Jose Mourinho insists Tottenham have not received an offer for Christian Eriksen from Inter despite the Serie A club's reported optimism of signing the midfielder.

Eriksen, whose contract expires at the end of the season, was heavily linked with a move away in the previous transfer window.

Spurs are thought to be keen to sell the Denmark international this month to avoid losing him for free when the campaign comes to a close.

Inter are said to be confident of concluding a deal for the former Ajax playmaker, but Mourinho sees little reason for the Nerazzurri's apparent stance.

"If they are confident, it's because they are ready to make us an offer which didn't happen yet," Mourinho told a media conference ahead of Saturday's clash with Watford.

"When I see people speaking, especially people with responsibilities speaking about it, I am a little bit surprised.

"I still don't understand why that optimism because in this moment, for a few matches, people are speaking about 'is Eriksen going to play? Has Eriksen played already his last match for the club?' and the situation didn't change, Eriksen plays tomorrow."

Asked if he felt it was sad how Eriksen is potentially leaving things with the Spurs fans, Mourinho replied: "I think he's trying to do his best, and I think that it's normal that until January 31 his brain is not totally focused.

"I think it's a normal consequence of the situation, if I am a player and I am reading every day and probably I'm having information about that optimism you are speaking about, I think it's normal that the player doesn't know very well what is going on."

While Eriksen could be on his way out, midfielder Giovani Lo Celso appears likely to become a permanent member of the Spurs squad.

The Argentina midfielder signed on a season-long loan with an option to buy from Real Betis in August, and Mourinho anticipates that option being taken up.

"I imagine yes, I think it is something that comes from the summer," Mourinho said about the prospect of the 23-year-old staying on. 

"There are some loans that they have the opportunity to be in control of the situation like is happening with Gedson [Fernandes].

"There are some emergency loans and there are other loans where the objective is to be in control of the future of the player without any need of further negotiations. I think Giovani is going to stay with us."

Frank Lampard has ruled out a January exit from Chelsea for Ross Barkley, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek is taking positive steps in his return to fitness.

Barkley was a regular for Maurizio Sarri last season but has made just six Premier League starts under Lampard, though a foot injury suffered in October ruled him out for almost two months.

A reunion with David Moyes, who handed him his top-flight debut at Everton in 2011, at West Ham had been touted, but the Blues boss was adamant the England international will not be leaving.

"There's no talk here of Ross Barkley going anywhere. He's our player. I've got a lot of faith in Ross. That's news I heard like everyone else this week," said Lampard.

Asked about other potential departures, Lampard said there has been no movement on a deal for Olivier Giroud, who is reportedly a target for Newcastle United – Chelsea's opponents on Saturday – Aston Villa and Inter, while Willian will be staying put and could extend his contract beyond this season.

"Olivier Giroud there may be something that can happen. He's experienced and I have a great relationship with him. If the circumstances fall right it might happen.

"Willian is not going anywhere. His contract is up at the end of the season but he's still in talks with the club."

Lampard remains open to potential incomings at Stamford Bridge but assured there was "nothing imminent".

However, his squad could be bolstered after the February break with Loftus-Cheek stepping up his recovery from an Achilles rupture that has ruled him out since May.

"He's training now with the Under-16s, Under-18s and then the Under-23s in a short space of time, which is good for us. The sooner he can be back with us the better," said Lampard.

"We're working in every way. There's a different look on his face, more smiley and happy. It's been tough. He's not one that's walked around head down creating a negative atmosphere, but it's a lonely place.

"He's integrating more towards us now. It can be forgotten we've missed a hugely influential player. If he can be training with us after the break he might not be far away."

Lampard added that Christian Pulisic is in line to return from a groin problem next month.

Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick has softened his stance on wanting new players in January as Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry have returned to fitness.

Bundesliga top goalscorer Lewandowski had groin surgery following the 2-0 win over Wolfsburg in December and could not take part in the mid-season training trip to Doha.

Gnabry hurt his Achilles during the camp and only returned to full training this week ahead of the second half of the Bundesliga season.

Flick had stated publicly he wanted new signings to bolster Bayern's trophy push, comments that left sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic "surprised".

However, with Lewandowski and Gnabry ready to face Hertha Berlin on Sunday, Flick no longer appears desperate to bring in new faces in the transfer window.

