Chelsea are free to sign players in January after their transfer ban was halved by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) on Friday.

The Premier League side were barred from signing new players for two successive windows by FIFA in February as punishment for breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

Chelsea's appeal to FIFA was partially upheld, with the club allowed to register players under the age of 16 but still not permitted to bring in new senior players.

However, Frank Lampard will now be able to add to his young squad next month after CAS reduced the ban to one window, which Chelsea have already served, while halving the 600,000 Swiss francs (£4,500) fine they were handed to CHF300,000 (£2,250).

CAS' sole arbitrator deemed Chelsea had only committed one third of the violations found by FIFA, while the breaches of other rules around transfers were deemed less serious than those attributed to the club by the governing body.

Despite his inability to recruit players before the season, Lampard has overseen an excellent start to his tenure at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea are fourth in the Premier League, having claimed nine wins from their opening 15 games. The Blues are 14 points adrift of leaders Liverpool but are well on track to qualify for the Champions League.

Lampard's men are third in Group H in this season's Champions League but will qualify if they beat Lille on Tuesday.

Christian Eriksen is back on Manchester United's transfer radar.

The Red Devils are said to be preparing a January bid for the Tottenham midfielder, whose contract expires at the end of the season.

Eriksen reportedly turned down a move to Old Trafford earlier this year.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED REIGNITE ERIKSEN INTEREST

Could Jose Mourinho unintentionally do his old employers another favour?

Tottenham lost to United in midweek and are now about to receive an offer for playmaker Eriksen from their Premier League rivals, reports The Mirror.

The Denmark international has not featured in the starting XI since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino and, though he prefers a move abroad, might have a decision to make when the transfer window reopens.

Seemingly not convinced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side a few months ago, Eriksen can sign a pre-contract agreement with clubs overseas from January.

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- Leicester City are set to hand in-demand manager Brendan Rodgers a bumper new deal in a bid to end interest from Arsenal, according to The Telegraph.

- David Moyes wants a long-term commitment from Everton before agreeing to a second stint in charge at Goodison Park, says The Sun.

- Contrary to recent reports, ESPN suggests Patrick Vieira is not at the top of Arsenal's shortlist of potential managers.

- Error-riddled Roberto's ill-fated period as a Premier League goalkeeper could soon be over. The Guardian reports West Ham will look to sell or loan the Spaniard in January, with Turkey a likely destination, as they pursue stronger competition for the injured Lukasz Fabianski.

- Serie A side  Milan have offered Zlatan Ibrahimovic a contract that could run for 18 months and will demand an answer from his agent Mino Raiola next week, claims CalcioMercato.

- Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid to prioritise signing a striker over Brazilian midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, according to AS. The Spanish newspaper links Krzysztof Piatek, Andrea Belotti of Torino, Chelsea centre-forward Olivier Giroud and Valencia's Rodrigo with moves to the Wanda Metropolitano.

- Staying with Atletico and the Rojiblancos have entered the race for rumoured Juventus, Inter and Borussia Dortmund target Sandro Tonali, says CalcioMercato. Tonali, 19, is in his third season in Brescia's first-team squad.

Lionel Messi's apparent hint at retirement was "misunderstood", according to Barcelona team-mate Luis Suarez.

Messi, 32, said "the moment of withdrawal is approaching" after winning a record sixth Ballon d'Or on Monday, leading to retirement talk.

However, Suarez believes the Argentina star's comments were misunderstood, backing the forward to play for years to come.

"[Messi] amazes me because he is a one-off and is making history," Suarez told beIN SPORTS.

"As a friend and team-mate, [the Ballon d'Or] makes me happy and proud because it's a beautiful moment for him.

"[His comments] were misinterpreted. When someone wins a Ballon d'Or they are happy but also nervous.

"Leo is a human being and gets nervous like the rest of us. He wanted to say he might have to contend with retiring in a couple of years.

"It was misunderstood, but I'm sure Leo Messi will continue for a long while yet."

Suarez has starred for Barca since arriving from Liverpool in 2014, but the 32-year-old has also been linked with a move away despite being contracted until 2021.

The Uruguay international said he would do what was best for the LaLiga champions, who sit top of the table.

"If they bring in a new team-mate for me to compete with, that's the same pressure as having to play every three days," Suarez said.

"And I have to be thinking about the future of the club – as a fan of the club, I have to think about the future, and maybe the best thing is if they sign a young or an established player to carry the torch as Barcelona's number nine."

