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Thibaut Courtois adds to Antonio Conte's growing list of problems at Chelsea by suffering ankle injury

Thibaut Courtois has added to Antonio Conte’s growing list of problems by suffering an ankle injury that is expected to rule the goalkeeper out Chelsea’s trip to Brighton. And midfielder Danny Drinkwater is also struggling to be fit, meaning Conte could be without six senior players as Chelsea look for their first Premier League victory of 2018. Ross Barkley is set to take his place on the substitutes’ bench, but Conte admits he has been forced to rethink his plans for the Brighton game after losing Alvaro Morata and Pedro to suspension, plus Cesc Fabregas, Gary Cahill and, potentially, Courtois and Drinkwater to injury. There could not be a worse time for the injuries and suspensions to pile up as Conte attempts to get his team back on course and guide them through an exhausting fixture list in which Chelsea are juggling a “war” to stay in the top four, along with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, ahead of the Champions League restarting next month. Even Chelsea’s attempts to boost Conte’s squad in the transfer market were hit by injury, as Andy Carroll’s ankle problem appears to have ruled him out of making a surprise move to Stamford Bridge. That has forced Chelsea to consider a striker who would not even be eligible for the Champions League, Roma’s Edin Dzeko, while interest in Christian Benteke or Peter Crouch could be revisited if the Blues continue to draw blanks on and off the pitch. Chelsea are now in the hunt for Edin Dzeko Credit: AFP There may at least be better news on the horizon in terms of easing the burden on Marcos Alonso, with another Roma player, left-back Emerson Palmieri, keen to join Chelsea. But Conte has clearly grown weary of constant questioning over if and when “the club” will manage to land its targets this month. He needs help, but he is unsure if he will get it. Asked whether or not he is confident Chelsea will sign the players he wants, Conte replied: “Confident'? Confident is a big word. We have to wait. I give my opinion to my club, but, as I said before, the final decision is for the club. “I have to wait and see what happens in this transfer market. But I repeat: I'm very calm on this aspect, also because I enjoy working with my players in the right way, and I'm very happy with their commitment. I'm happy to work with these players. “Then, if the club wants to help us, we're happy. Otherwise we'll continue in this way, continue to put all ourselves every day in trying to improve as a team and bring satisfaction to our fans.” Antonio Conte directs his players in training Credit: GETTY IMAGES Having appeared to be in a straight fight for second place with Manchester United, Chelsea now look the most vulnerable of the clubs currently occupying the top four places. “We have a great motivation, to try to finish the league in the final four,” said Conte. “It won't be easy. I want to be very clear: we are in January, and it will be very difficult – not only for us, but also the other teams. It will be a big fight, a big war, with five teams (after Manchester City) for only four places. “We must be optimistic. There are four months to play. Good targets. We are in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with the possibility of reaching the final, the fourth round of the FA Cup, the Champions League, and we're fighting for a Champions League place in the league. We must be optimistic and continue to work. Our work must give us the right optimism.” Pedro cannot face Brighton after being sent off against Norwich City in the FA Cup for two bookable offences, the first of which was for diving. “For Pedro, we must be honest and accept Pedro dived,” said Conte. “I think the player... in this situation, the player is clever, he's intelligent to understand when you make a mistake. In this case, Pedro understood this mistake.”

Thibaut Courtois adds to Antonio Conte's growing list of problems at Chelsea by suffering ankle injury

Thibaut Courtois has added to Antonio Conte’s growing list of problems by suffering an ankle injury that is expected to rule the goalkeeper out Chelsea’s trip to Brighton. And midfielder Danny Drinkwater is also struggling to be fit, meaning Conte could be without six senior players as Chelsea look for their first Premier League victory of 2018. Ross Barkley is set to take his place on the substitutes’ bench, but Conte admits he has been forced to rethink his plans for the Brighton game after losing Alvaro Morata and Pedro to suspension, plus Cesc Fabregas, Gary Cahill and, potentially, Courtois and Drinkwater to injury. There could not be a worse time for the injuries and suspensions to pile up as Conte attempts to get his team back on course and guide them through an exhausting fixture list in which Chelsea are juggling a “war” to stay in the top four, along with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, ahead of the Champions League restarting next month. Even Chelsea’s attempts to boost Conte’s squad in the transfer market were hit by injury, as Andy Carroll’s ankle problem appears to have ruled him out of making a surprise move to Stamford Bridge. That has forced Chelsea to consider a striker who would not even be eligible for the Champions League, Roma’s Edin Dzeko, while interest in Christian Benteke or Peter Crouch could be revisited if the Blues continue to draw blanks on and off the pitch. Chelsea are now in the hunt for Edin Dzeko Credit: AFP There may at least be better news on the horizon in terms of easing the burden on Marcos Alonso, with another Roma player, left-back Emerson Palmieri, keen to join Chelsea. But Conte has clearly grown weary of constant questioning over if and when “the club” will manage to land its targets this month. He needs help, but he is unsure if he will get it. Asked whether or not he is confident Chelsea will sign the players he wants, Conte replied: “Confident'? Confident is a big word. We have to wait. I give my opinion to my club, but, as I said before, the final decision is for the club. “I have to wait and see what happens in this transfer market. But I repeat: I'm very calm on this aspect, also because I enjoy working with my players in the right way, and I'm very happy with their commitment. I'm happy to work with these players. “Then, if the club wants to help us, we're happy. Otherwise we'll continue in this way, continue to put all ourselves every day in trying to improve as a team and bring satisfaction to our fans.” Antonio Conte directs his players in training Credit: GETTY IMAGES Having appeared to be in a straight fight for second place with Manchester United, Chelsea now look the most vulnerable of the clubs currently occupying the top four places. “We have a great motivation, to try to finish the league in the final four,” said Conte. “It won't be easy. I want to be very clear: we are in January, and it will be very difficult – not only for us, but also the other teams. It will be a big fight, a big war, with five teams (after Manchester City) for only four places. “We must be optimistic. There are four months to play. Good targets. We are in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with the possibility of reaching the final, the fourth round of the FA Cup, the Champions League, and we're fighting for a Champions League place in the league. We must be optimistic and continue to work. Our work must give us the right optimism.” Pedro cannot face Brighton after being sent off against Norwich City in the FA Cup for two bookable offences, the first of which was for diving. “For Pedro, we must be honest and accept Pedro dived,” said Conte. “I think the player... in this situation, the player is clever, he's intelligent to understand when you make a mistake. In this case, Pedro understood this mistake.”

