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Live: Football transfers news and rumours

Lucas Moura could be United-bound.

Lucas Moura could be United-bound.

The winter transfer window is less than a week away and the timesofmalta.com SportsDesk is back with you to follow all the latest gossip and rumours from the football world, including the Maltese Premier League.

9.55pm That's all for today! Thank you for following us and we will be back tomorrow for another transfer round-up. 

9.42pm Stoke have confirmed manager Mark Hughes will hold his usual pre-match news conference on Thursday despite sections of supporters calling for him to leave the club.

Hughes is scheduled to brief the media ahead of the Potters' FA Cup third-round tie against Coventry City after a second successive Premier League defeat at home to Newcastle plunged them into further relegation trouble.

9.24pm Everton boss Sam Allardyce says he will know whether the club's pursuit of Beskitas forward Cenk Tosun has been successful by tomorrow night.

"We've done all we can, I think, to try and secure the player, but whether that is enough? Only time will tell in the next 24 hours."

8.50pm Jose Mourinho has told Sky Sports he is not sure if Manchester United will sign anybody in January.

"I don’t know. Honestly, I don’t know. In this moment we are in trouble, but maybe in two or three weeks time maybe we recover some players and we breathe in a different way. Can we improve the team now or do we wait for the summer to try to do it? That’s something I cannot say."

8.07pm Former Milan player Robinho has left Atletico Mineiro as a free agent after the talks for a new contract with the Brazilian side have collapsed.

The Brazilian, 34 and who played for Manchester City in England as well, is closing in on a return to Santos. 

7.48pm Leicester boss Claude Puel will speak to Riyad Mahrez about his future after the winger scored in the Foxes' win over Huddersfield.

He said: "I like this player and I'd like to keep our best players. We will ask him the question, for me I am happy to play with the team with Riyad, with Jamie (Vardy) and others.

"You say the word, speculation. I would like to keep all my best players. It was a very good game, a fantastic game for Riyad, It will be important to keep the maximum of our players."

7.30pm Burnley boss Sean Dyche admits he is open to doing some business in the January transfer window.

He told Sky Sports: "If there is a chance and there’s something we think will fit us and help us then we will certainly look to operate in the market."

David Luiz could be on his way out from Chelsea.David Luiz could be on his way out from Chelsea.

7.10pm Arsenal are reportedly leading the race to sign out-of-favour Chelsea defender David Luiz, according to the Daily Express.

The Brazil international has struggled for a start at Stamford Bridge and the Gunners are among those interested in taking him on.

6.47pm Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists Philippe Coutinho has been left out of the squad to face Burnley because he, like Mo Salah, is injured.

He told Sky Sports: "Phil and Mo aren't available, that's why they are not in the squad. They're both injured and that's not too cool but that's how it is."

6.31pm Defender Erik Sviatchenko has confirmed he is free to leave Celtic.

The Denmark defender has not featured despite being fit for two months after overcoming a knee injury he suffered during the Champions League qualifiers.

Teenager Kristoffer Ajer has stepped in to partner Dedryck Boyata in central defence in recent matches, with Sviatchenko behind Jozo Simunovic in the pecking order ahead of the January signing of Marvin Compper.

And Sviatchenko confirmed to TV3 Sport in Denmark that manager Brendan Rodgers had told him his time was up after two years in Glasgow.

"He has told me to find another club," said the 26-year-old, who has been linked with a move to FC Copenhagen.

6.01pm Brighton manager Chris Hughton refused to be drawn on whether Celtic striker Moussa Dembele is a target in the transfer window.

When asked about a potential move for Dembele, Hughton told Sky Sports: "No, I'm very aware of the speculation. Certainly at this moment that's all that it is."

5.45pm French tabloid Le 10 Sport are today reporting that Manchester United have made contact with PSG over a potential deal for winger Lucas Moura.

According to the report, Moura is holding off signing for Chinese club Hebei Fortune, as he wants to stay in Europe.

5.43pm HAPPY NEW YEAR! After a taking a day off, and basically taking the first hours of today a bit more easy, we are back with all the transfer news from across the world.

Stay tuned to us for the rest of the day for the latest updates. 


So stay with us for the next five weeks to keep yourself up-to-date with all that is happening. 

9.42pm That's it for today! Thank you for being with us all day and make sure to return tomorrow. 

9.09pm Jurgen Klopp says his Liverpool players should embrace the arrival of Virgil van Dijk, who was watching at Anfield today after securing a £75m move from Southampton.

"That's part of professional football," said Klopp. "The really good players will always say that the challenge with other players for a position in the team will always help you.

"I don't think the boys were nervous. I couldn't see anything like that. They don't have any reason to be nervous because I'm really happy about the development of these players.

"But we have to obviously fight and battle with the biggest teams in world football, so we cannot go there with a group of 11 and being best friends every day."

8.20pm Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe admits he may have to review his transfer targets after forward Josh King picked up a hamstring injury during Saturday's 2-1 win over Everton.

The Norway international went to ground in the first-half holding his hamstring, and was replaced by Benik Afobe.

Howe told Sky Sports after the match: "It looks like a hamstring problem so that could be a minimum of two weeks. We are a little light in the striker department now with Josh's injury so we'll have to wait and see if that changes our transfer policy."

7.19pm Gianluigi Donnarumma has dismissed talk he has been pushing for a move away from Milan as he marked his 100th appearance for the Serie A club against Fiorentina on Saturday.

The 18-year-old goalkeeper returned from injury to make several key saves as Milan earned a valuable point in a 1-1 draw in Tuscany.

"I have a four-year contract and I am happy here," he said after the game. "I am proud to have reached 100 appearances in the Red and Black. I want to thank everyone: the people at Milanello (training ground), the staff and my team-mates."

Donnarumma had earned the wrath of Milan fans after reports he was pushing to have his contract cancelled.

