The writing has long been on the wall for Gareth Bale.

Zinedine Zidane wanted him gone from Real Madrid before the previous transfer window closed, but a move did not materialise.

But as the January window approaches, Bale is reportedly ready to leave.

 

TOP STORY – GARETH WANTS TO BALE

Gareth Bale wants to leave Real Madrid in January amid links to the Chinese Super League, according to Cadena Ser.

Bale was poised to make a shock switch to China after being told to move on by Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane, though the Welshman remained at the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, Bale is reportedly desperate for a January exit and wants Madrid to listen to offers from the CSL.

 

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- According to Calciomercato, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has offered himself to former club Juventus. Bologna have confirmed their interest in the LA Galaxy striker, whose contract is set to expire. A-League team Perth Glory want to bring the 38-year-old to Australia. Ibrahimovic spent two years at Juventus, however, the Serie A champions are reportedly not prepared to bring back the veteran as they look to trim their squad in January.

Roma are close to reaching an agreement with Manchester United for on-loan defender Chris Smalling. Calciomercato reports the Serie A side are preparing to present a €17million (£14.6m) offer for the Englishman.

William Saliba is yet to play a match for Arsenal but he could already be on the move. Saliba signed for the Gunners in July before he was immediately loaned back to Saint-Etienne for the 2019-20 season. However, Defensa Central claims Real Madrid are eyeing the 18-year-old French defender. Monaco's Benoit Badiashile and Boubacar Kamara of Marseille are also on the list to potentially replace Raphael Varane.

- The Telegraph says Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana is a target for clubs in the Chinese Super League and MLS. Lallana is out of contract at the end of the season.

Ronald Koeman dominates the frontpage of Monday's SPORT newspaper. The Netherlands boss is heavily linked to Barcelona having revealed a release clause in his contract, and amid growing pressure on head coach Ernesto Valverde .

- Former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri and ex-Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta are among the candidates to replace Unai Emery should the Gunners sack the Spaniard, according to the Mirror. Allegri has also been linked to Bayern Munich and Manchester United, while Arteta is serving as Pep Guardiola's Manchester City assistant. Jose Mourinho has also reportedly emerged as an option.

Out of work and looking for a job – Massimiliano Allegri could be poised for a return to the dugout.

Allegri left Juventus at the end of 2018-19 after guiding the Old Lady to five consecutive Serie A titles.

The Italian coach has been linked to Manchester United but, with Niko Kovac on the brink at Bayern Munich, Allegri could find himself in Bavaria.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN GO FOR ALLEGRI

Bayern Munich want former Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri to replace Niko Kovac, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Kovac is on the verge of being sacked after Bayern's humiliating 5-1 defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday, with the Bundesliga champions cancelling Sunday's public training session as pressure mounts.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax's Erik ten Hag have been linked but Bayern have reportedly identified the man to take over in Munich.

 

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- The Mirror claims Manchester United are ready to hijack Liverpool's move for RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner. Champions League holders Liverpool have been linked to Werner, however, United want to bring the Germany international to Old Trafford in January.

Perth Glory are still optimistic they can lure Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Australia, reports The West Australian. After revealing an approach for Ibrahimovic on a guest-player contract, A-League side Perth have seen Serie A outfit Bologna confirm their interest in the 38-year-old striker ahead of the January transfer window. Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy contract will expire before the end of the year.

Tottenham are eyeing a January swoop for Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana. With Hugo Lloris out injured, Spurs are on the lookout for a new keeper and £35million could see Eredivisie champions Ajax sell the Cameroon international.

- According to the Guardian, Arsenal have joined United and Juventus in the transfer chase for Salzburg sensation Erling Haaland.

- Mundo Deportivo says Barcelona have dropped their interest in Inter centre-back Milan Skriniar. The Slovakia international has established himself as one of the best defenders in the world since joined Inter in 2017.

United and Paris Saint-Germain are leading the race to sign Juventus midfielder Emre Can, according to Corriere dello Sport.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Bologna is a real possibility, according to the Serie A club's sporting director Walter Sabatini.

Ibrahimovic is set to become one of world football's most in-demand free agents with his LA Galaxy contract set to expire next month.

