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Newcastle United transfer news: Round-up of potential January signings including Brahimi, Arsenal target and TWO Liverpool players

Newcastle are set to make use of the January transfer window when it opens in just over a month.

The Magpies are attempting to fight off the threat of relegation, and have started to make some progress having won each of their previous two matches to move up to 14th in the Premier League table.

Things have started to improve at St James’ Park

However, serious questions have been raised over Rafa Benitez’s squad and their suitability for top flight football.

Worrying doubts remain about Newcastle’s goal scoring woes, with the Tyneside club netting just nine times in their 12 matches so far this term.

Newcastle are expected to use the transfer market to try and remedy these issues, and they’ve already been linked with making some moves when the window reopens at the start of the new year.

But who will Newcastle be looking to sign in January? round-up some of the latest rumours concerning the Magpies’ impending transfer business…

Yacine Brahimi

Porto winger Brahimi has been linked with various English clubs for a number of years, and it now appears he will be heading to the Premier League. Newcastle are one of three teams, along with West Ham and Everton, said to be keen on signing Brahimi, either in January or when his contract expires at the end of the season.

10. Yacine Brahimi - Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see the full list of Arsenal's top transfer targets
Brahimi is wanted by a trio of Premier League clubs, including Newcastle

The 28-year-old winger is a veteran of over 200 appearances across divisions in France, Spain and Portugal, and he’s long been regarded one of Porto’s best players.

Given Newcastle’s attacking struggles this season, it is not a surprise they are looking to sign a player who is sure to improve their firepower and creativity in the final third.

Miguel Almiron

It is not just the wide positions Rafa Benitez is hoping to improve, as Newcastle reportedly want to sign Miguel Almiron, the Atlanta United player. A midfielder who predominantly plays in the number 10 position, Almiron is widely regarded as one of MLS’ best players. He has scored 13 goals and created a further 13 in 35 appearances this season, and seems destined for a move to Europe.

The Chronicle report Newcastle are interested in Almiron, with the Paraguay international’s agent seen at St James’ Park for last weekend’s defeat of Bournemouth.

However, both Spurs and Arsenal are believed to be keen on Almiron also, with a report last month claiming the Gunners have already agreed a deal to bring the 24-year-old to England when the transfer window reopens in January.

Sebastien Haller

Newcastle are joined by Tottenham in the race to sign Haller

Prolific goalscorer Haller, a former France youth international, has been linked with a January switch to St James’ Park, though recent reports claim Newcastle have been priced out of a move for him. The 24-year-old has scored eight goals in 11 Bundesliga appearances this season, meaning’s he’s just one behind his total for the entire 2017/18 campaign, whilst before moving to Germany he scored 51 goals in 98 matches for Utrecht of the Netherlands.

The Magpies were linked with Haller as Rafa Benitez bids to improve their strike force in January, but the 24-year-old’s agent appears to have killed any chance Newcastle have of signing him. Karlheinz Forster says only ‘top clubs’, such as ‘Manchester City, Liverpool, Real Madrid, or Barcelona’ will be able to ‘afford’ Haller.

Mattia Destro

If a deal for Haller is not possible, Newcastle have lined up an alternative – Mattia Destro. The Bologna ace’s reputation has gone somewhat downhill since his earlier years, when he was regarded as a future star, but he’s still managed to score 25 goals across the last three years.

Destro’s form this season has been nothing short of shocking

Bologna are expected to allow Destro to leave in January given the 27-year-old has become a bit-play player, and Newcastle are alongside Sampdoria in the chase for him.

Destro could be a relatively cheap option for Newcastle to sign, though doubts will be raised over his suitability for the Premier League given he’s failed to hit the back of the net once this season.

Divock Origi

Another forward wanted by Rafa Benitez is Origi, who plays for his former club Liverpool. Able to play anywhere along the front line, Origi will provide competition at centre-forward as well as on the wings.

It was claimed last month that Benitez has already enquired about the availability of the Belgium international heading into the January transfer window, with Origi expected to leave Anfield having been on the pitch for just 11 miunutes this season.

It’s not been a good time for Origi on Merseyside

The 23-year-old was highly-rated when he joined Liverpool but his reputation has nosedived since Jurgen Klopp’s appointment as manager, due to a lack of game time for the Reds and a poor loan spell at Wolfsburg. A move could be perfect for Origi to kick-start his career while still relatively young.

