Barcelona and Juventus are in talks about a possible swap deal involving Ivan Rakitic and Federico Bernardeschi.

Rakitic was linked with an exit from Camp Nou during the close season, but ended up staying at Barca.

But he could be on his way to Turin and Bernardeschi may be heading in the opposite direction.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA, JUVE IN RAKITIC-BERNARDESCHI SWAP TALKS

Barcelona and Juventus are discussing a possible swap deal involving Rakitic and Bernardeschi, according to AS.

The report says Rakitic – who has made just six LaLiga starts this season – has already agreed personal terms with the Serie A giants.

However, the clubs are yet to reach an agreement, with Rakitic six years older than Italy international Bernardeschi.

ROUND-UP

- There is still work to be done if Bruno Fernandes is to find his way to Manchester United. The Daily Mail and The Sun report United want to pay Sporting CP £34million (€39.9m) with a further £25.5m (€29.9m) in add-ons, including bonuses for the English club winning the Premier League and Champions League.

- Atletico Madrid are not giving up on trying to land Edinson Cavani in this window. The LaLiga side are still eyeing a move for the Paris Saint-Germain forward, according to Marca, although they are hoping to negotiate a lower price than the €30m the Ligue 1 club are reportedly wanting.

- The wait continues for Inter as they try to sign Christian Eriksen. CalcioMercato reports Eriksen's agent Martin Schoots is scheduled to meet Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy in London next week as the midfielder tries to get his move to the Serie A giants.

- Chelsea are favourites to sign RB Leipzig forward Timo Werner ahead of the 2020-21 season, according to The Sun, but it may take a £68m (€79.8m) deal to land the 23-year-old.

- Arsenal are set for talks with Athletico Paranaense to negotiate a deal for midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to Globo Esporte.

- Staying at Arsenal and France Football reports Paris Saint-Germain left-back Layvin Kurzawa has agreed to join the Premier League club for free at season's end.

- Javier Hernandez will become one of the highest paid players in MLS. Sports Illustrated reports LA Galaxy will pay Sevilla $9.4m (€8.5m) for the forward, who is set to earn $6m annually, with the potential for that to rise due to bonuses.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho hit out at Antonio Conte for speaking publicly about Inter's pursuit of Christian Eriksen.

Eriksen, 27, is out of contract at Tottenham at the end of the season and has been heavily linked with a move to the Serie A side.

Mourinho reignited his feud with Conte as speculation continues over Eriksen, criticising the Inter boss for discussing the midfielder publicly.

Conte is reported to have said: "Eriksen? We have to go to people who have already had a career, who are at the end of their contracts."

"I think Antonio, I think Antonio. I think it was publicly. He is very positive that Eriksen is coming to Inter," Mourinho told UK newspapers when asked who from Inter had been quoted about the Dane, via The Guardian.

"We shouldn't speak about players from other clubs until they become our players. You ask me about Gedson [Fernandes] since the moment Gedson's name was on the screen and I told you nothing.

"You protect everybody. Is it a question of respect? I don't want to give you a headline. That's up to you.

"If Inter are confident, they are confident because they are ready to make us an offer, which didn't happen yet. So when I see people speaking, especially people with responsibilities, I am a little bit surprised."

Mourinho coached Inter from 2008 to 2010, leading the club to two Serie A titles and a Champions League crown.

But the Portuguese tactician said no transfer move would impact his relationship with the club.

"This is not my Inter. I have no connections with the people [running the club] so I think it's nothing to do with that," Mourinho said.

"Nothing can change my feeling with Inter. It's not a situation with a player that is going to change my feeling with the club and the fans. No chance."

Bruno Fernandes is reportedly on the verge of a transfer to Manchester United, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer finally seems set to bolster his midfield.

Portugal international Fernandes was heavily linked with both United and Tottenham in the close season, though stayed at Sporting, signing a new deal at the club in November.

