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: Arsenal interested in Shakhtar star Mudryk
Arsenal have entered in discussions with Shakhtar Donetsk over 21-year-old forward Mykhailo Mudryk, with Calciomercato reporting that Shakhtar chief Carlo Nicolini confirmed Gunners are keen on a deal.
The Ukraine international has been on Arsenal's radar for some time, and though Donetsk value his transfer fee at around €100 million, the Gunners believe they can sign him for less.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is keen to add to his attacking options following the injury to Gabriel Jesus, who underwent knee surgery earlier this month and is expected to be out through at least February.
Mudryk is seen as a strong option given his proven ability at the top level in the Champions League this season, but Newcastle United and Manchester City are also interested.
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21.48 GMT: Stipe Biuk is on the radar of Atalanta, according to Calciomercato.
The Serie A side are on the lookout for a left-winger in January, and reports suggest that they will join Fiorentina in the race to sign the 19-year-old, who was previously linked with Manchester City. The Croatia U21 international has contributed to three goals in 15 appearances for Hadjuk Split this season.
21.28 GMT: Fulham are keen on signing Abdoulaye Doucoure, reveals Fabrizio Romano.
The 29-year-old midfielder is on manager Marco Silva's shortlist as he looks to add a number of reinforcements, with Cedric Soares also linked with a potential move to Craven Cottage. Doucoure has made just two starts in the Premier League for Everton this season, and it looks as though the Cottagers are preparing to test the waters to gauge whether a deal will be possible.
20.55 GMT: Brazilian sensation Debinha has informed the North Carolina Courage she will not be returning to the club, the Courage announced Thursday. Debinha became a free agent for 2023 under the NWSL's new collective bargaining agreement, spent six seasons with the Courage, joining the team in 2017. She scored 35 career goals and 20 assists in six seasons, including a career-best 12 goals in 2022 to earn a NWSL Best XI spot when she was an MVP finalist.
"We are extremely sad to see Deb leave and we know she does so as one of the most iconic players in our club's history," said Courage sporting director Curt Johnson. "We've watched her develop into a national and international superstar over the last half-decade with our club. We made a significant offer and certainly every attempt to keep her here in North Carolina. In our conversations, though, it became clear that -- despite a deep love for this club and this community -- she finds it in her best interest to continue her professional career elsewhere and we wish her nothing but the best."
20.30 GMT: A race is beginning to heat up for Romain Saiss, writes Fotomac.
The Turkey-based newspaper understands that Besiktas have already received multiple offers for the 32-year-old defender after his standout displays at the World Cup with Morocco. Fiorentina, Valencia, and Marseille are reported to be among the sides jostling at the front of the queue for his signature, with a bidding war shaping up ahead of the January transfer market.
20.07 GMT: Napoli will move forward with plans to secure Khvicha Kvaratskhelia to a new six-year contract in January, reports Gazzetta dello Sport.
It is understood that the Serie A side are planning to double the 21-year-old attacking midfielder's €1.2million salary, with hopes of warding off interest from suitors among Europe's top leagues. He has been in impressive form this season, contributing to 16 goals in 17 games across all competitions.
19:40 GMT: Atletico Madrid are keeping a close eye on the contract situation of David De Gea, according to Ekrem Konur.
The Manchester United goalkeeper is set to be out of contract in the summer, though recent reports have indicated that Erik ten Hag is keen to secure him to a new long term deal. Teams from outside of the Premier League will be able to make the 32-year-old an official pre-contract agreement proposal on January 1.
19:05 GMT: Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be set to return to Crystal Palace in January, writes the Evening Standard.
A loan deal is currently being discussed with Manchester United, who are looking to guarantee that he would leave the club on a permanent basis after an initial loan spell until the end of the season. The 25-year-old right-back arrived at Old Trafford from Selhurst Park in 2019 in a deal worth £50m.
18.40 GMT: AC Milan are preparing to propose a new contract offer to Ismael Bennacer, understands Gianluca Di Marzio.
The 25-year-old midfielder is reported to be looking for a salary in the region of €4million-per-year, and the latest indicates that the Rossoneri are moving closer to meeting his demands. The proposal will also include a release clause, though they are yet to decide on what the figure will be. Bennacer's current contract at the San Siro is set to expire in the summer.
18.06 GMT: Ilkay Gundogan has been removed from Barcelona's transfer shortlist, reports Sport.
Despite Xavi Hernandez having interest in the 32-year-old Manchester CIty midfielder, the LaLiga side are now set to prioritise other options as they look to find a future successor for Sergio Busquets. The Blaugrana have also been linked with Jorginho and Martin Zubimendi.
17.28 GMT: Napoli are leading the race to sign Azzedine Ounahi, reveals Foot Mercato.
The 22-year-old Angers midfielder has attracted plenty of interest following a run of impressive displays at the World Cup for Morocco, with Internazionale and Marseille also linked with him. It is reported that his preference is to make the switch to Serie A from his options that have surfaced so far, and Luciano Spalletti's side are in pole position.
