Transfer Buzz: Man City eyes ‘next Messi,’ Bayern and Real chase Varane, Arsenal eyes Sporting Lisbon defender

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Christmas and Boxing Day are in the rearview mirror, which means the January transfer is less than a week away.

Unsurprisingly, there’s no shortage of rumours to delve into as clubs across Europe look to bolster their squads for the second half of the season or to offload some players who are surplus to requirements.

Manchester City are reportedly on the verge of signing the ‘next Lionel Messi’, but Kalvin Phillips’ spell at the Etihad could be finally coming to an end.

Elsewhere, a Manchester United defender is wanted by Real Madrid and Bayern Munich and Arsenal are keeping tabs on two Sporting Lisbon stars. 

Below, Mail Sport takes a look at all the latest news and gossip on Wednesday. 

Manchester City are reportedly in pole position to sign teenager Argentine sensation Claudio Echeverri, who starred at the Under-17 World Cup

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are both keen to sign Raphael Varane in January

Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are both keen to sign Raphael Varane in January

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Manchester City are close to sign River Plate midfielder Claudio Echeverri. The River Plate starlet, who has already been dubbed ‘the next Lionel Messi’ after starring at the Under-17 World Cup, has attracted interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan. (ESPN)

Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are both looking to sign Raphael Varane in January. The 30-year-old has started two of Manchester United’s last three games after falling out of favour with Erik ten Hag and he’s out of contract at the end of the season. (Diario Sport – in Spanish) 

Lens are also in the running for Varane, who is open to leave Manchester United either in January or at the end of the season. The 2018 World Cup winner began his career with the Ligue 1 club. (L’Equipe – in French)

Jesse Lingard has been offered as a free agent to Lille, but a move to the Ligue 1 side could be complicated by Britain’s exit from the European Union. French clubs are currently limited to sign four players from non-EU countries. (The Mirror) 

Tottenham are working on a £25million deal to sign Arthur Vermeeren from Royal Antwerp. The 18-year-old is expected to remain on loan at the Belgian club for the remainder of the season, should the signing go through in January. (The Sun)

Arsenal and Chelsea may have to wait to land Sweden striker Viktor Gyokeres. The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with both London clubs but has insisted he wans to remain at Sporting Libson until the end of the season. Gyokeres, who has scored 17 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions this season, has an £87m release clause. (Record – in Portguese)

Arsenal are also leading he race to sign Gyokeres’ teammate Goncalo Inacio. The defender, who has a £52m release clause, is also on Liverpool’s radar. (A Bola – in Portuguese) 


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Newcastle and Juventus are interested in Kalvin Phillips as they look to bolster their midfield options. The England international has played just 10 games for Manchester City this season and has been heavily linked with a move away from the Etihad in January. (Football Insider) 

Inter Milan are keeping tabs on Anthony Martial and Chelsea forward Armando Broja as alternatives, should their bid to sign Iran international Mehdi Taremi from Porto fail next month. (Gazzetta dello Sport – in Italian) 

Atletico Madrid have turned down Juventus’ approach for Argentina midfielder Rodrigo de Paul. (Mundo Deportivo – in Spanish) 

Napoli and Juventus are keen to sign Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Manu Kone, who was previously linked with a move to Liverpool. (L’Equipe – in French) 



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