Newcastle want Digne and Umtiti EXCLUSIVE, Kounde to Chelsea LATEST, Ferran Torres to complete Barcelona transfer

BARCELONA appear to be ready to continue their spending spree in January after securing the signing of Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

The Nou Camp club are looking at a range of full backs with Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta among the names on Xavi's wishlist.

Meanwhile Newcastle are interested in a January swoop for big names Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti.

And we have all the latest on Chelsea's pursuit of Jules Kounde.

When does the January transfer window open and close?

The transfer window opens on January 1 and closes on the 31st at 11pm.

Clubs will be able to sign and sell players during that time, with the Premier League's winter break due to take place while the final week of the window is going on.

Get all the latest transfer news, gossip and updates here…


Read More Sun Sport


Jordan Pickford's wife Megan Davison reposts 'anti-vax' message online


Inside PSG star Neymar's new £2.5m Brazilian mansion which boasts 20-car garage


Antivax kickboxing champ dies of Covid after discharging himself from hospital


Fury invites Wilder around to spend Christmas holiday with Paris and kids

  • Etienne Fermie

    Sky pundit slams Man United

    Gary Neville blasted Manchester United's players for being 'whinge bags' against Newcastle.

    Neville's former side found themselves 1-0 down at St James Park after just seven minutes following Allan Saint-Maximin's opener.

    They went into half-time one goal behind and Sky Sports pundit Neville hit out at Ralf Rangnick's players.

    He said: "They've not done one single thing right as a team and not one player can go in at half-time and say they've done their job or even done themselves justice.

    "They've not had a game in 16 days but I'm not really looking at that to be honest because there's still a lot of basics they can do properly – which is win your battles, go in for tackles properly, show a bit of urgency and look like it matters.

    "They're whinging at each other, they're a bunch of whinge bags. Their arms are up in the air, they're complaining about everything.

    "They got the last manager the sack Ralf Rangnick is not going to get the sack, but they'll get a lot of managers the sack if they perform like that."


    Kylian Mbappe has been named as the Men’s Player of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

    The French star pipped rival Robert Lewandowski to the accolade, after starring for PSG and France.

    Antonio Conte has hinted that he could return to Inter Milan one day.

    After Inter rocketed back to the top of Serie A, Conte was quizzed by Sky Sport Italia about their progress.

    To which he replied: “I am happy with Inter’s consistency because they are continuing what we’ve done in the best way.

    “I can only compliment them, I think they have the basis to stay up there for a long time.

    “Perhaps, one day, I could return to overturn the predictions again.”Meanwhile, the Premier League has announced a record 103 Covid cases were recorded from December 20-26.

    It comes as stacks of games across the country have been postponed as a result of a spike in case numbers.


    Lucas Digne could be on his way to Toon next month – but only if Eddie Howe inspires a quick improvement.

    The Frenchman is in line to be sold by Rafa Benitez to raise desperately-needed funds for Goodison recruitment in the transfer window.

    And after falling out with the hard-line Everton boss the left back bought for £18million from Barcelona in 2018 is very much on Newcastle United’s radar.

    Yet while long-term money is no object at the world’s richest club following the Saudi takeover, the proposed budget for bringing in talent is around £50m.

    Digne, valued at £25m, would take up half that proposed fund when Howe will be looking to bring in at least three more.

    • Jon Boon


      World Cup winner and Barcelona misfit Samuel Umtiti has emerged as a £17million target for relegation-haunted Newcastle.

      The 28-year-old defender has fallen out of favour with successive managers at the cash-strapped Spanish giants.

      And they are desperate to offload Umtiti’s £220,000-a-week wages.

      But following the takeover by a Saudi-backed consortium the Toon may be one of the few clubs willing to splash out on the France international centre-back.

      Eddie Howe badly needs experienced reinforcements in the January transfer window as he seeks to drag Newcastle away from the drop-zone.

      And shoring up a leaky defence is a priority with the Magpies having conceded more than any other side in the division.

