Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc insisted no decision had been made on Mario Gotze's future at the Bundesliga club.

Gotze, 27, is coming out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move away, having made just five Bundesliga starts this campaign.

The 63-time Germany international is in his second stint at Dortmund, but Zorc said the parties would wait to make a decision on the attacker's future.

"That has not yet been decided," he told Ruhr Nachrichten.

"It is of course also the case with him that he would like to have more minutes. We are talking to Mario.

"I spoke to his father before Christmas. I spoke to him again in Marbella. We will surely get together in the spring and then make a final decision."

Another player linked with a move from Dortmund is Achraf Hakimi, who has impressed on loan at the club from Real Madrid.

Zorc said he would like to keep the Morocco international for longer, with Hakimi having joined on a two-year loan deal in mid-2018.

"I always like to stick to facts. According to the contract, he will return to Real Madrid in the summer because his contract will take effect on July 1," he said.

"Our contacts are himself and Real. Of course we would like to see him with us longer, that's clear too.

"But we cannot influence it alone. I think Achraf knows very well what development he has taken with us. He just took is from us, not anywhere else.

"According to his own statement, he also feels very comfortable. Everything else will clear up in the spring."

Pepe Reina is back in the Premier League after joining Aston Villa from Milan on loan, while Bournemouth's Asmir Begovic has moved to San Siro on a short-term deal.

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Reina, who spent eight years at Anfield as the Reds' first-choice shot-stopper, will spend the remainder of the season at Villa Park.

Villa have moved for the 37-year-old due to the season-ending knee injury England's Tom Heaton suffered earlier this month.

Reina joined Milan from Napoli in 2018 but has been unable to dislodge Gianluigi Donnarumma and has been restricted to five Serie A appearances.

Donnarumma's deputy will now be ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Begovic, who has also moved on a deal that runs until the end of the campaign.

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho says he is "not an idiot" and can see Christian Eriksen is a long way from his best, while adding he is "waiting for news" on the signing of Gedson Fernandes.

Eriksen has been heavily linked with a move to Inter as his contract is due to expire at the end of the season and has only registered two goals and the same number of assists in 18 Premier League outings this season.

The Denmark international was criticised for his performance in the 1-0 home Premier League defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, with Mourinho asked if he had seen a lack of effort from the 27-year-old.

"If you ask me if this is the best Christian Eriksen, I have to be honest and say no," Mourinho said ahead of Tuesday's FA Cup third-round replay against Middlesbrough, where he is likely to start Eriksen.

"I also think the same as you think and probably what our fans thought in the game. He didn’t have a very good performance against Liverpool, I have to agree with that.

"If you ask me if I know the reasons, I'm not an idiot, I’ve been in football for many years. I know clearly that a player who is in this situation is not a player that even if he wants [to perform], it's normal that a player doesn’t perform at the highest level. 

"I'm not blaming or criticising the player. I can also say that he is helping us in matches that he is playing with us. 

"He has had positive performances and contributions for example the game against Olympiacos which was a fundamental match for us to qualify, same against Norwich he had a very good performance. 

"We have very, very important injuries and every player we have has to be ready to help the team. We are not in a position to think anything different than that." 

Amid reports Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes is undergoing a medical at Tottenham ahead of becoming Mourinho's first signing, the Spurs boss was reluctant to discuss the 21-year-old, but did say he was awaiting an update.

The Portugal international is expected to sign on an initial 18-month loan with an obligation for Spurs to buy him for £55million, having won the race with West Ham for the player's signature.

Mourinho said of Fernandes: "I am waiting for news. News can come or not. I'm more worried about Middlesbrough than the market.

"Even if you get a player you cannot play him in a replay. So in this moment I'm not interested in Gedson or any kind of player."

After being handed a Premier League debut against Liverpool on Saturday, defender Japhet Tanganga is also poised to face Boro.

Asked if the 20-year-old was going to be out of contract having only signed a one-year deal ahead of the season, Mourinho indicated an extension had been done.

He added: "Do you think I would play him if his contract was expiring?"

Toby Alderweireld has started all 13 matches under Mourinho, who said the Belgium defender would be rested against Boro but, due to the club's injury list, he cannot afford to give any others a break as he would like to.

Thomas Muller will not make any decisions on his long-term Bayern Munich future until the end of the season.

The former Germany international has spent his entire professional career at the Allianz Arena, where he has won eight Bundesliga titles, five DFB-Pokals and a Champions League medal.

However, Muller admitted back in October he was considering his options after finding his game time limited under ex-boss Niko Kovac.

With Hansi Flick now at the helm, until at least the end of the campaign, the circumstances have changed again, though rumours suggesting Muller may fancy a new challenge persist.

