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Louis van Gaal's fate has Manchester United transfer plans on hold

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Cavani headed to Manchester United? (1:37)

The ESPN FC crew weigh in on rumours that an unsettled Edinson Cavani might be headed to Manchester United. (1:37)

The winter window opened Jan. 2. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to all the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.

TOP STORY: Manager situation has Man Utd transfer plans on hold

The January transfer window usually forces clubs to either back their managers with cash or sack them before they waste any more money, though some linger on with funds just out of reach. Louis van Gaal was on the brink of losing his Manchester United job before the New Year, and though the Dutch coach held on, the Mirror reports United have put major transfer plans "on hold" amid doubts over the 64-year-old's future.

The club have reportedly "placed their big deals on the back burner" to avoid the expensive possibility of Van Gaal's successor not warming to the players signed during Louis's reign -- that means no £35 million Felipe Anderson arrival from Lazio. That could be down to multiple British newspapers reporting that United held talks with Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola in Paris last week with a view to a summer move, though the BBC says the Red Devils have denied any such discussions.

LIVE BLOG

22.57 GMT: That's going to do it for Friday's live edition of Transfer Talk. Please check back in a few short hours when we return with the latest gossip pulled from Saturday's morning papers.

22.48 GMT: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is reportedly dragging his heels over securing Spurs a new striker out of fear of upsetting the North London club's harmonious dressing room -- as happened when he brought in Pablo Osvaldo while in charge of Southampton -- reports the Mirror.

22.32 GMT: DONE DEAL New York City FC have announced the signing of 24-year-old Argentine left-back Diego Martinez from River Plate.

The left back joins on a free transfer from the Argentinian club, River Plate.

22.07 GMT: United States under-20 midfielder Joel Sonora has left Argentine giants Boca Juniors to join the reserve team of Bundesliga club VfB Stuttgart. Read the full story.

21.46 GMT: Southampton midfielder Gaston Ramirez is set to see out the final six months of his £65,000-a-week Saints deal ... on loan at Middlesbrough, according to the Mirror.

21.23 GMT: Swansea are interested in recruiting Sunderland's Fabio Borini, reports the Guardian, but in-demand Andre Ayew won't be moving in the opposite direction.

20.59 GMT: Barcelona have confirmed that Cristian Tello's loan at FC Porto will be rescinded, with the 24-year-old now set to join Serie A side Fiorentina through the end of the season once all the paperwork is finalised.

20.40 GMT: Nigel Re-Coker is on his way back to England after spending 18 months traversing Major League Soccer, his agent is quoted as saying in HITC.

20.18 GMT: Manchester United and Manchester City are prepared to pay whatever it costs -- including net wages of €20 million a season -- to pry Neymar from Barcelona, according to Gazzetta dello Sport.

19.55 GMT: Sunderland have signed former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper on a short-term deal until the end of the season. Read the full story.

19.30 GMT: Portland Timbers captain Liam Ridgewell is hopeful of extending his loan spell at Championship side Brighton & Hove Albion, which ends on Feb. 13, reports the Telegraph.

19.04 GMT: Liverpool are still in the race for Alexandre Pato, with the Brazilian's agent quoted in the Irish Independent as saying that the Merseysiders, Chelsea, Porto and Benfica "all have a chance."

18.41 GMT: And now for today's random rumour out of the blue: Arseblog have reported that Valencia manager Gary Neville has enquired about a season-long loan for Arsenal midfielder and England international Jack Wilshere. The former Manchester United right-back's request has been promptly rejected.

18.20 GMT: Genoa have completed a loan deal for midfielder Alessio Cerci until the end of the season. Read the full story.

17.57 GMT: The Sun are reporting that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to commit his future to the club by signing a two-year contract extension.

17.41 GMT: DONE DEAL Leicester have signed Ghana international Daniel Amartey from Copenhagen for an undisclosed fee.

17.28 GMT: Liverpool have contacted FC Lorient about left-back Raphael Guerreiro, according to The Daily Star.

17.13 GMT: 37-year-old Lazio striker Miroslav Klose has rejected Italian media reports that he will retire at the end of the season, saying: "Many doors are open." Full story here.

17.00 GMT: talkSPORT are reporting that Napoli are ready to increase their bid for Newcastle star Moussa Sissokho after an unsuccessful first approach.

16.42 GMT: DONE DEAL It's done! Jonny Williams has signed for MK Dons from Crystal Palace.

16.34 GMT: Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted he is now more open to bringing in new players this month -- but refused to be drawn on whether Alex Teixeira was Anfield-bound. Full story here.

16.24 GMT: Everton manager Roberto Martinez is adamant none of his key players will be allowed to leave this month, despite speculation about the futures of Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley and John Stones. Full story here.

16.10 GMT: Ipswich Town have terminated the contract of Tommy Oar at the Australian international's request.

"I'd like to thank Ipswich Town for their co-operation over ending my contract," Tommy told the Club website.

