No Champions League, No Rooney

Posted by ESPN staff



Bayern Munich confirm the signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski after the Polish international completed a medical and signed a five-year contract with the Bavarian side. Lewandowski will join former teammate Mario Gotze at the Allianz Arena when his contract expires in the summer. Story here.

Meanwhile, at Manchester United, there are growing fears that Wayne Rooney will not sign a contract extension at the club. According to the Guardian, with only 18 months left on his 300,000 pounds-per-week contract, Rooney is reportedly unwilling to enter any new contract negotiations as the club's hopes of qualifying for a Champions League spot hang in the balance.

Let's find out what other transfer news is going on today...

23.00 GMT So another day, another major deal. Football's worst kept secret officially came out as Robert Lewandowski announced he will be joining Bayern Munich this summer. Let's hope that's just the start of a veritable fountain of transfers!

22.41 GMT Sticking with Man Utd -- out-of-favour winger Wilfried Zaha seems to have been touted all over the Premier League already this January and the latest name to be linked with a loan swoop according to the Mirror is Cardiff, now managed by Red Devils old boy Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

22.03 GMT Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is being linked with a move to Inter Milan in Gazzetta dello Sport, with the Italian paper claiming the Nerazzurri have already made enquiries about signing him on a free transfer.

21.25 GMT Juan Mata has emerged as a target for Barcelona, according to French website le10sport. The Chelsea playmaker has been a peripheral figure under Jose Mourinho, showing his frustration after being substituted in the recent win at Southampton. They report Barca were keen to sign Mata before he moved to London and could resurrect their interest with a firm bid in the coming days.

21.05 GMT More on the Nikica Jelavic line after QPR assistant boss Kevin Bond was asked about the Croatian striker, minutes after he'd scored twice in a 4-0 win for Everton at Goodison. "If you read the papers, he would appear to be on our radar," Bond told reporters. “I can’t say [whether or not QPR are interested in Jelavic], but it would be fair to say that the manager is looking for some striking options."

20.25 GMT Journeyman striker Kevin Phillips could be set for a move to Championship leaders Leicester. The 40-year-old was released by Crystal Palace last week but Foxes boss Nigel Pearson told reporters after his side's defeat at Stoke in the FA Cup: "The last time I worked with him (at West Brom) he scored a hat-trick so it would be a bit silly not to be partly interested - but we'll see what happens."

20.05 GMT More on Keisuke Honda's move to AC Milan, the Japanese star saying his switch is a "dream come true". He told the club's official website: "I'm happy to be here and I’m very excited. I'm ready to play. I'm looking forward to meeting my new team-mates. I think I can give a lot, something more to the team. I've been waiting here for this for a long time. It's a dream come true, AC Milan has always been a legendary club for me, I followed them as a child."

19.35 GMT Relegation threatened Fulham are hoping to add numbers to their squad in the window, boss Rene Meulensteen revealing there is plenty of work going on to find players. He said: "Behind the scenes people are working hard seeing what's out there and what's available. There's not a number on it. We've got to make sure the people we do bring in are right to help us secure our Premier League status and beyond that."

19.00 GMT Everton have confirmed on their official website that Johnny Heitinga and Nikica Jelavic will be allowed to leave Goodison Park to boost their World Cup ambitions. Speaking after his side's 4-0 FA Cup win over QPR, Roberto Martinez announced that he was happy to keep both internationals at the club but respects the players' wishes to leave due to their frustration at the lack of first-team football.

"They are extremely pristine professionals and I need to listen to them," Martinez said. "They are frustrated with the lack of minutes with the World Cup around the corner and I need to look into that. That doesn't mean we want to sell them."

18.35 GMT BREAKING: Bayern Munich have confirmed the signing of Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski. The 27-year-old had a medical at the club's training ground earlier today and has put pen to paper to sign a five-year contract. Lewandowski follows Mario Gotze out of Westfalenstadion and will join the European champions when his contract expires at the end of the season.

18.25 GMT Keisuke Honda has arrived in Milan to finalise his free transfer from CSKA Moscow. The 27-year-old will undergo a medical at the club's training ground tomorrow before being unveiled to fans on Wednesday. Honda's transfer will make him the first Japanese player to sign for Milan.