Thibaut Courtois adds to Antonio Conte's growing list of problems at Chelsea by suffering ankle injury

Thibaut Courtois has added to Antonio Conte’s growing list of problems by suffering an ankle injury that is expected to rule the goalkeeper out Chelsea’s trip to Brighton. And midfielder Danny Drinkwater is also struggling to be fit, meaning Conte could be without six senior players as Chelsea look for their first Premier League victory of 2018. Ross Barkley is set to take his place on the substitutes’ bench, but Conte admits he has been forced to rethink his plans for the Brighton game after losing Alvaro Morata and Pedro to suspension, plus Cesc Fabregas, Gary Cahill and, potentially, Courtois and Drinkwater to injury. There could not be a worse time for the injuries and suspensions to pile up as Conte attempts to get his team back on course and guide them through an exhausting fixture list in which Chelsea are juggling a “war” to stay in the top four, along with the Carabao Cup and FA Cup, ahead of the Champions League restarting next month. Even Chelsea’s attempts to boost Conte’s squad in the transfer market were hit by injury, as Andy Carroll’s ankle problem appears to have ruled him out of making a surprise move to Stamford Bridge. That has forced Chelsea to consider a striker who would not even be eligible for the Champions League, Roma’s Edin Dzeko, while interest in Christian Benteke or Peter Crouch could be revisited if the Blues continue to draw blanks on and off the pitch. Chelsea are now in the hunt for Edin Dzeko Credit: AFP There may at least be better news on the horizon in terms of easing the burden on Marcos Alonso, with another Roma player, left-back Emerson Palmieri, keen to join Chelsea. But Conte has clearly grown weary of constant questioning over if and when “the club” will manage to land its targets this month. He needs help, but he is unsure if he will get it. Asked whether or not he is confident Chelsea will sign the players he wants, Conte replied: “Confident'? Confident is a big word. We have to wait. I give my opinion to my club, but, as I said before, the final decision is for the club. “I have to wait and see what happens in this transfer market. But I repeat: I'm very calm on this aspect, also because I enjoy working with my players in the right way, and I'm very happy with their commitment. I'm happy to work with these players. “Then, if the club wants to help us, we're happy. Otherwise we'll continue in this way, continue to put all ourselves every day in trying to improve as a team and bring satisfaction to our fans.” Antonio Conte directs his players in training Credit: GETTY IMAGES Having appeared to be in a straight fight for second place with Manchester United, Chelsea now look the most vulnerable of the clubs currently occupying the top four places. “We have a great motivation, to try to finish the league in the final four,” said Conte. “It won't be easy. I want to be very clear: we are in January, and it will be very difficult – not only for us, but also the other teams. It will be a big fight, a big war, with five teams (after Manchester City) for only four places. “We must be optimistic. There are four months to play. Good targets. We are in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup with the possibility of reaching the final, the fourth round of the FA Cup, the Champions League, and we're fighting for a Champions League place in the league. We must be optimistic and continue to work. Our work must give us the right optimism.” Pedro cannot face Brighton after being sent off against Norwich City in the FA Cup for two bookable offences, the first of which was for diving. “For Pedro, we must be honest and accept Pedro dived,” said Conte. “I think the player... in this situation, the player is clever, he's intelligent to understand when you make a mistake. In this case, Pedro understood this mistake.”

Chelsea close to agreeing £22m deal for Roma's Emerson

Chelsea close to agreeing £22m deal for Roma's Emerson

Chelsea close to agreeing £22m deal for Roma's Emerson

Chelsea close to agreeing £22m deal for Roma's Emerson

Chelsea close to agreeing £22m deal for Roma's Emerson

The Blues have had smooth negotiations with the Italian giants and are closing in on bringing him to Stamford Bridge in January

Atlanta Signs Ezequiel Barco, Reportedly In Most Expensive Transfer in MLS History

Atlanta United set a high bar for itself during its expansion season, and it's pushing it even higher in Year 2.

Atlanta has signed Argentine playmaker Ezequiel Barco, 18, from Independiente in a reported $15 million transfer, setting an MLS record for transfer fee spent on a player. Toronto FC spent $10 million to land Michael Bradley from Roma in 2014 to set the standard, but Atlanta far exceeded that in continuing to stockpile its club with young, South American talent.

Last season, Atlanta spent big to land Miguel Almiron, sending $8.5 million to Lanus while top European clubs were reportedly interested in the 23-year-old Paraguayan star. The club's other Designated Player spots went to Venezuela's Josef Martinez (24 years old) and Hector Villalba (23), though one will likely have his DP distinction bought down with allocation money in order to make way for Barco. On the field, Barco figures to take the place of Yamil Asad, who was on loan from Velez Sarsfield and not retained after a strong season on the left wing.

