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Transfer Talk: Coutinho tempted by Man Utd, Spurs, Chelsea amid Barca's Neymar pursuit

January is just around the corner. Click here to view the latest transfers, and keep up to date with the newest gossip below.

TOP STORY: Coutinho tempted by Premier League return

Philippe Coutinho could be tempted by a return to the Premier League if Bayern Munich do not take up their €120m purchase option on the Barcelona midfielder, according to Mundo Deportivo

The Brazil star is only two years into his five-year contract at Camp Nou, but looks increasingly likely to be shown the exit door in January with Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham all believed to be interested in the ex-Liverpool man's services.

Sources have told ESPN that Barca manager Ernesto Valverde wants rid of the 27-year-old to fund a colossal bid to re-sign Neymar from Paris Saint-Germain, but will likely have to settle for a fraction of the €160m deal they agreed with Liverpool in January 2018.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Spurs boss Jose Mourinho see Coutinho as a potential replacement for Juan Mata and Christian Eriksen respectively, whilst Chelsea are also free to sign players again following the lifting of the club's transfer ban.

Man City identify centre-back targets

Man City boss Pep Guardiola isn't giving anything away about new signings, but the Daily Telegraph reports that the club have targets to improve their defence.

Nathan Ake is one, given he has a £40m clause which could see him return to Stamford Bridge from Bournemouth. But the report also says: "City are  watching the situations of Villarreal's Pau Torres and Benfica's Ruben Dias, who are both aged 22 and rated as two of the best young defenders in Europe."

Napoli's Kalidou Koulibaly is also mentioned, though is more of a target for United than City.

Barcelona's Willian pursuit hits snag

While Coutinho is nearing a move away from the club, the Sun reports that Barcelona have hit a snag in their bid to bring fresh faces through the door, with Chelsea forward Willian happy to stay at Stamford Bridge for the rest of his career. 

The forward -- whose current deal expires at the end of the season -- has been strongly linked with a move to the Catalan giants in recent months and was widely considered to be a key target for Valverde.

Willian, 31, appeared to have fallen down the pecking order following the emergence of young talents Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic. However, the Brazilian has bounced back this campaign with 5 goals in 23 appearances, and he insists he's happy in West London after striking gold again with an impressive brace against Tottenham on Sunday.

Juventus hopeful Pogba may come back

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba could still complete the most expensive game of 'pass the parcel' of all time with a January return to Juventus, Tuttosport has reported

However, any move could prove to be extortionate, with the Bianconeri expected to have to fork out £52m, plus former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can, in order to seal a deal.

Pogba has been hampered by injuries this season, but made his return from the bench in last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Watford. The France playmaker moved to Old Trafford for a second spell at a cost of £89.3m in 2016 -- a then-world record fee -- but has been relentlessly linked with a return to Italy in recent months, having initially left the Red Devils to move to Turin as a youngster.

La Liga side Real Madrid have also been at the centre of strong speculation regarding a move for Pogba, but Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri is now hopeful of sealing a deal.

Manchester United, Spurs battle for French star Soumare 

Mourinho looks set to snatch a deal for Lille star Boubakary Soumare from under the nose of the man who replaced him at Man United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to French publication L'Equipe

Soumare has taken Ligue 1 by storm this season and has caught the eye of a host of European clubs, with Napoli, Real Madrid and Valencia among those interested in the 20-year-old.

Mourinho's position will likely be bolstered by the fact that he has already poached assistant manager Joao Sacramento and goalkeeping coach Nuno Santos from the French side, although reports suggest Spurs may have to splash out £50m to land the 6-foot-2 central midfielder.


-- While Manchester United appear set to win the race for FC Salzburg striker Erling Haaland, reports in Italy suggest that the saga has taken another turn following an intervention by the player's agent, Mino Raiola. Both Corriere dello Sport and Tuttosport now say Juventus have all but secured the player's services at a bargain price, with the fee believed to be around £25m.

-- Atletico Madrid are closely monitoring Rafael Borre, the 24-year-old River Plate forward whose rights Los Rojiblancos own 50% of, Madrid outlet AS reports, and adds that Everton are similarly interested and prepared to bid €15m for his services.


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