Inter are seemingly nearing an agreement with Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen, reports say.

The Denmark international is out of contract at the end of the season and has also been linked with a move away from Spurs in January.

Inter are among the clubs reportedly interested in Eriksen and it seems the Serie A high-flyers are close to a deal.

 

TOP STORY – INTER IN ADVANCED TALKS WITH ERIKSEN

Inter are in advanced talks with Eriksen for a move ahead of the 2020-21 season, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport journalist Nicolo Schira.

However, he reports Spurs are looking to sell Eriksen in January for at least €20million (£17m).

Amid uncertainty over his future, Eriksen has made just nine Premier League starts for Tottenham this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Staying at San Siro, multiple reports suggest Inter are eyeing Manchester United veteran Ashley Young. Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano reports Inter and United are in advanced talks regarding the 34-year-old.

- Georginio Wijnaldum has been linked with a surprise move from Liverpool, with his contract expiring in 2021. However, Sky Sports reports the Netherlands international is happy at the European champions and wants to stay as long as possible.

- Arsenal are looking to strengthen in January, but the Premier League club are considering loan deals. Goal reports Arsenal are unlikely to make any permanent signings this month, unless an opportunity is too good to turn down.

- In a Premier League relegation battle and with injuries mounting, Aston Villa have held talks with Milan over possible deals for forward Krzysztof Piatek and goalkeeper Pepe Reina, according to the Daily Mail. Villa lost Wesley and Tom Heaton for the rest of the season to begin the year.

- Wilfried Zaha still looks set to leave Crystal Palace. The star's agent is said to have held preliminary talks with Bayern Munich, although a move to the Bundesliga giants is unlikely, according to Sky Sports. The Mirror reports Zaha's new agent, Pini Zahavi, is also trying to get the attacker to Tottenham.

- There continues to be talk about a possible move to Tottenham for Thomas Lemar. The Independent reports Spurs are considering making a loan approach for the Atletico Madrid midfielder, with a £51million (€60m) option to buy.

Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen has been heavily with a move to Inter but Giuseppe Marotta insisted there has been no contact between the clubs.

Eriksen's contract at Spurs will expire at the end of the season, but it has been reported Inter are willing to part with €20million to sign him in January.

Barcelona's Arturo Vidal is also understood to be a target for the Nerazzurri and chief executive Marotta confirmed they are keen to add a midfielder and a winger in the transfer window.

However, Marotta denied Inter are in talks with Spurs over the Denmark international.

"Inter are often linked with players of great quality, and that is flattering, but we have not had any contact with Tottenham," he told Sky Sport Italia.

"Eriksen is a talented player, I don't need to tell you that, and he will be a free agent in June.

"I think many clubs are interested, he is an interesting player, but I will not stand here and tell you that we are in negotiations with his club or agent."

When asked about Vidal, Marotta said: "We are having various contacts with agents and clubs to increase the quality level of a squad that is already doing extraordinary things.

"We've not yet reached a conclusion, as we want to take it calmly and make the right decisions, even if that should mean no signings at all.

"I prefer not to name names, but we are very active in the transfer market. Who we get depends also on those who exit.

"Right now, we are seeking a midfielder and a winger. If players should ask to leave, we will try to make them happy, but so far we have not received any such pressure from our players."

Antonio Conte believes he shares "the same passion" as Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso as he prepares to take his table-topping Inter side to Stadio San Paolo.

Gattuso took charge of Napoli on December 11, replacing Carlo Ancelotti, and after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Parma he guided the Partenopei to victory at Sassuolo in his second game at the helm.

Conte has backed Gattuso to succeed in Naples and claims the former Milan boss was not given the praise he deserves for his near 18-month spell in charge of Inter's rivals.

"I see he has the same passion as me," Conte told reporters. "He has lots of desire to do well and, like me, he started in the lower leagues.

"I have lots of respect for him. He also coached abroad and had challenges. Not everyone is willing to do that or coach in the lower leagues. Other coaches might have it easier.

"Everything Gattuso has earned is down to his effort. With Milan, people underestimate how well he did as coach. Last season he did a very good job there. He deserves to be in charge of Napoli.

