Welcome to our daily transfer news roundup from across Europe. The big news of the day comes from West London, where the runaway Premier League leaders are looking at a Real Madrid superstar as a replacement for their China-bound playmaker, Oscar.
Here are all the transfer news and rumours from December 18, 2016:
Pioli hints at Jovetic exit
Clubs around the world will be alert to the situation of Stevan Jovetic, as Inter Milan’s manager Stefano Piolo hinted at the Montenegran’s exit from the San Siro.
Pioli said, “We have too many players. We will reduce our squad size in January.”
On why Jovetic didn’t start Saturday’s game against Sassuolo, Pioli was point-blank in his response: “I make my decisions for the good of the team. I choose players who are concentrating on the club.”
The former Fiorentina and Manchester City striker could be an asset to a lot of clubs around the continent and there will no doubt be some managers contemplating signing the 27-year-old.
AC Milan could sign Serie B prodigy
Riccardo Orsolini, a youngster playing for Ascoli in Serie B, has been eyed by Vincenzo Montella and AC Milan. Atalanta and Napoli are also interested in the youngster’s services, but Milan look to be in pole position right now.
Interestingly, Orsolini had recently declared Javier Zanetti as his idol and reportedly even made contact with the Inter president last month.
But right now, Milan fans are warming up to the prospect of seeing a player very similar to Suso, who has been a revelation for the Rossoneri this month.
Bayern to raid Hoffenheim for duo
Bild in Germany are reporting that Bayern Munich have agreed deals with Hoffenheim to sign centre-back Niklas Sule and central midfielder Sebastian Rudy.
Under the inspirational young manager, Julian Nagelsmann, Hoffenheim have risen to third place in the Bundesliga and the two Germans have been central to the club’s rise this season and it is no surprise that they are attracting interest from the big clubs.
Sule, 21, will command a huge fee with a few years left on his contract, but Rudy is out of contract at the end of the season.
Dortmund rebuff Pulisic advances
Jurgen Klopp’s attempts at raiding his former club to strengthen his Liverpool squad will most likely be in vain as Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc has asked his former employee to not waste his time with a bid for the 18-year-old American starlet.
Liverpool have been ravaged by injuries this season and thought that Pulisic would fit their plans perfectly, both on and off the pitch. He provides spark and pace in the attack and brings a new dimension with Sadio Mane going off to the Africa Cup of Nations. Even off the field, him being American will augur well for Fenway Sports Group, the American owners of Liverpool.
Chelsea want James Rodriguez
Antonio Conte has been linked with a £75 million move for Real Madrid’s Colombian star, James Rodriguez. James is unhappy with his situation at Real and in an interview on Friday, he said that he could not give any guarantees about his future at Real Madrid.
Conte’s all-conquering Chelsea side will be even stronger with the Colombian’s arrival, but he will probably be only a backup option initially. The Italian manager will look to add James as a replacement for Oscar.
Oscar is said to be leaving Stamford Bridge for Shanghai Shenhua in a move reportedly worth £60 million.
Everton to get rid of Barkley in favour of Man United duo
The Sunday Express are reporting that Everton are willing to let their star young midfielder leave for around £30 million in the January transfer window as they look to create the space for Memphis Depay and Morgan Schneiderlin in their squad.
Both Memphis and Schneiderlin have barely featured for Jose Mourinho this season and will be looking for a move to revitalise their careers. Recently, various news outlets linked Barkley with a move to Tottenham Hotspur.
Arsenal set to revive Isco interest
Arsene Wenger is looking to Spain and to the Bernabeu to add a little more firepower to his title-chasing Gunners. Isco, who Arsenal were interested in signing in the summer, has once again kindled the veteran French manager’s interest.
Isco is fighting for one spot at Real with James Rodriguez, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio. With Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott prone to their bouts of inconsistency, Isco would be a big signing for the Gunners.
This interest comes after Arsenal seemed to have had their bid to sign Julian Draxler from Wolfsburg scuppered by the sheer financial might of Paris St. Germain.
Barcelona to sign Croatian captain
In another bid to solve their problems at right-back, Barcelona are turning to Ukraine and to Shakhtar Donetsk to sign their captain, Darijo Srna.
Shakhtar coach, Paulo Fonseca, said, “I know of the interest. We know the importance of Srna to our team, and we also know of his importance to the club. He's spent many years with us, though, and I sincerely hope he doesn't go."
Barca have also been linked with Nathaniel Clyne, Victor Moses and Stefan Lichtsteiner to cover their shortcomings at right-back.
Valencia to sign Chelsea and Liverpool target
Valencia are looking to sign unsettled Inter Milan midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia. The 23-year-old Frenchman has previously attracted interest from both Liverpool and Chelsea.
But Cesare Prandelli is intent on adding steel to his midfield as he looks to steer Los Che away from relegation and to a safer position on the table. Valencia are currently 17th after a disastrous start to the season that saw Pako Ayestaran lose his job as the head coach.
Rest of the World
PSG to ruin Arsenal’s Draxler plans
Unai Emery wants to revive Paris St. Germain’s faltering season by adding young German Julian Draxler to his squad. Draxler has been frozen out at Wolfsburg and has not been in the squad for the last two Bundesliga games, with indications from Germany being that a deal could be done for as low as £20 million.
PSG are currently third in Ligue 1, behind surprise leaders Nice and the rampant Monaco. Emery took over as manager from Laurent Blanc at the start of the season.
PSG to rival Chelsea for James
PSG are further looking to add to their attacking resources by signing James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. They will not have it easy as Chelsea are also showing an interest in signing the Colombian.
Money will not be a problem for the French champions, but there is little doubt that in a footballing sense, Chelsea are far better placed than PSG are, currently.