"It's a great club and the manager, staff and players made me feel very welcome but while I have enjoyed playing for Ipswich, I have found it difficult to settle into life in England.

15.57 GMT: "We're very happy at Bayern Munich. We'll see what happens in the future, but I cannot tell you any more," Robert Lewandowski's agent Cezary Kucharski told L'Equipe.

15.40 GMT: DONE DEAL Chris Burke has joined Nottingham Forest on loan until the end of the season.

15.27 GMT: League 2 side Luton have signed defender Alan Sheehan on loan from Bradford for the rest of the season.

15.15 GMT: Stoke are considering a club-record bid for Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula, according to Sky Sports.

15.03 GMT: Well, who's going to replace David De Gea at Manchester United if he leaves for Real Madrid? Jack Butland, says The Daily Mail...

14.50 GMT: According to The South London Press, Crystal Palace are in for Brighton's Lewis Dunk.

The defender was subject to a £5m bid from Fulham back in the summer and both Derby County and Newcastle were also said to be interested.

14.35 GMT: Gus Hiddink on Papy Djilobodji's loan move to Werder Bremen: "He's gone to a league that I respect and like very much.

"It's a very intensive league and a good club so it's nice to see that he's starting to play now, and I will follow him closely.

"You can't debate what the future will be but it's good to get him experience."

14.22 GMT: According to Portsmouth News, Liverpool keeper Ryan Fulton is set for a loan switch down to Fratton Park.

The 19-year-old Scotland under-21 international has yet to make a senior appearance at Anfield.

14.11 GMT: DONE DEAL Stevenage confirm the signing of Luke Wilkinson from Luton.

13.58 GMT: It's official! One year contract extension for the Serbia international. Full story here.

13.56 GMT: Sources have told ESPN FC that QPR are in talks to sign Wycombe goalkeeper Matt Ingram as a replacement for Rob Green who they're trying to sell.

13.40 GMT: Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor have both agreed to remain at Ipswich Town until 2018!

13.27 GMT: Leeds have had a bid accepted for Brentford midfielder Toumani Diagouraga, sources has told ESPN FC.

Diagouraga -- who has also been a target for Rangers -- has played 188 times for Brentford since joining back in 2010.

13.15 GMT: Roma are closing in on a loan deal for AC Milan striker Stephan El Shaarawy, accordng to talkSPORT.

The forward has recently returned from a loan spell at Monaco which saw him play 15 times in Ligue 1, however, he did fail to score.

13.00: GMT: Manchester City's Sergio Aguero believes that Manchester is the perfect city for Barcelona star Lionel Messi, and wants his Argentina teammate to join him in the Premier League. Full story available here.

12.48 GMT: According to Get West London, Middlesbrough have failed with a £6million bid for QPR winger Matt Phillips.

12.35 GMT: Manchester United's Ashley Young faces "a long time" out with a severe groin injury, says manager Louis van Gaal.

Could Manchester United be forced into the transfer market?

12.25 GMT: David Meyler's staying at Hull for a further two years!

12.13 GMT: DONE DEAL Ipswich have signed for Wolves defender Kevin Foley.

The 31-year-old -- who has played nine times for the Republic of Ireland -- has been a free agent since leaving FC Copenhagen.

11.57 GMT: Former Manchester United Giuseppe Rossi agrees Levante loan from Fiorentina for rest of the season. Full story here.

11.42 GMT: Neymar's father isn't too happy about his son being linked away from Barcelona.

"We were all together in the same hotel, Barca and Madrid, and we greeted everyone," Neymar's father said. "But [there was] no meeting, it's an invention.

"The sole representative of Neymar and the only one who can negotiate [on his behalf] is me, not anyone else."

Taken from The Express' report.

11.26 GMT: DONE DEAL And another! Gary Hooper signs for Sheffield Wednesday.

11.22 GMT: DONE DEAL The first signing of the day! Peterborough have signed Spurs striker Shaquile Coulthirst for an undisclosed fee.

11.10 GMT: What type of midfielder is Egypt international Mohamed Elneny? Is he a box-to-box runner? A playmaker? Find out what former Egypt and United States coach Bob Bradley thinks of him here.

10.59 GMT: Manuel Neuer has not ruled out leaving Bayern in future amid a huge increase in the money on offer for Premier League players. Full story here.

10.44 GMT: Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has revealed that Thomas Tuchel is the reason he stayed with the Bundesliga club this season.

Italian champions Juventus were one of the clubs interested in signing the former Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker, but a chat with Tuchel was enough for Mkhitaryan to know he was in the right place in Dortmund.

"I met him for the first time in March and he convinced me to stay,'' Mkhitaryan told Deutsche Welle.

"I wanted to stay also, because I had some things to prove to the people, to show that I deserve to be here.

"That's why I am trying to stay this year also, to show all my qualities in helping the team to win a lot of games.''

10.30 GMT: QPR plan to offer Italian defender Marco Motta a contract until the end of the season, according to West London Sport.

