We’re nearly halfway through the January transfer window and so far there have not been any notable deals involving Premier League clubs or any of Europe’s giants as most are planning for the end of the season.
Here’s all the latest gossip doing the rounds in today’s Rumour Mill…
BAYERN ENTER TUG-OF-WAR
Bayern Munich are reportedly preparing for life after David Alaba by joining the hotly-contested race for one of Europe’s most-wanted defenders.
Dayot Upamecano, who currently plays for RB Leipzig, has a reported release clause of just 42m euros at the end of the season and is already a top target for both Manchester United and Chelsea.
United were thought to be leading the chase for the centre-back having made tentative inquiries last year, before deciding they could get him cheaper at the end of the current season.
The 22-year-old has two and a half years to go on his contract but is fully expected to leave the club at the end of the season, but any hopes of him going to the Premier League now look like they could be blocked by Bayern.
“I know that Bayern have been in contact with Upamecano’s agent and that talks are advanced,” said journalist Alfred Draxler to Sport 1 vis MARCA.
OZIL TALKS UP NEW CLUB
Mesut Ozil is surplus to requirements at Arsenal after being left out of both their Premier League squad and their Europa League squad for this season.
The unwanted Gunner is set to move to a new club, perhaps even this month, as Arsenal look to shift his substantial salary from their wage bill.
During a Q&A on Twitter, Ozil admitted there is only one club in Turkey he would join, before admitting that he aspires to play in both Turkey and the USA before he retires.
“I grew up as a Fenerbahce fan as a kid in Germany – every German-Turkish person supports a Turkish team when they grow up in Germany. And mine was Fenerbahce,” he wrote.
“Fenerbahce is like Real Madrid in Spain. The biggest club in the country.”
To a separate question asking what he will do when he leaves Arsenal, he added: “There are two countries I want to play football in before I retire: Turkey and USA. If I went to Turkey, I could only go to Fenerbahce.”
CITY IN MESSI BOOST
Manchester City have been handed a major boost in their pursuit of Lionel Messi as he prepares to leave Barcelona on a free transfer.
The 33-year-old is now free to negotiate with other clubs having entered the final six months of his current contract at the Nou Camp.
PSG are reportedly big fans of Messi and want to reunite him with Neymar as new manager Mauricio Pochettino looks to build a squad able to go one step further than last season and win the Champions League.
City and Pep Guardiola are also in the chase and have been buoyed by the news from French football journalist Julien Laurens that PSG will not be able to afford Messi’s wages without offloading one of Neymar or Kylian Mbappe – who is out of contract in 2022 and could leave at the end of the season.
“With Financial Fair Play, the pandemic and how much PSG have been affected like all other big clubs, I don’t know how, just at the payroll level, you could have Neymar, let’s say on €30million-a-year (£27m), Messi on €60m-a-year (£54m) and Mbappe potentially with a new contract on the same amount as Neymar,” he told Sky Sports News.
“Only those three would be around €150m (£135m), just their salaries, every year.
“Financially, it’s not possible. But they seem to say that they are going to try. But I don’t think it’s realistic.”