The MLS side are keen to extend their association with the former Sweden striker, who has suggested on social media he could return to Spain.

A-League club Perth Glory are among the teams to have confirmed their interest in Ibrahimovic, who has also been heavily linked with Napoli and a possible return to Manchester United.

It appears Bologna are also keen on the 38-year-old.

"Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Bologna is a real possibility," Sabatini told Sky Sport Italia. "Trust me, it's not impossible.

"He's considering our offer because he wants to help Sinisa Mihajlovic.

"We're trying to make it possible. It'd be fantastic. Let's see..."

Bologna 12th in the Serie A table with one win in their past eight league games after Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Inter.

Mihajlovic, the club's coach, has been undergoing treatment for leukaemia after confirming his diagnosis in July.

Ibrahimovic, whose former clubs also include Ajax, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain, has hit 53 goals in 58 MLS games for Galaxy.

A new striker in January is a priority at Manchester United and reports suggest a familiar face could make a sensational return to England.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has previously said the club will be doing business after Christmas, with a striker still required following the departures of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez.

Marcus Rashford has scored three goals in his previous two matches, while Anthony Martial marked his return from injury with a goal against Norwich City last Sunday, but a surprising name could provide the answer to United's depth issues up top.

 

TOP STORY – MANCHESTER UNITED MAKE CONTACT WITH IBRAHIMOVIC

Manchester United have made contact with former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to TuttoMercatoWeb.

Ibrahimovic scored 30 goals in MLS for LA Galaxy in 2019, but they were eliminated from the post-season after a 5-3 defeat to cross-town rivals LAFC in the Western Conference semi-finals last weekend.

Interest in the former Barcelona, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain striker has increased since the end of LA Galaxy's season with the Swede still believing he can contribute at the highest level.

The 38-year-old is currently a free agent and scored 29 goals at Old Trafford in a brief spell with the club previously.

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- One player who may create funds for Manchester United's January business is defender Chris Smalling, but Corriere dello Sport claim the Red Devils want double the €10 million price Roma are expecting to pay for him. 

- AS are reporting Edinson Cavani is weighing up his future at Paris Saint-Germain with Atletico Madrid and Inter Miami keeping tabs on the Uruguayan.

Stefano Sensi is currently on-loan at Inter Milan from Sassuolo, but Sport claim Sensi's agent is in Barcelona as speculation of a move to the Spanish champions grows.

- The Daily Mail claims Wolves will turn to Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes in January as they seek reinforcements to cover the injured Willy Boly.

- Chelsea are interested in signing Hertha Berlin winger Javairo Dilrosun when their transfer ban expires, according to Calciomercato.

- L'Equipe say Nantes are among several clubs showing interest in free agent forward Hatem Ben Arfa.

LA Galaxy will hold talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic next week as the enigmatic Swedish striker mulls over his next move.

Ibrahimovic, 38, is out of contract in December and appears to have plenty of options in Europe and beyond.

The former Inter, Barcelona and Manchester United striker has been linked with several clubs in Serie A and himself hinted at a return to Spain in a cryptic Instagram post.

A-League club Perth Glory have also confirmed their interest.

But, according to Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese, a third season in the United States is not yet out of the question.

"My deal with him, and I have known him for a long time, is to sit down with him after things have calmed down post-season and evaluate what is good for him, his family, his fitness and for us as well," Te Kloese told ESPN Deportes.

Ibrahimovic has shone since moving to MLS from Old Trafford, scoring 53 goals across two seasons, but his regular criticism of the playing standard has made waves.

"You all already know Zlatan," Te Kloese added.

"He is a topic all by himself, he is a unique character with so many facets, and I think he helped us this year, basically and obviously with the number of goals he scored, which was so impressive.

"And all of that we will be talking about, for sure, next week when he returns.

"He is a very mature athlete in that sense and so we will first and foremost be speaking like adults, and after that we will determine what is the best for all parties involved."

Australian club Perth Glory confirmed they have made an approach for LA Galaxy superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Ibrahimovic's contract is set to expire following the Galaxy's elimination from the MLS play-offs and the 38-year-old striker is attracting interest.

