Manchester United, Chelsea join pursuit of Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak

The 2022 January transfer window is closed, but there’s still 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: Man United, Chelsea join chase for Isak

The race for Real Sociedad striker Alexander Isak is heating up, with Manchester United and Chelsea monitoring his situation, according to The Mirror.

The report says that United see Isak as a potential replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo as rumours emerge of the Portugal star potentially wanting to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season. However, as Arsenal found out last month, Sociedad are only willing to listen to offers close to Isak’s €90 million release clause.

Chelsea are also interested in the Sweden international’s signature, with Thomas Tuchel’s side ready to spark a pursuit if Romelu Lukaku is not able to find form before the end of the season, while it is suggested that the Gunners will need to qualify for the Champions League if they are to persuade Isak to come to north London.

The 22-year-old was linked with an exit throughout the January transfer window and drew attention when visiting London late in the month, but claimed he was focused on Sociedad when asked about his future.

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21.11 GMT: Tuttosport reports that Juventus have already made contact with the representatives of 22-year-old Italy international Nicolo Zaniolo about a move to Turin. The midfielder will enter the final two years of his contract at AS Roma this summer, so if the Giallorossi are to maximise his transfer value, this offseason will be their best chance.

The report suggests that the Bianconeri could include a player as part exchange, with Moise Kean and Weston McKennie said to be available for such an offer. Roma’s American ownership group are said to be particularly interested in 23-year-old McKennie, the United States midfielder whose profile has grown tremendously at the Allianz Stadium this season.

20.04 GMT: Marco Reus has just 18 months remaining on his contract at Borussia Dortmund, but in an interview with Bild, the club captain says that he’s not going anywhere, and hopes to play the remainder of his career at the Westfalenstadion.

“I’ve already extended my contract twice, especially at times when things weren’t going particularly well in sporting terms, so why shouldn’t I do it now,” the 32-year old Germany international is quoted as saying. “BVB is my club, Dortmund is my hometown and I would like to end my career here.”

18.57 GMT: Juventus and Manchester United have held talks with the representatives of Barcelona winger Ousmane Dembele in recent weeks, according to Sport. The 24-year-old France international’s contract expires at the end of the season, making him available on a free transfer in the summer, and while Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain were negotiating a deal for Dembele last month, it’s Juve and United who are reportedly at the front of the queue for his signature.

17.50 GMT: Barcelona midfielder Gavi has turned down the offer of a contract extension, says Sport.

Gavi, 17, is one of the world’s most exciting young players but he’s still on a contract with a reported €50m release clause.

Barcelona want to increase his salary and the length of his stay, as well as raising his release clause to €1 billion like that of teammate Pedri, but will have to offer him better wages to start.

17.00 GMT: Harvey Elliott could be like a new signing for Liverpool now he has recovered from long-term injury.



Don Hutchison praises Harvey Elliott after the midfielder caps his return from injury with a goal vs. Cardiff.

16.08 GMT: Barcelona need to save their transfer budget to sign a centre-forward, potentially Dortmund’s Erling Haaland or Atletico’s Alvaro Morata, so are focusing on free transfers elsewhere.

Sport says that Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are top of the club’s list to improve their defence.

15.15 GMT: Barcelona’s Ousmane Demebele is back on the bench for the game against Atletico Madrid.

Dembele, 24, is out of contract in the summer and was told by director of football Mateu Alemany to leave the club two weeks after after failing to agree an extension. However, the winger will stay at Barcelona until the end of the season after turning down the chance to move to the Premier League on Deadline Day, sources told ESPN.

“If we have to pay Dembele until June 30, we find it logical what Xavi says about using him,” Barca president Joan Laporta told Movistar ahead of the Atletico game. “Let’s hope Ousmane behaves professionally.”

14.41 GMT: Former Manchester City, Man United and Juventus striker Carlos Tevez is in talks to join MLS side D.C. United, says TyC Sports.

Tevez, 38, left Boca juniors last summer and has admitted to struggles after the death of his father.

However, the ex-Argentina international could be ready to start a new chapter of his career at D.C., where Wayne Rooney played for two years after leaving Everton in 2018.

13.31 GMT: ICYMI – Xavi Hernandez said Barcelona could not afford to shoot themselves in the foot after restoring Ousmane Dembele to the squad for Sunday’s match against Atletico Madrid after a three-week exile.

Dembele, who is out of contract in the summer, was not called up for Barca’s last two matches after being told to either sign a new deal or find a new club. However, with the January transfer window now closed, Xavi said the situation has changed and he will count on the player until the end of the season.

“We did not find a solution with Ousmane, so the circumstances have now changed,” the Barca coach said in a news conference on Saturday. “We have spoken with the president [Joan Laporta] and made the decision [to reintegrate Dembele]. He has a contract, he is part of the squad and we are not going to shoot ourselves in the foot by not using him.”

