Europe’s biggest clubs continue to work behind the scenes as the winter transfer window approaches. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world’s media to see who could be heading to your club when Jan. 1 arrives.
Chelsea to return to Napoli for Hysaj
Chelsea have already raided Serie A side Napoli twice this season, hiring coach Maurizio Sarri before returning for midfield metronome Jorginho. They look set to return for a third time with an offer for right-back Elseid Hysaj – that’s according to Calciomercato.
The Albanian defender has a €50 million release clause in his contract in Naples and the Blues hope to negotiate a lower price than that for the defender.
However, there is a stumbling block for Chelsea in the form of a gentleman’s agreement struck between Sarri and Napoli when he left the club to succeed Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge. It was agreed he would not return to raid his former employers after clinching a deal for Jorginho.
In spite of this, talks between the two clubs are believed to be underway with Hysaj, 24, keen to be reunited with Sarri at Stamford Bridge.
Arsenal join race for Brazilian star
Arsenal coach Unai Emery has joined the race for highly-rated Club Brugge striker Wesley Moraes, according to the Sun.
The forward, who is valued at £15 million by the Belgian club, has scored seven times in 14 Jupiler League starts this season, adding to the 11 in 29 he bagged last season.
Emery is understood to want to bolster his striking options with Danny Welbeck’s ankle fracture meaning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are Arsenal’s only senior strikers.
Wesley is contracted to Brugge until 2023 but Emery could test the Belgians’ resolve with an offer when the transfer window re-opens next month.
Newcastle boss Benitez quashes Almiron talk
Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has played down reports linking Atlanta United playmaker Miguel Almiron with a move to the North East, according to the Chronicle.
The Paraguayan has been one of the stand-out players in Major League Soccer this season, scoring 14 goals and supplying 11 assists as the Five Stripes reached Sunday’s MLS Cup final against the Portland Timbers.
Newcastle are believed to be leading the chase for the 24-year-old, widely considered one of the best players in MLS, with a January move anticipated.
However, Benitez was reluctant to discuss the possibility of a move for Almiron next month.
Speaking after his side’s 1-1 draw at Everton on Wednesday, the Spaniard said: “If I don’t know means I don’t think so. We don’t talk about players. Now is the time to enjoy the performance of this group.”
Buffon confident Cavani will remain at PSG
Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has told the Tiki Taka show the club’s all-time leading goalscorer, Edinson Cavani, will remain at the Parc des Princes.
The Uruguayan forward has been linked with a return to former club Napoli amid reports he does not get on well with Neymar or Kylian Mbappe at PSG.
However, veteran goalkeeper Buffon insists Cavani will remain in the French capital.
“I often talk about Italy with him,” Buffon said on Italia 1’s Tiki Taka show.
“He is very close to Napoli for the love of the Neapolitan people. He is not immune [to the interest Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis], but I think that, at the moment, PSG gives him more of a chance to go to the end in the Champions League.
“Not that Napoli doesn’t have a chance, but I think Cavani will prefer to try it with us until June.”
Football Whispers’ transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of 5.
Matteo Darmian to Inter — 3.2
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Inter are considering a move for out-of-favour Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian to provide cover for Sime Vrsaljko who has struggled with fitness this season.
Nicholas Pepe to Arsenal — 2.8
Lille winger Nicholas Pepe is a one of Arsenal’s “priorities” as they seek to bolster their attack next season, according to Mercato365. The French outfit will demand at least €50m for the Ivorian.
Kostas Manolas to Real Madrid — 2.8
Real Madrid had scouts at Sunday’s 2-2 draw between Roma and Inter with Greek defender Kostas Manolas one of the players they were watching. According to Tuttomercato, he has a €36m release clause which Real could be tempted to meet.
Diego Costa to Tianjin Quanjian — 2.2
Diego Costa’s return to Atletico Madrid has not gone to plan and the Spanish side could cut their losses by selling the former Chelsea striker to Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian, according to Spanish radio station RMC, reported by AS.
Mateo Kovacic to Tottenham Hotspur — 2.1
Currently on loan at London rivals Chelsea from Real Madrid, Mateo Kovacic will be on Tottenham’s radar next summer when his loan comes to an end as, according to AS, he has no future at the Santiago Bernabeu.