🚨 Klopp to LEAVE Liverpool, Vermeeren signs for Atléti, Boey HERE WE GO, De Zerbi's focus, FAKE NEWS at Real, Phillips is a Hammer and more
Today's headlines, featuring Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd and much more!
Good morning folks and welcome to the latest Daily Briefing - thanks for reading, and enjoy! :-)
Today’s top stories:
New signing completed for Steven Gerrard at Al Ettifaq as Álvaro Medrán joins from Al Taawoun.
Fabrizio Romano has the latest update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Karim Benzema
Bayern Munich are ‘scared’ of Mikel Arteta and Arsenal. Find out why with a Christian Falk exclusive.
Official, confirmed. Atlético Madrid sign Arthur Vermeeren from Royal Antwerp. Contract until June 2030. Final fee: €18m guaranteed, €2m in easy add-ons, €3m difficult add-ons. Royal Antwerp will have a 10% sell-on clause.
Atlético Madrid, now likely to give the green light to the Moise Kean loan deal already agreed with Juventus for €500k fee. There’s optimism to proceed and get the deal done in the next days.
Brazilian Federation approached Thiago Scuro for the role of Seleçao sporting director but he rejected the proposal. He’s focused on AS Monaco project as Head of Football, wants to continue in Europe; he’s leading the process to sell the club.
Xavi: “I’m calm about my future. I've been here for two and half years now. I have less than more left. Pep was here for 4 years, Luis Enrique for 3. There will come a point where I've to leave, rest assured… The board tells me to forget about leaving. They are happy with the project, also the president is proud and we’re already talking regarding things about next season with Deco. Rumours about my continuity are there since August… I'm still here.”
Sergi Cardona is out of contract at Las Palmas in June. Big opportunity as several clubs from top 5 leagues have approached his agents. Barcelona are tracking him and also called his agents in recent months. One to watch in summer 2024, for sure.
Roberto Martinez backs Joao Felix to turn Barcelona form around [AS]
Xabi Alonso on the Liverpool job: “Speculation is normal, my focus is here on Bayer Leverkusen. I am very happy at Leverkusen with my players at the moment. Big surprise in Liverpool, of course. For what Jürgen did in Liverpool I have great respect and admiration… I'm happy here right now, that's for sure, and only thinking about Leverkusen…”
Borja Iglesias already completed the first part of medical tests as a new Bayer Leverkusen player. The move will be sealed in the next days, it’s all done. Here we go, confirmed.
Christian Falk has an exclusive and interesting insight into why Bayern pulled out of a deal for Newcastle United’s Kieran Trippier.
Why are the Bavarians keen to see where Joshua Zirkzee ends up? Christian Falk has the answer.
Thomas Tuchel might well be following Julian Nagelsmann out of the Bayern exit door in a few months. Christian Falk delves into the reasons why.
Sacha Boey to FC Bayern, here we go! Deal verbally agreed between clubs, now time for final details and then paperwork. Boey has landed in Munich for medical and contract signing later today. He will sign until June 2029.
Official, confirmed. Brentford have completed the signing of goalkeeper Hákon Valdimarsson from Swedish side Elfsborg.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Roberto De Zerbi on Liverpool job links after Klopp’s decision to leave: “No news about that. My focus is on the end of this season. We want to focus on our targets.”
Brighton confirm deal completed for 18-year-old midfielder Kamari Doyle from Southampton.
What’s the latest on Victor Osimhem, Callum Wilson, Viktor Gyokeres, Karim Benzema and Jhon Duran? Join Si Phillips for a huge transfer round-up.
Chelsea flop is being offered a way out with a lucrative package from Saudi club [Calciomercato]
Pochettino: “When I was sacked from Tottenham, the first message was from Jurgen Klopp. I want to show my respect because the job with Liverpool is amazing. We have to respect his wish to rest. We already miss him.”
Crystal Palace agree on a deal to sign Daniel Muñoz from Genk, done and set to be sealed. He’s travelling to London in order to undergo medical tests. Fee will be €10m, add-ons included. Here we go.
