Jürgen Klopp is hoping to fill the sizeable gap in his Liverpool frontline by signing the nifty Porto forward Luis Díaz. With Sadio Mané and Mo Salah away at the Africa Cup of Nations, the 24-year-old is seen as just the right kind of pesky menace to help Diogo Jota and Divock Origi in attack as Liverpool try to keep sight of Manchester City’s coattails through January in the Premier League.
The word is that the Colombian, who impressed Klopp in two appearances against Liverpool in this year’s Champions League, would cost around £60m. Liverpool will have around £12m to put towards the transfer fee when they sell their granite-headed centre-back Nat Phillips, with Watford leading that particular race. The Hornets will have a gap to fill in defence after telling Danny Rose to clear his locker and head further north if he likes.
Having scooped up Kieran Trippier from Atlético Madrid, Newcastle’s Saudi-led owners are hoping to waft enough riyal in the faces of West Ham beancounters so that they part with 24-year-old France centre-back Issa Diop. They’ll also try to convince Todd Cantwell to swap a relegation battle at Norwich for a more luxurious scrap at St James’ Park, with the proviso that he will have to do Jonjo Shelvey’s running for him. Attempts to sign Liverpool legend Origi look to be over, though, with Bournemouth’s Dominic Solanke a preferred option as back-up for the injured Callum Wilson.
Rafa Benítez’s attempts to rebuild his 2017-18 Newcastle team at Everton have been scuppered after a bid for Sean Longstaff was rejected. The midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season but Newcastle are keen to get him signed up again and aren’t exactly lacking in the resources to do that. Benítez may turn his attention to Lyon’s Bruno Guimarães instead, though Arsenal appear to be in the box seat to sign the 24-year-old holding midfielder.
Over at Manchester United, the word is that Cristiano Ronaldo will take his #CR7 brand to another club if he does not approve of the next poor soul to follow interim manager Ralf Rangnick. Mauricio Pochettino is desperate to take on that challenge as he can’t wait to get away from the PSG circus but Ajax’s Erik ten Hag appears to be first-choice and Ed Woodward is keen to seal the deal before he leaves Old Trafford in February.
Having bullishly announced that Barcelona “are back”, club president Joan Laporta made some noises about snaffling goal-addict Erling Haaland away from Borussia Dortmund. The reality is that goal-starved Anthony Martial is a more likely option on loan from Manchester United and they may have to do battle with Newcastle for him. Barcelona also have Philippe Coutinho on Aston Villa’s wage bill now instead of their own too.
Leicester have £33m at the ready and will hit the button just as soon as they can to bring the Club Brugge striker Charles de Ketelaere to the King Power Stadium. The 20-year-old midfielder has scored nine goals already this season but could be so good that Real Madrid come in for him and duly ruin his career.
And Tottenham are readying a bid for Wolves’ rampant winger Adama Traoré, with Antonio Conte keen to install the 25-year-old at right wing-back.