The new contract reportedly set the 25-year-old's buy out clause at €100million, though the fee rumoured to have been agreed between United and Sporting is closer to £50m (€58.6m).

Reports on Friday suggested United did not want Fernandes to feature in the Lisbon derby against Benfica, but Sporting and the player wanted to give him the chance to bid farewell to the club's supporters in their biggest home match of the season.

But, amid all of the speculation, just how did the playmaker fare on the pitch as Rafa Silva's late double handed the bragging rights to Benfica?

5th minute – It was a rather anonymous start for Fernandes, who stalled a promising move from Sporting when he intercepted a heavy touch from team-mate Rafael Camacho, despite being stood in an offside position.

13th minute – This will certainly have got United fans excited! From inside Sporting's half, the midfielder – who has recorded 13 assists in all competitions this season – played a superbly weighted pass over the top of Benfica's defence, straight into the path of Camacho. The winger got a shot off, but it flashed wide of the right-hand upright.

38th minute – In what quickly became a scrappy encounter, Fernandes struggled to stamp his quality on proceedings again until seven minutes before half-time, when he picked out Yannick Bolasie with a pass. The Everton loanee was unable to beat Odisseas Vlachodimos, though.

43rd minute – The build up to this match was all about Fernandes and it seems Benfica's players were in no mood to let it be the Bruno show. He was clattered into by Franco Cervi as the visitors started to give their rivals' captain some rough treatment.

46th to 50th minute – Friday's encounter had to be paused for five minutes, as a section of Sporting fans threw smoke bombs onto the pitch and set fires in the stands. Fortunately, the stewards got them under control as quickly as possible.

58th minute – Once the match had restarted, Benfica began targeting Fernandes once more, with Chiquinho receiving a booking for a late lunge which left Sporting's skipper needing treatment on his ankle.

66th minute – Fernandes also proved his worth from set-pieces, with his cross from a corner finding Idrissa Doumbia, who could not direct his header on target.

67th minute – With a point to prove, Fernandes almost picked out Luiz Phellype with an incredible diagonal from far out on the right flank. Unfortunately for Sporting, Vlachodimos got there first.

80th minute – Fernandes can only watch on as Sporting's defence fail to clear their lines not once, but twice, with Benfica substitute Rafa on hand to put the Primeira Liga leaders ahead, though the goal only stood after a long check with VAR.

97th minute – In the seventh minute of 10 added on due to the earlier disruption, Fernandes is forced deep in an attempt to get Sporting on the front foot, but he is quickly crowded out, with his only option a pass out wide to Marcos Acuna.

99th minute – Game over, and is that goodbye Fernandes? Rafa steals the show – and the headlines – of this Lisbon derby, setting himself brilliantly with an expert first touch from Haris Seferovic's pass, before prodding a fantastic finish beyond Luis Maximiano. 

Full-time – The cameras come up close to Fernandes, though he betrays little emotion as he shakes hands with the Benfica players, before heading for the tunnel with his captain's armband unfastened.

Frank Lampard wants to avoid any "knee-jerk" transfers during this window, though he is open to adding to Chelsea's squad if a suitable player is available.

Chelsea were unable to sign any players during the off-season, with the club serving a transfer ban.

Subsequently, Lampard relied on the club's younger players to come through and prove their worth in the first team and, as a result, Mason Mount, Reece James, Fikayo Tomori and leading scorer Tammy Abraham have all impressed.

The transfer ban was initially due to run until the end of the season but was lifted ahead of the January window.

Lampard, though, is adamant he will not bring in players for the sake of it, with fourth-placed Chelsea sitting five points clear of Manchester United in fifth.

"I don't want to comment on those deals because I think it's easy with hindsight," Lampard told a news conference when asked about the club's previous January signings that failed to live up to expectations, such as Alexandre Pato and Gonzalo Higuain.

"The players you mentioned there were top players. I think the idea of January being a time to buy players, it's difficult for everybody – for players coming in, especially if they're coming from a different league, for the club and for the settlement of the group.

