The transfer windows in Europe’s top leagues are closed, but it’s never too early to look forward to January. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.
TOP STORY: Mourinho eyes Ibrahimovic reunion at Spurs
Mauricio Pochettino’s seat in the Tottenham dugout has barely gone cold, but new Spurs’ boss Jose Mourinho is already being linked with an attempt to hijack AC Milan’s move for experienced forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to the Guardian.
The 56-year-old previously brought Ibrahimovic to the Premier League whilst managing Manchester United, with the towering Swede finding the back of the net 26 times in just 46 appearances at Old Trafford.
According to Italian sources, Milan’s pursuit of Ibrahimovic has hit a snag with the 38-year-old’s wage demands likely to be a problem, and Mourinho is now keen to capitalise as he looks to bolster his attacking options.
08.00 GMT: Gareth Bale‘s agent has told ESPN FC he has “no worries” about how Real Madrid fans will react to his “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order” flag celebration. Wales captain Bale was pictured laughing with teammates while posing with the fan-made banner after his country qualified for Euro 2020 on Tuesday with a win against Hungary.
The image has been met with an angry reaction in the Spanish media — with the club calling it a bad joke — but the player’s representative Jonathan Barnett told ESPN FC he’s not concerned about the reception for Bale at the Bernabeu on Saturday when Madrid host Real Sociedad. The flag and celebration were “meant for the media” rather than being aimed at the club or its fanbase, he said.
Members of the Madrid squad have told ESPN FC they were amused by the image, but believe it could damage Bale’s relationship with fans. The front-page headline of Spain’s biggest-selling sports newspaper Marca on Thursday read “Disrespectful. Misguided. Ungrateful. In that order” in reference to Bale’s celebration. Madrid-based newspaper AS’s front-page claimed that “the club and [coach Zinedine] Zidane fear the reaction of the fans.”
Meanwhile, former Madrid club president has said that Bale should return to former club Tottenham to re-ignite his career.
“It’s true that Mourinho likes the player,” Calderon told BBC Radio Wales. “He said that in 2017 when he tried to sign (him) for Manchester United and Real Madrid decided to extend the contract of Gareth Bale.
“I remember him saying ‘if he is by the exit door, I will be waiting on the other side’, so maybe it’s a solution.”
PAPER TALK (by Liam Wheeler): Crystal Palace could swoop in for Giroud
Crystal Palace are keen to sign Chelsea and France centre-forward Olivier Giroud in an ambitious swoop, but the striker’s significant wage demands could thwart any potential deal, the Daily Express are reporting.
Former Arsenal forward Giroud is desperate to leave Stamford Bridge having made just two starts all season, and the 33-year-old has been strongly linked with a move to Inter Milan, with Borussia Dortmund also believed to be interested.
However, according to the Express, Giroud’s hefty demands of £7 million-per-season could price the striker out of any move away from West London, with Chelsea also likely to demand a fee of £5m, meaning any potential buyer will have to spend big to strike a deal.
If that proves to be the case Palace will likely turn their attention to Celtic’s 21-year-old sensation, Odsonne Eduard, who has struck 13 times in 24 appearances this so far campaign.
– Premier League side Wolves and Italian giants Inter Milan have joined the pack of clubs chasing highly-rated Parma loanee Dejan Kulusevski, according to Calciomercato. The Atalanta man has previously been linked with Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton following a string of impressive displays this season.
– Leicester City are interested in signing defender Robin Koch from high-flying Bundesliga side SC Freiburg, according to the Sun. Foxes’ boss Brendan Rodgers sent scouts to monitor the 23-year old during the international break, but faces competition from Wolves and Norwich to land the man who he sees at Harry Maguire‘s long-term successor.
– According to Goal, Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen are interested in signing Barcelona defender Jean-Clair Todibo either on loan or in a permanent deal, with the Spanish giants said to be considering their options. The youngster only moved to Camp Nou from Toulouse in January, but is believed to be frustrated at his lack of playing time.