FA Cup Fourth Round
Incredibly, three of Friday night’s fourth round ties ended as draws, with Chelsea vs Aston Villa and Bristol City vs Nottingham Forest ending goalless and Sheffield Wednesday vs Coventry finishing in a 1-1 draw. Nathan Ake left it late to score Man City’s first goal at the new White Hart Lane, and his goal in the 1-0 win knocked Tottenham out [pictures from Emirates FA Cup].
Hellas Verona open talks to sign Róbert Boženík from Boavista. Negotiations are concrete now. He could be the replacement for Milan Djurić who’s set to join Monza.
Genoa have reached an agreement to sign David Ankeye from FC Sheriff. Deal completed for fee around €2.5m as 2002 born striker will join Genoa on a permanent transfer. One more interesting talent for Genoa.
Jürgen Klopp has announced that he is leaving Liverpool at the end of the current Premier League season [pictures from Liverpool Football Club Twitter account - a full version of the video can be found via this link to the official Liverpool YouTube channel].
Assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz, and development coach Vitor Matos will also leave Liverpool at the end of the season. Jorg Schmadtke will leave the club at the end of the January transfer window.
Klopp: “The players didn't have lot of questions, they are in a good mood. My successor? I won’t say anything. So many people work here with one idea: to find a perfect solution for Liverpool. The last thing they need is advice from the old man leaving.”
Klopp on the next steps in his career: “No club, no country for the next year. No other English club EVER. Even if I have nothing to eat, it will not happen.”
Tuchel on Klopp leaving Liverpool: “I have to digest that first… Kloppo is one of the very best coaches in the world, he has always managed to influence the clubs where he worked. It's big news.”
“Alonso or Roberto De Zerbi” – Fabrizio Romano reacts to incredible Klopp news.
Liverpool and Man City are set to do battle for one £50m-rated Bayern ace. What’s the latest? Christian Falk has an up-to-date appraisal.
Guardiola: "Berrada to United is not something wrong. If he wasn't happy, why not? I think the same for transfers. If someone isn't happy here and wants to go to Man United and we agree on price, why not? If we want a United player and they agree on price, why not?"
Guardiola’s big mistake: Man City knew Kalvin Phillips was wrong fit immediately [The Athletic]
Pep Guardiola asked about his energies after Jurgen Klopp’s statement. “I'm fine, thanks. I want to do it still for one more year. Maybe I can also extend…”
The Red Devils would have to do “something crazy” to land Eric Choupo-Moting from Bayern. Find out why thanks to another Christian Falk exclusive.
Ten Hag on Klopp: “I can understand that he’s running out of energy. Nine years is a long time. The Premier League is very intense, the combination with European club football, when you're there nine years it's a long period.”
Ten Hag on Omar Berrada as new CEO: “Everyone notices this club is going into a period of changes. I'm sure INEOS and me are very aligned on this. We have to change. I am very happy to raise the standards, to collaborate more and INEOS can have a big impact on that.”
Ten Hag confirms Man United are not signing any strikers in January: “I looked into options but there is no space for Financial Fair Play. Of course, Rashford can play as a striker; we have some other alternatives but yes, Martial will be out for weeks.”
“Club are preparing for big changes” - Fabrizio Romano’s exclusive look at the recent rumours surrounding Erik ten Hag.
Manchester United offered the chance to sign 11-goal former Barcelona striker [HITC via TeamTalk]
Medical tests completed for Quentin Merlin as new Marseille player. Total package worth less than €12m as final fee to Nantes for the full-back.
Napoli will pay a €16m fee plus €2m in add-ons to Udinese for Nehuén Pérez. The agreement is at the final stages and the player will sign a four-year deal with an option for a further season. Details to be sealed shortly then here we go.
Leander Dendoncker has joined Napoli on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season. Buy option clause: €9m.
