The January transfer window is fast approaching and, naturally, all the gossip on who's moving where is heating up. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz as we count down to the 2022 winter window.
TOP STORY: Spurs plotting January move for McKennie
The charge is reportedly being led by Antonio Conte, who is looking for a versatile player like McKennie in the middle to help implement his style of play in North London. This also comes with Harry Winks, Tanguy Ndombele and Dele Alli all potentially on their way out of Spurs.
However, they won't be able to sign McKennie on the cheap, after Juventus paid Schalke €4.5 million to initially sign him on loan, then €18.5m over three years, plus €6.5m in potential add-ons, to make the move permanent.
In addition, manager Massimiliano Allegri sees the United States international as somebody he can call upon, having played the 23-year-old 18 times this season in the centre of midfield and on the right wing with a return of two goals.
McKennie would be staying put if it was down to Allegri, but he is still not deemed to be completely nontransferable, adds the story.
With Juventus in a difficult financial situation and needing funds to bring in recruits, the Italian outlet suggests an offer of €30m to €35m could be enough to see McKennie leave.
21.55 GMT: Arsenal are preparing a contract extension for Bukayo Saka, writes Ekrem Konur.
The report says that the new deal will extend the 20-year-old's stay at the Emirates until 2027, with Mikel Arteta seeing him as a vital part of the club's project.
He has found some of his best form in recent weeks, contributing to three goals in as many games, helping the Gunners on a run that has them in the Premier League top four.
21.10 GMT: Le 10 Sport reports that Paris Saint-Germain have reached a contract agreement with Eric Junior Dina-Ebimbe.
The 21-year-old midfielder is keen to find a regular place in PSG's starting team, but it is reported that he will first go out on loan to a Bundesliga side.
The France youth international has featured eight times this season across games in Ligue 1 and the Champions League.
20.35 GMT: Football Insider reports that Newcastle United have decided against making a move for Manchester United's Anthony Martial in January.
While the 26-year-old forward has been offered to the Magpies, new manager Eddie Howe is keen to focus on improving the spine of the team first, with a number of defensive and central midfield options being weighed up ahead of the winter transfer window.
Interim Man United coach Ralf Rangnick said on Dec. 13 that Martial should have the courage to submit a formal transfer request if he wants to leave the club in January, adding that he had received no such communication from the France international.
For now, it remains to be seen what out of favour Martial's future is at Old Trafford after joining the club from Monaco in 2015.
19.55 GMT: The Telegraph reveals that West Bromwich Albion are the latest club to join the race for United States star Daryl Dike.
The 21-year-old Orlando City striker's form has caught the attention of a number of English clubs -- including West Ham, Newcastle and Brighton as reported below -- with the Baggies keen on a potential loan move in January.
They will need to move quickly if they are to secure a move for the MLS forward, who was a standout performer on loan with Championship side Barnsley last term.
19.15 GMT: AC Milan are keen on the acquisition of Randal Kolo Muani, but they may first have to make room in the squad by offloading some players, according to Gazzetta Dello Sport.
Samu Castillejo is one of the stars who could be moved on to activate the chase for Muani, whose form for Nantes in Ligue 1 has seen him capture the attention of clubs around Europe. The 23-year-old striker has contributed to nine goals in 17 appearances so far this season.
18.30 GMT: Fabrizio Romano writes that new Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick plans to extend the contracts for more young players after agreeing to fresh terms with Anthony Elanga.
The 19-year-old winger's new deal will see him remain at Old Trafford until 2026 after impressing during his three appearances this season, with Rangnick keen to make the club's best prospects an important part of his project.
17.58 GMT: The Watford Observer writes that Arsenal's Sead Kolasinac is attracting interest from the Hornets.
According to the report, Watford FC have queried Arsenal over a potential loan deal for the 28-year-old left-back, although the challenge will be how to make room for his six figure wages. Kolasinac currently earns £100,000 per week, but he has played just 270 minutes this season for manager Mikel Arteta.
17.18 GMT: Newcastle United are considering a move for Odion Ighalo in the January transfer window, according to Sky Sports. According to the report, Ighalo has informed his club that he would be open to a move to St. James' Park if an official offer is extended.
The 32-year-old currently plays for Saudi club Al-Shabab FC, but last featured in the Premier League during his spell with Manchester United in the 20/21 campaign.
16.19 GMT: AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie is available on a free transfer at the end of the season and Calciomercato claims that there are plenty of clubs on the lookout.
