With the opening of the January transfer window coming closer, there's plenty of gossip swirling about who's moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!
TOP STORY: Saudis confident they can land Ronaldo
Al Nassr are growing increasingly confident of completing a move for free agent Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Foot Mercato.
It is reported that the 37-year-old striker has not heard anything from Chelsea or Sporting CP in recent weeks, and the latest reveals that despite his intentions to remain in Europe, he is now more open to making the switch to the Saudi Pro League.
Ronaldo initially wanted to join a team that could provide him with top-level European football after being released from Manchester United last month, but with the trail into the Champions League going cold, Al Nassr have been able to capitalise on the situation with a three-year proposal worth €200 million per season.
Joining Saudi Arabia's top-flight looks to be the only move that could materialise for the Portugal international currently, with Al Hilal also recently linked, but it is the league leaders who are now optimistic of winning the race for his signature.
Ronaldo made five appearances at the World Cup, scoring just one goal from the penalty spot in Portugal's opening group stage match against Ghana.
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22.00 GMT: Fulham are frontrunners to land Arsenal defender Cedric Soares in January, according to the Evening Standard.
Fulham have held preliminary talks with the 31-year-old, which puts them ahead of Villarreal and Bayer Leverkusen who are also interested.
A loan deal with an obligation to buy seems the most logical outcome, though Arsenal are concerned by their lack of squad depth.
21.45 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are keen on Sporting Lisbon's right-sided player Pedro Porro, but they'll have to part with more than €30m to have a chance of landing him in January, according to Portuguese outlet A Bola.
Spurs were impressed by Porro in their Champions League encounters, and have since declared their interest in the 23-year-old.
However, Sporting are reluctant to lose their star man in January, and are doing everything they can to try and keep him until the summer.
21.12 GMT: Benfica aren't planning on letting midfielder Enzo Fernandez leave in January, unless a club triggers his €120m release clause, according to PIC's Pedro Sepulveda. That reporting comes in contrast to rumours that a deal has been agreed between the Lisbon club and Liverpool, with Real Madrid are also interested in the 21-year-old Argentina international, who is said to prefer a move to England over Spain.
20.49 GMT: Manchester United boss Erik Ten Haag has his eyes on 21-year-old Benfica striker Goncalo Ramos, according to Calciomercato. The Portugal star, who scored a hat trick on his World Cup debut, is considered a priority following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Benfica are reluctant to lose Ramos in January, though, and may well hold out for the full release clause of £104m.
20.26 GMT: Inter Miami CF and Barcelona have seemingly suffered a blow in their pursuit of Lionel Messi, with the Argentina captain having agreed a one-year extension at Paris Saint-Germain, according to Le Parisien. The 35-year-old will be a free agent in the summer, when David Beckham's outfit had dreams of him moving to MLS, while his former club in Catalonia harboured plans of an emotional return to the Camp Nou.
20.03 GMT: CF Montreal have signed right-back Aaron Herrera from Real Salt Lake, the MLS clubs announced on Wednesday. In order to complete the signing of the 25-year-old once-capped United States international, the Quebecois sent $500,000 in General Allocation Money spread across 2023 and 2024, the No. 25 overall selection in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft and a 2023 international roster slot.
Bienvenue @aaronherrera_22!— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) December 21, 2022
Le CF Montréal acquiert le défenseur Aaron Herrara du @realsaltlake >>> https://t.co/OduiJ5bV52
CF Montréal acquires defender Aaron Herrara from Real Salt Lake >>> https://t.co/YBRH7oYyFn#CFMTL pic.twitter.com/njF8PMWQwE
19.40 GMT: Real Madrid are lining up an offer for RB Leipzig centre-back Josko Gvardiol, according to Marca. The 20-year-old Croatia international was one of the stars of the World Cup, helping his nation reach the semifinals before losing out to Argentina. The tricky element for Los Blancos is that Leipzig -- having reportedly already brokered Christopher Nkunku's transfer to Chelsea -- aren't in any hurry to move on from Gvardiol, which could inflate the required fee.
