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Live: Football transfer news and rumours

Antonio Conte may leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

Antonio Conte may leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.

The winter transfer window is less than a week away and the timesofmalta.com SportsDesk is back with you to follow all the latest gossip and rumours from the football world, including the Maltese Premier League.

9.06pm That's all for tonight! Thank you for following us and join us tomorrow with another transfer round-up. 

9.00pm Jose Mourinho has admitted that Manchester United could enter the transfer market this month if a 'fantastic opportunity' arises amid strong links to Alexis Sanchez.

"Normally the investment is to be made in the summer. The balance of the squad is made in the summer," Mourinho told Sky Sports ahead of United's game against Stoke on Monday Night Football.

"But sometimes, it [a transfer] can happen. Okay, if on the table is a fantastic opportunity, you fight for that fantastic opportunity. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen."

7.43pm Liverpool and Bayern Munich are battling it out to sign Leon Goretza when his contract with Schalke 04 expires in the summer, but where will the German international end up?

Bayern's CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has delivered an update, saying: "Now the player has to decide, I heard the decision will be made within the next days, so before the end of January. And of course it would be very nice, if he decides to join Bayern Munich.

"You only have an agreement, when the contract is signed and the player passed the medical tests. We are not that far yet.”

6.29pm Francis Coquelin has gone, Alexis Sanchez looks set to follow suit and Mathieu Debuchy could be another player heading for the Emirates exit door.

Debuchy has made just three Premier League appearances in the past two and a half years and could be on his way to Saint-Etienne, according to Telefoot.

5.31pm Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been left out of Borussia Dortmund's squad for their game against Wolfsburg today due to 'disciplinary reasons'.

The 28-year-old has been tipped to leave the Bundesliga club for some time with Arsenal and Liverpool amongst others rumoured to be suitors in the past.

5.06pm Today's transfer news has been dominated by one South American winger but if reports are to be believed, another could soon be on his way to the Premier League.

Atletico Madrid's out-of-favour Argentine international Nicolas Gaitan is reportedly the subject of interest from Southampton, Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Gaitan moved to Atletico from Benfica 18-months ago but is no longer in Diego Simeone's plans.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid.

4.40pm Spanish publication AS are reporting that Real Madrid are prepared to offer Cristiano Ronaldo as a makeweight in a bid to sign Neymar from PSG this summer.

Ronaldo has struggled for form this season, failing to score since the Club World Cup in December, while Neymar is reportedly unsettled in the French capital following his world record £199m move from Barcelona last summer.

4.00pm Arsene Wenger has been speaking ahead of Arsenal's clash with Bournemouth and he confirmed he dropped Alexis Sanchez because he expects a deal to be done soon.

"He’s been vague at the moment, his situation is not decided one way or the other so I left him at home," he said.

When asked if his decision meant a resolution was fairly imminent, he replied: "Yes, but don’t read too much into it because even I don’t know what way it will go.

"You want to focus on the players who are on the pitch who can do well for the club."

Asked if he could say where Sanchez was going, he said: "No."

3.36pm Lots of talk this month that Liverpool could bring forward the deal to sign Naby Keita from RB Leipzig having agreed a £66.4m deal last summer to sign him at the end of this season. However, the German side have moved to put an end to speculation with a tweet this afternoon confirming the player will stay with them until the summer.

Leon Goretzka.Leon Goretzka.

3.07pm Leon Goretzka is expected to make a decision on his future in the next few days. The Schalke midfielder, 22, is out of contract at the end of the season and is believed to be of interest to Liverpool and Manchester United while Bayern Munich's Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says they would be "crazy" not to be interested in the player.

"Now it is up to the player to decide, and it would be nice if he chose Bayern in the end. You only have an agreement when you sign the contract," he said.

"All top clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United or Juventus wanted him, so it is perfectly legal and normal that the top club from Germany is interested in this player, too.

"The decision will be taken in a few days."

3.00pm Antonio Conte's departure from Chelsea at the end of the season is starting to look inevitable, said The Guardian's Dominic Fifield on the Sunday Supplement.

Chelsea produced a lacklustre display on Saturday as they drew 0-0 with Leicester at Stamford Bridge.

It was Chelsea's third goalless draw in a row and came in the same week that reports in the media claimed Massimiliano Allegri and Maurizio Sarri could replace Conte in the summer.

"There is a growing acceptance that Antonio Conte is probably not going to be at Chelsea next season and at some point that will impact upon the squad and players' performances," said Dominic.