Atlanta confirmed the long-awaited signing on Friday, during the MLS SuperDraft.

The teenage rising star, who can play on the left or in a central attacking role, helped lead Independiente to the Copa Sudamericana title, with his penalty kick the decisive goal in the final, and will have sky-high expectations upon his arrival in MLS.

He joins Darlington Nagbe as high-profile attacking additions brought in by Atlanta this winter, giving manager Tata Martino the enviable task of figuring out how to deploy so many capable threats. Young South American defenders Franco Escobar and Jose Hernandez and former FC Cincinnati goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt have also been signed this offseason.

According to reports, should Atlanta United try to spin Barco for a profit by the end of 2019, Independiente would receive 30% of the transfer fee. If he is sold after then, that number dips to 10%.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea still pursuing Roma duo, and more

Chelsea is looking to make a big transfer splash as it searches for potential replacements for Michy Batshuayi and David Luiz.

Chelsea hold talks over double deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea will hold more talks with Roma over a potential double deal for Emerson Palmieri and Edin Dzeko next week. Left-back Palmieri is hoping to complete a move to Stamford Bridge to compete with Marcos Alonso, despite the fact Chelsea would ideally like to take the Brazilian on loan. Roma want £22 million for Palmieri, but there is optimism on all sides that a deal for either a loan or permanent transfer can be agreed. Chelsea’s interest in Dzeko is less advanced and has come about as the club attempt to find a target man to help out Alvaro Morata, who is suspended for Saturday’s trip to Brighton. Morata’s suspension means Michy Batshuayi, who could move in the opposite direction to Dzeko, will start against Brighton. And Roma face Inter Milan on Sunday, which means discussions have been put on hold during the weekend. The Premier League champions had been hopeful of signing Andy Carroll, but the West Ham United centre-forward's ankle injury has forced them to look elsewhere. There is an outside chance of Chelsea reigniting their interest if the 29-year-old can recover by the end of the month. Emerson Palmieri, who is eligible to play for Italy though Brazilian by birth, is close to leaving Roma for Chelsea Credit: Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP Dzeko would not be eligible to play in the Champions League, but he could play for Chelsea in the Premier League and all of the cup competitions. Having made an inquiry over his potential availability, Chelsea will hold more talks over Dzeko next week, but they also continue to explore other options. Crystal Palace have already warned Chelsea that they do not want to loan out Christian Benteke, although that may change if Roy Hodgson can sign a striker, while a move for Stoke City’s Peter Crouch has not been discounted. Antonio Conte’s interest in Dzeko was confirmed by the former Manchester City forward’s agent, Irfan Redzepagic, who told Italian media: “All I can say is that Conte likes Dzeko. But then who doesn’t like Edin? “Have I spoken to Conte or Chelsea? My role means I can’t reveal certain transfer market dynamics. I understand the question, but I have a very specific role. “Look, every time we talk about Dzeko the names of clubs like Chelsea, Chinese clubs, Mexican clubs come up. These are just rumours. The truth is that Dzeko wants to stay at Roma.”

Chelsea hold talks over double deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea will hold more talks with Roma over a potential double deal for Emerson Palmieri and Edin Dzeko next week. Left-back Palmieri is hoping to complete a move to Stamford Bridge to compete with Marcos Alonso, despite the fact Chelsea would ideally like to take the Brazilian on loan. Roma want £22 million for Palmieri, but there is optimism on all sides that a deal for either a loan or permanent transfer can be agreed. Chelsea’s interest in Dzeko is less advanced and has come about as the club attempt to find a target man to help out Alvaro Morata, who is suspended for Saturday’s trip to Brighton. Morata’s suspension means Michy Batshuayi, who could move in the opposite direction to Dzeko, will start against Brighton. And Roma face Inter Milan on Sunday, which means discussions have been put on hold during the weekend. The Premier League champions had been hopeful of signing Andy Carroll, but the West Ham United centre-forward's ankle injury has forced them to look elsewhere. There is an outside chance of Chelsea reigniting their interest if the 29-year-old can recover by the end of the month. Emerson Palmieri, who is eligible to play for Italy though Brazilian by birth, is close to leaving Roma for Chelsea Credit: Ettore Ferrari/ANSA via AP Dzeko would not be eligible to play in the Champions League, but he could play for Chelsea in the Premier League and all of the cup competitions. Having made an inquiry over his potential availability, Chelsea will hold more talks over Dzeko next week, but they also continue to explore other options. Crystal Palace have already warned Chelsea that they do not want to loan out Christian Benteke, although that may change if Roy Hodgson can sign a striker, while a move for Stoke City’s Peter Crouch has not been discounted. Antonio Conte’s interest in Dzeko was confirmed by the former Manchester City forward’s agent, Irfan Redzepagic, who told Italian media: “All I can say is that Conte likes Dzeko. But then who doesn’t like Edin? “Have I spoken to Conte or Chelsea? My role means I can’t reveal certain transfer market dynamics. I understand the question, but I have a very specific role. “Look, every time we talk about Dzeko the names of clubs like Chelsea, Chinese clubs, Mexican clubs come up. These are just rumours. The truth is that Dzeko wants to stay at Roma.”

