Arsenal are still desperate to add a new face in central midfield and will reportedly make late runs at Chelsea's Jorginho and Leicester City's Youri Tielemans before the transfer deadline.

Tielemans is one of Leicester's top talents, appearing in all 20 of their Premier League games this season while contributing three goals and an assist from his 18 starts.

Jorginho is in his fifth season at Stamford Bridge and remains an integral part of Chelsea's squad, making 15 league starts this season, including wearing the captain's armband in their two most recent fixtures.

However, both players are in the final six months of their contracts and are set to become available via free transfers at the end of the campaign, and their clubs may be willing to accept a significantly reduced figure for highly valuable assets.

 

TOP STORY – GUNNERS GUNNING FOR MIDFIELD ACTION AT THE DEADLINE

According to Football London, Arsenal's pursuit of 21-year-old Brighton and Hove Albion standout Moises Caicedo appears to have been unsuccessful, and they now view Jorginho as an acceptable alternative.

The report states Chelsea are willing to let the Italy international leave, indicating he will become expendable if the impending arrival of Benfica's Enzo Fernandez comes to fruition.

Football London also adds Arsenal will make another push at both Caicedo and Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi, but they are considered unlikely options.

Meanwhile, 90min claims Leicester would be more open to allowing Tielemans to leave if they were not locked in a relegation battle, but as it stands they would need a "huge" bid to prioritise a transfer fee over their Premier League survival.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting Leeds United will try to secure Roma's Nicolo Zaniolo after he snubbed Bournemouth, but Roma are unlikely to accept unless the full transfer fee is paid up front.

– According to L'Equipe, Paris Saint-Germain are interested in a loan move for Chelsea's Hakim Ziyech, who would prefer a loan to France instead of a fellow Premier League side.

– Manchester United captain Harry Maguire has rejected a loan approach from Inter and will instead opt to fight for his place, although he will re-evaluate his future at the end of the season, per the Daily Star.

– El Nacional is reporting Liverpool will make a run at signing Chelsea's N'Golo Kante when his contract expires after the season.

– According to Football Insider, Southampton have agreed to meet the £26.2million (€30m) release clause for 22-year-old Braga forward Vitinha.

Manchester United are set to be busy in the January transfer window following Cristiano Ronaldo's exit in November.

Erik ten Hag's side are in the market to bolster their forward options, having already been linked to a host of players.

But United look set to settle for short-term loan deals with little money available for a transfer fee, limiting their options.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD INTERESTED IN EX-CHELSEA FLOP MORATA

Manchester United have turned their attention to signing Spain international forward Alvaro Morata on loan, according to ESPN.

United missed out on signing Cody Gakpo, who has joined Liverpool, while they face stiff competition to land Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix along with a reported total package worth €22million for six months.

The report claims the Red Devils are hoping Atletico are willing to listen to loan offers, with the 30-year-old having been loaned to Juventus this season.

ROUND-UP

– Media Foot claims Manchester United and Tottenham have both commenced talks with Rennes on £34m-valued striker Martin Terrier.

Chelsea are rapidly closing in on a deal for 21-year-old Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, according to CBS' Ben Jacobs, with personal terms agreed.

– The Athletic reports that Chelsea have taken positive steps in talks with N'Golo Kante on re-committing to the club on a new deal. Kante's contract expires in June and he has been linked with several clubs in the January transfer window, including Barcelona .

Manchester City will offer Milan forward Rafael Leao a contract worth €12m per season as they bid to lure him to England in January, claims TuttoMercatoWeb.

Borussia Dortmund have joined the race to sign Juventus' United States international midfielder Weston McKennie, according to Tuttosport, with the German club viewing him as a suitable replacement for Jude Bellingham.

– PSG defender Sergio Ramos is being pursued by Saudi Arabian outfit Al Nassr, claims Marca. Al Nassr are trying to convince Cristiano Ronaldo to join the club, which is their priority move.

Reece James will be available when Chelsea face Bournemouth on Tuesday but N'Golo Kante is out until at least February with his hamstring injury, Graham Potter revealed.

James missed out on Gareth Southgate's England squad for the World Cup in Qatar after sustaining a knee injury in October, leading the right-back to describe himself as "devastated".