Kessie, 25, has yet to sign a new contract in Milan and looks set to move on. Tottenham and PSG are two of the teams most interested, though if he's able to signed for free then almost every top club in Europe will be keen.
15.52 GMT: The transfer window will be open in just over seven days' time, and Manchester United have been linked with West Ham's Declan Rice and Leeds United's Kalvin Phillips. Here's why either would be a dream January signing.
15.06 GMT: Mexico star and former LA Galaxy captain Jonathan dos Santos has joined Club America, the Liga MX side has announced.
A report from ESPN's Leon Lecanda on Wednesday said the deal would be for two years, with the Mexico City side announcing on Thursday that the El Tri star had officially joined the team.
The Liga MX Clausura season kicks off on Jan. 7. Las Aguilas finished atop the regular season table of the recently completed Apetura campaign but were ousted in the playoffs, with Atlas winning the title.
Dos Santos was a free agent after the Galaxy stated in late November that it had parted ways with the former designated player.
"I feel I'm in pretty good shape. I am 31 years old. People say that I am coming to retire here; that's not true. I still have a lot to give in my career and to this club. I am hungry. I want to win titles with América and make the fans happy," Dos Santos said.
14.21 GMT: The transfer window opens on Jan. 1 in the Premier League, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 (find out about the rest of Europe here), and clubs have been planning their business amid the ongoing financial uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ESPN writers have everything you need to know about the top teams' hopes and delve into deals that might be in the cards. Who will come in? Who will depart?
13.36 GMT: Roma are in talks to sign Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan next month, sources have told ESPN's James Olley
It is understood the Italian club's sporting director Tiago Pinto has made contact with Arsenal to explore the possibility of signing the midfielder, who is open to the move.
Sources have told ESPN Roma are keen to discuss a loan move with an option to make the deal permanent. Discussions have centred around a four-year contract but as yet no potential fee for a permanent deal has been negotiated.
12.45 GMT: Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said he is "happy" for Ferran Torres as the forward nears a transfer to Barcelona.
Sources have told ESPN's Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens that Barca are closing in on a €55m deal for Spain international Torres, but the signing is dependent on freeing up room on their wage bill first.
Barca and City officials met in Seville on Tuesday to put the finishing touches to a deal that will be worth an initial €55m with a further €10m ($11m) in potential add-ons.
"If he wants to leave, absolutely no disappointment," Guardiola said. "It's his desire. I'm happy for him. "If you want to leave because you're not happy here, you believe you'll be happy in another place, you have to go. The career is short."
However, Barca still have work to do to pull off the transfer. They are hampered by LaLiga's financial restrictions and must move players on before they can make new signings. Their spending limit for the season has been set at €97m by the Spanish league, which is significantly lower than their wage bill but they are permitted to spend 25% of any savings they make, be that in wages or transfer fees.
"When Barcelona or Real Madrid knock on the door of players then it is difficult to say no," Guardiola added. "They are still the strongest teams in the world in terms of fashion, cities and many reasons. He is from Spain. Barcelona knock and I understand why he wants to leave."
12.12 GMT: Atletico Madrid expect to receive a bid for Kieran Trippier from Newcastle United in January, sources have told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Moises Llorens.
Trippier, 31, joined Atletico from Tottenham in 2019 and has become a key member of Diego Simeone's side, winning LaLiga last season. The club are aware, however, that the right-back would be open to a return to the Premier League, after he was tempted by a move to Manchester United last summer.
Sources have told ESPN that United, who were put off by Atletico's asking price in the summer, are monitoring the situation but interim manager Ralf Rangnick has identified improving the club's midfield options as their main priority.
Reports have also linked Trippier with a return to Tottenham but although Antonio Conte's side are in the market for a defender in January, sources have told ESPN there is no clear indication of any firm interest at this stage.
With United and Spurs out of the picture, sources have told ESPN that Atletico anticipate a significant bid of over €20m from Newcastle. The Premier League club will look to reinforce in the January transfer window as they seek to escape relegation and have money to spend after their takeover by the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund in October.
Atletico would be reluctant to let Trippier go, sources told ESPN, given Simeone's view of his importance to the team and the lack of reliable alternatives in the squad.
11.27 GMT: Ajax and Sevilla are set for disappointment in their hopes of signing Tottenham Hotspur forward Steven Bergwijn in January, according to Sky.
Bergwijn, 24, has initially been a peripheral figure in the Spurs first team after Antonio Conte took over at the start of November, making just two appearances as a late substitute in wins over Brentford and Norwich City earlier this month.