"We are in for a hard game in Naples. They have a lot of quality. Gattuso has come in for Ancelotti and will be very motivated. He is able to get the best out of his teams."

Inter are unbeaten in their last 10 Serie A matches and are top of the table by virtue of having a better goal difference than second-placed Juventus.

The Nerazzurri have been linked with January moves for Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal and Tottenham playmaker Christian Eriksen, but Conte admitted that it could take the club time to re-establish a reputation that can attract Europe's top players.

"This is part of a journey and It takes time," said Conte. "You cannot change things in a day.

"In recent years a gap has developed between Inter and the other top teams. I do not have a magic wand. We are taking our time and need patience too.

"We have young players who are developing all the time. Through hard work and effort we will improve the situation."

Jose Mourinho selected Christian Eriksen from the start for Tottenham's FA Cup match at Middlesbrough despite reports of interest from Inter.

Eriksen is out of contract at the end of the season and has long been linked with a move away from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Manchester United and Real Madrid mooted as suitors in the past.

Sunday's FA Cup clash at the Riverside came amid fresh talk of a transfer, as Inter were said to be willing to part with £20million for the midfielder in January.

The visitors were captained by Jan Vertonghen, who is also in the final months of his Spurs deal.

Tottenham were without Harry Kane - their previous stand-in skipper - following his hamstring tear against Southampton on Wednesday but could call again on Son Heung-min, who was suspended for their past three games after a red card at home to Chelsea before Christmas.

Real Madrid are said to be close to signing yet another rising Brazilian star.

Zinedine Zidane's side have reportedly agreed a fee for Flamengo's Reinier, who could move to Spain this month.

Chelsea, meanwhile, may have to wait until after the season has finished until their top targets become available.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID TO SIGN REINIER FOR €30M

According to widespread reports, Real Madrid are close to finalising a deal to sign Flamengo's Reinier.

The 17-year-old could move to the Spanish capital in January and spend the rest of the season with Raul's Castilla team.

Reinier, who turns 18 on January 19 and will therefore become an easier deal to complete, will apparently cost €30m plus potential add-ons.

ROUND-UP

 - Chelsea want to sign Jadon Sancho and Timo Werner, but the Premier League club know they are likely to have to wait until the end of the season to complete the deals, according to Goal.

- Elsewhere in London, Sky Sports say West Ham have held talks with Benfica midfielder Gedson Fernandes, a reported target for Manchester United. David Moyes said of the club's interest: "He is a name mentioned alongside many."

Inter are the latest team to be interested in Christian Eriksen, say Tuttomercatoweb. Directors Giuseppe Marotta and Piero Ausilio want to close the deal quickly but Tottenham's £30m asking price is a problem.

Nikola Kalinic has been offered to Newcastle United as he has struggled for football since joining Roma on loan from Atletico Madrid, say Marca.

- Still with Marca, Real Madrid have apparently earmarked three Lille players as potential signings for 2020: Boubakary Soumare, Victor Osimhen and Gabriel.

- Sky Sports claim Jan Vertonghen is now more likely to join Napoli from Tottenham this month, as Ajax have apparently cooled their interest in their former defender.

- David Beckham's Inter Miami are set to appoint a new coach in the form of Anthony Pulis, the son of ex-Stoke City boss Tony. Pulis will work as assistant to Diego Alonso, say The Telegraph.

With the January transfer window open across Europe, clubs will be checking their budgets to see if they can make additions for the second half of the campaign.

January is traditionally a tough time to do business with teams generally unwilling to allow stars to leave but Erling Haaland's switch from Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund shows major deals are possible.

Unsettled players around the continent may push for a chance at a new club as squads get shuffled, but who are some of the big-name stars who could be on the move this month?

We have picked out 10 players who have been strongly linked with switching teams during the January transfer window.


PAUL POGBA (Manchester United)

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's recent insistence that Pogba would not leave United this month has been undermined by the latest twist in the midfielder's ongoing saga. After he was surprisingly left out of the squad for a New Year's Day loss at Arsenal, Solskjaer indicated Pogba would be undergoing surgery in a bid to solve his injury issues. An operation could make it less likely Pogba leaves Old Trafford in January, but the links to Real Madrid will not go away. For what it is worth, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has said his client is staying at United - for now at least.