16.29 GMT: Defensa Central says that Real Madrid will need to include midfielder Eduardo Camavinga in a swap deal if they want to sign Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.
Bellingham, 19, is one of the world's best young players and Dortmund value his services at €150m. Camavinga is 20 and highly rated, but only joined Madrid for €31m from Rennes in 2021.
Liverpool and a host of other top clubs also want to sign Bellingham but Dortmund reportedly want Camavinga in return and that could put Madrid at the front of the queue.
15.24 GMT: Manchester United dedicated a brief 81-word farewell to forward Cristiano Ronaldo in their official programme for the Carabao Cup win over Burnley on Wednesday.
Ronaldo agreed a mutual termination of his contract at Old Trafford last month following a TV interview with Piers Morgan in which he heavily criticised the club's manager, Erik ten Hag, and owners, the Glazer family.
United were back in action for the first time since the World Cup break -- their first fixture since Ronaldo's departure -- as they earned a 2-0 win over Championship side Burnely to advance to the Carabao Cup quarterfinals. The club made a brief reference to Ronaldo's exit in their "Worth Knowing" section of the matchday programme, saying: "Cristiano Ronaldo left the club by mutual agreement last month.
"The Portuguese superstar scored 145 goals across two spells and 436 appearances, and helped us win three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup. Ronaldo was also crowned Ballon d'Or winner in 2008. In a statement on Nov. 22, the club put on record its gratitude for Cristiano's immense contribution and wished him and his family well for the future."
Ronaldo is now a free agent as he bids to make a return to club football. ESPN reported earlier this month the 37-year-old trained alone at Real Madrid's Valdebebas training ground shortly after returning home from the World Cup in Qatar.
14.50 GMT: Barcelona president Joan Laporta wants UEFA to get on board with a European Super League because football "needs it" to stop Premier League clubs running away from the rest.
Barca, Real Madrid and Juventus remain standing from the 12 founder members of the Super League project in their pursuit of a new competition for Europe's top clubs. They argue UEFA's governance of European football constitutes an illegal monopoly under EU competition, but an advisory opinion from the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week sided with UEFA.
A final ruling is expected in 2023, though, and Laporta said he remains "optimistic" and told UEFA it is not too late for the governing body to change its stance on the creation of a new competition.
"We have to reform how European football works," Laporta told Barca TV in a wide-ranging interview to mark the end of 2022 on Thursday. "The Premier League will pass from €5 billion to €7bn in television rights -- and LaLiga from €2bn to €1.7bn. LaLiga teams cannot compete with Premier League sides. [Barca] compete because of our history, but [English sides] have more and more resources all the time. This has to change."
14.16 GMT: Tottenham are leading the race to sign France World Cup star Adrien Rabiot from Juventus, says Corriere dello Sport.
Rabiot, 27, is out of contract in the summer and has yet to agree terms to stay in Turin.
Tottenham are keen to sign him, having first made a move back in January 2019 only to be turned down. Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea are also being linked with the midfielder, who could be available for around €12m after impressing in Qatar.
13.44 GMT: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says no one at the club is essential but insists Joao Felix is a "very important player."
Felix has reportedly requested to leave the club in the January transfer window as he is unhappy with his playing time at Atletico.
"No one is essential, no one," Simeone said. "Things will be the way they have to be. He is a very important player, who had a good World Cup. He contributed in (Portugal's) goals and in the role that the coach (Fernando Santos) gave him. I hope we can give him the serenity and joy so that he can prove all that we saw (of him) at the World Cup."
Felix, 23, has been a long-term target of Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain. He has only scored three goals in 18 appearances for Atletico this season.
13.00 GMT: Is Lionel Messi the greatest ever?
Ale Moreno feels Lionel Messi has now eclipsed Diego Maradona after leading Argentina to a thrilling World Cup win vs. France.
12.15 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 midseason 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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?
11.40 GMT: Jude Bellingham is on the frontpages of both Marca and Diario AS this morning, with Marca calling the England midfielder an "absolute priority" for Real Madrid and AS claiming he would prefer to join the LaLiga giants over a move to the Premier League.
Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United have all been chasing Bellingham, with the 19-year-old's starring role for his country during the World Cup only increasing the likelihood of a €150m transfer next summer.
According to Marca, Bellingham had "convinced absolutely everybody" at Madrid even before his impressive performances in Qatar and the player is their "top target" for next season.
AS reports that, having moved abroad at 17 from Birmingham to join Dortmund, Bellingham would prefer not to return home just yet.
If Madrid aren't able to land Bellingham, the newspaper says Benfica and Argentina's Enzo Fernandez would be their "plan B" with Juventus' Manuel Locatelli as a third alternative.
