Arsenal's interest in Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Mykhaylo Mudryk is well known, having pursued him in the last transfer window.

The 22-year-old Ukraine winger has scored 10 goals in 18 appearances for Shakhtar this term, enhancing his value.

Mudryk has also had interest from Sevilla and Chelsea, with the Gunners having reportedly previously made two bids for his services.

TOP STORY - GUNNERS CLOSE IN ON AGREEMENT FOR MUDRYK DEAL

Arsenal have tabled a fresh third bid worth €70m (£62m) plus add-ons for key target Mykhaylo Mudryk of Shakhtar Donetsk, claims Fabrizio Romano.

Talks are ongoing with no breakthrough but the two parties are getting closer to agreement, while Mudryk posted a praying emoji on Instagram in a sign he wants to make the move.

The Daily Express claims that the two clubs have come to an agreement on the fee, with negotiations entering the "final stage".

 

ROUND-UP

- Al Hilal, rivals of Cristiano Ronaldo's new Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, are plotting a €275m move for World Cup winner Lionel Messi from Paris Saint-Germain, reports Mundo Deportivo. The Sun has reported Messi's father Jorge has been spotted in Saudi Arabia too.

- Arsenal are also again interested in Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports La Repubblica. According to the report, the Serbian is valued at €110m (£97.7m).

- Sport claims that Newcastle United have tabled an offer for Barcelona's Dutch forward Memphis Depay.

- PSG are set to offer Milan Skriniar a €12m-a-year contract, provided he agrees to leave Inter on a free transfer, reports La Repubblica. Skriniar's Inter deal concludes at the end of this season.

- AS reports that PSG have accepted a bid for Wolves for 30-year-old Spanish midfielder Pablo Sarabia.

- Besiktas are turning to Wolves' forward Raul Jimenez to replace Manchester United-bound Wout Weghorst, according to Fotospor.

Former Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang only returned to London in September to join Chelsea, but his time at Stamford Bridge could soon be up.

The Gabon international has scored three goals in 16 games but has only started four times in the Premier League under Blues boss Graham Potter.

Chelsea have been active in the January transfer window, already bringing in Joao Felix, Andrey Santos, Benoit Badiashile and David Datro Fofana.

TOP STORY – AUBA COULD EXIT CHELSEA FOR BARCELONA RETURN

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is eager to leave Chelsea and wants to return to Barcelona, reports Spanish newspaper Sport.

Aubameyang reportedly had interest from Atletico Madrid too, but FIFA rules state a player can only be registered for a maximum of three clubs in a season, but only play for two.

Any move for the Gabon international, who played for the Blaugrana earlier this season, could hinge on Atletico's interest in Barca's Memphis Depay

ROUND-UP

Atletico Madrid are weighing up a move for Leicester City's Turkish defender Caglar Soyuncu, reports Italian journalist Matteo Moretto. Wolves are pushing to sign Brazilian centre-back Felipe from the Spanish club, according to the Daily Mail.

– Southampton full-back Kyle Walker-Peters has interest from Manchester United and Chelsea, reports Talksport.

– The Sun reports Manchester United are also interested in World Cup stars Goncalo Ramos and Mohammed Kudus from Benfica and Ajax respectively.

– Foot Mercato reports Fiorentina's Moroccan midfielder Sofyan Amrabat would prefer to join Atletico Madrid instead of Liverpool or Tottenham. Fiorentina appear set to sell him for more than €50million after impressing at the World Cup.

– The Daily Mail says Marseille could receive a bid from Aston Villa for ex-Arsenal midfielder Matteo Guendouzi. New Villa boss Unai Emery worked with Guendouzi at Emirates Stadium.

– Leeds United have agreed a deal that could be worth up to £35.5million (€40m) to sign Hoffenheim forward Georginio Rutter, claims Sky in Germany.

Xavi is not anticipating any transfer activity at Barcelona this window, despite ongoing speculation surrounding Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay.

