Transfer news LIVE: Romelu Lukaku latest as Lille ‘reject Newcastle’s Sven Botman interest’

The January transfer window is open and rumours are swirling around the Premier League and across Europe.

The drama this month has centred around Romelu Lukaku’s future after his recent outburst following an unauthorised interview where he admitted to being “not happy” at the European champions and eager to one day return to Inter Milan, despite only joining Chelsea for £97.5m last summer.

Meanwhile Newcastle appear keen to spend lavishly this month after their newfound Saudi investment, with Sven Botman an early target, as Eddie Howe considers the Dutch defender an option after impressing with Lille.

Liverpool are said to be plotting a move for Arsenal and England forward Bukayo Saka and are monitoring the 20-year-old’s contract situation at the Emirates, according to the Express. Saka, who has scored five times in the Premier League this season, is under contract until 2024 at Arsenal, while Liverpool have reportedly also made an offer to AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie ahead of his deal expiring at the end of the season. Arsenal, meanwhile, have identified Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak and Lille’s Jonathan David as potential additions to their forward line, amid uncertainty over the futures of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette. Manchester City’s Aymeric Laporte is receiving interest from Barcelona, while Newcastle, West Ham and Everton are tracking Aaron Ramsey and are set to offer the Juventus midfielder a return to the Premier League. Newcastle are also closing in on a deal for Lille defender Sven Botman, according to the Mail.

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Liverpool linked with move for AC Milan’s Franck Kessie

Liverpool have also been linked with AC Milan and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie, who is out of contract at the San Siro club at the end of the season.

The 25-year-old midfielder has been a regular for Milan as the club have returned to the Champions League and topped the Serie A table this year.

Italian outlet Ansa reports that Liverpool have made a contract offer to Kessie ahead of the midfielder becoming a free agent next summer.

Newcastle push for Kieran Trippier to kick off January spending spree

Kieran Trippier is set to return to the Premier League with Newcastle United leading the race to sign the England international from Atletico Madrid.

Manchester United showed interest in the right-back last summer but pulled out over a potential deal after refusing to meet Atletico’s asking price.

Now Newcastle are set to beat competition for the 31-year-old and are in “advanced talks” to sign Trippier in January, according to the Manchester Evening News.

Trippier, who won LaLiga with Atletico last season, is said to be keen on a return to England following his move to Spain from Tottenham in 2019.

Romelu Lukaku has no plans to leave Chelsea despite outburst in interview

Romelu Lukaku has told Thomas Tuchel that he remains committed to Chelsea and will not push for a move.

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That is despite his controversial interview in which he admitted to being “not happy” at the club.

But after meeting the manager and the club on Monday, the Times report that Lukaku is not eager to depart the European champions.

Newcastle’s Sven Botman approach rejected by Lille

Newcastle have seen their interest in Lille’s Sven Botman knocked back.

The Telegraph report that the Magpies discussed a £30m fee with the French club.

But the Ligue 1 side have resisted the approach, pushing Eddie Howe’s side to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements as he bids to spend the Saudi money this month in a bid to boost the club’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

The Magpies still hold out hope of reigniting interest, but Lille appear set to hold out for a huge fee for their 21-year-old Dutch centre-back.

Newcastle ‘increasingly confident’ of signing Kieran Trippier

Having brought you news of a setback in their pursuit of one defender earlier, Newcastle appear to be closer to completing the signing of another. A number of outlets, including The Guardian, suggest that a deal to sign Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid is moving ever nearer to completion, with a fee around £25 million mentioned.

Trippier was signed by Eddie Howe at Burnley, and the pair could be set for a reunion. Trippier could arrive at the club by the end of the week as the first major Newcastle signing since the Saudi-backed takeover on Tyneside.

“Kieran Trippier is an extraordinary footballer who has given us a lot and we will try to keep him,” said Atlético manager Diego Simeone when asked about the future of a player who has also been linked with Manchester United.

“We want him to stay, he’s an important player, but nowadays, when a player wants to leave, you can’t force them to stay. You can’t retain them.”

England’s Kieran Trippier could be returning to the Premier League (Nick Potts/PA)

Barcelona president believes club can still attract mega-stars

It hasn’t been the rosiest couple of years for Barcelona, but there are reasons for optimism for the Catalan club. Xavi appears to have provided a steadying influence, and is said to have played a key role in securing Ferran Torres’ signature from Manchester City, while the club’s financial state is in a significantly better state than the one that saw Lionel Messi forced to leave the club last summer.

Club president Joan Laporta was asked earlier about links with Erling Haaland, perhaps the prized commodity for Europe’s uber-rich, and had this to say: “We’re working to build a top team. Everything is possible if we do things well. And I’m sure we will.

“Top players are open to join Barça. We’re definitely recovering our status.”

‘Ambitious’ Ferran Torres relishing task of taking Barcelona back to the top

The Spanish club have set a one billion euro (£841million) buyout clause into the deal

Deal done!

As teased earlier, Ricardo Pepi has passed his final medical checks and signed on the dotted line to become an FC Augsburg player. An exciting signing for the German club – and an outstanding opportunity for one of the USA’s brightest homegrown starlets.

Newcastle struck blow in pursuit of Sven Botman

Let’s make another of what will become regular January visits to Tyneside, one would suggest, and a bit of bad news for Newcastle – the Saudi-backed club are set to be rejected by Sven Botman of Lille, who has been heavily discussed as a preferred centre-half target for Eddie Howe.

The 21-year-old Dutchman is, according to The Times, uneasy about joining a club battling relegation. Milan have also reportedly bid for Botman.

Adama Traore attracting interest

Adama Traore has been regularly linked with Tottenham over the last 18 months or so, but could the Wolves winger be headed for another London club instead? The Mirror report that West Ham are also intrigued by a player possessing such obvious and considerable talents, who may be available for a reduced fee as Wolves try and fund business of their own.

West Ham will be without Said Benrahama this month as he spearheads Algeria’s efforts at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Axel Tuanzebe set to join Napoli on loan

A third loan spell at Aston Villa hasn’t quite panned out as planned for Axel Tuanzebe, and the Manchester United defender appears to be headed elsewhere after the termination of a planned season-long stint at Villa Park – Napoli seem set to take the talented 24-year-old to Italy until the end of the season.

Tuanzebe has made just six appearances for Villa this season and appeared out of favour under Steven Gerrard, but will get the chance to fight for a place in Naples. Luciano Spalletti’s side are third in Serie A.

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