Former Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus star Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to LaLiga, as well as Napoli, Bologna and Inter amid talk of a return to Europe.

Now, A-League premiers Perth have thrown their hat into the ring to bring the ex-Sweden international to Australia on a reported guest-player deal for up to six games this year.

"An approach has been made to his agent [Mino Raiola]," Glory CEO Tony Pignata told Fairfax.

"We've asked the question firstly about his availability and secondly of his interest."

Ibrahimovic has flourished since moving to Los Angeles from Premier League giants United in 2018 – scoring 53 goals across two seasons for the Galaxy.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has announced he is "coming back" to Spain in what could be a hint over his next career move.

The 38-year-old's contract with LA Galaxy expires in December and he has previously talked up a possible return to Europe.

A move to Italy seemed most likely, with a host of Serie A clubs - including Napoli - believed to have showed an interest.

However, the former Barcelona striker posted a short clip on Instagram on Tuesday that may point to a future move to a LaLiga club.

"Hola Espana, guess what? I am coming back," he said.

Ibrahimovic, also touted as a target for South American teams Boca Juniors and Flamengo, spent one season in the Spanish top flight with Barcelona in 2009-2010.

The former Sweden international was on Monday named in the MLS Best XI for 2019 after scoring 30 goals and assisting seven more in 29 regular-season matches.

Despite his prolific form in front of goal, LA Galaxy were eliminated from the MLS play-offs by Los Angeles FC last week.

As well as Barcelona, Ibrahimovic's former clubs include Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter, AC Milan, Ajax and Juventus.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela have been named in the MLS Best XI for 2019.

LA Galaxy striker Ibrahimovic was named in the side for the second successive campaign after scoring 30 goals and assisting seven more in 29 regular-season matches.

Vela has enjoyed a stellar year with Los Angeles FC, meanwhile, having netted a single-season record 34 goals to win the Golden Boot and earn links with a move to LaLiga giants Barcelona.

LAFC won the Supporters' Shield and are well represented, with midfielder Eduard Atuesta and defender Walker Zimmerman also included.

There was also a place for Atlanta United's Josef Martinez, who broke his own MLS record by scoring a goal in 15 consecutive matches this year.

Vito Mannone got the nod in goal after making 129 saves in his debut campaign with Minnesota United, helping them qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time.

 

MLS Best XI: Vito Mannone (Minnesota); Ike Opara (Minnesota), Miles Robinson (Atlanta), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC); Alejandro Pozuelo (Toronto), Carles Gil (New England), Eduard Atuesta (LAFC), Maxi Moralez (NYCFC); Carlos Vela (LAFC), Josef Martinez (Atlanta), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LA Galaxy).

Carlos Vela would fit in perfectly at LaLiga champions Barcelona, according to his Mexico team-mate and Blaugrana youth product Jonathan dos Santos.

Barca reportedly considered a move for the former Arsenal and Real Sociedad forward in January as they sought cover for Luis Suarez.

The short-term switch failed to materialise, however, with the Spanish champions instead signing Kevin-Prince Boateng, who barely featured in his six months at the club.

Should Barca come calling again, though, Dos Santos – whose LA Galaxy side were beaten 5-3 by Vela's Los Angeles FC in the MLS Western Conference semi-final on Friday – believes Vela would have no problems slotting in alongside Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Suarez.

Dos Santos, who played for Barca between 2009 and 2014 after also representing their academy and B team, told reporters: "Vela could fit in at Barcelona. He is a great player with a lot of quality; he has shown it in every team that has been.

"I hope a team like Barcelona is interested in Vela. He would do well surrounded by such excellent players."

Speaking after Friday's game, Galaxy star Zlatan Ibrahimovic made headlines by suggesting MLS would be forgotten quickly if he were no longer playing in the league.

Amid rumours the former Sweden international could return to Europe when his contract expires in December, Dos Santos said: "Zlatan is very mysterious. He has not said anything else after the game and if he stays he will help us a lot in the campaign. He is a player of excellent quality."

AC Milan director Paolo Maldini believes "fear" could hold Zlatan Ibrahimovic back from returning to Serie A.

