Liverpool are willing to let Divock Origi leave in January with a move to Italy on the cards, Chelsea will battle Tottenham for a defensive target, while Monday’s transfer gossip claims Leeds United’s hopes of signing a £25m striker have been lifted.
DIVOCK ORIGI SALE TO MILAN LOOKS LIKELY
Liverpool are reportedly willing to sanction Divock Origi’s sale in January – with a move to Serie A seemingly just days away.
The Belgium striker has proved a more-than-useful squad addition for the Reds in recent times. Indeed, he will go down as something of a legend after scoring key goals on their run to Champions League glory in 2019.
Since then, he’s been regularly linked with an exit, with recent goals against Wolves and AC Milan reminding Liverpool of his potency in front of goal.
Indeed, Origi is expected to take centre stage at Anfield during January with both Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane AFCON bound.
The star duo’s absence will rob Liverpool of their two leading lights – and leave them looking painfully short in attack.
As such, Origi looks likely to be given an extended run in the side.
However, Italian website Tuttomercato, via the BBC are convinced his days at Anfield could soon be over.
Two Serie A suitors for Divock Origi
They state both AC Milan and Atalanta are battling it out over a January deal for the Belgian.
They claim Milan are seeking a replacement for the ageing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Origi fits the bill.
It’s the same story with Atalanta, who are preparing for the exit of Colombian hot-shot Luis Muriel.
The article claims neither will reportedly have trouble matching Liverpool’s asking price, though Origi’s wage demands may prove a stumbling block.
And if that can be overcome, they feel a move will go through early in January.
However, the whole scenario just doesn’t add up. Perhaps his summer sale could be an option, but the Reds can ill-afford to lose Origi now, especially given the impending exits of Mane and Salah.
Liverpool continue to chase targets of their own with Raphinha, Karim Adeyemi and Jarrod Bowen in their sights.
BEN BRERETON DIAZ HOPE FOR LEEDS
Tony Mowbray admits Blackburn may not be able to keep hold of star striker Ben Brereton Diaz in January amid growing claims of a £25m approach from Leeds. (Daily Mail)
Tottenham stars are back in first-team training following the Covid outbreak that wrecked their schedule last week. (Daily Mail)
Arsenal are facing a battle to hold onto rising strike starlet Khayon Edwards amid mounting interest from clubs in England and abroad – including London rivals Chelsea. (Daily Mail)
Chelsea are emerging as rivals to Tottenham in the race to sign Torino defender Gleison Bremer. (Daily Mail)
Brentford are in talks with Gremio over a £9.5m deal for Brazilian right back Vanderson. (Daily Mail)
Aaron Ramsey will reportedly cost Everton or Newcastle £42m in wages, even if Juventus allow him to leave on a free transfer. (Daily Express)
THREE CLUBS LOOKING AT PONTUS JANSSON
Everton, Leicester City and Newcastle are looking to sign Sweden defender Pontus Jansson, when his contract at Brentford runs out in the summer. (The Guardian)
Edwin van der Sar is denying speculation he will succeed Ed Woodward in an executive role at Manchester United in the near future. (Daily Mirror)
Andreas Pereira is making it perfectly clear that he intends to leave Manchester United on a permanent basis. (Daily Mirror)
Roma boss Jose Mourinho is planning alternatives with Diogo Dalot’s situation at Manchester United transformed under Ralf Rangnick. (Daily Mirror)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s future as captain is in further doubt amid claims some stars are questioning his role. (Daily Mirror)
Liverpool’s hopes of landing Karim Adeyemi in January appear over after the Red Bull Salzburg striker’s latest comments. (Daily Mirror)
AND MORE TRANSFER GOSSIP
Manchester United’s match against Brentford on Tuesday night is emerging as a doubt amid a number of positive Covid-19 cases at their training ground. (Daily Telegraph)
Tottenham may yet survive in the Europa Conference League with UEFA’s Control Ethics and Disciplinary Body considering a rule change that will allow them to play after the December 31 deadline. (The Sun)
Landon Donovan believes US football should use the EFL as a yardstick to grow its game across the pond. (The Sun)
William Saliba is refusing to reveal where he will be playing next season after a question over his Arsenal future. (The Sun)
Napoli’s Piotr Zielinski came off after just 19 minutes against Empoli amid fears he was struggling to breathe. (The Sun)
Joshua Kimmich admits his ‘regret’ after refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine – and then catching the disease. (The Sun)
Liverpool and Chelsea at Newcastle’s mercy as trio’s transfer plans converge
Liverpool are attempting to muscle in on a deal for long-time Chelsea target Jules Kounde, though both clubs could see their chances torpedoed by Newcastle, per reports.
Chelsea have long been linked with a move for Sevilla centre-half Jules Kounde. The Blues sought to sign the Frenchman in the summer, but Sevilla’s strong bargaining position meant they were well placed to hold out for his release clause.
The Blues refused to activate the clause, ensuring Kounde would remain in Sevilla for at least another six months.