The man himself does not plan to rush a decision.

Speaking to Sport1, he said: "My focus is exclusively on being successful this season.

"What will happen in the summer, I will talk to the club and consider my options. Then let's see in which direction things will go."

It was put to Muller that talk surrounding his future would be put to bed by signing a new deal, with his contract at Bayern due to expire in 2021.

He replied: "With such a thing, all parties have to put their arguments in the pot. Let's see if we can make an agreement there.

"You just have to compare what all parties want."

Bayern are third in the Bundesliga after 17 matches, four points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig.

Sevilla defender Simon Kjaer has joined Milan on loan with a view to a permanent move after cutting short his spell with Atalanta.

The Denmark international made five Serie A appearances and enjoyed one Champions League outing with Atalanta, but has now joined their Italian rivals.

Sevilla, the club Kjaer moved to from Fenerbahce in 2017, confirmed the switch in a brief statement on Monday, revealing a purchase option that will come into force at the end of the season.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli will hope Kjaer can provide a boost to his flagging side, who sit 10th in the table.

The San Siro club have been buoyed by the return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Cagliari to snap a three-game winless streak.

Liverpool have sent centre-back Nathaniel Phillips back to Stuttgart on loan for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.

The 22-year-old was only recalled to Anfield on December 27 amid a defensive injury crisis for manager Jurgen Klopp.

Phillips made his Liverpool debut in the FA Cup win over Everton earlier this month, but it was confirmed on Monday he will now return to Stuttgart with Joel Matip (knee) and Dejan Lovren (hamstring) closing in on returns to fitness.

Stuttgart sit third in the Bundesliga II and Phillips made nine league appearances for them during his initial spell.

Barcelona appear ready to turn to their next coaching target as the LaLiga giants eye Mauricio Pochettino.

Ernesto Valverde is under enormous pressure after the Supercopa de Espana semi-final loss to Atletico Madrid, but Xavi has reportedly turned down the job – for now.

Amid contrasting reports over Barca's next decision, they may be lining up a move for Pochettino.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA CONTACT POCHETTINO OVER COACHING JOB

Barcelona contacted former Tottenham manager Pochettino to be their next boss, according to RAC1.

It comes as widespread reports in Spain say Al Sadd boss and former Barcelona star Xavi turned down the position.

Meanwhile, Catalunya Radio reported Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman also rejected the opportunity.

After a meeting on Sunday, Barca decided to stick with Valverde for now, according to Sport.

ROUND-UP

- Amid reports Manchester United had agreed to terms with Bruno Fernandes, the Mirror says the Premier League club are set to bid £65million (€76.1m) for the Sporting CP midfielder this week.

- Tottenham are set to sign Benfica's Gedson Fernandes as further details about a possible move emerge. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Spurs will sign the Portugal international on loan with an option to buy for between £42.7m (€50m) and £51.2m (€60m) in 2021.

- Jerome Boateng continues to be linked with a Bayern Munich exit. Milan are ready to challenge Arsenal for the defender, according to Sky Germany.

- Coming out of contract at season's end, it appears Layvin Kurzawa's future is away from Paris Saint-Germain. L'Equipe reports the left-back – who has made just five Ligue 1 starts this campaign – recently rejected Inter but the Serie A club remain hopeful of signing the 27-year-old this month.

- Juventus are looking to the future. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A champions are keeping an eye on teenage Ajax midfielder Ryan Gravenberch and AZ forward Calvin Stengs.

Juventus director Fabio Paratici said it is "unlikely" the Serie A champions will add to their squad in January, while ruling out an exit for defender Daniele Rugani.

Tottenham star Christian Eriksen has been linked with a move to Juve, who have already signed midfielder Dejan Kulusevski and loaned the teenager back to Parma until the end of the season.

There seems to be far more rumours regarding departures amid uncertainty over Emre Can, Adrien Rabiot and Rugani, however, Paratici does not expect any incoming transfers during this month's window.

"The Scudetto race is complicated and includes Lazio, who have a very strong squad, as they showed against us, and Inter have already bought many top-level players this summer like Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi, so it'd be a surprise if they were to make even more big investments," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia prior to Sunday's 2-1 win at Roma.

"We believe that we have a very competitive squad and for a while you in the media told us we had too many players. Therefore, it seems unlikely we'd need to bring in any more in January.

"We are evaluating with Marko Pjaca, as he has been injured and needs playing time. We're also evaluating if he could remain with us, if there aren't options that satisfy all parties."

Rugani continues to attract interest from abroad, with Premier League trio Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester City reportedly eyeing the Italian.

The 25-year-old has made only one Serie A appearance this season and three across all competitions under Maurizio Sarri in Turin.