6.56pm Director Piero Ausilio insists Joao Mario and Joao Cancelo “are 100 per cent staying. Nobody has asked to leave Inter” in January.

“This is an important test against a side that is doing very well, but it cannot be considered decisive for the outcome of the season,” the director of sport told Mediaset Premium.

Inter have gone from unbeaten to suffering three defeats in a row between Serie A and the Coppa Italia.

“I saw the team working well in training and even though the results were not great recently, the performances were still strong. You don’t grow without setbacks to learn from.”

6.23pm Carlos Sanchez is looking for a new club as he is not playing regularly with Fiorentina.

According to 'La Nazione', Cagliari and SPAL are interested in signing the Colombia international. 

5.43pm Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers expects plenty of activity at Celtic Park during the January transfer window.

The Bhoys have already secured the signing of RB Leipzig central defender Marvin Compper but Rodgers is expecting more arrivals, as well as some departures.

Speaking after his side’s 0-0 draw with Old Firm rivals Rangers on Saturday, Rodgers said: “There will be work done. We want to improve that strength and depth in the group.

“There will probably be players going out that want games. It will be a revolving door in the month of January so certainly we want to strengthen."

Thomas Lemar of Monaco.Thomas Lemar of Monaco.

5.21pm Chelsea will make a second attempt to sign Ross Barkley in January and are also interested in Monaco midfielder Thomas Lemar, according to reports in the Daily Telegraph.

Barkley almost joined the Premier League champions last summer, while the France international has been attracting the interests of Liverpool, Arsenal and Barcelona in recent months.

5.03pm Five players could leave Barcelona next month, reports Sport.

Nou Camp boss Ernesto Valverde wants the club to sell players and several could be on their way out over the next few weeks.

The quintet of players who could leave is comprised of Rafinha, Aleix Vidal, Gerard Deulofeu, Javier Mascherano and Arda Turan.

Rafinha is wanted on loan by Celta Vigo and Barca will let him make a decision over his future.

Barca will only contemplate letting versatile wideman Vidal leave on a permanent basis. Sevilla, Atletico, Inter and Roma are all keen on him.

Former Everton man Deulofeu is being chased by Inter, who are looking to secure his services on loan until the end of the season.

Mascherano, meanwhile, is expected to complete a €10m move to Hebei China Fortune.

Finally, Barca are looking to get rid of Turkish midfielder Arda, who hasn’t played at all this season. Besiktas are leading the chase to sign him.

4.14pm Gianluigi Donnarumma shrugged off transfer speculation after his 100th appearance for Milan. “I have a four-year contract and I’m happy.”

The 18-year-old goalkeeper returned from injury and made several crucial saves in the 1-1 draw with Fiorentina.

“There was a good reaction after going a goal down,” Donnarumma told Mediaset Premium.

“We did well to fight back and earn an equaliser. It’s wonderful to reach 100 games with Milan."

He was insulted by the fans after reports agent Mino Raiola was trying to terminate his contract, citing 'psychological pressure' to sign.

"I have a four-year contract and I am happy here.”

4.03pm FIORENTINA VS MILAN 1-1

Troubled Milan battled to a 1-1 draw in a scrappy Serie A match at Fiorentina on Saturday after Hakan Calhanoglu's goal spared them from a third successive league defeat.

The goals came in a three-minute spell as Giovanni Simeone put Fiorentina ahead in the 71st minute, heading in from Cristiano Biraghi's inviting cross at the near post, before Calhanoglu replied for Gennaro Gattuso's side.

4.02pm Swansea midfielder Leon Britton has turned down a role in new manager Carlos Carvalhal's backroom staff to focus on his playing career.

"In fairness to the manager and chairman, they offered me the opportunity to stay as part of the new coaching set-up," the 35-year-old said on the club's website.

"They left the decision entirely down to me, and I had to decide whether I wanted to be a coach or a player.

"I thought long and hard about it and while I enjoyed the coaching experience and learnt a lot in a short space of time, I still feel I can have a positive impact on the pitch as a player. I think that will be more beneficial to the club at this stage of the season.

"I am not ready to retire as a player yet, so I will review things again at the end of the season."

3.48pm Atletico do not plan to sell Yannick Carrasco during the January transfer window.

Carrasco has had a mixed start to the season and has been linked with a move away from the Wanda Metropolitano, with Bayern Munich and several Premier League clubs touted as potential suitors.

However, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, Atleti’s CEO, says the Belgium international will be staying put.
Speaking on Spanish radio show El Transistor, he said: “The idea with [Yannick] Carrasco is that he stays and becomes one of our main winter reinforcements.

"People speak from ignorance because it is easy to do it, but he has had knee problems and that’s why he has not had a good first half [of the season].”

3.26pm Celta Vigo have contacted Barcelona about re-signing Rafinha on loan, reports Sport.

The Brazilian, who hasn’t appeared for Barca since sustaining a serious injury in April, is fit again and could be on the move next month.
Celta, who had the midfielder on loan during the 2013/14 season, have already sounded out the Brazil international and it seems as though he is open to another loan move.
It is likely that the deal will be completed in the next few days.

Wilfred Zaha may join Arsenal.Wilfred Zaha may join Arsenal.

2.59pm Arsenal are lining up a move for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha to replace Alexis Sanchez, according to reports in the Daily Star.

The Ivory Coast international, 25, is contracted to the Eagles until the summer of 2022.

2.35pm Alvaro Morata has dismissed Mauricio Pochettino's claims he rejected a move to Spurs two years ago because he did not want to play second fiddle to Harry Kane.

After Morata joined Chelsea from Real Madrid for £70m in July, Pochettino revealed he had a conversation with the striker about joining Spurs "two years ago or more".

However, in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Morata said that Kane's presence in the Spurs team played no factor in a move which failed to materialise.

