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Transfer news and football gossip: Arsenal ‘make contact’ with Real Madrid star, Eden Hazard hints at Chelsea stay, West Ham refuse to sell Marko Arnautovic

Here are the top biggest transfer stories and latest football headlines from Tuesday’s papers and online…

Paul Pogba is ready to open talks over a new contract at Manchester United following his return to form under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. (The Sun)

Anthony Martial is also reportedly close to agreeing a new deal at Old Trafford. (ESPN)

Eden Hazard has insisted he would not join Manchester United even if hero Zinedine Zidane took over as manager and has hinted he could stay with Chelsea. (Daily Star)

Man United striker Romelu Lukaku appears to have rubbished rumours of a move to Juventus with a message on social media. (Daily Star)

Arsenal have made contract with Real Madrid over a possible loan move for Colombian star James Rodriguez, with the Spanish giants reportedly keen to sell to the 27-year-old. (The Independent)

Hazard is a long-term target for Real Madrid, but it’s still uncertain if he will leave Chelsea in the summer

Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata is expected to join Atletico Madrid on loan for the rest of the season, with an option for the Spanish club to buy the 26-year-old. (Sky Sports)

West Ham have told forward Marko Arnautovic they will allow him to leave in the summer, but will NOT sell him in January – even if the Austrian refuses to play. (London Evening Standard)

West Ham have had a €40m (£35.28m) bid rejected for Atalanta’s Colombian forward Duvan Zapata, 27. (Tuttosport)

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is willing to take a £5m hit to sell striker Vincent Janssen this month, having signed the 24-year-old Netherlands international for £17m. (Daily Telegraph)

Bayern Munich are interested in another young British player, with the German champions poised to make a £10m bid for 18-year-old Manchester City ace Rabbi Matondo. The Wales international striker is out of contract at the end of the season. (The Sun)

Marko Arnautovic wants to leave West Ham, but will he get his move? Not in January, it seems

Fulham forward Aboubakar Kamara is in talks to join Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor on loan until the end of the season. The 23-year-old’s Cottagers career appears to be over after he was ordered to train with the Under-23s. (Daily Mail)

Cardiff are readying a £2m offer for Sunderland striker Josh Maja, but the Black Cats want £4m for the 20-year-old. (The Sun)

Liverpool are expected to become the first club in the world to report an annual net profit of more than €100m (£88.3m). (Daily Telegraph)

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Tottenham Hotspur transfer news: West Ham striker Andy Carroll NOT on club’s shortlist to replace Harry Kane

Andy Carroll is NOT a target for Tottenham Hotspur in this transfer window, according to reports.

Sources on Sunday night suggested the north Londoners were looking to compete a £2million deal for the West Ham United striker.

Carroll is out of contract in the summer

Spurs’ worst fears were realised when Harry Kane was ruled out until March with an ankle ligament injury.

And, despite the apparent need to delve into the winter transfer market, Sky Sports are claiming the 30-year-old is not on the club’s shortlist.

Heung-Min Son is currently on international duty with South Korea at the AFC Asian Cup.

In Son’s and Kane’s respective absences, Fernando Llorente lead the line against Fulham on Sunday. But the 33-year-old seemed devoid of ideas on his own – turning the ball into his own net for Fulham’s opener.

Janssen has failed to set the Premier League alight thus far in his career.

Vincent Janssen missed out on a place on the bench altogether, with Mauricio Pochettino preferring to hand 20-year-old Kaaiah Sterling a place on the bench instead.

The Netherlands international is available for sale this month after failing to convince the Argentine he is worthy of a starring role.

And, despite comig off the bench to claim an assist for Harry Winks’ winner, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou is also available for transfer.

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Former Chelsea star John Obi Mikel will NOT be joining Middlesbrough as Tony Pulis ‘does not want him’ – reports

Middlesbrough have reportedly passed up the chance to sign John Obi Mikel because Tony Pulis “did not want him”.

Mikel had been training with the club but he will not be signing a contract with them, according to The Sun.

John Obi Mikel is looking to move back to England

The 31-year-old is understood to want to return to England after leaving the Chinese Super League.

Mikel won just about everything you can win in English football with two Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League in his 10 years at Chelsea.

The Nigeria international infamously posed in a Manchester United shirt, before changing his mind to move to west London.

John Obi Mikel spent a decade at Stamford Bridge

However, after 374 appearances for the Blues they were not going to renew his contract after the 2016-17 season so he made a January move to Tianjin TEDA on a free transfer.

After two seasons in China he has left Tianjin and is now a free agent.

Middlesbrough are not the only club to have shown interest in the former Blues midfielder – Crystal Palace are understood to be keen.

Boss Roy Hodgson is keen to ensure his Eagles side stay firmly away from the relegation zone as the season reaches a climax.