Chelsea hold talks over double deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea hold talks over double deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea hold talks over double deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea hold talks over double deal for Roma's Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea target Edin Dzeko wants to stay at Roma, claims striker's agent

Chelsea target Edin Dzeko wants to stay at Roma, claims striker's agent

Chelsea target Edin Dzeko wants to stay at Roma, claims striker's agent

Chelsea target Edin Dzeko wants to stay at Roma, claims striker's agent

Chelsea close to agreeing £22m deal for Roma's Emerson

The Blues have had smooth negotiations with the Italian giants and are closing in on bringing him to Stamford Bridge in January

Who is Chelsea target Emerson Palmieri? Roma defender on Antonio Conte's transfer wishlist

Who is Chelsea target Emerson Palmieri? Roma defender on Antonio Conte's transfer wishlist

Who is Chelsea target Emerson Palmieri? Roma defender on Antonio Conte's transfer wishlist

Who is Chelsea target Emerson Palmieri? Roma defender on Antonio Conte's transfer wishlist

Chelsea in £44m move for Roma duo Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea in £44m move for Roma duo Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmieri

Chelsea target Roma's Edin Dzeko to bolster misfiring attack

Chelsea target Roma's Edin Dzeko to bolster misfiring attack

Chelsea target Roma's Edin Dzeko to bolster misfiring attack

Chelsea target Roma's Edin Dzeko to bolster misfiring attack

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Liverpool consider James Rodriguez as Coutinho replacement'

For a club with £142m cash on the hip, Liverpool are having real difficulty in spending their fortune. Liverpool have so far failed to make any real headway in signing a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left the club earlier this month.  The Reds were understood to be rivalling Arsenal in a bid to bring Brazil forward Malcom to the Premier League but any deal looks to be dead in the water after Bordeaux president Stephane Martin said no talks had been held with foreign clubs and the 23-year-old was not for sale. According to the Liverpool Echo Jurgen Klopp has instead given the green light to a swoop for Real Madrid midfielder, James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, has six months left on his two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga champions, meaning the German club would need to send the midfielder back to parent club Real Madrid to enable any deal to be completed. James Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month Credit: Reuters  Malcom looks destined to remain in Ligue Un for the foreseeable future after Arsene Wenger admitted the Brazlian was unlikely to leave Bordeaux.  "I don't think we are close to [signing Malcom]. I don't think [that it will happen in January], no," said Wenger in a press conference on Thursday. Malcom looks to be going nowhere this January Credit: AFP  According to Spanish daily, AS, another Real Madrid star could be making his way to the north-west of England after Jose Mourinho gave the 'thumbs up' to bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United. The publication suggests United could spend as much £350m in order to secure the Portuguese's services in the summer. There have been growing suggestions that Ronaldo is unhappy with new contract negotiations at the Bernabeu and has told his Real Madrid teammates that he is intent on a move back to the Premier League, with Manchester United his preferred option. Is Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United homecoming a genuine possibility?  Credit: Getty Images  Chelsea's search for a big number nine has seen them make an inquiry for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Italian football website, Mediaset Premium. They say the he Blues are in talks with the Serie A outfit over a possible deal for Brazilian full-back Emerson and have also asked about the availability of Dzeko. The former Manchester City front-man netted 29 times in the Italian top-flight last season. Edin Dzeko is one of many strikers being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge  Credit: EPA  Dzeko is understood to be one of many options being considered by Chelsea, with Christian Benteke, Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll also on Antonio Conte's 'big-man' wish list. The Sun say Theo Walcott's £20m move to Everton could bring Aaron Lennon's Goodison Park career to an end.  The arrival of Walcott means Lennon will fall further down the right-wing pecking order with Newcastle United reportedly willing to offer the England international a January lifeline. And the rest Leicester City have expressed their interest in signing Jonny Evans making it a three-way race for the Norther Ireland international with Man City and Arsenal already in talks.  Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has turned the opportunity to join West Ham on loan. The 24-year-old has made only 15 appearances for the Serie A side this season but is keen to 'keep his options open'.  Juventus are keeping tabs on Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, according to The Sun. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Liverpool consider James Rodriguez as Coutinho replacement'

For a club with £142m cash on the hip, Liverpool are having real difficulty in spending their fortune. Liverpool have so far failed to make any real headway in signing a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left the club earlier this month.  The Reds were understood to be rivalling Arsenal in a bid to bring Brazil forward Malcom to the Premier League but any deal looks to be dead in the water after Bordeaux president Stephane Martin said no talks had been held with foreign clubs and the 23-year-old was not for sale. According to the Liverpool Echo Jurgen Klopp has instead given the green light to a swoop for Real Madrid midfielder, James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, has six months left on his two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga champions, meaning the German club would need to send the midfielder back to parent club Real Madrid to enable any deal to be completed. James Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month Credit: Reuters  Malcom looks destined to remain in Ligue Un for the foreseeable future after Arsene Wenger admitted the Brazlian was unlikely to leave Bordeaux.  "I don't think we are close to [signing Malcom]. I don't think [that it will happen in January], no," said Wenger in a press conference on Thursday. Malcom looks to be going nowhere this January Credit: AFP  According to Spanish daily, AS, another Real Madrid star could be making his way to the north-west of England after Jose Mourinho gave the 'thumbs up' to bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United. The publication suggests United could spend as much £350m in order to secure the Portuguese's services in the summer. There have been growing suggestions that Ronaldo is unhappy with new contract negotiations at the Bernabeu and has told his Real Madrid teammates that he is intent on a move back to the Premier League, with Manchester United his preferred option. Is Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United homecoming a genuine possibility?  Credit: Getty Images  Chelsea's search for a big number nine has seen them make an inquiry for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Italian football website, Mediaset Premium. They say the he Blues are in talks with the Serie A outfit over a possible deal for Brazilian full-back Emerson and have also asked about the availability of Dzeko. The former Manchester City front-man netted 29 times in the Italian top-flight last season. Edin Dzeko is one of many strikers being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge  Credit: EPA  Dzeko is understood to be one of many options being considered by Chelsea, with Christian Benteke, Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll also on Antonio Conte's 'big-man' wish list. The Sun say Theo Walcott's £20m move to Everton could bring Aaron Lennon's Goodison Park career to an end.  The arrival of Walcott means Lennon will fall further down the right-wing pecking order with Newcastle United reportedly willing to offer the England international a January lifeline. And the rest Leicester City have expressed their interest in signing Jonny Evans making it a three-way race for the Norther Ireland international with Man City and Arsenal already in talks.  Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has turned the opportunity to join West Ham on loan. The 24-year-old has made only 15 appearances for the Serie A side this season but is keen to 'keep his options open'.  Juventus are keeping tabs on Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, according to The Sun. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Liverpool consider James Rodriguez as Coutinho replacement'