"No it's not true," Morata said. "I spoke with him and he said he wanted both [of us] to play together, but there was no chance to come to Tottenham.

"For sure I would like to play with Kane, he's a big player, one of the best strikers in the world, but in this moment when I spoke with him (Pochettino) there was no chance to leave Real Madrid."

2.18pm Rangers are interested in signing Brighton’s Jamie Murphy on a permanent deal, according to Sky sources.

The Ibrox side are keen to land the former Motherwell and Sheffield United winger and are in discussions with the Premier League side, but have yet to agree a fee.

Murphy made 40 appearances last season as Brighton gained promotion from the Sky Bet Championship, however, has featured in just four league games this campaign.

The 28-year-old started his career at Motherwell before moving to Bramall Lane in 2013. He joined Brighton in August 2015 and scored six goals in his first season with the club.

Rangers rejected a £500,000 bid from Preston North End for midfielder Josh Windass on Friday.

1.42pm Philippe Coutinho has instructed his camp to find him a house in Barcelona, reports Mundo Deportivo.

The Liverpool playmaker, who failed to secure a move to Barca last summer, is hopeful of being allowed to join the Catalans in January, to the extent that his entourage are already house hunting in the Spanish city.
Mundo Deportivo reports that Barcelona could offer up to €150m to secure the Brazilian’s services next month.

1.41pm Gremio want €30m for Barcelona target Arthur, reports Globoesporte.

Barca are keen on the Brazilian midfielder, who was photographed wearing their home shirt earlier this month.

According to Globoesporte, Gremio are seeking a €30m transfer fee for the youngster. The player’s registration rights are split – Gremio have 60%, while the remaining 40% is split between an external company and the player’s family.

Barca, meanwhile, are unwilling to pay more than €25m to land the playmaker.

1.40pm We are back! Join us for another day full of transfer news while we will bring you the latest from the ongoing games across Europe, including the Old Firm between Celtic and Rangers. 


8.53pm That's it for today! Thank you very much for following us and join us tomorrow for another day full of transfer news and coverage from the leagues across Europe. 

8.44pm According to reports in Spain, Arda Turan may part ways with Barcelona.

The Turkey international is struggling to find playing time under the guidance of Erneste Valverde and he is willing to quit Catalunya. 

8.23pm Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has explained that Marko Pjaca might leave Juventus in January, at least on loan, in order to gain more playing time given his absence due to a long-term injury. 

8.09pm Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini is currently undergoing a trial with LaLiga side Getafe ahead of a potential move in Spain. 

7.53pm Danish defender Fredrik Sorensen could be on his way to Italy as Cagliari, Atalanta and Sassuolo are all looking to sign him.

Sorensen has already gained Serie A experience given he played for Juventus and Bologna. 

Emre Can could be headed to Turin.Emre Can could be headed to Turin.

7.33pm Juventus are continuing to monitor Emre Can’s situation at Liverpool with a view to signing him on a free transfer when his contract expires next summer, according to Sky in Italy.

Can, who can sign a pre-contract agreement with a European club next month, said in October that it is "always an honour to receive an offer from such a renowned club".

The 23-year-old Germany international has been an instrumental part of Liverpool's season so far, scoring four goals in 23 appearances from midfield, but he has not agreed a new contract with the club.

6.42pm Sampdoria midfielder Ricky Alvarez won’t move to Antalyaspor, according to his agent.

The attacking midfielder joined the Blucerchiati last January after a legal wrangle between Inter and Sunderland, but has made just one Serie A start so far this season.

As a result it’s expected he’ll move on in the coming transfer window, but his representative says there’s nothing concrete in the pipeline.

“At the moment we’re not really talking to any club, nothing has happened in the past few days,” Marcelo Simonian told Sampdoria News.

“I don’t think he can go to Argentina. We’re working [for a move in Europe] but there’s nothing at the moment.

“Antalyaspor? I don’t think it’s possible for him to transfer to Turkey.”

6.20pm Stoke City loanee Jese Rodriguez is nearing a return to Las Palmas, according to reports in Marca.

The forward, who is in the middle of a season-long loan at the bet365 Stadium, wants to move back to Las Palmas, where he spent the second half of last season.
Las Palmas are keen to bring him back and Marca reports that their president Miguel Angel Ramirez has secured a verbal agreement with the Spaniard, though the La Liga outfit must now agree a deal with Stoke and Jese's parent club, Paris Saint-Germain.

5.59pm David Moyes is keen to add a couple of players to his West Ham squad during January's transfer window.

However, the Hammers boss admits it is traditionally a difficult time to do business and says "there are no guarantees."

He joked: "We must be signing 15 players at the moment - by all accounts.

"I would like to bring in one or two reinforcements but it's not an easy time to do business. We'll try and do it but there's no guarantee."

5.48pm Carlos Carvalhal has promised to keep faith with Renato Sanches, despite the midfielder’s stuttering start to his Swansea career.

Portugal international Sanches moved to Swansea on loan from Bayern Munich in August but has struggled to adapt to the Premier League.

"I think he [Sanches] needs confidence," Carvalhal said. "It is easy to forget because he has played for Benfica and the Portuguese national team that he is still only a kid.

"He is still learning and I think he needs a role in the team. "With time he will understand all the different roles the players have in the team.

"But he will be involved in the dynamic and, when he understands what we want, he will be a completely different player. We believe that."

5.34pm Harry Kane is "priceless" to Spurs and could spend his entire career at White Hart Lane, according to boss Mauricio Pochettino.

"I think Harry doesn't have a price, because we want him here. He's priceless, there is no price," said the Argentine.

"We can talk about many things, but at the end it's talk for talk, because it's impossible to put a price on him."

5.18pm Chelsea boss Antonio Conte wants to keep goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois at Stamford Bridge next season amid stories linking the player with a summer move to Real Madrid.

