LIVE Transfer Talk: PSG want Barcelona’s Dembele if Mbappe leaves

The 2022 winter window is open as of Jan. 1 and there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings and goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: PSG see Dembele as Mbappe replacement

Paris Saint-Germain are preparing for life without Kylian Mbappe as he enters the final six months of his contract, with reports that they are planning a move for Ousmane Dembele if he does not agree to an extension at Camp Nou, according to Le 10 Sport.

The Barcelona star, whose career has been beset by injuries since arriving in Catalonia, is well and truly back in the squad under new manager Xavi Hernandez. But after the Blaugrana recently secured the signature of Ferran Torres for a fee of €55 million, the 24-year-old winger’s representatives are now demanding a large increase in his salary.

And PSG are ready to take advantage. Like Barcelona, the Ligue 1 club is enduring a similar contract uncertainty with Mbappe, and with little progress made on a new deal, they see Dembele as a potential successor if they are able to land him as a free transfer in the summer.

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LIVE BLOG

13.16 GMT: Diego Simeone has opened the door for Kieran Trippier to leave Atletico Madrid this month, saying “it depends on what the player wants.”

Sources told ESPN’s Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez last week that Atletico were anticipating a bid for Trippier from Newcastle United during the January window, while the England full-back has also been linked to Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. On Saturday, Sky reported that Newcastle had lodged a bid for Trippier.

“We’ve always had to live with these situations,” Simeone said in a news conference on Saturday. “Very good, important players for the team have always had the chance to leave. After that, it depends on what the player wants.”

He added: “We coaches can’t do too much in terms of players’ decisions. We can only tell them how we see them, how important Trippier is for our team. Depending on what happens, we’ll look for solutions.”

Trippier, 31, has been a key player for Simeone’s LaLiga champions since joining in 2019 but is open to a return to the Premier League.

12.49 GMT: Brentford defender Christian Norgaard has signed a new contract, with the Denmark international committing himself to the Bees until 2025.

Norgaard has start all but one of Brentford’s 18 Premier League games so far. The 22-year-old scored in their 2-0 win over Arsenal on Aug. 13, their first match of the season following promotion from the Championship last term.

12.25 GMT: Everton have signed Ukraine international defender Vitaliy Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev.

The 22-year-old has signed a contract at Goodison Park that runs until 2026.

Everton boss Rafa Benitez says he hopes Mykoloenko is just to first of several midseason arrivals. He said ahead of Sunday’s match against Brighton: “We are in contact with clubs but it’s not just me — the board are [also] looking for the right options.

“Not everybody has a lot of money to spend so we have to be careful when we buy, sell or loan players.

“I knew what we were looking for in August, we are working to find the right players for the present and the future.

“We are trying to be sure we have chances to improve. What can [the fans] expect? Two or three players, and players who want to be here.”

11.34 GMT: West Ham United manager David Moyes says he plans on building his team around midfielder Declan Rice in the years to come.

Rice, 22, has a contract with the Hammers until 2024 with the option of another year, but he has attracted attention from several clubs including his boyhood side, Chelsea.

“Declan’s under a long contract so from that point of view we’ve not got a big panic on,” Moyes said. “We’ve no intention of selling him and I’ve said already many, many times, if we ever had to, it would be a shoot to the moon.

“My job is to keep building the club and the level up. We need players around Declan who are at a similar level. He has been a revelation for us this season and hopefully he keeps driving the team on.”

England international Rice is set to make his 150th Premier League appearance later on Saturday when West Ham visit Crystal Palace.

10.41 GMT: Napoli have asked Manchester United about Axel Tuanzebe‘s situation for the January transfer window, sources told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

Tuanzebe is on loan at Aston Villa, but the Italian side have enquired about United’s plans for the 24-year-old as they assess options to strengthen their defence. Sources told ESPN that Napoli are yet to make contact with Tuanzebe’s representatives, who are first set to meet with United chiefs to discuss the former England under-21 international’s future.

Tuanzebe signed a one-year loan deal at Villa Park in the summer and has made 11 appearances so far this season, although he has not started a game since Nov. 5. He has a contract at Old Trafford until 2023 and is highly rated by members of the coaching staff, but the centre-back is keen for regular games and remains behind Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane in the pecking order.

