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Fellaini targeted by Chinese Super League as Solskjaer opening to selling United midfielder

Fellaini targeted by Chinese Super League as Solskjaer opening to selling United midfielder

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The transfer window for Europe's biggest clubs is open. Transfer Talk has been scouring the world's media and setting our correspondents loose to see who could be heading to or out of your club this month.

With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer.

Can a 44-year-old man cut it in the Premier League? Our writer suffers -- and suffers some more -- through a medical at Everton.

Liverpool were beaten to the punch by Chelsea to sign Christian Pulisic but they are reportedly interested in landing his U.S. international teammate Weston McKennie, according to the Sun.

McKennie, 20, has become a key player at Schalke after breaking into the first-team last season and his versatility is attracting the interest of Jurgen Klopp as he can play in both midfield and defence. The report claims that a deal worth £20m is on the cards, with Liverpool weighing up whether to bid in January or delay their interest until the summer. 

Any player who has been side by side with Pulisic since the age of 13 is certainly worth a look, but having signed him to a contract that runs until 2022, Schalke have the ball in their court.

13.42 GMT: Thomas Tuchel's pre-Guingamp news conference saw some interesting things said about PSG's potential transfer window (via our correspondent Jonathan Johnson).

On the January transfer window: "14 days to bring somebody in is not much time, but we are working on it and I believe that we can recruit the players that we need."

On Borussia Dortmund's Julian Weigl: "I cannot talk about players who play for another club. Julian was a player of mine, but he is still a Dortmund player today. We are working hard to bring in a defensive midfielder."

On Adrien Rabiot still training with the reserves: "I have to prepare my team to face Guingamp and it will be a team without Adrien. I respect the club's decisions and this is a club decision."

13.35 GMT: If Unai Emery knows the latest on Arsenal's move for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez, he's keeping it to himself.

13.31 GMT: ESPN Brasil's Joao Castelo-Branco reports that Marko Arnautovic is not in the West Ham squad for the game against Bournemouth this weekend.

Arnautovic nao está incluído no elenco do West Ham que viaja para encarar o Bournemouth. Pelo jeito está mesmo de saída do clube. Baita atacante. Vai fazer muita falta para o #WestHam

The forward is the subject of a £35m bid from China and wants to leave, but the Hammers have few options up front and are digging their heels in.

13.26 GMT: Leandro Paredes looked like he was about to join Chelsea but Sky Italy claim that PSG have made a £31m bid for the Zenit midfielder in a bid to steal him from under the Blues' noses.

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri literally said less than 20 minutes ago that the club need to buy a midfield replacement for Cesc Fabregas -- "Marina [Granovskaia] knows very well my opinion. We need a replacement for Cesc, my opinion" -- so he's going to be disappointed.

13.15 GMT: Not often that a player goes from Dagenham and Redbridge to the Premier League, but that's what young midfielder Michael Agboola has done as he has joined Wolverhampton Wanderers after impressing on trial.

13.04 GMT: James Rodriguez is staying at Bayern Munich until the end of the season "at least," sources close to the player have told ESPN FC, with a decision then to be made about the future of the reported Napoli and Arsenal target.

James has six months left on a two-year loan from Real Madrid, although the 27-year-old has not been a regular starter since Niko Kovac took over as Bayern coach last summer. This led to speculation in the British and Italian press that clubs including Arsenal and Napoli were looking offer him a short term exit as soon as January.

However sources in James' camp have confirmed to ESPN that the midfielder will stay at Bayern for the remainder of his loan deal, with the possibility still open that he would remain in Bavaria for 2019-20 and beyond.

12.36 GMT: Evidently Manchester United are closing on their first signing of the window. It's set to be 16-year-old Noam Emeran from Amiens SC, who has also been tracked by PSG and Juventus, and the left winger will cost around £80,000 according to Le Courrier Picard.

12.15 GMT: So this is a 'no' then...

Solari asked if he has a say when Florentino and other directors talk to him about transfers "Things in the private realm remain in private."