EMRE CAN (Juventus) 

Pogba's continued absence has left a hole in United's midfield, especially with Scott McTominay also out of action. Can is among the players being linked with a switch to Old Trafford after failing to make an impact at Juventus. The Serie A champions, who are reportedly interested in bringing Pogba back, are also said to be ready to listen to offers for Adrien Rabiot and Daniele Rugani with both players not regular starters under Maurizio Sarri this season.


JADON SANCHO (Borussia Dortmund) 

The biggest move of the January transfer window could involve Sancho leaving Dortmund with the England international having struggled with off-the-field issues despite fine form on the pitch during the first half of the season. Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea, who signed Christian Pulisic from BVB last year, are reportedly leading the race for Sancho, but he would likely cost in excess of £100million. Dortmund, having beaten off competition from various top clubs to land Haaland, are said to be willing to listen to offers for Paco Alcacer too.


EDINSON CAVANI (Paris Saint-Germain)

Another elite forward potentially on the move this month is Cavani, with PSG's all-time leading goalscorer struggling to get into the team after the successful signing of Mauro Icardi on loan from Inter. At 32, Cavani likely has one more big deal left in him with Atletico Madrid said to be keen - a swap deal involving France winger Thomas Lemar has been mooted. PSG are also reportedly ready to cut their losses on Leandro Paredes, who has made little impact since joining from Zenit.


JAMES RODRIGUEZ (Real Madrid)

Colombia star James has been on the fringes at Madrid since returning from a loan spell with Bayern Munich, making only four starts in LaLiga this season. Arsenal, Inter and PSG have all been linked with James, who has also emerged as a shock target for Everton. New Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti coached the 28-year-old playmaker at both Madrid and Bayern.


ARTURO VIDAL (Barcelona)

Another South American midfielder who could leave LaLiga this month is Vidal, who has complained about allegedly unpaid bonuses at Barca and hinted he might be open to a return to Serie A. League leaders Inter are said to be keen with Antonio Conte having worked with Vidal at Juve, where the Chile international previously won four successive Serie A titles.


JOAO CANCELO (Manchester City)

Right-back Cancelo only joined City last August but, after failing to usurp Kyle Walker as first choice in his position, the 25-year-old could be on the move again with former club Valencia and Bayern Munich both linked. Cancelo's departure would leave City even shorter of defensive options but if they can sell the Portugal international it could allow the defending Premier League champions to bring in another body elsewhere, though Pep Guardiola has ruled out signings.


CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (Tottenham)

Denmark midfielder Eriksen is out of contract at the end of the season and has previously made it clear he is ready for a new challenge. Eriksen has found himself on the fringes under new boss Jose Mourinho and the club's notorious negotiator Daniel Levy may opt to cash in on the 27-year-old rather than watch him leave for nothing. Spurs, though, surprisingly persuaded Toby Alderweireld to commit to a new deal and it is not impossible Eriksen follows suit if the right club does not make an offer. Inter, PSG, Juve and United have all been linked and it has even been suggested Eriksen could be included in a deal to take Gareth Bale back to Spurs from Madrid.


DANI OLMO (Dinamo Zagreb)

One of Europe's most in-demand young players, Olmo will surely leave Dinamo sooner rather than later. The 21-year-old midfielder, who has already been capped by Spain, says he has an offer from Barca but the LaLiga champions face strong competition for his signature. Olmo is one of a raft of players being linked to Chelsea after their transfer ban was reduced on appeal, while Manchester United and Manchester City are among the other clubs reportedly interested.


WILFRIED ZAHA (Crystal Palace)

Another potential Chelsea target is Zaha, who was said to be close to leaving Palace during the last transfer window only for an £80million price tag to seemingly scare off suitors. Arsenal and Everton were reportedly interested in the Ivory Coast forward, with Roy Hodgson accepting Palace would have to consider "serious" offers for the 27-year-old this month. Blues boss Frank Lampard has denied Zaha is on his radar, however.

Neymar is reportedly preparing a fresh strategy in his bid to return to Barcelona.