19.17 GMT: Carlo Ancelotti has said if it's up to him, he'll "never leave Real Madrid," but hasn't ruled out taking a national team job at the end of his career, after being named as a candidate for the Brazil job in recent weeks. The Italian manager has enjoyed a hugely successful second spell in charge at the Bernabeu, winning a Champions League and LaLiga double last season.
The resignation of Tite as Brazil coach saw Ancelotti linked with the position, with the Brazilian football federation saying their search for a successor will begin in January.
"I feel really good at Madrid," Ancelotti said on Tuesday when picking up a prize at newspaper Diario AS's annual awards. "A manager's work is like that, you never know when you're going to stop. But if it's up to me, I'd never leave Madrid. Maybe at the end of my career I'll think about a national team, but I like having a day-to-day relationship with the players."
18.54 GMT: Real Madrid are preparing to stump up nearly €1 billion to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe next summer, writes Gazzetta dello Sport. Of that figure, €630m would go to wages, with much of the rest making up the transfer fee to release the 24-year-old France international from his PSG contract that runs until the summer of 2024.
18.31 GMT: FC Cincinnati announced on Wednesday that they have signed 20-year-old midfielder Marco Angulo from Independiente del Valle of the Ecuadorian LigaPro. The once-capped Ecuador international joins as part of MLS's U22 initiative, signing a three-year contract with an option for the 2026 season.
Ready to hold down the midfield.#FCCincy acquire Marco Angulo from @IDV_EC.— FC Cincinnati (@fccincinnati) December 21, 2022
18.08 GMT: Barcelona are prioritising a move for Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Ruben Neves ahead of preferred targets Bernardo Silva of Manchester City and Martin Zubimendi of Real Sociedad because of financial fair play, according to Mundo Deportivo. The report suggests that both of the latter options are beyond Barca's means, with 23-year-old Zubimendi said to command a €60m transfer fee, making Neves the most cost-effective signing -- although manager Xavi reportedly unconvinced by the 25-year-old Portugal international.
17.45 GMT: Barcelona are tracking Standard Liege midfielder Nicolas Raskin, according to a report in Mundo Deportivo on Wednesday.
Raskin, 21, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been dropped to the Belgian club's reserve team following a failure to agree on a new deal. That could lead to a January exit, with Liege keen to earn a transfer fee before he is able to walk away as a free agent in the summer.
Barca, Mundo Deportivo writes, citing reports in Belgium, are one of the clubs monitoring the situation with the aim of either moving now or at the end of the season. Leeds United, Fiorentina, Marseille and Rangers are also credited with an interest in Raskin, who is capped at U21 level but was not part of Belgium's World Cup squad.
17.22 GMT: Newcastle United have offered Barcelona a €20m transfer fee to sign Netherlands forward Memphis Depay, according to Mundo Deportivo. The Magpies reportedly have been interested in the 28-year-old for some time, but this is their first tangible offer, and while a deal for Memphis would represent good business for Barca considering he'll be a free agent in the summer, his preference is to see out his Camp Nou contract and decide his next move in the offseason.
16.59 GMT: Legendary Brazil forward Marta has signed a new two-year contract with the Orlando Pride, the NWSL club announced on Wednesday. The 36-year-old has scored 27 goals in 84 appearances with the Central Florida side, but missed the vast majority of the 2022 season with an ACL injury.
Our Queen is (still) purple 👑 pic.twitter.com/ghXHw0EiP4— Orlando Pride (@ORLPride) December 21, 2022
16.36 GMT: Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou says there have been no offers for Josip Juranovic despite reports linking Barcelona and Atletico Madrid with the Croatian international.
Juranovic, 27, impressed at the World Cup in Qatar, which has led to reported interest from some of Europe's biggest clubs. However, Postecoglou says there is "nothing going on."