12.03 GMT: Spanish football expert Guillem Balague says that Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata has agreed to join Atletico Madrid but the deal is being held up by the fact that Chelsea need to land a replacement (Gonzalo Higuain) and Atletico need to make room and sell a player (Nikola Kalinic or Gelson Martins).

"It seems to be a matter of finding a buyer for Kalinic," Balague told the BBC 5 live Football Daily Podcast. "Everything else seems to be in place for Morata to abandon what feels like a nightmare."

11.40 GMT: Nice are working to bring Valere Germain back to the club from Marseille, France Football says.

The 28-year-old enjoyed his best-ever season at the Allianz Riviera during the 2015-16 campaign when on loan from Monaco, and having fallen out of favour with OM coach Rudi Garcia, he is likely to jump at the chance.

11.02 GMT: Something about London buses... as two deals are done at almost the same time.

1) Everton striker Oumar Niasse has joined Cardiff City on loan
2) Leicester defender Yohan Benalouane has moved to Nottingham Forest for an undisclosed fee.

10.50 GMT: Olivier Giroud told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview that he has found it "difficult" to adapt to not being Maurizio Sarri's first-choice striker at Chelsea, but insisted that he will keep fighting to play regularly at Stamford Bridge. So he's not looking to depart just yet then...

10.27 GMT: Staying with PSG gossip, Roma's Lorenzo Pellegrini wasn't up for a discussion with Sky Italia when asked about a potential move to Paris: "I am switching off the TV and going to train at Trigoria [Roma's training facilities]."

10.17 GMT: Idrissa Gueye's switch to Paris Saint-Germain is being held up as Everton bargain with Watford for the Senegal international's replacement, Abdoulaye Doucoure, says France Football.

Doucoure has himself been linked to PSG but Everton are now attempting to line him up to step into Gueye's shoes when the latter makes his widely expected move to the French capital this month.

10.05 GMT: Premier League winner (sorry, we just had to remind everyone of that) Marc Albrighton has signed a contract extension at Leicester City until 2022.

09.46 GMT: Lucas Hernandez will stay with Atletico Madrid until the end of the season, shunning a January move to Bayern Munich, L'Equipe claims.

Bayern were ready to pay the €80m release clause in his contract this winter, but it seems Hernandez, who signed a contract extension through to 2024 in June, will remain in the Spanish capital until the summer at least.

09.25 GMT: Marouane Fellaini has been an offered the opportunity to follow Belgium teammate Mousa Dembele to the Chinese Super League, with sources telling ESPN FC that clubs in Beijing and Guangzhou are targeting the Manchester United midfielder.

United are ready to listen to offers for Fellaini, who signed a two-year contract worth £100,000-a-week to stay at Old Trafford following the backing of former manager Jose Mourinho last summer. But the 31-year-old has clocked up just three minutes of first-team action during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's six-game reign as caretaker manager and the Norwegian is understood to be happy for United to sell Fellaini this month.

Solskjaer revealed on Friday that Fellaini has a "long-term" calf injury, but sources have told ESPN FC that it is not serious enough to threaten a mode away, especially with the Chinese transfer window open until the end of February.

09.04 GMT: Christopher Nkunku's agent Jose-Karl Pierre-Fanfan has told Le Parisien of his client's unhappiness.

"His playing time and his place in PSG's rotation are both insufficient," he said. "Christopher is open to leaving in order to develop. Nothing has been discussed with PSG yet, but in sporting terms, it is not enough. He must take the next step and that is not possible at PSG -- especially as his playing role is never defined or fixed."

08.43 GMT: Sevilla have announced they have reached an agreement with Red Bull Salzburg to acquire Israel international forward Munas Dabbur on a permanent deal, with the transfer to be effective on July 1, 2019.

Dabbur, who will continue playing for the Austrian club on loan until the end of the season, has signed a contract until June 2023.

08.30 GMT: Marca report that Real Madrid are set to complete the signing of FC Porto defender Eder Militao in the coming days.

According to the Madrid-based sports daily, the Spanish club's executives decided to go ahead with the deal after watching the Brazilian play five games. FC Porto will reportedly not allow the 21-year-old leave, however, unless a club pays his €50m release clause. That figure would rise by 50 percent to €75m if the negotiation is not completed by July 15.