"We have seen this before with Chelsea. Carlo Ancelotti was a dead man walking for six months really, and he was sacked on the final day of the season."

2.54pm Welcome back to our daily transfer round up! Stay tuned to our blog and website for the latest transfer news and also coverage of the BOV Premier League and English Premier League. 


8.00pm That's it for tonight thanks for staying with us and we'll be back tomorrow.

7.39pm Hull have lodged a bid for Aberdeen defender Scott McKenna, according to boss Nigel Adkins.

Sky Sports News is reporting that the Scottish Premiership side have rejected that offer - but that Hull will go back with an improved bid.

7.05pm Zinedine Zidane has already ruled out any new signings at Real but he might have a re-think as the European champions suffered a surprising a 1-0 defeat to Villarreal.

6.55pm Spartak Moscow are in trouble after posting a racial tweet.

6.45pm Chris Coleman has taken a swipe at Mark Bowen as his former team-mate attempts to succeed him as Wales manager.

Bowen was a surprise late candidate for the Wales job after leaving his position as Stoke assistant manager, being interviewed for the vacancy alongside Ryan Giggs, Osian Roberts and Craig Bellamy this week.

But Sunderland boss Coleman, speaking to radio reporters after his side's 4-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat at Cardiff, clearly remembers Bowen's analysis as a television pundit during his time as Wales manager.

"Bowen should do well, as I remember when I was the manager and he was talking on TV he had all the answers after the game," Coleman said sarcastically.

"So let's just see."

6.00pm Former England defender Sol Campbell has revealed he is looking to get into management.

Campbell retired from football 2011 after a glittering career which saw him play for Tottenham, Arsenal and earn 73 caps for his country.

Speaking on Soccer AM, he said: “I’m looking for a job in football, that’s what it’s all about. I want to manage.

“I understand it’s a difficult environment, even though I’ve got a top-notch CV, but I understand you’ve got to start from the bottom and work your way up.”

5.20pm Arsenal are interested in Bordeaux forward Malcom if Alexis Sanchez is sold, Sky Sports News is reporting.

Arsenal were due to have talks with Bordeaux on Wednesday - according to our colleagues in Italy – but the outcome of those talks are not yet known.

When asked about Malcom, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger said on Friday: “He’s a good player but at the moment nothing is happening. We are not on that case at the moment.”

4.45pm Stoke's search for a new manager will continue after Quique Sanchez Flores pledged his commitment to Espanyol.

Former Watford boss Sanchez Flores emerged as Stoke's top target to succeed Mark Hughes but he has reaffirmed his commitment to Espanyol.

"I am and will be coach of Espanyol,” he is quoted in the Spanish media.

"I belong to Espanyol, I have a contract and I'm honest with this club.

4.00pm West Brom boss Alan Pardew says 'nothing has changed' regarding Jonny Evans' future amid interest from Arsenal and Manchester City.

Sky Sports is reporting that both Arsenal and City have enquired about Evans in January.

"Nothing has changed on that front," Pardew said.

"The only good news is he's fit, whereas he wasn't fit last weekend, so you can expect to see him on the team-sheet this weekend."

3.35pm Juventus remain keen on Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos, according to Tuttosport.

The Spaniard has been a peripheral figure at the Bernabeu since joining Madrid from Real Betis last summer.

Juve were keen on him last year but they will wait until the end of the season before making a decision on whether to firm up their interest with a bid.

3.15pm Paris Saint-Germain are weighing up a summer move for Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante, according to L’Equipe.

The Ligue 1 leaders may have one of the best attacking units in world football but there are problems behind them.

Antero Henrique, the sporting director, believes Kante would go a long way in solving their issues in the middle of the park.

3.00pm Leicester City have signed Malian forward Fousseni Diabate from French Ligue 2 side Gazelec Ajaccio on a four-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee.

Diabate, who can operate as a central striker or on either wing, has played 20 times in all competitions for the French second division club after joining them in the close season following two years with Guingamp.

The 22-year-old, who was a product of the Stade Rennais academy youth system and made his professional debut in December 2016, had represented Mali at the under-20 and under-23 level, Leicester said.

2.45pm Quique Sanchez Flores will not be taking over at Stoke City.

2.35pm Barcelona have presented their latest signing... Yerry Mina.

2.30pm Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another day of transfer activity. Stay with us to follow the latest developments in the transfer market.


9.46pm ...and that is all for tonight! Join us tomorrow for another day full of transfer news. 

9.40pm We will conclude the transfer blog tonight with a news from Maltese football, regarding Lija Athletic.

