The January transfer window opens in five days. Below are Boxing Day’s biggest transfer rumors involving clubs from the Premier League and elsewhere in Europe…
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Jermain Defoe will be 52 years old, and one (or both) of Harry Redknapp and Sam Allardyce will still try to sign him in the January transfer window as they prepare for the final four months of that season’s relegation battle. As such, Allardyce, who’s been Crystal Palace boss for all of three days, is reportedly keen on a reunion with Defoe after the 34-year-old fired Sunderland (and Allardyce) to safety during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. David Moyes, who took over for Allardyce at Sunderland, says Defoe is not for sale. Palace currently sit one place (17th) and two points ahead of Sunderland.
[ MORE: PL roundup — Chelsea, City, United victorious on Boxing Day ]
With their Ligue 1 title defense in serious trouble, Paris Saint-Germain could very well open the checkbook in January as they chase a fifth straight domestic title. Philippe Coutinho is reportedly at, or near, the top of the Parisians’ winter shopping list — as he should be for any club of PSG’s stature — according to the Express. Days after spending $49 million to acquire Julian Draxler from Wolfsburg, Coutinho would likely fetch an even larger fee for Liverpool, should they even consider selling the Brazilian star. (They shouldn’t.)
[ MORE: Friday’s transfer rumor roundup | Thursday | Wednesday ]
Manolo Gabbiadini is set to leave Napoli, according to club president Aurelio De Laurentiis, and could be headed to Everton or Stoke City, two clubs with which the 25-year-old forward has recently been linked. Having scored just twice in 12 Serie A appearances this season, it’s been a difficult season thus far, but he did manage to score 20 goals in his first two full seasons at Napoli (60 appearances in all competitions).
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Philippe Coutinho helped Liverpool come back from an early deficit to win the PL Asia Trophy on Saturday in Hong Kong.
Islam Slimani gave Leicester City an early lead in front of a heavy pro-Liverpool crowd at Hong Kong Stadium, but Coutinho delivered the goods on both goals in a 2-1 win.
The tournament win is Liverpool’s first in its second trip to the PL Asia Trophy Final.
[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]
First he crossed for Salah to head home, and then he scored the above goal by cutting in from the left and lashing a shot past a flailing Kasper Schmeichel.
We’ve seen this one before from Coutinho, just not on this particular continent. The Brazilian remains a Barcelona target, but looks prepared for the season in whatever land he sets foot.
Neymar and Alexis Sanchez to Paris? Brazil and Chile’s finest living as one? Reunited and it feels so French?
The latter’s talents will see Arsenal’s resolve tested by a $46 million bid, according to Sky Sports, though Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has been adamant that Sanchez will not be sold this summer.
Reports circled last year that Arsenal was prepared to offer Sanchez and Mesut Ozil record deals to stay at the club, though PSG has reportedly met with Sanchez and his agent with ideas of incredible $650,000 per week wages at the Parc des Princes.
[ EXCLUSIVE: Strootman talks Roma w/ PST ]
A source also told Sky Sports that it would take “a miracle” for Neymar to remain at Barcelona, so that Sanchez/Edinson Cavani/Neymar trident could be coming to a theater near you.
Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino is hopeful of convincing Virgil Van Dijk to stay at St. Mary’s, but for now he’s been forced to ask the defender to take time away from the club.
Van Dijk, hopeful to engineer a move to a UEFA Champions League club, has not been in the preferred mental state for Pellegrino.
“When I was talking with him, the boy said that he is not available to play because he wants to leave. I need to work with a player that works at 100 percent to defend Southampton. This is the decision. I had to say: ‘OK, if you don’t want to be involved because you don’t feel OK, you have to train alone until this period of time.'”
Liverpool publicly ended their interest in Van Dijk following Southampton complaints, and the club maintains it will not sell the influential center back.
West Ham’s loan move for Joe Hart could see both of its 2016-17 goalkeepers leaving the London Stadium. Multiple reports say Darren Randolph could be off to Middlesbrough, with Adrian also heading to the Northeast to play for countryman Rafa Benitez at Newcastle.
Goals from Luka Milivojevic and Bakary Sako led Crystal Palace to a 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the third place game of the PL Asia Trophy.
Palace had lost 2-0 to Liverpool in its semifinal, while West Brom fell to Leicester City in penalty kicks after trading goals over 90 minutes.
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Milivojevic’s free kick, won by Wilfried Zaha, was super. Whipped in with force and a wicked curl, Baggies keeper Ben Foster didn’t have a chance to reach it with his dive.
Sako created his goal with a darting move off a long dribble, though it needed a pair of deflections to get behind Foster.
The Baggies had their chances, and Julian Speroni made an outstanding save on Matty Phillips late in the match.
Goals from Bakary Sako and Luka Milivojevic spearheaded Crystal Palace’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the PL Asia Trophy third place game, and now Liverpool and Leicester City tangle for the title.
The final will be staged at 8:30 a.m. ET, when Liverpool will hope to build on a 2-0 semifinal win paced by Divock Origi and Dominic Solanke goals.
[ LIVE: Stream PL Asia Trophy here ]
West Brom lost to Leicester City in its semifinal when youngster Sam Field missed the side’s seventh attempt in penalty kicks. Jay Rodriguez scored the Baggies goal in regulation of a 1-1 draw.
Here are the lineups for Leicester City and Liverpool: