still has a €50m release clause on his youth contract. Barcelona boss Xavi is keen to change that quickly.

"We have to move quickly to renew Gavi's contract now," he said. "If it's necessary, we will all put in money because him, Nico and other youngsters are the future of the club. We can't lose these players."

15.18 GMT: Erling Haaland can leave for a €75m release clause in 2022.

14.33 GMT: Fabrizio Romano claims that cash-strapped Barcelona are still trying to sign Manchester City forward Ferran Torres.

City want €60m for the Spain international but Barca are only willing to offer €50m -- though how they are even able to manage that when €1.4bn in debt is up for debate.

Romano says: "Barcelona have also [Chelsea forward Hakim] Ziyech opened as plan B -- he's an option only in case Ferran deal won't be concluded."

13.55 GMT: Ole says that Man United are now on the trail of River Plate star Julian Alvarez.

Alvarez, 21, has caught the eye with 24 goals in 46 games and has seen the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich monitoring him.

The Argentine's current deal expires in December 2022 and he has a release clause of €20m, which makes his signature achievable for most big clubs. United will be looking to replace Edinson Cavani at the end of the season, so are keeping a close eye on Alvarez.

13.11 GMT: Calciomercato also claims Aston Villa are ready to make an offer for Liverpool defender Joe Gomez.

Gomez, 24, has struggled with injury at Anfield but is still rated highly. Liverpool won't want to let him go, but Villa boss Steven Gerrard is keen to bring in some competition for Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

12.20 GMT: Calciomercato reckons that Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez may have played his last game for the club.

Cagliari are now second from bottom in Serie A and the 25-year-old wants out, with Leeds and Tottenham following him.

The Uruguay international reportedly has a €36m release clause in his contract, but it's unlikely any club will need to pay that much to land him given Cagliari's issues.

11.44 GMT: Real Madrid are considering a move for Inter Milan right-back Denzel Dumfries, says Defensa Central.

Dumfries, 25, only moved from PSV over the summer for €12.5m after a fine Euro 2020 with Netherlands and has impressed in Serie A.

Madrid are keen to improve their options at full-back and have also been linked with a return for PSG's Achraf Hakimi.

11.00 GMT: James Olley looks at whether Arsenal's former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has played his last game for the club?

Arteta stripped Aubameyang of the captaincy for what he described as the Gabon international's "latest disciplinary breach." Sources have told ESPN that this was in reference to his late return from France for a visit with his ill mother, a trip for which he was given special dispensation at a time when overseas travel was being restricted due to rising coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom. Aubameyang was consequently a coronavirus risk upon his return, though this wasn't the reason for his demotion.

It was simply one occasion too many on which he bent rules the entire squad are expected to follow, and rules as captain he's supposed to support, and perhaps even enforce.

One of the biggest issues at Arsenal has been the erosion of a professional, ruthless culture. It dates back to the latter days of Arsene Wenger's reign and can be reflected in his choice of captains, who were sometimes selected on the basis of their contractual status as much as any genuine leadership traits. Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie were given the armband in the hope it would somehow engender fresh loyalty to resist moves elsewhere. In both cases, the strategy failed.

09.55 GMT: Marseille's Boubacar Kamara is available on a free transfer in the summer and now has Man United, AC Milan and Juventus on his trail.

Kamara, 22, is highly rated and versatile, with Calciomercato insisting that he will move on from Ligue 1.

The report claims United's interim manager Ralf Rangnick likes Kamara and that the club have more money to spend than their rivals, which means they could land him in January rather than waiting until the summer.

09.11 GMT: ICYMI - Retired Real Madrid and Brazil striker Ronaldo has bought a controlling stake in his former club Cruzeiro, the player and the club said on Saturday.

Ronaldo, who played for Cruzeiro as a teenager in the early 1990s before going on to become one of the most successful centre-forwards in footballing history, did the deal with the help of Brazilian investment bank XP.

The transaction, which was done through Ronaldo's Tara Sports company and is still subject to what the bank called "a series of conditions," sees the 45-year-old invest 400m reais ($70m) in the Belo Horizonte club, which has spent two years in Brazil's second division.

