The January transfer window is fast approaching and, naturally, all the gossip on who’s moving where is heating up. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz as we count down to the 2022 winter window.
TOP STORY: Barca, Arsenal in for Dest
The United States international has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou in recent weeks, with the 21-year-old said to be free to leave and not part of future plans under new boss Xavi Hernandez.
Sources have told ESPN that Barcelona are willing to listen to offers in order to fund signings in other areas of the pitch, with veteran right-back Dani Alves back at the club and available to take Dest’s spot from January onwards.
Bayern Munich are one of the sides linked with Dest, with their current right-backs being Benjamin Pavard and Bouna Sarr. Pavard, 25, has struggled with an ankle injury this season and has only started half of the side’s Bundesliga games so far this season.
As for Arsenal, they have played Takehiro Tomiyasu at right-back all season but as more of a defensive full-back. Dest could join as a potential option to offer more attacking width on the right flank.
Dest joined Barcelona from Ajax in October 2020 for roughly £19 million, making 57 appearances for the club in that time.
The report says he is set to leave due to his connection to former boss Ronald Koeman and his style, with Xavi looking to add his own players for his style to take root at the club. The potential signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City could show his intent early on too.
09.49 GMT: Arsenal are willing to listen to offers for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in January, sources have told ESPN’s James Olley.
The 32-year-old was stripped of the captaincy last week after a series of disciplinary issues and has been training away from his teammates.
Sources claim the situation is not beyond repair but the Gunners are ready to sound out interest from Europe’s top clubs to gauge whether a deal that suits all parties is possible.
Barcelona were interested in Aubameyang prior to the striker signing a three-year contract worth at least £250,000-a-week in September last year.
The size of that contract is an issue for potential suitors now, although reports in Italy have suggested Juventus could be interested in taking Aubameyang on loan if an agreement can be reached over his wages. Inter Milan and AC Milan have also been mooted as possible destinations.
Chelsea were also monitoring Aubameyang last summer and although Blues manager Thomas Tuchel remains a fan of a player he worked with at Borussia Dortmund, there is no suggestion at this stage that the club are keen on a deal. In any case, Arsenal would find it difficult to negotiate with a London rival.
08.54 GMT: Chelsea’s loan coach Carlo Cudicini has confirmed that the club cannot recall midfielders Conor Gallagher and Billy Gilmour.
Gallagher, 21, has been one of Crystal Palace’s stand-out players during his season-long loan spell at Selhurst Park, and has already scored six goals and registering three assists in 16 Premier League appearances. Scotland international Gilmour, 20, has made 10 appearances for Norwich City as they battle Premier League relegation.
There had been speculation that one or both of the pair had a clause in their loans that would allow Thomas Tuchel to bring them back into his first-team squad at Chelsea in January, but Cudicini has ruled that out.
The former Chelsea goalkeeper told Ladbrokes: “What’s important for Conor is to finish the season where he is. That’s why we’ve not put anything in place to recall him next month — it’s the same with Billy Gilmour.
“I’ve said this many times in the past, but a loan isn’t necessarily only successful if you’re playing every single minute. Sometimes, especially at that age, you learn just as much when you’re not in the team.
“I think back to Conor last season at West Bromwich Albion where he had a difficult moment when the manager Slaven Bilic was replaced by Sam Allardyce. Conor missed a few games under Allardyce and I had to talk with him and remind him that he should take this as a positive moment, because he’s learning how to deal with these types of situations and managerial changes.
“It was just a matter of understanding what the manager wants from him, and then it’s about picking the right club – and we feel Crystal Palace is exactly that.”
08.00 GMT: Barcelona are closing in on a €55m ($62m) deal for Manchester City’s Ferran Torres but the signing is dependent on freeing up room on their wage bill first, sources have told ESPN’s Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens.
Sources have told ESPN that Barca and City officials met in Seville on Tuesday to put the finishing touches to a deal that will be worth an initial €55m with a further €10m ($11m) in potential add-ons.
However, Barca still have work to do to pull off the transfer. They are hampered by LaLiga’s financial restrictions and must move players on before they can make new signings.
Their spending limit for the season has been set at €97m ($110m) by the Spanish league, which is significantly lower than their wage bill but they are permitted to spend 25% of any savings they make, be that in wages or transfer fees.
PAPER GOSSIP (by LUke Thrower)
– Anthony Martial held talks with interim boss Ralf Rangnick on Wednesday over a move away from Manchester United, says the Daily Mail. The report says the 26-year-old prefers a loan move to Sevilla in January, with the aim to play more games due to his struggle to earn minutes at Old Trafford.
– Real Sociedad have held talks with Paris Saint-Germain to sign midfielder Rafinha on loan in January, according to Fabrizio Romano. The loan will last until the end of the season, with details still to be sorted, but an agreement is said to be close between both clubs.
– Tottenham Hotspur are interested in Juventus centre-back Matthijs de Ligt, says journalist Ekrem Konur. The Netherlands international has been heavily linked with a move away from the Old Lady, with his agent recently speaking out on a potential transfer and saying he is ready to take the next step in his career.
– AC Milan are on the lookout for a new attacking midfielder, with Hakim Ziyech and Romain Faivre listed as their two targets. According to Calciomercato, the Rossoneri are interested in the duo, with Brest playmaker Faivre said to be their first choice and Chelsea‘s Ziyech is said to be another potential option.
– Internazionale are looking at potential successors to Alexis Sanchez, if the former Manchester United and Arsenal player leaves the club. Calciomercato reports that Simone Inzaghi is making plans in case the 33-year-old moves on in January, with Genoa forward Felipe Caicedo said to be a preferred option having played under the manager at Lazio.