The Paris Saint-Germain star was linked heavily with a move back to Camp Nou during the close season but ended up staying with the Ligue 1 giants.

However, Neymar seemingly still has his eyes set on a return to LaLiga's reigning champions.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR PREPARES FRESH BARCELONA RETURN BID

Neymar is preparing a legal strategy to return to Barcelona, according to Sport.

The 27-year-old wants to make the move and let FIFA impose the compensation he will have to pay to PSG to be released, the report says.

Neymar has scored nine goals in 12 games this season, having struggled with injuries.

ROUND-UP

- Christian Eriksen is wanted by several European heavyweights. Inter have expressed an interest in the Tottenham midfielder, according to the Daily Mail. Manchester United, PSG and Juventus have also been linked to the Denmark international, who is out of contract at season's end.

- Staying at Spurs, Napoli and Ajax are preparing to move for Jan Vertonghen, according to The Telegraph. Vertonghen is also out of contract at the end of the season.

- After missing out on Dejan Kulusevski to Juventus, Inter are setting up to land two major transfers ahead of 2020-21. La Gazzetta dello Sport believes the Nerazzurri  will try to sign Fiorentina star Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- While they are eyeing Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal, Inter will try to make Stefano Sensi's move from Sassuolo a permanent one in January, reports CalcioMercato. Sensi arrived on loan in July last year with an option to buy at the end of the season.

- Daniel Sturridge could be set for a return to the Premier League. The Sun claims Aston Villa could be set to offer the former Liverpool forward, who is playing for Trabzonspor, a return to England.

Liverpool ended 2019 with a 13-point lead at the top of the Premier League after extending their unbeaten home record to 50 top-flight matches with victory over Wolves at Anfield.

It was a happy end to the year for the Reds' local rivals too, with Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti making it two wins from two games in charge as his side beat Newcastle United at St. James' Park.

But uncertainty reigned in north London as the decade in football came to a close, with Arsenal letting slip the lead as they lost at home to Chelsea, and Tottenham being held to a draw by struggling Norwich City.

Our Opta-powered review features all the key stats and facts from a fascinating weekend of action.

CALVERT-LEWIN IS TOFFEES' TOP MAN

Dominic Calvert-Lewin's brace helped Everton to a 2-1 victory at Newcastle United and extended the Toffees' unbeaten Premier League run to five matches under caretaker boss Duncan Ferguson and new manager Carlo Ancelotti.

Calvert-Lewin netted either side of Fabian Schar's equaliser to take his tally to eight league goals this season and he is currently Everton's top scorer.

The result spread some additional festive cheer around the blue half of Merseyside following Everton's 1-0 win over Burnley on Boxing Day and made former Chelsea boss Ancelotti the fifth-fastest manager to reach 50 Premier League wins, doing so in his 78th match.

It was Newcastle's first home defeat in the league since the opening weekend, when Arsenal won 1-0 at St. James' Park, and Schar's goal was his sixth of 2019, making him the Magpies' top league scorer in the calendar year.

ERIKSEN AND KANE ADD TO IMPRESSIVE TALLIES

After falling behind to a Mario Vrancic goal in the 18th minute at Carrow Road, Tottenham dragged themselves back into the game only to be undone again by a Serge Aurier own goal.

Aurier's blunder was Tottenham's fourth own goal of 2019 - their most in a Premier League calendar year - but Harry Kane scored his 20th top-flight penalty for Spurs to earn his side a point from a 2-2 draw.

Earlier in the game Christian Eriksen scored his eighth direct free-kick for Tottenham to cancel out Vrancic's opener, netting from outside the penalty area for the 23rd time in a Spurs shirt.

Vrancic's strike came courtesy of an Emiliano Buendia assist, and only Kevin de Bruyne (70) has created more chances this season than Buendia's 57.

SCALE OF ARTETA'S TASK MADE CLEAR

Mikel Arteta was on course for victory in his first home game in charge of Arsenal but a late Chelsea turnaround left the Gunners with their worst run of home results in 60 years.

The last time Arsenal lost four consecutive home matches in all competitions was in December 1959, but goals from Jorginho and Tammy Abraham condemned Arteta to his first defeat and forced the Emirates Stadium crowd to endure a fourth loss on the bounce.