However, his performance in Wednesday's Carabao Cup quarterfinal victory over West Ham United, in which he scored one goal and set up the other in a 2-1 win (stream the replay in ESPN+ in the U.S.), helped to convince Conte that the Netherlands international has a future at the club.
After the West Ham win, Conte said: "I think these two weeks that we had many players with Covid helped me and helped Steven to understand very well what I want from him and what I want from the other 11 players we had in training.
"Don't forget, for many days we trained with only 11 or 12 players. On one hand, it was very difficult. On the other hand, we exploited this situation to improve the players. We prepared to play the games with these players.
For sure, Steven should have played against Leicester, against Brighton, the games that were postponed. With him and also other players, we tried to exploit the period when we were only 11 or 12 players, to improve these players.
"Now Steven is a player totally involved into what I want, into what I ask from my players."
10.34 GMT: With his Leicester City contract due to expire at the end of next season and no sign of an agreement over a new deal, could the January transfer window be the right time for Youri Tielemans to move?
09.46 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has played down the prospect of signing players next month to cover for the absence of several members of his squad who will be at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Nicolas Pepe, Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny will all be taking part in the competition with their national teams as will striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has been left out for the last three games and is training alone away from the rest of the squad following a series of disciplinary breaches.
"I don't think we're going to be able to sign players just for a short period of time because of this situation," Arteta said.
"That's a little bit unrealistic but we'll sit down and make the right decision if we can. They [the national teams] want the players yesterday, we want to keep them till next month!
"That is the conversation we are having right now. If you gave me the choice I would want them to stay because I need them and with the context we are in, I want them even more. But they have their obligations and we have to let them go."
08.52 GMT: Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou is hopeful of adding some new faces to his squad early in the January transfer window in order to give them as much time to prepare for the second half of the season as possible.
Postecoglou won his first trophy with Celtic at the weekend by claiming the Scottish League Cup, with Japan forward Kyogo Furuhashi scoring both of his side's goals in a dramatic 2-1 win over Hibernian.
The former Yokoham F. Marinos boss is planning to bring in several more players from the J1 League to help him close the gap on league leaders Rangers.
Postecoglou said: "We are still with the intent of trying to bring them [signings] early and if we can and, from my perspective, it would be ideal if we can get them in from when we re-start training and give them a lead into the second half of the year."
08.00 GMT: Manchester United will not be rushed into making a decision about their next permanent manager, according to football director John Murtough.
United have appointed Ralf Rangnick as interim coach while they search for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's long-term successor.
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag are among the options being considered but Murtough said United will take their time. Rangnick has already said he could recommend that he stays in charge for another year if the right candidate is not available in the summer.
"Out of respect for Ole, we did not approach other managers before he left," Murtough told a fans' forum. "Our plan then was to appoint an experienced interim manager and Ralf was our clear first choice.
"He's someone I have admired for a long time, and we're delighted he's here. By bringing in Ralf, we can now take time to run a thorough process for our next permanent manager.
"Recruiting a manager is one of the most important decisions a football club makes so we want to do it in a careful and considered fashion."
PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)
- Ousmane Dembele will extend his Barcelona contract next week, reports Diario Sport, with his existing deal coming to an end in the summer of 2022. There has been plenty of talk about the Frenchman's future, with the likes of Juventus, Manchester United and Liverpool all having been linked with him at times. However, the report says the winger wants to stay put and will take a cut in pay to stay with the Blaugrana for five seasons.
- Sevilla are now among the clubs looking to sign Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani, according to Ekrem Konur. The Uruguay striker has received plenty of attention ahead of the January transfer window, with Barcelona and Corinthians among the other clubs who are aiming to lure him away from Old Trafford.
- Leeds United, AC Milan and RB Leipzig are all looking to sign FC Salzburg midfielder Brenden Aaronson, as has been reported by MLSsoccer.com. However, with Salzburg having made it into the Champions League knockout stages, it is felt that a January move is highly unlikely due to the U.S. international being deemed a key player to their success.
- West Ham United, Newcastle United, Leeds and Brighton & Hove Albion are all hoping to sign Orlando City SC striker Daryl Dike, according to TeamTalk. Dike, who has represented the USMNT eight times, is also wanted by Valerien Ismael at West Bromwich Albion after the pair worked together at Barnsley.
- AC Milan are keeping an eye on Bologna left-back Aaron Hickey, says Calciomercato, with the Rossoneri having shown interest back when he was at Heart of Midlothian. The 19-year-old has impressed in Serie A this term, having already recorded five goals, which has also attracted attention from Manchester City, Celtic and Burnley.