Wilfried Zaha deserves to play for a "top club" as his agent Federico Pastorello said the Crystal Palace star could leave during the January transfer window.

Zaha wanted to depart before the start of the season but neither a move to Premier League rivals Arsenal nor Everton materialised after Palace held firm.

Refocused and in form, former Manchester United forward Zaha has been linked with Chelsea, who are hoping to overturn their transfer ban.

Pastorello revealed Ivory Coast international Zaha could be involved in a busy January window.

"I think he really deserves a new challenge and a top club, because he is really a top player," Pastorello, who also represents Inter star Romelu Lukaku, told Sky Sports News.

"It is surprising me because I read about a possible move in the summer but he stayed again. But this season he is proving that he is very focused and concentrated, so think he could be another good opportunity in the January market.

"The January market can [usually] be really calm. As the number of transfers there is about one third as many than in the summer. But there are some very good and interesting opportunities for the clubs that sell, because maybe a club really needs that player and is ready to pay a little bit more because of emergency.

"There have been a lot of changes in the Premier League in terms of managers. Sometimes when you do that you need to face his needs tactically. So expect maybe Tottenham being a bit more protagonist in the market, maybe Manchester United too.

"Let's see what happens in Chelsea too, because the ban is not sure. If they remove that they may need to do something. In Europe there are some clubs like Inter and AC Milan that maybe need to improve their squad."

Chelsea are seemingly eager to sign Jadon Sancho, but they may have to wait until the end of the season.

The Borussia Dortmund star, 19, has been heavily linked with a move away from the Bundesliga club, with numerous Premier League sides reportedly interested.

And Chelsea could be ready to spend big to land the England international.

 

TOP STORY – CHELSEA READY TO BREAK TRANSFER RECORD FOR SANCHO

Chelsea are prepared to break their transfer record to land Sancho, according to Goal.com.

Sancho has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City after impressing at Dortmund.

Chelsea broke their own transfer record last year, when they paid Athletic Bilbao a reported £71.6million (€80m) for goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The Premier League club are appealing their transfer ban, at this stage unable to buy players in January.

That may not be such a problem when it comes to Sancho, though, with Sport Bild reporting the attacker may not want a January move.

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Edinson Cavani is struggling for game time at Paris Saint-Germain and the 32-year-old forward could be set for a move. AS reports the Uruguay international likes the idea of a switch to Atletico Madrid.

- Staying at the Wanda Metropolitano and Athletico Paranaense midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, 22, will join Atletico in a €30m transfer next year, according to Marca.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appears safe for now at Manchester United, but The Sun reports the Premier League club could turn to England manager Gareth Southgate if they decide to make a change at the end of the season.

- Carlo Ancelotti remains under pressure at Napoli. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis will wait until the Champions League clash against Genk on December 10 before considering a change. Napoli are winless in eight matches and sit seventh in Serie A.

- Metz and France youth international defender Lenny Lacroix, 16, is attracting interest from Barcelona and Juventus, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- With Everton in the Premier League relegation zone after their Merseyside derby loss to Liverpool, Marco Silva could be sacked. The Sun reports Silva said goodbye to his Everton players after the loss at Anfield.

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel said he is saddened by Edinson Cavani's situation as the out-of-favour forward struggles for game time.

Cavani – out of contract at the end of the season – came off the bench in PSG's 2-0 Ligue 1 victory against Nantes on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old, who has been linked to MLS outfit LA Galaxy, David Beckham's Inter Miami, Serie A champions Juventus and LaLiga side Atletico Madrid, was an 87th-minute substitute in Paris midweek.

Cavani has only started four Ligue 1 fixtures this season and five across all competitions in 2019-20.

Asked about the Uruguay international, Tuchel told reporters: "I spoke with him. We both know it's very difficult for him. It's not only a difficult decision for me, it's also sad.

"We played a lot of games with three strikers including one number nine. Cavani was injured at the beginning of the season, it's not his fault. Mauro [Icardi] played very well during that period, he scored a lot.

"If we play in 4-3-3, we have three extraordinary players for a position in front [as number nine], Kylian [Mbappe], Mauro and him. I'm sad because I don't have a solution [to include him in the line-up] right now.

"He doesn't deserve that, he's very professional, in a good state of mind in the locker room, he gives a good energy to the team. But right now I don't have much playing time to give him."

Cavani, who arrived from Napoli in 2013-14, has scored twice for Tuchel's French champions this term.

Ansu Fati has signed an improved contract with Barcelona until June 2022, the LaLiga champions have confirmed.