18:00 GMT Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has declared that he is determined to add quality signings to Villa Park and O Jogo say that Porto midfielder Steven Defour is at the top of his wishlist. Lambert was reportedly in attendance during Porto's Champions League group stage match against Atletico Madrid on December 11 to scout the deep-lying playmaker. However, the player is rumoured to prefer a move to German side Schalke with the expectation of European football.

17.35 GMT Bordeaux have confirmed that Guillaume Hoarau will undergo his medical tomorrow after agreeing terms at the Ligue 1 outfit. The 29-year-old striker will join on a free transfer after a one-year spell at Chinese Super League side Dalian Aerbin. Hoarau has already enjoyed one successful stint in France after scoring 38 goals in 114 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain between 2008 and 2012.

17.20 GMT West Ham have been linked with a plethora of strikers in the January transfer window but one man who will not be moving to Upton Park is Inter striker Diego Milito. The Independent claim that the Argentine forward is keen to finish his career in his homeland at former side Racing after being told he will not be offered a new contract when his current deal expires in the summer. West Ham could instead turn their attentions to Ghana international Asamoah Gyan and Standard Liege striker Michy Batshuayi as Sam Allardyce looks to add some firepower in attack.

17.05 GMT Sunderland midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini has dismissed reports that he set for a return to Juventus. Sky Sports say that the 28-year-old is determined to stay on Tyneside and help the Black Cats battle against relegation. "I feel good in England, even if things could go better," he told Radio DeeJay. "We will see in May what will happen, but for the moment the most important thing is getting safety."

16.54 GMT Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke is believed to be on Manchester United's wishlist and the 21-year-old has just taken Diego Simeone's side to the top of La Liga by scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Malaga. Mark Payne gives his thoughts on David Moyes' potential transfer targets here.

16.38 GMT Liverpool have been alerted by the the news that Barcelona defender Martin Montoya's contract talks have broken down. The Mirror report that the 22-year-old, whose contract runs out in the summer, has not reached an agreement with the Catalan club. Inter are also rumoured to be interested in the right-back who has made seven La Liga starts this campaign.

Speaking to Tutto Mercato, Montoya's agent Josep Maria Orobitg said: "At the moment everything is stopped. The situation is clear -- if we cannot reach an agreement on a new contract, Montoya will be free to find a new club. It's a complicated situation."

16.18 GMT Bradford City have been dealt a huge blow with the news that star striker Nakhi Wells has demanded a move away from the club. Huddersfield, Wolves, Blackburn and QPR are all rumoured to be interested in the 23-year-old Bermudan forward who inspired the Bantams to a surprise Capital One Cup final appearance last year. Wells has scored 14 goals in League One this term, one less than top goalscorer Leon Clarke, and is not prepared to enter contract negotiations.

16.07 GMT ESPN understands that USA international striker Juan Agudelo is in attendance at the Britannia Stadium today for Stoke's FA Cup tie against Leicester. The 21-year-old was denied a work permit in November after signing a pre-contract agreement with the Potters and now that his deal has expired at New England Revolution, Stoke are expected to try once again.

15.54 GMT A number of players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford in January but it seems that the first piece of transfer activity involving Manchester United could be the departure of Alexander Buttner. Football Italia are reporting that Genoa are on the verge of securing a loan deal for the 24-year-old Dutch left-back with Juventus' Paolo De Ceglie and out-of-favour Roma midfielder Marquinho also on their radar.

15.36 GMT With the FA Cup ties underway, it's all gone a bit quiet on the transfer front. Real Madrid were the big spenders in the summer when they splashed out over 150 million euros on Gareth Bale, Asier Illarramendi, Isco, Daniel Carvajal and Casemiro but the Spanish side have shown few signs of dipping into the market this time around. Rob Train takes a look at Real Madrid's potential transfer targets here.

15.18 GMT Having fallen 17 points off the Champions League places, Milan are desperate to reverse their Serie A form and have identified Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan as their No.1 target. According to SportMediaSet, the Rossoneri are prepared to sell Philippe Mexes to Monaco in order to reinvest the money in the Nainggolan deal. Milan have also been linked with Fiorentina goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano who is yet to make an appearance since moving to Arsenal on loan.

15.00 GMT Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Manchester United make up the top seven of the Premier League but who should they buy in the January transfer window? Rory Smith assesses some potential targets here.