Napoli’s five-man shortlist to replace Victor Osimhen revealed [CBS]
Napoli president de Laurentiis: “José Mourinho is not part of our plans, it was never discussed despite links. I believe his future won’t be in Italy.”
Napoli president De Laurentiis on Zielinski out of contract in June: “Maybe his agent feels there’s good money for them. But Zielinski’s salary here is way higher than the one reportedly offered by Inter. I told Inter CEO Marotta: ‘I’m not happy with your behaviour.’”
Napoli president de Laurentiis on Osimhen saying that he “already made a decision” on his future. “We knew that, otherwise talks over new deal would not have been that long… Probably last summer he was going to join Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or an English club.”
Eddie Howe: “We are confident that Kieran Trippier will stay here. He never asked to leave or questioned his future. He’s always been committed, a top professional. A bid from Besiktas for Lascelles? I also want him to stay.”
Fabrizio Romano had some encouraging words for Newcastle over their stance on Kieran Trippier.
Eddie Howe on Callum Wilson: “Once again, he’s 100% committed to this club. We want to keep Callum. But obviously some things are out of my control.”
Has Joelinton played his final game as Newcastle player? Howe: “It’s a possibility but I hope that’s not the case… I want him to stay. Before a player signs a contract he has to be happy with everything… and so it’s a possibility he’ll be sold in the summer.”
Eddie Howe on Miguel Almirón and Saudi: “I’m desperate to keep him. There has been noise but hopefully we can keep Miguel. His contribution has been immense.”
Eddie Howe on the Doomsday scenario over major Newcastle player [Fabrizio Romano]
Nottingham Forest are also trying to sign a new goalkeeper in the final days. Club has been working on Péter Gulácsi deal. Contact already took place but RB Leipzig are not intentioned to let him leave.
Rangers have reached an agreement with Fluminense to sign Brazilian left-back Jefté. Deal in place, waiting for APOEL to give the green light as he’s on loan in Cyprus. Jefté also agreed terms with Rangers, contract valid until June 2027.
Los Blancos could be ready to offer a player plus cash for Bayern’s Alphonso Davies. Christian Falk has the latest.
Ancelotti hits back after VAR stories in Spain this week: “They have talked a lot, all of them… We know what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football and the Civil Guard is carrying out an investigation. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”
Carlo Ancelotti: “Reports of Karim Benzema back to Real Madrid are fake. It’s fake news. I did not speak to the club about Karim Benzema and a potential return.”
Carlo Ancelotti discusses Jude Bellingham replacement [Football Espana]
Stade de Reims
Stade de Reims have sent a formal bid to Almería to sign Sergio Akieme. First proposal still not close to the asking price but talks took place for the Spanish left-back to join the French side.
Noah Ohio, attracting interest as he could leave Standard Liege in the final days of the transfer window. Dutch striker has been approached by several clubs, England could be also a possibility. Time to decide soon for Dutch U21 top scorer this year.
The Debrief Podcast
Ben and Angus are joined by French Football Insider and CBS Reporter Jonathan Johnson to talk about the future of Kylian Mbappe at PSG, plus the latest on Karim Benzema's exit from Saudi Arabia and the sale of Monaco and Marseille. Fabrizio Romano drops in to give the latest on all of the other transfer rumours as we're just one week from the window shutting.
Mexican side Santos Laguna have sealed the agreement with Verona for Argentinian defender Bruno Amione. Final fee will be around €3m.
Villarreal have opened talks with Marseille for Ismaila Sarr, initial proposal already on the table. Negotiations ongoing for a loan deal with a buy option. Sarr has already given his potential green light to the move.
West Ham United
Kalvin Phillips is a new West Ham player. “I’m sure we can give the West Ham fans plenty to be excited about,” he said.
Pep Guardiola on a future at Man City for Kalvin Phillips: "Why not? You have to play to make me realise how wrong I was. He helped us in every training session and the minutes he played. Great guy, always professional. So, why not?"
Talented forward Callum Marshall’s set to sign a new long term deal at West Ham ahead of a loan move to West Brom until the end of the season.