Barcelona prepare January bids for Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann

David Cooper 29/12/2017
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The transfer window may not open for another three days but that hasn’t put an end to plenty of speculation throughout Europe.

Here, we take a look at the biggest stories dominating the headlines on Friday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts.

Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

PHILIPPE COUTINHO AND ANTOINE GRIEZMANN

Barcelona are reportedly prepared to sell five players to fund the signings of Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann in 2018, according to AS.

The Catalan giants were relentless in their pursuit of Coutinho after losing Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain in August – and are widely expected to table another €120 million plus bid next year.

Ernesto Valverde’s side are expected to lure Griezmann to the Camp Nou, despite Manchester United also interesting in securing the Frenchman’s services.

SPORT360 RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

Coutinho is no doubt the best possible replacement available to help fill the gap left by Neymar and create a trident with Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

With Griezmann showing flashes of class in recent weeks for Atletico Madrid, it is unlikely both players will be signed together due to their substantial transfer fees, with Coutinho looking the more likely option to put pen to paper in 2018.

LEON GORETZKA

Liverpool remain part of five clubs interested in signing Schalke star Leon Goretzka, according to Bild

The German publication suggests Jurgen Klopp’s side have an advantage over other potential suitors due to his friend Joel Matip being at Anfield.

Despite widespread reports that Bayern have already secured a deal with Goretzka – who is out of contract at the end of season – Barcelona, Manchester United and Juventus are ready to nip in and agree a deal with the German international.

SPORT360 RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

Goretzka is one of the stars of German football after his stunning displays for Joachim Low’s side in the Confederations Cup during the summer.

With Bayern Munich considered front runners to sign him, the 22-year-old could opt to pursue a new challenge in the Premier League instead as Liverpool look for a midfielder capable of pulling the strings for years to come.

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Southampton eye moves for Theo Walcott and Daniel Sturridge

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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.

Meanwhile, 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.

Everton are hoping to bring Cenk Tosun to the Premier League for £25 million, the Mirror claims.

Following the departure of Romelu Lukaku, the Toffees have struggled to find a suitable replacement, but Sam Allardyce appears hopeful the Besiktas forward could be his first signing as new boss at Goodison Park.

As David Moyes looks to strengthen West Ham, Borussia Dortmund forward Andre Schurrle appears to be a key target for the January transfer window, the Guardian says.

Along with bringing back Reece Oxford from a season-long loan at Borussia Monchengladbach, Schurrle could help the Hammers in defence on a short-term loan, the paper reports.

Also on David Moyes’ radar is Stoke and Wales midfielder Joe Allen, according to the Mirror.

The 27-year-old’s versatility in midfield is attractive to Moyes as he looks to rebuild his side in the January transfer window, the paper reports, though it remains to be seen whether Swansea will reignite their interest in the player after losing out in the summer.

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Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon has sparked interest at home and abroad, it is reported.

According to talkSport, Real Madrid are looking to the 17-year-old after a recent run of good form, but the LaLiga giants could face competition from Manchester United and Tottenham come January after previously admiring the youngster during his time in the Championship.

Danny Ings appears to be in high demand, with West Brom, West Ham and Newcastle all said to be keen to sign the 25-year-old.

The Independent reports that Alan Pardew is looking to the Liverpool star in a bid to salvage the Baggies’ goal drought and avoid relegation.

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Barcelona looking to spend in January, Real Madrid tracking young Valencia striker

David Cooper 28/12/2017
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Find the latest transfer news right here as the window opens January 1, 2018.

There’s plenty of speculation throughout Europe and here, we take a look at the biggest stories dominating the headlines on Thursday.

Will any of the following deals happen?

Let us know your thoughts.

Get in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

BARCELONA EYEING REINFORCEMENTS FOR CHAMPIONS LEAGUE CAMPAIGN

Ernesto Valverde is focused on bolstering his squad in the upcoming January transfer window, according to Marca.

While Barcelona have continually been linked with both Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and Liverpool‘s Philippe Coutinho, both of those targets will be cup-tied for the next phase of the Champions League and beyond.

Winning Europe’s biggest crown is said to be Barca’s main priority this term, in addition to securing the La Liga title.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

Barca have perhaps been couy over other targets on their radar, but the club’s scouting department will have to read between the lines and find players eligible to come in and make an immediate impact, at home, and in Europe.

Atletico Madrid's French striker Antoine Griezmann (C) vies with Chelsea's English defender Gary Cahill (L) and Chelsea's French midfielder N'Golo Kante during a UEFA Champions League Group C football match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge in London on December 5, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Ian KINGTON (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Griezmann has been heavily linked with Barca.

REAL MADRID IN FOR VALENCIA STARLET

Real Madrid are tracking young Valencia forward Rafa Mir, according to Marca.

The 20-year-old forward is an emerging star at the Mestalla and Los Blancos scouts have reportedly been watching the former Barcelona youth star closely.

Mir has been banging in the goals in Segunda Division B and Real see the striker as a man who could go straight into their Castilla side.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

The details of Real’s pursuit of Mir are a little sketchy at present but he is very much a man Real are monitoring – with a view to making a move next summer.

Valencia's coach Marcelino (R) speaks to Valencia's Portuguese midfielder Manuel Guedes (L) during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF and Villarreal CF at Mestalla stadium in Valencia on December 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Valencia have been enjoying a fine season under coach Marcelino.

IN-DEMAND VIDAL WANTED BY THREE CLUBS

A host of clubs are chasing Barcelona right-back-cum-winger Aleix Vidal, with bids set to come in for the talent next summer.

La Liga pair Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, as well as Italian giants Roma, have all ran the rule over the 28-year-old – who is enjoying his best season to date at the Nou Camp club.

That, however, has not put an end to speculation linking the Spaniard with a move away from Catalonia – with the Corriere dello Sport reporting he could leave.

RATING: 6/10

VERDICT

Vidal has quickly become a key man a Barca, and even when Ousmane Dembele returns from long-term injury, the former Almeria man is a more than useful back-up.

If Sevilla, Vidal’s former club, did come calling, though, it could be an attractive option for the midfielder.

Barcelona's Spanish midfielder Aleix Vidal celebrates after scoring during the Spanish League "Clasico" football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on December 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / CURTO DE LA TORRE (Photo credit should read CURTO DE LA TORRE/AFP/Getty Images)

Vidal has impressed this season.

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