Real Madrid to offer Bayern’s Alaba big contract

The transfer window opens in early January, and speculation is heating up about potential deals. Check out the latest gossip below, and see all official deals here.

TOP STORY:

Real Madrid are preparing a four-year, €10 million-a-season contract offer for Bayern Munich‘s David Alaba, according to Marca’s front-page story on Saturday.

“Alaba could be imminent” is the newspaper’s headline, saying Madrid are “best placed” to sign the versatile defender and “want to close the deal as soon as possible.”

The 28-year-old’s Bayern contract expires on June 30 and he’s now able to begin talks with other clubs about a free transfer this summer. Bayern had reportedly offered Alaba a five-year deal with an annual salary of around €11m, which could have gone up to €15m with bonuses, but withdrew that offer in November and broke off any further talks with the Austria international.

Sources told ESPN’s James Olley last month that Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in signing Alaba as a free agent in the summer.

Alaba would be a high-level alternative to Raphael Varane and club captain Sergio Ramos at centre-back, with the latter also in negotiations with the club over a new contract with his current deal up in the summer, as well as a replacement for Marcelo on the left.

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09.57 GMT: Liverpool have altered their position on Xherdan Shaqiri‘s future and will not look to move him out of the club this month, according to the Liverpool Echo.

Shaqiri, 29, is yet to start a Premier League game this season, and there had been talk that the Switzerland international would leave Anfield during the January transfer window either on loan or permanently.

However, with fellow forward Diogo Jota out injured, the Echo reports that manager Jurgen Klopp wants to keep Shaqiri in the squad until the end of the season.

09.00 GMT: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is resigned to having Mesut Ozil in his squad until June despite no indication that the midfielder will play again for the club.

Ozil, 32, has not played for Arsenal since March, since when he has been frozen out of the squad.

The 2014 World Cup winner is the club’s highest earner on £350,000 a week, but Arteta is unsure he will call upon Ozil again.

“What you can do is try to be open with them and tell them your intentions,” he said. “Some would like to move because they are not playing, and some would like to stay. That is something we cannot decide. They are entitled to make the decision because they have a contract.”

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Nuno wants striker with Costa a priority

Wolverhampton Wanderers boss Nuno Espirito Santo has confirmed he plans to prioritise a striker in January, with the Daily Mail reporting that free agent Diego Costa tops his wanted list.

Raul Jimenez is out for the foreseeable after he fractured his skull in November, and Santo needs attacking reinforcements and states that the club “are ready to make decisions.”

Wolves have been linked with Costa after he was released by Atletico Madrid this week, and so a move could provide the perfect fit for both parties.

Wolves currently sit in 12th place in the Premier League after an uncharacteristicly inconsistent start to the season.

Costa scored two goals in seven appearances for Atletico this season before parting ways with the club.

Madrid target left-back Mendes

Real Madrid have identified young Sporting Lisbon left-back Nuno Mendes as their preferred replacement for Marcelo, reports AS.

Madrid see the teenager as a long-term replacement for the 32-year-old Brazilian, and AS believes they have been scouting Mendes for the past few weeks.

Marcelo is out of contract in 2022, but many believe this could be his last campaign at the Bernabeu.

Mendes has impressed this season with a combination of pace, work rate and an ability to beat opponents, and he has played 13 of 15 games.

Sporting have already extended the youngster’s contract to 2025 in the knowledge that some of Europe’s top clubs are watching him, but he has a release clause of €25 million.

Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane faces pressure from Liverpool, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, who are also keeping tabs on the talented youngster.

Marseille in bid to land Milik

Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik has been linked with a number of clubs in the past 12 months, but it appears that French side Marseille are the latest to bid for his services, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

The Italian title suggests that Marseille boss Andre Villas-Boas is the manager most likely to tempt Milik away from Naples this January.

Fiorentina offered Napoli around €25m in October, but Napoli are now prepared to accept a lower offer given that Milik can leave the club for free from Feb. 1.

Milik could leave for as a little as €10-12m, which is less than the club was asking for before Christmas.

The Poland striker is also being considered by Atletico Madrid, who are looking for a replacement for the aforementioned Costa.

Tap-ins

Brighton & Hove Albion are considering a move for Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero as a replacement for Mat Ryan, who has been told he can leave the Amex Stadium. Romero has slipped down the pecking order at Old Trafford following the return of Dean Henderson from Sheffield United, and the Daily Mail believes the Seagulls are keen to land the Argentine in January. Romero has also been linked with an unnamed Spanish side, as well as a move to MLS club Inter Miami.

Eintracht Frankfurt are urgently looking for a replacement for Bas Dost, and Bild reports they’re keen to land Bayern Munich youngster Joshua Zirkzee. Contact has already been made, and Frankfurt are keen to sign a young player they can sell for big money, just as they did with Sebastien Haller and Kula Jovic. However, Zirkzee is under contract until 2023 and Bayern are reluctant to sell, preferring instead to loan him out. Cologne are also interested.

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