Notebook: Morata set for Juve stay | Maitland-Niles close to Roma

Alvaro Morata is set to stay on loan at Juventus amid interest from Barcelona, according to Sky in Italy.

The Spain striker, manager Max Allegri and officials from the club held talks following persistent rumours of Barcelona preparing to make an offer to Morata’s parent club Atletico Madrid.

The player will not leave Juventus this month and he has shown that he is 100 per cent focused on his work in Turin.

Juve have yet to decide whether they will take up the £29m (€35m) option to sign Morata permanently, and it will depend on how he performs in the latter half of the season.

Barcelona are currently very active in the transfer market after receiving a sizeable bank loan. They have already committed more than €60m to Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

Alvaro Morata of Juventus
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Alvaro Morata has been intrigued by the potential of a move to Barcelona but Juventus are working to keep him

Meanwhile, Juventus are also interested in signing Mauro Icardi on loan from Paris Saint-Germain – but a deal is not certain due to his injury problems.

Juve are not optimistic of a deal for Antonio Rudiger on a free this summer due to the volume of other big clubs courting the Germany centre-back.

Sky Sports News revealed on Monday PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are all in talks with the Chelsea defender over a pre-contract agreement.

Maitland-Niles close to finalising Roma loan deal

Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is close to finalising a loan move to Roma – a story that has been worked on by Sky Sports News reporters Dharmesh Sheth, Lyall Thomas and Gary Cotterill.

The 24-year-old could potentially travel to the Italian capital as early as Wednesday to finalise a move to the Serie A side.

Maitland-Niles’ personal terms are not expected to be a problem for the Giallorossi but any deal would not include an option to buy.

The Arsenal academy graduate, whose contract expires in the summer of 2023, has started just two Premier League games this season but will hope he can kickstart his career under former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho in Italy.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles
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Ainsley Maitland-Niles is close to joining Jose Mourinho at Roma in Italy

Ramsey could return to Premier League

Another familiar Arsenal face, albeit one who left the club in 2018, could return to the Premier League in January according to Sky Italia transfer supremo Gianluca Di Marzio.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “Aaron Ramsey may come back to the Premier League. He had an official proposal from Burnley to sign for them, but he said no.

“He wants to play for a more ambitious team, Newcastle have asked for him too before Christmas. We’ll see whether anyone can sign him in January.”

Tuanzebe heading for Napoli on loan

Di Marzio also told Sky Sports News Aston Villa loanee Axel Tuanzebe’s stay at Villa Park will be cut short and the Manchester United defender sent to Napoli for the rest of the season.

Steven Gerrard made no secret of his hopes to keep the England U21 international in Birmingham but Di Marzio said Napoli will pay United €400,000 to take him to Serie A for the second half of the campaign, €400,000 if the club reach the Champions League and another €200,000 if he plays 10 matches in the Italian top flight.

Saints keen on Man City duo

Southampton are interested in Manchester City youngsters James Macatee and Liam Delap, writes Jaydee Dyer.

The Etihad academy duo fit the Saints’ philosophy of signing young players that can contribute right away.

Macatee is a 19-year-old attacking-midfielder and England U20 international who came off the bench against Everton this season and was on the bench for three Champions League games.

The 18-year-old Delap, meanwhile, made a Premier League appearance for City last season and is also an England youth international at U18 level.

Manager Ralph Hasenhuttl signed a number of players from top Premier League academies in the summer including Tino Livramento and Armando Broja from Chelsea, and is very happy with their impacts so far.

Saints are also continuing talks with goalkeeper Willy Caballero over extending his stay beyond January 5 – but no agreement has yet been reached.

Brereton Diaz set for Blackburn stay

Blackburn Rovers do not want to sell top scorer Ben Brereton Diaz despite huge interest in the player, writes Alan Myers.

Sky Sports News understands Rovers owners Venkys want to keep the current squad, who are currently in the automatic promotion places in the Championship, intact and are looking to continue to support manager Tony Mowbray in his quest to return the club to the top flight.

Brereton, who has scored 20 league goals already this season, has been linked with a number of Premier League clubs including Leeds and Newcastle.

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Blackburn want to keep highly-coveted goalscorer Ben Brereton Diaz

Mowbray has said recently he would not stand in the player’s way in the future if the right deal came in but – together with the owners’ stance – a January move for the Chile striker looks unlikely.

Brereton has six months left on his current contract but the club have the option of a further 12 months.

Villa striker Wesley wants Brazil return

Aston Villa striker Wesley Moraes has asked for his loan at Belgian side Club Brugge to be cut short so that he can instead head back to his native Brazil, according to Rob Dorsett.

Wesley joined Villa from Brugge in the summer of 2019 and Villa were keen for the £22m signing to get some game time in familiar surroundings, but he has played less than half an hour of football in just two Champions League appearances so far this season.

Now it looks likely his season-long loan in Belgium will be cancelled so he can instead discuss a possible loan deal with either Internacional or Sao Paulo.

Leeds to add young Spaniard to U23 squad

Espanyol’s Mateo Joseph Fernandez is undergoing a medical at Leeds, writes Tim Thornton.

He is an 18-year-old, very highly-rated striker and Leeds have beaten off some stiff competition to get him. He will initially go into their U23s squad.

Cherries veteran Cook makes Forest switch

Nottingham Forest have signed Bournemouth defender Steve Cook, reports Mark McAdam.

A medical and paperwork for a two-and-a-half-year deal were completed on Tuesday. The 30-year-old was Bournemouth’s longest-serving player and due a testimonial this summer, which Bournemouth are still honouring.

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in January?

The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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