Transfer Talk: Newcastle circling £70m-rated Fiorentina star Vlahovic

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The summer transfer window was unlike any other; see all the major deals and check out how we graded the biggest signings. And just because the window is shut until January, that doesn’t mean the rumours won’t keep coming. Here’s the latest gossip and speculation.

TOP STORY: Newcastle eye move for £70m-rated Vlahovic

Newcastle United are on high alert as they look to sign Fiorentina striker Dusan Vlahovic in January, according to The Sun.

Many of Europe’s biggest clubs have been linked with the Serbia international, including the likes of Juventus and Manchester City. However, with their new Saudi-backed owners, the Magpies are hoping to bring in the striker, who helped his country overcome Portugal to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Newcastle sent scouts to watch that match and Fiorentina could be open to moving on their star man if a fee can be agreed — largely due to his contract expiring in the summer of 2023 and his decision not to pen new terms.

It will take a big outlay to sign the 21-year-old, but Fiorentina’s desired £70 million may be reduced in negotiations.

While Newcastle manager Eddie Howe has been hopeful of bringing in players with Premier League experience, the feeling is that it could be difficult to deal with English clubs, leaving them on high alert when it comes to overseas players.

The club are hoping to bring in two full-backs, a centre-back, a midfielder and a striker, but are aware they will likely be charged a premium by whoever they deal with.

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09.00 GMT: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to be sacked as Manchester United manager following Saturday’s disastrous 4-1 defeat to Watford, sources have told ESPN’s Rob Dawson.

One source added that Solskjaer knew he had to win on Saturday and is now expecting the worst.

United thrashed by Watford as Ole gloom grows 11hESPN Despite humiliation at the hands of Liverpool and Manchester City, United chiefs, including co-chairman Joel Glazer and executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, were keen for Solskjaer, who signed a new three-year contract in the summer, to at least see out the season.

But the manner of the performance at Vicarage Road and United’s fifth defeat in their past seven games warranted fresh discussions between Glazer and Woodward on Saturday night. Chief negotiator Matt Judge was also involved in talks.

Talks among executives late on Saturday focused on compensation costs for the manager, as well as which of his staff would stay on at Old Trafford in the event of his dismissal.

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Steve Nicol says Chelsea have solidified their spot as Premier League favourites by winning big vs. Leicester.

PAPER GOSSIP (by Danny Lewis)

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich is set to work on a contract extension for Andreas Christensen to ensure the Denmark international doesn’t join Barcelona, as has been reported by El Nacional. The centre-back’s deal culminates in the summer of 2022, and Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez is said to be interested in bringing him to Camp Nou. Barca president Joan Laporta is also keen to complete a deal.

– While no formal offers have yet been made, Wolfsburg have fallen behind an unnamed top six Premier League side in the race for FC Dallas striker Ricardo Pepi, as has been reported by MLS journalist Tom Bogert. The expectation remains that a deal will not be completed unless a club comes in with a bid of at least $15m for the USMNT international.

Lazio goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha wants to complete a move to Newcastle United, as has been reported by journalist Ekrem Konur. The Albania international is one of the players heavily linked with the Magpies since their recent takeover, and it seems the interest is mutual.

Harry Winks is a key target for Newcastle United during the January transfer window, reports the Daily Mail, who add that Howe is desperate for added creativity in midfield, while bringing in Premier League experience. The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder is looking for more game time than he has been receiving in North London. Juventus’ Weston McKennie is reportedly seen as an alternative.

Southampton are showing interest in signing 17-year-old Ajax goalkeeper Charlie Setford, as reported by TEAMtalk. The England youth international is the subject of interest from other Premier League clubs, having made the Ajax first-team bench, but it is the Saints who are front-runners.

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