"All this [is] speculation," the Celtic boss said in a news conference ahead of his side's game against Livingston on Wednesday. "What I can tell you now is that we don't have an offer for any player.
"People can talk about offers and clubs wanting but I can't spend my time chasing shadows of what is in the press every morning. I would be spending my whole day talking to players.
"What I see is what is before me at training every day, if players have things put in front of them about their future I am sure they will come and see me and [chief executive] Michael [Nicholson] will speak to their representatives. But right now there is nothing, zero, zip, nada, nothing going on."
Juranovic is in his second season in Scotland after joining Celtic from Legia Warsaw for around €3m in 2021.
15.43 GMT: Real Madrid are "increasingly confident" of landing England star Jude Bellingham ahead of Premier League giants Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea in a deal worth over €100m, according to The Sun.
The World Cup performances of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham, 19, have only increased the competition for his signature after an outstanding start to the 2022-23 season in the Bundesliga.
Madrid now "believe they have won the race" The Sun reports, having chased the player throughout the last 12 months, with "the chance to become a Bernabeu icon" the key factor.
14.51 GMT: Mexico international goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa is on the verge of joining Serie A side Salernitana, Sky Sports reports.
The 37-year-old is expected to sign a contract until June 2023, joining Salernitana as a free agent after parting company with Mexican outfit Club America.
On Tuesday evening Ochoa, who made three appearances at the World Cup in Qatar, tweeted a farewell message to Club America, the club he joined in August 2019 from Standard Liege.
13.58 GMT: Atletico Madrid and Wolverhampton Wanderers have reached an agreement for the transfer of Brazil forward Matheus Cunha for a fee of €40m plus variables, sources have told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez.
Cunha, 23, joined Atletico from Hertha Berlín in 2021 but has failed to find regular first-team football this season, with Alvaro Morata, Joao Felix and Antoine Griezmann all preferred by manager Diego Simeone.
Atletico could receive an additional €10m in variables, sources said, although €5m would go to Hertha.
Atletico and Wolves have also spent the last few days in talks for defender Felipe, 33, but the player's wage demands have complicated matters, sources said.
Earlier this month, ESPN reported that Atletico had put Cunha, Felipe, Felix and Mario Hermoso on the market, looking to balance the books after their elimination from the Champions League.
13.06 GMT: Sevilla have announced that midfielder Isco has left the club, mutually terminating his contract after less than five months.
Isco, who has played 38 times for Spain, joined Sevilla eager to revive his career, having been a fringe player at Real Madrid in recent seasons.
However, the 30-year-old scored one goal in 19 appearances for Sevilla, and since the arrival of head coach Jorge Sampaoli in October, he has seen his playing time drastically reduced.
His contract at Sevilla had been due to run until June 2024, but was brought to an early end on Wednesday.
The club said in a statement: "Sevilla FC and Isco Alarcon have agreed to terminate the contract that united both parties since the player from Malaga joined the Nervionense club last summer after finishing his spell at Real Madrid...The club wants to wish Isco all the luck in the world in his new professional challenges."
12.13 GMT: Manchester United have triggered one-year contract extensions for four first-team players including striker Marcus Rashford, Sky Sports reports, but goalkeeper David de Gea is not one of them.
Rashford, midfielder Fred and defensive duo Luke Shaw and Diogo Dalot are all now committed to the club until the end of next season.
However, De Gea's deal remains due to expire in the summer, meaning as things stand he is free to open talks with foreign-based clubs from Jan. 1 with a view to joining them as a free agent at the end of this campaign.
11.24 GMT: Chelsea have appointed Christopher Vivell as technical director after his departure from RB Leipzig, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.
Vivell left Leipzig earlier this year, with the Bundesliga side citing "differing views" in the statement confirming his exit. He previously spent five years at RB Salzburg as head of scouting and recruitment and was also a first-team scout at Hoffenheim.