But Paratici said: "I can exclude right now that Daniele Rugani will leave. We need to see what happens with Giorgio Chiellini. People tend to forget he has played quite a few games and won important trophies.

"My concern is that because Rugani is so quiet, well-mannered, doesn't make a big fuss or is a fashionable player, he ends up being underestimated."

Juve are two points clear of rivals Inter after 19 matches.

Mikel Arteta will not change Arsenal's plans to send Eddie Nketiah on another loan spell even with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang set to begin a three-match suspension.

Gunners captain Aubameyang was sent off for a studs-up tackle on Max Meyer during Saturday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Crystal Palace, where he earlier opened the scoring with his 16th goal of the season.

The Gabon striker will miss Sheffield United's visit to Emirates Stadium and the trip to Chelsea, along with an FA Cup fourth-round tie at Bournemouth.

Nketiah is back at Arsenal having only made two Championship starts during half a season with promotion-chasing Leeds United.

Aston Villa, Norwich City and Bristol City are among those to have been linked to the England Under-21 international and Arteta insists being without Aubameyang for the rest of this month will not influence how Arsenal handle a promising young talent.

"At the moment we have to think medium-to-long term with Eddie, we have to respect his evolution, his development, and we don’t have to make decisions just based on two or three games," he said.

"We are losing probably the most important player, this is never nice, we have other players that can play in that position, we will try to find a way and be as competitive as possible.

"Hopefully they have to take a step forward now he's not able to contribute to the team with goals like this, someone else has to do it and I want to see their reaction too."

Aubameyang apologised for his ugly challenge on Meyer but Arteta wants Arsenal to maintain the aggressive approach without the ball he has sought to introduce since replacing Unai Emery as head coach last month.

"Absolutely. I asked them to go 100 mph to chase the ball, to be very aggressive and when we don't have it to win it again as quickly as possible," he explained.

"We need to know that there are certain areas we can do that. It's game management and we'll get better at that in the future hopefully.

"We need to know at this type of ground they are going to put you on the back foot in many situations."

Mattia Caldara has completed a return to Atalanta from Milan on an initial 18-month loan deal.

Atalanta also have the option to make the move permanent, with reports suggesting the Rossoneri would be due a €15million fee to do so.

Much was expected of Atalanta academy product Caldara when he moved to San Siro in a €35million move from Juventus, which saw Leonardo Bonucci transferred back to the Bianconeri in a similar deal in August 2018.

However, the centre-back has made just two competitive appearances for the Rossoneri, largely due to two serious injuries.

Caldara sustained an Achilles tendon rupture in September 2018, before rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in April.

A statement from Milan read: "AC Milan announces the agreement for the player Mattia Caldara to join Atalanta on an 18-month loan deal with right to buy.

"AC Milan wishes Mattia the best of luck in his future sporting career."

Atalanta, who defeated Milan 5-0 last month, drew 1-1 with the Rossoneri's city rivals Inter on Saturday and are fifth in the Serie A table.

Milan are eighth after a 2-0 win at Cagliari.

Manchester United or Real Madrid?

Ajax star Donny van de Beek is a wanted man following his exploits for the Eredivisie champions.

But the LaLiga giants are reportedly poised to get their target at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – VAN DE BEEK SET FOR MADRID

Ajax midfielder Donny van de Beek is on the verge of joining Real Madrid instead of Manchester United, claims The Mirror.

United have reportedly emerged as a suitor for Van de Beek in January due to injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

But a transfer to Madrid at the end of the season "is more than 80 per cent certain", according to the report.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Metro says Premier League champions Manchester City have joined the race to sign Aston Villa's Jack Grealish. Rivals United have been heavily linked to the midfielder.

Tottenham are nearing a deal to bring Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes to London on an 18-month loan contract, reports Sky Sports. West Ham have also been looking to sign the 21-year-old.

- United midfielder Nemanja Matic is in talks to swap Old Trafford for MLS outfit Chicago Fire, according to The Sun. Linked to Atletico Madrid, Inter and Milan, the Fire want to bring in the veteran as a replacement for Bastian Schweinsteiger.

Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Milan midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu, reports The Mirror.

- La Gazzetta dello Sport says Inter have reached an agreement with Christian Eriksen for a contract until 2024. Now, Inter must strike a deal with Tottenham for the soon-to-be free agent. Spurs reportedly want €20million (£17m) for the Dane.

- Sporting CP captain Bruno Fernandes has agreed personal terms with United for a contract until 2025 with yearly wages of €6m, according to Italian journalist Nicolo Schira.

Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho dismissed transfer speculation amid rumours over Gedson Fernandes and Christian Eriksen.

Benfica midfielder Fernandes is reportedly close to joining Tottenham on an 18-month loan deal, while Spurs star Eriksen has emerged as a target for Serie A outfit Inter in January.

