With the transfer window now open the rumour mill is in overdrive, so with that in mind, we take a look at the top stories doing the rounds in the media today.
CITY TO MAKE SANCHEZ BID
Manchester City are preparing to test Arsenal’s resolve and bid £25million for wantaway star Alexis Sanchez, reports the Daily Mail.
As is well documented, the Chile international’s contract is up in the summer and the forward is desperate to push through a January switch to the Etihad Stadium.
It may take up to £35million for Arsenal to be convinced to sell this month but, of course, City will probably be willing to take the hit now rather than waiting to sign him on a free in the summer given the recent injury to Gabriel Jesus.
There’s no secret Sanchez wants to leave with his dross form for the Gunners indicating it’s time he moved on – for the sake of everyone involved.
KEPA ARRIZABALAGA PASSES REAL MADRID MEDICAL
According to Spanish outlet AS, Athletic Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga has passed a medical and agreed terms on a six-year deal with Real Madrid.
The 23-year-old is keen on making the move permanent this month but according to the report, Real have told the player to wait until June when he will receive a higher signing-on bonus.
It appears Spanish media are all in agreement this deal is done with Marca, claiming the Spanish stopper underwent tests Sanitas La Moraleja hospital in Madrid on Thursday.
His contract is up in the summer and Kepa has long been linked with a move to Los Blancos with reports suggesting Real will pay his €20 million release clause to acquire his services this month despite the fact he will be free in the summer.
AUBAMEYANG AN ARSENAL TARGET
Should Alexis Sanchez leave Arsenal in January, Arsene Wenger will set his sights on Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, according to Gianluca Di Marzio.
The Gunners have started looking for alternatives should the Chilean depart and Aubameyang is chief among their list of targets.
Good luck! The Gabon forward just last month confirmed he’d signed a contract extension with Dortmund so letting him leave just weeks later seems a little absurd.
He signed through until 2021 so it would seem Arsenal will have to take their business elsewhere if Sanchez does indeed leave.
Sitting nine points clear at the top of La Liga and some 14 ahead of rivals Real Madrid, the Catalan giants are on course for a season of silverware.
Lionel Messi, of course, has been a crucial spearhead for the Blaugrana but it’s at the back the side have impressed most with the likes of defender Samuel Umtiti and in particular German stopper Marc-Andre ter Stegen hitting top form.
Indeed, say it quietly but Ter Stegen is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world right now and the 25-year-old has frequently got his side out of jail with a string of superb saves.
But the quality of his hands has never been in question.
Building from the back requires excellent use of the feet, especially at club like Barca, and so the guys at Copa90 joined ter Stegen to test out just how good his use of the ball is.
The German international was put through his paces with tests on his control, free-kick taking ability and power.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from the clip above, though, is just how cool of guy the Barca keeper is!
Chelsea are close to bringing in Ross Barkley to Stamford Bridge in a £15million deal, the Daily Mail reports.
The current Premier League champions attempted to sign the Everton attacking midfielder in the summer and are willing to spend to prevent the 24-year-old signing for rivals Tottenham, the paper says.
Ryan Sessegnon is a man in demand, according to the Mirror. The 17-year-old has a host of top clubs all eager to sign him up, with Paris Saint-Germain joining the chase for the Fulham man.
The paper said Tottenham could bid again for the left back, while Manchester United and Manchester City are keeping tabs on the teenager.
The Philippe Coutinho saga continues to rumble on – with the Mirror reporting that Barcelona will offer £140million for the Liverpool man.
The paper said Anfield want most of the money up front and are keen to avoid a repeat of the summer where the base figure was low and had “unrealistic add-ons”.
Liverpool have made attempts in recent days to persuade Coutinho to stay but their difficulty is that the issue is not about money. His heart is set on moving to the Nou Camp this month. Coutinho believes a deal is imminent. (Paul Joyce)— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) January 4, 2018
Watford are looking to dispose of Troy Deeney and want to bring in Bournemouth’s Benik Afobe, the Daily Mail reports.
Deeney is the captain at Vicarage Road, but has only found the net twice this season and the paper says they will be looking to receive offers north of £20million.
Manchester United have put Celtic’s Kieran Tierney on their wishlist, according to the Daily Record. Jose Mourinho is said to have been impressed by the 20-year-old but the Hoops will be looking to keep hold of the midfielder.
SOCIAL MEDIA ROUND-UP
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Hatem Ben Arfa has been told he can leave Paris St Germain in January, according to L’Equipe.
Juan Mata: Inter Milan are keen on taking on the 29-year-old from Manchester United when his contract expires in the summer, the Mirror says.
Provided by Press Association Sport