"He has a contract here for next season with Chelsea," said Conte. "He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world. We are proud to have him. He is one of three great ‘keepers at the club. I hope to keep him."

Luciano Spalletti.Luciano Spalletti.

4.59pm Inter Coach Luciano Spalletti declares “those who leave will be the ones we say, not those who ask to leave”.

The January transfer window is approaching, and there has been talk of the Nerazzurri making some moves, but the tactician won’t be caving to demands from his players.

“If someone says they want to leave in January, there’s a mental deadline and you can’t give what’s expected of you,” Spalletti warned.

“Could Joao Cancelo return to Valencia? In our opinion he has superior knowledge of the defensive phase, but he’s shown attacking quality too and he’s positioning himself in a way the others will understand.

“He’ll improve in how he interprets the game, he has great quality and can play further forward, but starting from deep is an important skill to have.

“As for Joao Mario, he’s a simple lad to understand, he has a wonderful attitude in attending training and in the dressing room. When I’ve talked to him he didn’t tell me anything strange."

4.35pm It looks like Man City will definitely be signing a new centre back when the transfer window reopens in January, if this morning papers are to be believed that is, but who?

According to the Sun, City coach Pep Guardiola is losing patience with central defender Vincent Kompany following his latest injury blow, with the red top claiming the runaway Premier League leaders will battle Arsenal for West Brom captain Jonny Evans next month.

However, the Daily Telegraph says City will step up their interest in Real Sociedad defender Inigo Martinez in January.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are growing increasingly concerned that the Manchester will pay centre-back Samuel Umtiti's release clause, reports the Daily Mail.

4.30pm Chelsea are confident of agreeing new contract with Thibaut Courtois to fend off Real Madrid, according to reports in the Mirror.

Madrid told the player's camp that they want to sign him and the message from the Belgian's camp is: "We're interested," Sky Sports' Spanish football expert Guillem Balague said.

4.20pm Four Premier League clubs have enquired about Atletico Madrid winger Nicolas Gaitan, reports AS.

Gaitan, who has managed only one league start this season, is preparing to leave the Spanish club and he has no shortage of suitors.

According to AS, Southampton, Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham have all made enquiries about his availability.

Fenerbahce are also interested in the 29-year-old, who wants regular first-team football before next summer’s World Cup.

It is believed that Atleti value the Argentinian at €15m.

4.10pm Everton will look to make headway in landing Steven N'Zonzi from Sevilla in the next 48 hours, reports the Daily Mail.

The France international midfielder, 29, is contracted to the La Liga club until the summer of 2020.

4pm Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe says it is unlikely the Premier League strugglers will enter the market in January.

"We are in discussions with the appropriate people all the time," he said in his Friday press conference.

"But in terms of January, I do not think our mind is on a specific target or position, or player who is going to come in.
"My thoughts at the moment are to try and find solutions within the squad."

3.45pm An interesting speculation coming out of Manchester in the last few hours....

3.26pm Meanwhile, Brighton boss Chris Hughton has also been quizzed on his side's possible entry into the January transfer window.

"Anything we do will be minimal. Any move for a striker would have to be right for this club to do anything," said Hughton.

3.15pm Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge could be swapping places with former team-mate Virgil van Dijk, with Southampton also said to be interested in bringing the striker to St Mary's in a loan deal until the end of the season.

The Telegraph reports that Southampton are looking to bolster their attacking positions and with Sturridge finding it difficult to make the starting XI at Liverpool, he could be tempted by Mauricio Pellegrino's apparent offer.

3.02pm Sam Allardyce has revealed Everton will be actively pursuing a number of strikers in the January transfer window.

The Everton boss confirmed his interest in signing Besiktas forward Cenk Tosun, along with "many others", and admitted the club "need a front man".

Asked about the club's interest in Tosun, Allardyce said: "Him and many others. We need a front man if we can find one. We will be actively looking for a front man in this window.

"I need more goals in the side than what we have at the moment. If we are to just maintain our position, because we have started to struggle to create chances and score goals in recent matches.

"It is still one of the major problems that we have."

Theo Walcott - ArsenalTheo Walcott - Arsenal

3pm Southampton are looking to bring Theo Walcott back to the South East following the sale of Virgil van Dijk, the Mirror says.

The club have reportedly expressed an interest with Arsenal in a bid to secure a loan or transfer deal for the £140,000-a-week forward in January.

It comes on the back of the sale of van Dijk to Liverpool for £75 million, but the Saints may need to look elsewhere to spend their cash with Everton and West Ham also said to be interested in the 28-year-old.

2.49pm RB Leipzig are interested in signing West Ham's Reece Oxford, although they haven't made an offer.

West Ham are expected to recall the player from his loan with Borussia Monchengladbach.

2.28pm Real Madrid are reportedly preparing to make a shock move for out-of-favour Man Utd defender Daley Blind, according to reports in the Daily Express.

The versatile Netherlands international, 27, is only contracted to the Red Devils until the summer and so will be available to buy on a free transfer come the end of the season.

2.25pm Eden Hazard’s father claims the forward has rejected a contract extension at Chelsea, but says there has been no contact with Real Madrid.

"What I can reveal about Eden is that he refused a contract extension," Thierry Hazard told Le Soir.

"This was so that, if necessary, he could follow the interest of Real, whom he could see himself playing for.

"But, as of right now, there is no contact from Real Madrid. Eden is only one of the parties involved in his future."

2.20pm Welcome in our transfer blog!

Stay with us throughout the day for the latest transfer news from around the world, including the Maltese Premier League. 


8.37pm That's it for today! Thank you for joining us, as we return tomorrow with another day full of transfer news. 

