LIVE Transfer Talk: Manchester United face race to keep Juan Mata

Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola believes any of the top five teams can win the Premier League and he feels Tottenham are a real threat with the experience they have gained in recent seasons.
Wayne Rooney tells ESPN’s Sebastian Salazar why neither returning to the English national team nor a loan move away from D.C. United will happen.

The transfer window for all of Europe’s big five leagues is closed, but that doesn’t stop Transfer Talk from rummaging around to find out who will be moving where come January.

TOP STORY United face race against time to keep Mata

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is “desperate” to keep Juan Mata amid interest from Arsenal, but the Sun warns that he is facing a battle to do so.

Mata will be out of contract at Old Trafford next summer, and reports have suggested that Arsenal boss Unai Emery wants to bring the former Chelsea midfielder back to London.

The Sun says “time is running out” for United to agree new terms with the player — who Mourinho managed at Stamford Bridge — and Arsenal “are monitoring the situation closely.”

It adds that Mata, who is reported to want assurances that he will get “plenty” of first-team football if he stays at United, is also interesting La Liga club Valencia.

Mourinho “is desperate to hold on to the experienced player, who he allowed to move to United when he was in charge at Chelsea” — but those in charge at Old Trafford will need to act swiftly.

Mata, 30, would be able to start negotiating with overseas clubs in January if no new deal is agreed.

LIVE BLOG

20.02 BST: AC Milan are fearful that Premier League clubs could activate Suso‘s €40m release clause, a figure the Rossoneri will work to increase, according to Calciomercato.

18.41 BST: Jose Mourinho wants a central defender and a forward to reinforce his side come January, and the Guardian reports that the Manchester United hierarchy will back him to the tune of £100m in the winter window.

16.54 BST: Regardless of who is coaching Real Madrid in January, the club are eyeing reinforcements in River Plate midfielder Exequiel Palacios, according to TyC Sports.

Palacios, 20, has a €15 million release clause in his contract, but Madrid would pay €20m to fight off advances from Manchester United and Inter Milan, among others.

15.39 BST: Liverpool striker Divock Origi told the Liverpool Echo that he still wants to catch Jurgen Klopp’s eye.

Origi, who has not made an appearance this season, rejected moves away in the summer but could consider a switch in January.

14.47 BST: Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told those invited to a club banquet on Saturday that Julen Lopetegui would be replaced by Antonio Conte regardless of the outcome of El Clasico, according to Mundo Deportivo.

Furthermore, one of Conte’s assistants — not named by the outlet — was at the Camp Nou to watch Barcelona win 5-1.

13.55 BST: According to the Newcastle Chronicle, Rafa Benitez will be offered a new contract at Newcastle, so long as some of his requests can be put on hold. His current deal expires this summer.

12.46 BST: Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski is on Jurgen Klopp’s radar, and The Express report Liverpool will make a £60 million bid in January.

11.55 BST: West Ham, Aston Villa and Brentford are tracking Southend’s USA Under-18 international forward Charlie Kelman. They and a number of clubs are set to watch the teenager in action in the FA Youth Cup this week, sources have told ESPN FC.

11.01 BST: Once named Real Madrid boss, Calciomercato.it report that Antonio Conte could make a swoop for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. Conte signed the Frenchman from United as a free agent in 2012 when boss of Juventus.

10.13 BST: According to a report in The Mirror, Juventus could sign Phil Foden from Manchester City for just £175,000 due to a contract issue.

09.25 BST: Liverpool reportedly sent scouts to watch Hoffenheim’s Kerem Demirbay play in the Champions League against Lyon last week, something which hasn’t gone unnoticed by the player himself.

“Of course, I take note of this,” the Germany international, who played under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund, said.

08.15 BST: If United do lose Mata to Arsenal, then the Spanish midfielder might be giving Aaron Ramsey a wave as the pair pass each other on the M6 motorway. 

According to the Daily Express, Wales international Ramsey could be on his way to either United or chelsea when his contract expires in the summer.

PAPER TALK

City could lose both Diaz and Foden

Manchester City could see not one but two of their bright young talents departing, according to the Mail, which says Brahim Diaz is edging closer to Real Madrid while Phil Foden is a potential target for clubs including Barcelona.

Diaz, 19, can begin talks with Madrid in January because his City contract expires in the summer, while fellow midfielder Foden is the subject of interest from a number of sides.

Foden, who was born in nearby Stockport, has been at City since the age of six and the club hope that he will agree a new deal.

The Mail says officials “will sit down for talks with the 18-year-old’s representatives in the coming weeks” — but his first-team chances with City, like those of Diaz, appear to be limited.

That situation “has attracted interest from all around Europe, with Bundesliga duo Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig the first to make contact and Barca and Juventus also keen to sign Foden when his deal runs out.”

The City pair could now follow “a growing trend for youngsters at Premier League club who feel they are unlikely to get games” to move to overseas clubs.

TAP-INS

– Tottenham are set to reopen contract talks with midfielder Christian Eriksen after they ground to a halt in the summer, talkSPORT reports.

Denmark international Eriksen’s deal with Spurs expires in 2020, with Paris Saint-Germain reported to be among the clubs keeping tabs on the situation, but negotiations are now poised to resume.

– Queens Park Rangers have been a team revived in recent weeks, with defender Angel Rangel a big part of their upturn in form. The Sun reports that the Championship club will offer the 35-year-old, who joined on a short-term basis in the summer, a contract extension until the end of the season.

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