Exclusive: Arsenal confident over Mudryk transfer, Chelsea in forward talks – Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing

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A full agreement is in place for AC Milan to extend Ismael Bennacer‘s contract. New deal will be valid until June 2027. Bennacer will sign in the next days, and his new deal includes the same €50m release clause as the old one.

Mikel Arteta on Arsenal new signings: “No updates”, he says also when asked on Mykhaylo Mudryk. “At the end of the day, players decide where they want to play.”

Of course Arsenal are confident, and Arteta too.

But reaching an agreement with Shakhtar is crucial, they were so strong in negotiations also in August when they turned down €30m from Everton when it sounded like a great bid.

No deadlines have been mentioned in the negotiations, as of now; talks continue.

We had like 100 links for Memphis Depay in the last six months, as a big player on the market and there’s no sign of that slowing down.

Still, my understanding is that Xavi wants Barcelona to keep all their current players until June. Memphis would only push to leave in case of big proposal, as he’d be able to leave in June as free agent and pick his favourite club. I’m sure it’s one to watch in the second half of January; Man United discussed him as option in August but it was never close or advanced.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta: “Frenkie de Jong is not for sale. He wasn’t for sale in the summer and he won’t leave this year. De Jong is a very appealing footballer, we know that, but I insist he’s not for sale.”

Bayern Munich director Hasan Salihamidzic on Benjamin Pavard: “We will have talks with Pavard on new deal as Benji is a very important player for us and we still have big plans together. As he told me, Pavard now feels very comfortable at Bayern.”

Understand Borussia Dortmund are open to letting Jayden Braaf leave on loan in January to get more minutes and play as much as possible. It’s a big opportunity as the talent will be able to have a chance on loan — there’s a lot of interest from many clubs.

Borussia Monchengladbach director Roland Virkus: “We will not let Yann Sommer go in January. We have also informed Bayern.” Sommer remains a target for Inter as free agent for June.

Manchester United discussed Sommer internally but never opened concrete talks to sign him. Man United are working to extend David de Gea‘s contract, talks are ongoing.

I think Moises Caicedo would be open to joining any top club, this is why he’s going to have new agents soon; I don’t know his preference as of today, I’m not aware of any conversation with friends about Liverpool, but for sure he’s hoping for a big move.

Moises Caicedo in action for Brighton

Chelsea have opened talks over Marcus Thuram. They are exploring the price tag and conditions of the deal as they appreciate Thuram, it’s one of the options they have in the list.

They’re waiting for Borussia to make a price. There are really many clubs interested in Thuram as free agent, from Inter to Aston Villa; but Chelsea would do the deal now, depending on the conditions. I don’t think it’s linked to the Mudryk deal.

Chelsea confirm David Datro Fofana has signed a contract valid until June 2029 with an option to extend until 2030

Fofana: “I’m here, I’ve arrived well and I’m very happy to sign for Chelsea, the club of my dreams. I’ll see you soon on the pitch.”

Chelsea have also officially unveiled Andrey Santos as a new €12.5m signing from Vasco da Gama

Santos: “It’s a very big opportunity for me. This is a big club playing in big competitions like the Premier League so I am very excited. I am very happy to be here.”

Chelsea have a good opportunity to sign Youssoufa Moukoko because of Christopher Vivell’s relationship with the player (Christian Falk)

Official: France manager Didier Deschamps has extended his contract until June 2026, which would bring his chapter as Les Bleus manager to 14 years.

Some fans have asked me about Virgil van Dijk – he turns 32 this year and has had a few more problems with injuries in recent times, but my understanding is there is nothing concrete for Liverpool on signing a new centre-back.

At the moment, the priority is midfield for Liverpool. This is the focus. They follow many players in all positions, it’s normal for top clubs – but at the moment there is nothing concrete enough to mention an interest.

I think Moises Caicedo would be open to joining any top club, this is why he’s going to have new agents soon; I don’t know his preference as of today, I’m not aware of any conversation with friends about Liverpool, but for sure he’s hoping for a big move.

Manchester United discussed Yann Sommer internally but never opened concrete talks to sign the Borussia Monchengladbach goalkeeper, who is also a target for Inter Milan. Man United are working to extend David de Gea’s contract, talks are ongoing.

Manchester United have been offered the chance to sign Wout Weghorst as new striker, they’re exploring the conditions of the deal. €10m buy option is included in the deal so it’s up to Besiktas and Burnley. The player has already given the green light to the move.

Man Utd discussed Memphis Depay in the summer but it was never close or advanced. Barcelona manager Xavi wants to keep his current squad together until June. By then, Depay will be a free agent, so can choose his next club, but it could be one to watch in the second half of January as well.

Erik ten Hag: “Most signings [in the past] have been average — at Manchester United, average’s not good enough. United’s shirt weighs heavily. Only real personalities, who can perform under great pressure, can play here.”

Marcus Thuram is another name creeping into the conversation at Manchester United (Ben Jacobs)

A deal is almost done for Ruslan Malinovskyi to join Marseille from Atalanta. The Ligue 1 giants will pay €10m total fee, the deal will be done on loan with mandatory buy clause, making the deal permanent in June. His medical will take place in the next few days, and the player is excited by this new chapter.

Official, completed. Poland right back Bartosz Bereszynski just signed as new Napoli player from Sampdoria.

Napoli’s next top target is Morocco star Azzedine Ounahi — €15m opening bid submitted, Napoli would sign him now for season 2023/24. Talks on.

Roberto Martinez is one of the names being considered for the Portugal national team job, still waiting for final decision. Martinez received many approaches after the World Cup with Belgium.

Josko Gvardiol: “I hope to spend these six months with Leipzig. Chelsea did not give up after last summer, but it was agreed that we’d go for the winter. Winter has come so we need to see what, how to proceed… but it’s okay, there’s still plenty of time.”

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