Dominic Solanke

While asking about the availability of Origi, Rafa Benitez is also said to have inquired about Solanke, another forward struggling for game time under Jurgen Klopp. The former Chelsea youngster is believed to be available on loan, but he is hardly the top class centre-forward Newcastle fans have been calling out for.

Solanke has scored just ONE Premier League goal throughout his entire career, and he’s not made a senior appearance this season.

That’s hardly going to excite the St James’ Park faithful now, is it?

Solanke is surely not the answer to Newcastle’s problems
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Transfer news: Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers could be beaten to Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara by AC Milan

AC Milan may beat Tottenham and Wolverhampton Wanderers to the signing of Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara.

The 21-year-old’s long-term future at his current club is unclear having started just four Serie A games so far this term.

Napoli midfielder Amadou Diawara

Both Spurs and Wolves are interested in bringing the young midfielder to England when the transfer window opens but Napoli are unsure about selling him just yet.

And now Milan could offer their Serie A rivals the perfect solution by landing the Guinean on loan until the summer.

The Rossoneri need cover for the injured Lucas Biglia and, according to Tuttosport, believe Diawara could represent the perfect stop gap.

It would also allow Napoli to appease Diawara with regular first-team football without having to sell him on for good.

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Liverpool transfer news: Round-up of reported targets, including Ousmane Dembele, Nabil Fekir and Matthijs de Ligt

Liverpool spent big in the summer – £177m to be precise – more than any other Premier League side.

The likes of Alisson (£67m), Naby Keita (£52.8m), Fabinho (£43.7m) and Xherdan Shaqiri (£13.5m) were all brought in by Jurgen Klopp in a bid to challenge for the title.

However, there are still a number of players who could be on their way to Anfield in 2019 and here, looks at the latest rumours.

Xherdan Shaqiri joined Liverpool from Stoke last summer in a £13.5m deal

Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

The attacking midfielder has suggested he could be a Premier League player very soon, saying it’s “a league where lots of kids dream of playing so there is no reason why maybe one day I won’t play here.” Liverpool have long been admirers of the 20-year-old, who will get the chance to further showcase his talent when United States take on England at Wembley – live on talkSPORT.

His current deal expires in 2020 and the Bundesliga club could be forced to eventually sell him if he does not sign a new contract.

Christian Pulisic in action for Borussia Dortmund

Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax)

When Virgil van Dijk considers you a good defender you must be pretty decent.

The 19-year-old Ajax centre-back has shown maturity beyond his years with a series of commanding performances for both club and country.

“A good defender, good boy, calm, knows what he wants and hopefully he makes the right choice in his next step,” Van Dijk explained, adding that the club’s scouts will have assessed him extensively already and will be ‘on the list’.

Matthijs de Ligt is a commanding defender

Ousmane Dembele (Barcelona)

Liverpool are keen to add to their attack and appear set to offer the Catalan giants £85million to get the 21-year-old winger.

The France international moved to Spain for a mammoth £135.5m in August 2017, but has endured a frustrating time owing to injury and poor discipline.

However, his agent says the player is happy in Spain and believes the manager wants to keep him.

Ousmane Dembele has plenty of talent but poor discipline

Marko Pjaca (Juventus, on loan at Fiorentina)

During the summer, Liverpool lost out in their quest to sign the talented Croatia international to Fiorentina, who snapped him up from Juventus on a season-long loan.

It now appears the club are unwilling to buy him out right, meaning the Mersyside club could reignite their original interest in the winger.

Marko Pjaca is on loan at Fiorentina

Nabil Fekir (Lyon)

The Lyon attacker came close to joining Liverpool in the summer, but the deal fell through amid concerns over his injury record.

However, the club could return for the France international who has impressed once again for the Ligue 1 side this season.

Liverpool would face competition from Chelsea, though, and it is understood manager Maurizio Sarri is a big fan.

Nabil Fekir almost joined Liverpool in the summer

On the way out?

Joel Matip

The defender has emerged as a reported January transfer target for Claudio Ranieri as he looks to bolster his new Fulham squad.

Matip still has two years left on his contract with Liverpool, but has fallen down the pecking order after starting just one Premier League match this season.

Joel Matip is out of favour at Liverpool

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Manchester United transfer news: Jose Mourinho given boost in Jan Oblak chase as Atletico Madrid star grows unhappy

Manchester United target Jan Oblak has reportedly grown unhappy at Atletico Madrid and could leave as soon as January.