In a bid to salvage their Premier League status, Lija registered two Mexican players who also made their debut earlier tonight in their league game against Senglea Athletic.

Claudio Gerardo Celis Rios, 21, is a central defender who was on the books of Irapuato, in Mexico's Division Two while they also brought in winger Juan Remberto Saveedra Campos, age 23, who recently played for Leon II and Santos de Soledad. 

9.08pm Paris Saint-Germain and Liverpool have enquired after Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker, hoping the Brazilian will be sold next season.

The Giallorossi have no intention of releasing their shot-stopper in January, but an exit over the summer is possible to balance the books.

Although the 25-year-old joined from Internacional in the summer of 2016 for €8m, this is effectively his first Serie A season, as he was second choice to Wojciech Szczesny last term.

8.53pm Diafra Sakho’s £10m move from West Ham to Crystal Palace is in doubt, according to Sky sources.

Sky Sports News understands not everyone at Selhurst Park is convinced he is the striker they need, with one source close to the deal saying Palace have decided to pull out.

8.23pm Former Inter and Sunderland midfielder Yann M'Vila has signed a one-and-a-half-year contract with Ligue 1 club St Etienne.

The 27-year-old, a product of the Rennes academy, leaves Rubin Kazan after a five-year association with the Russian Premier League side.

A statement published on St Etienne's official website said M'Vila, who made 40 appearances for Sunderland while on loan at the Stadium of Light, had committed to Les Verts until June 2019.

7.40pm Jose Mourinho insists young defender Axel Tuanzebe has a long-term future at Manchester United but says the club are considering letting him leave on a temporary basis.

"Tuanzebe is a very good player who is not having many opportunities here," Mourinho said.

"But he is our player and he will be our player. There’s no chance we’ll give up on such a talented boy but we are thinking about a loan until the end of the season.

"We are delaying the decision until the end of the transfer window."

6.48pm According to reports in Italy, Malta defender Zach Muscat could leave Arezzo with his club facing financial problems which could force his way out from Italy.

Among the clubs interested in the former Birkirkara defender are Viterbese, Reggina and Carrarese both clubs playing in Serie C. 

Muscat has already played in Italy prior joining Arezzo after his experience with Akragas. 

6.32pm Stefan de Vrij could snub Inter, Juventus and Manchester United by signing a new contract with Lazio on Monday.

His current deal is due to expire in June and he would be allowed to leave as a free agent at the end of this season.

That had seemed increasingly likely, as Lazio would not listen to January offers, confident they could talk him around.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the approach has worked, because De Vrij could put pen to paper on a new contract when he returns from vacation on Monday.

6.19pm Fiorentina have set their sights on Slavia Prague midfielder Tomas Soucek, which could let Carlos Sanchez move on loan.

Soucek turns 23 next month and already has one goal in eight senior caps for the Czech Republic.

According to Sportitalia, the Viola have scouted him and decided to make a January swoop for the tall midfielder, who can also play as a centre-back when needed.

5.33pm More updates from the Sanchez transfer saga..

Manchester City are prepared to risk losing Alexis Sanchez this window rather than pay more than £20m for the Chilean, who is out of contract in the summer.

It’s understood Arsenal are demanding £35m for Sanchez, while agents are likely to receive another £5m on top of that, adding up to a £40m deal before wages are even discussed.

5.04pm Is Alexis Sanchez heading to red side of Manchester?

4.57pm He only joined Liverpool in the summer, but already Mo Salah has been linked with a move to Spain.

However, the man himself addressed the rumours linking him with Real Madrid when speaking to South African outlet Soccer Laduma.

"Well, I have heard so many rumours it does not bother me anymore," Salah said, as quoted in the Liverpool Echo.

"But I have been treated very well at Liverpool and right now, I belong to Liverpool and I am happy at Anfield. Let us leave it at that."

4.43pm West Brom's Jonny Evans has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City this January but manager Alan Pardew says his skipper will feature against Brighton afternoon.

"Nothing has changed on Jonny," Pardew said. "He is fit this weekend, so you can expect to see him on the teamsheet tomorrow.”

4.05pm First major transfer news from the BOV Premier League as Ħamrun Spartans have reached an agreement to sign Alex Nilsson from Tarxien Rainbows. 

The Swedish striker started the season at Birkirkara but struggled to secure regular first-team football since Paul Zammit took over the helm of the team following the departure of Peter Pullicino.

The former Malmo forward was keen to seek a move away during the January transfer windown and the Spartans pounced on the opportunity and reached a deal to take the player on loan at the end of the season.