"I think that's why we have to think ultra-carefully, and I do care and consider the club and where we're going. I don't want to make some knee-jerk reaction to say, 'Here's my first big signing'. 

"No, I want to do the right thing for the club. If I do it, I'll try and consider all things. I will always be in communication with the club."

Lampard – who also confirmed Ross Barkley will not be leaving Chelsea this month – did acknowledge the Blues shall make additions if all parts of the deal fit, however.

"Hopefully it's the best thing for us. Whether that's more of a short-term option or a long-term option, we'll also have to consider," Lampard added.

"I think I should be [prepared for no signings], because that's where we're at, at the moment. If it feels right for us, then we'll do it."

Ross Barkley's reaction to a difficult 2019-20 season has been "spot on", according to Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard.

England international Barkley made 27 Premier League appearances for Maurizio Sarri in the previous campaign but has featured in the top flight just seven times under Lampard.

The 26-year-old, who the Blues boss insisted will not be leaving Stamford Bridge in January amid reported interest from West Ham, sustained a foot injury in October that sidelined him for two months.

He was also criticised by Lampard after a pair of videos emerged – one of him arguing over spilt chips with a taxi driver in Liverpool and another of him dancing topless in a Dubai nightclub.

However, Barkley scored in the 2-0 FA Cup third-round win against Nottingham Forest on January 5 and completed the 90 minutes against Burnley, just the second time he has done so in the Premier League this season.

"There have been a couple of issues this year with Ross. He knows that and I know that," said Lampard.

"I think his training, in the last month particularly, has been absolutely focused. And let's factor in the injury he had which was really niggly. It was a difficult one for him because he was one foot in training and one foot out.

"He was training at a certain per cent to show he was there, but he clearly wasn't. I respected that because he was trying.

"Now that's cleared up and he is showing his qualities, particularly against Burnley. So that's great news for all of us.

"We had a couple of chats around those things. As I said at the time, I really like Ross and in my career, I had moments where I did things that I slightly regretted.  It's what you do to get out of them that's really important. 

"And Ross' reaction in the past month has been spot on, in terms of how he is around the place. I'm a great believer in that how you train relates to how you play, and he has shown that."

Lampard acknowledged the modern era makes it difficult for off-field incidents to go unnoticed but believes professionalism is of paramount importance.

"My biggest concern was not really the bag of chips [in the Liverpool taxi incident], it was more the fact that we were training the next day," said the Blues boss.

"That is exactly where I see it and Ross knows that and I am not one to tell my lads, 'Don't have a bag of chips, don't have a few beers after you win a game.'

"Just make sure that when you think about the big scheme [of things], you do it with the idea you have to train and perform at a level and, as the game has moved forward and the speed and intensity of it even more so from my day and from eras gone by, the players have to be absolutely tip-top or this game will find you out.

"That's not just a thing to Ross, that is to all the players about how they live their life."

Barkley's return to the starting line-up was aided by a hamstring injury to N'Golo Kante, but the France international could make his first appearance since January 1 against Newcastle United on Saturday.

"He's had a few issues through the week. I think it's a decision I have to make with absolute certainty but at the minute it looks like he's good to go," added Lampard.

Harry Maguire is honoured to have replaced Ashley Young as Manchester United's captain, with the England defender claiming it is a "dream come true".

Young ended his eight-and-a-half-year stay at Old Trafford on Friday, with the England international joining former team-mate Romelu Lukaku and United loanee Alexis Sanchez at Inter.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed in his news conference ahead of United's clash with Premier League leaders Liverpool on Sunday that Maguire – signed from Leicester City for a world-record fee for a defender in 2019 – will take the armband, despite having only been at the club since August.

Maguire has since expressed his excitement at having taken over as club captain, while former United skipper Wayne Rooney also congratulated the 26-year-old.

"[It's a] dream come true to be named the Man Utd captain," Maguire wrote on his official Twitter account. "Proud moment and a huge honour. Just want to wish Ashley Young all the best at Inter."