The LaLiga leaders have been busy in the past two transfer windows in particular as they attempt to reshape their squad under legendary former player Xavi.

Reports on Wednesday suggested Barca were looking to re-sign Aubameyang on a free transfer, just four months after selling him to Chelsea for a reported €12million (£10.6m) fee.

That would then reportedly pave the way for Depay – used just four times this season – to find a new club, with top-flight rivals Atletico Madrid supposedly interested in the forward.

However, asked about those rumours at a press conference ahead of Barca's Supercopa de Espana semi-final with Real Betis, Xavi said: "We are happy with the squad.

"We don't know anything. We will have to see what happens. I've told the board I'll be happy if the squad remains as it is."

Barca are three points clear of reigning champions Real Madrid after winning 13, drawing two and losing just one of their 16 league matches this season.

The Catalan giants are in Saudi Arabia ahead of Thursday's showdown with Betis, while Madrid or Valencia await in next weekend's final should they advance.

Xavi is said to have held talks with director Mateu Alemany regarding possible transfer targets during their time in Riyadh, but the Barca boss denied that is the case.

"We haven't had a meeting," he told reporters. "We don't know anything [about the transfer speculation]. I have told Mateu if he does not add to the squad, I'm still happy.

"There is no news that I know of and I have not seen Mateu nor the president [Joan Laporta], at least not to speak about this. If there is any news they will let me know."

Real Madrid have reportedly made Tottenham's Harry Kane their top priority up forward after failed pursuits of Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland.

Kane, 29, is a three-time Premier League Golden Boot winner, and is showing no signs of slowing down, with his 15 goals in 18 league games this season trailing only Manchester City's Haaland (21 in 16 appearances).

He is only 10 league goals away from tying Wayne Rooney for the second-most in Premier League history, while he is also tied with Rooney for England's all-time record and is one goal away from tying Jimmy Greaves as Tottenham's all-time leader.

With his individual legacy in England already secured, Kane is said to be ready to take the next step in his career and join a team capable of competing consistently for trophies.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID SET THEIR SIGHTS ON ENGLAND'S NUMBER NINE

According to Todofichajes, Kane is now Madrid's favourite option for a new marquee striker, and the belief is that he does not plan on extending his contract with Tottenham beyond 2024.

With 18 months remaining on his contract and still yet to turn 30, Kane's transfer value will likely never be higher than it is right now, but a mid-season sale while also trying to convince Antonio Conte to remain long-term appears out of the question.

If Kane does not indicate that he will sign a new deal, Tottenham will be forced to sell him at the end of the season, or risk forgoing a transfer fee in the range of €100million and letting him walk for free.

 

ROUND-UP

– Mediafoot is reporting Arsenal are contemplating a move for out-of-favour 32-year-old Real Madrid winger Eden Hazard

– According to 90min, Chelsea have joined Tottenham in the hunt for 23-year-old Sporting right-back Pedro Porro, but also have reservations about meeting his €45m release clause.

Real Madrid have identified 22-year-old Alphonso Davies from Bayern Munich and Benfica 27-year-old Alejandro Grimaldo as their top options to replace left-back Ferland Mendy, per Fichajes.

– SportItalia is reporting Atletico Madrid view 28-year-old Barcelona winger Memphis Depay as a potential replacement for Joao Felix, who will spend the rest of the season on loan at Chelsea.

Everton and Nottingham Forest are both interested in a loan deal for 25-year-old Villarreal winger Arnaut Danjuma, per Sky Sports.

Arsenal and Tottenham are reportedly trying to pry centre-back Evan Ndicka away from Eintracht Frankfurt this month.

Ndicka, 23, arrived at the Bundesliga club in 2018, racking up 162 appearances since. He has played every minute of their 15 Bundesliga fixtures this season, helping them to reach the German mid-season break in fourth position.