"The injury situation has improved. Robert Lewandowski is back, so too Serge Gnabry, with a new haircut!" he told reporters on Friday.

"Robert is close to 100 per cent. He is an absolutely top professional and, when we were in Doha, he worked very well individually. Even when he was shooting, he didn't feel any pain.

"Lucas Hernandez will train on the pitch today. Javi [Martinez] and Kingsley [Coman] are a few weeks away. The goal is to have everyone together again in February and March, because then the tough weeks begin.

"It's true that I said [we need signings], but something has changed in the meantime. With the return of Serge and Robert, we've got two additions.

"I had a good conversation with Hasan and we both want to work successfully. When it comes to arrivals, it's important that players come to help us. I trust Hasan and his scouting department to make it possible for us.

"But that also has to be done carefully. You can't do anything crazy."

Bayern head to the capital in third place in the table, and they could be seven points adrift of leaders RB Leipzig by the time they kick off if Julian Nagelsmann's side beat Union Berlin on Saturday.

"We have to make a strong start. It's very important we start the second half of the season well," said Flick.

"We're all looking forward to it. We face a difficult task against a team that are very compact defensively. We must be prepared for that.

"We have the quality to become champions. Bayern showed last year under Niko [Kovac] that they can catch up. But we have to think from game to game.

"I don't feel any more pressure now than I did before the break. I really enjoy working with my team and coaching staff, but of course you're always under pressure, regardless of the situation."

Ashley Young has arrived in Milan to undergo a medical ahead of a proposed move to Inter from Manchester United.

An initial fee of £1.3m (€1.5m) was agreed on Thursday between the two clubs for the 34-year-old.

Young, who is to be replaced as United club captain by Harry Maguire, is expected to finalise his transfer on Friday.

The former Aston Villa star has spent eight and a half years at United, winning four major trophies, including the 2012-13 Premier League title.

The England international made 41 appearances in all competitions in 2018-19 but has been used sparingly by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

Young has played in 12 league games, three Europa League matches and three times in domestic cup competition.

A full-back for much of the past three seasons, his opportunities for regular first-team football have been limited by the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the emergence of Brandon Williams as competition for left-back Luke Shaw.

Young will join former United team-mates Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez under Antonio Conte at Inter, who are two points behind Juventus in the Serie A table and bidding for their first domestic title since 2010.

Manchester United will reportedly need to improve their offer to Sporting CP if they are to land Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes, 25, is linked with a January move to Old Trafford, but it seems talks are ongoing between the clubs.

The Premier League outfit will need to raise their offer to land Fernandes, with some distance seemingly still between the sides.

 

TOP STORY – SPORTING WANT €65M FROM MAN UTD FOR FERNANDES

Sporting want £55.4million (€65m) from Manchester United for Fernandes, according to TVI 24.

The report says United are offering £42.6m (€50m) plus bonuses for the midfielder.

With Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba injured, United are desperate to strengthen in midfield this month.

 

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- Christian Eriksen could be nearing a move to Inter. The Tottenham midfielder's agent Martin Schoots had dinner with Inter chief executive Giuseppe Marotta on Thursday, according to CalcioMercato.

- Tottenham must continue their search if they are to replace the injured Harry Kane this month. The Sun reports a possible move from Milan to Spurs for Krzysztof Piatek appears over and Tottenham are now looking at Porto forward Ze Luis or Napoli's Fernando Llorente, who left the club at the end of last season.

- Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare is deciding between Manchester United and Chelsea, according to Sky Sports, although no move is expected until after the Ligue 1 club face Paris Saint-Germain on January 26.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Manchester United will be offered Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani for free at season's end, according to the Manchester Evening News.

- West Ham's bid to sign Ross Barkley is not over yet. The Mirror reports the club will not give up on trying to land the Chelsea midfielder, who has made just seven Premier League appearances this season.

- Arda Turan remains contracted to Barcelona, but the midfielder knows where he wants to go next. The Turkey international is interested in signing with Boca Juniors, according to Sport, after terminating his loan agreement with Istanbul Basaksehir earlier this month.

'God of Football' Alexander Meier has left Western Sydney Wanderers after struggling to have an impact in the A-League.

Meier, 37, scored just one goal in 12 games for the Wanderers before a mutual termination of his contract was confirmed on Friday.

The former Eintracht Frankfurt striker was once nicknamed the 'God of Football', but struggled with the pace of the A-League and will return to Germany for "personal reasons".