Chelsea confirmed James returned to training as the Blues were put through their paces in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, and the 23-year-old could now feature against the Cherries at Stamford Bridge.

However, fellow defenders Ben Chilwell and Wesley Fofana remain unavailable, with the latter suffering a setback in his bid to recover from a knee injury.

"Wesley had a little setback, which can happen. It's a couple of weeks, he won't be available for the game," head coach Potter said on Friday.

"Reece is back in, he's been training and completed 65 minutes in the week [in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford].

"We're still without Ruben [Loftus-Cheek], Ben Chilwell and Kante."

Kante has not featured since Chelsea – then under the leadership of Thomas Tuchel – drew 2-2 with Tottenham in August, and Potter is unlikely to have the midfielder available any time soon.

"He'll be a while, he'll be [back at] the end of February or the start of March," Potter said when asked about Kante's condition. "It's due to the surgery, the minimum period was four months."

Kante's contract with Chelsea expires at the end of the season, and with no new deal agreed, the 2018 World Cup winner has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

However, Potter was unwilling to discuss the midfielder's future, adding: "My focus is just to help him get back fit as soon as possible.

"Everyone knows the quality he has, so it's just about helping him get on the pitch, helping him to get fit, and I'm looking forward to seeing him play football, as we haven't seen him."

France midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni is not fazed about juggling the responsibilities usually reserved for injured stalwarts Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante after helping Les Bleus to the World Cup final.

Didier Deschamps' side beat Morocco 2-0 at Al Bayt Stadium on Wednesday to secure their spot in Sunday's showpiece against Argentina.

It ensured France became the first nation to reach back-to-back World Cup finals since Brazil in 2002 as they – somewhat unconvincingly – managed to end Morocco's fairytale run.

The build-up to France's World Cup defence was dominated by talk of the so-called 'holders' curse' given each of the previous three defending champions had been eliminated at the group stage.

Pre-tournament confidence was also dented by injuries to several key players, with Karim Benzema, Pogba and Kante all missing out.

Yet on Sunday, they could become the first European country to win successive World Cups since Italy in 1938, with Tchouameni playing an important part in a new-look midfield.

 

Asked whether the Pogba or Kante role suits him best, he replied: "It's both!

"Sometimes it's [my job] to recover some balls like today, and sometimes I have the opportunities to score a goal, like the last game.

"Or today when I had the almost-assists for Kylian [Mbappe] and Olivier [Giroud]. It's a mix between those two [Pogba and Kante]."

He added: "[Pogba and Kante] are great players for us.

"Unfortunately they're not here because they're injured, so we try to do our best to help the team in the middle of the pitch, and I think we do a great job."

Tchouameni's influence was highlighted by the fact his 65 touches were the joint-highest in the France team, while only Antoine Griezmann (four) played more key passes than his two.

Although his 83 per cent passing accuracy suggests a degree of wastefulness, the Real Madrid talent showed purpose in terms of ball progression, with his eight passes in the final third only behind Kylian Mbappe and Youssouf Fofana (both nine). A riskier approach is always likely to result in less accurate distribution.

Nevertheless, he did not neglect his defensive responsibilities, tallying the second-most interceptions (four) on the pitch (Ibrahima Konate – six) and joint-highest number of recoveries (10).

Alongside Fofana, Tchouameni was part of a particularly inexperienced midfield pairing, but Deschamps believes both have proven they belong at this level.

"Experience isn't everything, they have great qualities and play with top clubs," the coach told reporters.

"They may not have much experience at the international level, but they are good enough to play at this level.

 

"They have tremendous potential, tremendous quality – and they are supported by the experienced players around them.

"All of the players struggled against Tunisia – Fofana had a bad game, if I'm honest with you – but he showed today, in a World Cup semi-final, that he has learned from that experience.

"Tchouameni played for us at a very young age and went to Madrid where he's slotted straight in.

"Of course, there's room for improvement, but he has all the strength to succeed at this level. I had no doubt about playing both of them in there, though, as they had experienced players around them."

