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the Daily Briefing - Arsenal scouting winger, the latest on De Gea's Man Utd contract, and why didn't Liverpool sign this Portuguese talent?

My exclusive briefing on today's biggest stories, featuring updates on Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd and more.
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Today’s top stories:

AC Milan

Olivier Giroud with a goal and an assist last night. Fair to remember AC Milan invested just €1m fee plus €1m add-ons to sign him from Chelsea in July 2021.

What a deal this has proven to be - Giroud has scored 21 goals in 55 apps with Milan, playing a key role in their title success last season.

More: a new deal for the experienced Frenchman will be discussed soon.

Arsenal

I’ve said before I think Arsenal could be active this January, but it’s still a bit early to know for sure, and I thought I should set the record straight on growing speculation involving a move for Facundo Torres of Orlando City.

There’s still nothing advanced yet. Facundo is one of many players that Arsenal are following and scouting, he’s appreciated – but it’s not something serious yet.

He’s a promising talent, and there are several clubs in Italy, Spain and UK following him. Keep an eye on him, for sure, because he has big teams monitoring him, but it’s too early for now to know where his future lies.

💬 Would you like to see Facundo Torres at Arsenal? Or should they be focusing on other targets? Let me know in the comments!

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Barcelona

Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos: “I’ve never met with Barca director Mateu Alemany. We want to extend the contract with Chelsea, it’s our priority. We only had conversations about Jorginho with Chelsea — no other clubs.”

Brighton

Official, confirmed. Brighton have now completed Facundo Buonanotte signing on a permanent deal from Rosario Central. The Argentine wonderkid born in 2004 has been also approved by Roberto de Zerbi — contract until 2026 with an option for further season.

Celta Vigo

Eduardo Coudet has been officially sacked by Celta Vigo — while Carlos Carvalhal is in as his replacement, it’s done and confirmed. Carvalhal will be appointed on a two year deal after agreement was reached yesterday morning.

Chelsea

Arsen Zakharyan remains a target for Chelsea. They have been interested in him for some time and they remain in contact with his club Dynamo Moscow and with the player’s agent. Zakharyan only wants Chelsea, so now it’s just about working through technicalities to see if they can get a deal done. Other clubs are interested in this big, big talent, but his priority is to get a move to Chelsea.

Jorginho’s agent Joao Santos: “I’ve never met with Barca director Mateu Alemany. We want to extend the contract with Chelsea, it’s our priority. We only had conversations about Jorginho with Chelsea — no other clubs.”

Denis Zakaria: “Chelsea fans are amazing. I’m very excited, I’m very happy and it’s important for me to play a good game. I left Juventus to play and I waited for my chance… the manager said play like you did in training. I did my best.”

Crystal Palace

Wilfried Zaha has not made any decision yet on his future. Crystal Palace have informed him of the intention to offer a new deal, but in this case it's only up to Zaha and he has not decided yet. I think he could be an interesting solution for many big six clubs, but he needs to play regularly; it's really important for him. As things stand, he could be a free agent next summer and that’s a great opportunity for many clubs, but let’s see what happens in the next few months.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta on Romelu Lukaku: “We will wait for Lukaku after his new injury. There are many injuries in Europe around top clubs with many games, so we are gonna wait him.”

Negotiations expected to take place in the next few months with Chelsea to extend Lukaku’s loan deal for one more year.

Liverpool

I’ve seen some speculation doing the rounds that Liverpool tried to sign Vitinha this summer before he ended up moving from Porto to Paris Saint-Germain.

However, from what I’m told, Liverpool were never in talks to sign Vitinha. It was always PSG as Luis Campos wanted him as priority target.

He’s very good player – but Liverpool wanted Aurelien Tchouameni or Jude Bellingham, no other players. Obviously, Tchouameni went to Real Madrid instead, whereas Bellingham stayed with Borussia Dortmund, but he’ll be one to watch again next summer.

After a difficult season, we’re seeing some speculation about Jurgen Klopp, but his agent has been clear: there is no intention to resign, and the manager retains the full backing of the Liverpool board.

My understanding is the same - Klopp still has a very good relationship with the Liverpool board. He thinks they need some important investments in the market, they are in the race for Jude Bellingham, and although other top clubs from England and Spain will be there too, the Liverpool board will back their manager.

Jurgen Klopp on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: “He's a good player, I like him. A really difficult one. Really quick. When he has the advantage of the first movement, he's gone. He has speed, he is cheeky. He goes inside and outside. He is on fire and didn't get frustrated.”

Manchester City

First start, first goal for Rico Lewis in Champions League in last night’s win over Sevilla. Another talent coming from Man City Academy. Born in 2004, he’s considered part of City’s future. I’m told that they are planning a new contract offer for the teenager, whose current deal expires in 2025.

📰 In other news, Man City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is a target for Atletico Madrid as he nears the end of his contract at the Etihad Stadium (Mundo Deportivo)

Manchester United

David de Gea is not in talks with any other club, as of now. He's only waiting for Manchester United and he'd really love to stay. Ultimately, it will be Erik ten Hag's decision, and his words about De Gea were really positive in the last few weeks. I haven’t been told anything about De Gea’s wages or the terms of the deal yet, but he wants to stay at Old Trafford, for sure, so let’s see.

💬 Should Manchester United give De Gea a new deal or would you like to see them sign a new goalkeeper? Let me know in the comments!

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Erik ten Hag on Diogo Dalot: “I hope he keeps progressing, not only stick to this level. We're really happy with the development of Diogo. New right-back? I know every club at the top level always needs backup and competition.”

Napoli

Jurgen Klopp on Khvicha Kvaratskhelia: “He's a good player, I like him. A really difficult one. Really quick. When he has the advantage of the first movement, he's gone. He has speed, he is cheeky. He goes inside and outside. He is on fire and didn't get frustrated.”

📰 In other news, Kvaratskhelia could cost as much as £86m as the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool show an interest in him (Evening Standard)

Rennes

What a season Martin Terrier is having, and it’s inevitably led to links with Premier League clubs in recent times, but what’s the truth?

He’s doing fantastic, and so there are always scouts following him from English clubs and also Serie A clubs.

Sources close to Rennes guarantee they'd ask for €45-50m for Terrier, but nothing is happening yet. I think he’ll have a fair few options, but it’s too early to say anything concrete on his future right now.

Tottenham

Tottenham have confirmed the extent of the injury to Son Heung-min, saying he will now “undergo surgery to stabilise a fracture around his left eye”.

Wolves

Julen Lopetegui to Wolves is back on, new talks progressing very well. Final details are now still under discussion, but all parties are confident. Lopetegui instigated new talks after turning down an offer from Wolves a few weeks ago, when he was initially keen to take more of a break from football.

🏆 Fabrizio Romano’s World Cup Dream Team 🏆

I’m happy to make the final addition to my World Cup Dream Team, as I add a central striker to my line up today.

While I’d love to pick Erling Haaland, he and Norway are unfortunately not at this World Cup, so the only other obvious candidate for me is Karim Benzema. The Ballon d’Or winner has been a joy to watch for Real Madrid, and it’s great to see him revive his international career with France as well.

See below for my World Cup Dream Team in full…

What do you think of my XI? Who would make yours? Let me know in the comments!

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Fabrizio Romano