For a club with £142m cash on the hip, Liverpool are having real difficulty in spending their fortune. Liverpool have so far failed to make any real headway in signing a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left the club earlier this month.  The Reds were understood to be rivalling Arsenal in a bid to bring Brazil forward Malcom to the Premier League but any deal looks to be dead in the water after Bordeaux president Stephane Martin said no talks had been held with foreign clubs and the 23-year-old was not for sale. According to the Liverpool Echo Jurgen Klopp has instead given the green light to a swoop for Real Madrid midfielder, James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, has six months left on his two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga champions, meaning the German club would need to send the midfielder back to parent club Real Madrid to enable any deal to be completed. James Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month Credit: Reuters  Malcom looks destined to remain in Ligue Un for the foreseeable future after Arsene Wenger admitted the Brazlian was unlikely to leave Bordeaux.  "I don't think we are close to [signing Malcom]. I don't think [that it will happen in January], no," said Wenger in a press conference on Thursday. Malcom looks to be going nowhere this January Credit: AFP  According to Spanish daily, AS, another Real Madrid star could be making his way to the north-west of England after Jose Mourinho gave the 'thumbs up' to bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United. The publication suggests United could spend as much £350m in order to secure the Portuguese's services in the summer. There have been growing suggestions that Ronaldo is unhappy with new contract negotiations at the Bernabeu and has told his Real Madrid teammates that he is intent on a move back to the Premier League, with Manchester United his preferred option. Is Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United homecoming a genuine possibility?  Credit: Getty Images  Chelsea's search for a big number nine has seen them make an inquiry for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Italian football website, Mediaset Premium. They say the he Blues are in talks with the Serie A outfit over a possible deal for Brazilian full-back Emerson and have also asked about the availability of Dzeko. The former Manchester City front-man netted 29 times in the Italian top-flight last season. Edin Dzeko is one of many strikers being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge  Credit: EPA  Dzeko is understood to be one of many options being considered by Chelsea, with Christian Benteke, Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll also on Antonio Conte's 'big-man' wish list. The Sun say Theo Walcott's £20m move to Everton could bring Aaron Lennon's Goodison Park career to an end.  The arrival of Walcott means Lennon will fall further down the right-wing pecking order with Newcastle United reportedly willing to offer the England international a January lifeline. And the rest Leicester City have expressed their interest in signing Jonny Evans making it a three-way race for the Norther Ireland international with Man City and Arsenal already in talks.  Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has turned the opportunity to join West Ham on loan. The 24-year-old has made only 15 appearances for the Serie A side this season but is keen to 'keep his options open'.  Juventus are keeping tabs on Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, according to The Sun. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Liverpool consider James Rodriguez as Coutinho replacement'

For a club with £142m cash on the hip, Liverpool are having real difficulty in spending their fortune. Liverpool have so far failed to make any real headway in signing a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left the club earlier this month.  The Reds were understood to be rivalling Arsenal in a bid to bring Brazil forward Malcom to the Premier League but any deal looks to be dead in the water after Bordeaux president Stephane Martin said no talks had been held with foreign clubs and the 23-year-old was not for sale. According to the Liverpool Echo Jurgen Klopp has instead given the green light to a swoop for Real Madrid midfielder, James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, has six months left on his two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga champions, meaning the German club would need to send the midfielder back to parent club Real Madrid to enable any deal to be completed. James Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month Credit: Reuters  Malcom looks destined to remain in Ligue Un for the foreseeable future after Arsene Wenger admitted the Brazlian was unlikely to leave Bordeaux.  "I don't think we are close to [signing Malcom]. I don't think [that it will happen in January], no," said Wenger in a press conference on Thursday. Malcom looks to be going nowhere this January Credit: AFP  According to Spanish daily, AS, another Real Madrid star could be making his way to the north-west of England after Jose Mourinho gave the 'thumbs up' to bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United. The publication suggests United could spend as much £350m in order to secure the Portuguese's services in the summer. There have been growing suggestions that Ronaldo is unhappy with new contract negotiations at the Bernabeu and has told his Real Madrid teammates that he is intent on a move back to the Premier League, with Manchester United his preferred option. Is Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United homecoming a genuine possibility?  Credit: Getty Images  Chelsea's search for a big number nine has seen them make an inquiry for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Italian football website, Mediaset Premium. They say the he Blues are in talks with the Serie A outfit over a possible deal for Brazilian full-back Emerson and have also asked about the availability of Dzeko. The former Manchester City front-man netted 29 times in the Italian top-flight last season. Edin Dzeko is one of many strikers being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge  Credit: EPA  Dzeko is understood to be one of many options being considered by Chelsea, with Christian Benteke, Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll also on Antonio Conte's 'big-man' wish list. The Sun say Theo Walcott's £20m move to Everton could bring Aaron Lennon's Goodison Park career to an end.  The arrival of Walcott means Lennon will fall further down the right-wing pecking order with Newcastle United reportedly willing to offer the England international a January lifeline. And the rest Leicester City have expressed their interest in signing Jonny Evans making it a three-way race for the Norther Ireland international with Man City and Arsenal already in talks.  Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has turned the opportunity to join West Ham on loan. The 24-year-old has made only 15 appearances for the Serie A side this season but is keen to 'keep his options open'.  Juventus are keeping tabs on Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, according to The Sun. 