    • Jon Boon


      Bayern Munich are stepping up their interest in Leeds star Raphinha.

      The German giants are ready to test Leeds’ resolve in January but are prepared to wait until next summer.

      Leeds value the Brazilian winger at around £60m and insist they have had no contact with Bayern.

      The Yorkshire club are hopeful of agreeing an extension to Raphinha’s contract with his agent Deco, which expires in June 2024.

      Whites desperate to keep hold of him but would be huge return on the £20.6m they paid Rennes in October 2020.

      Liverpool have been monitoring over last 12 months and still keen.

    • Jon Boon


      A hopeful Newcastle fan urged Cristiano Ronaldo to join them from Manchester United in a hilarious sign.

      The Toon army are hoping for a big few transfer windows ahead following their £300million Saudi takeover.

      And one supporter has aimed high by attempting to convince 36-year-old Ronaldo across to St James Park.

      The wishful thinker held up a banner which read: "It's nearly 2022 NUFC is the club for you."

    • Jon Boon


      Callum Wilson insists he is not out to 'slag anyone off' on his new BBC podcast – after taking a dig at former boss Steve Bruce.

      The striker claimed Newcastle were not fit enough for the first game of the Premier League season against West Ham on The Footballer's Football Podcast with Michail Antonio.

      But Wilson, 29, says it is not their intention to hurt anyone's feelings.

      Speaking in Newcastle's matchday programme ahead of their clash against Manchester United, he said: "The BBC aren't trying to trip anyone up – they're not trying to catch us out or anything.

      "They're looking out for us as well.

      "We're not on to slag anyone off or anything like that – it's all positive, really, and hopefully only positive things can come with it."

    • Jon Boon


      Jurgen Klopp claims clubs who are blocking a return to five substitutions are putting players’ safety at risk – and pointed the finger at Burnley again.

      The Liverpool boss insists the move would be crucial in heading off the double whammy of Covid and fixture congestion.

      Yet he does not believe it will happen because clubs will block a rise from three subs in their own interests – and not those of the players.

      The German, 54, said: “The decision needs 14 votes to change it and that's something wrong.

      “What we realised again in the managers meeting – and we know it has always been like that – is how 14 clubs make the decision to change.

      “We have to put competition aside.

      “[Five substitutes] is the right decision, especially in this moment, because you bring players back in this moment, after Covid infection or an injury, and because of the games they have to play you risk injury and they have to go out again, maybe after 60 minutes.

      “That is a real problem. This wonderful game is so wonderful because usually the players on the pitch are in good shape, are well trained, are well recovered and go for it.

      “That is why we love the game. Now the situation is much more difficult.”

      Taking aim at Burnley, Klopp added: “There is something wrong. Here is an example.

      “With Burnley, I am not too sure how many of their players play international football.

      “When our players play three games, they [Burnley] have no game.

      “They have 38 Premier League games and three or four cup games, to make around 42 games a season.

      “So we are talking about an issue which some clubs and players definitely have, but it is decided by the other teams and we make a competition of it.

      "They say, ‘well they are better than us’, and that is a real problem. It's Premier League and can still cause us problems.

      "How many games does a top-class player play? With the league, some cup games, Champions League, internationals – it’s 50 games. Higher.

      “The further you go the harder it is on players. You need luck in these moments and you should not need luck.

      “We do not stop discussing it because if we don’t discuss it, it just stays like this.”

    • Jon Boon


      Antonio Conte has hinted that he could return to Inter Milan one day.

      The Italian, 52, quit the Nerazzurri back in May just days after guiding them to their first Serie A title in 11 years.

      He initially rejected advances from Tottenham Hotspur to succeed axed former boss Jose Mourinho, before accepting a second call after Nuno Espirito Santo was given the boot.

      Conte has enjoyed an encouraging start to life at Spurs and is yet to taste defeat in a league game with his new side.

      But if recent comments are anything to go by, he may already have half an eye on his next challenge.