Young, meanwhile, penned a heartfelt goodbye to United's staff, players and supporters.

"To Man Utd, you gave me the chance to play with legends, to win trophies, to work under the greatest manager [Alex Ferguson] in history and to be your captain. Thank you for letting me be part of your story for eight-and-a-half years," the 34-year-old, who signed for United from Aston Villa in 2011, tweeted.

"To the United fans, every time I walked on the pitch wearing your shirt I gave you my all. Thank you for your support during the highs and the lows. I leave as one of you, see you again in an away end soon."

Ashley Young has completed his transfer from Manchester United to Inter for a reported €1.5million (£1.3m).

Inter have handed Young, 34, a contract until the end of the season, though the deal includes an option for it to be extended by a further year.

The full-back underwent a medical in Milan on Friday and will hope to play an important role in the Nerazzurri's push for the Serie A title – they sit two points adrift of reigning champions Juventus at the midway point.

"Manchester United can confirm that Ashley Young has completed his transfer to Inter," read statement from the Old Trafford club.

"The 34-year-old captain, who joined in 2011, made 261 appearances for the Reds, scoring 19 goals.

"Everyone at the club would like to thank Ashley for his many seasons of service and to wish him well for the future."

The former Aston Villa star won four major trophies during his time in Manchester, including the 2012-13 Premier League title.

The England international made 41 appearances in all competitions in 2018-19 but has been used sparingly by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

Young has played in 12 league games, three Europa League matches and three times in domestic cup competitions.

A full-back for much of the past three seasons, his opportunities for regular first-team football have been limited by the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the emergence of Brandon Williams as competition for Luke Shaw at left-back.

Young joins former United team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez under Antonio Conte at Inter and is the third Englishman to play for Inter.

Ashley Young has completed his transfer from Manchester United to Inter for a reported €1.5million (£1.3m).

Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham have not received an offer for Christian Eriksen from Inter despite the Serie A club's reported optimism of signing the midfielder.

Eriksen, whose contract expires at the end of the season, was heavily linked with a move away in the previous transfer window.

Spurs are thought to be keen to sell the Denmark international this month to avoid losing him for free when the campaign comes to a close.

Inter are said to be confident of concluding a deal for the former Ajax playmaker, but Mourinho sees little reason for the Nerazzurri's apparent stance.

"If they are confident, it's because they are ready to make us an offer which didn't happen yet," Mourinho told a media conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Watford.

"When I see people speaking, especially people with responsibilities speaking about it, I am a little bit surprised.

"I still don't understand why that optimism because in this moment, for a few matches, people are speaking about 'is Eriksen going to play? Has Eriksen played already his last match for the club?' and the situation didn't change, Eriksen plays tomorrow."

Asked if he felt it was sad how Eriksen is potentially leaving things with the Spurs fans, Mourinho replied: "I think he's trying to do his best, and I think that it's normal that until January 31 his brain is not totally focused.

"I think it's a normal consequence of the situation, if I am a player and I am reading every day and probably I'm having information about that optimism you are speaking about, I think it's normal that the player doesn't know very well what is going on."

While Eriksen could be on his way out, midfielder Giovani Lo Celso appears likely to become a permanent member of the Spurs squad.

The Argentina midfielder signed on a season-long loan with an option to buy from Real Betis in August, and Mourinho anticipates that option being taken up.

"I imagine yes, I think it is something that comes from the summer," Mourinho said about the prospect of the 23-year-old staying on. 

"There are some loans that they have the opportunity to be in control of the situation like is happening with Gedson [Fernandes].

"There are some emergency loans and there are other loans where the objective is to be in control of the future of the player without any need of further negotiations. I think Giovani is going to stay with us."

Frank Lampard has ruled out a January exit from Chelsea for Ross Barkley, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is taking positive steps in his return to fitness.