7.45pm West Ham are expected to recall Reece Oxford from his loan at Borussia Moenchengladbach, even though the German club want to sign the defender on a £5.5m permanent deal.

RB Leipzig are also interested in signing Oxford but they have not yet made a formal offer.

Oxford has played only four times for Monchengladbach this season but they like what they have seen and expect the 19-year-old to develop into a top player.

7.30pm Stoke are interested in taking Liverpool striker Danny Ings on loan, though they are likely to face competition.

West Ham, Newcastle and West Brom are also thought to be keen on talking to Liverpool about Ings, whose contract expires in 2020.

But it’s understood Liverpool have yet to decide whether they will allow Ings to go out on loan in January.

7.00pm Floriana are set to bring back Spanish midfielder Sebastian Nayar during the January transfer window.

Nayar posted a message on his facebook account saying that he was glad that he will be returning to the Greens after spending much of the season plying his trade in Gibraltar with Lincoln Red Imps.

The 29-year-old joined Floriana during last January's transfer window and helped the team win the FA Trophy last May following a 2-0 win over Sliema Wanderers.

The Spaniard is expected to arrive in Malta in the coming days and could be in Nicolas Chiesa's squad for the next Premier League clash against Tarxien Rainbows on January 7 at the National Stadium.

6.45pm Former Milan coach Vincenzo Montella has agreed to take over at Sevilla, the LaLiga club have announced. 

The ex-Italy international will sign a contract to become Sevilla head coach until June 2019 once his deal at Milan is terminated on Friday.

Montella, who has also taken charge of Fiorentina and Sampdoria in Serie A, was sacked by Milan in November following a poor run of results.

Andrei Agius is not leaving Hibs.Andrei Agius is not leaving Hibs.

6.30pm Hibernians have no plans of parting ways with defender Andrei Agius despite ongoing interest from a number of Premier League clubs.

Gżira United and Valletta have written a formal request to the Malta champions to open transfer negotiations to sign the international defender but the Paolites are determined to keep the 31-year-old.

Sources told Times of Malta that Agius has informed Hibs that he is happy at the club and he is ready to honour his contract that expires in 18 months' time.

6.15pm Paolo Cannavaro has announced his retirement from football and will assist brother Fabio at Guangzhou Evergrande.

Cannavaro will bid farewell to not only Sassuolo but professional football in general when the Neroverdi face Roma on Saturday, with the 36-year-old set to join his older sibling in China.

"I wanted to leave a mark on and off the pitch,” the defender said at a press conference.

“My ambition was too strong, and for this, I thank President Squinzi and Carnevali. They’re giving me an opportunity that isn’t easy to grant midseason.”

6pm Defender Steven Caulker has left QPR by mutual consent.

The 25-year-old arrived at Loftus Road in 2014 but spent time on loan at Southampton and Liverpool in recent seasons.

The one-time England cap has not featured in QPR's first team since September.

Wim Bokila was released by Ħamrun.Wim Bokila was released by Ħamrun.

5.45pm Ħamrun Spartans have released Belgian striker Wim Bokila. 

The 30-year-old had joined the Spartans last November but since making his debut in a goalless draw against Valletta he has failed to secure a regular place in Jacques Scerri's squad. 

This week, the Spartans have decided to release the forward and are now in the market to bring in a new striker in time for their next Premier League match against Hibernians on January 7.

5.15pm Tottenham are among the teams interested in Villarreal forward Cedric Bakambu, Marca reported yesterday.

Villarreal have not received any offers for the DR Congo international, who has scored 14 goals this season, but several clubs have enquired about him.

According to Marca, various English teams, including Spurs, have monitored him closely this season. West Ham offered €30m for him last summer, while there has been strong interest in the striker from China too. Bakambu has a €50m buyout clause at Villarreal.

Adrian CascavalAdrian Cascaval

5pm Naxxar Lions have parted ways with Moldovan defender Adrian Cascaval and French midfielder Arnaud Mendy.

Cascaval and Mendy both joined the newly-promoted club at the start of the season but the Lions have now decided to end their relationship with the players ahead of the reopening of the winter transfer window.

The Lions are looking to bolster their squad for the second part of the season and coach Oliver Spiteri is currently running the rule on two Algerian players, a defender and a midfielder, who could be offered a contract.

4.45pm Ajax have appointed Utrecht boss Erik ten Hag as their new head coach.

The club said in a statement they have reached an agreement with their Eredivisie rivals for the 47-year-old to take over from the start of January.

He will sign a two-and-a-half year contract with the Amsterdam club

Virgil van DijkVirgil van Dijk

4pm Leicester boss Claude Puel believes Virgil van Dijk can be the best defender in the world following his record £75million move to Liverpool. 

The Frenchman had Van Dijk as his skipper at Southampton last season as the Saints fought to keep the centre-back.

He finally became the world's most expensive defender on Wednesday, with Liverpool having pulled out of a £50million move in the summer after Southampton complained to the Premier League about an alleged illegal approach from the Reds.

"He can play in different good teams and it is a good reward for him. At the beginning of the season it is difficult for him because he wants to join another club but now he will find his level. I am happy for him and happy he can't play against us.

"Of course I don't know if it is the right price but he is a fantastic player, fantastic defender. I had him for six months and then for the last six months he was injured.

"In those first six months he made progress and he has all the qualities. He is a strong character and personality."

3.30pm Could Thibaut Courtois be on his way to Real Madrid ? Guillem Balague hints it could happen....

3.20pm Bayern Munich are aiming to tie versatile Joshua Kimmich down to a new, long-term contract.

The Bavarians have offered the Germany international, once believed to be a Manchester City transfer target, a deal until 2023.

It is believed that negotiations with the player have gone well and he will pen his new terms in the new year. 

3pm Arsenal have seen a £35m bid for former Roma and Bayern Munich defender Mehdi Benatia rejected by Juventus, Calciomercato reported yesterday.