Xavi also called on supporters to back Dembele, who last featured in the Spanish Supercopa defeat to Real Madrid on Jan. 12, if he features against Atletico at Camp Nou this weekend.

12.55 GMT: Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus has pleaded with Erling Haaland to stay at the club.

Asked by Bild what he could do to stop Haaland leaving once his €75m release clause is activated this year, Reus said: “I would say: ‘Stay with us, here you have everything you need to develop yourself.’ Here he can play the Champions League, score goals, feel valued to the maximum.

“He ultimately has to decide what feels best for him. It would be a shame if he left, but even then things would go on and we would find solutions again as a collective.”

12.34 GMT: Bayern Munich defender Niklas Sule will leave the club on a free transfer in the summer and has already made up his mind as to his future destination.

Sule, 26, has Real Madrid, Chelsea, Dortmund, Man United and Newcastle all fighting for his signature but his agent Volker Struth told Sport1: “The new club has already been decided. Niklas has made a decision and I would be surprised if he changed his mind.”

12.00 GMT: Manchester United are struggling.



Craig Burley gets fired up as he discusses Manchester United’s loss to Middlesbrough and the club’s challenges off the pitch.

11.22 GMT: Rangers star Joe Aribo is of interest to Crystal Palace, says The Sun.

Aribo, 25, is reportedly available for around £10m and Palace need a midfielder to replace Conor Gallagher, who will return to Chelsea when his loan period ends.

Rangers may let the Nigeria international depart for that fee, though Palace are also keen on Celtic and Israeli winger Liel Abada.

10.33 GMT: Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has a contract which ends in 2025 but that’s not long enough for his club.

Indeed, Football Insider claims Dortmund are keen to start negotiations over a new deal to ward off any interested parties.

Bellingham, 18, is one of the top young prospects in Europe and Liverpool have been linked with a £100m summer bid for the England international.

Dortmund are also reportedly looking to sign his younger brother Jobe, 16, who made his Birmingham City debut last month.

09.41 GMT: AC Milan director Paolo Maldini has confirmed that 40-year-old striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to continue playing and potentially sign a new contract with the club.

“Zlatan knows what he wants, he doesn’t fake anything, he knows what the possible agreement with Milan could be,” Maldini told DAZN. “If he doesn’t feel like continuing, he’ll be the first to say so. His idea is to continue. Zlatan will never be a burden on this team, but only a resource.”

09.00 GMT: After deciding against adding to their squad in January because top targets were not available, Manchester United are focusing attention on signing a central midfielder in the summer, with work starting before a new permanent manager is appointed, sources told ESPN.

The Old Trafford recruitment department is working to whittle down a list of midfield targets, with West Ham’s Declan Rice, Leeds United’s Kalvin Phillips and Amadou Haidara at RB Leipzig all being considered.

West Ham United are already quoting suitors — including Manchester City and Chelsea — more than £100m for Rice’s signature while there are doubts about whether Phillips would be willing to move to one of Leeds’ biggest rivals.



Craig Burley analyses Jack Grealish’s performance in Manchester City’s win against Fulham in the FA Cup.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Adam Brown)

– Manchester City are ready to challenge Manchester United for the signature of Barcelona centre-back Ronald Araujo, reveals Ekrem Konur. Pep Guardiola’s side are reported to be preparing a bid of £30m, as they jostle with their local rivals for the 22-year-old. While Man United were reported to be leading the race on Friday, it looks as though the Premier League champions aren’t prepared to miss out on Araujo.

– AC Milan have joined the race for Fulham star Fabio Carvalho, according to Calciomercato. The Serie A club, whose recruitment team are led by Paolo Maldini, are making an attempt to beat Liverpool to the signature of the 19-year-old attacking midfielder, with plans to make him a big part of the project at San Siro. The report adds that the Rossoneri have already been in touch with his representatives after Liverpool failed to bring him to the Merseyside in the January window.

– Manchester City are preparing to offer Rodri a new contract that will see him extend his stay at the Etihad Stadium until 2027, writes Nicolo Schira. The 25-year-old holding midfielder has become a key part of Guardiola’s plans since joining from Atletico Madrid in 2019, and the report adds that City are also in advanced talks over a new deal for forward Phil Foden.

– More teams are becoming aware of Boubacar Kamara‘s contract situation at Marseille, with multiple Premier League sides keen on a free transfer, according to Le10 Sport. Arsenal, Manchester United and Newcastle United are all keeping tabs on his situation, with the 22-year-old midfielder set to become a free agent in the summer. Kamara, who has represented France at youth level, has also recently been linked with PSG, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Alejandro Martinez is set to make his move to Central Cordoba from Defensores de Belgrano permanent, after the club activated the option in a clause in his contract for $350,000, reports Cesar Luis Merlo. The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has made 24 appearances for the Argentine Primera Division side, scoring three goals and assisting another two.

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