Under the fresh terms, the 17-year-old attacker's release clause is up from €100million to €170m and it will rise to €400m when he signs full-time professional terms.

Fati joined Barca's academy in 2012 and this season became the youngest LaLiga goalscorer in the club's history.

His second-half equaliser during August's 2-2 draw at Osasuna came with him aged 16 years and 304 days.

"For me, La Masia is the best school in the world," said Fati, who is both the youngest player to start a game at Camp Nou and also represent Barcelona in the Champions League.

"They helped me from the first day I arrived and I am extremely grateful to everyone who works there.

"They are all spectacular. From the first day, I have learned things from everyone. And they have also been there to support me through difficult times.

"Working every day with the best is a dream, and also a reward.

"From now onwards, what I have to do is keep working, even harder than ever, to keep getting chances and carry on enjoying myself. The rest will come after."

Fati, who is also eligible to play for Guinea-Bissau, was granted Spanish citizenship in September – clearing the way for him to represent them at Under-21 level for the first time the following month.

He has two goals in 11 appearances across all competitions in 2019-20, including four starts.

Emmanuel Adebayor left the door open to a Premier League return by saying "anything can happen" following his departure from Turkish Super Lig club Kayserispor.

The 35-year-old striker spent almost three years in Turkey after joining Basaksehir in January 2017, playing for the Istanbul club for two-and-a-half seasons before signing for Kayserispor in August 2019.

He scored two league goals in eight league appearances this term including one in his final game - a 4-1 defeat at Besiktas on Monday.

After the game, he announced his departure, telling reporters: "These are tough decisions and [it] was tough for me. One of the most important decisions of my life.

"I tried to give my energy and will to this team since I arrived. I gave my best but sometimes you have some issues in your personal life.

"You think about your family and have to make decisions about your future. And that decision should be fast. I have decided not to continue my career here. Even though I am leaving physically, my heart will always beat for this team."

Adebayor has strong links with English football, having scored top-flight goals for Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham and Crystal Palace.

His most prolific season in England came in 2007-08 when he scored 24 league goals in 36 Premier League appearances for Arsenal, and he did not rule out a move away from Turkey as he seeks a new club.

"I cannot say that I'm leaving Turkey for good," said Adebayor. "Anything can happen in life.

"I have to rest and spend some time with my family. I had three great years here and I think that the Turkish league is among the best leagues in Europe."

Paul Pogba remains on the sidelines but his club future is at the centre of the rumour mill.

According to a new report, Zinedine Zidane wants the Manchester United midfielder "at all costs".

Links between Pogba and Real Madrid have long been established, but it seems not all in the Spanish capital are keen on the move.

 

TOP STORY – ZIDANE WANTS TO POACH POGBA

Zidane views compatriot Pogba as "the final piece of the puzzle" for Madrid and has implored the club to secure his signature, reports Marca.

The Los Blancos boss reportedly made Pogba's arrival his only demand when he returned to the Santiago Bernabeu in March for a second stint as head coach.

However, Madrid executives are said to be sceptical about splashing at least €120million for a player who would potentially take a first-team spot from the improving Federico Valverde.

Zidane and Pogba had a "chance" encounter in Dubai in October, where the 26-year-old was undergoing warm-weather rehabilitation on his injured ankle.

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- Paris Saint-Germain have been impressed with Mauro Icardi and will look to tie the on-loan striker to a permanent deal, claims CalcioMercato. The Ligue 1 champions can reportedly land the Inter outcast for €70m.

- Arsenal, West Ham and any other Premier League teams aiming to appoint Rafael Benitez would have to pay £20m to release him from his Dalian Yifang contract, says the Daily Mail.

- Copa Libertadores champions Flamengo could pull the plug on a bid for Gabriel Barbosa after growing frustrated with the forward's reluctance to finalise the arrangement, according to Fox Sports Brazil. 'Gabigol' is on loan from Inter and reportedly coverts a second chance in Europe.

- CalcioMercato reports Milan are plotting to sign PSG left-back Layvin Kurzawa when his contract expires at the end of the season.

- Jose Mourinho's Tottenham hope to capture Norwich City centre-back Ben Godfrey in January for around £25m, reports Football Insider.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has indicated he will return to Serie A, saying he will join a club that "has to win again".

Ibrahimovic, 38, has been heavily linked with a return to former club Milan after confirming his departure from MLS side LA Galaxy last month.