"I am thankful for this experience," Meier said in a statement.

"The Wanderers are a top professional football club, everybody was very helpful and supportive, the supporters were great and I really enjoyed my time here.

"I will miss my team-mates, the club and the fans and wish them all the best in the rest of the season."

Western Sydney announced the signing of former West Brom and Nottingham Forest striker Simon Cox on Thursday.

The Wanderers are eighth in the A-League table and host Perth Glory on Sunday.

Sporting CP head coach Silas said the "extraordinary" Bruno Fernandes is worth a lot more money that what is being reported amid growing links to Manchester United.

Fernandes is reportedly nearing a switch to struggling Premier League giants United, with a fee in the region of £51million (€60m) being mooted, though Sporting are believed to be holding out for more.

After confirming Fernandes will face Portuguese rivals Benfica in Friday's blockbuster, Silas hailed the Sporting captain.

"He is an extraordinary player, the best and most valuable in the league, as he was last season," Silas told reporters.

"I've heard someone say that he's not worth the money you are talking about and it's true, he's worth a lot more.

"In addition to attacking he also sacrifices himself to defend. Bruno is the best and the most valuable. When we have such a player it's normal for everyone to want him."

Fernandes, who was heavily linked to United, Tottenham and Real Madrid during the previous transfer window, has scored 15 goals across all competitions for Sporting this season.

The 25-year-old midfielder netted 31 goals last term, including 20 in Primeira Liga.

Ashley Young is set to join Inter after Manchester United agreed a fee to sell the experienced full-back.

Omnisport understands the transfer will cost the Serie A giants €1.5million (£1.3m), subject to a medical and personal terms.

Young joined United from Aston Villa in 2011 and went on to make 261 appearances, scoring 19 goals.

The 34-year-old won four major honours for the Red Devils, including the 2012-13 Premier League, although the emergence of youngster Brandon Williams has placed him further down the pecking order this season.

During his time at Old Trafford, Young converted from a winger to a play in deeper wide roles and he was Gareth Southgate's first choice at left wing-back as England reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup.

The 2-1 extra-time defeat to Croatia in Moscow remains the most recent of his 39 international caps, which have yielded seven goals.

Young's move will continue a recent flow of players from Old Trafford to San Siro, with Alexis Sanchez signing for Inter on loan last August after fellow forward Romelu Lukaku completed a permanent switch.

Under the guidance of former Italy and Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, the Nerazzurri are chasing their first Scudetto since 2010 and lie second in Serie A – two points shy of champions Juventus at the halfway point of the season.

Lautaro Martinez is "very happy" at Inter despite his form this season prompting reported interest from across Europe.

Argentina striker Martinez scored his 15th goal of the campaign during Inter's 1-1 draw against Atalanta at the weekend.

The 22-year-old's partnership in attack with Romelu Lukaku has established the Nerazzurri as serious title challengers to Juventus in Serie A.

His performances have also apparently caught the attention of Barcelona, who are facing up to four months without Luis Suarez, while it has also been claimed Manchester City view Martinez as a suitable long-term heir to their all-time record goalscorer Sergio Aguero.

"I'm very happy here at Inter, people love me and I love them," Martinez told TyC Sports.

"If you talk about me [as a transfer target] it is because I do my job well. I must continue on this path.

"I am very calm, I live day to day and I am happy and comfortable here."

Conte took charge of Inter before the start of this season and Martinez credits the former Juve and Chelsea boss as a driving force behind his rapid progress.

“Many things have changed since he came in," Martinez said. "He has a special way of doing things and has taught us so much from his first day in charge.

"He has convinced us to all give our best and the results are there for all to see.

“I have had to adapt to a new culture in another country and learn another language. I played little under the previous manager, but under Conte I have grown a lot and I am enjoying how things are going."

Conte secured the capture of Lukaku from Manchester United, a player he tried to sign at Chelsea, and Martinez has been a huge beneficiary of the head coach getting his man.

"Lukaku helps me a lot, he is a player who – on and off the field – is very important to me," Martinez said of the Belgium international, who has 18 goals in all competitions this term.

"He is a very good person who helps me out. I am very happy to have met him.”

David Moyes admitted he would be "interested" in any player he believes could improve West Ham, though he stopped short of confirming reported interest in Ross Barkley.