According to media in Spain, the goalkeeper is upset he has not been offered a contract extension, with his current deal running out in 2021.

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

And that could prompt him to seek a new challenge, which will put Manchester United on high alert.

The Slovenian has been on the Old Trafford club’s radar for some time and was suggested as a potential replacement for David De Gea amid reports linking the Spaniard with Real Madrid.

De Gea has so far stayed put at United but that could change with fresh interest in him, this time from Paris Saint-Germain.

Now it has been suggested that United may look to replace him with Oblak, who has a minimum fee release clause set at a whopping £88.5million.

However, if he is insistent on leaving the club, Atletico may be forced to do business for considerably less.

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Liverpool transfer news: AC Milan plot shock January raid for Fabinho

AC Milan are plotting an outrageous bid for Liverpool summer signing Fabinho.

The Reds stumped up nearly £40million to sign the midfielder from Monaco in the summer but it has been a slow start to life on Merseyside for the Brazilian.

Liverpool star Fabinho in action against Napoli.

He has so far started just three Premier League games, although he has been used more regularly in recent weeks.

But now, according to reports in Italy, Fabinho has emerged as a potential target for AC Milan, who are expected to invest in a new midfielder when the January transfer window opens.

Corriere dello Sport has suggested Milan are ready to approach Liverpool about the possibility of signing Fabinho.

However, he will not come cheap given his price tag in the summer so a loan move could be Milan’s only hope of getting the deal over the line.

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Liverpool transfer news: Reds handed boost in race to sign Marko Pjaca as Fiorentina decide against permanent move

Liverpool target Marko Pjaca could be back on the market this summer, according to reports in Italy.

The Merseyside club were vying to land the talented Croatia international from Juventus during the summer, but they lost out to Fiorentina.

Fiorentina appear to have decided against signing Pjaca permanently

The Serie A club paid £1.75m to sign the 23-year-old on a season-long loan in a deal which also included an option to buy him outright.

However, according to Calciomercato, Fiorentina have now decided not to take up that option and the winger will return to Juventus in the summer.

But with little room in the first-team squad in Turin, it is likely that Juve will be looking him to shift him quickly so he could be available for a knockdown price.

And that could tempt Liverpool into reigniting their long-standing interest in Pjaca to seal a summer swoop.

Croatia international Pjaca has made 11 appearances for Fiorentina during his loan spell, scoring one goal for La Viola in a 3-0 defeat of SPAL.

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Arsenal transfer news: Gunners could fight Liverpool for Barcelona star Ousmane Dembele after reports of £85m bid

Arsenal have not given up hope of signing Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele, who is a reported target of Liverpool’s as well.

Dembele, the France forward, joined Barca for £135.5million from Borussia Dortmund in August 2017, but his ill-discipline is said to have become an issue at Camp Nou.

Various reports suggest Dembele could be sold by Barcelona

He was left out of Ernesto Valverde’s squad at the weekend after failing to turn up to training on the previous Thursday and it has been reported that he’s struggling to adapt in Spain.

Now it has been suggested that the Catalan club may be ready to cut their losses with the pricey attacker and sell him on to the highest bidder.

Liverpool, managed by former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp, are keeping close tabs on Dembele and were linked with a making a stunning £85million bid for him earlier this week.

But now Spanish newspaper Mundo Deportivo have revealed that Arsenal are also monitoring the situation very closely.

Arsenal’s head of recruitment Sven Mislintat knows all about Dembele, having signed him for Dortmund from Rennes back in 2016.

Now there could be a reunion on the cards in January with Dembele still firmly on Mislintat’s radar.

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Manchester United transfer news: Everton target summer deal for Chris Smalling

Everton are targeting Manchester United star Chris Smalling, according to reports.

Smalling, the centre-half, is out of contract at the end of the season and he’s been watched by Everton scouts as they weigh up a move for him.

Smalling has been far better this season than he was throughout 2017/18

The 28-year-old has somewhat rediscovered his best form after last season was uncharacteristically poor by his standards.

He’s made 14 appearances in all competitions, chipping in with a goal in United’s defeat of Watford, and is clearly regarded by Jose Mourinho as one of the club’s first-choice defenders.

However, Smalling is out of contract next summer and, despite talks being held between him and the club, the former Fulham star is yet to put pen to paper on an extension.

And Everton are showing interest in tempting him to Merseyside when his deal runs out in June, according to The Sun.

