Chelsea, Man United battling for Ecuador teen Caicedo

The coronavirus pandemic made the summer transfer market unlike any before it, but there were still plenty of deals done, and you can check out the major ones here ahead of the January window opening in a matter of days.

TOP STORY: United close in on Chelsea target Caicedo

Manchester United and Chelsea are battling it out for the signature of Ecuadorian wonderkid Moises Caicedo, with Ecuadorian journalist Diego Arcos reporting that his move to United is all but done.

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The news comes after the Daily Mail suggested that Chelsea were hoping to steal a march on their rivals to land the talented youngster from Independiente del Valle.

Arcos states that Caicedo’s move will definitely happen and should be announced soon, with United believed to be paying a fee of £4.5 million.

The report says that Caicedo will sign a five-year deal at Old Trafford, although no further news has been announced to confirm the rumours.

If true, it confirms news revealed by the Manchester Evening News that the Reds are pursuing a policy of signing the best-rated teenage talents from around the world.

Caicedo turned 19 last month and has appeared for Ecuador in their last four World Cup qualifiers.

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20.25 GMT: Manchester City could revisit their efforts to sign 28-year-old Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico in January, according to the Athletic.

19.08 GMT: Well regarded Spanish journalist Pipi Estrada reports that Marcos Alonso, the 29-year-old left-back frozen out of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea, will join Atletico Madrid on loan in January.

17.51 GMT: Gazzetta dello Sport suggests that as Paris Saint-Germain are widely expected to appoint Mauricio Pochettino as their next manager, the French capital club will look to reunite the Argentine with his former Tottenham Hotspur charge Christian Eriksen, who is free to leave Internazionale just a year after joining from North London. To facilitate his capture, Les Parisiens could offer midfielder Leandro Paredes, said to be of interest to boss Antonio Conte and largely neglected at PSG, in a swap deal.

16.34 GMT: With Kieran Trippier suspended for 10 weeks after violating the FA’s betting regulations, Atletico Madrid are in the market for a replacement for the right-back, according to the Mail, which reports that 23-year-old Arsenal full-back Ainsley Maitland-Niles will be the target of a loan offer from Los Rojiblancos.

15.17 GMT: While it’s been reported in recent weeks that Arsenal are keen on Real Madrid outcast Isco, the Star reports that the 28-year-old playmaker prefers to join a Champions League club, and that Juventus is a more likely destination. There is a member of the Blancos‘ attack who reportedly could join the Gunners, though, and that’s Vinicius Junior.

14.00 GMT: The twin forces of COVID-19 and bad contracts seem certain to dominate the January transfer window. But there are many things all clubs and players need to take into account before getting locked into a transfer next month. Gab Marcotti has 7 things to remember when looking at contracts, offers and completed deals.

13.12 GMT: Mario Gotze has claimed that he had the opportunity to return to Bayern Munich in the summer, but chose to sign for PSV Eindhoven instead.

Gotze left Borussia Dortmund in the summer after his contract expired, ending his second spell at the club where he won two Bundesliga titles. Separating those two spells was a three-year stint at Bayern, where he won the three German league times.

The 28-year-old joined PSV as a free agent in October, and has scored four goals in 12 appearances since moving to the Netherlands, but not before discussing a return to Bayern.

“In the summer we spoke openly about my future, about Bayern’s plans,” Gotzer told Bild. They said that they value me as a person and a player and that they could have taken me back to Bayern again.”

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12.23 GMT: Brighton & Hove Albion manager Graham Potter insists the club have not received any approaches for midfielder Yves Bissouma.

Sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that Bissouma is being closely followed by Liverpool ahead of the January transfer window, with manager Jurgen Klopp tracking him as a potential replacement for Georginio Wijnaldum, who is out of contract in the summer. Manchester United, Real Madrid and Monaco also among the clubs keeping tabs on the Mali international.

“There have been no approaches,” Potter told a news conference. “As I’ve said before, just because it’s in the newspaper, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true.

“My focus on Yves is how I can help him improve and I think he’s still got some improvement to do. “That’s my focus with him, to try and help him reach his full potential. He’s got some work to do yet, so that’s what we are focusing on.”

Bissouma, 24, has a contract with the Seagulls that runs until 2023.

11.56 GMT: Which players are on shortlists around Europe as the January transfer window approaches? Who needs to find a temporary move? And who could be a bargain because their contract is running down?

– Top January transfer targets: Alaba, Eriksen, Alli and more

11.18 GMT: Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil held a Q&A session with fans on Twitter on Wednesday evening which included an answer to the question: “Are you happy in Arsenal?”

Ozil, 32, has not played for the Gunners since March after being frozen out by manager Mikel Arteta, and is not eligible to play at all for the club until at least the new year as he was left off their squad list.

Responding to the query about his status at the club, Ozil replied: “It’s a very difficult time for everyone around the club — not just for me. The situation is frustrating for everyone. Of course I would wish I could help the team especially right now, but as long as I don’t get the chance I just hope that we get better results very soon again.

“But let’s stay positive.”

Ozil was also commented on former manager Arsene Wenger, the man who signed him for the club in 2013. When asked “Do you consider Arsene Wenger as a father figure?” the 2014 World Cup winner responded: “He was really a fantastic manager — yeah, and also like a father figure for me and many other players… I think many people around Arsenal are really missing him.”

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Julien Laurens explains why PSG’s Thomas Tuchel might know he is on the way out at the club.

10.31 GMT: Paris Saint-Germain have sacked manager Thomas Tuchel after a disappointing start to the season, sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens.

