Transfer Talk: Barcelona’s Abidal wooing Ajax defender Matthijs de Ligt

With the winter window opening soon, the rumour mill is beginning to gather pace. Who will be moving where come January? Transfer Talk has the latest.

Barca’s Abidal takes De Ligt for dinner

Catalunya Radio show “El Club de la Mitjanit” ran a report saying that Barcelona’s director of football, Eric Abidal, met with Ajax centre-back Matthijs de Ligt ahead of a potential move. 

The former France international made the trip to Amsterdam to woo the Dutch defender in an attempt to move to the front of the queue as an increasing number of clubs eye the 19-year-old.

The Catalans are looking for the next generation of players to continue their tradition of winning in style, and with the La Masia conveyor belt of talent slowing down, they have had to look to other clubs to acquire this type of talent.

Centre-back De Ligt, who played all 90 minutes as Ajax beat AEK Athens 2-0 in the Champions League, is comfortable on the ball and should fit the Barcelona way of playing. Former Barca and Finland star Jari Litmanen believes the Spanish club will have to pay a world-record fee to get him.

“Can you imagine what he will be like at 23?” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “I don’t know if he will go to Juventus [Litmanen was asked specifically if he could join Juve], but when he leaves Ajax, he will be the most expensive defender in history.”

For Cole times’ sake

Ashley Cole will be 38 years old by the time the January transfer window opens, but he is still eyeing a return to English football, according to the Mirror

A number of Championship sides have had their eyes on the former Arsenal, Chelsea and England left-back, who was released by LA Galaxy after two solid seasons on the West coast.

Moving from Hollywood to the Championship might be a culture shock, but Cole has plenty of experience in English football to draw upon, after a career that saw him widely recognised as one of the best left-backs in the world.

Mourinho: De Gea set for new United deal

The future of Manchester United’s world-class goalkeeper David De Gea has been up in their air for several months. But after his side’s win at home to Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday, Jose Mourinho was confident that his stopper will sign a new deal.

United were grateful for De Gea’s presence between the posts, as he made a remarkable save to prevent the Swiss visitors taking the lead before Marouane Fellaini headed home a late winner.

“He is the best goalkeeper in the world, and if our ambitions are to be a big club, to be a winning club, you need the best goalkeeper in the world,” said Mourinho, who was in a defiant mood following the victory.

“I know that he wants to stay,” he added before revealing that the player’s agent and the club’s board are working on a new deal.

United eye Brazilian star

Porto’s 20-year-old Brazilian defender Eder Militao is a target for Manchester United, according to the Daily Record.

The Old Trafford club are looking to rejuvenate their defence and could be in line for a good deal from Mourinho’s former club on the versatile Brazilian defender.

Militao operated at right-back for Brazilian club Sao Paulo but has played in the middle of the back four since moving to Portugal this season.

With teenager Diogo Dalot out injured, United have used the aging Antonio Valencia and stop-gap Ashley Young on the right of their defence this season and should be looking to the future with their next signing in the position.

Football Whispers’ Emerging Whispers

The possibility that transfer rumours happen is given a score out of five, based on Football Whispers’ transfer algorithm.

Marco Asensio to Liverpool: 2.7

Spanish journalist Eduardo Inda has reported that Real Madrid turned down Liverpool’s offer of £160 million for Asensio last summer. Jurgen Klopp is a fan of the 22-year-old Spaniard, though, and the OK Diario reporter believes the German will return for him next summer.

Allan to Spurs: 2.2

Tottenham are interested in Napoli’s Brazilian midfielder Allan, according to CalcioNapoli24, and are ready to offer £35 million for the 27-year-old in January. However, Napoli wouldn’t be too keen on a midseason sale, so Mauricio Pochettino might have to wait until the summer.

Tanguy Ndombele to Everton: 2.3

The Merseyside club recently sent chief scout Martyn Glover to assess Lyon’s French midfielder, joining a number of Premier League clubs in the chase for the 21-year-old, and the Liverpool Echo believes the asking price could be £40 million.

Fabinho to PSG: 2.1

Liverpool’s Brazilian midfielder is wanted by the Ligue 1 champions, and they will make an offer to initially loan the player in January. Fabinho has struggled to work his way into the side on a regular basis at Anfield, and L’Equipe believes PSG will look to take advantage of this.

Axel Witsel to Manchester United: 2.3

Mourinho took a trip to watch the Belgium midfielder during the international break and could be set to make a move for the player whom he has long admired, as per ESPN sources. They will not make a move in January, however, preferring to wait until the summer. 

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Article source: http://www.espnfc.com/blog/transfer-talk/79/post/3711026/transfer-talk-barcelonas-abidal-wooing-ajax-defender-matthijs-de-ligt

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