Liverpool & Bellingham update, Cancelo & Guardiola fear

João Cancelo’s hopes of a move to Bayern Munich were concrete for the first time on Sunday with the club receiving a signal regarding the potential opportunity to get him.

But such things don’t happen from one moment to another. Indeed, Hasan Salihamidži? has been trying to get the player for the last four years; he’s been keeping an eye on the defender ever since his time with Juventus, and of course at City.

When he wasn’t playing any more for the latter – that became the ideal point to get him. I heard that Pep Guardiola was a little bit afraid of Cancelo making trouble in City, so that was why he was ready to talk about the prospect of giving him away.

[Cancelo in action for Bayern Munich during the DFB Pokal tie with Mainz – (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE/AFP /AFP via Getty Images)]

It’s quite telling that Bayern haven’t paid a single euro for the loan – it’s completely free until the summer (barring salary), so it’s a huge coup for the club. Also, they now have the chance to buy him in the summer. A win-win situation for both sides.

There is the option-to-buy of £61.5m to consider. It’s a lot of money for such a player, but if you know Bayern have to think about selling Benjamin Pavard in the summer, they’ll get money to invest directly back into the position, so it wouldn’t be as expensive.

It’s true – there was an offer from Inter Milan for Pavard, which Bayern confirmed for me. Bayern immediately said there was no chance of giving the player away as they need him to meet their big targets for the current campaign.

It wasn’t a hard one to take for Pavard anyway as Inter isn’t his No.1 choice; he still has eyes for Barcelona and there’s a big connection still. Nobody knows if they have the money to buy him in the summer, of course, but this remains his top target for a move.

Bayern also showed Benjamin that he remains an important part of the club’s plans despite Cancelo’s arrival. Already in the cup on Wednesday, they played a system with three at the back to accommodate Pavard in his favoured position as a centre-back and Cancelo on the right. This is a very attractive option for both players, so that’s why there was no option to sell Pavard in the winter.

? Have Pep Guardiola and Manchester City made a big mistake in letting go one of world football’s best fullbacks on loan? Share your thoughts below!

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Dortmund hoped to sell Thorgan Hazard to then reinvest into future transfers. It’s only a loan but they are saving funds on his salary of €3m (they’re only paying half now), of course, so that’s money they can put away.

The hope at Dortmund remains that they can sell him in the summer. Perhaps he can perform very well at PSV and then he’ll be on the market again.

They would love to sell Nico Schulz but there was no interest. He’s earning €6m, which is a lot of money for a Bundesliga club, and they had paid €25m in transfer fees, so they’d like to get rid of him. They’d be very thankful if anyone was knocking for him in the summer window.

Dortmund have decided to keep hold of Raphaël Guerreiro until his contract expires, as there weren’t any interesting offers in January. They know they’re not going to give him an extension and that he will move on in the summer. It’s expected that an offer will come from Spain but there’s nothing concrete on that front at the moment.

Fabrizio Romano to CaughtOffside: Chelsea sent the contracts for Hakim Ziyech signed, but not in time to be registered. They say it’s because of technology problems; but PSG are literally furious. It was a loan deal. I have no idea if PSG will go again for Ziyech in the summer… it will depend on lot of factors, it’s impossible to know their summer strategy now.

? How Hakim Zyech could still leave Chelsea after the January transfer window closed (90min via CaughtOffside)

Catch the full column below for more FREE updates on Arsenal, Newcastle and Everton’s transfer targets!

Fabrizio Romano’s FREE Column

We’ve mentioned already that in March there should be talks around Jude Bellingham. All sides were keeping a close eye on the deal for Enzo Fernández; certainly, Dortmund now feel they have a suitable benchmark for Bellingham thanks to the Chelsea transfer.

[Mega deals like the £106.8 Chelsea forked out for Fernández historically have a mixed success rate – (Photo by CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty Images)]

Now they’re saying he won’t be cheaper. So Liverpool now know what they have to bring to the table – it shouldn’t be less than the transfer fee for Fernández.

Will Enzo Fernández be a SUCCESS at Chelsea? Or another big-money FLOP? Let me know in the comments!