LA Galaxy superstar Ibrahimovic's contract is set to expire and the former Milan, Inter and Juventus striker has been linked with a move back to Italy.

Ibrahimovic, whose side were eliminated from the MLS play-offs by Los Angeles FC, claimed he would score 20 goals a season in Serie A amid growing links to Napoli, Bologna and Inter.

The possibility of Ibrahimovic returning to Milan has also been mentioned as the Rossoneri struggle for goals, however, Maldini cast doubt over the 38-year-old's Italy comeback.

"Ibra would be a dream return for many reasons, but I think within his mind there is a little fear that he won't be the dominant Ibra of old," Maldini told Sky Sport Italia.

"I remember when [former Milan head coach] Carlo Ancelotti put me on the bench for a derby and that's when I realised, I could not accept a season like that. I don't know if Ibra could accept that either.

"Krzysztof Piatek is a good striker. He needs to think more about playing with the team, but his strength is scoring goals."

Ibrahimovic has flourished since moving to Los Angeles from Manchester United in 2018 – scoring 53 goals across two seasons for the Galaxy.

 

 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wondered if Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson was distracting the El Trafico VAR when Carlos Vela's controversial second goal was allowed to stand.

Los Angeles FC claimed their first victory over rivals LA Galaxy in the MLS Western Conference semi-finals, running out 5-3 winners in an instant classic.

Vela netted twice to open the scoring, but his second effort saw a borderline call go in LAFC's favour, with Brian Rodriguez and the Mexican having appeared to be offside in the build-up.   

LAFC part-owner Johnson was in the stands, prompting Ibrahimovic to playfully suggest he had a role in the referee's failure to reassess the decision with the help of VAR.

Told Vela's strike was offside by a reporter, Ibrahimovic replied: "Was it? Are you sure? Are you 100 per cent sure? And you think we didn't know that? But the referee didn't know that.

"[VAR] didn't [get involved]. What was he doing upstairs? Drinking coffee with Magic Johnson?

"It's difficult, because if you have the VAR, it means the game is extra-controlled by the fifth referee upstairs. But if he's drinking coffee with Magic Johnson, it's difficult to play the game.

"He has to be in control. [The referee] didn't even go out and check. He said he needed a signal from the VAR people to go out and check. So what are the VAR people doing?

"But I don't want to complain about that, guys. We just lost, and I don't want to be a loser complaining about the refs because it's not my level."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic potentially aimed a parting shot at MLS as he discussed his LA Galaxy future following their playoff defeat to rivals Los Angeles FC.

The 38-year-old, who scored 30 goals in the 2019 regular season to lead Galaxy back to the postseason, was on target on Thursday but could not save his side from a 5-3 derby defeat.

It was Galaxy's first El Trafico reverse as LAFC, the Supporters' Shield winners, took a huge stride towards a first MLS Cup triumph.

Ibrahimovic is out of contract in Los Angeles in December and has not been shy in talking up a possible return to Europe, with former club Manchester United linked along with a host of Serie A sides.

The former Sweden star insisted a further contract with Galaxy does not depend on financial terms, despite having become a Designated Player heading into this season.

However, in typically bold fashion, he suggested MLS would be quickly forgotten if he was no longer playing in the league.

"It's not about money," he said, as reported by ESPN. "I have another two months [on my contract]. We'll see what happens.

"[If I stay], then MLS is good, because the whole world will watch it. If I don't stay, nobody will remember what MLS is."

Ibrahimovic has scored 53 goals in 58 MLS games for Galaxy, including the playoffs, since signing from United early last season.

The future of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is once again in the headlines.

Lazio star Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with Manchester United, Juventus, Real Madrid, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.

Now another club are reportedly in the mix for the Serbia international midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA EYE MILINKOVIC-SAVIC

Chelsea sent scouts to watch Lazio star Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the Europa League, reports TuttoMercato.

One of the most in-demand midfielders in Europe, Milinkovic-Savic has attracted interest from Manchester United, Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter.

Milinkovic-Savic – who was reportedly set to join United if Paul Pogba left Old Trafford – was watched as Lazio lost 2-1 to Celtic in Glasgow on Thursday.