The German becomes the latest addition to Chelsea's behind-the-scenes operation following the club's takeover by Todd Boehly and private equity firm Clearlake Capital.
"Chelsea are building the most exciting project in global football and I'm extremely proud to be joining the club," Vivell said in a statement on the club's website. "There is so much potential for the club to continue to succeed, develop and grow.
"Under the new ownership, Graham Potter and the broader sporting team, there is a clear and sustainable philosophy underpinned by performance analysis, data and innovation, and I am looking forward to playing a part in that."
The appointment comes just a few days after Fabrizio Romano reported that a deal to take Leipzig forward Christopher Nkunku's to Stamford Bridge next summer has been signed by all parties.
10.31 GMT: Atletico Madrid are close to agreeing a deal with Leicester centre-back Caglar Soyuncu for a free transfer when his contract expires next June, Marca reports.
Turkey international Soyuncu, 26, joined Leicester in 2018 and was a regular starter until losing his place in the team this season, featuring just twice in all competitions.
According to Marca, Atletico could look to bring his arrival forward to January for a reduced fee if defenders Felipe and Mario Hermoso both leave the club during the upcoming window.
09.39 GMT: Corinthians remain optimistic about making the possible signing of Aston Villa winger Philippe Coutinho, according to Globo.
Coutinho, 30, is willing to return to Brazil to play for Corinthians, who are keen to sign him on loan but know the negotiation will not be easy.
The Brazil international earns more than three times the highest salaries of the Corinthians squad and would have to lower his wages if he were to join them.
Coutinho has only started in six Premier League games this season and has yet to score for Villa. He joined Villa this summer in a €20m transfer from Barcelona after signing a contract until June 2026.
08.47 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte is in no hurry to sign a new contract at the club despite an offer on the table worth £1m a year more than his current salary, the Daily Mail reports.
Conte, 53, is out of contract at the end of this season, and the Italian held talks with Spurs during the World Cup over extending his stay in North London.
There is an option on Conte's current deal for an additional year, but no agreement has yet been reached between him and the club that he has helped reach the Champions League knockout phase this season.
08.00 GMT: Croatia defender Josko Gvardiol is likely to remain at RB Leipzig for the rest of the season, according to Sky Sports.
The 20-year-old was one of the breakout stars of the World Cup as Croatia reached the semifinals, and he is being targeted by a host of Europe's top clubs.
The Sky report adds that Chelsea had tried to sign him in the summer transfer window, while Marca says that Real Madrid are also interested in the centre-back.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)
- Gabriel Martinelli is set to remain at Arsenal despite interest from Barcelona, reports Sport. The Blaugrana enquired about the Brazil international earlier in the season, but it looks as though he intends to sign a new contract and continue his career at the Emirates. Martinelli, 21, has been in impressive form for Mikel Arteta's side this season, having contributed to seven goals in 14 Premier League games.
- Internazionale have placed Yann Sommer on their shortlist as they look to add a new goalkeeper, reveals Gianluca Di Marzio. The 34-year-old Borussia Monchengladbach shot-stopper will enter the final six months of his deal in January, and he has recently been linked with a move to Bayern Munich. It is understood that Inter are uncertain as to whether Samir Handanovic will remain at the San Siro beyond the end of the season.
- Juventus are readying an approach for Chelsea playmaker Jorginho, understands Calciomercato. The 31-year-old midfielder will enter the final six months of his contract in January, and it is reported that the Serie A side will make him an offer if he does not sign a new contract with Chelsea.
- Fenerbahce are looking to ward off interest from sides in Europe by securing Miguel Crespo to a new contract, writes Ekrem Konur. Clubs in Serie A and LaLiga are understood to be keen on the 26-year-old defensive midfielder, who has made 16 appearances across all competitions for the Super Lig side this season.
- Domenico Criscito is set to return to Genoa, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The 35-year-old defender joined MLS side Toronto FC in the summer and made 15 appearances last season, but it looks as though he is now set to return to Serie A once the final paperwork is completed.