Barkley was a regular for Maurizio Sarri last season but has made just six Premier League starts under Lampard, though a foot injury suffered in October ruled him out for almost two months.

A reunion with David Moyes, who handed him his top-flight debut at Everton in 2011, at West Ham had been touted, but the Blues boss was adamant the England international will not be leaving.

"There's no talk here of Ross Barkley going anywhere. He's our player. I've got a lot of faith in Ross. That's news I heard like everyone else this week," said Lampard.

Asked about other potential departures, Lampard said there has been no movement on a deal for Olivier Giroud, who is reportedly a target for Newcastle United – Chelsea's opponents on Saturday – Aston Villa and Inter, while Willian will be staying put and could extend his contract beyond this season.

"Olivier Giroud there may be something that can happen. He's experienced and I have a great relationship with him. If the circumstances fall right it might happen.

"Willian is not going anywhere. His contract is up at the end of the season but he's still in talks with the club."

Lampard remains open to potential incomings at Stamford Bridge but assured there was "nothing imminent".

However, his squad could be bolstered after the February break with Loftus-Cheek stepping up his recovery from an Achilles rupture that has ruled him out since May.

"He's training now with the Under-16s, Under-18s and then the Under-23s in a short space of time, which is good for us. The sooner he can be back with us the better," said Lampard.

"We're working in every way. There's a different look on his face, more smiley and happy. It's been tough. He's not one that's walked around head down creating a negative atmosphere, but it's a lonely place.

"He's integrating more towards us now. It can be forgotten we've missed a hugely influential player. If he can be training with us after the break he might not be far away."

Lampard added that Christian Pulisic is in line to return from a groin problem next month.

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has softened his stance on wanting new players in January as Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry have returned to fitness.

Bundesliga top goalscorer Lewandowski had groin surgery following the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg in December and could not take part in the mid-season training trip to Doha.

Gnabry hurt his Achilles during the camp and only returned to full training this week ahead of the second half of the Bundesliga season.

Flick had stated publicly he wanted new signings to bolster Bayern's trophy push, comments that left sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic "surprised".

However, with Lewandowski and Gnabry ready to face Hertha Berlin on Sunday, Flick no longer appears desperate to bring in new faces in the transfer window.

"The injury situation has improved. Robert Lewandowski is back, so too Serge Gnabry, with a new haircut!" he told reporters on Friday.

"Robert is close to 100 per cent. He is an absolutely top professional and, when we were in Doha, he worked very well individually. Even when he was shooting, he didn't feel any pain.

"Lucas Hernandez will train on the pitch today. Javi [Martinez] and Kingsley [Coman] are a few weeks away. The goal is to have everyone together again in February and March, because then the tough weeks begin.

"It's true that I said [we need signings], but something has changed in the meantime. With the return of Serge and Robert, we've got two additions.

"I had a good conversation with Hasan and we both want to work successfully. When it comes to arrivals, it's important that players come to help us. I trust Hasan and his scouting department to make it possible for us.

"But that also has to be done carefully. You can't do anything crazy."

Bayern head to the capital in third place in the table, and they could be seven points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig by the time they kick off if Julian Nagelsmann's side beat Union Berlin on Saturday.

"We have to make a strong start. It's very important we start the second half of the season well," said Flick.

"We're all looking forward to it. We face a difficult task against a team that are very compact defensively. We must be prepared for that.

"We have the quality to become champions. Bayern showed last year under Niko [Kovac] that they can catch up. But we have to think from game to game.

"I don't feel any more pressure now than I did before the break. I really enjoy working with my team and coaching staff, but of course you're always under pressure, regardless of the situation."

Ashley Young has arrived in Milan to undergo a medical ahead of a proposed move to Inter from Manchester United.

An initial fee of £1.3m (€1.5m) was agreed on Thursday between the two clubs for the 34-year-old.

Young, who is to be replaced as United club captain by Harry Maguire, is expected to finalise his transfer on Friday.