At Ħamrun, Nilsson will be reunited with his former mentor Jacques Scerri with whom he worked at Tarxien Rainbows last season.

4.00pm Antonio Conte opens the door for a move away from Chelsea.

3.19pm Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says it is "difficult" to sign sought-after players during the January transfer window.

“If you want to sign players that you are going to use and help you, it’s difficult to find this opportunity.

"Or it’s the case, like Liverpool and Barcelona, there is a lot of money and you cannot stop the player, like [Philippe] Coutinho or [Virgil] Van Dijk.

"Or it’s a player with six months left on the contract and maybe that is an opportunity like all the rumours now about Alexis [Sanchez]. That is the situation of this transfer window, that is why it is always difficult.”

2.42pm Pep Guardiola has been asked about Manchester City's pursuit of Alexis Sanchez, but has said little.

"I am focused on Liverpool. If it was my players I wouldn't want my manager talking about other things.

"I understand why you ask about Sanchez but I am fully focused on the Liverpool game - I try to convince my players to be the same way and to concentrate on games and not off field things."

2.12pm Jurgen Klopp has just arrived for his Liverpool press conference and has been asked about Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona.

"There was no other option. We tried everything to convince him to stay here and carry on together. It was his dream and it is the truth when I say he would only leave for one club.

"I knew it would come up again in the transfer window and I knew it would be very difficult.

"He wasn’t ready to do it anymore. He did fantastic in the first half of the season after what happened in the summer."

1.38pm The Alexis Sanchez Saga may have a plot twist as Manchester United have reportedly reached an agreement with the Chilean player.

Now, they are pushing to close the deal already in January in order to provide Jose Mourinho another quality player in his roster. 

1.30pm Alex Pritchard is a new player of Huddersfield.

1.15pm West Ham have been offered the chance to sign Newcastle's Chancel Mbemba.

Mbemba has had limited opportunities to play this season and West Ham are keen to sign a centre-back this month. Their top target is Alfie Mawson but Swansea are reluctant to sell.

Newcastle would want to make sure they have a replacement before sanctioning a move for Mbemba. West Ham would be happy to include Diafra Sakho as part of any potential deal for Mbemba.

1.06pm Stoke are waiting to hear whether Quique Sanchez Flores will accept their offer to take over as manager. The former Watford boss is expected to inform Stoke of his decision, together with his current employers at Espanyol, later today.

The issue of compensation is not thought to be a problem between the two clubs.

We understand that if Sanchez Flores turns Stoke down, the club will instead firm up an offer to Martin O’Neill.

1.00pm Ryan Giggs could be in the running to take charge of his country's national team... 

12.45pm Everton boss Sam Allardyce has been speaking about Theo Walcott, and he sounds optimistic a deal could be done.

"It would be very nice if we could get it over the line but there is nothing imminent. It would be a permanent deal. We wait and see.

"There's negotiations at the moment. If that can be all sorted out, it's a great addition in my opinion."

12.40pm Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another day of transfer activity. Stay with us to follow all the latest news in the winter window.


8.12pm That's it for today! Thank you very much for joining us and we will be back tomorrow with another full day of transfer news. 

7.47pm Some news from Maltese football as relegation battlers Tarxien Rainbows have bolstered their attack with the important acquisition of Samba Tounkara.

Tounkara started this season on a high while at Gżira United, having netted five goals while provided much more to his teammates, in particular Amadou Samb with whom he paired up in the initial part of the championship.

The Mali forward parted ways with the Maroons earlier this year and will join the Blues until the end of the season. 

7.29pm Kevin De Bruyne is confident his bumper new Manchester City contract will be sorted out soon.

“We are still in negotiations," he said in quotes carried by the Manchester Evening News. “I am waiting for an offer from the club but my agent has been on holiday for three weeks. There is nothing really new for the moment.

"I'm not in a hurry. I still have three-and-a-half years on the contract... Obviously we will see what happens. Negotiations are going good but they are going quietly. That is the way I think it should be.”

6.51pm Chris Hughton admits losing Izzy Brown to an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury has forced Brighton to rethink their January transfer plans.

"We are assessing [our transfer business] at the moment," the manager said. "But when Jamie [Murphy] went our numbers were fine and all we wanted to do was to have the best squad possible come the end of the window.

"It has made us think about things again and we will certainly do that over these coming days. But of course, it's something that's very fresh at this moment. What remains is that we want to have the best squad we can have."

5.47pm Swansea manager Carlos Carvalhal has insisted that the club are not about to sell any of their star performers despite speculation surrounding Alfie Mawson.