Jorginho's goal came courtesy of an error from Bernd Leno, whose attempted punch failed and allowed the Italian midfielder an easy finish.

That was Leno's seventh error leading to a goal since August 2018 and he has committed more than any other Premier League player during that period.

Abraham's winner, scored through the legs of Leno, took his league goal tally to eight away from home this season and only Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy (nine each) have plundered more on the road.

LIVERPOOL ACHIEVE UNBEATEN HALF-CENTURY AT ANFIELD

Liverpool were made to work hard for three points by a Wolves side who were left feeling hard done by after their 1-0 defeat at Anfield on Sunday.

Sadio Mane's goal in the 42nd minute was all that separated the two teams at the final whistle, condemning Wolves to their first defeat in eight Premier League away games.

Pedro Neto had a goal ruled out for the tightest of offside rulings, meaning Wolves failed to score in a league away game for the first time since they drew 0-0 with Leicester City on the opening day of the season.

For Jurgen Klopp's men it was business as usual and they are now unbeaten in their last 50 home league games - only Chelsea (86 between 2004 and 2008) and Liverpool (63 between 1978 and 1980) have gone more than 50 home games without defeat in top-flight history before this team.

The result was Liverpool's 17th consecutive Premier League home victory, and only Manchester United (19, ending in October 2011) and Manchester City (20, ending in March 2012) have had longer winning home runs in the competition's history.

Could Gareth Bale's time in Madrid be coming to an end?

Linked to the Chinese Super League previously, former club Tottenham have emerged as a possible destination for Real Madrid's Bale.

A Spurs star could move in the opposite direction as part of the deal…

 

TOP STORY – SPURS WANT BALE BACK IN EXCHANGE FOR ERIKSEN

Tottenham want to bring Gareth Bale back to North London in a swap deal that would see want-away midfielder Christian Eriksen join Real Madrid, claims The Sun.

It is said that LaLiga giants Madrid would receive £25.7million (€30m) as well as Eriksen in a deal that could reunite Bale with the club he left in 2013.

Eriksen has been linked to Manchester United, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Inter and other clubs in Europe as his contract runs out at the end of the season.

ROUND-UP

- Chelsea have pulled out of the race to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund, paving the way for the England winger to join Liverpool, according to the Daily Express. United and Madrid have also been linked to the 19-year-old.

United and Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are in the race to sign Leicester City's in-form right-back Ricardo Pereira in January, according to the Daily Mail.

- Wolves' push for a top-five Premier League finish this season could be bolstered by the addition of South Korean forward Hwang Hee-chan, should the Molineux club persuade Salzburg to part with the £23m (€26.9m)-rated forward in a deal mooted by Sky Sports News.

- Sky in Germany reports that Werder Bremen are keen on re-signing Southampton defender Jannik Vestergaard in January.

- Le10sport claims PSG sounded out Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as a possible replacement for Thomas Tuchel. The report says PSG sporting director Leonardo spoke to Klopp but the German made it clear he is happy at Anfield.

- Sky Sports News claims David Moyes is poised for a return to West Ham to replace Manuel Pellegrini following his sacking. Moyes spent a brief period in charge of West Ham in 2018.

Arsenal have set their sights on RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano. A move for the 21-year-old depends on whether Leipzig can sign Tanguy Kouassi from PSG, according to Le Parisien.

Jose Mourinho has admitted to being "frustrated" by the number of individual errors being made by his Tottenham players after they drew 2-2 at Norwich City.

Tottenham twice fought back from a goal down to salvage a point against the Premier League's bottom side in Saturday's clash at Carrow Road.

Mario Vrancic capitalised on some slack defending to give Norwich an 18th-minute lead and Teemu Pukki had one ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside.

Spurs improved after the break and equalised through Christian Eriksen's free-kick, only for Toby Alderweireld's clearance to hit Serge Aurier and trickle in for City's second.

Harry Kane rescued Tottenham with a penalty seven minutes from time on his 200th Premier League appearance, but Mourinho was not happy with what he saw.