Standing at an imposing 192cm tall with pace to burn, he fits the bill as a centre-back who can handle the physical demands of the Premier League, and his impressive traits are exactly why Frankfurt have been desperate to retain his services.


TOP STORY – PREMIER LEAGUE RIVALS BATTLE IT OUT FOR EXCITING CENTRE-BACK

Currently in the final year of his five-year contract, this will be the last opportunity Frankfurt get to cash in on their young talent, and they reportedly see the writing on the wall despite their desire to extend Ndicka's stay.

According to German publication FR, Ndicka's agents have been reaching out to Europe's elite clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Barcelona, but are said to have driven some away with their lucrative contract demands.

Previous reporting from Football London has claimed Arsenal had agreed to personal terms with Ndicka for a free move before Frankfurt's most recent improved contract offer, while Tottenham remain in the hunt.

Interested parties prepared to wait another six months could scoop him up on a free, but a transfer fee in January with so little time remaining on his contract could end up surprisingly affordable.


ROUND-UP

Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are all closely monitoring 19-year-old PAOK winger Giannis Konstantelias, who is believed to be worth in the range of £10million, per the Evening Standard.

– Foot Mercato is reporting Saudi Arabia side Al-Nassr are working on acquiring Eden Hazard to reunite him with former Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

– According to Sport, Juventus have enquired about 33-year-old Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba as he enters the final six months of his contract.

Napoli have submitted a €19m offer for 22-year-old Angers and Morocco midfielder Azzedine Ounahi, per Foot Mercato.

– Sport is reporting 28-year-old Barcelona forward Memphis Depay would like to return to former club Manchester United.

Louis van Gaal entertained the media in Doha on Thursday as he responded to criticism from Angel Di Maria by showing his close bond with Memphis Depay, another of his former Manchester United players.

Netherlands coach Van Gaal signed Di Maria at United, but the Argentina international struggled to settle in the Premier League.

The winger, who hopes to face Van Gaal's Oranje at the World Cup on Friday, subsequently described the ex-United manager as "the worst coach of my career".

Van Gaal was offered a reminder of this comment at his pre-match news conference, but he was in jovial mood as he responded sat next to Depay.

"Angel Di Maria is simply a really good football player," Van Gaal said to an increasingly amused press room.

"At the time when he played for Manchester, he had a lot of personal issues, there was a break-in at his house. That also affected his fitness that year.

"The fact he would refer to me as the worst trainer, that is one of the very few players that ever said that. Usually it is the other way around.

"So, I think that is sad. I don't like that Angel said that on one occasion. It is a pity, but that's just the way it is.

"A head coach sometimes needs to take decisions that don't always end well. There's someone next to me here, Memphis Depay, and the same happened to him.

"Memphis also played for Manchester, and now we kiss each other, mouth-to-mouth. No, we're not going to do that now.

"That's just how things pan out in football. People are laughing now, but I didn't select Memphis for the [FA Cup] final – now that's not nice.

"Believe me, a head coach doesn't do this without a reason. It may well have been a wrong decision, but just look at how we are dealing with each other, working with each other now. Things are quite different.

"I'm not allowed to kiss him on the mouth, he doesn't want that, quite unfortunate, but it's fine by me."

Van Gaal was also asked about Bastian Schweinsteiger, who played for him both at United and at Bayern Munich.

Schweinsteiger's Germany eliminated Argentina from three consecutive World Cups between 2006 and 2014, and he has been in contact with Van Gaal.

"That is private. I'm sorry, it's private. I cannot say anything about that," Van Gaal said of their conversations. "I just think it's great that he's doing this.

"I ask him as well, because he's a reporter now and sees all these matches, and he was a player with brains. Football is being played with brains.

"I do learn things that my scouts have not said so far, which is positive. He is a fan of the Netherlands now that Germany is out."

Louis van Gaal is not expecting a classic World Cup encounter between the Netherlands and Argentina on Friday due to the way "football has evolved".