“When I came here, it was clear that we would bring in players to try to improve the team and we would not sell out best players,” he told a press conference.

“If someone comes in and offers £50 million or £100 million you can never say never – it is like Neymar or Philippe Coutinho. But the fundamental idea is not to sell any players.”

4.28pm Valencia confirm the signing of Francis Coquelin from Arsenal on a contract until 2022.

He will be officially presented later this afternoon.

3.25pm RB Leipzig coach Ralph Hasenhuttl has played down suggestions midfielder Naby Keita could join Liverpool this month.

A deal has already been agreed to take Keita to Anfield in the summer, but recent reports have claimed Liverpool are keen to bring the move forward following the £146m sale of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona.

"The current situation is that nothing changed. We do not have a reason to sell Keita any time before the end of the season. That's it," Hasenhuttl said.

2.40pm Another confirmation of United's interest in Alexis Sanchez...

2.31pm Arsenal have scheduled a meeting with Bordeaux to discuss a potential deal for Malcom, Sky in Italy are reporting.

The 20-year-old, who is also wanted by Tottenham, has emerged as an option to potentially replace Alexis Sanchez should he leave the Emirates.

Bordeaux are believed to value Malcom at over £40m, and he is also reportedly of interest to Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

2.00pm Interested rumour coming out of Italy....

1.30pm Napoli sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli and Gerard Deulofeu’s agent met in Milan on Wednesday.

It is believed the meeting was positive and the parties were very close to an agreement on terms. The next step will be to agree a deal with Barcelona, who want 15-16m euros and only want to sell the player, not let him go on loan.

Napoli’s number one target is still Simone Verdi. The forward is to decide whether he wants to leave Bologna for Napoli. Deulofeu has been asked to wait as he’s the second choice for the club.

1.00pm Hearts are in talks with Manchester United to sign left-back Demetri Mitchell on loan until the end of the season.

Mitchell, 21, made his first-team debut off the bench against Crystal Palace in the final game of last season.

No deal has been signed yet, but it’s hoped Mitchell will join the Hearts squad in time to feature for next Sunday’s Edinburgh derby against Hibernian.

12.30pm Barcelona have confirmed they have agreed a deal to sign Yerry Mina from Palmeiras on a five-and-a-half year deal.

The 23-year-old defender will cost Barca 11.8m euros and the release clause in the contract is 100m euros.

12.15pm Everton will battle Southampton to sign Arsenal's Theo Walcott, according to the Daily Mail.

The paper says the Gunners may consider letting the England forward leave this month, while Everton are confident they can beat the Saints to the 28-year-old's signature.

12.00pm West Ham United could part ways with Javier Hernandez.

The Mexican striker joined the London club last summer.

11.50am Tottenham have started new contract talks with Dele Alli amid interest from Europe, the Mirror reports.

The paper says Spurs are confident the 21-year-old will sign a new deal, with informal discussions having already taken place, despite transfer links with Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

11.45am Good morning everyone and welcome to the Times of Malta Live football transfer news. Stay with us to follow all the latest developments on the market both in Malta and in Europe.


10.42pm That's all for today! I hope you enjoyed following our blog. Join us for tomorrow for another transfer round-up from across the world, including Malta.

Goodnight folks!

10.27pm Genoa director general Giorgio Perinetti says Armando Izzo and Mattia Perin won’t leave in January unless they get “ridiculous offers”.

Both players have been linked with a move away from the Griffon this month, but they’re struggling against relegation and lie just six points above the drop zone.

“Izzo is a very important player and we want to keep him,” Perinetti explained to Sky.

10.11pm Former Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu is free to leave Barcelona this month, report Sport.

Deulofeu rejoined Barca from Everton last summer, but has failed to establish himself as a first-team regular under Ernesto Valverde. 

The Spaniard has two suitors, namely Napoli and Inter. The former are considering a permanent deal, while the latter want to take him on loan.

The player himself is more receptive to the idea of going out on loan now and making another decision on his future at the end of the season.

9.07pm Paris Saint-Germain are reportedly keeping tabs on teenage Roma left-back Luca Pellegrini.

According to Il Tempo and Foot Mercato, PSG are unconvinced by Layvin Kurzawa and Yuri Berchiche and have turned to Pellegrini.

The 18-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season, and the publications warn he has yet to agree an extension with the Giallorossi.

8.41pm Some news from Maltese football, as struggling Lija Athletic have parted ways with two foreign players.