The Gunners are thought to be keen on adding to their defensive options and the 30-year-old Egyptian has been identified as a target.A

2.05pm Celtic have tied Anthony Ralston to a new long-term contract.

The right-back has signed a deal until the summer of 2022 after making a first-team breakthrough earlier in the season.

Ralston told Celtic's website: "It's a great feeling to sign with the club I've been with since I've been young. This is where I want to be and I want to start playing more games. I've enjoyed getting a taste of it and I'm looking forward to the future.

"It's great, with the length of the contract, to have that out the way and I can focus on the football side of things. It's a great feeling and I'm delighted."

1.50pm Steve McClaren has left his role as coaching consultant at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

The former England manager joined the staff at the Israeli side, who are managed by Jordi Cruyff, in August but has now decided to head back home.

McClaren said on www.maccabi-tlv.co.il: "It's with much regret I have to return to England and leave my role at Maccabi Tel Aviv. I would like to thank so many people for making my time at Maccabi such a wonderful experience.

"It's been a pleasure to see Jordi and the team mature over the last few months, culminating with a Toto Cup final victory over Be'ersheva and the first trophy in three years."

1.30pm Bayer Leverkusen have received no offers for their highly-rated forward Leon Bailey, according to the club's general manager Jonas Boldt.

The 20-year-old Jamaican has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea, such has his form been since moving to the Bundesliga from Belgian side Genk last January.

"There is no offer for Leon and there are no thoughts of selling him," Boldt said in an interview with Kicker magazine. His contract runs until 2022. We are in control of the situation."

1.10pm After leaving Sheffield Wednesday on Christmas Eve, Carlos Carvalhal has already found a new job as he was appointed manager of Premier League strugglers Swansea.

12.45pm The race to sign Marouane Fellaini from Manchester United is hotting up - with Paris St Germain looking to take the 30-year-old, according to the Daily Mirror.

The Belgian is out of contract at Old Trafford in the summer and is yet to agree a new deal, with Besiktas and Galatasaray also said to be keen on landing the midfielder.

12.30pm Goodmorning everyone and welcome to the Times of Malta Live Transfer News and Rumours. Stay with us to follow all the deals being done before the winter shopping window reopens on Monday.


10.37pm That's it for today! Thank you for joining us, as we return tomorrow with another day full of transfer news. 

In the meantime, stay tuned to our website as we will bring you the latest coverage from the English Premier League and the Coppa Italia. 

10.21pm According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Napoli may let Emmanuele Giaccherini leave the club as he is struggling to gain regular playing time under Maurizio Sarri. 

Marco Sahanek unveiled at Floridsdorfer AC.Marco Sahanek unveiled at Floridsdorfer AC.

9.55pm Austrian winger Marco Sahanek has left Hibernians to return to his former club, Floridsdorfer AC, in Austria.

Sahanek featured for the Maltese champions in the first half of the season, playing 19 games in which he scored twice and produced six assists.

Giorgio Nardone....Mosta's latest acquisition.Giorgio Nardone....Mosta's latest acquisition.

9.45pm Some news from Maltese football.

Mosta have added more competition into their goalkeeping role as they brought in Giorgio Nardone.

The Italian goalkeeper, aged 19, was recently on the books of Aquila 1902 Montevarchi and Vivi Altotevere Sansepolcro.

Nardone's agent spoke to Times of Malta and confirmed that the Italian custodian signed with the Maltese club earlier today. 

Layvin Kurzawa.Layvin Kurzawa.

9.25pm According to L'Equipe, Layvin Kurzawa is set to part ways with Paris Saint-Germain this January.

It is reported that the French club wants to meet the FFP requirements, therefore they must sell some of their players on the roster in order to avoid any sanctions from UEFA. 

9.19pm After acquiring Matteo Caldara and recalling Leonardo Spinazzola, Juventus are looking to bring in another talent from Atalanta.

Bryan Cristante, former Milan midfielder, has attracted the interest of Massimiliano Allegri and he may join the Turin-based club immediately in January. 

9.03pm According to reports in Portugal, Gabriel Barbosa, 'Gabigol', may return to ply his trade in Brazil as he has not returned to Benfica from his Christmas holidays.

Gabigol was recently on the books of Inter as well without leaving any remarkable impressions of himself. 

8.47pm Juventus would be willing to sell Alex Sandro for €60m, according to Tuttosport, with Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea interested.

The Brazilian left-back was the subject of a bidding war last summer, but he and the club resisted proposals believed to be up to €70m.

His performances this season and the fact they already have Leonardo Spinazzola on the way following his loan spell with Atalanta means the situation has changed.

Tuttosport newspaper today claim the Bianconeri are prepared to part with Alex Sandro for €60m, even in January.

Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United remain interested in a swoop.

Considering Liverpool have agreed a £75m deal with Southampton for defender Virgil van Dijk, this may well be a bargain by Premier League standards.

8.24pm Sevilla have chosen Vincenzo Montella as their new Coach and are in talks with Milan to terminate his contract, claim Italian reports.

The club sensationally sacked Eduardo Berizzo three days before Christmas and a week after he returned to work following cancer treatment.

It was reported this morning that Sevilla directors flew out to Italy for a meeting with ex-Watford, Inter and Napoli boss Walter Mazzarri.

7.59pm According to reports in Italy, Inter are looking to sign Yanga-Mbiwa from French club Olympique Lyon.

The defender is currently valeud at 5 million euros and he has already gained experience in Italy, having featured for Roma in the past. 

7.14pm Liverpool have struck a world-record deal to sign defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

The Dutch centre-back will move to Anfield in a transfer that is understood to be worth £75million, the highest price ever paid for a defender.

Click here for further details on the transfer. 

7.00pm BREAKING NEWS

Liverpool have agreed a deal to sign Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk, according to Sky sources.