England international Barkley has been linked with a January loan move to the Hammers, who missed out on Gedson Fernandes after he joined rivals Tottenham on Wednesday.

Midfield is an area of need for West Ham given Jack Wilshere continues to be beset by injury problems and Barkley is thought to be of interest to Moyes.

Former Everton boss Moyes handed a 17-year-old Barkley his Premier League debut back in 2011 and was asked about the two linking up again at London Stadium.

"One thing I won't do is not talk about players at other clubs," Moyes said at a news conference.

"Anything which we think will improve our side I will be interested to bring in."

Barkley played 27 times in the Premier League for Chelsea last season under Maurizio Sarri but has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge since Frank Lampard's arrival.

He started Lampard's first Premier League game in charge, a 4-0 loss to Manchester United in August, but has made only five further starts in the top flight.

A foot injury suffered in October kept Barkley out for nearly two months, while the midfielder was also criticised by Lampard after two videos emerged - one of him arguing with a taxi driver in Liverpool and another of him dancing topless in a Dubai nightclub.

On the field, Barkley scored four goals in six appearances for England in Euro 2020 qualifiers.

On the prospect of signing British players, Moyes added: "It's not easy to get British players.

"[It is] maybe easier to get a Premier League player or from abroad but still trying to get the right ones in is important.

"We are working on two or three things at the moment, but we are not close to anything."

RB Leipzig star Timo Werner admits he considers the Premier League to be "the most interesting" of the major top flights in Europe.

The striker has been linked with a move away from Leipzig in 2020, such has been his form for the Bundesliga leaders.

Werner has scored 18 goals in 17 league games for Julian Nagelsmann's side, prompting talk of interest from a host of foreign clubs as well as domestic champions Bayern Munich.

Chelsea and Real Madrid are two of the most prominent sides said to be considering a bid for the 23-year-old, who reportedly has a release clause that could be activated in January.

While Werner has no desire to push through a move before the end of the season, he has suggested the Premier League could be tempting, as could following in the footsteps of former Madrid midfielders Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

"The Premier League is certainly the most interesting league, you have to say," he told Bild. "There is a certain flair to watching the English league and playing there.

"But many Germans have also been very successful in Spain, such as Sami Khedira and Mesut Ozil.

"As of now, I have no desire to look for a move elsewhere."

Leipzig are two points ahead of Borussia Monchengladbach at the top of the table ahead of the second half of the Bundesliga season, which gets underway this weekend.

They host Union Berlin on Saturday in their next match.

West Ham have reportedly set an ambitious transfer window target by eyeing an England international.

Whether Chelsea can be tempted to let Ross Barkley leave Stamford Bridge remains to be seen.

According to reports, the Blues are reluctant to let David Moyes be reunited with his former Everton protege.

 

TOP STORY – MOYES TO MOVE FOR ENGLAND STAR BARKLEY?

New  West Ham  manager David Moyes is said to be targeting Chelsea's England midfielder Ross Barkley for a transfer-window switch across London. 

The Mirror reports the Hammers want to take Barkley on loan, but that Chelsea have given them no encouragement as yet. 

Barkley, who began his career playing for Moyes at Everton, started Chelsea's last match, the Premier League win over Burnley.

ROUND-UP

Atletico Madrid still want to bring Edinson Cavani to LaLiga, but negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain look complicated given each club's valuation of the Uruguayan striker. Marca reports Atletico have offered €10million and that PSG are seeking €30million for a player who is in the final six months of his contract.

- Dinamo Zagreb's rising star Dani Olmo could be on his way to Milan, according to Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti, which claims a €30m offer has been lodged. Spanish winger Olmo has impressed in the Champions League this year and won a first international cap. He was also linked with Barcelona earlier this month, but that interest has reportedly waned.

- Former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez  looks set to join MLS outfit LA Galaxy in the coming days. The LA Times reports talks between the Galaxy and Hernandez have taken place this week, with a view to bringing in the Mexican forward from LaLiga side Sevilla. The deal could see the Galaxy break their transfer record, which currently stands at a reported $7m for the signing of Giovani dos Santos four-and-a-half years ago.

- Gianluca Di Marzio claims Roma and Milan have opened talks over a swap deal involving Cengiz Under and Suso.

Sevilla look to have the ideal replacement for 'Chicarito' on the way, with 22-year-old Moroccan forward Youssef En-Nesyri reported to have agreed to join from Leganes. AS reports Sevilla will pay his €20m release clause, with a medical due to take place on Thursday before a possible debut against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday.