Alexis Mac Allister has impressed with Argentina during the World Cup, with his side qualifying for the semi-finals with Friday's penalty shoot-out win over the Netherlands.

The 23-year-old midfielder is contracted with Brighton and Hove Albion until mid-2025.

The Argentine penned a new deal with the Seagulls in October, securing him for the next two-and-a-half seasons, with the option of an additional one year.

 

TOP STORY – EUROPEAN GIANTS CIRCLE FOR MAC ALLISTER

Tottenham, Juventus, Inter and Atletico Madrid are all interested in Alexis Mac Allister, reports Fichajes.

Inter are particularly interested, viewing Mac Allister as a long-term replacement for Marcelo Brozovic, while Spurs boss Antonio Conte wants to add creativity to his midfield.

Juventus have been scouting numerous players at the World Cup, while Atletico are eager to add quality to their midfield, with Rodrigo de Paul drawing interest too.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato claims that Newcastle United are in contention to sign Inter defender Milan Skriniar, amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain too. Skriniar is yet to sign a new deal with Inter, with his contract expiring at the end of this season.

– South Korea centre-back Kim Min-Jae has interest from Manchester United , according to the Sunday Mirror. United have competition from Real Madrid for the Napoli defender who has a £38m release clause.

Barcelona are eager to complete a deal for Chelsea's French midfielder N'Golo Kante, reports Sport. Kante is out of contract at season's end.

Hakim Ziyech's wage demands may scupper Milan's pursuit of the Chelsea midfielder, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

– Inter defender Stefan de Vrij is being chased by Tottenham, who may swoop in January, reports Football Insider.

– Real Madrid midfielder Eden Hazard is considering a move to the MLS, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Arsenal are reportedly the leading candidate to land Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic after an injury to Gabriel Jesus exposed their lack of depth in attack.

Vlahovic, 22, was purchased from Fiorentina for €70million in January this year, and started the current Serie A campaign in fine form, with six goals and an assist from his first 10 starts.

He missed Juventus' final four league games leading into the World Cup break due to an adductor injury, and failed to make much of an impact for Serbia in Qatar, scoring one goal from a combined 79 minutes on the field.

While he still has another three seasons on his contract, Juventus' behind-the-scenes turmoil could make the young talent available as the club sort out their financial issues.

 

TOP STORY – ARSENAL EMERGE AS FAVOURITES FOR SERBIA'S VLAHOVIC

According to Calciomercato, Vlahovic is no longer viewed as the "immovable cornerstone" he was before the season, mentioning the "corporate situation" as an important factor.

The report implies Vlahovic will only be sold if it is necessary to do so, and, more importantly, that it will likely not be until the end of the season that Juventus begin to entertain the possibility. 

With Jesus scheduled to miss three months following his knee surgery, Arsenal will need to decide if their need for cover means they need to pivot to an alternate option.

Meanwhile, a separate Calciomercato report adds Juventus would be happy to exchange Vlahovic for Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix, who is also reportedly nearing the end of his time with his club.

 

ROUND-UP

– Il Romanista is reporting Roma will attempt to bring in Barcelona's Hector Bellerin in January if right-back Rick Karsdorp leaves the club as he has requested.

– Sport reports Barcelona could secure midfielder Ruben Neves in January for less than Wolves' initial €50m asking price, but Xavi is said to prefer Real Sociedad's Martin Zubimendi or Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

Eintracht Frankfurt's 24-year-old forward Randal Kolo Muani is reportedly being tracked by Liverpool, Tottenham and Atletico Madrid, per Fichajes.

– According to O Jogo, Real Madrid have approached Benfica about a potential purchase of 21-year-old midfielder Enzo Fernandez.

– The Mirror claims Everton are exploring a £35m move for 24-year-old Watford winger Ismaila Sarr.

The World Cup in Qatar is finally set to get underway, but there are a number of major players who will be watching along with the fans back home.

An unfortunate reality about the tournament is there will always be significant absences, either through a nation's failure to qualify or due to injury.

It is the latter that has been a major focus in the final week before Sunday's kick-off, with Senegal star Sadio Mane and France striker Karim Benzema both being late withdrawals from their respective squads, the latter suffering a quadriceps injury on Saturday, depriving the tournament of the 2022 Ballon d'Or winner.