The quarter-final at Lusail Stadium will be the sixth finals meeting between the two sides.

Those previous clashes include a dominant Netherlands win in 1974, a controversial 1978 final and Dennis Bergkamp's memorable winner at this stage in 1998.

Most recently, however, Van Gaal's Netherlands and Argentina played out a goalless draw in the semi-finals eight years ago, with La Albiceleste advancing on penalties.

Speaking at a pre-match news conference on Thursday, Van Gaal appeared to suggest a similarly tight affair was likely this time.

Explaining his "new vision", the Oranje coach had "a very attacking DNA" at Ajax in the 1990s but learnt at Barcelona "you can't always pursue that goal".

"It is much more difficult to play as offensively as Ajax used to play," Van Gaal added as he again faced criticism for the Netherlands' style of play. "If you fail to see that, it is very difficult to understand this is the way things go.

"When, in 2014, I started developing the more defensive system, people criticised me. Now, half the world is playing that kind of football. Football has evolved in that direction."

Asked how this latest episode in the Netherlands-Argentina rivalry might compare, the coach said: "I've just provided you with a wonderful answer to your question: football is no longer being played as in 1988 or 1974 or whatever.

"Then it was an open game, which it no longer is. You can have all sorts of opinions about that, but this is simply the way football has evolved.

"It is always possible to have decisive moments that you remember years afterwards, like Bergkamp's goal, so undoubtedly we will continue to remember this forever."

Memphis Depay, appearing alongside Van Gaal, is of a similar view, saying: "The game is going to be decided in moments.

"I believe we can catch a moment and go through. We obviously want to play a good game, but there's also going to be a tactical game, I think."

Van Gaal is unlikely to shift away from that "defensive system" now as the Netherlands prepare for a step up in quality.

"Argentina in my view are a top country with top football players in their squad," Van Gaal said. "The tournament actually is starting tomorrow for real for us.

"Of course, I don't want to downplay the importance of other countries we've been able to beat, but Argentina and possibly Brazil in the next round are quite different from the countries we've played in the groups and in the last 16."

Memphis Depay has taken a swipe at ex-NBA star and American TV analyst Charles Barkley following the Netherlands' 3-1 win over the United States in the World Cup round of 16 on Saturday.

Depay opened the scoring in the victory, which came after Barkley had started trash talk in the lead-up to the knockout stage clash.

Barkley said on NBA on TNT: "We're going for the Netherlands. We opening up a can of whoop-a** 'cause I guarantee the Netherlands is in trouble."

The official Dutch team Twitter account responded with a hype video of Barkley's quotes shortly prior to kick-off with Barcelona attacker having the last laugh.

"Lotta bark, no bite," Depay posted on Twitter only a few hours after the game, with an image of a forlorn-looking Barkley under the 3-1 scoreline.

The victory means the Netherlands will take on Argentina in the quarter-finals, while the USA's World Cup is over.

Barcelona will ask Sergio Busquets to provide clarity on his future plans when he returns from the World Cup, Jordi Cruyff has revealed.

Midfield stalwart Busquets is due to reach the end of his Barcelona contract at the end of this season, and he has been linked with a move to Inter Miami.

After 15 seasons at Camp Nou, Busquets could elect to finish his career in Major League Soccer with the team part-owned by David Beckham.

His long-standing team-mate Gerard Pique recently retired in mid-season, surprising Barcelona, and the club want to be sure they are aware of Busquets' next intentions.

Cruyff said in an interview with TV3: "When the World Cup is over, we will talk to him. He's earned every right to decide his future, but the club also needs to plan its squad."

The 34-year-old Busquets remains a key figure for Barcelona and Spain, and for his club, only four team-mates have played more minutes than him so far this season (1,201).

He has played close to 700 first-team games for Barcelona since making his debut in 2008.