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Chelsea transfer news: Manchester United target Philippe Coutinho lined up for shock move if Eden Hazard joins Real Madrid – reports

Chelsea are reportedly lining up an ambitious move for Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho – IF Eden Hazard joins Real Madrid in the summer.

However, the Blues may have to beat Manchester United to the signing of the former Liverpool player.

Coutinho has struggled in his first full season at Barcelona

Hazard’s interview with France Football shortly after the London derby defeat to Arsenal seemed to suggest a summer move to the Bernabeu was on the cards.

After years of flirtation with the LaLiga giants, the Belgium captain finally seems to be off and Chelsea are already plotting up a contingency plan.

According to the Daily Express, Chelsea have been asked to be kept informed of any developments in the Brazilian’s future at the Camp Nou.

After falling behind Ousmane Demeble at Barca, the Spanish giants have reportedly quoted a £100million asking price for the 26-year-old.

Hazard cut a frustrated figure during Saturday’s defeat to Arsenal

Coutinho is keen to make his ‘dream’ move to Catalonia work having only left Liverpool last year in a £142million deal.

However, United are reportedly interested in making a stunning deal work, but only in the summer after being priced out this month.

Journalist David Aymoral explained to ESPN: “A deal looks rather unlikely in January, since the Blaugrana would want more than €100 million to even consider the departure of the crown jewel of their transfer campaign last winter.”

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Exasperated Chelsea fans on Twitter blast ‘disrespectful’ Eden Hazard after latest comments about potential Real Madrid transfer

Plenty of exasperated Chelsea fans have taken to Twitter to tell Eden Hazard to leave after his latest comments about Real Madrid.

The Belgium captain has been courted by Los Blancos for several years now, but it appears the continued flirtation has taken a toll on a lot of Blues fans.

Hazard’s continued flirtation with Real has pushed some Chelsea fans too far

Just days after a pitiful London derby defeat to Arsenal, Hazard revealed in an interview with France Football he was ready to quit Stamford Bridge in the summer.

When asked if a move to Real would please him, Hazard said: “Why not? You know it very well. You’re asking the question, but you know what the answer will be so you don’t have to ask it.

“I’ve won everything in England, apart from the Community Shield, but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving. I’ve always said that I wanted to explore something different after England but there are also things that might make me stay.

After the World Cup, I wanted to leave, but in the end I stayed at Chelsea and I’m playing one of the best seasons so far.”

The forward looked lost against Arsenal on Saturday

The seemingly endless saga has pushed several exasperated Chelsea fans to the edge and plenty took to Twitter to voice their frustrations.

Check out the best Tweets below!

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Barcelona confirm surprise loan signing of Kevin-Prince Boateng from Serie A club Sassuolo until end of season

Kevin-Prince Boateng has joined Barcelona on loan until the end of the season from Italian side Sassuolo.

The La Liga giants confirmed the signing on Twitter on Monday evening and revealed more details about the deal.

Kevin-Prince Boateng has joined Barcelona on laon

The former Tottenham Hotspur and Portsmouth midfielder failed to impress in the Premier League and his signing to Barcelona has come as a surprise to many.

Spurs’ former sporting director, Damien Comolli, said the signing of Boateng was his “most expensive mistake”.

The 31-year-old will join the current La Liga leaders for the remained of the 2018/19 season and the deal includes an option to buy him for £7million.

The loan fee is believed to be in the region of £1.75million.

He will be presented to fans at the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

Boateng only joined Sassuolo over the summer, and has scored four goals in 13 appearances to date.

His previous spell in La Liga was a successful one with Las Palmas in the 2016/17 campaign.

The quick and dynamic forward hit double figures in his 28 appearances for the Spanish outfit.

Boateng’s colourful career has already seen him play for the likes of Hertha Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Schalke and AC Milan.

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‘Why not?’ – Eden Hazard drops huge hint he will leave Chelsea for Real Madrid during the summer transfer window

Eden Hazard dropped a huge hint he is ready to quit Chelsea this summer and join Real Madrid.

The Belgium captain was linked with a move to the Bernabeu after a stunning World Cup in Russia and the rumours have continued to swirl.

Hazard cut a frustrated figure during Saturday’s defeat to Arsenal

As recently as Monday morning reports in Marca suggested the 28-year-old would join Los Blancos in the summer.

However, the playmaker has himself now stated his desire to ‘explore’ playing in other countries.

Asked by France Football if a move to Real would please him, Hazard said: “Why not? You know it very well. You’re asking the question, but you know what the answer will be so you don’t have to ask it.

“I’ve won everything in England, apart from the Community Shield, but that doesn’t mean I’m leaving. I’ve always said that I wanted to explore something different after England but there are also things that might make me stay.

The 28-year-old has taken his form from the World Cup into this season

“After the World Cup, I wanted to leave, but in the end I stayed at Chelsea and I’m playing one of the best seasons so far.”

