Thursday, 5 October 2017

Chelsea and Tottenham will battle for Everton's Ross Barkley in January

Chelsea and Tottenham will battle for Everton's Ross Barkley in January

Koeman: There was an agreement with Chelsea for Barkley (1:05)

Deadline day has come and gone, and all the latest deals and potential deals can be found here, but there's plenty brewing in the market as clubs begin to look toward January.

Spurs set for Barkley battle with Chelsea

Ross Barkley backed out of a late move in the summer to Chelsea in favour of focusing on his rehabilitation from injury, but an Everton exit in January is still all but certain, reports the Mirror.

The England international was reportedly keen on a move to Tottenham, who will come in again for him once the window opens. Chelsea's interest will likely still stand, too.

The asking price will likely be significantly less than the £35 million the Blues agreed to with the Toffees late in the window, because the 23-year-old could leave Goodison Park on a free transfer in just a matter of months after the January window opens.

Kane leaves door ajar for Spurs exit

Harry Kane insists he is content at Tottenham but would not "rule out anything" when quizzed if he would like to play in La Liga someday.

The England striker has been on an incredible run of goal-scoring form in September and is happy with life at Spurs as their talisman. But when asked about a potential future move, he added: "We'll see what happens."

The 24-year-old struck 13 times last month for club and country, but would likely be forced to move if he wants to command a salary comparable to the highest-earning strikers in the game.

City and United go head-to-head for Pellegrini

Manchester United and Manchester City are set to battle it out for Roma midfield talent Lorenzo Pellegrini, writes Sky Sport Italia (via the Sun).

The 21-year-old has a £22m release clause that could prove highly attractive to the Premier League giants.

The Italy international has developed into one of Serie A's finest midfield prospects after two seasons with Sassuolo. He moved there after starting his career with the Giallorossi, but after shining for the Neroverdi, Roma exercised their €10m buyback clause this summer.

Kroos pleased to have snubbed United

Sometimes players regret key decisions, but Toni Kroos is glad he snubbed Manchester United in 2014 in favour of Real Madrid, according to the Mirror.

The Germany maestro has blossomed at the Bernabeu into arguably the finest central midfielder in the game, claiming two Champions League titles, and he boasted about his well-made decision.

"My change of team was correct. In fact, from my point of view there is no doubt about it," Kroos said ahead of Die Mannschaft's World Cup qualifiers.


-- Manchester City look set to beat rivals United for New York City FC midfielder Jack Harrison, with the Sun reporting the Blues have a first-refusal option on the England under-21 international. The 20-year-old left United's academy as a 14-year-old for family reasons and has since thrived in MLS, but a move home appears to be only a matter of time.

-- Schalke sensation Leon Goretzka will remain with the Bundesliga giants beyond this winter despite the prospect of a free transfer next summer, Sport Bildreports. The German outlet confirms that Barcelona and Bayern Munich are among the European giants eager to land the 22-year-old.

Jorginho -- Napoli

Now in his fifth season at Napoli, Jorginho has played a key role in Maurizio Sarri's side climbing to the summit of Serie A with seven wins from seven so far. The Brazilian-born midfielder has two caps for Italy but missed out on a place in Gian Piero Ventura's latest squad in favour of Cagliari's Nicolo Barella.


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Playing style

regista in the mould of Andrea Pirlo, Jorginho dictates Napoli's rhythm from the base of midfield. His greatest asset is his passing range, unlocking the opposition in a moment with incisive throughballs or clipped passes over the top of the defence.

No player has made more passes in Serie A this season, with Jorginho's ability to set the tempo vital to the team's commanding performances under Sarri. The 25-year-old is also effective in seeking to win the ball back quickly, displaying keen tactical awareness and a combative nature to break up play.


Considering his performances this season, it was a surprise that Jorginho was overlooked for Italy's World Cup qualifying matches against Macedonia and Albania. After leaving Verona in 2014, he has claimed a regular place in a Napoli side searching for the club's first Scudetto since a Diego Maradona-inspired triumph in 1990.

Jorginho caught the eye with seven goals for Verona in his first Serie A campaign, but it took him until September this year to find the net in the league for Napoli, sliding home a late penalty in a 4-1 win over Lazio. He recorded his first assist of the season against Cagliari at the weekend, but his contribution shouldn't be judged by these numbers alone.

Where would he fit in?

Arsenal and Bournemouth are thought to have offered in the region of £15 million for Jorginho's services over the summer, but Napoli were eager to hold on to the midfielder. It is easy to see how he would fit in at the Gunners, with his style suited to a team that likes to control possession and take the initiative.

Mikel Oyarzabal -- Real Sociedad

Oyarzabal's flying start this year has earned him flattering comparisons with another former Real Sociedad forward, Antoine Griezmann. In May 2016 the winger became the youngest player in Real Sociedad's history to win an international cap, making his debut for Spain at just 19 years of age.

Playing style

Nicknamed "big foot," Oyarzabal is an intelligent winger who slinks past defenders with his quick, size 11 feet. He has made a big impact since breaking into the first-team on the left flank, forming a promising understanding with striker Willian Jose.

Among the youngster's greatest strengths is his exceptional crossing ability, which saw him claim seven assists in La Liga last season. He may not be the quickest, but Oyarzabal is always reading the game, assessing the next phase of play and running into space to provide an outlet for teammates.