Football transfer news and rumours: 'Liverpool consider James Rodriguez as Coutinho replacement'

For a club with £142m cash on the hip, Liverpool are having real difficulty in spending their fortune. Liverpool have so far failed to make any real headway in signing a replacement for Philippe Coutinho, who left the club earlier this month.  The Reds were understood to be rivalling Arsenal in a bid to bring Brazil forward Malcom to the Premier League but any deal looks to be dead in the water after Bordeaux president Stephane Martin said no talks had been held with foreign clubs and the 23-year-old was not for sale. According to the Liverpool Echo Jurgen Klopp has instead given the green light to a swoop for Real Madrid midfielder, James Rodriguez.  Rodriguez, who is currently on loan at Bayern Munich, has six months left on his two-year loan deal with the Bundesliga champions, meaning the German club would need to send the midfielder back to parent club Real Madrid to enable any deal to be completed. James Rodriguez celebrates scoring against Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month Credit: Reuters  Malcom looks destined to remain in Ligue Un for the foreseeable future after Arsene Wenger admitted the Brazlian was unlikely to leave Bordeaux.  "I don't think we are close to [signing Malcom]. I don't think [that it will happen in January], no," said Wenger in a press conference on Thursday. Malcom looks to be going nowhere this January Credit: AFP  According to Spanish daily, AS, another Real Madrid star could be making his way to the north-west of England after Jose Mourinho gave the 'thumbs up' to bringing Cristiano Ronaldo back to Manchester United. The publication suggests United could spend as much £350m in order to secure the Portuguese's services in the summer. There have been growing suggestions that Ronaldo is unhappy with new contract negotiations at the Bernabeu and has told his Real Madrid teammates that he is intent on a move back to the Premier League, with Manchester United his preferred option. Is Cristiano Ronaldo's Manchester United homecoming a genuine possibility?  Credit: Getty Images  Chelsea's search for a big number nine has seen them make an inquiry for Roma striker Edin Dzeko, according to Italian football website, Mediaset Premium. They say the he Blues are in talks with the Serie A outfit over a possible deal for Brazilian full-back Emerson and have also asked about the availability of Dzeko. The former Manchester City front-man netted 29 times in the Italian top-flight last season. Edin Dzeko is one of many strikers being linked with a move to Stamford Bridge  Credit: EPA  Dzeko is understood to be one of many options being considered by Chelsea, with Christian Benteke, Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll also on Antonio Conte's 'big-man' wish list. The Sun say Theo Walcott's £20m move to Everton could bring Aaron Lennon's Goodison Park career to an end.  The arrival of Walcott means Lennon will fall further down the right-wing pecking order with Newcastle United reportedly willing to offer the England international a January lifeline. And the rest Leicester City have expressed their interest in signing Jonny Evans making it a three-way race for the Norther Ireland international with Man City and Arsenal already in talks.  Inter Milan midfielder Joao Mario has turned the opportunity to join West Ham on loan. The 24-year-old has made only 15 appearances for the Serie A side this season but is keen to 'keep his options open'.  Juventus are keeping tabs on Arsenal full-back Hector Bellerin, according to The Sun. 

Roma-Chelsea reports could see Dzeko, Batshuayi… and Sturridge on the move

Chelsea reportedly is willing to send $62 million and striker Michy Batshuayi on loan to Roma in exchange for Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmeiri.

Roma-Chelsea reports could see Dzeko, Batshuayi… and Sturridge on the move

Chelsea reportedly is willing to send $62 million and striker Michy Batshuayi on loan to Roma in exchange for Edin Dzeko and Emerson Palmeiri.

Emerson Palmieri wants 'dream' Chelsea move as agent confirms talks with Roma over defender

Emerson Palmieri wants 'dream' Chelsea move as agent confirms talks with Roma over defender

Emerson Palmieri wants 'dream' Chelsea move as agent confirms talks with Roma over defender

Emerson Palmieri wants 'dream' Chelsea move as agent confirms talks with Roma over defender

Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson, confirms agent

With Alex Sandro priced out of a move by Juventus, the Blues have turned to another Serie A defender

Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson

Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson

Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson

Roma full-back Emerson Palmieri is attracting interest from Chelsea, with his agent claiming initial talks are ongoing.

Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson

Chelsea in talks over deal for Roma full-back Emerson

Cesc Fabregas struggling for Carabao Cup semi-final return leg as Chelsea seek transfer reinforcements

Cesc Fabregas is facing a race against time to be fit for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal next week. Head coach Antonio Conte revealed Fabregas had suffered a slight hamstring injury in training on Tuesday and Chelsea medics fear the midfielder could be out for up to 10 days. That would rule Fabregas out of the trip to the Emirates with a place in the Carabao Cup final up for grabs, following last week’s goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. Fabregas was substituted in the 58th minute of the draw with Leicester City, with Conte claiming the Spaniard and Eden Hazard were “very tired.” Without Fabregas, Chelsea could not break down 10-man Leicester and losing the 30-year-old for any amount of time would be a big blow to Conte whose team have struggled to hit the back of the net lately. Before the FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich City, Chelsea had failed to score for three successive games and Conte has insisted he needs more goals from all over the pitch. Conte had hoped to hand Ross Barkley a Chelsea debut from the substitutes’ bench against Norwich City, but found out three days before the game that the midfielder was ineligible because he had signed too late before the original tie. Chelsea have organised a training ground friendly for Barkley this week and the 24-year-old may have to be fast-tracked into Conte’s Premier League and Carabao Cup squads if Fabregas is absent. Ross Barkley is having to wait to make his Chelsea debut Credit: getty images The Blues face Brighton on Saturday before travelling to Arsenal and Conte cannot afford for his squad, which is already stretched, to be hit by key injuries. While Conte plans how to get Chelsea through such a busy schedule, the club have stepped up their efforts to boost his squad with a new striker a priority. Conte favours a move for Andy Carroll over the other target men who have been offered to Chelsea in recent weeks. Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke and Red Star Belgrade’s Richmond Boakye, both of whom Conte admires, have been put to Chelsea, and may yet move up the club’s list. But it is Carroll who Conte believes would best fit his short-term needs to provide a different option to Alvaro Morata. He wanted to sign Fernando Llorente, who was a team-mate of Morata at Juventus, in the summer and sees Carroll as a similar player. West Ham United have made it clear they do not want to sanction a loan move for Carroll, which would be Chelsea’s preference, but they would listen to a bid in the region of £20m. Chelsea are unlikely to match that valuation for a player with Carroll’s injury record, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, but there is optimism that there could be room for negotiation. Is Andy Carroll the man for Chelsea? Credit: pa Carroll is understood to be keen to join Chelsea and have the chance of playing in the Champions League, and that could be key to any potential agreement. West Ham would like to take Michy Batshuayi on loan as part of any deal for Carroll, but the Belgian is keen on joining Sevilla for the rest of the season and has emerged as a possible target of Borussia Dortmund. The prospect of Chelsea signing Carroll has not been received well by a section of the club’s fans, but the 29-year-old is three years younger than Llorente and has scored as many goals (two) as the Spaniard in six fewer appearances this season. Other than strikers, Chelsea are looking at left-sided players who could help ease the burden on Marcos Alonso. Alex Sandro is Conte’s top choice and Juventus are still demanding around £60m to sell him this month, although that figure could drop in the summer. January 2018 transfer window That has forced Chelsea to consider other options, the latest of which is Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri who has only recently recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he sustained in May last year. Roma are likely to cash in on at least one player this month and the Serie A club value Palmieri between £22m and £26m, but Chelsea initially want to take the 23-year-old on loan. Chelsea and Roma enjoy a good relationship, having done business over central defender Antonio Rudiger during last summer’s transfer window. Other than preparing this week’s friendly to help Barkley reach full fitness, Chelsea could use it to help Charly Musonda get match ready ahead of a loan move away. Fiorentina are the latest club to an express an interest, although Chelsea would rather Musonda remains in England.

Cesc Fabregas struggling for Carabao Cup semi-final return leg as Chelsea seek transfer reinforcements

Cesc Fabregas is facing a race against time to be fit for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal next week. Head coach Antonio Conte revealed Fabregas had suffered a slight hamstring injury in training on Tuesday and Chelsea medics fear the midfielder could be out for up to 10 days. That would rule Fabregas out of the trip to the Emirates with a place in the Carabao Cup final up for grabs, following last week’s goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. Fabregas was substituted in the 58th minute of the draw with Leicester City, with Conte claiming the Spaniard and Eden Hazard were “very tired.” Without Fabregas, Chelsea could not break down 10-man Leicester and losing the 30-year-old for any amount of time would be a big blow to Conte whose team have struggled to hit the back of the net lately. Before the FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich City, Chelsea had failed to score for three successive games and Conte has insisted he needs more goals from all over the pitch. Conte had hoped to hand Ross Barkley a Chelsea debut from the substitutes’ bench against Norwich City, but found out three days before the game that the midfielder was ineligible because he had signed too late before the original tie. Chelsea have organised a training ground friendly for Barkley this week and the 24-year-old may have to be fast-tracked into Conte’s Premier League and Carabao Cup squads if Fabregas is absent. Ross Barkley is having to wait to make his Chelsea debut Credit: getty images The Blues face Brighton on Saturday before travelling to Arsenal and Conte cannot afford for his squad, which is already stretched, to be hit by key injuries. While Conte plans how to get Chelsea through such a busy schedule, the club have stepped up their efforts to boost his squad with a new striker a priority. Conte favours a move for Andy Carroll over the other target men who have been offered to Chelsea in recent weeks. Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke and Red Star Belgrade’s Richmond Boakye, both of whom Conte admires, have been put to Chelsea, and may yet move up the club’s list. But it is Carroll who Conte believes would best fit his short-term needs to provide a different option to Alvaro Morata. He wanted to sign Fernando Llorente, who was a team-mate of Morata at Juventus, in the summer and sees Carroll as a similar player. West Ham United have made it clear they do not want to sanction a loan move for Carroll, which would be Chelsea’s preference, but they would listen to a bid in the region of £20m. Chelsea are unlikely to match that valuation for a player with Carroll’s injury record, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, but there is optimism that there could be room for negotiation. Is Andy Carroll the man for Chelsea? Credit: pa Carroll is understood to be keen to join Chelsea and have the chance of playing in the Champions League, and that could be key to any potential agreement. West Ham would like to take Michy Batshuayi on loan as part of any deal for Carroll, but the Belgian is keen on joining Sevilla for the rest of the season and has emerged as a possible target of Borussia Dortmund. The prospect of Chelsea signing Carroll has not been received well by a section of the club’s fans, but the 29-year-old is three years younger than Llorente and has scored as many goals (two) as the Spaniard in six fewer appearances this season. Other than strikers, Chelsea are looking at left-sided players who could help ease the burden on Marcos Alonso. Alex Sandro is Conte’s top choice and Juventus are still demanding around £60m to sell him this month, although that figure could drop in the summer. January 2018 transfer window That has forced Chelsea to consider other options, the latest of which is Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri who has only recently recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he sustained in May last year. Roma are likely to cash in on at least one player this month and the Serie A club value Palmieri between £22m and £26m, but Chelsea initially want to take the 23-year-old on loan. Chelsea and Roma enjoy a good relationship, having done business over central defender Antonio Rudiger during last summer’s transfer window. Other than preparing this week’s friendly to help Barkley reach full fitness, Chelsea could use it to help Charly Musonda get match ready ahead of a loan move away. Fiorentina are the latest club to an express an interest, although Chelsea would rather Musonda remains in England.