"I think the same defensive mistakes we made in the first half, we made in the second half. This is being a little bit of our history," he told Sky Sports.

"We started very, very well and had three or four big chances at the beginning of the first half and conceded two very bad goals - one of those offside.

"I have lots of work to do but it has been difficult because I always say you have to try and hide your fragilities."

Tottenham have conceded 12 goals in eight league games since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino and have kept just one clean sheet on their travels in 2019.

"We have to improve defensively because there are too many individual mistakes," Mourinho added. 

"That's very frustrating because we play well and cannot be more offensive than we were in the second half. Our defensive mistakes are match after match."

Eriksen was handed a first start since November and left his mark on the game by scoring his eighth direct free-kick to cancel out Vrancic's first Premier League goal.

The Denmark international's contract expires at the end of the season and he has been strongly linked with a move ahead of the January transfer window.

Mourinho praised Eriksen for his display against Norwich but was unwilling to discuss the playmaker's future.

"I don't want to speak about it," he said. "We are so open with one another. We keep it to ourselves, and I obviously I share it with my boss. But its just between us. 

"The only thing I can say is he is trying to help the team and I am happy with his man of the match."

Harry Kane scored a late penalty to rescue Tottenham a 2-2 draw against bottom-of-the-table Norwich City in Saturday's Premier League clash.

The England international marked his 200th appearance in the competition by winning and then converting a spot-kick with seven minutes remaining at Carrow Road.

Mario Vrancic's first Premier League goal had earlier given Norwich a first-half lead and Teemu Pukki had one ruled out by the video assistant referee for a contentious offside.

Christian Eriksen's free-kick temporarily restored parity before Serge Aurier comically put into his own net, but Kane spared Spurs' blushes somewhat in the closing stages.

Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Christian Eriksen were all recalled to the Tottenham starting line-up for their trip to Norwich City.

Club-record signing Ndombele ruled himself out of contention against Brighton and Hove Albion on Boxing Day having told Spurs boss Jose Mourinho he was not physically prepared having only recently recovered from a groin injury.

However, on the day he celebrated his 23rd birthday, Ndombele was back in Mourinho's XI at Carrow Road, as were Lo Celso and Eriksen, both of whom came off the bench against the Seagulls.

Juan Foyth came in for Davinson Sanchez in defence, with Lucas Moura, Moussa Sissoko and Harry Winks the others to drop out.

Jose Mourinho concedes Tottenham will not be "kings of the market" in the January window as they are unable to match certain Premier League rivals in terms of profile and spending.

Tottenham have won five of their eight matches in all competitions since Mourinho replaced Mauricio Pochettino last month.

The London side have been tipped to strengthen their squad early in 2020, while Christian Eriksen has been linked with a move away as he enters the final stages of his contract.

Mourinho reiterated he is content with his squad but acknowledged his hand may be forced somewhat when the transfer window reopens, with Jan Vertonghen another player facing an uncertain future.

"I am at Tottenham Hotspur. I know the profile of the club, I know the project, I know the vision, I know the objectives," he is quoted as saying by several British newspapers.

"I know that in our transfer market we are going just to react to things that can happen to us in the market. Like I was saying if some player leaves we need to adapt to it.

"But we are never going to be the kings of the market, attacking important targets, fighting with clubs that are ready by their profile and philosophy to splash the cash and to go to the important targets.

"We need to do our things in an intelligent way, a creative way, and I repeat I like the players that I have. The more I work with them, the more I know them, the more I realise their qualities and their problems.

"I keep saying that I need time and this time is arriving. Not from Sunday until the 26th, or the 26th until the 28th. But in January, in February, we are going to have a little bit more time to try to improve it."

Tottenham fell to a 2-0 defeat against Chelsea last time out, making it 14 goals conceded in their first eight games under Mourinho.

However, the Portuguese is reluctant to tighten up at the back at the expense of curbing his side's attacking instincts.

He added: "I know how to do it, but to do it 100 per cent I am going to take away from the team some qualities that we want to keep.

"And then it is more difficult to do it because to play for a clean sheet, and to put all the focus on the clean sheet, on the improvement of the defensive organisation and try to kill the mistakes that we make, that is not difficult to do.

