RUMOURS: Glen Johnson among cut-price right-backs being considered by Barcelona

The La Liga outfit are in the market for experienced cover as they seek to replace Aleix Vidal, with Lichtsteiner, Srna, Zabaleta and Ivanovic also in their thoughts

Barcelona are eager to bring in experienced cover at right-back, with Mundo Deportivo reporting that Stoke City’s Glen Johnson is among those under consideration by the La Liga giants.

The 32-year-old has played for the likes of West Ham United, Chelsea and Liverpool in the past, while earning 54 caps for England, but linked up with the Potters as a free agent in 2015.

It would be a remarkable move were he to end up at Camp Nou, but the contract he signed upon his arrival at the Bet365 Stadium is due to expire next summer so there is the potential for a switch to be made in January.

Johnson is not the only option for Barca, though, with experienced Croatian Darijo Srna, Juventus’ Stephan Lichtsteiner, Manchester City’s Pablo Zabaleta and Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic also said to figure on their winter window shortlist. 


RUMOURS: Manchester United have scouts watch Benfica's Goncalo Guedes

The Red Devils have had representatives in attendance for recent outings made by a youngster dubbed ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’

Manchester United have stepped up their interest in Benfica winger Goncalo Guedes, according to Portuguese publication A Bola.

The Red Devils have been linked with a youngster dubbed ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’ for some time, with the 19-year-old having shone in his homeland and forced his way onto the senior international stage.

Chelsea and Arsenal are also said to be closely monitoring his development, but it is United who have had scouts cast an eye over his potential during recent domestic outings.


Zidane believes Celtic's Dembele is a match-winner in the Ronaldo and Henry mould

The 20-year-old forward is drawing admiring glances from Europe’s top clubs, but has been urged to ignore the transfer rumours for now

Celtic forward Moussa Dembele has made quite a name for himself since securing a summer move to Glasgow, with Zinedine Zidane adding his voice to a growing list of admirers.

The France U21 international has been starring both domestically and in Europe, with a Champions League brace against Manchester City complemented by four goals in two Old Firm outings against Rangers.

Rodgers: Dembele can be next Drogba

He is showing himself to be a man for the big occasion, with those around him aware of the youngster’s ability to conjure up match-altering performances.

It is those abilities which have caught the eye of Real Madrid boss Zidane, who believes that Dembele shares important striking characteristics with some of the all-time greats.

He said in the Daily Record: “Dembele is one of the most talked about young strikers in Europe at the moment but it has not surprised me at all – I always saw that.

“He isn’t just scoring goals, he is scoring big goals, important goals like the one against Rangers. That to me is always the sign of a great player.

Boo boys baffle Zidane

“I have played with the greatest strikers, Ronaldo, [Thierry] Henry, Raul, and you knew on the biggest occasions they would win you games – and Dembele is already showing that.”

Arsenal and Paris St Germain are among the continental heavyweights reported to be showing an interest in Dembele’s rapid rise to prominence, and Zidane is convinced that the youngster will one day be deserving of such a stage.

He has, however, urged the Parkhead prodigy to bide his time and consider spending two more years in Scotland before chasing the dream elsewhere.

Zidane added: “I do understand now that the biggest clubs in Europe are being linked with him and that will be his destination eventually – but my advice now is ignore it all.

Arsenal scouting Dembele

“He can progress well at Celtic, at a great club who are in Europe, and under a very good coach.

“I know his time will come but he needs to make good decisions – and his next at least one or two seasons should be with Celtic.”

RUMOURS: Liverpool to offload Sakho during January transfer window

The France international has fallen out of favour at Anfield and no longer figures in the long-term plans of Reds coach Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool will look to offload Mamadou Sakho during the winter transfer window, according to reports in L’Equipe.

The France international has fallen out of favour at Anfield over the summer after seeing Reds coach Jurgen Klopp question his attitude.

He has since been banished to the Under 23 ranks, with there no indication that he will be welcomed back into the first-team fold.

A parting of ways now seems inevitable in January, with Liverpool making themselves open to offers for the 26-year-old defender.


Zidane's exclusion of Odegaard could mark winter exit

It is almost two years since the teenager signed on for Los Blancos but he has since just played 32 minutes of first-team football, sparking speculation surrounding a departure


Zinedine Zidane’s decision to leave Martin Odegaard out of his Real Madrid squad to face Cultural Leonesa in the Copa Del Rey this evening has raised a few eyebrows. The Norwegian prospect trained with the Blancos first-team this week, but Zidane has not included him on the list to travel to Estadio Municipal.

‘Pogba is getting better and better!’

In fact, Zidane’s 16-man squad does not include a single Castilla player despite Luka Modric, Casemiro and captain Sergio Ramos being unavailable through injury. Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema will also be left out, as well as Marcelo and Keylor Navas. A perfect opportunity for Odegaard, it was suggested. 

It’s almost two years since the teenager signed on for the Spanish giants. With him came huge expectations following the inflated priced laid out by Real and interest from around Europe’s biggest clubs. However, since his switch to the Spanish capital he has played just 32 minutes of first-team football.

That came under Carlo Ancelotti, the man who openly revealed he did not want to sign the Norway international at the time before calling the move a publicity stunt.

Now plying his trade with the Real Madrid B team, Odegaard faces a big decision in the next few months. Turning 18 in December, the former Stromsgodset midfielder must decide whether or not his future sits with Real. A move away from the club seemed close during the summer, with Ligue 1 outfit Rennes keen on a transfer, though negotiations broke down and he remains in Castilla. 

Odegaard is in fact making an impact in the B team, though not deemed good enough to make the significant jump to feature alongside Ronaldo et al. 

Rooney’s demise makes exit inevitable

It seems the club are in no rush to let Odegaard leave the club, though. Despite not living up to the early promise he remains a highly talented prospect who could very well make his mark in the long-term. A loan move in the January transfer market looks likely, though, as he continues his quest to prove his worth.

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