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Mario Balotelli was available for Liverpool’s FA Cup tie with Bolton on Saturday but was left out of the matchday squad. The rumour mill, as is the way, immediately linked the Italian with every club in Football Land, but Brendan Rodgers has no plans to sell...
"It's been a difficult period for Mario but he wants to fight for an opportunity here," he said. "The opportunity is there."
He tells Goal: "With a transfer as huge as a Schurrle one you could send out a signal to the competitors. The rumours have been circulating for a while now and the timing now is just right. I am confident they can become a serious rival for Bayern in the long-term.
"With Kevin de Bruyne they already have an exceptional player from Chelsea. If Schurrle really joined, the squad's quality would rise again and they would increase their chances to stand their ground on a sporting level."
He's only been gone from Serie A for five months but Alberto Gilardino is back. The Guangzhou Evergrande striker has rejoined Fiorentina, where he spent four years between 2008 and 2012, on loan.
Uh-oh. Could this prove a stumbling block in the pursuit of Juan Cuadrado? Gazzetta dello Sport reports today that Roma have switched their attention to Shakhtar Donetsk striker Luiz Adriano. The Ukrainian club value him at €15 million but have only been offered €10m so far.
Sky Sports claims Juan Cuadrado has told Fiorentina he is desperate to join Chelsea. The 26-year-old has already been the subject of a failed £20.6 million offer from the Premier League leaders and talks are ongoing between the two clubs.
Tottenham... Chelsea... Manchester City. Danny Ings has quite the pick of clubs if he leaves Burnley on a free transfer at the end of the season. Whether he would get enough playing time - *COUGH* homegrown player quota *COUGH* - who knows, but the Daily Mirror reports that Spurs are lining up a £5 million January bid.
According to El Gol Digital, David Moyes’ Real Sociedad are the latest club to express an interest in Chelsea outcast Mohamed Salah. The winger has played just 30 minutes of Premier League football this season and is allowed to leave. Roma and Hull are also keen.
Talks continue to stall between James Milner and Manchester City over a new deal. The 29-year-old has six months left on his current contract but is demanding first-team football before he signs an extension. Now, according to ESPN, Liverpool are confident of snapping him up on a free transfer in the summer.
Shola Ameobi is a wanted man. The 33-year-old left Turkish club Gaziantep by mutual consent last month and, according to the Daily Mirror, has Crystal Palace and West Brom to choose from as his next destination.
With a top-four place at stake in the second half of the season, Arsenal are pulling out all the stops to sign much-needed defender Gabriel Paulista. Manchester United? Well, not so much. Louis van Gaal does not expect to be busy in the final week of the window, and Goal’s Greg Stobart questions why...
In managerial transfer talk, former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires has given his thoughts on who should replace Arsene Wenger when the Gunners boss decides to call it quits.
He told Goal: "Who is the perfect replacement? Thierry Henry? He understands football and Arsenal. I don't know, but I like Carlo Ancelotti. But that's my opinion, it doesn't mean that Arsenal need Ancelotti at this time."
Jose Mourinho has refused to be drawn over talk of a move for Juan Cuadrado, but is he really the man Chelsea need? Goal’s Harry Sherlock was on scouting report duty last night as Fiorentina drew 1-1 with Roma in Serie A. Check out how the Colombian fared above.
Was his come-and-get-me-plea to Chelsea last week not enough? Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Douglas Costa is at it again - this time with some additional Jose Mourinho brownie points...
"To play at Chelsea is a dream for any player," he tells GloboEsporte. "It is standing next to some of the best players in the world and competing with the world's best as well. But really, what catches my eye is the coach. He is a very intelligent coach and has been victorious wherever he went."
Hipsters, it’s okay. Let it all out. Let those tears flow. Argentine legend Juan Roman Riquelme has announced his retirement from the game. But how did he reveal the big news? Dramatic press conference? Soppy Facebook post? Emotional tweet? Nope...
"I have decided to no longer play football," he simply said. "Now I am just a fan. I will go and suffer in the stadium. I am very pleased with the career I had."
Behave, rumour mill, behave. According to the Daily Express, Chelsea are keeping tabs on Raheem Sterling as his contract talks with Liverpool continue to stall. The 20-year-old, also wanted by Real Madrid, is yet to agree a new deal and is reportedly holding out for at least £100,000-a-week.
Duncan Castles reports: “With Newcastle owner Mike Ashley open to selling any of the club's players at a reasonable profit, Sissoko, 25, represents a lower-cost alternative to Cuadrado and Douglas. To raise funds for the new signing, Mourinho is prepared to sacrifice both Andre Schurrle and Mohamed Salah.”
Goal understands Jose Mourinho is considering alternative transfer targets to Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa with just a week of the window to go. Chelsea have been quoted fees in excess of £22 million for the duo and are weighing up Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko as a possible signing.
And the Daily Express also reckons Louis van Gaal has identified a new defender: Dinamo Kiev’s Aleksandar Dragovic. The 23-year-old Austrian is reportedly set to join for £15 million after a failed attempt to hijack Arsenal’s move for Gabriel Paulista.
The Daily Express claims today that Manchester United are interested in Gareth Bale and would be prepared to use David De Gea in a massive £120 million player-plus-cash swap deal with Real Madrid. The Spanish goalkeeper has just 18 months to run on his contract and United fear he will reject a new £200,000-a-week deal.
Oh hello there! With just seven days to go until transfer deadline day, we’re kicking this thing off an hour early all week long to bring you the latest news and rumours hot off the press. Manchester United and Chelsea dominate the transfer talk this morning - will we finally get a big done deal today?