Benzema's injury is just one of several significant blows for holders France, and they dominate Stats Perform's injured XI of the players unable to feature in Qatar.

Goalkeeper: Mike Maignan (France)

Maignan had a fine maiden season at Milan after joining from Lille. He kept 17 clean sheets in Serie A last term, the highest tally in the league, and conceded just 21 goals, with his save percentage of 79.4 the best of any Serie A goalkeeper to play more than 10 games in the competition.

He has made seven appearances this season, but the 27-year-old suffered a calf injury in October, leaving Didier Deschamps shorn of a quality shot-stopper to challenge Hugo Lloris.

 

Defence: Ben Chilwell (England), Reece James (England), Presnel Kimpembe (France)

Chelsea duo Reece James and Ben Chilwell were by no means guaranteed to start for England, but it's still a blow to Gareth Southgate not to have the pair available.

James has excelled at wing-back and would have been an ideal fit if England stick with a three-man defence, while he could also have slotted in at centre-back, and Chilwell would likely offer more attacking threat than Luke Shaw on the left should the Three Lions have needed to chase a game.

Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe helped France win the 2018 World Cup, but he had to withdraw from Deschamps' squad for Qatar due to an Achilles problem.

Midfield: N'Golo Kante (France), Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina), Paul Pogba (France), Georginio Wijnaldum (Netherlands)

Giovani Lo Celso was not always a key player for Tottenham but retained his place as a crucial cog for Argentina. La Albiceleste will be without the midfielder, who sustained a hamstring injury while playing for Villarreal against Athletic Bilbao late in October.

Georginio Wijnaldum scored three goals in four games for the Netherlands at Euro 2020, but shortly after joining Roma on loan from PSG, the former Liverpool midfielder suffered a fractured tibia and had no chance of recovering in time to make Louis van Gaal's squad.

Another two France stars complete the midfield, with Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante missing for Les Bleus. Both players were exceptional in 2018, but Kante is out with a hamstring problem, while Pogba is yet to make an appearance for Juventus this season after joining from Manchester United.

 

Attack: Karim Benzema (France), Sadio Mane (Senegal), Christopher Nkunku (France)

It's fair to say France have been hit hardest by injuries to big players, and there could arguably be none bigger than Benzema, the Ballon d'Or holder. Given he is 34, it could well have been the Real Madrid striker's final shot at a World Cup and is a huge blow not only to France but to football fans around the world who were highly anticipating the Benzema-Kylian Mbappe link-up.

A player who might have softened the blow of Benzema's injury was Christopher Nkunku, had he not already been ruled out himself with a knee issue sustained in training last week, just before Les Bleus left for Qatar. Nkunku has been in sensational form for RB Leipzig, with only Mbappe of players from Europe's top five leagues having scored more goals (58) since the start of last season than the RB Leipzig star, who has amassed 52 in 75 games.

Mane, meanwhile, was carrying the hopes of Senegal on his shoulders. The Africa Cup of Nations holders have a talented squad, but Mane was the stardust. He went down with an injury to his fibula while in action for Bayern Munich just before the World Cup break, and though Senegal named the ex-Liverpool attacker in their squad, he underwent surgery earlier this week and was duly ruled out.

 

N'Golo Kante's Chelsea contract is winding down, with the deal due to expire at the end of this season.

Kante, who will miss the World Cup due to a hamstring surgery, has only played twice this season for the Blues.

The France midfielder joined Chelsea in 2016 from Leicester City following their shock Premier League triumph and looks set to be on the move again.

 

TOP STORY – SERIE A GIANTS CHASE CHELSEA MIDFIELDER

La Repubblica reports Juventus and Inter are circling for Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante in January.

The report claims that the 31-year-old does not have a good relationship with new Blues boss Graham Potter and wants to leave Stamford Bridge.

It is also claimed that any January move would cost around £18m (€20m).

 

ROUND-UP

– Juve may be willing to allow midfielder Weston McKennie to leave in January amid interest from Premier League clubs, claims CalcioMercato. The United States international has previously been linked with Tottenham, Chelsea and Leeds United.