PSG have already lost four matches in Ligue 1 this season and enter the winter break in third position in the table, a point behind Lyon and Lille. The French champions suffered a 1-0 home defeat at the hands of table topping Lyon on Dec. 13 before a goalless draw at Lille on Sunday.

Despite losses to Manchester United and RB Leipzig, PSG progressed into the Champions League knockout stages but will meet Barcelona in the round of 16 in February.

The departure comes four months after Tuchel led the club to their first ever Champions League final where they lost to Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

French outlet RMC Sport reports that former Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, who spent two years at PSG as a player, is set to be named the club’s new manager. Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has also been linked with the position in recent months.

09.38 GMT: Manchester United will trigger a clause in Jesse Lingard‘s contract to extend his deal with the club until 2022, according to the Daily Mail.

Lingard has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford to the point where he is yet to make a Premier League appearance this season.

However, with Lingard’s contract currently due to expire at the end of this season, United plan to automatically extend his deal through 2021-22 in order to avoid losing the 28-year-old for nothing in the summer.

The Mail report adds that the contract extension could be followed by a January loan move for the midfielder, with a view to taking a decision on his long-term future at the end of the season.

08.51 GMT: Inter Milan have confirmed that midfielder Christian Eriksen is set for a move in the January transfer window.

Eriksen, 28, joined Inter at the start of the year from Tottenham, where he his contract was due to expire at the end of the season. The Denmark international has struggled for game time in Italy under coach Antonio Conte, starting just four Serie A matches so far this season.

Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta told Sky: “Is Eriksen on the market? I would say so, yes. [Inter sporting director] Piero Ausilio said it in his comments last week and I can reiterate it.

“But it’s not a punishment. Simply, he’s a player who had a few issues in adjusting to life here at Inter. Let’s say he’s not functional to the team, but this is an objective fact, which does not take anything away from his professionalism.

“However, it’s also right to give him the opportunity to seek more game time elsewhere. Obviously, we will need to find a solution.”

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley last month that Arsenal have been offered the chance to sign Eriksen in a deal worth less than the €20m (£16.9m) Inter paid Spurs less than a year ago.

However, the Sky report adds that a loan move is more likely given Eriksen’s wages and the fact he has three-and-a-half year remaining on his contract.

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Steve Nicol and Ian Darke react to Jose Mourinho’s latest comments about Dele Alli.

08.00 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho has criticised Dele Alli for his performance despite Spurs’ 3-1 win over Stoke City to reach the Carabao Cup semifinals, raising doubts over the midfielder’s future at the club.

Alli has been out of favour for Mourinho this season but started in Wednesday’s game (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.). However, he was substituted after Stoke’s 37-year-old debut goalkeeper Andy Lonergan thwarted him twice with smart saves.

It was Lonergan’s first competitive game since turning out for third-tier League One team Rochdale in 2019.

Alli also gifted possession to the home side which led to Jordan Thompson’s goal after beating Hugo Lloris in the 53rd minute.

“Yes, for me a player that plays in that position is a player that has to link and create and not to create problems for his own team,” Mourinho said of Alli.

“In that situation, an objective counter-attack would probably end with a goal, and it ended with a counter-attack behind our defenders.

“We were unbalanced because when you are in possession you have full-backs out wide and another midfielder in a different line and they caught us in a counter-attack and they transformed the result of the game that was totally in our hands, so yes I am upset.”

– Carabao Cup on ESPN+: Stream LIVE games and replays (U.S. only)

PAPER TALK (by Nick Judd)

Inter to fend off Leeds to land De Paul

Internazionale are working with Udinese to try and find a way to seal a deal for Rodrigo de Paul in January, according to Calciomercato.

The Udinese midfielder was heavily linked with Leeds United in the summer and has once again been linked with the Yorkshire club as the January transfer window edges closer.

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However, Inter are hoping they can secure the player on an 18-month loan deal. The Italians are hoping they can land him on a short-term move and insert a number of performance-related clauses in relation to a longer move.

Juventus are also said to be interested. De Paul was valued at £36m in the summer, but Udinese appear to have lowered their valuation to £31.5m.

Tarkowski tussle between Premier League clubs

West Ham United and Leicester City are leading a group of seven clubs all hoping to sign Burnley central defender James Tarkowski, according to Eurosport.

Tarkowski was linked with a move away from Burnley in the summer, but the Clarets managed to fend off any interest, even rejecting one £30m bid.

The 28-year-old defender has 18 months left on his existing contract and has so far rejected any advances to extend his stay at Turf Moor.

As well as West Ham and Leicester, Eurosport also believes there are a number of top-half clubs also keen to bolster their defence.

Burnley’s hopes of keeping hold of Tarkowski appear to rest on a possible takeover, which could see him improve his salary package.

Tarkowski has been capped three times by England and currently earns around £50k per week.

Tap-ins

Bas Dost is set to leave Eintracht Frankfurt for Belgian side Club Brugge, according to Dutch title Algemeen Dagblad. The outlet reports that a deal is almost done, which would see Dost sign a deal for one and a half years. The 31-year-old has scored 15 times for Eintracht Frankfurt in 43 games.

– Le Parisien says Paris Saint-Germain are considering a January move for Chelsea’s out-of-favour defender Antonio Rudiger. Rudiger has failed to get many games this season as a result of the effective partnership between Kurt Zouma and Thiago Silva, and he is said to be desperate for more game time. Barcelona and Juventus are also said to be interested.

Published: 2020-12-24 19:13:42

Tags: #Chelsea #Man #United #battling #Ecuador #teen #Caicedo

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