Lyon's superstar striker Ada Hegerberg faces a long spell out of action after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee in training.

The Norwegian landed the inaugural women's Ballon d'Or in December 2018 to reflect her status as the world's leading player, but now she faces a challenging road to recovery.

Hegerberg announced on Twitter: "So here it is. I ruptured my ACL this weekend. This is a setback for me, but I'm going to work through this with all my heart and my energy. The best is yet to come. YOU'LL SEE ME SOON!"

Lyon confirmed the blow, announcing on their website: "Lyon regret the injury to Ada Hegerberg, victim of a rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament in the right knee, that occurred in training.

"The operation date will be determined in the coming days and the unavailability will be corresponding to the known statistics for this type of injury.

"Lyon will offer Ada the best surgical conditions and post-operation rehabilitation to return her to full strength."

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas sent a message to 24-year-old Hegerberg, writing on Twitter: "You are very strong Ada, on and off the pitch! We're all going to work to get you back in the best condition to return even stronger.

"We'll be at your side, the Lyon women will stay at the highest level waiting for your return."

Lyon sit top of the French women's championship with 38 points from 14 games, and Hegerberg has scored 23 goals in 18 matches across all competitions this season.

She controversially missed last year's World Cup, having made herself unavailable to Norway because of her stance over how women's football is treated in her home country.

Hertha Berlin have completed a move for Lucas Tousart, with the midfielder immediately heading back to Lyon on loan.

The 22-year-old has joined the Bundesliga club for a reported €24million for what a Hertha statement described as "the long term".

"I can identify very well with the ambitions of Hertha BSC," said Tousart, who will continue with Lyon for the remainder of the season.

"Something very exciting is happening in Berlin and I want to be part of it.

"At the same time, I am happy and grateful that I can finish my job in Lyon."

Tousart has been a regular fixture in the Lyon first-team squad for the past four seasons, making over 100 appearances in all competitions.

Jurgen Klinsmann's Hertha have already signed Argentina international midfielder Santiago Ascacibar from 2. Bundesliga club Stuttgart and are reportedly in the running to bring in Granit Xhaka from Arsenal.

Hertha sit 13th in the Bundesliga and host Schalke on Friday.

Tousart's next assignment with Lyon could be Thursday's Coupe de France trip to Nice.

The Christian Eriksen saga could reach an end point as soon as Monday.

Reports in Italy indicate the midfielder's move to Inter is all but complete and a medical has been scheduled.

Eriksen's uncertain future has troubled Tottenham since well before Mauricio Pochettino's departure, with the Denmark international due to become a free agent at the end of the season.

 

TOP STORY – ERIKSEN DEAL AGREED

Eriksen, 27, will undergo a medical in Milan at the beginning of next week, according to various reports in Italy.

CalcioMercato claims Tottenham owner Daniel Levy has accepted an offer from Inter worth €15million (£12.6m), plus €5m (£4.2m) in add-ons.

Eriksen's new contract will reportedly run through to 2024 as the playmaker looks for a fresh start after growing stale in the Premier League.

If the move goes ahead, he will become Antonio Conte's third signing of the January transfer window after wing-backs Ashley Young and Victor Moses.

 

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United could face frustration in their long-running negotiations for Bruno Fernandes, which The Sun says have "collapsed" due to Sporting CP's valuation.

- United, meanwhile, are considering a shock move to bring Boca Juniors striker Carlos Tevez, 35, back to Old Trafford, claims Tuttosport. The Red Devils are in need of attacking reinforcements after losing Marcus Rashford to injury.

- Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has given LaLiga giants Barcelona the green light to begin transfer talks, according to Mundo Deportivo.

- Bayern Munich have commenced "concrete discussions" with Lyon over 19-year-old winger Yaya Soumare, reports L'Equipe. Salzburg and Bayern's Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig are also said to be interested.

- Brazilian attacking midfielder Lucas Paqueta asked Stefano Pioli to be left out of Milan's match against against Brescia because he is keen to leave the club, claims CalcioMercato. Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested.

Have Tottenham finally found an alternative to Harry Kane?

According to reports, Spurs are in talks to sign Real Sociedad's Willian Jose with just over a week to go until the transfer window closes.

But it could take in excess of £50million to finally end their search for a second out-and-out striker.

 

TOP STORY – SPURS TO DIG DEEP FOR SOCIEDAD STRIKER

Krzysztof Piatek, Islam Slimani and Fernando Llorente have all been linked but Tottenham have now set their sights on 28-year-old Willian Jose, reports the Guardian.

The Brazilian was left out of his side's Copa del Rey clash with Espanyol on Wednesday and could now be headed for north London.

Talks are underway, the Guardian states, although Spurs could be forced to contemplate meeting Willian Jose's €70million (£59m) release clause as Sociedad seek adequate compensation.