Midfielder Djamel Leeflang, 25, who featured 14 times for Lija this season and 20-year old Joaquin Lores Varela from Uruguay, who appeared for the club only three times, left the club to seek pastures new.

Joseph Galea is seeking to reinforce the squad in an attempt to salvage the Premier League status, as they are currently at the bottom of the table. 

8.04pm Russia captain Fyodor Smolov wants to sign for West Ham.

The 27-year-old striker wants to move to London from Russian Premier League team Krasnodar and West Ham are expected to make a bid for him if they sell Diafra Sakho this month.

Smolov has scored 59 times in 90 games for Krasnodar and 11 times in 28 games for Russia.

The player scored two memorable goals against Spain in November which led to him to Spanish newspapers reporting that Real Madrid wanted to sign him this month.

7.45pm Valencia have agreed a £12m fee with Arsenal for Francis Coquelin, although the midfielder is not yet a Los Che player.

7.06pm Napoli have reportedly agreed terms with Ajax winger Amir Younes and only need to negotiate the manner of his arrival.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, Napoli have negotiated a five-year contract worth €1.5m a season for Younes.

Consequently, the Partenopei will make “one last attempt” to bring in the Germany international this month.

6.45pm Ernesto Valverde has expressed his satisfaction over the signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. 

6.30pm Gżira United are close to completing their second transfer this month as they look set to offer a contract to Edison Bilbao Zarate.

The Chile midfielder is currently on the books of Mosta but it is understood that he has a clause on his contract that enables him to seek pastures new this month.

Zarate was a regular member in Johann Scicluna's team this season, helping the team to establish themselves in mid-table this season.

If the deal goes through Zarate will make his debut on Saturday against Tarxien Rainbows at the Hibs Stadium.

Meanwhile, Gżira are still running the rule on defender Kris Thachkray, formerly of Qormi, and Italian midfielders Fabrizio Massimo Bramati and Bruno Pezzella

5.45pm Philip Schranz's proposed moved to English non-league side Merthyr Town has broke down, the Times of Malta has learnt.

On Tuesday, the Malta U-21 goalkeeper looked set to be heading to Wales after Birkirkara reached a verbal agreement that would see the 21-year-old spend the last four months of the season on loan with the English side.

However, Birkirkara officials told Times of Malta yesterday that the transfer has now fallen through as the Welsh club, who are run on amateur status, are unable to offer Schranz a professional contract.

Thus, Schranz will now remain on the books of Birkirkara, even though with the arrival of Macedonian Kristijan Naumovski, the young goalkeeper could still join another club on loan to guarantee himself regular football.

5.35pm Scott Airfield could be set to leave Burnley...

4.50pm Sheffield United have completed a double swoop for Lee Evans and James Wilson.

Midfielder Evans joins from Wolves for an undisclosed fee on a three-and-a-half year deal while Manchester United striker Wilson has signed on loan for the rest of the season. 

The pair have signed after Ryan Leonard joined the Blades from Southend on Tuesday.

4.30pm Crystal Palace are determined to add more firepower to their forward line this month. Earlier today we reported that they made a bid for Fiorentina's Khouma Babacar.

Now Sky Sports is reporting that they are keen to sign Diafra Sakho from West Ham United.

4.00pm Sami Khedira has urged Juventus to sign Liverpool midfielder Emre Can.

Can is out of contract at the end of the season and is reported to be closing in on a move to Juve.

His German team-mate Khedira told Sky in Italy: "I know Emre Can well, he’s young but he’s also very powerful and very talented.

"He still must learn things and grow, given his age, but if I were Juventus, I’d jump at the chance to sign him. He’ll be free from his contract."

3.45pm Is your club looking to sign a future superstar. Well look at what Barcelona's La Masia has been nurturing in the last few years with a view of a first-team place at the Nou Camp....

3.02pm Verona have confirmed that they are close to a triple swoop of Torino’s Lucas Boye, Bologna’s Bruno Petkovic and Udinese’s Ryder Matos.

Speaking to Sportitalia about Verona’s January deals, sporting director Filippo Fusco explained Boye had the ‘characteristics’ to help the Rossoblu, while the arrivals of fellow forwards Petkovic and Matos were being ‘finalised’.

2.48pm Franck Ribery’s contract is running down at Bayern Munich, but the Frenchman insists he is not concerned by his future.

“I am highly professional, always focused,” the 34-year-old said. “I still have five months left. There are a lot of options."

2.23pm Boca Juniors president Daniel Angelici has poured cold water on reports linking striker Cristian Pavon with a move to Arsenal.