"I am so happy to have concluded this operation," Ronaldo said in a video posted by the Cruzeiro president, adding, while holding one of the club's blue shirts, that he wants to "give back to Cruzeiro and take them where they deserve to be."

08.51 GMT: Flamengo vice-president Marcos Braz has confirmed Benfica coach Jorge Jesus is a "natural option" to take over the vacant Flamengo coaching position.

Flamengo dismissed Renato Gaucho on Nov. 30 after the club's loss to Brazilian rivals Palmeiras in the Copa Libertadores final. Braz and other Flamengo club executives have travelled to Portugal to hold meetings with several candidates, including Jorge Jesus.

Jorge Jesus returned to Benfica in the summer of 2020 after a successful spell at Flamengo. Under the Portuguese tactician, Flamengo won the Brazilian first division title, the Copa Libertadores and Rio de Janeiro state championship in his 14 months in charge.

"I have a personal rapport with Jorge and I am very fond of him," Braz told reporters after arriving in Lisbon. "When I came here in 2019, he believed in me and the sporting project I presented to him. I was true to the promises I made to him and Jorge will always be a natural option despite being under contract."

The chances of Jorge Jesus returning next year to Flamengo are slim with the 67-year-old tied to Benfica until June 2023. Benfica have qualified for the Champions League round of 16 where they will face Ajax in February. Flamengo are also considering Paulo Fonseca and Paulo Sousa.

08.30 GMT: PSG sporting director Leonardo believes his team still have chances to keep "the best player in the world" beyond next summer.

Real Madrid target Kylian Mbappe will be free to negotiate with another club in the next few weeks with his contract at PSG expiring at the end of the season, while the French club's attempts to get the 22-year-old to sign a new contract have proved unsuccessful so far.

"It's a very particular situation because we are talking about the best player in the world who will be out of contract," Leonardo told Europe 1.

"We have a very direct rapport. It can be said that we had times when we fought in a heated way but that is part of building a relationship. If he decides to stay, he will stay because that is what we want. It's a complicated situation because we would have liked for him to have stayed here all of his life and we have to respect him. I think we still have good chances. I do believe that."

Asked if the situation regarding Mbappe's contract is affecting the France international, Leonardo said: "Kylian is very comfortable in the role as best player of the world so much so that nothing in his surrounding has a real influence in his performances, in his life, in his mood. It can be a new motivation."

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

- West Ham boss David Moyes is ready to begin talks with Jonathan David, according to Ekrem Konur. The 21-year-old forward has been on the radar of a number of clubs after strong form for Lille over the past two seasons, with West Ham now ready to advance negotiations over a potential deal in January. The Canada international has scored 14 times in 20 starts this season.

- La Repubblica reveals that Internazionale will attempt to acquire Bartlomiej Dragowski if they miss out on Ajax keeper Andre Onana. There is fear at San Siro that Barcelona could tempt 25-year-old Onana to Camp Nou when his contract expires, despite positive talks in recent months, and that has led the Italian club to add the Fiorentina goalkeeper to their short list. Dragowski, 24, has started just five games in Serie A this season.

- Youcef Belaili continues to be offered to Ligue 1 clubs, according to Foot Mercato. It is reported that the 29-year-old midfielder has been rejected by Marseille, Lyon and Stade Rennais, but is currently in negotiations with Montpellier. The Algeria international recently left Qatar SC in search of a move to Europe, though he might need to lower his salary demands if he is to secure a deal.

- TalkSPORT writes that Newcastle United are set to sign Kieran Trippier, making him their highest paid player in a £25m deal. The 31-year-old right-back has been linked with a return to England throughout the season, with Manchester United also keen on his signature, but it now looks as though he is headed for St. James' Park, with reports that the move is now "almost as good as done." He has featured 13 times for Atletico Madrid this season.

- Nicolo Schira writes that Amin Younes is set to leave Eintracht Frankfurt in January. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder is yet to start a game this season, having made just a single appearance as a substitute back in August. And despite rumours of a Napoli return, it is reported that Genoa have begun negotiations over a loan with an option to make the move permanent.