14.45 GMT The West Ham rumour mill is in full swing and Atalanta defender Guglielmo Stendardo is the latest player being linked with a move to Upton Park. Football Italia claim that West Ham have approached the Serie A outfit with a proposal for the 32-year-old centre back and their chances of landing the former Lazio player have been boosted by Atalanta's signing of Parma defender Yohan Benalouane yesterday.

14.28 GMT Montpellier chairman Laurent Nicollin has quashed speculation that Newcastle have agreed a deal for 23-year-old midfielder Remy Cabella. Sky Sports say that Alan Pardew is reportedly keen to add Cabella to his French contingent although Nicollin is said to be reluctant to let his playmaker go in January, with Montpellier flirting with relegation from Ligue 1.

Speaking to RMC, Nicollin said: "It has not been forecasted that he would leave in January. There has been talk about a departure in June, there is an agreement in principle. Remy is at the club and I hope he will remain until June. Of course, there are some offers you cannot refuse."

14.11 GMT Saint-Etienne centre-back Kurt Zouma has been touted as one of the hottest young properties in French football and RMC are claiming that Inter Milan, Chelsea and Monaco have all entered negotiations with the Ligue 1 club for the 19-year-old. Zouma is currently serving a 10-match ban after breaking Sochaux midielder Thomas Guerbert's leg and any potential deal is likely to see the defender stay at Saint-Etienne until the end of the season.

14.00 GMT Augsburg have completed the signing of 23-year-old forward Alexander Esswein from Nurnberg for a fee believed to be 250,000 euros. The German was deemed surplus to requirements at Nurnberg, having made only one Bundesliga start all season.

13.50 GMT Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has used his special relationship with Jose Mourinho to negotiate the loan signing of Chelsea defender Kenneth Omeruo. Karanka was the assistant to Mourinho at Real Madrid and BBC are reporting that the two clubs have agreed a deal in principle to send the Nigerian 20-year-old defender to the Riverside.

13.40 GMT Lacina Traore may not be the only striker heading to Upton Park. The Express claim that West Ham are exploring the possibility of signing Demba Ba from Chelsea for a fee in the region of six million pounds. The 28-year-old has hardly featured in the Chelsea set-up since Jose Mourinho took over in the summer, making only two Premier League starts and scoring once. Ba has already had one spell at West Ham, scoring seven goals in 13 appearances during the 2010-11 campaign before transferring to Newcastle.

13.20 GMT Monaco have confirmed on their official website that Lacina Traore has completed his move from Anzhi Makhachkala. The 23-year-old striker has scored four goals in seven international caps for Ivory Coast and there is speculation that he could be loaned to West Ham for the remainder of the season.

13.00 GMT There is some huge news coming out of Germany that Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski will undergo a medical at Bayern Munich today. The Polish international is out of contract in the summer and Bild are reporting that he will sign a five-year deal with the European champions, thereby following Mario Gotze out of Dortmund to the Allianz Arena. Lewandowski is currently the joint-highest goalscorer in the Bundesliga, tied with Hertha Berlin's Adrian Ramos, on 11 goals.

12.40 GMT Porto striker Jackson Martinez has responded to speculation linking him with a transfer to Arsenal by revealing that he grew up supporting the Gunners. The Metro say that the 30 million pound rated Colombian striker is keen to move to the Emirates Stadium and fulfil his dream of playing for his childhood club.

"I cheered for Arsenal when I was a kid – I love their style of play," Martinez said. "It’s flowing and open with a lot of first touch passes. It would be suitable for a player like me. If I get a chance to play for a high level club like Arsenal I wouldn’t hesitate to accept it."

12.22 GMT L'Equipe say that Rennes are interested in signing Espanyol striker Thievy Bifouma. The French 21-year-old was linked with a move to Aston Villa and Stoke over the summer but it seems that the Ligue 1 outfit could land the pacey striker on loan.

Meanwhile La Gazetta dello Sport report that three Spanish teams are interested in securing the services of out-of-favour Verona forward Samuele Longo. The 21-year-old was on loan at Espanyol last season and could be set for a return to the Estadi Cornella-El Prat although Levante, Rayo Vallecano and Bundesliga side Freiburg are also rumoured to be interested.