      After Inter rocketed back to the top of Serie A, Conte was quizzed by Sky Sport Italia about their progress.

      To which he replied: "I am happy with Inter’s consistency because they are continuing what we’ve done in the best way.

      “I can only compliment them, I think they have the basis to stay up there for a long time.

      “Perhaps, one day, I could return to overturn the predictions again.”

    • Jon Boon


      Brendan Rodgers has slammed the ‘ridiculous’ schedule facing his injury-hit Leicester side as they prepare to face Liverpool on Tuesday night.

      The Foxes have no time to feel sorry for themselves after the 6-3 defeat to leaders Manchester City on Boxing Day.

      Just over 50 hours after the full-time whistle at the Etihad, they will be lining up against second-placed Liverpool at the King Power.

      And Rodgers admits he will not be able to make many changes to his starting line-up against his old club due to the number of players currently on the sidelines.

      So the same players will have to go again – and that means they will put themselves at risk.

      The Leicester chief said: “It's a ridiculous schedule. We all know that players aren't fully recovered for 72 hours after a game.

      “So for us to be playing on Tuesday against Liverpool, it is ridiculous

      “However, we have to play the game so there will be virtually no physical work, just recovery work and then we'll look at some video images and prepare from there.”

    • Jon Boon


      Kylian Mbappe has been named as the Men's Player of the Year at the Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.

      The French star pipped rival Robert Lewandowski to the accolade, after starring for PSG and France.

      Afterwards, Mbappe was asked to give his predictions for the forthcoming season – with PSG facing Real Madrid in the Champions League.

      He told Sky Sport: “The only thing I can see or predict for Real Madrid-PSG is Paris Saint-Germain to win.

      "It’s gonna be hard, complicated game – but I want to win both Champions League and World Cup in 2022."

      Elsewhere during the ceremony, Lewandowski didn't go home empty-handed. He was the recipient of the Maradona award for best goalscorer.

    • Jon Boon


      Callum Hudson-Odoi has overtaken Arjen Robben to become the youngest Chelsea player to make 10 Premier League assists.

      By winning a penalty in the first half of the Blues' 3-1 at Aston Villa, the 21-year-old notched up another assist – his 10th since his debut in 2018.

      Robben arrived at Stamford Bridge as a 20-year-old, and made nine assists in his debut campaign.

      However, he had to wait until the beginning of the 2005/06 season to get his 10th.

      Hudson-Odoi's form has impressed boss Thomas Tuchel.

      "I think he was brilliant," the Chelsea gaffer revealed after yesterday's game.

      "I was never frustrated with him today. He had one bad decision under pressure when he tried to do a back-heel in front of the coaching staff, maybe there was an easier solution to escape the pressure with an easy pass, there was a clear pass to NG [N’Golo Kante]. But I was never frustrated with him today.

      "I think he was brilliant today and we forced him. Normally it was clear he plays one half to the maximum of 60 minutes. This was already more than the recommendation of the fitness department but he was strong in training so I wanted to have him on the pitch.

      "Hakim Ziyech has only one training session, Callum had two and a half, so we decided to put him in.

      "He was involved. He overcame some obstacles today and some adversity. There was a big game a very important game from him.

      "Also we took a risk because he only just came back from Covid.’

    • Jon Boon


      Chelsea legend Gianluca Vialli picked up Italy's team of year award at the Globe Awards in Dubai.

      Roberto Mancini's European Championship winning side were victorious in the best national team of the year category.

      The magical moment can be seen on Twitter.

      Vialli recently announced his cancer had sadly returned.

    • Jon Boon


      Barcelona legend Gerard Pique has had his say on the Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi GOAT debate.

      The centre-back said they are 'two of the best in the history of the sport' but gave one of them the edge.

      Pique, 34, played with Ronaldo for a short time at Manchester United, and Messi, 34 for years at the Nou Camp. But he did not let that cloud his judgement.

      The Spaniard told BT Sport: "I think that they are both amazing.

      "We are talking about two of the best players, not just in the world but the history of this sport.