United also have Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones in their squad, as well as 19-year-old academy graduate Teden Mengi.

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09.49 GMT: Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel said he fears Romelu Lukaku‘s controversial interview could destabilise his side’s season and that he was surprised over the striker’s claim he is unhappy at the club.

In an interview with Sky Sport Italia recorded three weeks ago but released on Thursday, Lukaku suggested he was “not happy” because “the coach has chosen to play with another system.”

The 28-year-old joined Chelsea from Internazionale in a £97.5m deal last summer and went on to suggest he wanted to return to the Serie A side “not at the end of my career, but at a still good level to hopefully win more.”

Although Lukaku has scored three goals in his last four games to represent an upturn in his personal form, the Belgium international’s comments represent another difficult situation for Tuchel as a patchy run of form has left them eight points behind leaders Manchester City before facing Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Speaking on Friday at a news conference ahead of that game, Tuchel said of Lukaku’s comments: “We don’t like it, of course because it brings noise that we don’t need and it is not helpful.

“But on the other side we don’t want to make more of it than it actually is. You know very well how it is. It is very easy to take lines out of context. It is very easy to shorten lines, make headlines and then later realise that it’s maybe not so bad and not what he meant.

“Let’s be honest, I don’t like it because it is noise that we don’t need. We need a calm environment and focus and this does not help. If it is an interview from a person of that kind of interest, that important player. I totally understand the process.

“That’s why it is a lot of noise, not a little bit, a lot of extra noise. But still, we are not here to just read the headlines and maybe we can take the time to try to understand what’s going on because it does not reflect the daily work, it does not reflect the daily attitude, it does not reflect the daily behaviour that Romelu shows here at Cobham.

“You need to ask him, not me, I cannot help you further with this because I was surprised.”

09.00 GMT: Tottenham Hotspur are set to make AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie a lucrative offer to tempt him into signing a pre-contract agreement with the north London club, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.

The 25-year-old’s existing deal at the San Siro expires at the end of the season and he has so far resisted all attempts to agree an extension.

One of the main sticking points has been Kessie’s proposed salary with Milan’s latest offer at €6.5m-a-year, according to ESPN sources. Sources have told ESPN that Spurs are preparing to indicate they will surpass that figure with chairman Daniel Levy ready to sanction the deal given there would be no transfer fee involved.

Kessie will be free to negotiate directly with overseas clubs from Jan. 1 and sources told ESPN there are multiple clubs closely monitoring the situation. Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are expected to strengthen their midfield options either from January or in the summer but as yet there has been no firm indication the Stamford Bridge have formally entered the running. Milan have also not given hope that Kessie will commit his future to the club.

PAPER GOSSIP

– Southampton are reported to be winning the race for Fleetwood Town defender James Hill. The 19-year-old centre-back has been scouted by the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool in recent months, but TeamTalk reports that it is the Saints who have eased their way into pole position in the race for his signature.

– Galatasaray are interested in a move for Krzysztof Piatek, according to Rudy Galetti. The 26-year-old striker has been out of form this season, having scored just one goal in nine Bundesliga appearances with Hertha Berlin. The Turkish Super Lig club is keen to acquire him on a loan deal, with negotiations between the two clubs ongoing.

– AS Roma have identified Almamy Toure as an alternative if they cannot secure a deal for Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles. Calciomercato writes that the 25-year-old Eintracht Frankfurt defender would be available for a fee of less than €8m, with Jose Mourinho’s side keen to acquire a right-back. Toure has previously represented France at a youth level, and as a French citizen, the Serie A club is able to sign him while saving a non-EU squad player slot.

Nicolas Tagliafico could leave Ajax in January, according to Fabrizio Romano, and there are already a host of Premier League clubs chasing his signature. Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Chelsea have all been linked with the 29-year-old left-back, though it is reported that talks are yet to begin with the Eredivisie side.

– Toronto FC are continuing their transfer business and are returning to the Serie A for reinforcements. Nicolo Schira reveals that the MLS club has increased their contract offer for Mimmo Criscito, after the Genoa captain previously rejected the opportunity to move to the U.S. And after it was reported earlier in the week that Lorenzo Insigne had agreed to make the switch, the Reds could now have better success as they look to make their next signings from Italy.

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