6.50pm Barcelona midfielder Paulinho says he has been in touch with Brazil team-mate Philippe Coutinho to discuss a possible transfer to the Spanish giants.

Liverpool forward Coutinho handed in a transfer request in August after LaLiga leaders Barcelona had a bid for the Brazilian rejected, but the Reds turned down a further two offers, with owners Fenway Sports Group publicly stating he was not for sale.

The 25-year-old missed the start of the season with a back problem, but has been outstanding since his return and his stunning opener in the 5-0 Boxing Day demolition of Swansea was his seventh goal in as many games.

However, speculation regarding a Janaury switch to the Nou Camp for Coutinho has continued, and Paulinho - who joined the club from Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande in August - joked that a property search for Coutinho was already under way.

"I make jokes that people are already looking for a house for him," Paulinho told mundodeportivo.com.

"I try to give him the basic information, the most important for him and his family, because maybe the time he lived here was not enough to know the city, but he knows that Barcelona is a very good city, that offers everything for him and his family.

"You have to think about the decision you are going to make. What I think is that if you have the opportunity to come, you will not regret it."

Samba Tounkara... not in Gżira's plans.Samba Tounkara... not in Gżira's plans.

6.35pm Gżira United have parted ways with Cameroon defender Sem Ogolong Kamana and Mali forward Samba Tounkara.

Both Kamana and Tounkara joined the Maroons at the start of the season but have since dropped out of the plans of coach Darren Abdilla. 

Tounkara, in particular, had started the season brightly, scoring five goals in the opening ten matches of the season.

However, in the last few weeks Tounkara and Kamana both struggled for any first team football and have now been released by the Maroons.

Gżira have already found a replacement for Tounkara after signing Nigerian striker Haruna Garba, on loan from Swedish side Djurgardens. 

6.22pm Aleksandar Mitrovic has signalled his intention to leave Newcastle in January after failing to force his way into Rafael Benitez's plans.

The Serbia international, who joined the Magpies from Anderlecht during the summer of 2015, is currently sidelined by a back injury but has found himself surplus to requirements at St James' Park under the Spaniard despite the club's Premier League difficulties.

Benitez has nevertheless insisted he will be going nowhere unless he has a replacement, although Mitrovic appears to be desperate to leave.

he 23-year-old told Serbian sports daily Zurnal: "I persistently waited for the chance over the past months and I did not get it.

"I'm sorry - after all, I loved Newcastle but it's time for me to look more to myself, to find the best solution for my career."

6.09pm Antonio Conte has refused to be drawn into speculation linking Chelsea with interest in Bayern Munich's Arturo Vidal, but labelled the midfielder a "fantastic player".

He told the London Evening Standard: "I must be honest, it's not right to talk about a player of another team. Especially if you try to link this player with us.

"Arturo is a fantastic player... I have a great respect for Arturo, and we spent many years in Juventus together. I'd always want him with me."

5.52pm Napoli are looking to bring in Simone Verdi in order to add more numbers in their offensive department. 

The Partenopei have already proposed an offer to Bologna and are in advanced talks with his agent. 

5.39pm Roma are looking to bolster their defensive department as they have set their sights on Barcelona's fringe player Aleix Vidal.

The former Sevilla fullback is struggling to breakthrough into the Barca's starting line-up and a move to Italy's capital city would be ideal to revive his footballing career. 

5.36pm PSG are set to reprise their interest in former Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina, reports SportMediaset.

The French capital club are preparing themselves for the possible departure of Kevin Trapp and they are lining up Reina, who is yet to renew his contract with Napoli, as a replacement.

Jermain Defoe.Jermain Defoe.

5.30pm Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says Jermain Defoe's prolonged absence does not mean he needs to look for a replacement striker in the January transfer window.

"We'll wait and see what we do; the January window is always tough to recruit in," Howe said. "The four strikers we have, I think they're all top quality. I have no hesitation in playing any of them, so I don't think Jermain's injury forces my hand at all."

5.10pm Athletic Bilbao have not received any approach from Real Madrid for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga, according to president Josu Urrutia. 

The 23-year-old has been linked with a move to the LaLiga champions when his Bilbao contract expires at the end of the season.

But Urrutia insists Real have not contacted the club about the possibility of signing the Spain international.

"There has not been any approach of any kind, we know that there have been rumours but we have no confirmation either from the representatives of the player or Real Madrid," Urrutia was quoted as saying on Bilbao's official Twitter account.

"Athletic is not a seller club, for the departure of a player the player must want to leave and has to pay the clause."

4.50pm Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is willing to sell Belgium winger Yannick Carrasco.

Spanish newspaper AS is reporting that Atletico have to make space in their squad in January and Simeone was informed by senior club figures that he has to sell defender Sime Vrsaljko or winger Carrasco next month.

The Argentinian has opted to keep hold of the Croatia full-back, which means that Carrasco is available for transfer.

4.35pm Joey Barton has spoken of the affinity he shares with Marseille supporters and revealed he would love to return to the club as a player or manager.

The 35-year-old has been banned from playing by the Football Association since April 2017 for breaching betting rules but can return in June 2018.

Speaking in a video posted on the Ligue 1 club's official website as part of the documentary 'Marseille: A football city', Barton said: "The supporters immediately accepted me when I arrived. They must have perceived something in my character and personality that they liked.

"I'd love one day to pull the jersey on again and if I can't do it as a player then I would love to do it as a coach or manager."

Alex NilssonAlex Nilsson

4.15pm Tarxien have also made it clear they are not interested in bringing back Swedish striker Alex Nilsson to the club.

The former Malmo forward has left the Rainbows in the close season to join Birkirkara on a one-year loan deal. However, the 25-year-old has struggled to gain any first-team football, making only three appearances.