      "I always said Messi has some talent that no one has.

      "I mean, he has the ball and his speed controlling the ball.

      "The ball doesn't go two metres from his foot, it's always there.

      "It's impossible to catch him, this talent I didn't see from anyone.

      "Cristiano Ronaldo is such a different player, they are very different.

      "He is tall, strong, he's really complete. He can do anything.

      "He can do goals with the head, free-kicks, penalties, take one on one.

      "But for me it's like Messi is not human but Cristiano is the best of the humans."

    • Jon Boon


      Robert Lewandowski is leading the way on the red carpet at the Globe Soccer Awards, that is currently under way.

      The Bayern Munich striker, 33, will be hoping he can reclaim his title as Player of the Year, which he won in 2020.

      He was joined by his stunning Wag, Anna looking dapper in a tuxedo and bow tie.

      Also attending is Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe, as rumours continue over whether he will sign a new deal with the French side.

      Liverpool legend Ian Rush is also in attendance with his wife Carol Anthony

      Former England boss Fabio Capello looked happy to be invited as he posed with wife Laura Ghisi.

      Football royalty such as Roberto Mancini, Patrick Kluivert and Italian star Leonardo Bonucci also seemed to be enjoying themselves.

      Early winners on the night were Chelsea, who won the Team of the Year, and Italy, who were named the National Team of the Year.

    • Jon Boon


      The Premier League has announced a record 103 Covid cases were recorded from December 20-26.

      It comes as stacks of games across the country have been postponed as a result of a spike in case numbers.

      A Prem statement on Monday read: "The safety of everyone is a priority and the Premier League is taking all precautionary steps in response to the impact of the Omicron variant.

      "The League has reverted to its Emergency Measures, and has increased testing of players and club staff to daily Lateral Flow and twice-weekly PCR tests, having previously carried out Lateral Flow testing twice a week.

      "The League can today confirm between Monday 20 December and Sunday 26 December, 15,186 COVID-19 tests were administered on players and club staff.

      "Of these, there were 103 new positive cases.

      "The Premier League’s COVID-19 Emergency Measures include protocols such as wearing face coverings while indoors, observing social distancing, limiting treatment time, as well as the increased testing.

      "The League is continuing to work with clubs to keep people safe by helping mitigate the risks of COVID-19 within their squads.

      "We are also liaising closely with the Government, local authorities and supporter groups, while being responsive to any future changes to national or local guidance.

      "The Premier League is providing this aggregated information for the purposes of competition integrity and transparency.

      "No specific details as to clubs or individuals will be provided by the League and results will be made public on a weekly basis."

    • Dylan Terry

      Plan B measures for Premier League

      The Premier League's Plan B measures now mean there are a few more things you will have to do before going to a game.

      Here is what you need to do:

      • Pre-register your COVID status on your club's website
      • Mobile phone Download your NHS COVID pass
      • Face with medical mask Take a mask with you
      • House building Don't attend if you're showing any COVID symptoms

      Gallagher to return to Chelsea

      Conor Gallagher looks set to return to Chelsea and fight for a spot in the starting XI next season.

      Thomas Tuchel said: "We love Conor. We are convinced about him. We took the decision for Conor because when we looked at the midfield – Mateo Kovacic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante – he was considered number four in the group.

      "Conor knew this all the way. An opportunity came up where he could clearly see more minutes and more responsibility.

      "Would he be the same Conor if he had stayed here? Obviously not, because the situation will then be different. Maybe, then, the same people would say, ‘How can they rely on Conor Gallagher?', or ‘Why don’t they give him more minutes?'.

      "If Mateo hadn’t been injured, it wouldn’t really matter. So, no, you cannot go back to these decisions that are made for the club and for the player. Everybody agreed on it. And it’s obviously a good decision because he is doing so well and everybody is happy.

      "That’s because he plays every single game, and knows how important he is to the team at Crystal Palace. This is a huge part of being at the best level you can be."

      Eden Hazard set for Fenerbahce?