The star striker is set to be back in Serie A and he could end up at San Siro, where he has played for Milan and Inter previously.

"I will go to a club that has to win again, that has to renew its history, which is looking for a challenge against everyone," Ibrahimovic told GQ Italia.

"See you soon in Italy."

Ibrahimovic scored 59 goals in 89 games for Milan between 2010 and 2012, winning a Serie A title and Supercoppa Italiana.

Milan desperately need to add firepower after netting just 13 times in 14 league games this season to sit 11th in the table.

Ibrahimovic, who struck 53 goals in 58 games for the Galaxy, said there were multiple factors when it came to deciding his next club.

"Only in this way will I be able to find the necessary stimuli to surprise you again," he said.

"As a footballer it is not just a matter of choosing a team. There are other factors that must fit in, even in the interests of my family."

Jurgen Klopp has moved to quash reports Liverpool are in line to move for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho in January.

After a stellar season at Klopp's former club Dortmund last term, England winger Sancho has had a more difficult spell in November, taken off in the first half in a 4-0 defeat to Bayern Munich before he started on the bench against Barcelona in a crucial Champions League match.

Under-pressure Dortmund coach Lucien Favre claimed he preferred to select players who are "focused and ready", though Sancho then scored after he was brought on in a 3-1 defeat at Camp Nou.

However, rumours of a return to England for the former Manchester City youngster, who joined Dortmund in 2017, have persisted, with Liverpool the most recent team to be heavily linked.

Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc said on Friday that he does not expect Sancho to leave in January, and Klopp insists any speculation of Liverpool moving for the teenager is not surfacing from Merseyside.

"He's a very good player," Klopp said of Sancho in a news conference ahead of Liverpool's derby clash with Everton.

"I have no clue where these kind of things [the rumours] are coming from, but it cannot come from us because we never speak about it.

"If we would be involved, nobody would know about it apart from a person who wouldn't speak about it. There's nothing to say. I know how it sounds, but I cannot change that.

"There's nothing to say about it, which can mean there's absolutely nothing to say about it."

Reports have suggested Dortmund could value Sancho – who has scored seven goals in 19 appearances in all competitions this season – as high as €140million (£120m).

"That's one issue, 100 per cent an issue," Klopp said when asked if Liverpool would be able to afford such a high fee.

Klopp did, however, acknowledge Liverpool, who hold an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, may attempt to bolster their squad in January.

"We don't speak about it, but we are pretty much always ready to do something if it will help us," he said.

"If not, then not. We will see. I think the summer window is more difficult because of the different moments when it closes in Europe. That makes it really difficult. We will see how that will be in the future. The summer window only hurts the English clubs."

Criticism of veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon irritates Juventus, the club's sporting director Fabio Paratici has admitted.

Buffon was at fault for the concession of Francesco Caputo's goal in Juve's 2-2 draw with Sassuolo on Sunday.

The 41-year-old, who was making his fifth Serie A start of the season, let a tame shot squirm through his grasp following Matthijs de Ligt's panicked clearance.

Maurizio Sarri later absolved Buffon of blame and Paratici felt the Italy legend was deserving of more respect than he has received in some quarters.

"The criticism of Buffon bothers us a lot," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

"I always say that Buffon, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Andrea] Barzagli and [Giorgio] Chiellini are the heroes we have had over the years. They are great people first and then great players. If they have bad days, which happens very rarely, it is proof they are human.

"Buffon is a great goalkeeper, the greatest in the history of football, and above all a great person."

The glaring mistake left Juve trailing early in the second half and a largely poor team performance did not improve until Paulo Dybala's introduction in the 53rd minute.

The Argentina international has been in excellent form in recent weeks and won the penalty from which Cristiano Ronaldo equalised.

Having seemingly been up for sale in the close season, Dybala is now making a case to be granted an improved deal at the Allianz Stadium.

"He is a great player, our number 10 and not by chance," Paratici said. "We are not talking about a renewal, but we will address the matter in due course."

Paratici confirmed outcast attacker Mario Mandzukic could leave the club in January but offered no insights into the futures of Merih Demiral, Daniele Rugani and Emre Can, who have also been linked with moves elsewhere.

Real Madrid have made Fabian Ruiz their top transfer target.

According to reports, "negotiations have accelerated" as the Spanish heavyweights aim to take advantage of the disarray at Napoli.

But the midfielder also has high-profile admirers in England and France.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID STEP UP FABIAN INTEREST

Napoli midfielder Fabian is a man in demand.