The one-time Real Madrid man has scored eight LaLiga goals this term after reaching double figures in each of the previous three seasons.

 

ROUND-UP

- Dani Ceballos has asked Real Madrid to terminate his Arsenal loan and find him a move elsewhere, according to Spanish radio station Cadena SER.

- The Gunners are set to suffer another blow as Ligue 1 outfit Lyon prepare to confirm the €25million signing of rumoured Atletico Madrid target Bruno Guimaraes, reports L'Equipe.

- Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will allow Philippe Coutinho to return to Barcelona at the end of his loan spell if, as desired, the Bundesliga giants land Leroy Sane and Bayer Leverkusen's Kai Havertz, reports Bild.

- After sealing a deal for Reinier Jesus, Madrid could return to raid Flamengo for 19-year-old forward Lincoln, says Mundo Deportivo.

- Leicester City plan to bolster their Champions League ambitions by splashing £15million on Southampton centre-back Jannik Vestergaard, according to The Sun.

- Serie A side Milan have submitted an 18-month loan offer for Manchester City-linked Florentino Luis, claims CalcioMercato. The 20-year-old defensive midfielder plays for Benfica.

Moussa Dembele is prepared to frustrate a host of admirers and remain at Lyon - at least until the end of the season.

Manchester United are reported to have sent a scout to watch striker Dembele in Tuesday's Coupe de la Ligue semi-final clash with Lille, the 23-year-old scoring a first-half penalty and then converting his spot-kick in a shoot-out as Lyon edged through.

Dembele, who has also been linked with Chelsea and Tottenham, joined Lyon in 2018 and is in no rush to leave.

He told reporters after the game: "I am a Lyon player and I will remain so until the end of the season.

"I do not think that there will be a departure this winter. Lots of things are being said but it's up to me to ignore that and remain concentrated on the pitch."

The news will come as a blow to United in particular with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thought to be keen to bolster his attacking options.

Marcus Rashford is out for at least two months with a double stress fracture in his back while the club have yet to replace Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez, both of whom joined Inter over the close season, the latter on loan.

Dembele's stance will also please Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas, who, speaking earlier this month, was adamant the former Celtic man would not be leaving the Groupama Stadium.

He said: "Moussa Dembele will not leave because he wants to stay and win something with OL.

"There have been offers for him and for other players, but none of those whom we want to keep will leave in January."

Lyon are into the Coupe de la Ligue final thanks to a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Lille after a 2-2 draw, which Loic Remy had secured with a controversial late spot-kick.

Rudi Garcia's Lyon appeared to have rescued victory through Houssem Aouar's wonderful goal in the 85th minute, only for Remy's contentious kick to take the game to penalties, but the home side did eventually prevail thanks to Ciprian Tatarusanu making one save and Renato Sanches missing the target.

Portugal international Sanches had put Lille in front early on with a clinical finish from distance, though Lyon did not trail for long, as Moussa Dembele converted a penalty to level the score in a first half that was otherwise devoid of excitement.

The second half was not much better either until the latter stages, when Aouar netted in style before Remy levelled amid controversy to take the game to a shoot-out.

But Tatarusanu saved from Jonathan Bamba with the first kick, and Sanches shot wide to ultimately end Lille's chances of reaching the final to face either Reims or Paris Saint-Germain.

 

Villarreal have told French giants Lyon it will take a major offer to prise Karl Toko Ekambi away from El Madrigal this month.

With Memphis Depay injured and seemingly out for the rest of the Ligue 1 season, Lyon are seeking a replacement to strengthen their attacking options.

Ekambi, who previously played in France with Paris FC, Sochaux and Angers, has caught Lyon's attention and Spanish newspaper AS reported an initial €12million offer has been turned down.

That led Villarreal boss Javi Calleja to say on Thursday that any club wanting the striker must consider his release clause, which is said to be over €60million.

"There has been real interest," Calleja said in a news conference, according to Marca.

"The player has not trained in recent days because of physical problems, not because of this interest.

"Ekambi has a release clause, a value in the transfer market, and those that want him have to accept that."

Ekambi, 27, is a Cameroon international and joined Villarreal from Angers in 2018.

He was Villarreal's leading scorer in LaLiga last season and has netted six goals in 18 league appearances this term.

Lyon are toiling in 12th place in Ligue 1 at the midway point of the season, seven points adrift of the top three.

Moussa Dembele has been the subject of transfer bids but the striker will not leave Lyon in January, according to president Jean-Michel Aulas.

Chelsea are reportedly interested in the 23-year-old, who has scored 10 goals in Ligue 1 this season in 18 appearances, as Frank Lampard seeks a new forward to take some of the pressure off Tammy Abraham.