“For the moment, we haven’t received any proposal, formally or informally,” he said. “For now, they are all rumours, comments in the corridors.

“But I know very well what I spoke to Cristian about when we renewed his contract. I am not going to stunt his career, but we gave him a nice contract for him to be comfortable.

1.44pm Besiktas are reportedly pushing to sign Mario Mandzukic this month, but Juventus are determined to keep the striker.

According to Tuttomercatoweb, Besiktas have revived their interest in Mandzukic, following on from Domagoj Vida’s pleas for his fellow Croatian to join him in Istanbul.

However, the website warns Juve’s response “was still negative” when they were approached by the Turkish champions.

1.29pm Cagliari have reportedly beaten Genoa to the signature of Roma defender Leandro Castan.

Castan was thought to be on his way to Genoa, but fresh reports suggest the Brazilian will undergo a medical with Cagliari on Thursday, prior to joining on loan until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old has not made any appearances for Roma’s first team this season, with a cavernoma derailing his career in 2014.

1.08pm Huddersfield have increased their bid for Alex Pritchard at Norwich to £11million.

The Terriers reportedly offered £5million earlier this month for the former Tottenham winger. The deal may be complicated by the fact that Norwich's sporting director Stuart Webber was previously the head of football operations at Huddersfield.

12.30pm Atalanta forward Alejandro Gomez could be tempted by a January approach from Liverpool, according to Tuttosport.

Jurgen Klopp is thought to be a fan of the 29-year-old, who's in the form of his life with seven goals and eight assists this season.

12.20pm Former Liverpool goalkeeper Tommy Lawrence has died at the age of 77, the club have announced.

The Scot made 390 appearances for the Reds between 1962 and 1971, helping Bill Shankly's side win two league titles and an FA Cup.

Lawrence, affectionately nicknamed 'The Flying Pig' due to his ability to make spectacular saves despite his stocky build, subsequently played for Tranmere, and he was capped three times by Scotland.

11.50pm Sky Sports News is reporting that former West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is not being considered for the vacant manager’s job at Stoke.

Bilic is joint favourite with most bookmakers, but it’s now clear he isn’t in the running.

Martin O’Neill is still a strong contender, but there are other candidates that owners Peter and John Coates are looking at.

Stoke are considering asking O’Neill to take the job on a short term basis we understand, so that they can make a more considered, long term appointment in the summer, but it isn’t clear whether O’Neill would be happy with that arrangement.

11.35am Tottenham and Real Madrid are reportedly in advanced negotiations over Harry Kane, with the 24-year-old reportedly keen to wear the number 10 shirt for Los Blancos.

The Daily Express says reports in Spain suggest the England international is planning to quit the Premier League, with a move to Real firmly in his sights.

11.20am Newcastle are said to be eyeing up Sparta Prague goalkeeper Martin Dubravka after Kevin Trapp opted to stay at Paris St-Germain.

The Daily Mail say Slovakia international Dubravka is Rafael Benitez's latest transfer target, as the club continue their hunt for a new goalkeeper.

11.10am Crystal Palace have made a bid for Fiorentina striker Khouma Babacar.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson has made signing a striker a priority in the January window as his first choice option Christian Benteke has scored just once in 16 games.

Babacar, 24, has scored four times in Serie A this season after netting 10 last year. He earned his first call-up for Senegal in March last year.

11am Andre Silva's future at Milan looks in doubt as the Portuguese forward wants more regular football under Gennaro Gattuso.

10.40am Jack Wilshere is expected to hold new contract talks with Arsenal next week, the Mirror reports.

The paper says the club are finally ready to make a formal contract offer to the 26-year-old midfielder, but he has been warned he may have to accept a pay cut if he wants to stay with the Gunners.

Wilshere's current deal expires at the end of the season.

10.30am Good morning everyone and welcome to another day of transfer activity. Stay with us to follow the latest developments.


9.08pm That's all for today! I hope you enjoyed following our blog. Join us for tomorrow for another transfer round-up from across the world, including Malta.

Goodnight folks!

9.01pm Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli says Gustavo Gomez won’t go to Boca Juniors - “we’ll probably give him to Udinese”.

The centre-back is set to leave the Rossoneri this month, and Boca were keen to bring him to La Bombonera.

However, the Argentine club were only willing to do a loan deal and it appears that has ended any chance of an agreement being found.

“We’re still trying to define the player’s situation, but I don’t think Boca is possible,” Mirabelli is quoted as saying by Olé.

8.48pm Ianis Hagi is set to join the team founded by his father Gheorghe, as Viitorul Costanta confirm they’ll meet Fiorentina’s asking price.