12.07 GMT Everton boss Roberto Martinez has insisted that Nikica Jelavic is not available for loan but accepts that the club will sell the player if they receive the right offer. The Daily Mail say that QPR are hoping to lure the Croatian forward to Loftus Road for a fee of up to 5 million pounds. "QPR have asked about him,’ said Martinez. "I’m sure he knows about it, because, these days, the players are the first to find out."

"He will never go out on loan, but he needs to play to go to the World Cup, so if he is allowed to move, it will be out of respect for his career and what he has done for us," he added.

11.51 GMT Former Wigan and Hull striker Amr Zaki has agreed to join World Club Cup runners-up Raja Casablanca on a free transfer. The 30-year-old completed his medical earlier today after breaking his contract last month with former club Al Salmiya of Kuwait. "It's new challenge and I am ready to make Raja fans proud. I will do my best with my new team and want to improve myself to get back on the [Morocco] national team," he said.

11.40 GMT West Ham United's official website has confirmed that Croatia striker Mladen Petric has left the club by mutual consent. The 33-year-old made only four substitute appearances after joining West Ham as a free agent in September 2013.

However, West Ham have confirmed that they are in negotiations with Carlton Cole to extend his stay at the club after the striker impressed on his short-term deal with three goals. Meanwhile, Ricardo Vaz Te has extended his contract until the summer of 2015.

11.30 GMT With Liverpool only six points behind leaders Arsenal in the Premier League, Brendan Rodgers is hopeful of boosting his side's title chances by signing a new left-back and creative midfielder. Sports Direct News claim that the Liverpool manager has identified Sevilla pair Alberto Moreno and Ivan Rakitic as ideal signings and it is believed that he will need to spend 35 million pounds to complete the double swoop.

11.16 GMT Despite Paris Saint-Germain president Nasser Al Khelaifi confirming his interest in Paul Pogba, Juventus chief executive Beppe Marotta insists that the talented France midfielder is going nowhere. Speaking to Tuttosport, Marotta said: "We have no intention of selling Pogba. On the contrary, we intend to renew his contract."

11.04 GMT With Keisuke Honda already set to arrive on a free transfer from CSKA Moscow, Milan are reportedly readying further bids for Cagliari midfielder Radja Nainggolan and Torino full-back Danilo D’Ambrosio. Football Italia say that Milan could offer young midfielder Bryan Cristante as part of an exchange deal for Nainggolan in order to lower his price tag while it has been suggested that Alessandro Matri, Robinho or Philippe Mexes could be sold to raise funds. Roma, Juventus, Inter and Napoli are also rumoured to be keeping tabs on the Belgian midfielder.

10.49 GMT Despite making only two La Liga starts this season, Cristian Tello will not be leaving Barcelona this transfer window. The 22-year-old had been linked with a move to Liverpool and Valencia but Marca say that Tata Martino has decided not to allow the winger to leave on loan in case the Catalan club suffer an injury crisis.

10.35 GMT West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is determined to bring in a number of players during the January transfer window but the Mirror claim that the club are prepared to listen to offers for England Under-21 midfielder Ravel Morrison in an attempt to raise funds. West Ham currently languish in the Premier League relegation places and are rumoured to be strengthening their attack with the loan signing of Ivory Coast forward Lacina Traore early next week.

10.19 GMT Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho dismissed speculation of a high-money bid for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain in his press conference yesterday and The Times say that Mourinho has now turned his attention to securing the signing of Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin. Chelsea have reportedly been told to raise their bid to 15 million pounds after their 13 million pound offer for the Colombian international was rejected last night.

The Times also report that Napoli coach Rafa Benitez is hoping to pip former club Napoli to the signing of Seville left-back Alberto Moreno. The 21-year-old made his international debut for Spain in October and is hoping to force his way into Vicente del Bosque's 23-man World Cup squad.

10.06 GMT With Giorgios Samaras' contract expiring at the end of the season, Celtic manager Neil Lennon is prepared to splash the cash on a new striker. The Daily Mail report that Lennon has 6 million pounds at his disposal, with Sunderland forward Steven Fletcher at the top of his list. However, it is rumoured that the Black Cats are not willing to allow Fletcher to leave for such a cut=price fee, having signed him from Wolves for 12 million pounds in 2012.