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Ryan Gravenberch wasn’t the No.1 option for Manchester United in the winter window. Gravenberch was already told he wouldn’t be sold at the time so it was just Marcel Sabitzer who would be given permission to leave.

For Sabitzer, it was an interesting few rounds of poker. First, there was nothing and then there were three Premier League clubs interested in him. Chelsea were confirmed to me as an interested party. Also, interestingly, Newcastle knocked on the door but had no chance against Chelsea and United. United were leading from the beginning and they made it happen.

I’ve heard that reports of an option-to-buy for Sabitzer are inaccurate. Bayern Munich are keeping their cards close to the chest on this one. They are very optimistic that if he performs well at United they can get a good deal for him. He will most likely be sold in the summer. Konrad Laimer will come in as a free agent in the summer – it’s not signed and official yet but it will come.

It’s a good option, ultimately, for Bayern to try and increase Sabitzer’s transfer value with this move to the Premier League.

? Manchester United rejected an offer for one of their defenders in January (BILD via CaughtOffside)

Newcastle had Moussa Diaby on their list again.

I heard Newcastle said that he’s a good option for the club, so they passed their shortlist on to the Sheikh, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has his own scout in Germany. He had to check if Diaby was a possibility they could explore.

Ultimately, they saw that it wouldn’t be an option for the winter, so they went for Anthony Gordon. In summer, however, Diaby could be easier to sign.

Fabrizio Romano to CaughtOffside: Newcastle were never really open to let Allan Saint-Maximin leave so it wasn’t close with AC Milan. I’m aware his agent has spoken about Milan’s interest, but it wasn’t advanced.

Catch Fabrizio Romano’s full column below for all the details on Allan Saint-Maximin’s future and MORE!

Fabrizio Romano’s FREE Column

There is no truth in reports of talks between Inter Milan and Stuttgart for Kostas Mavropanos.

Leverkusen and Frankfurt were interested in Stuttgart’s Borna Sosa. But the transfer fee of €12m, which Stuttgart expected, was too high for the two clubs.

I heard there was concrete interest too from Leeds. There were talks with the player but at the end he decided not to go to Leeds. Of course, talks can be reignited in the summer.

On December 21, Isco’s contract was terminated. At this moment, Union tried to get him. Then it was really concrete; the managing director, Oliver Ruhnert, had an agreement on terms already.

We heard on Monday at 12:30 pm, they sent the contracts to the agents in German (and an English version). Everything seemed fine, it looked like Isco was coming. Then on Tuesday, there was a medical check and one problem came up – we heard from Union that they already told the agents he wouldn’t be automatically registered for the Europa League, as they wanted to analyse his fitness levels given his lack of playing time in the last few weeks.

[Isco in action for Sevilla – (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images)]

At the medical check on Tuesday, Isco was informed himself. He was quite surprised that it wasn’t an automatic process. That was the first disappointment for him.

Everyone in Berlin initially thought the contract would go through without a problem arising. There was an agreement in place for him to stay until 2024. He could earn €1m until the summer, plus he was getting a signing fee of €1.5m. A release clause in the summer was also agreed. But then there was a demand from the agents that really surprised Union – they wanted a second signing fee for the second season (again of €1.5m) and Union said ‘we can’t pay that’. These two things made the transfer collapse.

Both West Ham and Everton are interested in Sheraldo Becker. We’ve just had it confirmed that Union received a concrete offer on Monday, though it’s not immediately clear which of the two submitted it.

Union, however, now have a chance to potentially secure Champions League football next year and they’re still in the cup, so that’s why they were reluctant to sell Sheraldo.

But in the summer they know they could lose him. He’s got a contract that runs until 2025. I could imagine seeing him switch to the Premier League in the summer.

Should a Premier League club look to snap up Isco as a free agent? Let me know who below!

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With Jérôme Roussillon joining Union Berlin, Wolfsburg’s manager, Niko Kova?, refused to allow Paulo Otávio to go. Everybody knows that he has to sign a new contract or they’ll have to sell him in the summer.

He’s a player on the radar of the Premier League, so Wolfsburg could lose him.

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