Cesc Fabregas struggling for Carabao Cup semi-final return leg as Chelsea seek transfer reinforcements

Cesc Fabregas is facing a race against time to be fit for Chelsea’s Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Arsenal next week. Head coach Antonio Conte revealed Fabregas had suffered a slight hamstring injury in training on Tuesday and Chelsea medics fear the midfielder could be out for up to 10 days. That would rule Fabregas out of the trip to the Emirates with a place in the Carabao Cup final up for grabs, following last week’s goalless draw at Stamford Bridge. Fabregas was substituted in the 58th minute of the draw with Leicester City, with Conte claiming the Spaniard and Eden Hazard were “very tired.” Without Fabregas, Chelsea could not break down 10-man Leicester and losing the 30-year-old for any amount of time would be a big blow to Conte whose team have struggled to hit the back of the net lately. Before the FA Cup third-round replay against Norwich City, Chelsea had failed to score for three successive games and Conte has insisted he needs more goals from all over the pitch. Conte had hoped to hand Ross Barkley a Chelsea debut from the substitutes’ bench against Norwich City, but found out three days before the game that the midfielder was ineligible because he had signed too late before the original tie. Chelsea have organised a training ground friendly for Barkley this week and the 24-year-old may have to be fast-tracked into Conte’s Premier League and Carabao Cup squads if Fabregas is absent. Ross Barkley is having to wait to make his Chelsea debut Credit: getty images The Blues face Brighton on Saturday before travelling to Arsenal and Conte cannot afford for his squad, which is already stretched, to be hit by key injuries. While Conte plans how to get Chelsea through such a busy schedule, the club have stepped up their efforts to boost his squad with a new striker a priority. Conte favours a move for Andy Carroll over the other target men who have been offered to Chelsea in recent weeks. Crystal Palace’s Christian Benteke and Red Star Belgrade’s Richmond Boakye, both of whom Conte admires, have been put to Chelsea, and may yet move up the club’s list. But it is Carroll who Conte believes would best fit his short-term needs to provide a different option to Alvaro Morata. He wanted to sign Fernando Llorente, who was a team-mate of Morata at Juventus, in the summer and sees Carroll as a similar player. West Ham United have made it clear they do not want to sanction a loan move for Carroll, which would be Chelsea’s preference, but they would listen to a bid in the region of £20m. Chelsea are unlikely to match that valuation for a player with Carroll’s injury record, who has 18 months remaining on his contract, but there is optimism that there could be room for negotiation. Is Andy Carroll the man for Chelsea? Credit: pa Carroll is understood to be keen to join Chelsea and have the chance of playing in the Champions League, and that could be key to any potential agreement. West Ham would like to take Michy Batshuayi on loan as part of any deal for Carroll, but the Belgian is keen on joining Sevilla for the rest of the season and has emerged as a possible target of Borussia Dortmund. The prospect of Chelsea signing Carroll has not been received well by a section of the club’s fans, but the 29-year-old is three years younger than Llorente and has scored as many goals (two) as the Spaniard in six fewer appearances this season. Other than strikers, Chelsea are looking at left-sided players who could help ease the burden on Marcos Alonso. Alex Sandro is Conte’s top choice and Juventus are still demanding around £60m to sell him this month, although that figure could drop in the summer. January 2018 transfer window That has forced Chelsea to consider other options, the latest of which is Roma left-back Emerson Palmieri who has only recently recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament he sustained in May last year. Roma are likely to cash in on at least one player this month and the Serie A club value Palmieri between £22m and £26m, but Chelsea initially want to take the 23-year-old on loan. Chelsea and Roma enjoy a good relationship, having done business over central defender Antonio Rudiger during last summer’s transfer window. Other than preparing this week’s friendly to help Barkley reach full fitness, Chelsea could use it to help Charly Musonda get match ready ahead of a loan move away. Fiorentina are the latest club to an express an interest, although Chelsea would rather Musonda remains in England.

Chelsea move for Emerson Palmieri of Roma as frustrations continue over pursuit of Juventus star Alex Sandro

Chelsea move for Emerson Palmieri of Roma as frustrations continue over pursuit of Juventus star Alex Sandro

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