Chelsea made a breakthrough "in the past few weeks" in negotiations with Mason Mount over a new deal, reports The Athletic. Mount's deal expires in 2024 and Football London claims the issue has been the length of a new contract.

– Talks are ongoing between Arsenal and Gabriel Martinelli on a new contract, claims Fabrizio Romano. The Gunners view re-signing the 21-year-old, who is contracted until 2024, as a priority.

– 90min claims Villarreal will demand a club record transfer fee of more than £40m (€46m) for defender Pau Torres, who is being pursued by Unai Emery's Aston Villa in January.

Real Madrid could bid €10m (£8.7m) for Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta in January, reports SPORT. Azpilicueta signed a new deal before this season started but has been used sparingly.

Newcastle United's Bruno Guimaraes has only played 27 games for the club since arriving from Lyon, and he has been so impressive that he is now a target of Barcelona.

Guimaraes, 24, spent three seasons with Lyon before Newcastle secured his services in a £40million move in January.

He scored five goals in just 11 starts this past Premier League campaign, and has added two goals and two assists this season, with Newcastle unbeaten in the 10 games he has started.

The Brazil international with eight senior caps to his name is a key part of why Newcastle currently occupy fourth place in the Premier League table, but they will now reportedly have to fend off interest from Barca.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA INVESTIGATE A MOVE FOR GUIMARAES

According to The Sun, Barcelona have officially moved on from their chase of Manchester City's Bernardo Silva and are instead focusing their attention on Newcastle's Guimaraes.

The report claims Barcelona were "priced out" of a move for Silva after City slapped a price tag of £80m on him and Guimaraes would certainly not come cheap.

With his contract tying him to Newcastle until 2026, it would need a huge offer to land the 24-year-old. 

While their spending spree will eventually need to be balanced out with some sales, the Magpies are said to be offering Guimaraes a new contract that will pay him £200,000 per week to put any questions about his future to bed.

 

ROUND-UP

– Calciomercato is reporting both Roma and Juventus are expected to pursue 23-year-old Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, who is valued in the region of €30m.

– According to The Mirror, Sporting will attempt to bring in Cristiano Ronaldo in January, and are preparing a second contract offer despite previously stating they can not afford the Portugal legend.

– Relevo claims N'Golo Kante is seen by Barcelona as a potential successor to Sergio Busquets, with the Chelsea midfielder's contract set to expire at the end of the season.

– It could be a busy January for Barcelona as Sport are reporting they hope to sell Memphis Depay, while Fichajes believe Franck Kessie will push for a move back to the Serie A.

– According to IG Esporte, Brighton and Everton are interested in 25-year-old Monaco left-back Caio Henrique.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta is known to be desperate for Lionel Messi to finish his career at his long-time club.

The 35-year-old Argentine forward departed Camp Nou hastily in August last year due to Barcelona's financial issues.

Messi joined the Blaugrana in 2000 and had an association with the club for more than two decades, scoring 672 goals across 778 first-team appearances.


TOP STORY – LAPORTA PLOTTING JANUARY MOVE FOR MESSI

Laporta is planning a move for Barcelona club legend Lionel Messi in the January transfer window, according to Sport.

The report states that Barcelona want to take advantage of the Fair Play situation in January, rather than wait for the off-season where the 1/4 rule will make any move more difficult.

However, Laporta's plan is full of obstacles for the Blaugrana to overcome, not least LaLiga's financial restraints, along with convincing Messi and his current club Paris Saint-Germain to part midway through the season.

Messi has publicly said he has deferred any decisions on his club or international future until after the World Cup.


ROUND-UP

– Sporting CP head coach Ruben Amorim may have distanced the club from links with Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo in midweek but The Mirror reports that the Portuguese club will make a bid for him in January.

– Brighton and Hove Albion are open to selling Moises Caicedo amid interest from Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United and Newcastle United but have slapped a £85m price tag on the 20-year-old Ecuadorian midfielder, reports the Sunday Mirror.

– The Express claims that Arsenal are leading the race ahead of Manchester United to sign Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans. The Belgian could move to the Gunners for free, as he is out of contract at the end of the season and unlikely to pen a new deal.

– Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante - whose contract is also up at the end of June 2023 - is a major target for Barcelona who are looking at replacements for veteran Sergio Busquets, reports Relevo.

– Sport claims Barcelona are looking to offload Memphis Depay in January, with Juventus interested in signing the Dutch attacker.

Wolves are set to approach ex-Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui again, having failed to convince him previously to become their new manager, claims The Sun.

Graham Potter acknowledged that difficult decisions are part of management following Erik ten Hag's handling of Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United.

Ten Hag has forced Ronaldo to train away from the first team after the Portugal international took himself down the tunnel at Old Trafford before the end of United's 2-0 win against Tottenham on Wednesday.

Ronaldo will not be in the squad for United's trip to Chelsea on Saturday following his manager's statement after the Spurs game that he would "deal with" the player's behaviour.

"I can't really comment because I don't know the ins and outs but he's taken his stance, sometimes you have to do that. Then you need the club's support. From the outside, that's what's happened," Blues head coach Potter said at a press conference on Friday.

"It's difficult for me to comment... Part of the job is to take some decisions that are difficult, but that's normal."

Since losing their first two games, including an opening day defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion when Potter was still in charge of the Seagulls, United have lost just once in eight Premier League games (6-3 at Manchester City), winning six of them.

The victory against Spurs was arguably the Red Devils' best performance so far under Ten Hag since his arrival at the end of last season, and Potter believes they will only get better.

"I think they've done well," he said. "Obviously not had a great start from their perspective, but they've battled back and they're getting points and they're playing well, so it's going to be a tough game.

"They've changed a bit in how they build up I think. More longer balls, more direct, at the same time they still have the same quality, they've got the likes of [Marcus] Rashford, Antony, [Jadon] Sancho, Bruno Fernandes plays a key role for them.

"They just seem to have adapted to the competition, adapted to each other, probably learning more about each other. It's a normal process really... I'm pretty sure they'll get better and better as time goes on."

Chelsea are unbeaten in seven games in all competitions since Potter took over from Thomas Tuchel (five wins), but have suffered recent injury blows with the news that N'Golo Kante will be out for around four months, missing the World Cup, while Reece James faces a race against time to be in Qatar and will be absent for the next few weeks.

"You have to at least acknowledge the fact they're human beings that want to be involved in that type of competition," Potter added. "The reality is I haven't got anything to say that'll make it any better for them.

"You just have to focus on the things you can control, focus on your rehab day-to-day, things get better and then you just move forward."

N'Golo Kante will miss France's World Cup campaign after undergoing an operation on his hamstring, Chelsea have confirmed.

Kante suffered the injury in his Chelsea's 2-2 home draw with Tottenham in August and has not featured for club or country since.

Chelsea have now established Kante will play no part in France's defence of their World Cup crown, which starts with their opening group game against Australia on November 22.

In a statement on the club website, Chelsea said: "N'Golo Kante has undergone an operation on his hamstring injury.

"The midfielder visited a specialist with the club’s medical department to explore the options for his rehabilitation approach and it was mutually agreed for N'Golo to have surgery to repair the damage.

"Following a successful operation, N'Golo is now expected to be sidelined for four months."

Kante was a key member of the France side that won the 2018 World Cup, playing a part in all seven games as Les Bleus lifted the biggest prize in international football for the second time.

Reece James, Kante's Chelsea team-mate, faces a race against time to make England's squad for the tournament after suffering a knee injury against Milan.

Real Madrid had a drawn-out pursuit of Kylian Mbappe earlier this year but ultimately missed out on the France forward.

Mbappe opted to sign a lucrative contract extension with Paris Saint-Germain in May, tying him to the Parisians until 2025.

But earlier this week, Fabrizio Romano reported the situation between PSG and Mbappe had got tense, with the player keen to depart.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID MOVE ON FROM MBAPPE AMID TRANSFER TWIST

Marca claims that Real Madrid are no longer have interest in signing Mbappe amid reports that he is unsettled at PSG and wants to leave.

The report claims that Los Blancos are observing the situation from afar with no desire to participate in the latest drama.