Having scored 10 goals and registered 10 assists in the Premier League this season, it is easy to see why the LaLiga giants are keen on a lucrative move.

But Hazard insisted his future will not be influenced by Zidane’s next career move, adding: “If he goes to Manchester tomorrow, for instance, I will not be going there.”

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‘Ashley Cole is still better than Marcos Alonso’: Chelsea fans react as legend joins Frank Lampard at Derby

Ashley Cole has signed for Frank Lampard’s Derby and it’s got Chelsea fans reminiscing about the good old days.

The left-back, 38, played 190 Premier League matches alongside the Rams boss – more than he did with any other outfield team-mate.

Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard have been reunited

And now he is reunited with Lampard after agreeing to help the Championship club in their bid for promotion.

The pair won nine trophies during their time together at Stamford Bridge, conquering all four major competitions.

Lampard said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to secure Ashley’s services for the rest of the season.

“He’s a fantastic player, a quality left-back, and he also brings great experience to the dressing room.

“I know him very well from our time together at Chelsea, and with England, and I also know what he can bring to the group and the influence he will have.

“Ashley is in good shape, which doesn’t surprise me because he’s an excellent professional, and he will compete for a place in the side like every other player here.

“I’ve made my feelings known over the last couple of days just how highly I think of Ashley and I have no doubt whatsoever he will be a positive addition to our squad.”

Marcos Alonso has struggled this season

Chelsea’s current left-back, Marcos Alonso, has not been his usual self this season.

And some Blues supporters suggested a 38-year-old Cole could do a better job than the Spaniard.

Here are the best tweets:

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Arsenal transfer news: Gunners reportedly in a fight with club legend Thierry Henry to sign Gelson Martins

Arsenal are reportedly in a battle with club legend Thierry Henry to sign Atletico Madrid winger Gelson Martins.

Henry is manager of relegation threatened Ligue 1 side Monaco and wants to sign the 23-year-old.

Arsenal are reportedly interested in Gelson Martins

The Gunners are understood to have made an offer to sign Martins on loan but Monaco could hijack the deal.

The Portuguese winger only joined Atletico in the summer after joining from Sporting Lisbon.

Gelson Martins has also attracted the interest of Monaco

In Portugal he reportedly requested his contract be terminated at the club following an incident where supporters invaded their training facility and assaulted several players and members of staff.

Martins then signed a five-year contract with the La Liga club but has only made eight league appearances all season.

Portuguese publication O Jogo claims Arsenal have submitted a bid to sign him on loan while they also report Henry’s Monaco have made a similar approach.

The Ligue 1 club have already brought in four players this month, including Cesc Fabregas from Chelsea.

Arsenal have been linked with several players during the January transfer window but can only make loan signings.

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Gonzalo Higuain has an incredible record against Tottenham, but could he play for Chelsea in the Carabao Cup?

A football team with no striker is a bit like a golfer with no putter: everything else is fairly redundant unless you put the ball in the hole.

Chelsea have found that out the hard way in recent weeks. During their 2-0 defeat at Arsenal on Saturday, they enjoyed 65% of possession but had just one shot on target.

Gonzalo Higuain is expected to join Chelsea this week

They urgently need a striker. The false-nine system is a horrible waste of Eden Hazard’s various talents, and their season is in danger of collapse.

Veteran goalscorer Gonzalo Higuain is rumoured to be their short-term solution, with reports claiming a deal has been struck to bring him to Stamford Bridge on loan until the end of the season.

The Juventus striker, 31, is currently on loan at AC Milan and, after he was left out of their squad to face Genoa on Sunday, the move appears to be only a matter of time.

He enjoyed the most successful season of his career under Maurizio Sarri at Napoli, equalling the Serie A goalscoring record with 36 goals in the 2015/16 season.

If Chelsea can get him registered by midday on Wednesday, he will be eligible to face Tottenham in the second leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues currently trail 1-0, but Tottenham look set to be without a host of star players, including Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Heung-min Son.

Gonzalo Higuain loves playing against Spurs

Higuain’s arrival would undoubtedly provide another huge boost for Chelsea’s chances of progression, especially given his exceptional record against Spurs.

The Argentine is unbeaten in three games against Tottenham, having won twice and drawn once, with three goals and an assist to his name.

Most recently, he helped Juventus eliminate Spurs in last season’s Champions League round of 16 – with three goals over the two legs.

Gonzalo Higuain’s record against Spurs

Games – 3

Goals – 3

Assists – 1

Wins – 2

Draws – 1

Defeats – 0

During the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final, Chelsea dominated possession and played well but failed to create any real chances of note and subsequently lost.

However, a top-class striker is the only missing piece – the rest are all there.

With the club in danger of dropping out of the top four and the Carabao Cup, their season could hinge on whether Higuain registers in time to face Spurs on Thursday night.

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