      Eden Hazard has vowed to play for Turkish giants Fenerbahce before he retires, according to former club chief Hasan Cetinkaya.

      The Belgium talisman, who moved to Real Madrid from Chelsea in a £150million deal in 2019, has told Cetinkaya he will play for the Turkish Super Lig side one day.

      Last year, Cetinkaya revealed: "Eden Hazard is an old friend of mine, I've known him since he was 15 or 16 years old and still played for Lille.

      "He had incredible sympathy for Fenerbahce and gave me his word: 'Hasan, one day I'll play for Fenerbahce, I just do not know when that will be'.

      "He was 16 when he played for Lille, they had him, Gervinho and Sow, but we could only attract Sow to us.

      "And then Hazard reached a different dimension, he was one of the greatest talents in Europe, and I wish he had, time will tell, Eden Hazard will one day play for Fenerbahce."

      Top of the flops

      Arsene Wenger brought some incredible players to Arsenal in his early years as Gunners boss.

      Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires… the list goes on and on.

      But even in his title-winning days not all of his signings were hits.

      Igors Stepanovs arrived at Highbury from Latvian side Skonto Riga in September 2000.

      The burly defender hardly arrived as a household name and he wouldn't exactly leave as one either.

      This is what he looked like then compared to now!

      Pogba should focus on fitness

      Ralf Rangnick says Paul Pogba needs to 'get fit again' before discussing his future at Manchester United.

      The German said: "On the day he came back from Dubai we spoke in person.

      "Right now, it’s about for him to get fit again.

      "I think this will take as far as I know another couple of weeks + until then my full focus is on the players who are available in the upcoming games."

      As things stand, there have been no offers to buy Pogba early in January, according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano.

      • Dylan Terry

        Xhak of the net

        Granit Xhaka reached out to a gutted Gooner who only found out Arsenal's games with Wolves was postponed as he was boarding a flight to the UK.

        Jack Robinson booked a trip from the USA to London for the game as part of his 10th wedding anniversary celebrations and was devastated to learn the match had been axed.

        Robinson and his wife Heather were sat on the runway about to take off from St Louis, Missouri for the trip they had arranged six months earlier when the crushing news broke.

        A distraught Robinson tweeted: "This one hurts so bad. I have had this planned and booked for well over six months. First the summer tour was cancelled on me now this game, lost for words, sick. It's me and my wife's 10-year anniversary, and I wanted to show her something special, something she can remember forever."

        However, having seen the tweet, Swiss midfielder Xhaka replied: "Hi Jack. I just got home from the game [against Norwich] and I have seen your tweets that you and your wife were flying over from America for our game against Wolves.

        "I could see you were upset about the game being cancelled as you had waited a long time to fly over to watch us. If you are still in London on January 1, I'd like to invite you to the Arsenal vs Manchester City game as my guest to thank you for your dedication to Arsenal. Would that be good for you? Granit."

      • Dylan Terry

        Premier League top scorers

        Mo Salah still leads the way in the Premier League top scorer charts with 15 goals so far this season.

        His teammate Diogo Jota is next up with 10, followed by Jamie Vardy, Raphinha and then Emile Smith Rowe.

        No Manchester United or Chelsea players make the list.

      • Dylan Terry

        Dusan Vlahovic to the Prem?

        Fiorentina forward Dusan Vlahovic may price himself out of a Premier League move with the striker reportedly demanding £200,000-a-week.

        The Serbian is being tracked by the likes of Arsenal and Chelsea after netting 18 goals in 22 games this term.

        But according to the Daily Star, the 21-year-old may price himself out of a big money January move after demanding a huge £200k-a-week contract AFTER TAX.

        Fiorentina are only willing to part ways with the striker for £70million too.

        In a boost to Vlahovic's potential buyers, Manchester City have already ruled out a potential move.

      • Dylan Terry

        Grealish the £100million man

        Will Jack Grealish's Premier League transfer record be broken in the January window?

        Source: Read Full Article