The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Guardiola wants Man City to hijack Chelsea Bazoer bid
The Mirror reported that Pep Guardiola wants Manchester City to hijack Chelsea’s move for Dutch wunderkind Riechedly Bazoer. The Premier League champions, who are reportedly poised to make Italy boss Antonio Conte their new manager next season, are already in advanced talks with Ajax over a £24 million move for the 19-year-old midfielder. Bazoer’s brother, Irchandley, who acts as his agent, was at Chelsea’s Cobham headquarters the past week for talks with technical director Michael Emenalo.
Guardiola is also a fan of the teenager, who is likened to the legendary Frank Rijkaard because of his maturity in midfield, and Guardiola would like to see him at the Etihad, where the current Bayern Munich boss takes over as manager in the summer. Ajax have already rejected a £20 million bid for Bazoer from Napoli, while Chelsea have twice tried to sign him, only to be told he wants to go to Barcelona.
Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink, however, was technical adviser at PSV Eindhoven when the teenager came through the club’s academy. The Dutchman is hoping his relationship with the player helps stave off City’s interest and finally delivers the player to Stamford Bridge this summer. After vacating his post as Holland head coach last year, Hiddink urged his successor, Danny Blind, to select Bazoer for the national squad.
Man United to move for Bartra
According to the Sun, Manchester United are hoping to land Spanish international defender Marc Bartra. The 25-year-old has struggled to break into the first team at the Camp Nou this term, while Louis van Gaal’s men are in desperate need of defensive reinforcements.
The Catalan club have one of the best central defensive partnerships in Europe in Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano, and Bartra’s lack of minutes has sparked Ed Woodward’s interest. It is reported that £10 million could be enough to bring the centre-back to England.
Spurs in for Insigne
Mauricio Pochettino wants to make a summer move for Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne, the Mirror reported. The Tottenham boss has been assured that after two years of transfer-market profit, he will be given funds to spend this summer, as long as Champions League qualification is sealed.
Insigne, 24, can operate as a left-winger or as a second striker, and he is at the top of the Argentine’s wish list. The Naples native is reportedly being valued by the Neapolitans at £18 million. As one of the smallest players in the top five European leagues, the 5-foot-4 Italian will bring a quick and direct style of play to a Spurs front line that can sometimes lack a Plan B. This was the plan for Clinton N’Jie, but the Cameroonian has yet to find his feet since his £10 million move from Lyon the past summer.
Leicester plot audacious move for Totti
The Sun also reported that Leicester are planning an audacious move to bring Roma legend Francesco Totti to the Premier League. The Giallorossi legend was dropped from the squad on Sunday, after a public falling out with new manager Luciano Spalletti. After only five appearances for the Serie A side this season, the 39-year-old is exploring his options.
Despite his veteran status, Foxes manager Claudio Raineri believes the World Cup winner would be a valuable addition to his squad, as his experience would help Leicester in their expected first foray into the Champions League next season. After the positivity that Esteban Cambiasso brought to the club last term and even a shock attempt to sign Ronaldinho in January, it’s clear that Leicester enjoy having a legend of the game in their squad. Totti has made more than 700 appearances for Roma and is the club’s all-time leading scorer with 262 goals.
– Neymar has signed a new, five-year deal with Barcelona that will make him the second-highest paid player on the team behind Lionel Messi, ESPN Brasil reported. According to the outlet, the new contract was signed in December, when Barcelona were in Japan for the Club World Cup, but any announcement was held up because of issues surrounding the Brazilian’s recent tax cases with Spanish and Brazilian authorities.
– Manchester United’s Michael Carrick is the latest player to reject an offer from Chinese Super League, according to the Mirror. The 34-year-old midfielder hopes to extend his stay at Old Trafford but has an offer from Newcastle waiting, if the Reds want to move him on at the end of the season. Arsenal also remain interested.
– Arsenal are planning moves for Newcastle goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, 19, and winger Rolando Aarons, 20, who are both out of contract in the summer, the Express reported.
– Newcastle midfielder Cheick Tiote, 29, could move to China as Super League teams look for last-minute deals before their transfer deadline Friday, according to the Mail.
– Seattle Sounders forward Obafemi Martins, who scored 42 goals in 78 appearances for the club, has completed his move to Shanghai Shenhua of the Chinese Super League for an undisclosed fee.