It has been suggested the Premier League club could offer cash plus Olivier Giroud to tempt Lyon into a sale during the transfer window.

However, although he says offers have been made for some of Lyon's top players, Aulas insists Dembele wants to stay at the club at least for now.

"Moussa Dembele will not leave because he wants to stay and win something with OL," he said to reporters on Wednesday.

"There have been offers for him and for other players, but none of those whom we want to keep will leave in January."

Indeed, Aulas says Lyon's primary objective is to strengthen their squad and mount a challenge for the Champions League places, given they are 12th in the table after 19 matches.

"We'll try to make ourselves stronger," he said. "The first reaction was to get the youngsters in the academy to play more and show themselves more. The second is to recruit.

"The board of directors have decided to do that, but not at any cost and not in just any situation. We'll only carry out plans that correspond to what the sporting director, the advisers and the coach want."

Paris Saint-Germain will travel to Lorient in the last 32 of the Coupe de France.

Last season's runners-up PSG were handed a trip to Ligue 2 Lorient, who play on an artificial pitch, in Monday's draw.

Thomas Tuchel rested Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, Mauro Icardi and Keylor Navas but his team still ran out 6-0 winners against Linas-Montlhery in the round of 64 on Sunday.

Marseille only got past Trellisac on penalties and their reward was a trip to National 2 outfit Granville, while Lyon will travel to Nantes in an all-Ligue 1 clash.

A last-gasp goal from Keita Balde Diao in Robert Moreno's first game at the helm ensured Monaco remained in the hat. They will travel to fourth-tier side Saint-Pryve Saint Hilaire, conquerors of Toulouse in the previous round.

Reunion's Saint-Pierroise, the only overseas team left in the draw, were handed a trip to National 2 team Epinal after an 18,000-kilometre round trip to Niort ended with a shock 2-1 victory.

Manchester United have identified James Maddison or Jack Grealish as their top January transfer targets.

With Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay injured, United have concerns in midfield to begin 2020.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said United were looking at "one or two" January additions, and it appears their targets are also Premier League players.

 

TOP STORY – MAN UTD IDENTIFY MADDISON, GREALISH AS JANUARY TARGETS

Manchester United are prioritising a move for Leicester City's Maddison or Aston Villa's Grealish, according to the Independent.

United are looking to find greater consistency in the second half of the Premier League season, although they sit fifth in the table.

Grealish has provided five assists in the Premier League this campaign, while netting six times. Maddison also has six goals.

ROUND-UP

- Thomas Lemar is attracting interest from Tottenham. AS reports that if the midfielder joins Spurs from Atletico Madrid, the LaLiga club would be able to sign Paris Saint-Germain forward Edinson Cavani.

- Tottenham may have more pressing concerns in January. Harry Kane could be set for an extended spell on the sidelines due to a hamstring injury as Spurs await the results of a second scan, according to The Telegraph.

- Benfica are prepared to let 20-year-old midfielder Gedson Fernandes leave. A Bola reports the club are ready to negotiate for the Portugal international, who has been linked to Manchester United, Lyon and Milan.

- Arsenal are aiming to strengthen their defence with the signing of Bayern Munich centre-back Jerome Boateng, according to Sky Sports. Calum Chambers is set for a long spell on the sidelines after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, and Boateng could be set for a return to the Premier League.

- Jean-Clair Todibo is expected to leave Barcelona in January and a surprise potential destination has emerged. Bild reports Schalke are thinking about a loan move for the 20-year-old defender.

- Borussia Dortmund have set their price for forward Paco Alcacer. The Bundesliga club want €40million for the Spaniard, who has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid.

Lyon have insisted Moussa Dembele is not for sale amid reports Chelsea want to buy the striker.

Dembele has hit 25 goals in 51 Ligue 1 appearances since joining Les Gones from Scottish giants Celtic in 2018, though he has only netted one Champions League goal in 12 games for the club.

His form is said to have caught the eye of Chelsea, who are seeking competition for Tammy Abraham after their transfer ban was reduced on appeal.

Reports in France claim Chelsea made an initial offer of €40million (£33.9million) for Dembele, who was linked to Manchester United last July, but Lyon released a statement on Thursday reiterating their determined stance on the 23-year-old striker's future.

"Lyon has taken note of certain information relayed by the media suggesting that Moussa Dembele could interest other clubs during this transfer window," the statement said.

"OL would like to reaffirm its wish, as in the summer of 2019, to keep Moussa Dembele. The club has full confidence in Moussa and counts in particular on him to build a successful team for the seasons to come."

Lyon are 12th in the Ligue 1 table having won only one of their last four league games, but they have a last-16 Champions League tie against Juventus to look forward to next month.

Chelsea are also reportedly interested in Borussia Dortmund's England forward Jadon Sancho, as well as Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha, who the Eagles are said to value at £80m.