Cruyff also spoke about Barcelona's transfer plans for the January window and said it was "clear that there are some positions that we can reinforce."

Spending limits may remain a factor; however, if Barcelona get the go-ahead to make a move, Cruyff said they would not hang about.

"If there is an option to sign, we know what we have to do," he said.

Memphis Depay, who has featured for the Netherlands at the World Cup, has played just 131 minutes for Barcelona this season.

He may be expendable and with his contract due to expire at the season's end, this may be a last chance to receive a transfer fee for the Dutch forward.

Cruyff told the Spanish broadcaster: "We are going to see what happens.

"In the summer, he was able to leave but in the end, his departure could not materialise. With [Robert] Lewandowski being suspended for three games, we will see what happens because if there were any injuries, he could be needed."

Louis van Gaal was heartened by Memphis Depay's display on his first start at the World Cup as he had a hand in both goals in a 2-0 Netherlands win over Qatar.

Depay is the Oranje's star man but had been restricted to the role of substitute in their first two matches following a hamstring injury.

But the Barcelona forward was called in from the start as the Netherlands needed three points to be sure of top spot in Group A.

Although Depay did not score, he was involved in the build-up to Cody Gakpo's opener and then had the shot that led to Frenkie de Jong converting a rebound for the second.

Coach Van Gaal was "so pleased" to have taken a risk by including Depay, Marten de Roon and Matthijs de Ligt, who had all been dealing with fitness concerns.

"The difference is Memphis is playing," he said. "He was involved in those two goals. That is the big difference.

"We have to bring Memphis into the game gradually, because he hasn't played in about two months."

Meanwhile, Van Gaal described Gakpo, who has three goals in three games, as having "everything it takes to become a star".

Van Gaal was certainly more impressed by his two forwards than he was by a question suggesting the Netherlands had underwhelmed.

"I think you have a different perspective on football than I," responded Van Gaal.

"Why don't you write down that it's terribly boring and you're going home tomorrow because you couldn't care less?"

When it was put to the coach that many fans concurred, he replied: "That's disappointing, but I don't agree. I think everyone would be rather proud that we're progressing to the next round."

Davy Klaassen, for his part, had accepted it was a fair assessment.

"If you play against Qatar, everyone will expect you'll win 5-0 or more," Klaassen said. "This tournament has shown it's very difficult.

"It's not like 10 years ago when you have the results you used to have. No country so far has shown these results in the group stage."

Qatar coach Felix Sanchez gave no assurances around his future but bristled at mention of his side's performance being the worst statistically of any host nation in World Cup history.

No other home side have lost as many as three matches or conceded as many as seven group-stage goals.

"We're talking about statistics. We're a country with 6,000 football licences, so this was a likely situation," Sanchez said.

"We never thought at any time to set a goal of reaching the last 16 or the quarter-finals. The goal was to get here, compete and see what we could do. Now we've seen.

"We managed to play two good games against the Netherlands and Senegal, knowing what tough opponents they are. We know in our first game we weren't at our usual level and didn't compete that well.

"We're very realistic about what we can do, where we're heading, what is expected of us.

"You can use statistics as you please, but we have to make our own assessment. That's what really matters to us."

Memphis Depay was named in the Netherlands starting XI for the first time at the 2022 World Cup ahead of their final Group A match against Qatar.

The Barcelona forward was battling a hamstring injury heading into the tournament and was initially ruled out of the opener against Senegal, only to appear from the bench in a 2-0 win.

Depay was a substitute again as Louis van Gaal's side drew with Ecuador, and the coach insisted ahead of the meeting with hosts Qatar he would be taking no risks.

However, he said: "We're going to do anything and everything to progress to the next match."

That has led to a recall for talisman Depay – a member of Van Gaal's 2014 World Cup squad in Brazil – who lines up alongside breakout star Cody Gakpo in attack.

Gakpo was a chief beneficiary of Depay's absence, trusted to be the Netherlands' creative force behind a front two of Steven Bergwijn and Vincent Janssen.