Smalling is reported to have been watched by Everton scouts, working on the orders of Marco Silva, with the Toffees ready to splash the cash when the transfer window opens at the end of the season.

United have the option to extend Smalling’s contract by a further year due to a clause written in his existing deal, but Everton will not be put off even if the Old Trafford club trigger the extension.

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Transfer news and football gossip: Fulham wanted Wenger, Everton eye Manchester United star, Newcastle takeover claim

The transfer window reopens in just over six weeks, and there is plenty of gossip flying around.

Here’s all the latest football news and rumours from Thursday’s newspapers and online…

Arsene Wenger turned down a sensational return to management with Fulham before Claudio Ranieri was appointed. The former Arsenal boss stuck to his insistence he won’t take another top flight job in England out of respect to the Gunners, where he was in charge for 22 years until this summer. (Daily Mirror)

Leonardo Jardim and Andre Villas-Boas also turned down the chance to replace Slavisa Jokanovic as Fulham boss before they appointed Claudio Ranieri. (Daily Telegraph)

Chris Smalling is wanted by Everton on a free transfer when his Manchester United deal runs out next summer. He has held talks over a new Old Trafford contract, and wants improved terms on his £90,000-a-week wages. But the Toffees are hoping to land him next July, despite United having an option to extend his deal by a further 12-months. (The Sun)

Everton are said to be tracking Chris Smalling

Manchester United are pressing ahead with David de Gea’s contract talks amid fears the goalkeeper could leave at the end of the season. The Spanish international is still to commit his long-term future to Old Trafford, despite months of negotiations with the club’s hierarchy. (London Evening Standard)

Roma are tracking Ashley Young and ready to make a bid for the Manchester United star in January. The 33-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and United have offered the versatile star a new one-year deal. However, this time with no 12-month option in play, Young is in control of his own future and is in no rush to agree fresh terms despite being handed the captain’s armband in recent weeks. (The Sun)

Mike Ashley could be offered a £350million route out of Newcastle with claims of another takeover bid. The controversial owner is reported to have visited the United States to discuss the final stages of a sale of the Tyneside club. The claims have been made by a credible US website with reputable contacts in the world of takeovers and acquisitions. (Daily Mirror)

Newcastle fans have wanted Mike Ashley away from the club for years

Chelsea face the threat of a two-year transfer ban following a long FIFA investigation into the signing of Bertrand Traore. Officers from FIFA’s Integrity and Compliance unit have spent three years delving into the Traore case and 13 other transfers involving the London club and players aged under 18. (Daily Mail)

Chelsea are prepared to consider loan offers for captain Gary Cahill in January. Cahill’s contract expires at the end of the season and he has made only one Premier League appearance since Maurizio Sarri arrived in the summer. (Daily Mail)

Christian Pulisic has said he is open to moving to the Premier League, with Chelsea understood to be leading the race to sign the forward from Borussia Dortmund next summer. (Guardian)

West Have slammed the door shut on a January exit for Marko Arnautovic after he suggested he could quit the club. (Daily Star)

Manchester United are willing to sell out-of-favour defender Marcos Rojo in January and Wolverhampton Wanderers could make a bid. FULL STORY HERE

Phil Foden is set to sign a new six-year contract at Manchester City by the end of this month. The 18-year-old’s representatives held positive talks with City officials on Wednesday and there is a confidence that he will commit his long-term future to his boyhood club. (Daily Mail)

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Claudio Ranieri ‘wants Liverpool defender Joel Matip’ to be his first signing as Fulham boss

Liverpool defender Joel Matip has emerged as a January transfer target for Claudio Ranieri and new club Fulham.

The Germany-born Cameroon international has fallen well down the pecking order at Anfield and has started just one Premier League game so far this season.

Joel Matip has emerged as a Fulham target

Matip is still under contract for another two years but is has been suggested that he may seek a departure as he goes in search of regular first-team action.

And now, according to reports in Turkey, Liverpool’s former director of football Damien Comolli is interested in luring Matip to his new club Fenerbahce.

Turkish publication A Spor has revealed that the Super Lig side have already got the ball rolling on a potential January switch but their transfer plans could be scuppered by Fulham.

It has been suggested that the west London club, who sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and replaced him with Ranieri on Wednesday, also want Matip once the transfer window opens.

Fulham sit bottom of the table after claiming just five points from their opening 12 fixtures of the campaign and hope the appointment of ‘the Tinkerman’ can turn around their fortunes as he looks to make the side more defence-minded.

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