Inter are still waiting on possible deals for Tottenham's Christian Eriksen and Chelsea striker Olivier Giroud, with sporting director Piero Ausilio quoted by Corriere dello Sport as saying there was "no news" to report as he arrived back in Italy on Wednesday evening. "There are no updates," Ausilio said. "We trust the work we are doing with our coach and our players. If there is the possibility of improving the team even more, we will do it."

Melbourne City have signed former Athletic Bilbao forward Markel Susaeta for the remainder of the A-League season.

City announced the transfer on Thursday following Susaeta's brief stint with Japanese giants Gamba Osaka, who the Spaniard joined in September.

Athletic great Susaeta – a one-time Spain international – is a coup for City following his 507 matches for the LaLiga side, where he sits fifth on the all-time appearances list.

Susaeta had planned to see out his career with Athletic but the 32-year-old left the Basque club at the end of the 2018-19 season, going on to play just 165 minutes of football for Gamba.

"I'm excited to be joining Melbourne City for the rest of the season and can't wait to get started in Australia," he said.

"I'm hoping I can help the group play the exciting, attacking football the club prides itself on and achieve the success the group has set out at the start of the season."

City director of football Michael Petrillo added: "We're incredibly pleased to have a player like Markel at Melbourne City.

"Markel is a player that is well suited to the style of game we have implemented under [head coach] Erick [Mombaerts] and a player who will add flair, potency and experience to our front third. 

"We have been tracking Markel for quite some time now so to be able to get him into the squad is testament to the club and its ability to attract a player of Markel's pedigree.

"His outstanding record at Athletic Bilbao speaks for itself and his experience in LaLiga and Europe will lift the whole squad as we look to continue our push towards the latter stages of the season."

City are second in the A-League this season, 11 points behind leaders Sydney FC after 13 matches.

Montreal Impact head coach Thierry Henry has returned to his former club Barcelona to sign Canada international Ballou Tabla on permanent terms.

Winger Tabla left the Impact as an 18-year-old to join Barcelona in January 2018, becoming a member of the club's B team.

Tabla departs after two years of a three-year deal, however, having been unable to make a first-team breakthrough at Camp Nou.

The 20-year-old had a €25million release clause in his contract, to protect Barcelona in the event he developed at a rapid rate.

Such a rise to stardom did not materialise, and there was no mention of any fee in a statement from Montreal that said Tabla had returned to them on a two-year contract, with two option years.

Impact sporting director Olivier Renard said: "We are happy to have Ballou back with us following this transfer. The talent of this young Quebecer was never put into question. Now it's up to him to do everything and bounce back."

Tabla played 30 games for Barcelona B and had a loan spell with Albacete before joining Montreal on a temporary basis last August, making four MLS appearances.

That return is now a full-time arrangement, with Tabla set the challenge of earning a regular place in Henry's team.

Jean-Clair Todibo has signed for Schalke on loan from Barcelona, with the Bundesliga club having the option to make the move permanent at the end of the season.

Barca signed centre-back Todibo from Toulouse in January 2019, but the Frenchman has played just four times in LaLiga.

He will now spend the rest of 2019-20 on loan at Schalke, who have paid Barca a €1.5million loan fee and will cover Todibo's wages for the remainder of the campaign.

Schalke will also be able to make the deal permanent should Todibo impress, with Barca confirming a fee of €25m – plus €5m add-ons – has been agreed. 

Should Schalke decide to sign Todibo, Barca – who on Monday replaced head coach Ernesto Valverde with Quique Setien – have included a buy-back clause of €50m, plus €10m in variables.

"We said during the training camp in Spain that we would only be active in the market if something opened up that would help us," Schalke coach David Wagner said.

"That's definitely the case for Jean-Clair, who is one of the best young central defenders in Europe. Since Benjamin Stambouli's recovery is taking a little longer than we had all hoped, it makes sense to bring in another central defender. He can also play in defensive midfield.

"We will all do our best to support him in the development of his clear potential. We’re looking forward to having him."

Todibo was also linked with Serie A side Milan, with negotiations reportedly collapsing due to Barca's insistence that a buy-back option was included.

Schalke sit fifth in the Bundesliga and face second-place Borussia Monchengladbach at home on Friday.

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