 

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- Staying at Stamford Bridge and The Sun claims Chelsea are interested in Bournemouth forward Callum Wilson and RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

Manchester United have rekindled their interest in Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller, according to Sport BILD. Muller was wanted by former United boss Louis van Gaal before the Dutchman's departure in 2016. Now with Muller seeking a Bayern exit, United and Inter are in the mix for the Germany international.

- The prospect of Zlatan Ibrahimovic joining Antonio Conte's Inter has hit a snag. According to CalcioMercato, the presence of agent Mino Raiola could cause an issue in talks. Ibrahimovic's LA Galaxy contract is coming to an end and the veteran has been linked to Napoli and Bologna.

- Sky Sport Italia says free agent Jack Rodwell is set for a shock move to Serie A outfit Roma. The former Manchester City midfielder, who spent time at Blackburn Rovers last season, is poised to undergo a medical.

Los Angeles FC finally beat rivals LA Galaxy 5-3 in a wild Western Conference semi-final that could have been Zlatan Ibrahimovic's last game in MLS.

Ibrahimovic is out of contract at the end of the season and the former AC Milan, Inter and Juventus striker has been linked with a January return to Serie A via Napoli, Bologna and the Nerazzurri.

Amid the uncertainty over his future, Ibrahimovic was unable to prolong the Galaxy's season as LAFC prevailed in an eight-goal thriller to advance to the Conference final on Thursday.

Supporters' Shield winners LAFC had never beaten the Galaxy in five previous fixtures but they quickly moved to end that drought thanks to Carlos Vela's first-half brace at Banc of California Stadium.

LAFC captain Vela broke the deadlock in the El Trafico derby, cutting inside onto his right foot and firing a low shot past Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham in the 16th minute.

Vela doubled the lead in the 40th minute, when he was on hand to side-foot into an empty net after Brian Rodriguez's selfless pass, before Ibrahimovic teed up Cristian Pavon a minute later.

Ibrahimovic put the visiting Galaxy on level terms 10 minutes into the second half but their joy quickly turned to despair as quick-fire goals from Diego Rossi and Adama Diomande restored LAFC's two-goal advantage with 22 minutes remaining.

Rolf Feltscher set up a frenetic finale by reducing the deficit to 4-3 in the 77th minute, however Diomande's stunning solo effort ended the Galaxy's hopes within three minutes.

Bob Bradley's LAFC will now meet Seattle Sounders for a spot in the MLS Cup final.

In the day's other match, defending champions Atlanta United accounted for Philadelphia Union 2-0.

Julian Gressel and Josef Martinez saw Frank de Boer's Atlanta advance and earn an Eastern Conference final date with Toronto.

Aurelio De Laurentiis is convinced Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be a "driving force" for Napoli should the striker sign for Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Ibrahimovic's contract with LA Galaxy expires in December, and the 38-year-old - who starred in Serie A with Juventus, AC Milan and Inter - has suggested he would be happy to return to Italy's top flight.

Napoli president De Laurentiis confirmed on Wednesday he had met Ibrahimovic by chance in Los Angeles and stated the former Sweden forward - who scored 30 MLS goals in the 2019 regular season - would be welcomed with open arms at Stadio San Paolo.

De Laurentiis expanded on those comments on Thursday, telling ESPN: "Ibrahimovic is a beautiful person, regardless of my Napoli team.

"He can still do a lot and he can be a driving force for the team. I'm convinced that any coach would love to have him at their disposal.

"Maybe even as a kind of reference point. He could be one for any team."

Napoli spent big in the recent transfer window to bolster their forward ranks, splashing out a club-record fee on Hirving Lozano from PSV.

The Mexico international so far has just one goal to his name in Serie A, which came on his debut against Juventus, but De Laurentiis is not concerned.

"Lozano's looked good. You need to be patient with new players who haven't played in Italian football before," he added.

"He must settle in a different city, with a new coach and team-mates. Lozano's a great player. As soon as he came on against Juve, he scored a goal.

"You can't have everything right away and you can't expect these players to fix problems right away. It's necessary to give them time and also the coach, who must find their best position.

"In the past 18 months, we've bought 13 players, so it's normal that it takes time for everyone to adapt and perform at their best."

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