He is aware of when to drift in-field in search of goal scoring opportunities, and is a composed finisher in the box when chances present themselves.


Oryarzabal first attracted attention when he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win against Barcelona in 2016, racing into the penalty area and planting a firm header beyond Claudio Bravo.

With three strikes and an assist in the current La Liga campaign, Oyarzabal's injury absence in September came as a blow to Real Sociedad as they lost 3-1 to Real Madrid and 3-0 to Levante in back-to-back matches.

The 20-year-old returned with a goal and an assist against Valencia and will now hope to inspire Eusebio Sacristan's side to climb the table.

Where would he fit in?

After a rumoured €40m bid from Athletic Bilbao, for whom the winger would be a key signing for their Basque-only policy, Oyarzabal committed to a new six-year contract in August 2016 with a reported €50m release clause. His progress has been tracked by the big two in Spain, while Arsenal, Liverpool and Napoli have also been credited with an interest.

Levin Oztunali -- Mainz

Jamie McDonald - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

After struggling to break into the first-team at Bayer Leverkusen, Oztunali was sold to Mainz last summer. He enjoyed an encouraging debut season at the Opel Arena, starting 23 matches as the club battled their way to Bundesliga survival.

Playing style

The grandson of legendary German striker Uwe Seeler, Oztunali's role is concerned with creating chances rather than finishing them. Still only 21, he has plenty of work to do in this regard, but it is hoped he can fulfil the potential he first displayed in the youth teams at Hamburg.

Normally deployed on the right, Oztunali has a strong build for a winger, using his strength and pace to get past defenders. His dribbling skills are impressive, but he can be let down by his decision-making. The youngster often delays his final ball, resulting in missed opportunities for teammates.

His passing is more incisive when he has time to think and assess his options. He is then capable of playing cutting throughballs and penetrating set-pieces.


Oztunali has been reinvigorated by his move to Mainz after stagnating at Bayer Leverkusen and on loan to a struggling Werder Bremen side.

One of the most important factors in his progress has been regular game time. The 21-year-old made 30 appearances in the Bundesliga last season, scoring five goals and claiming six assists -- more than he managed in two years at Bremen.

He has carried that form into the new campaign despite the coach who aided his revival, Martin Schmidt, leaving for Wolfsburg and being replaced by Sandro Schwarz. Oztunali reminded Schmidt of his qualities by crossing for Yoshinori Muto to head a late equaliser against Wolfsburg at the weekend, recording his fourth assist of the season in the process.

Highly regarded in the Germany setup, he has turned out for every age group from the under-15s to the U21s and featured in the European U21 Championship victory in the summer.

Where would he fit in?

Although linked with a host clubs in his early years, Oztunali's stalled development saw him make what many would consider to be a backwards move to Mainz.

After settling well at his new club, his immediate aim is to focus on the aspects of his game that require improvement, with Serge Gnabry's breakthrough at Werder Bremen last year setting the perfect example to follow.

Transfer Rater: Harry Kane to Real Madrid, Mesut Ozil to Man United

Things change in the blink of an eye in football. The Football Whispers Index takes the latest transfer rumours and gives them a score out of five; the higher the score, the more realistic and reliable the whisper.

Here are today's top five emerging whispers. And keep an eye on Transfer Talk for all the latest gossip.

Virgil van Dijk to Liverpool

The Southampton defender has revived talk of a transfer to Merseyside after an interview with Fox Sports in the Netherlands suggested he would be looking to move in January. The Dutchman was a top Liverpool transfer target over the summer months but the south coast side stubbornly hung onto their star centre-back. "Of course, I wanted to go one step up, but eventually Southampton did not want to let me go," said Van Dijk. "Halfway through the season, maybe we can see what's possible."

Harry Kane to Real Madrid

Florentino Perez, the president of the Spanish and European Champions, is reportedly not put off by the huge price tag being placed on Kane's head after his blistering start to the season saw his value rise even further. The striker is likely to captain England during this international break, and his ever increasing profile means Tottenham will want something close to the record transfer fee of £196 million which Paris Saint-Germain paid for Neymar this summer. A price which Real are reportedly willing to pay.

Mesut Ozil to Manchester United

It's the old reunion story again as Jose Mourinho is reported to be eyeing up a move for Arsenal's playmaker, with a view to signing him on a free transfer this summer. The Independent say that the Portuguese manager wants to bring Ozil to Old Trafford having admired the player during their time together at Real Madrid. United could make their move in January in an attempt to ward off other clubs who will also be interested in the 28-year-old.

Andre Gomes to Inter Milan

While Tottenham will be encouraged that Barcelona's midfielder is available, the concrete interest comes from Inter Milan. The resurgent Serie A club will look to build on a good start to the season by bolstering their squad further in coming transfer windows. Diario Gol report that the 24-year-old will move to Milan initially on a loan with a view to a permanent move, which will come as a blow to Mauricio Pochettino. The Tottenham manager is reported to have placed Gomes at the top of his Christmas wish list.

Alexis Sanchez to Chelsea

The West London club are eyeing a number of players ahead of the January transfer window with a view to appeasing unsettled manager Antonio Conte. The Italian was reported to be unhappy with the club's summer dealings, and Sanchez has been singled out as one of the players who could persuade him to sign a contract extension. The Arsenal star is available on a free transfer this summer and Chelsea could look to steal a march on other clubs by offering a fee for the player in January, according to the Daily Mirror.

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