It is understood that Birkirkara coach Paul Zammit is planning to part ways with Nilsson during the January transfer window.

But the Rainbows have no plans to have him back as the Premier League strugglers are unable to offer him his wage demands.

4.00pm Tarxien Rainbows are looking to bring in reinforcements during the January transfer window and are eyeing to sign three new overseas players.

Sources have told Times of Malta that the Blues are set to offer a contract to a Senegalese striker and will also register two Serbian defenders who are expected to arrive in Malta in the first week of January.

3.45pm Milan will be without goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma for tonight's Coppa Italia clash against Inter.

The Italy goalkeeper has suffered an adductor injury and his recovery will be monitored daily by the club's medical staff, a club statement said.

3.15pm Three Spanish clubs have expressed an interest in signing Adel Taarabt, who is currently plying his trade with Genoa. 

Valencia, Sevilla and Villarreal are all interested in the Moroccan, who is free to negotiate with clubs from the start of next month as his contract at Benfica expires in June.

2.55pm Harry Kane has dominated the headlines in the last 24 hours after the Tottenham striker broke Alan Shearer's scoring record in a calendar year after netting 39 goals in the last 12 months following his hat-trick in the 5-2 thumping of Southampton

This was his second treble in the space of a few days after netting three goals in a 3-0 defeat of Burnley. You can see his exploits at Burnley below.

2.30pm Yaya Toure will not leave Manchester City in January, according to his agent Dimitry Seluk.

The 34-year-old midfielder has six months left on his contract at the Etihad, but Seluk has told Sky Sports News that Toure is determined to become a three-time Premier League champion.

He also added that Toure is enjoying his role of helping City's young players progress.

2.15pm Bad news for the Liverpool wing back...

2.00pm West Ham have sounded out the possibility of signing Leganes midfielder Gabriel Pires next month, Spanish newspaper AS reported.

The Hammers are considering two possible options concerning the recruitment of the Brazilian.

The first option would be to sign him on a permanent deal for €5.5m during the January transfer window.

The second would involve paying €1.9m to take him on loan until the end of the season, with an option to secure his services permanently for €9m in the summer.

1.45pm Unhappy with life at Zenit St Petersburg, Roberto Mancini could leave Russia and return to Italy as coach of Milan.

Gennaro Gattuso has failed to make an impact and the man who won three titles with Inter could be their next manager.

1.30pm Some news from the Maltese transfer market. Andre White is set to leave Premier League high-fliers Gżira United to continue the season with Division One side Pietà Hotspurs. 

The 26-year-old struggled to command regular football at the Maroons and has been courted by several Division One clubs in the last few weeks.

White has opted to move to Pieta Hotspurs who are looking to bolster their squad as they look to win promotion.

Julian DraxlerJulian Draxler

1.15pm Arsenal have been told they must cough up £40m if they want to sign Julian Draxler, the Daily Mirror reports.

The Germany forward has failed to impress since signing for Paris St Germain and Arsenal want to recruit a replacement for Alexis Sanchez, the paper says.

1.00pm Everton are looking to bring in Cenk Tosun, as new boss Sam Allardyce looks to boost the club's firepower, the Daily Mail reported today.

Besiktas have said they want £20m for the 26-year-old and Allardyce wants to bring the Turkey striker to Goodison Park in January, the paper said.

12.45pm Southampton's Virgil van Dijk will leave St Mary's in January – but the club want £70million, the Mirror reports.

Manchester City are leading the chase, but Liverpool think they are also in with a chance of signing the 26-year-old, according to the paper.

Chelsea have not given up hope of landing the Dutch defender either, with Southampton putting a price tag on Van Dijk which is higher than the £50million that Manchester City paid for Kyle Walker in the summer.

12.30pm Goodmorning everyone and welcome to the timesofmalta.com live transfer news and rumours.

The winter transfer window will reopen on Monday but clubs all over Europe are already engaged in talks over prospective signings. 


9.30pm We're shutting down the transfer blog for Boxing Day, many thanks for joining us.

We'll be back here tomorrow with all the latest transfer news and rumours!

8.46pm A potential return to Borussia Dortmund for Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan is not on the cards, according to BVB chief Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Mkhitaryan is battling to save his Manchester United career after being dropped by manager Jose Mourinho following a row between the two men during a video analysis session at the club's Carrington training ground last month, sources have told ESPN FC.

8.25pm UAE side Al Jazira have confirmed the termination of Lassana Diarra's contract by mutual consent.

Diarra, 32, has not featured for Al Jazira since the first week of November and missed the Club World Cup, reportedly through injury.

7.57pm Jose Mourinho has claimed Manchester United will need to spend more money after dropping another two points in their faltering title challenge at home to Burnley today.

"We are in the second year of trying to rebuild a football team that is not one of the best teams in the world. Manchester City buy full-backs for the price of strikers. When you speak about big football clubs, you are speaking about the history of the club."

When it was pointed out United have spent roughly £286million since Mourinho took charge in 2016, he added: "OK, (but) it is not enough. The price for the big clubs is different than for the other clubs."

7.43pm Mark Hughes says he may need to sign defensive cover in January, following Stoke's 1-1 draw with Huddersfield.

"We're struggling a little bit with defensive personnel. We've lost our skipper [Ryan Shawcross] again, so they are piling up at the moment. We have to put square pegs in round holes at times.

"So it's a bit tough for the guys at the back, but we've just got to get through this period, get a few back and hopefully get a little bit of help in January as well because we're a little bit short. Then we'll be OK."

7.07pm Yaya Toure has reversed his international retirement and hopes to win another trophy with Ivory Coast, according to his agent.

Dimitri Seluk tweeted on Tuesday that the 34-year-old was ready to return to international action, having last played for his country in September 2016.

"Yaya @YayaToure has decided to return to Ivory Coast national team. He w

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