"The difficulty is to do it with players that are the players they are, with the habits they have, the difficult thing is to put it right defensively without losing the qualities we can have offensively."

With Atletico Madrid struggling for regular goals, Diego Simeone is keen to address the problem.

Atletico have only scored 20 goals in 18 LaLiga matches this season – the club relying heavily on Alvaro Morata's seven strikes.

Simeone's solution could be about to arrive from the French capital, where a Paris Saint-Germain star has fallen down the pecking order.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID NEARING CAVANI DEAL

Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani is close to joining Atletico Madrid in January, according to Marca.

Cavani has reportedly agreed a two-and-a-half-year contract with Atletico, while PSG would prefer to keep the 32-year-old until the end of the season.

The soon-to-be free agent has found himself behind loanee Mauro Icardi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar this season.

Signing Cavani in the January transfer window could force Atletico to sell due to their salary-limit issue, with Thomas Lemar a possible casualty.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United pair Nemanja Matic and Marcos Rojo have been told they will be sold in January, according to the Daily Star. Matic has been linked with Serie A duo Milan and Inter, while Atletico have emerged as an option for the veteran midfielder.

- According to AS, Valencia want to sign right-back Joao Cancelo from Premier League champions Manchester City. The LaLiga outfit are keen for a January reunion with Cancelo, who initially joined Valencia in 2014 before leaving permanently in 2018. Valencia want to re-sign the Portugal international on an initial loan.

Hertha Berlin have entered negotiations with Granit Xhaka to bring the former Arsenal captain back to the Bundesliga, reports RMC Sport. Hertha have turned their attention to ex-Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Xhaka after failing to prise Lucas Tousart from Lyon.

Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Isco. The Daily Express says Real Madrid are trying to offload players to free up funds to bring in Tottenham star Christian Eriksen in January. City are also reportedly interested in Madrid's Isco.

Mario Mandzukic's proposed switch to Qatari outfit Al-Duhail from Juventus has broken down due to wage expectations, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

- Mundo Deportivo claims Barcelona only want to loan out defender Jean-Clair Todibo in January amid interest from Milan and Bayern Leverkusen. United have also been linked with the 19-year-old.

Jose Mourinho wants to see both Jan Vertonghen and Christian Eriksen commit their futures to Tottenham after Toby Alderweireld signed a new contract on Friday.

Alderweireld had been out of contract at the end of this season but extended his deal until 2023.

Vertonghen and Eriksen continue to edge towards free agency, though, and the Denmark playmaker has been repeatedly linked with moves to Manchester United and Real Madrid.

Spurs chairman Daniel Levy suggested this week the club would be open to selling Eriksen to a direct rival in January, but Mourinho is still hoping to keep the player.

"The only thing I tell you about Christian is that I would like him to sign a new contract," Mourinho told reporters. "Apart from that, I don't tell you anything else."

Asked if he wanted Vertonghen to follow Alderweireld's lead too, the head coach said: "Yes.

"I think a player will sign a contract when the club wants. I am the club. Mr Levy is the club. When the club wants, when the player wants, when the family wants, when the agent wants...

"If one of these parts doesn't want, it's very, very difficult to happen, unless the player changes agent and gets an agent that also wants. So, when everybody wants.

"But again, the most important thing is what Toby said: 'I couldn't be happier in another place'. Amazing."

After securing the contracts of key men, Mourinho's next task will be to turn Tottenham from an "almost" team into winners.

Spurs have repeatedly finished in the top four of the Premier League, seriously competing for the title in 2015-16, and reached the Champions League final last term.

But their last piece of silverware came under Juande Ramos in the 2007-08 EFL Cup, beating Sunday's opponents and Mourinho's former club Chelsea in the final.

"It's better to be close than be far. If you don't win, it's better to be close to winning than far from winning," Mourinho said.

"Tottenham was close to winning the league when Leicester City won, was close to winning the Champions League last year, was close to winning some cups I played the final of, the [EFL] Cup.

"We are going to try, of course we are going to try. That's not my DNA, to be comfortable with 'almost'. I never liked very much the 'almost'. But in terms of progression, 'almost' is better than 'far from'."

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