If the deal is to be completed with Madrid, Militao, who is also a reported target of Manchester United and Barcelona, will not join the Spanish club until the summer. He joined FC Porto last summer from Sao Paulo in a €4m transfer.

Tottenham are looking to limit the effect Harry Kane's injury will have on their season by signing a striker this January.

They have already revived their interest in Brazilian winger Malcom, who is now at Barcelona, but are also looking at the possibility of signing Antonio Sanabria from Real Betis, according to the Independent.

The Paraguayan forward was a target for Spurs two years ago when he left Roma for Betis, and they have renewed their interest and are attracted by the 22-year-old's £26 million release clause.

With Son Heung-Min at the Asian Cup for the rest of the month, the timing of Kane's injury couldn't have been worse, but at least the transfer window is open for Tottenham  to deal with the issue -- but will they?

Gonzalo Higuain will fly to London in the next 24 hours to complete his move to Chelsea, according to the Mirror.

The Argentine striker is seen as the solution to Maurizio Sarri's problems up front, and will join on loan from Juventus, having spent the first half of the season on loan at AC Milan.

The 31-year-old played for Sarri during his time at Napoli, and will be reunited with the Italian boss even if only for a short time. This means he should have no problems fitting in immediately, as Sarri's tactics are much the same now as they were in Serie A.

Higuain's brother Nicolas, who also acts as his agent, is already in England to sort out the deal.

Sarri is also set to bolster his midfield ranks with the signing of Leandro Paredes from Zenit Saint Petersburg this month, according to the Express.

The Chelsea manager has recently spoken about his reliance on Jorginho in the deep-lying midfield position, and the arrival of Paredes would allow the integral Italian to be rested.

Paredes would offer a similar style to Jorginho, but might also be more expansive with his playmaking, which would be useful in certain games.

The transfer is set to cost Chelsea £31m, and their new boss is showing that he's not messing around when it comes to making his mark on the club.

They had targeted Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella as well, but the Russia-based Argentine proved more attainable.

Football Whispers' transfer algorithm gives the likelihood of rumours happening a score out of 5.

Alvaro Morata to Atletico Madrid - 4.3

With a deal for Gonzalo Higuaín in the works at Chelsea, their out-of-favour Spanish striker is on the verge of joining Atletico Madrid for £45m, according to Sky Sports.

Malcom to Tottenham Hotspur - 2.7

Tottenham are looking at the possibility of signing reinforcements in attack due to Kane's injury, and the Independent believes Barcelona's Brazilian winger Malcom is an option at £39m.

Michy Batshuayi to Everton - 2.4

The Belgian striker is nearing a move to Monaco, but Everton have emerged as a possible destination for the 25-year-old, with a £40m deal reported by the Star.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United - 2.0

The Crystal Palace right-back is enjoying a breakthrough season in the Premier League  and is now drawing interest from Chelsea and Manchester United, as well as Manchester City, according to the Mirror.

Eder Militao to Real Madrid - 2.0

Spanish outlet AS reports that Liverpool could lose out on the versatile Brazilian defender to Real Madrid, who are ready to pay his £44.7m release fee.

ESPN FC's Ross Dyer and Paul Mariner predict every Premier League fixture during week 33's action.

Chelsea supporters have launched a new initiative to combat racism and intolerance in response to a series of high-profile incidents that have damaged the club's reputation.

The initiative, "Chelsea Together," consists of 10 fan groups and supporter-run media outlets who have pledged to oppose all forms of discrimination and abuse within the club's fanbase --- including antisemitic chants directed at rivals Tottenham.

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Fear, paranoia, difficult behaviour and constant battling with club officials and players led to the inevitable, writes Rob Dawson.

When Boca Juniors and River Plate were set to meet in Argentina's most important match, Buenos Aires lost its mind, writes Wright Thompson.

Their action comes as Chelsea face a partial stadium closure from UEFA as a result of antisemitic language used by a minority of their away supporters during a Europa League game against Vidi in December.

