The January transfer window opens this week and Premier League clubs are busy making moves as they plot early deals. Chelsea are ready to trigger Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez’s £105million release clause at Benfica, while fresh reports claim they are lining up an £8m deal for Celtic right-back Josip Juranovic.
Ahead of a crucial month for Chelsea, they are also in talks to sign Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile have confirmed the signing of Molde striker David Datro Fofana. The Blues are said to be ready to battle Tottenham to sign England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Everton. Chelsea and Arsenal have also been linked with Alexis Mac Allister. Arsenal are preparing a second bid for winger Mykhaylo Mudryk after having an opening bid of around £55m rejected.
Spurs are being strongly linked with Sporting right-back Pedro Porro as Antonio Conte targets January reinforcements to boost their top-four push, while Cody Gakpo is finalising his move to Liverpool. Follow all the latest transfer news, gossip and rumours below!
Transfer news and rumours
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ICYMI: Arsenal want £100m Mac Allister and Mudryk
Arsenal are ready to rival Chelsea for Alexis Mac Allister, another player who shone for Argentina at the World Cup and is currently at Brighton.
TyC Sports journalist Gaston Edul says Atletico Madrid are also targeting the 24-year-old but that Chelsea are currently frontrunners to sign him.
Mac Allister played a key role in helping Lionel Messi’s Argentina win the World Cup and his reputation soared with his performances in Qatar.
With Arsenal’s opening bid of around £55million for Mykhaylo Mudryk rejected by Shakhtar Donetsk, it is expected the pair would cost at least £100m.
Chelsea spending begins
Chelsea aren’t messing around, much like in the summer.
Vasco da Gama’s 18-year-old midfielder Andrey Santos could soon join Fofana at Chelsea, while talks over a £35million deal for Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile remain ongoing.
Chelsea have confirmed they have reached a pre-agreement with Molde to sign striker David Datro Fofana.
The 20-year-old Ivorian will move to Stamford Bridge on January 1 for a fee believed to be around £8million.
Fofana has scored 19 goals in 34 appearances for Molde in 2022.
A short Chelsea statement read: “Chelsea FC has reached a pre-agreement with Molde FK for the transfer of David Datro Fofana.
“The 20-year-old striker will join the Blues on 1 January 2023. We look forward to welcoming David to the club!”
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Chelsea boost over Reece James injury
Chelsea’s January transfer plans could be altered by Reece James’ latest injury setback and it was reported today that the Blues could revive their interest in Celtic right-back Josip Juranovic.
But Chelsea appear to have been given a major boost with the news that James hopes to return in three to four weeks.
The Athletic report that the injured James suffered against Bournemouth yesterday “is not as bad as first feared”.
James underwent a scan on the injury this morning, following the game.
The 23-year-old posted on social media earlier and said 2022 has been the toughest year of his career.
“Just wanna thank you all for the support, none of you go unnoticed,” he said. “It’s naturally affected me mentally, I’m currently just tryna deal with the cards I’ve been dealt.
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Chelsea ready to trigger Fernandez £105m release clause
Big Chelsea news from Standard Sport’s Nizaar Kinsella.
Chelsea have communicated their willingness to pay Argentina midfielder Enzo Fernandez’s £105million release clause at Benfica.
The 21-year-old was one of the breakout stars at the World Cup and is highly sought after, with at least one other club said to be in the race sign him in January.
Chelsea officials have already informed Benfica of their interest in Fernandez during a meeting involving super-agent Jorge Mendes and Benfica president Rui Costa.
The Blues hope to steal a march on their rivals, with Manchester United and Liverpool keen on securing midfielders next summer.
Read the full story here.
Spurs and Man United could battle to sign defender
Antonio Conte has made it clear he wants to upgrade his defence and Tottenham and Manchester United are set to battle it out to sign Inter Milan centre-back Stefan De Vrij, according to reports in Italy.
The Dutch international is out of contract at the end of the season and is said to be reluctant to sign a new deal, meaning he will be a free agent next summer.
And CalcioMercato claim Spurs and United will push to sign him.
Arsenal could target new defender
Arsenal’s No1 January priority is signing Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk.
But the Gunners could also look at bringing in a midfielder and a left-sided centre-back.
Long-term, Arsenal want to bring in a left-sided centre-back to compete with Gabriel Magalhaes and they are fans of Eintracht Frankfurt defender Evan Ndicka.
Read a full January transfer window guide for Arsenal here.
Chelsea ready to accelerate Juranovic interest
While Chelsea await news of the extent of Reece James’ injury setback, the Blues could be ready to revive their interest in Celtic right-back Josip Juranovic.
Chelsea have held long-term interest in Juranovic and the Daily Mail report that another injury to James, who limped off in yesterday’s 2-0 win over Bournemouth, could see them accelerate that interest in the Croatia international.
Juranovic was named in the World Cup team of the tournament after starring for Croatia as they finished third and the 27-year-old could cost as little as £8million.
Celtic have already agreed a deal to sign right-back Alistair Johnston from MLS club CF Montreal, which paves the way for Juranovic to move to the Premier League.
Barcelona close in on Kante deal
Some potential bad news for Chelsea.
Spanish publication Sport say Barcelona director Mateu Alemany has three signings all-but secured for next summer: N’Golo Kante, Inigo Martinez and Youssoufa Moukoko.
Chelsea have been hoping Kante will sign a new contract, while the Blues also have interest in Borussia Dortmund striker Moukoko.
Martinez is a centre-back who plays for Athletic Bilbao.
Ten Hag has faith in United strikers
Manchester United are in the market to sign a striker following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Erik ten Hag has been adamant United will not buy for the sake of it in January and, after Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial scored in their 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest last night, he has expressed faith in the strikers he has at his disposal.
“I never spoke about that I have doubt about that on the counter side,” Ten Hag said. “We have (Alejandro) Garnacho, we have (Anthony) Elanga, we have numbers as well, but those four didn’t play two games together. I think only Everton.
“When we can play those front four often together there will be more routines and when we get more routines in we have more of a goalscoring threat and that is what you see tonight, we score three goals. I am quite happy with them.
“When you are critical – and I am – there is room for improvement because we should score more than three goals with the chances we create but I’m happy with creating all those chances.”