Soccer Tori (Gists, rumours, speculations and transfer updates)

Cristiano Ronaldo says his son is often told, “there is another player who is better than your father“, referring to his long-standing rivalry with Lionel Messi for the accolade of world’s best player, but the Real Madrid star says: “He knows how to deal with that, he’s a smart boy, like me.

Crystal Palace and Brighton are favourites to sign former Chelsea and England midfielder Frank Lampard, 38, who is tipped for a return to the domestic game.

Marseille have contacted West Ham playmaker Dimitri Payet’s representatives over a possible re-signing of the 29-year-old France international this month.

Man United have targeted France forward Antoine Griezmann, 25, and Spain midfielder Saul Niguez, 22. The Atletico Madrid duo have release clauses totalling GBP145m on contracts that were renewed last summer.

Real Madrid’s Germany international Toni Kroos mocked his side’s 7-1 thrashing of hosts Brazil at the 2014 World Cup with his ‘Happy 2017‘ message on social media, using the Brazil and Germany flags in place of the numbers 1 and 7.

Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke will reject the chance to move to China in this transfer window. The 26-year-old is the subject of a GBP40m offer from Beijing Guoan, while other Chinese Super League clubs are also keen to sign the Belgium international.

Arsenal could sell Mathieu Debuchy this month after the 31-year-old France full-back angered Gunners boss Arsene Wenger by claiming he was denied a move to Man United last year.

Chelsea’s 29-year-old Nigerian midfielder John Mikel Obi, who is yet to make an appearance this season, has agreed a deal in principle to join Valencia, but the Spanish club also want West Ham’s Italy striker Simone Zaza, 25, and Financial Fair Play restrictions mean they will not be able to afford both players.

Arsenal are preparing a GBP28m bid for 26-year-old Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic of Juventus.

Chelsea will bid GBP60m for Southampton’s Netherlands international defender Virgil van Dijk, 25, who is also wanted by Man City.

Real Madrid will make a huge summer move for Tottenham’s England midfielder Dele Alli, 20. Real, who have previously signed former Spurs players Luka Modric and Gareth Bale, are serving a one-window transfer ban but are free to buy again in the close season.

Chelsea’s leading scorer Diego Costa, 28, subject of a rumoured GBP80m bid from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian, says he is “very happy” at Stamford Bridge.

Liverpool want to sign 21-year-old Wembley-born winger Jacob Murphy from Norwich, then loan him back to the Canaries in a bid to beat Tottenham to his signature.

Arsenal have joined the race to sign Sevilla’s French midfielder Steven N’Zonzi, 28, who is also a target for Chelsea, Man City and Juventus.

Man United have rejected a GBP19m bid from Everton for their France midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, 27. However, West Brom are also keen to sign Schneiderlin and, after an GBP18m bid was rejected, they could return with an improved offer.

Man City’s England goalkeeper Joe Hart, 29, is unlikely to make a permanent move to Torino because the Serie A side are unable to afford his high wages, club president Urbano Cairo has revealed.

Man United manager Jose Mourinho is believed to be eyeing Real Madrid central defender Pepe, 33, but could face competition from clubs in the lucrative Chinese Super League. In addition,Benfica’s Victor Lindelof, 22, has also been linked with a GBP38m move to Old Trafford, which could spell the end of 27-year-old Chris Smalling’s time at the club. Everton and Arsenal may then bid for the England international.

An announcement from Benfica could be imminent regarding Lindelof and what would be a club-record GBP40m sale for the Portuguese club.

Bayern Munich assistant coach Paul Clement has been appointed as Swansea manager and is understood to have been offered a two-and-a-half year deal, though it is unlikely he will take charge of Tuesday’s (today) game at Crystal Palace.

Liverpool could turn their attention to RB Leipzig winger Emil Forsberg, 25, after Borussia Dortmund insisted their 18-year-old American attacking midfielder Christian Pulisic is not for sale.

Joe Hart will not be a target for Liverpool in this transfer window or the next.

But Liverpool are lining up a move for Benfica’s GBP22m-rated Mexico international striker Raul Jimenez, 25.

Liverpool midfielder Lucas Leiva, 29, could stay at Anfield beyond this month despite interest from Inter Milan. The Reds are prepared to sell the Brazilian but the Italian club are thought to want a loan deal.

Newcastle have made contact with Everton about signing midfielder Tom Cleverley, 27, on loan.

Birmingham have ended their interest in Nottingham Forest captain Henri Lansbury. Former boss Gary Rowett had been preparing a bid for the 26-year-old but successor Gianfranco Zola will not be pursuing the midfielder.

Brighton are expected to make 33-year-old striker Glenn Murray’s loan from Bournemouth a permanent transfer in the January window.

West Brom could make a move for their former striker Shane Long, now of Southampton. The 29-year-old Republic of Ireland international left the Hawthorns in 2014 to join Hull. But boss Tony Pulis has suggested his focus will be on defenders in the transfer window, with a long-term interest in Leeds left-back Charlie Taylor, 23, who is out of contract in the summer.

Crystal Palace have made a bid of GBP7m for Norwich’s Republic of Ireland left-back Robbie Brady, 24.

Man City are among three clubs interested in Borussia Dortmund’s Germany midfielder Julian Wiegl, 21.

Newcastle have been warned they will need to pay GBP15m for Brentford striker Scott Hogan, 24

Man City defender Bacary Sagna hinted at bias from referee Lee Mason, who sent off Fernandinho during their 2-1 win over Burnley yesterday. Sagna’s Instagram post contained the line “10 against 12” – but was later amended.


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