Chelsea supporters are also the subject of several ongoing police investigations, including one into alleged racist abuse directed at Manchester City's Raheem Sterling and others for alleged antisemitic language and sexual abuse around matches over the festive period.

"We have taken this action without any involvement from Chelsea Football Club, or the football authorities," a statement announcing the initiative said. "We are all passionate about Chelsea; and we all believe that all games should be open to all people of all backgrounds and all beliefs.

"It is unacceptable that anyone should feel they are in any way marginalised as a Chelsea fan, or fearful of attending games, because of discrimination they encounter against what they believe, or the way they were born.

"We want the use of all racist and discriminatory language -- including, for the avoidance of doubt the 'Y-word' -- to end immediately at Chelsea, regardless of what happens at other clubs.

"Even if it is not calculated to be racist, that does not make it any less offensive or hurtful, and it is time for it to stop."

Three men were arrested for allegedly using antisemitic language prior to the first leg of the Carabao Cup semifinal between Tottenham and Chelsea earlier this month, of which one 23-year-old man remains under investigation.

Chelsea have been increasingly vocal in their criticism of a minority of their supporters in response to recent incidents, with a spokesman stating that those who used antisemitic language during the Vidi game had "shamed the club."

The club's Jewish owner Roman Abramovich has made eradicating antisemitism a personal cause since launching a targeted initiative called "Say No To Antisemitism" a year ago, heightening Chelsea's anger and embarrassment at the recent actions of a minority of their supporters.

Holocaust survivor Harry Spiro was invited to Cobham to address the Chelsea first team squad in January, while the club sent a delegation to attend the annual March of the Living at Auschwitz in April. This was followed in June by an official visit, consisting of 150 supporters and club officials, to the Nazi concentration camp.

Sources told ESPN FC in October that Chelsea are committed to engaging any racist supporters in educational courses rather than imposing blanket bans, and could send low-level offenders on funded trips to Auschwitz as part of their drive to stamp out antisemitism.

In November, Chelsea announced that they will play MLS club New England Revolution in a postseason friendly in May, branded "Game for Change," as part of their campaign against antisemitism. 

Abramovich and Revolution owner Robert Kraft, who is also Jewish, have pledged to donate $1 million (£778,565) to the fight against antisemitism, with all money from ticket sales also going to the cause.

With the NBA in town once again, several famous footballing faces were drawn to the O2 Arena on Thursday night to watch the Washington Wizards take on the New York Knicks.

LONDON -- Olivier Giroud told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview that he has found it "difficult" to adapt to not being Maurizio Sarri's first-choice striker at Chelsea, but insisted that he will keep fighting to play regularly at Stamford Bridge.

Giroud has started just two of Chelsea's last eight Premier League matches, with Sarri increasingly deploying Eden Hazard as a false No. 9 over both him and Alvaro Morata, who has struggled to live up to expectations since joining for £58 million from Real Madrid in the summer of 2017.

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Competition for places will intensify with the imminent arrival of Gonzalo Higuain on loan from Juventus until the end of the season, and Giroud revealed that he has found it tougher to earn Sarri's trust after making a positive start to his Chelsea career under Antonio Conte.

"It's not me who decides the team, making the starting XI, but obviously every single player wants to play every single game," Giroud told ESPN FC. "As a competitor obviously I can't be happy to stay on the bench, but I keep that frustration with me and try to transform it to positive energy to work hard in training.

"It's true that every time I play from the start I try to bring something to the team, to play my part. But in these 14 games I started maybe only half of them, so it's a bit difficult to be consistent in this case. You need to play a few games in a row to be competitive, so that's what's a bit difficult in this last month.

"The first six months [at Chelsea] were very good for me. I needed to leave Arsenal because of the fact that Arsene Wenger wanted to play with a different kind of striker. My time was over in Arsenal and I was really pleased to sign in a big club like Chelsea.

"I settled really well -- it's like I was part of this Chelsea team for a long time. I felt very good, with a good understanding with the players. We won the FA Cup and I played a few games, and then I had the opportunity to go to the World Cup. It was very good for me.