Madrid appear to be in pole position, with Cadena SER claiming the Spanish giants are "very serious" about taking the 23-year-old to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Negotiations over a contract extension at Napoli are said to have stopped and the Spain international is reportedly warm to the idea of joining up with Zinedine Zidane's side.

However, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain could look to force a three-way bidding war for the Spain international, who has previously been linked to Barcelona.

ROUND-UP

- Ex-Valencia head coach Marcelino has emerged as a left-field managerial candidate for Arsenal and Everton, according to the Daily Mail. The 54-year-old lost his job at the Mestalla in September following a reported falling out with owner Peter Lim.

- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fears he will be sacked if Manchester United lose their next two games against Tottenham and bitter rivals City, says The Sun.

- Former Premier League striker-turned-reporter Jan Aage Fjortoft claims Liverpool are favourites to land Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho – but the winger will cost the Premier League leaders €130million.

- Chelsea have offered little-used striker Olivier Giroud to Serie A sides Milan and Inter, according to CalcioMercato.

Barcelona are keeping tabs on 16-year-old PSG midfielder Edouard Michut, reports Le Parisien.

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo has officially been named the best player in Serie A last season, a few hours after Lionel Messi beat him to a record sixth Ballon d'Or crown.

Ronaldo dodged the glitzy Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris on Monday to instead attend the annual Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan, where he was honoured for his successful maiden campaign with Juve.

He scored 21 league goals in 2018-19 to help the Bianconeri to an eighth successive Scudetto and has six goals in 11 starts this term, despite injury issues curtailing his playing time over the past month.

"It is a proud moment to win this award," Ronaldo said upon collecting the award, which was won by Mauro Icardi, then of Inter, 12 months ago.

"I want to thank my Juventus team-mates. It was my first year in Serie A, a difficult league, and I am very happy. Thank you for voting for me.

"I will now try to repeat what I've done over the next year."

Ronaldo has been struggling with a knee injury in recent weeks and reacted angrily to being hauled off in wins over Lokomotiv Moscow and Milan last month.

However, Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici insisted the Portugal international – who finished third in the Ballon d'Or running behind Messi and Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk – will remain in Turin beyond the end of the campaign.

"This talk makes me smile because there are other problems," Paratici told Sky Sport Italia.

"Ronaldo is ambitious and came to Juventus to prove he is the best here too. We thought he should have won the Ballon d'Or – the rankings are always questionable.

"He will be a Juventus player next season, without a doubt. 

"We must thank him for making himself available to [Maurizio] Sarri, even though he has not been in optimal condition. Having not been able to train properly for a while, it is normal that he is not at his best."

Lautaro Martinez has been linked with a move from Inter to Barcelona but CEO Giuseppe Marotta is not concerned by the transfer speculation.

Martinez scored a first-half double in Inter's 2-1 win over SPAL on Sunday to fire his side to the top of Serie A and take his goals tally for the season to 13 in all competitions.

The 22-year-old's impressive start to his second campaign in San Siro has seen him emerge as a rumoured target for LaLiga champions Barcelona in recent weeks, as they look to identify a long-term heir for the aging Luis Suarez.

Despite Martinez's agent talking up a potential switch to Barca in the past, Marotta is not concerned by the rumours surrounding the Argentina international.


"His contract situation is not compromising," Marotta said at Monday's Serie A assembly. "He is a good boy and is grateful to Inter, so it does not cause a discomfort.

"Inter and Suning [the club's ownership group] aim to grow and you can't do that by giving up your best players. But the market is unpredictable - there is always the will of the player to choose their own destiny. 

"This is not the time to talk about a possible transfer or contract renewal. Lautaro knows very well the trust we have for him."

Eight of Martinez's goals this term have come in Serie A, while strike partner Romelu Lukaku has scored 10 times in the Italian top flight since arriving from Manchester United.

Marotta has hailed the duo's chemistry in attack, with Inter not previously boasting two players with eight or more goals at this stage of the campaign since 2001-02.

"There is the right chemistry between them," he said. "Antonio Conte, a proven winner, knows how to get the best out of them. 

"They are friends off the field and have a great harmony on the pitch."

Inter spent big during the close season to bolster their squad, but Marotta has not ruled out further incoming activity when the transfer window reopens next month.

"We will evaluate the squad because we need to plan for certain situations, and we are lacking in certain areas," he said. 

"At the same time we have to bear in mind what this group has achieved with the guidance of Conte. We look at the window with optimism, but also with realism."

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