Transfers – Manchester United readying January push for Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil

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ESPN FC’s Craig Burley reacts to Liverpool and Barcelona agreeing on a reported £142 million fee for the transfer of Philippe Coutinho.

The transfer window is heating up! Transfer Talk brings you live updates on all the latest rumours and done deals.

Check out all the confirmed January moves so far on our transfers page.

TOP STORY: Mourinho orders January move for Ozil

Jose Mourinho has given the green light for Manchester United to push ahead with a January move for Mesut Ozil, reports The Mirror.

The Red Devils will tempt the Gunners into selling this month to recoup some money for the Germany international before he is able to leave on a free transfer in the summer.

Mourinho has been handed £80 million to spend this month by the Glazers, with room to add a high-end earner after Wayne Rooney’s sale (previously on £300,000 per week) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s probable departure after this season.

Ozil would command a similar wage to that of Rooney before he joined Everton, though United fear a bidding war could break out with Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain also keen after seeing the No. 10 discover arguably his best form yet at the Emirates.

LIVE BLOG

16.12 GMT: Marca says Real Madrid are not aware of any offers for Cristiano Ronaldo and remain determined not to give in to the forward’s wage demands.

15.38 GMT: RAC1 and Radio Caracol say Barcelona are going to complete their long-awaited move for Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina very soon indeed.

15.07 GMT: Catalan publication Mundo Deportivo claims Real Madrid tried to hijack Barcelona’s move for Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho earlier this week, but the player had no intention of going anywhere other than the Camp Nou.

14.44 GMT: Sky Sports News reports that Liverpool have no intention of moving for Monaco attacker Thomas Lemar this month.

14.21 GMT: Monterrey defender Efrain Juarez is nearing a move to Major League Soccer, according to Rayados coach Antonio Mohamed. Story here

14.02 GMT: Chinese Super League champions Guangzhou Evergrande have been linked with a £85 million move for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, the Daily Mirror reports. Guangzhou — the richest club in China — will face competition from Manchester United, who are also widely claimed to be interested in the forward.

13.37 GMT: DONE DEAL Former Manchester United prospect Rodrigo Possebon is attempting to revive his fading career by joining Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) FC in Vietnam. Story here

13.20 GMT: Villarreal have agreed a deal to sign Colombian striker Roger Martinez from Chinese Super League club Jiangsu Suning. Story here.

12.40 GMT: In one of the the most bizarre rumours of the day, the Daily Mail claims Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt has held talks with former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson over a potential transfer to Old Trafford.

The 31 year-old, who has won eight Olympic gold medals, is due to have a trial at Borussia Dortmund in March but is known to be a big fan of United.

12.06 GMT: Southampton are looking to spend some of the £75 million they received from the sale of Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool. The Sunday Post reckons the Premier League side are keeping tabs on Celtic’s £10m-rated midfielder Stuart Armstrong.

11.34 GMT: DONE DEAL Olympiakos have signed Everton’s Belgium international Kevin Mirallas on loan until the end of the season. Mirallas, 30, rejoins the Greek side after a five-year spell with the Toffees which saw him score 29 goals in 151 Premier League games.

10.59 GMT: Leicester boss Claude Puel has suggested Riyad Mahrez must wait until the summer if he wants to move away from the club as reports link him with a January transfer to Liverpool. “I think it is important he [Mahrez] keeps this focus and concentration until the end of the season,” he told a news conference.

10.26 GMT: Will Eden Hazard be the next player to leave a big Premier League club for the bright lights of La Liga? Adam Hurrey wonders if it’s time for the Chelsea star to make that move

10.08 GMT: Inter Milan boss Luciano Spalletti is unhappy with the club’s lack of transfer activity, reports Corriere della Sera. Barcelona’s Gerard Deulofeu, previously on the books at Premier League Everton, is one of their top winter targets.

09.41 GMT: DONE DEAL Jamie Murphy has joined Rangers on loan until the end of the season from Premier League side Brighton. The 28-year-old will make the move to Scotland permanently in the summer, according to Rangers’ official website, for a fixed fee.

09.14 GMT: Seems fitting to start off with last night’s story that Philippe Coutinho is to become the second most expensive player of all time by joining Barcelona. Liverpool will receive £105m (€120m, $142m) up front with the fee rising to £142 million (€160m, $192.7m) in performance-related add-ons. He will be overtaken by Kylian Mbappe in the summer though when his move from Monaco to PSG becomes permanent.

Further reading:
Coutinho sale puts Liverpool in tough spot
Key questions for Liverpool after Coutinho sale
Liverpool offer voucher for Coutinho shirts
How Coutinho overcame his setbacks

09.00 GMT: Can you believe we’re already into the SEVENTH DAY of the transfer window? It’ll all be over before we know it.

PAPER ROUND

Man City ready £50m move for Maguire

Manchester City are tracking Leicester centre-back Harry Maguire with The Sun claiming the Premier League leaders could make an astonishing £50m offer.

The England international has impressed for the Foxes since arriving from Hull in a £17m deal that raised eyebrows at the time.

The 24-year-old is attractive to Pep Guardiola because of his ability to play in the Champions League.

Alternatives for City include West Brom’s Jonny Evans, Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Lyon’s outstanding talent Mouctar Diakhaby.

Mahrez lined up as £49m replacement for Coutinho — or not

Liverpool have barely announced agreeing to sell Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona, yet the Reds are pushing ahead with plans to sign Leicester’s Riyad Mahrez, according to multiple reports in France.

The Algerian could cost £49m, according to BeIN Sports — almost a third of the reported £142m the Reds will receive from the Blaugrana for Coutinho.

Mahrez has long since been linked with a move away from the King Power Stadium and the Foxes will be reluctant to sell midseason. Arsenal and Chelsea are long-term admirers, but the French reports suggest Liverpool could rush through a medical on Sunday to quickly appease their disgruntled fans.

However, after seeing these reports, news outlets in England quickly moved to debunk them. Sky Sports said that Liverpool have no interest in pursuing Mahrez.

Tap-ins

– Crystal Palace will make a bid for Everton striker Oumar Niasse, claims The Mirror.

The Eagles wanted Niasse last summer before a move collapsed, and although he has featured more for the Toffees this term, the £27m arrival of Besiktas star Cenk Tosun means Sam Allardyce could let him go.

– Brighton also want to sign a striker in pursuit of survival and The Mirror claims they have identified Spartak Moscow striker Ze Luis, who has scored twice in the Champions League this season.

Chris Hughton is searching for a solution to the Seagulls’ goal-scoring woes after hitting the third-worst total (17) in the Premier League this term, meaning a £20m bid for the Cape Verdean forward could be imminent.

– Napoli want to boost their Scudetto bid by signing Bologna star Simone Verdi, reports Corriere dello Sport.

The 25-year-old could provide much-needed cover across the front three — having scored six goals and assisted five more this season — after Maurizio Sarri unsuccessfully rotated in the Coppa Italia against Atalanta this week.

– Corriere also says Inter plan to set up at the back moving forward with youngster Alessandro Bastoni, who is set to be recalled from his spell on loan at Atalanta. The Nerazzurri will then move for Lazio star Stefan De Vrij in the summer.

– On the other side of Milan, the Rossoneri want to sign Jakub Jankto from Udinese with the Czech impressing this season.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.



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