RUMOURS: Arsenal still interested in Dortmund forward Reus

The Gunners remain keen on the Germany international and will make a move if either Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil leave the Emirates Stadium

Marco Reus remains a target for Arsenal and the Gunners will make a move if either Alexis Sanchez or Mesut Ozil leave Emirates Stadium, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The Germany international has been linked with a Premier league switch for some time, but has remained loyal to Borussia Dortmund.

He remains under contract in Germany until 2019, but could be the subject of a big-money bid if Arsene Wenger is unable to keep key men in north London.

Sanchez and Ozil are in talks regarding extensions to their respective stays with Arsenal, but neither have agreed fresh terms as yet and remain the subject of intense speculation regarding their future. 


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Messi convinced he will stay at Barcelona, despite lack of contract talks – Bartomeu

The Barcelona superstar is yet to open discussions regarding fresh terms at Camp Nou, but the La Liga giants are confident he will stay

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu claims Lionel Messi is convinced he will remain at the club, despite the fact talks over a new contract have not yet started.

Messi’s future has come into ever sharper focus as he edges into the last 18 months of his current deal, which expires in June 2018.

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Vice-president Jordi Mestre revealed on Sunday that Barca had not opened negotiations with their star man, yet the club remains hopeful of keeping the Argentina attacker at Camp Nou.

Speaking at his review of 2016 on Tuesday, Bartomeu added: “We haven’t had any meetings. We’re generally very discreet about these things, not just renewals.

“We always try to be discreet so that the transactions can be completed more easily.

“We would like him to end his career as a Barca player. Without getting into the nitty gritty, we hope we can announce this at some point because I think Barca wants this and I think Leo wants this too.

“He’s happy here in Barca. This is his club. It has been for many years.

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“He is Catalan. He is from our academy system. He represents an incredible story.

“We think he will stay at the club for the rest of his career. Leo Messi and Barca go together. He is the best player, we are the best club.

“I think he is convinced he is in the best team. I think he’s convinced that he couldn’t be in a better place.

“But there will be work that we have to do. That’s normal.

“I’m always optimistic about re-signing Leo Messi.”

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Messi and his father were found guilty on tax fraud charges earlier this year, but Bartomeu does not believe that episode will be a factor in his decision over whether to stay.

“I don’t think there are reasons for him to leave,” he commented. “These fiscal issues don’t affect him.

“He knows and we all know that he hasn’t done anything wrong.”

CAS reduce Real Madrid's transfer ban

The La Liga giants were initially stung with a two-window suspension from bringing in fresh faces, but have seen that sanction cut to one on appeal

Real Madrid have had their two-window transfer ban reduced to one by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the club have announced.

Madrid, along with city rivals Atletico, were hit with bans in January 2016 after FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee found them to be in breach of regulations “relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18”.

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Spanish champions Barcelona were hit with a similar sanction in 2014.

An appeal to FIFA failed in September, prompting Madrid to take their claim to CAS.

The two-window ban had been suspended while the investigation continued but Madrid were facing up to the prospect of not being able to register new players for the entirety of 2017.

That punishment has now been halved with the European champions able to strengthen their squad when the window opens at the end of the current season, although they will be inactive in January.

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Despite CAS ruling partially in their favour, Madrid released a statement in which they outlined their displeasure at the verdict and that initially delivered by FIFA.

The statement read: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has today informed Real Madrid CF of their decision by which they have partially upheld the appeal lodged by the club against the FIFA resolution which imposed a sanction forbidding the signing of players for two transfer windows, reducing said sanction to just one period, corresponding to the January 2017 transfer window.
 
“The decision highlights the injustice of the original ban imposed by FIFA, although the club regrets that the CAS lacked the courage to revoke the ruling entirely.”

RUMOURS: Man Utd looking at second Benfica defender

Jose Mourinho’s side may sign two players from the Portuguese club in January, with Nelson Semedo a target for the Premier League outfit as well as Victor Lindelof

Manchester United are looking at a second Benfica defender, with full-back Nelson Semedo also on their radar, according to A Bola.

Jose Mourinho’s side have already been heavily linked with a move for central defender Victor Lindelof, but could be in line to sign two players from Benfica in the January transfer window.

Semedo made his Portugal debut in October 2015, and has started all of Benfica’s league games so far this season as Rui Vitoria’s side have taken an early lead in the Portuguese Liga.


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Zenit want €10m for Chelsea and Juventus target Witsel

The Belgium midfielder is also being heavily linked with a January move to Juventus, but no club has offered to meet the Russian side’s asking price as yet

Axel Witsel is expected to be on the move during the January transfer window, with his contract running down at Zenit St Petersburg.

Long linked with a move away from Russia, the 27-year-old will not be signing an extension, leaving his current employers in a difficult position.

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Zenit must decide whether to cash in over the winter or allow Witsel to leave on a free next summer.

Juventus have led the hunt for his signature, with the Serie A champions reported to have agreed personal terms with the midfielder.

No deal has been struck with Zenit, though, as Juve are yet to table a suitable offer.

Goal understands that the Russian outfit are holding out for €10 million (£8.4m), and those demands have not been met – with the Serie A outfit currently looking to do a deal for €6m plus bonuses.

Witsel is believed to have a five-year contract waiting in Turin if an agreement can be reached, as a move to Italy appeals to him.

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There are, however, plenty of other suitors that could steal him away from Juventus.

Chelsea have been linked with an approach for some time, as Antonio Conte seeks to bolster his midfield ranks.

Stoke City and Everton are also keen on taking Witsel to the Premier League, while former Zenit boss Andre Villas-Boas would welcome a reunion at Chinese outfit Shanghai SIPG.