The PSV attacker, linked with Manchester United, was moved into the front line against Ecuador and now keeps his place there, linking up with Depay.

Gakpo has scored two of the Oranje's three goals so far.

The Netherlands will be through with a win or a draw and would advance regardless if Ecuador defeated Senegal.

PSV's Cody Gakpo has become one of the early breakout stars at the World Cup, and will reportedly be courted by some of the world's biggest clubs in January.

Gakpo, 23, has spent his entire career with PSV after arriving at their youth academy back in 2007, and has risen through the ranks to become one of the Netherlands' top attacking options.

He has racked up nine goals and 12 assists in his side's first 14 Eredivisie fixtures, and has started his World Cup campaign with goals in each of the first two group stage matches against Senegal and Ecuador.

Having been linked to Leeds United before the season, he reportedly opted to remain with PSV to secure a move to an even bigger club – and now Champions League teams are said to be calling.


TOP STORY – EUROPEAN POWERHOUSES SET SIGHTS ON GAKPO

According to Dutch journalist Marco Timmer, the clubs who will make an attempt to sign the Dutch talent include Liverpool, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

Having previously said he would be happy to remain in the Netherlands until the end of the season before exploring a move to the Premier League, Gakpo's value is said to have soared past the £50million mark.

There were reports early in the season that PSV's financial situation would force them to accept any further bids around £30m, so if a team with deep pockets comes with a serious offer in January, it will likely be hard to turn down.
 

ROUND-UP

– According to Fichajes, United have added 23-year-old Bayer Leverkusen winger Moussa Diaby to their list of forward targets. 

– 90min is reporting Milan are considering another bid for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech in January after testing the waters in the previous transfer window.

Memphis Depay could return to former club United in January as Barcelona are considering terminating the 28-year-old's contract to get him off their books.

– According to Sky Sports Germany, United are not considered a realistic destination for Borussia Dortmund's Jude Bellingham.

– CBS is reporting multiple Premier League clubs, including Everton, Leeds and West Ham, are interested in 26-year-old Senegal forward Boulaye Dia, with the Villarreal-contracted player scoring against Qatar on Friday.

The Netherlands might not have the standout stars they had at the 2014 World Cup, but Louis van Gaal thinks the overall quality of his squad in Qatar is better.

Van Gaal, who was in typically good humour as he previewed the Netherlands' game against Ecuador, led the Dutch to the semi-finals eight years ago.

Memphis Depay, Daley Blind and Stefan de Vrij are the only players who featured in Van Gaal's squad in 2014, with the rest of the Oranje's selection in Qatar being World Cup debutants.

Although their squad lacks the leading lights of Robin van Persie, Wesley Sneijder and Arjen Robben that Van Gaal had at his disposal in Brazil, the Netherlands coach thinks his squad of 2022 has more to offer across the board.

With Germany and Argentina losing their first matches, there is the possibility of the draw opening up, and Van Gaal sees no reason why his team cannot capitalise.

"I didn't see all the matches, but the fact that Germany and Argentina lost is somewhat telling, but I always say it's easier to defend than it is attack," he said in a press conference.

"I heard that Germany missed a lot of chances and then they lose. This has got to do with team discipline. This is why I say this group is great.

"They're the ones who have to put it into practice, execute my instructions for 90 minutes. If they don't perform as well, you put in the next player who will do his utmost.

"We have an average quality higher than 2014. I'm not talking about the top players we had at the time, perhaps Memphis is at that level and might reach that level, and Frenkie de Jong perhaps.

"But then the matches were decided by players like Van Persie, Robben and Sneijder. That's just the way it was.

"Now in our squad we have a much higher average. Forwards like Memphis, [Steven] Bergwijn, [Cody] Gakpo. I hope that will be a pleasant surprise."