Wolves striker Leigh Griffiths, who impressed on a loan spell at Hibernian last season, could therefore prove a more affordable target.

09.52 GMT Despite landing Milan forward M'Baye Niang on loan until the end of the season, Montpellier are rumoured to be interested in bringing another striker to the Stade de la Mosson. L'Equipe say that Montpellier coach Rolland Courbis is determined to add more firepower to the attack as the 2012 French champions look to move clear of the relegation places.

09.40 GMT Talksport report that Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has ruled out the prospect of raiding former club Tottenham Hotspur for strikers Jermain Defoe and Harry Kane. "I could never see that happening - no. Harry Kane? He came on against Manchester United so I doubt Tim Sherwood will let him go, especially if Defoe goes," Redknapp said.

09.20 GMT Bournemouth have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Lee Camp on a free transfer. The 29-year-old signs a two-and-a-half year contract with the Cherries after his deal with West Bromwich Albion expired on New Year's Day.

09.00 GMT Ahead of the big North London FA Cup derby today, Arsene Wenger has expressed his concern over Nicklas Bendtner's ankle injury, with The Mail reporting that the Danish forward could be sidelined for up to two months. Arsenal are known to be interested in Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa and Real Madrid youngster Alvaro Morata as they look to relieve the goalscoring burden from the shoulders of Olivier Giroud and Arsene Wenger is now believed to be keeping tabs on Bayern Munich striker Mario Mandzukic.

The Croatian striker scored against Arsenal in the Champions League last season and Wenger is keeping one eye on the Robert Lewandowski situation as he aims to steal Mandzukic away from the Allianz Arena. However, with Mandzukic the only natural first-team striker currently at Bayern Munich, Wenger may have to wait until the summer. READ MORE.

05.00 GMT:Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso could “take his pick” of clubs if he chose to move to the Premier League according to compatriot Mikel Arteta. READ MORE.

04.00 GMT:Brazilian keeper Helton has signed a one-year contract extension with Portuguese giants Porto. The 35-year-old, who has made three appearances for the Brazilian national team, told the official Porto:

“I want to make the most of this renewal and return within the field, with work, wins and titles.

“I am happy and proud to know that people still trust in my work and in my jurisdictions.”

02.00 GMT:Ligue 1 Valenciennes have confirmed the loan signing of Monaco defender Carl Medjani until the end of the season. The 28-year-old Algeria international has struggled for game time at the principality and will move to the Stade du Hainaut for greater opportunities.

"Central defender Carl Medjani has officially committed with Valenciennes," read a statement on the struggling Ligue 1 side's official website.

"His strength in the tackle and his state of mind are a real benefit to the Valenciennes defence."

Wayne Rooney could leave a Champions League-less Manchester United.GettyImagesWayne Rooney could leave a Champions League-less Manchester United.


Manchester United are fearing star striker Wayne Rooney could leave the club if the Red Devils fail to secure a Champions League spot this season. Rooney, currently out with a groin injury, is the United’s top scorer in the Premier League this season, hitting nine goals in 17 appearances. But Rooney’s goals may soon be a thing of the past with the reigning champions facing a tough test to grab one of the spots for Europe’s premier competition -- the Champions League. According to the Guardian, with only 18 months left on his 300,000 pounds-per-week contract, Rooney is reportedly unwilling to enter any new contract negotiations anytime soon.

Across Manchester and it’s a will-he-or-won’t-he-leave situation facing Manchester City defender Joleon Lescott. According to the Daily Star, the 31-year-old was set to leave the Etihad in the January window with Tottenham leading Newcastle, Monaco and Turkish side Besiktas in the race for the England international’s signature. But in a sudden about-turn, reports have surfaced that City boss Manuel Pellegrini has become reluctant to sanction any deal for Lescott. City have had their share of injuries in the backline and Pellegrini doesn’t want to weaken his side in the middle of a title chase.

Finally, the Mirror is reporting that Aston Villa have made a 1.5 million pound bid for Norwich midfielder Wes Hoolahan. The 31-year-old has only made nine appearances this season for the Canaries, and could have played his last game for the club with Villa boss Paul Lambert wanting to lure the Republic of Ireland player, hoping Hoolahan’s quality and experience can add some stability to his young squad.

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