LIVE Transfer Talk: Ronaldo’s 7-year Al Nassr offer would help Saudi Arabia’s 2030 World Cup bid

With the opening of the January transfer window coming closer, there’s plenty of gossip swirling about who’s moving where. Transfer Talk brings you all the latest buzz on rumours, comings, goings and, of course, done deals!

TOP STORY: Ronaldo nears player-ambassador deal

Cristiano Ronaldo is on the verge of signing with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on a seven-year deal that will also see him serve as an ambassador for the country’s 2030 World Cup bid, reports Marca.

The deal is set to be split into two parts, with the first two-and-a-half years as a player, before he will move on to assist in a joint bid with Egypt and Greece to secure the rights to the 2030 World Cup.

Ronaldo will earn €200 million per season for the period in which he will be registered as a player, but the report adds that this figure will increase once he undertakes his ambassadorial duties.

The 37-year-old forward has been a free agent since being released by Manchester United last month, and after details emerged this week of growing optimism from the Riyadh-based side, it looks as though they have now got the deal over the line, with a contract that will see the Portugal international signed until 2030.

The announcement is thought to be imminent.

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12.50 GMT: Thomas Meunier and Benjamin Pavard are the two right-backs best-placed to join Barcelona, according to Diario Sport.

Villarreal’s Juan Foyth is thought to be Xavi Hernandez’s preferred choice but a release clause of around €50 million for the Argentina World Cup winner is proving prohibitive. Diogo Dalot was also considered before he renewed with Manchester United.

Barca’s search, therefore, has taken them to the Bundesliga, where they are eyeing up Borussia Dortmund’s Meunier and Bayern Munich’s Pavard.

Both players are out of contract in 2024 so their respective clubs could be open to offers for them at the end of the season to avoid losing them for free the following year.

Barcelona would ideally sign a right-back in January but their financial situation is limiting what they can do next month, so an operation is much more likely at the end of the campaign.

The position is currently covered by Hector Bellerin and Sergi Roberto, who are both out of contract in June, while Jules Kounde and Ronald Araujo have also provided cover there.

12.02 GMT: The Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool and Manchester United are tracking Preston North End teenager Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile.

The 16-year-old, who was born in Brazil and moved to England with his family three years ago, only joined Preston in October and has pre-agreed a two-year scholarship to start next summer.

The striker’s five-goal haul in a 6-1 win over Rotherham United in the FA Youth Cup earlier this month has alerted some of the Premier League’s biggest clubs. Manchester City, Newcastle and Tottenham are also said to be keeping tabs on his performances after he netted 18 goals in his last 10 games, including four hat tricks.

“He is a good little player, isn’t he?” Preston boss Ryan Lowe said recently. “He’s got some good attributes, but again, he is 16 and we’ve got to be careful.

“People probably want to get him in the squad; he will come up and train with us [first team] in some capacity very soon — when he’s off school! It’s mad, isn’t it?

“But he is a fantastic talent and one we have to keep tabs on, which we are, of course. We get reports on all of the kids when they’re performing. Again, we can’t get too carried away with him and we’ve got to play him down a bit, but he looks like an exciting prospect for us.”

11.18 GMT: Fred has emerged as a surprise transfer target for Paris Saint-Germain, reports The Sun.

The Manchester United midfielder had his contract automatically extended earlier this month when the club activated a 12-month option, but that apparently hasn’t deterred PSG.

The report says that PSG could get their man if they match United’s transfer valuation of £30m for the 29-year-old.

10.30 GMT: Wolves boss Julen Lopetegui wants Adama Traore to sign a new contract with the club.

Traore, 26, looked to be on his way out 12 months ago when he was loaned to Barcelona, but the Catalan club decided not to activate the clause to make the move permanent.

The winger is about to move into the final six months of his contract, and can discuss a precontract with clubs outside of England as of Jan. 1.

“We have a big consideration about Adama and we are going to try, of course, to have him continue here,” Lopetegui said. “But we will see. I don’t know what is going to happen, but I know his commitment with us is big and this is my demand as a coach. After, I don’t know what will happen.

“I like Adama and the rest of the players on my team. For me, the best players are always on my team because they will be the main actors for the next few matches.”

09.47 GMT: Portuguese outlet Record reports that Benfica have rejected a €100m transfer offer for Argentina World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez.

Fernandez, 21, was named the best young player at the tournament and is now being tracked by Europe’s top clubs.

The report doesn’t say which club lodged the bid, with Benfica determined to hold out until the midfielder’s €120m release clause is met.

09.00 GMT: Premier League leaders Arsenal will aim to strengthen their squad in the January transfer window but must identify players with the right qualities, manager Mikel Arteta said on Thursday.

Arsenal went into the World Cup break with a five-point advantage over champions Manchester City after 14 matches but will be without Gabriel Jesus who sustained a long-term injury in Qatar and underwent surgery on a knee problem.

“We’re going to be active [in the January window] and that means we’re looking to strengthen the team,” Arteta told reporters before their match against West Ham on Monday. “This squad still doesn’t have the luxury of not needing to maximise in every window. But it has to be the right player.

“We know where we are in terms of the squad and numbers. We’ll be extremely cautious about what we want to do in the window.”


– Barcelona will take time to consider the future of Raphinha at the end of the season, reveals Sport. The 26-year-old winger is yet to make the desired impact at Camp Nou since arriving from Leeds United, and reports suggest that signs of impatience are beginning to emerge among the Blaugrana‘s hierarchy. While he won’t be moved on in January, he could need to improve on his output of two goals in 18 appearances if he is to remain with Barcelona beyond the summer.

– Paris Saint-Germain are interested in Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio, according to Sport. Uncertainty has overshadowed the 26-year-old this season, having made just one start in LaLiga, and now with just six months on his deal at the Santiago Bernabeu, clubs in Europe could begin to make their move. The winger has also been linked with Arsenal.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is also on the radar of PSG, reports Ekrem Konur. The Napoli star has enjoyed a breakout season in Serie A in which he has contributed to 11 goals in 12 games, while performances in the Champions League have also seen the 21-year-old attacking midfielder begin to be linked with clubs across Europe. The Georgia international joined Gli Azzurri in the summer.

– Real Madrid will make a move for Manuel Locatelli if they fail to secure either Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham or Benfica’s Enzo Fernandez, writes AS. The LaLiga side are keen to acquire a midfielder as they look to find a future successor for Toni Kroos, and it looks as though the 24-year-old Juventus star has caught the attention of Carlo Ancelotti. He has made 17 appearances this season, including starring in five Champions League matches.

– There are no signs of progress over a new contract for Samir Handanovic at Internazionale, reports Gazzetta dello Sport. The 38-year-old goalkeeper will be out of contract at the San Siro next summer, and after they signed Andre Onana, it is reported that the club’s hierarchy believe he could be the long-term successor for Handanovic, who has been at the club for over a decade. The Nerazzurri have also recently been linked with Yann Sommer.

– AC Milan are eyeing a move for Yunus Musah, reveals Calciomercato. The United States midfielder, who plays for Valencia, has been identified by the Rossoneri as a potential option in January. Los Che could be prepared to allow the 20-year-old to leave as they look to work on a deal to acquire Luis Alberto, with Gennaro Gattuso placing him high on his side’s shortlist.

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