Depay only featured as a substitute against Senegal on Monday, with the Barcelona forward recovering from an injury and lack of game time at club level.

Van Gaal is unsure if the 28-year-old will be fit to start against Ecuador.

"With Memphis, he was training in Amsterdam and that was individual," he added. "Now he needs to train with the team.

"We've increased intensity, he's played 30 minutes now. He isn't grappling too much with the issues. We're proceeding with the next step, which is 45 minutes.

"We're trying to extend that, because the injury he has makes it so difficult to decide when he can start.

"He's quite an extraordinary player, so I've set aside my principles because I consider him incredibly important."

With Gakpo and Davy Klaassen scoring in the win over Senegal, the Netherlands had two different players score in their first World Cup appearance for the first time since Wim Jonk and Gaston Taument did so against Saudi Arabia in 1994.

Depay is the only player to score in both of his first two World Cup games for the Netherlands, though Van Gaal feels PSV forward Gakpo, who is enjoying a fine season, has what it takes to become a superstar.

"He is a player with a lot of talent and potential, but he is young, and he's a player that's still developing, he has a lot of room for improvement," Van Gaal said.

"He's a personality to do whatever it takes. It is possible that he can become a star."

Manchester United will look to sign a replacement forward for Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The 37-year-old Portuguese's exit by mutual consent with immediate effect has opened up all sorts of possibilities for the Red Devils.

But Erik ten Hag's side clearly need to bolster their ranks as they look to finish in the Premier League's top four this term.

 

TOP STORY – MEMPHIS WALKING BACK THROUGH THE DOORS AT OLD TRAFFORD?

Spanish media outlet Sport claims that Manchester United are keen on Barcelona's Memphis Depay in January.

The Blaugrana, who have been linked with United's Diogo Dalot, are eager to offload the Dutchman, whose contract ends in mid-2023.

The Netherlands international spent two years at Old Trafford from 2015 and 2017

 

ROUND-UP -

- Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are ready to make moves for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, according to Calciomercato. The Frenchman almost joined Manchester United in the off-season and is contracted with the Bianconeri until the end of the season.

- Football Insider claims Aston Villa are interested in Sevilla's Morocco international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who is contracted until 2025.

- Fabrizio Romano claims RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer is determined to join Bayern Munich, meaning Chelsea and Liverpool will miss out on the Austrian.

- Leeds United have enquired about the availability of Milan's Belgian midfielder Charles de Ketelaere, reports TeamTalk.

- Atalanta are in talks with Stuttgart's Croatia international left-back Borna Sosa, claims Nicolo Schira.

Louis van Gaal says the Netherlands will assess Memphis Depay's fitness following his cameo in their victory over Senegal.

The Oranje marked their return to the World Cup finals with a 2-0 win over the Africa Cup of Nations champions, with late goals from Cody Gakpo and Davy Klaassen sealing the points in Group A.

Depay began the game on the bench due to an ongoing hamstring issue, but was introduced for the final 28 minutes at the Al Thumama Stadium and the Barcelona forward will hope to feature against Ecuador on Friday.

"We had agreed before the game that he would play about half an hour," Van Gaal said of Depay, who has been limited to just two LaLiga appearances this season. 

"With Ecuador, he will want to play, but I have to assess his form after this game. I never thought we would lose and, with the entry of Depay, I wanted to have more chances to score. He is a player who can make the difference."

Van Gaal oversaw his 38th victory in charge of the Netherlands, the most by any manager in history, and praised the displays of Gakpo and goalkeeper Andries Noppert, who registered a clean sheet on his senior international debut.

But the head coach is seeking an improvement from his players as the tournament progresses.

"Gakpo was decisive, I left him inside because he knows how to score goals and is very agile," he added. "Senegal had three chances, but we have a goalkeeper who knows his stuff between the posts.

"We didn't play very well, too many times we gave them the ball and the chance to score. We had to be more compact. We can only improve, there was probably some tension between the players."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.