10.22 GMT: Lionel Messi has reached a verbal agreement with Paris Saint-Germain to extend his contract with the club for at least one more season, according to multiple reports.
The 35-year-old forward, who has won the Ballon d'Or seven times, helped Argentina lift the World Cup trophy by beating France on penalties in the final on Sunday. It was Messi's first World Cup win and the third in Argentina's history.
Messi's contract with PSG runs until June 2023, but Le Parisien reported Wednesday that the two sides reached an agreement during the World Cup to trigger a one-year extension on his deal to keep him in Paris until 2024.
09.41 GMT: Sao Paulo have opened an investigation into why they decided against signing Palmeiras teenage star Endrick in 2016, sources have told ESPN Brasil's Eduardo Affonso.
Endrick -- who will move to Real Madrid when he turns 18 in July 2024 -- is one of the most exciting young talents in Brazilian football. ESPN reported last week teenage star will join Madrid on an initial three-year contract with the option of a three-year extension, for a transfer fee worth a total of €72 million including variables and taxes.
Sao Paulo were the first major Brazilian team to have a chance to sign Endrick when he trained at a football school connected to the club. However, when Endrick said he would only join if the club gave a job to his father, Douglas Sousa, Sao Paulo opted not to sign him.
Officials at Sao Paulo now believe the club has suffered "several losses" from that decision, and they are determined to find the person responsible.
Endrick posted on social media in July, remembering his rejection from Sao Paulo, in which he wrote: "Sao Paulo: 'We can't afford housing and employment for your parents. You are released!"
08.48 GMT: Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone confirmed that Braziliian striker Matheus Cunha is on the verge of leaving the club.
Sources told ESPN's Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez on Wednesday that Cunha is set to join Wolverhampton Wanderers on an initial loan with a purchase option included in the deal.
"He [Cunha] is on his way out, about to sign for his new club," Simeone said. "He gave us everything he had."
There were high expectations placed on Cunha after he helped Brazil win gold at the Olympics in August 2021. However, Cunha, 23, failed to score in 17 appearances for Atletico this season and was placed on the transfer list.
08.00 GMT: Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag says that Aaron Wan-Bissaka "has a future" at the club after the right-back made his first start of the season.
Wan-Bissaka, 25, has slipped behind Diogo Dalot in the pecking order, but in Wednesday's 2-0 win over Burnley in the Carabao Cup he created the opening goal for Christian Eriksen.
Ten Hag insisted after the match that the former Crystal Palace can still play a part at Old Trafford despite talk of a January move to Wolves or West Ham United.
"It's clear he has a future," Ten Hag said. "He had some good years,but this season from the start he had a lot of illnesses and injuries.
"His fitness levels are getting better, his performance levels are getting better and the assist, especially the way he gave the assist, in the right moment and timing, I'm happy with his performance."
Julien Laurens evaluates Kylian Mbappe's performance for France in their dramatic defeat to Argentina in the World Cup final.
PAPER GOSSIP (by Nick Judd)
- Chelsea are on the verge of signing Brazilian wonderkid Andrey Santos ahead of Manchester City and Newcastle United. That's according to Brazilian journalist Lucas Pedrosa, who reports that the Vasco da Gama midfielder is close to putting pen to paper on a move to west London. Santos, 18, has already made 37 appearances and scored eight times for the Rio de Janeiro side.
- Sergio Busquets could be on his way to Major League Soccer as soon as January, but Spanish outlet Sport are suggesting that Barcelona want to keep the 34-year-old midfielder until June, when his contract expires. The Barca skipper is keen to finish his career in the USA and wants to move sooner rather than later, but Barca officials are hoping he'll see out his existing deal and leave at the end of the season, even though his departure would free up vital funds for new players. Club chiefs are also considering offering him a six-month extension.
- Tottenham Hotspur are looking for a long-term replacement for goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, and Tuttomercatoweb believe the Londoners are considering a move for Jordan Pickford. Lloris remains one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, and he impressed for France as they reached the World Cup final. However, at 35, he's approaching the twilight of his career, and Spurs' main target is Everton and England No. 1 keeper Pickford. Pickford, 28, was in fine form for the Three Lions in Qatar, and his Toffees contract runs out in 2024.
- Napoli are monitoring the situation of Lille central defender Tiago Djalo, according to Ekrem Konur. Napoli are in the market for a defender in January as they look to refresh their back line, and the 22-year-old is at the top of their wanted list. However, Lille are keen to keep the Portugual international and extend his contract. Djalo is in his fourth season at Lille and has so far played 14 games, scoring two goals.
- Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are all chasing Argentinian wonderkid Gianluca Prestianni, according to Ekrem Konur. The 16-year-old left winger plays for Velez Sarsfield and has made six first-team appearances this season. Real Madrid have already signed young Brazilian Endrick, and now they're looking to steal a march on their rivals for another exciting prospect. Prestianni is contracted at the club until 2024, but Madrid are believed to have been on contact with his agent.