With the January transfer window now open, the rumor mill has gone into overdrive. Here’s a look at what’s hot in transfer talk throughout world football.
Messi, Suarez plan MLS future together
Lionel Messi in Major League Soccer? Speculation is ramping up.
The Barcelona megastar recently admitted he dreams of playing in the United States, and rumblings of how that could become reality have been in hot supply. According to Catalunya Radio, Messi intends to reunite with friend and former teammate Luis Suarez, with the pair planning on joining Inter Miami, David Beckham’s MLS franchise, in 2022.
Cadena Ser is tipping the 33-year-old for the same move, but the machinations differ. The Spanish outlet says Messi will remain with Barca until 2023 before making that switch, citing his apparent purchase of a £7.25-million apartment in Miami and his desire for his children to be educated in the U.S. as proof that MLS is indeed in the Argentine’s future.
A new manager for Chelsea?
Transfer rumors aren’t exclusive to players during the January window. Take the situation at Stamford Bridge, for example.
With pressure mounting on Chelsea boss Frank Lampard after a patchy run of results over the festive period, BILD claims Thomas Tuchel is being lined up as a replacement. The German, fresh off being sacked by Paris Saint-Germain, would focus on getting the best out of compatriots Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, something Lampard has thus far been unable to achieve.
Having been paid a severance package by PSG, Tuchel should be free to negotiate immediately with any interested clubs.
Mourinho blocks Pochettino’s raid
Mauricio Pochettino officially arrived at PSG on Saturday, and speculation regarding his former Tottenham players joining him in the French capital has been rife.
Jose Mourinho and Daniel Levy want everyone to pump the brakes, though.
The Daily Mail reports that Spurs will not sanction any deals for Dele Alli or veteran goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, who have both been named as potential targets for Pochettino.
3-team race for Sancho
The opening of the transfer window means the resumption of the summer’s longest – and, frankly, most cumbersome – saga. That’s right, the race for Jadon Sancho’s signature is very much back on.
Manchester United are confident they can sign the English winger for less than £100 million at some point this year, according to 90Min; the Red Devils think Borussia Dortmund’s huge valuation of the 20-year-old will decrease from the heights of last summer.
They’re not alone, though. Chelsea, for whom financial constraints seemingly don’t exist, are poised to enter the race, which also features Liverpool.
Bits and bobs
AC Milan want Zaha: Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson maintains he’s not bothered by transfer speculation surrounding star winger Wilfried Zaha, but the rumors intensify with each passing day. AC Milan – and even PSG – have been linked with the Eagles’ talismanic attacker. (Daily Mail)
Real Madrid vets staying put: If you ask Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, he’ll tell you that Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, and Lucas Vazquez will remain at the club. All three are set to be out of contract at the end of the season. (Team Talk)
Juve look to China: Remember Graziano Pelle? Juventus haven’t forgotten about him, apparently. The Bianconeri are considering a shock move for the 35-year-old striker, who is currently in China with Shandong Luneng. (Goal)
Shaqiri not allowed to leave: It seemed inevitable that Xherdan Shaqiri would depart Liverpool this month after playing just 52 league minutes this season. However, the Reds have seemingly changed their tune and will keep the seldom-used Swiss international in light of their ongoing injury issues. (Liverpool Echo)
Diego Costa back in England: Raul Jimenez is sidelined indefinitely after suffering a fractured skull in November, so Wolverhampton Wanderers need reinforcements up front. Enter Diego Costa. A free agent after terminating his Atletico Madrid contract, the feisty striker is an option for Wolves. (The Times)
Arsenal’s midfield search: A bevy of midfielders have been linked with Arsenal in recent months, and that list now includes Sevilla’s Joan Jordan, who could cost around £32 million. Highly touted Barcelona academy product Riqui Puig, 21, is another talent being monitored. (The Athletic)
Milik available on the cheap: Arkadiusz Milik has been frozen out of the Napoli squad and is generating interest in France, with Marseille touted as a possible destination for the angular Polish striker. Milik’s dwindling contract has reduced his transfer value significantly. (Gazzetta dello Sport)
Playing time for Bayern youngster: With Bas Dost having left for Club Brugge, Eintracht Frankfurt need some scoring punch up front. That’s led them to Bayern Munich’s front door, where teen forward Joshua Zirkzee is of interest. Bayern, naturally, would prefer a loan move instead of selling the burgeoning Dutchman outright. (BILD)
Khedira eyes England move: Sami Khedira’s injury-riddled spell at Juventus is approaching its final hours, with the German midfielder exploring his options for a January move. Talks are scheduled with Everton, where a reunion with former boss Carlo Ancelotti could be on the cards. (Mail)