Out of contract at the end of the season, Eriksen has been linked to a move to Inter, who denied contact with Tottenham prior to their draw against Atalanta.

Mourinho, however, did not want to talk about transfers following Tottenham's 1-0 defeat at home to runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool on Saturday.

"It's the last thing I want to do after this performance is talk about [new] players," Mourinho told reporters. I think it's a way to show respect to these guys is to not talk about new players.

"Can we say [Japhet] Tanganga is a new player? Can we say that? He never played a match for Tottenham in the Premier League. Today he played and today he proved that he can play for us.

It's a pity that he's not a striker, it's a pity that he's not a midfield player, but he's one more player that we have. So I think [Sadio] Mane and [Mohamed] Salah, they know who Tanganga is. They didn't know before the game. I think when they saw the list they wondered where this guy plays. I think now they know.

"The kid was really good so instead of speaking, or crying about Harry Kane and [Moussa] Sissoko and [Hugo] Lloris and Ben Davies, let's smile with Tanganga."

Tottenham are eighth in the Premier League and four points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea after three matches without a win.

Sporting CP head coach Silas refused to deny whether an agreement is in place for Bruno Fernandes to leave the Portuguese club amid links to Manchester United.

Sporting captain Fernandes is reportedly nearing a move to United after officials from the two clubs are said to have been in talks on Friday.

Fernandes was linked to United, Premier League rivals Tottenham and LaLiga giants Real Madrid at the start of the season, but a transfer did not materialise as the Portugal international eventually signed a new contract in November.

After scoring twice in Sporting's 3-1 Primeira Liga win over Vitoria Setubal on Saturday, Silas was asked if Fernandes already has an agreement and whether he would be available for the derby against Benfica.

"I can't guarantee any of these things because I don't know," Silas told reporters post-game.

"I'm already thinking about the game with Benfica and I'm thinking about using it [Bruno Fernandes]." 

Fernandes has scored eight goals and supplied seven assists in the league this season, while he has netted 15 across all competitions.

Ajax star Donny van de Beek ruled out a January transfer amid growing links to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Van de Beek has reportedly emerged as a target for United, who are desperate for midfield reinforcements following injuries to Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay.

LaLiga giants Madrid have previously contacted Ajax over a possible deal, though a transfer did not materialise at the start of the season.

Despite interest, Netherlands international Van de Beek has no plans to leave Eredivisie champions Ajax.

"It is not that I can or want to do something at the moment," the 22-year-old told FOX Sports Netherlands.

"I have said it before and I will say it again: I will remain at Ajax this season. And maybe next season as well.

"These reports about Real Madrid or Man United are a good sign, but it is not important now. I've said I will stay at Ajax and I will do so for 100 per cent."

Links to United come as the Red Devils struggle in the Premier League – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side are fifth and 27 points behind runaway leaders Liverpool.

Asked whether he could see positives and negatives in moving to Manchester, Van de Beek – who has scored eight goals across all competitions this season – said: "You can look at it like that.

"It is not something that is in my mind right now, but what you say is true."

Meanwhile, veteran forward Ryan Babel has returned to Ajax on a season-long loan deal from Turkish side Galatasaray.

The 33-year-old emerged from Ajax's youth system in 2004 before joining Liverpool three years later, though he made his way back to Amsterdam in 2012.

Antonio Conte was in no mood to discuss Inter's prospective move for Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal after his side's laboured 1-1 draw at home to Atalanta in Serie A.

Lautaro Martinez gave the Nerazzurri an early lead at San Siro but visiting Atalanta were in the ascendancy for much of the contest from that point on Saturday.

Robin Gosens netted a deserved equaliser 15 minutes from time and only Samir Handanovic's superb save from Luis Muriel's late penalty averted Inter's second league defeat of the campaign.

Inter will fall two points behind Juventus at the summit if the Italian champions win at Roma on Sunday and head coach Conte was keen to focus on the absence of key personnel after the match.

"I am not talking about players who are not part of the Inter squad," Conte told DAZN when reported transfer target Vidal was raised.

"I faced this game without four key players. Atalanta are intense, with a lot of physical force.

"We did everything we could to try and win the game. The lads are exceptional.

"Today we had Nicolo Barella suspended, Matias Vecino with a calf problem. I'm trying to get Alexis Sanchez back in shape  but in my view we are giving everything in a very difficult situation."

Stefano Sensi eased Conte's concerns in that sense, completing 71 minutes in midfield on his first start since suffering an abductor tear in October.

"I am happy because he did 70 minutes in a very intense game, he will slowly come back up to speed," Conte added.

"We continue to work, the ranking [in the table] must not deceive us."

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