Transfer Gossip: Pogba swap in the works, Mourinho wants Modric

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Updated: December 20, 2020

With the January window fast approaching, here’s a look at what’s hot in transfer talk throughout world football.

All eyes on Leo

Barcelona presidential candidate Emili Rousaud’s admission earlier this week that Lionel Messi‘s salary is “unsustainable” has, unsurprisingly, got the papers stirring. Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are consistently linked to the Argentine megastar, with TalkSport claiming there’s a “real possibility” he’ll connect with Neymar in the French capital next summer.

The offshoot of that, however, is Kylian Mbappe potentially moving to Real Madrid to make way for Messi. Get ready for about six months of this merry-go-round talk revolving around Barcelona’s talisman.

Wijnaldum in high demand

Georginio Wijnaldum is the subject of a bidding war between Inter Milan and Barcelona, reports Italian outlet Tuttomercato. The Dutchman, 30, wants to extend his deal with Liverpool, but the Reds aren’t keen on giving the energetic midfielder the four-year term he wants.

Andrew Powell / Liverpool FC / Getty

With Wijnaldum’s future in doubt, the Premier League leaders could turn to Lille‘s Renato Sanches, giving the Portuguese midfielder another chance in England’s top flight after his horrid spell with Swansea City.

Juventus working on swap deal for Pogba

Juventus‘ love affair with Paul Pogba is no secret. The club would do nearly anything to bring the French midfielder back, including, apparently, sending Paulo Dybala and Federico Bernardeschi to Old Trafford.

With the financial uncertainty created by the coronavirus pandemic, Juve need to get creative to take on Pogba’s hefty salary, Sportsplay reports. That could include using the two left-footed attackers as makeweights, sweetening the pot for Manchester United.

Mourinho wants Modric back at Tottenham

In order to give Tottenham a boost to usurp Liverpool in the race for the Premier League title, Jose Mourinho is interested in bringing Luka Modric back to north London for a second spell, according to Marca, citing Spanish television program El Chiringuito de Jugones.

Alex Caparros / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Modric, 35, will be a free agent next summer, meaning Spurs likely wouldn’t need to break the bank to sign the Croatian veteran.

Arteta desperate for marquee reinforcements

With his side reeling, Mikel Arteta is shooting for the stars in hopes of righting the ship. According to the Spanish outlet Defensa Central, the Arsenal manager has asked club officials to sign both Isco and Houssem Aouar in January.

The Gunners, languishing near the relegation zone after a run that’s seen them go over a month without a league win, need plenty of help, but that double swoop may be a little ambitious.

Bits and bobs

Battle’s on for Rice: West Ham midfielder Declan Rice wants to join Chelsea after being heavily linked with the Blues throughout the summer, but Manchester United have joined the chase for the 21-year-old, according to the Express.

Solution for Milik: Napoli are still trying to get Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik off their books and could demand up to €18 million from any club interested in signing the striker in January, Romeo Agresti of Goal reports. Juventus and Atletico Madrid are tabbed as potential suitors.

Francesco Pecoraro / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Ibanez to Anfield: Liverpool’s list of potential center-backs to cover for the injured Virgil van Dijk is already lengthy, and you can now add Roger Ibanez of Roma to that crop. The 22-year-old has been a standout performer for the Giallorossi this season, leading AS Roma Live to report the Reds could bid £30 million for his services.

Coutinho allowed to leave: Philippe Coutinho‘s beleaguered Barcelona spell could end in January. The club is willing to ship the Brazilian out next month, according to Catalan newspaper ARA, with the emergence of teen talent Pedri making Coutinho dispensable.

Kabak nearing decision: In-demand Schalke defender Ozan Kabak – another player linked with Liverpool in recent months – apparently favors a move to AC Milan, with the Express saying a £22-million transfer is in the works for the young Turkish international.

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