However, Chelsea continue to be strongly linked with the 23-year-old amid ongoing uncertainty around their centre-back corps. Thiago Silva has penned a one-year extension. But Antonio Rudiger, Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen are all on course to leave as free agents next summer.
A deal for Kounde could therefore be revisited when the season concludes. However, according to Spanish outlet Marca, Chelsea’s inability to procure a deal last year will now see them rivalled by Liverpool.
Per the outlet, Kounde is now being ‘followed’ by Liverpool. But the main subject of Marca’s report centred around a different Sevilla centre-half – Diego Carlos.
Carlos exit bad news for Kounde suitors
The Brazilian, 28, is a prime target for Newcastle this month as they seek to shore up their leaky backline. An injury to an alternative target has now ramped up the importance of securing Carlos’ signature.
The Liverpool Echo (citing Marca) acknowledge Newcastle’s ongoing pursuit, but indicate Sevilla would be highly unlikely to sell both Carlos and Kounde in quick succession.
And with Newcastle expected to up their offer for Carlos this month, few would be surprised to see money talk when all is said and done.
If achieved, Liverpool and Chelsea’s chances of prising Kounde out of Sevilla next summer would plummet.
How a frantic fixture list has derailed Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes
One in, one out at Anfield
Meanwhile, Liverpool will recall centre-back Rhys Williams from a loan spell at Swansea to allow Nat Phillips to leave on a permanent deal, according to a report.
Goal report that the Reds want to bring Williams back into Klopp’s squad. He has only played five Championship games for Swansea this season and has not featured since December 4. However, Klopp will not let the centre-back leave on loan to a different club.
Instead, he wants Williams to stick around and act as the club’s fifth-choice centre-back – as Phillips has done this season.
But Phillips, who is four years older than Williams, has proven his worth in the Premier League and now wants regular football at a new club. The defender has only featured three times for the Reds this term.
West Ham have interest in Phillips, but ideally want a centre-back who can provide cover on the left. As such, Goal adds that Watford came forward with an offer for him earlier this month. However, Liverpool rejected the approach.
The Liverpool Echo provides more details on the Reds’ assessment of his value. Sporting director Michael Edwards values Phillips at £15million. The £12million Burnley paid Stoke City for Nathan Collins last summer is reportedly his guide.
Burnley could make a move for the Liverpool man if Newcastle firm up interest in Clarets star James Tarkowski. In any case, the Liverpool Echo adds that the race to sign Phillips will intensify in the coming days because of Williams’ imminent return to Merseyside.
READ MORE: Club chief reveals shock Newcastle interest in former Liverpool man with release clause attached
Agent link sees Jose Mourinho and Roma set sights on integral Wolves midfielder
Jose Mourinho and Roma are keen to engineer a deal for an integral Wolves star, according to reports in Italy.
Wolves sit eighth in the Premier League after 20 matches, having won nine of them. They have the second best defensive record in the division, having seen just 15 goals go against them so far this term.
Bruno Lage is gaining admirers for making Wanderers a troublesome side to play against. The manager will be hoping they can continue their decent form and complete a top ten finish.
Several players are impressing at Molineux, including goalkeeper Jose Sa. The 29-year-0ld came in to replace Rui Patricio in the summer and has since kept eight clean sheets.
Young full-back Rayan Ait-Nouri is also putting in some exciting displays on the left flank. He picked up a groin injury during December but marked his return against Southampton with two assists in a 3-1 victory for Wolves.
One star who is understated but helps Lage massively is central midfielder Joao Moutinho. The Portugal international, now 35, has featured in every league game this season.
He got a rare headline earlier this month by scoring the winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford. His half volley eight minutes from time gave Wolves their first victory at the ground since 1980.
Jose Mourinho wants veteran to join Roma
The latest rumours claim Moutinho’s displays have not gone unnoticed. Football Italia, who cite Corriere dello Sport, state the veteran is of interest to Mourinho and Roma.
The former Chelsea, United and Tottenham boss is searching for midfield reinforcements. He is using the Prem as a hunting ground given his solid links with the division.
Mourinho wants the Wolves man to move to Rome, and he could be helped by super agent Jorge Mendes. He represents both men, suggesting a deal could be put into motion.
The Serie A outfit will first need to sell Amadou Diawara. The 24-year-old, currently representing Guinea at the Africa Cup of Nations, is rejecting advances from Valencia.
Moutinho has made 160 appearances for Wolves at the time of writing, following a £5m switch from Monaco in July 2018. He has helped the west Midlands club to fight for top ten finishes since then, although they were unable to do so last season.
How a frantic fixture list has derailed Chelsea’s Premier League title hopes
Wolves star wanted by United
Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick has reportedly told United to monitor the progress of Wolves defender Max Kilman.
According to 90Min, the German gave an in-depth assessment of his squad to the likes of Director of Football John Murtough and new Chief Executive Richard Arnold.
And Wolves’ English defender Kilman, 24, was one player Rangnick urged the club to look closely at.
Last term, he made 18 Premier League appearances. But this campaign has been his true breakthrough season as he has played every minute under Lage.
READ MORE: Chiquinho names main reason for joining Wolves after sealing £3m Molineux switch