Romano also said PSG had no intention of selling Mbappe in January amid the speculation he wanted out. PSG director Luis Campos denied the report on Tuesday.

ROUND-UP

Bayern Munich will turn to Borussia Monchengladbach forward Marcus Thuram should they fail to land Tottenham's Harry Kane , reports TZ. Thuram's Gladbach deal ends at the end of this season.

– Sky Sport's Florian Plettenberg reports that Toni Kroos and Real Madrid are set to commence talks on a new deal running until 2024, with his currently deal expiring at season's end.

Barcelona will try to lure Chelsea pair N'Golo Kante and Jorginho to Camp Nou as free agents at the end of this season, claims the Evening Standard. The Blues are currently trying to convince both to re-sign.

– 90min claims Manchester City have told Bayern Munich and Inter that defender Nathan Ake is not for sale in January, following speculation about their interest.

West Ham have joined Roma and Manchester United in pursuing a deal for Sassuolo midfielder Davide Frattesi, according to Calciomercato.

– Football Insider reports Brentford have commenced discussions with England international striker Ivan Toney on a new deal, with Tottenham linked to him.

Manchester United are reportedly in the market for defenders in the January window, and are said to have interest in Inter trio Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni and Denzel Dumfries.

Skriniar is considered a hot commodity at centre-back and was recently the subject of a €60million bid from Paris Saint-Germain. Inter rejected that bid, but with the Slovakian's contract set to expire at the end of the season, this will be their last opportunity to cash in if they believe Skriniar will not sign an extension.

Bastoni, 23, has already banked 16 international caps for Italy and is a rising star in his own right, while Dumfries boasts 37 caps for the Netherlands and is flexible enough to play both right-back and in the middle of defence.

The trio are at the centre of Inter's goals this season, but sitting ninth in the Serie A with four wins and four losses from their first eight games, the potential cash injection from selling one or more could fund significant improvements elsewhere.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED PLAN PLUNDER OF INTER'S DEFENSIVE STOCKS

InterLive reported United's interest in Skriniar, while Calciomercato believes the Red Devils are preparing an offer for Dumfries, with the idea being to use him at right-back.

Gazzetta dello Sport claims the Old Trafford side will have to contend with Tottenham and Manchester City in their chase for Bastoni, and Calciomercato adds that Chelsea also have interest in the Italian.

United's hunt for defenders is not limited to Serie A, with The Express reporting that they are also seriously looking at Bayer Leverkusen's 21-year-old Dutch right-back Jeremie Frimpong, stating that manager Erik ten Hag sees him as "the ideal signing" in that position.

 

ROUND-UP

– Foot Mercato is reporting Chelsea will not stand in the way of Paris Saint-Germain if they come with a reasonable bid for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

– According to ESPN, United feel confident Cristiano Ronaldo will stay through the January transfer window due to the lack of interest in the 37-year-old.

– Football Insider claims Arsenal are considering a move for United's Marcus Rashford at the end of this season.

Newcastle United have met with Vasco da Gama representatives to discuss a potential deal for 18-year-old Andrey Santos, who is expected to cost more than £30m, according to The I.

Paris Saint-Germain and Tottenham both have interest in Chelsea's N'Golo Kante if the 31-year-old does not sign a new contract at Stamford Bridge, per L'Equipe.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter says there is a "long way to go" in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

The Blues sit fifth, with Manchester United and Fulham the only sides in the top 10 to have suffered more defeats than Chelsea's two.

Chelsea are eight points behind early pacesetters Arsenal, while the battle for Champions League qualification is set to be as fierce as ever.

Tottenham are four points ahead of Chelsea, while Liverpool have made a below-par start to the season by their lofty standards. Manchester United are only a point behind Potter's team, while Manchester City seem more likely to be pushing for the title than tussling for a place in the top four, albeit they are second behind the Gunners.

Potter, though, knows it is far too early to draw any conclusions.

"I think we've made a little bit of progress from the first day to now, as you'd expect. There is a long way to go," he said in Friday's press conference ahead of Chelsea's clash with manageress Wolves.

"We have to focus on the next match. We've got this incredible amount of games so rather than think too much about what's going to happen at the end of the season, just focus on the next game."

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