"Then after, when I came back late from the World Cup, it was a bit different because the new manager came and you have to start again, prove to him that you are ready to play in this team. It has been a little bit difficult for me to be honest, this last month, but I will keep fighting to play in this team."

Higuain will not arrive in time to help Chelsea against Arsenal on Saturday, in a match that could have a significant impact on the race for a top-four finish. Giroud is hoping to play a big part against his former club, adding that returning to the Emirates Stadium will be a big moment for him.

"It's going to be a special moment for me, the first time I'll be back at the Emirates since I moved to Chelsea, so I'm looking forward to this game," he added. "We need the win to keep them away from us. There's an opportunity to put them nine points behind us, but in a personal way it's going to be a special moment."

Arsenal are under greater pressure to win than Chelsea on Saturday, with last weekend's surprise loss against West Ham meaning another defeat will leave Unai Emery's team nine points adrift of fourth place.

Giroud believes his former club are still trying to move out of the shadow of former boss Wenger, but is optimistic about their long-term prospects.

"It's a new adventure for them with a new coach" he insisted. "I think Emery has settled well in the club, the players like him, the way they are training, his philosophy of the game. I spoke with some of them and they are quite happy, but you don't forget what Arsene Wenger achieved in this club.

"He basically built this club -- if you take the different teams that used to train under Wenger, there were some unbelievable teams. We need to be patient with Emery and I think he will do very well at Arsenal. I'm not sure they're better than before [yet], but one thing for sure is they've got a nice future."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is open to selling Marouane Fellaini this month, with sources telling ESPN FC that Chinese Super League sides Beijing Gouan and Guangzhou R&F are targeting the Manchester United midfielder.

Fellaini signed a two-year contract worth £100,000-a-week to stay at Old Trafford following the backing of former manager Jose Mourinho last summer. But the 31-year-old has clocked up just three minutes of first team action during Solskjaer's six-game reign as caretaker manager and the Norwegian is understood to be happy for United to sell Fellaini this month.

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With help from former Tottenham and Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli, we show you a step-by-step guide to a transfer.

Can a 44-year-old man cut it in the Premier League? Our writer suffers -- and suffers some more -- through a medical at Everton.

Solskjaer revealed on Friday that Fellaini has a "long-term" calf injury, while confirming Alexis Sanchez is set to return against Brighton on Saturday.

"Alexis has trained all week so hopefully he'll be available and Felli is the long-term one that's out. He'll be out for a few weeks," Solskjaer said. "He'll probably be at least three or four weeks. He's got a calf problem and that's sad."

But sources have told ESPN FC that it is not serious enough to threaten a move away, especially with the Chinese transfer window open until the end of February. In Europe, the transfer window closes on Jan. 31.

Beijing and Guangzhou, who completed a £9 million deal for Spurs midfielder Mousa Dembele this week, are both in the running to sign Fellaini, despite having the maximum number of non-Chinese players in their squads.

Turkish outfit Fenerbahce and AC Milan continue to hold an interest in the former Everton player having attempted to sign him as a free agent last summer. But although United are unlikely to seek a prohibitive fee for Fellaini, the player's wages would be a problem for both Fenerbahce and Milan.

Fellaini has been a long-term target of Chinese clubs, with Shanghai SIPG and Guanghzou Evergrande previously making offers for the Belgium international. And although he is prepared to fight for his place at United, Solskjaer's determination to impose a fast, counter-attacking style on the team has limited his opportunities to play.

Meanwhile, Sanchez has been limited to just one start under Solskjaer but came off the bench against Newcastle to set up the second goal in a 2-0 win for Marcus Rashford. The Chilean faces a battle to get back into the team following the 1-0 win against Tottenham last time out but Solskjaer says the 30-year-old has impressed in training this week.

"A player loves to play football, it doesn't matter who you are and he's been hindered by injury," Solskjaer said.

"I know how frustrating that can be and how eager you are to get back. Maybe in the Reading game at half-time he should have told me to come off because the next 15 or 20 minutes were a setback.

"He's champing at the bit in training. His attitude has been fantastic in training and I'm looking forward to seeing him. I've got loads of good players to choose from."

Information from ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent Rob Dawson was used in this report.

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