Monaco have high expectations and a mid-table position just will not cut it for the principality club.

Pressure may have eased on Leonardo Jardim after his inconsistent team thrashed Lille on Saturday, but fresh reports claim Monaco are looking at options for a new head coach.

Could Unai Emery - a Ligue 1 winner with Paris Saint-Germain but a disappointment at Arsenal - be just the man for the job?

 

TOP STORY - EMERY SET FOR DUGOUT RETURN?

Monaco are reportedly hunting for a new boss as Jardim's future looks bleak with the Monegasque club, and Emery is said to be a target.

According to Le 10 Sport, Monaco officials are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino and ex-PSG and France head coach Laurent Blanc.

A third coach reported to be interesting Monaco is Emery, who was sacked by Arsenal last month after a dismal run of form with the Premier League side.

The Spaniard would bring experience of French football after his time at PSG, with Sevilla and Valencia also among his former teams.

Monaco sit seventh in Ligue 1 this term, with Jardim handed a welcome boost when his team produced a shock 5-1 win over Lille at the weekend.

ROUND-UP

- Barcelona are looking to loan out two of their brightest young talents to improve their prospects of first-team action, according to Marca. The Spanish newspaper says 21-year-old midfielder Carles Alena could go to Real Betis or Getafe, and that 19-year-old centre-back Jean-Clair Todibo is interesting Bayer Leverkusen along with other clubs from Germany and Italy.

- Arturo Vidal could be another player on the move from Barcelona, with Inter said to be targeting a deal for the 32-year-old Chilean. A four-time Serie A winner with Juventus, Vidal's role at Barcelona has become reduced this season and a Camp Nou departure looks a sensible solution. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports Inter are lining up a bid of €12million. Inter boss Antonio Conte knows Vidal well from their time together at Juventus, whom Inter are battling with for the Scudetto this term.

- Arsenal are keeping a close eye on Lyon's former Celtic striker Moussa Dembele, according to Le 10 Sport. If Arsenal lose Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette, the report says Dembele would be a prime target for the Gunners, whose hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League appear slim after a shabby first half of the Premier League season. Mikel Arteta has just taken the Emirates Stadium reins.

- Thomas Tuchel could soon be on the lookout for a new PSG assistant, with reports from Germany claiming his Hungarian number two Zsolt Low is a possible target for Stuttgart. Tim Walter lost his job with the Bundesliga second division team on Monday. The Stuttgarter Nachrichten reports the club, whose chief executive is former Aston Villa, Everton and Germany midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger, have former Leipzig assistant boss Low in mind but have yet to approach any candidate.

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.

Paris Saint-Germain will face Saint-Etienne in the quarter-finals of the Coupe de la Ligue.

Pablo Sarabia, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria were on target as a much-changed PSG line-up secured a 4-1 victory over Le Mans in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Thomas Tuchel's side were eliminated by Guingamp in the quarter-finals last season and will hope to go one step further when they entertain Saint-Etienne.

Reigning champions Strasbourg were handed a trip to Reims after Nuno Da Costa's 78th-minute goal clinched a 1-0 victory over Nantes.

Lyon beat Toulouse 4-1 in the absence of Memphis Depay and will take on Brest at Groupama Stadium, while Lille's reward for overcoming Monaco is a home encounter with Amiens.

The matches are scheduled to be played on January 7 or 8.

Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman admitted it will be "very difficult" for Memphis Depay to return to fitness for Euro 2020.

Lyon captain Depay ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the French club's Ligue 1 loss to Rennes on Sunday.

The 25-year-old former Manchester United forward had been set to play a leading role in his nation's first appearance at a major tournament since the 2014 World Cup, but the odds of him figuring are now remote.

It was a bad weekend for Netherlands boss Koeman, who could also be without Donyell Malen after the promising PSV striker suffered a suspected knee injury in an Eredivisie defeat to Feyenoord.

"It was not a fun Sunday," Koeman told NOS.

"It is known that Memphis has had an incredibly high return over the last two years, certainly with the Dutch national team, and is a very important player.

"But in the end he is the one who has to deal with this setback. Of course we do too, but I know how he proud he was to be going to the European Championship. It is a great blow to him."

Depay hit six goals in as many Euro 2020 qualifiers for Netherlands and had added 14 in all competitions for Lyon this term before the injury struck.

Koeman continued: "It is clear that it is a cruciate ligament injury and that means months of rehabilitation... [to] come back, train, play matches, it takes a little time.

"Then a European Championship might be very difficult. On the other hand, I learned that it makes no sense to look ahead. Also, this Sunday proved that you can't count on anything.

"Let's hope everyone else stays fit and healthy and then by May we will see how it looks for us."

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