What the papers say
Manchester City remain hopeful of signing Lionel Messi, according to the Daily Telegraph. City were linked with the Barcelona superstar when he wanted to leave the club last summer before being blocked by Barca’s transfer fee demands. However, Messi is free to go at the end of the current season, and while he has expressed a preference for playing in the US, City may be able to lure him with a three-year deal in the Premier League, followed by two with their New York MLS side. Rumours persist, however, of Messi’s interest in Paris St-Germain.
Arsenal will make Spain forward Isco their top target in the January transfer window, Spain’s AS reports. Everton are also interested in the 28-year-old Real Madrid man, but Arsenal’s Spanish boss Mikel Arteta is reportedly eager to win the race and sign Isco on a six-month loan deal. They will still face stiff competition from Sevilla, however.
Dele Alli and Hugo Lloris could be moving from Tottenham to Paris-St Germain if former Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is appointed the French club’s new manager, Eurosport reports. Midfielder Alli, 24, and 34-year-old France goalkeeper Lloris are at the top of Pochettino’s wish list if he replaces Thomas Tuchel. Alli has been linked with moves in the recent past under Jose Mourinho, and could be attractive as a loan prospect if Pochettino gets the PSG job.
Tottenham are keen to sign Austria midfielder Marcel Sabitzer in January, the Evening Standard reports. The 26-year-old’s club RB Leipzig has reportedly said Spurs boss Jose Mourinho has made his interest known, although the move could hinge on whether or not Dele Alli stays put at Tottenham.
Wolves have joined the clubs interested in Diego Costa, according to the Times. The 32-year-old former Chelsea striker has agreed to end his contract at Atletico Madrid to become a free agent from January. While Costa has been injury-plagued in recent seasons, Wolves are on the hunt for a replacement for their own sidelined forward, Raul Jimenez. Arsenal have also been mentioned as being interested in Costa.
Social media round-up
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) December 29, 2020
Mikel Arteta insists Arsenal's transfer plans will not be affected by back-to-back wins https://t.co/mRCDvciQGg
— The Sun Football ⚽ (@TheSunFootball) December 30, 2020
Players to watch
Marcos Alonso: Chelsea’s 30-year-old full-back is set to return to Spain to join Atletico Madrid on loan, the Independent reports.
Milan Skriniar: The 25-year-old centre-back will not be moving to Liverpool, with the Reds put off by Inter Milan’s asking price, according to Calciomercato.
Jack Byrne: The 24-year-old Shamrock Rovers and Republic of Ireland midfielder has been linked to Stoke, Preston and Nottingham Forest, but is said to be keen on a move to Cyprus, Stoke’s Sentinel reports.