The attacking midfielder joined the Viola in the summer of 2016, but he’s barely featured since the €2m transfer.

It was rumoured he could move to Galatasaray, where his father hold legendary status, but instead he’s very close to joining Viitorul Costanta - founded by Hagi Sr.

“FC Viitorul agrees with the transfer fee and the percentages requested by Fiorentina,” a short statement on the club’s website headed “Details about the transfer of Ianis Hagi” reads.

8.23pm Andreas Christensen has penned a new four-and-a-half-year contract at Chelsea.

The 21-year-old has become a first-team regular under Antonio Conte, making 22 appearances this season since returning from his two-year loan spell with Borussia Monchengladbach.

"It feels really good to sign a new contract and I’m just happy to be committed to Chelsea for the future. I’ve played a lot of games, I’m enjoying it at the club and everything is working well," the defender said, as quoted on the club's website.

7.50pm Having broken into the England squad, Leicester defender Harry Maguire is now being linked with a move to Manchester City, Sky Sports News understands.

We know that Pep Guardiola is actively trying to sign a central defender this window, but it’s our information that although City do like Maguire, it’s not a deal they’re looking to pursue in January - as things stand.

Maguire joined Leicester City in the summer for £17m - and it’s likely to take closer to £50m to prise him away from the King Power Stadium.

7.15pm Hibernians continued to strengthen their squad in the winter transfer window when they secured the services of Georgian midfielder Gorgi Gorozia.

The 22-year-old is an offensive midfielder who was on the books of Torpedo Kutaisi and Lokomotiv Tbilisi. 

In the last few months he moved to Norway where he played for Stabaek. 

Gorozia is expected to make his debut on Sunday when Hibernians take on Floriana at the National Stadium.

6.50pm Huddersfield have made another bid for Norwich midfielder Alex Pritchard.

The Terriers have made a significantly improved offer after one of £5m was rejected, PA Sport understands.

Former England Under-21 international Pritchard is understood to be open to moving to the John Smith's Stadium after 18 months in Norfolk.

6.40pm Four Premier League clubs are leading the chase to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, reports Marca.

Watford, West Ham, Southampton and Everton are all battling it out to land the 29-year-old.

Marca reports that two of these Premier League clubs want to sign him on a permanent basis, while the other pair are interested in a loan deal until the end of the season.

Atleti, who value Gaitan at €20m, plan to sit down with the player soon to decide which offer from England is the most suitable for all parties concerned.

6.05pm Marouane Fellaini's fututre could still lie at Manchester United.

5.55pm Motherwell are trying to conclude a loan deal for Celtic striker Nadir Ciftci until the end of the season, according to Sky Sports.

Ciftci was on loan at Plymouth Argyle until recently, but that agreement has been cancelled, allowing him to head to Fir Park.

He is understood to have flown to Tenerife earlier today ahead of the Motherwell squad, who later headed there for their winter break training camp.

5.41pm Inter will reportedly struggle to find a deal for Ramires, as Walter Sabatini was unable to convince Suning Group to invest in January.

The Nerazzurri have Financial Fair Play obligations to meet, but the technical advisor flew to China to try and convince the owners to invest in Luciano Spalletti’s squad.

However, FCInterNews reports that his mission was unsuccessful, as the owners reiterated that only loans or sales can be considered before the June 30 FFP deadline.

5.21pm More about Stoke as they have made an inquiry about Senagalese midfielder Badou Ndiaye, Sky Sports News understands.

The 27-year old is currently at Galatasaray, and was part of the Senegal squad that reached the quarter finals of last year's Africa Cup of Nations.

4.50pm Stoke City have signed Austrian right-back Moritz Bauer from Rubin Kazan for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old has penned a four-and-a-half-year deal at the bet365 Stadium, becoming the club's first signing of the January transfer window.

4.20pm Real Madrid will delay their move for Spain goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga if the player undergoes an operation on his foot this month, reports Onda Cero.

Kepa was examined by Real Madrid’s doctors in the Spanish capital last week and may now have to undergo surgery which will keep him out of action until March.

This has delayed his transfer to the LaLiga champions and there is a strong possibility that the deal may not be completed until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old, who has already reached an agreement with Madrid, expected the Bernabeu giants to activate his €20m buyout clause this month.

3pm Inter and Napoli are both interested in Gerard Deulofeu and Simone Verdi, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Barcelona forward wants to return to Italy, after spending six months on loan at Milan last season. But Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri would prefer Bol

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