Transfer Talk: Real, Chelsea join race for Nabil Fekir
The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around about who will be moving where come January.
Madrid keeping tabs on Lyon’s Fekir
Liverpool’s summer move for Nabil Fekir may have fallen through, but that hasn’t stopped Real Madrid from taking an interest in the Lyon playmaker, according to the Mirror.
Citing a report in French publication L’Equipe, it says the Champions League winners “are monitoring his progress with a view to making a move in January or next summer.”
The France international, 25, was reportedly close to a move to Anfield before the World Cup, but the transfer stalled and talks did not resume.
Fekir starred as Liverpool won at Manchester City in the Champions League last week and the Mirror says that, in addition to Madrid, Chelsea could be interested.
Meanwhile, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf says Real would be willing to pay €80 million for Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
Netherlands international De Jong, 21, has been linked with both Manchester clubs, Tottenham, Barcelona and Bayern Munich, but his agent has said he “can neither confirm or deny” that any bid has been made.
Arsenal eye Rennes star Sarr
Things are looking up at Arsenal after four league wins in a row, and the Mirror says they could boost their attacking options with a move for Rennes winger Ismaila Sarr.
Sarr, a 20-year-old Senegal international, is also being watched by Inter Milan after making the shortlist for the Golden Boy award.
He is valued at around £20 million by Rennes and has also been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United, but the French club do not want to lose him in the January window.
That could mean Arsenal boss Unai Emery has to wait until the end of the season before making a move.
Newcastle to hold crunch Benitez transfer talks
Newcastle officials will meet manager Rafa Benitez to talk about their winter transfer budget and hope he will be persuaded to commit his future to the club, the Telegraph reports.
It says Benitez “will make a series of requests when he sits down with managing director Lee Charnley, who has been urged to find out what the Spaniard feels he needs by owner Mike Ashley.”
The Newcastle manager has voiced frustration in recent windows, but the Telegraph says “Ashley still feels he has not shown enough appreciation of the financial situation at St James’ Park.”
Benitez has put the signing of a new contract on hold until he is informed of the Magpies’ January intentions.
– West Ham have offered teenager Declan Rice “around £15,000-a-week to sign a new long-term contract — less than a quarter of what some of his fellow defenders pocket,” according to the Sun.
Rice, 19, has risen through the ranks since joining West Ham as a 15-year-old but is out of contract in 2020, with talks over a new deal having previously stalled.
– West Bromwich Albion are “closing in” on a move for ex-Crystal Palace winger Bakary Sako, who is with them on a trial basis, according to the Birmingham Mail.
Sako, 30, was released by Palace at the end of last season, and the Mail says negotiations “are now at an advanced stage, with the Mali international checking out possible living arrangements in the Midlands.”