The former Aston Villa star has spent eight and a half years at United, winning four major trophies, including the 2012-13 Premier League title.

The England international made 41 appearances in all competitions in 2018-19 but has been used sparingly by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

Young has played in 12 league games, three Europa League matches and three times in domestic cup competition.

A full-back for much of the past three seasons, his opportunities for regular first-team football have been limited by the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the emergence of Brandon Williams as competition for left-back Luke Shaw.

Young will join former United team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez under Antonio Conte at Inter, who are two points behind Juventus in the Serie A table and bidding for their first domestic title since 2010.

Manchester United will reportedly need to improve their offer to Sporting CP if they are to land Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes, 25, is linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but it seems talks are ongoing between the clubs.

The Premier League outfit will need to raise their offer to land Fernandes, with some distance seemingly still between the sides.

 

TOP STORY – SPORTING WANT €65M FROM MAN UTD FOR FERNANDES

Sporting want £55.4million (€65m) from Manchester United for Fernandes, according to TVI 24.

The report says United are offering £42.6m (€50m) plus bonuses for the midfielder.

With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, United are desperate to strengthen in midfield this month.

 

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen could be nearing a move to Inter. The Tottenham midfielder's agent Martin Schoots had dinner with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta on Thursday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tottenham must continue their search if they are to replace the injured Harry Kane this month. The Sun reports a possible move from Milan to Spurs for Krzysztof Piatek appears over and Tottenham are now looking at Porto forward Ze Luis or Napoli's Fernando Llorente, who left the club at the end of last season.

- Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare is deciding between Manchester United and Chelsea, according to Sky Sports, although no move is expected until after the Ligue 1 club face Paris Saint-Germain on January 26.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United will be offered Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani for free at season's end, according to the Manchester Evening News.

- West Ham's bid to sign Ross Barkley is not over yet. The Mirror reports the club will not give up on trying to land the Chelsea midfielder, who has made just seven Premier League appearances this season.

- Arda Turan remains contracted to Barcelona, but the midfielder knows where he wants to go next. The Turkey international is interested in signing with Boca Juniors, according to Sport, after terminating his loan agreement with Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month.

'God of Football' Alexander Meier has left Western Sydney Wanderers after struggling to have an impact in the A-League.

Meier, 37, scored just one goal in 12 games for the Wanderers before a mutual termination of his contract was confirmed on Friday.

The former Eintracht Frankfurt striker was once nicknamed the 'God of Football', but struggled with the pace of the A-League and will return to Germany for "personal reasons".

"I am thankful for this experience," Meier said in a statement.

"The Wanderers are a top professional football club, everybody was very helpful and supportive, the supporters were great and I really enjoyed my time here.

"I will miss my team-mates, the club and the fans and wish them all the best in the rest of the season."

Western Sydney announced the signing of former West Brom and Nottingham Forest striker Simon Cox on Thursday.

The Wanderers are eighth in the A-League table and host Perth Glory on Sunday.

Sporting CP head coach Silas said the "extraordinary" Bruno Fernandes is worth a lot more money that what is being reported amid growing links to Manchester United.

Fernandes is reportedly nearing a switch to struggling Premier League giants United, with a fee in the region of £51million (€60m) being mooted, though Sporting are believed to be holding out for more.

After confirming Fernandes will face Portuguese rivals Benfica in Friday's blockbuster, Silas hailed the Sporting captain.

"He is an extraordinary player, the best and most valuable in the league, as he was last season," Silas told reporters.

"I've heard someone say that he's not worth the money you are talking about and it's true, he's worth a lot more.

"In addition to attacking he also sacrifices himself to defend. Bruno is the best and the most valuable. When we have such a player it's normal for everyone to want him."

Fernandes, who was heavily linked to United, Tottenham and Real Madrid during the previous transfer window, has scored 15 goals across all competitions for Sporting this season.

The 25-year-old midfielder netted 31 goals last term, including 20 in Primeira Liga.

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