10.19 GMT: According to a report from The Metro, Valencia are looking to sell defender Aymen Abdennour for around £19.7 with Chelsea the club supposedly interested in signing the Tunisian international.

Here he is signing for Valencia back in August...

10.07 GMT: Manchester United have not met with Pep Guardiola to discuss taking over as manager at Old Trafford, sources told ESPN FC.

09.28 GMT: New Aston Villa chairman Steve Hollis needs to get his side out of relegation danger, but doesn't look like he will do it with spending.

"The cheque book has not been put away and if there is a player out there or a couple of players out there who we feel will fit in and really help the side in the Premier League or in the Championship, we are looking," he said. "This is not about spending money. That is not the reason why the club is not doing well. Other things need to be fixed before we go out and spend big money."

08.58 GMT: Robert Lewandowski's agent Cezary Kucharski insists that he is "very happy" at Bayern Munich but declined to comment on speculation linking him with Paris Saint-Germain to L'Equipe.

08.45 GMT: The Times report that Chelsea could lose out on millions,after they failed to include a sell-on clause when former Blues striker Romelu Lukaku moved to Everton in 2014. The 22-year-old, whom the Toffees value at £65m, has been linked with Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid.

08.31 GMT: The Daily Mail are reporting that Saido Berahino is being kept waiting over whether he will be allowed to leave West Brom in this window. The Burundi born striker is desperate to quit the Hawthorns with Newcastle, Tottenham and Stoke all interested. Though he apparently favours the Magpies.

07.56 GMT: Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce says he thought the club's transfer business would be done and dusted by now, unfortunately for Big Sam, it's anything but. One of the Black Cats' main targets, Swansea's Andre Ayew, is open to a move to the Stadium of Light, says the Sunderland Echo, but Swansea maintain the 26-year-old isn't for sale. Sunderland do have two bits of transfer business to bed, signing Jan Kirchhoff from Bayern Munich and Dame N'Doye on loan from Trabzonspor.

07.37 GMT: Now from Deutsche Welle, who spoke with Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan about whether he'll stay with his current Bundesliga club or seek greener pastures. The 27-year-old has six goals and eight assists in 16 league appearances for boss Thomas Tuchel, who Mkhitaryan said convinced him to stay on with BVB over the summer. Perhaps he can do it again said the Armenian: "I hope so. If he did the first step, why not the second?"

07.31 GMT: With Patrick Vieira taking over as New York City FC coach, it's logical to speculate that some kind of player pipeline could emerge between the MLS outfit and their sister club Manchester City. But despite the former Arsenal man just coming from the managerial ranks of Man City's Elite Development Squad, the Manchester Evening News says there are currently no plans in place for players to make a move across the Atlantic.

NYCFC sporting director Claudio Reyna said: "I think we have the opportunity and luxury to perhaps add a player towards the end of our preseason. We're focusing on right now shaping the squad without using a Manchester City loan player."

07.19 GMT: Germany's all-time leading World Cup scorer Miroslav Klose has told DPA that he's not done yet. The 37-year-old has featured for Lazio just 10 times so far in Serie A and has three assists to show for it. He says the question for him is "where it will continue? Many doors are open, in the end I'll make the decision by myself."

06.57 GMT: Stephan El Shaarawy is on the outs at Monaco and according to Gazzetta World could be set for a return to Serie A. However, the outlet reports the 23-year-old won't be returning to parent club AC Milan, as the Italian international prefers a move to Roma. El Shaarawy's agent is on the record as saying his client is wanted by a "big Italian club."

06.31 GMT: And away we go transfer fans. A fabulous Friday of fanciful transfer rumours, gossip and, of course, the latest done deals.

Transfer Talk kicks things off with the tale of a leaked document that, among other things, reveals that Real Madrid may have intentionally depressed the reported fee they paid for Gareth Bale in order to keep Cristiano Ronaldo from learning that the club paid more for the Welshman than they did for him.

Apparently the document also showed that Tottenham would have first right of refusal on Bale if Real Madrid decided to sell him. And the Mirror reports that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino would be pleased as pie to bring the 26-year-old back to White Hart Lane.

He said: "I think if we have the option to sign him, why not? He's a great player and a player that can improve our squad."

PAPER ROUND

Pedro, Costa to Atletico?

Chelsea have shown that anything is possible this season, which means any and every transfer rumour surrounding players from the Premier League champions is likely to be treated with at least a hint of respectability. Pedro and Diego Costa have been linked with Stamford Bridge exits in recent weeks, and the Express reports that Atletico Madrid want both of the Blues' Spanish forwards.

Atletico have been raided by Chelsea in the past for Costa and Filipe Luis -- as well as having to return Thibaut Courtois from his long-term loan -- but now look in control of proceedings, with the Spanish club likely to offer striking flop Jackson Martinez up as part of any deal for Pedro and Costa. That could be handy as Chelsea are unlikely to sign Paris Saint-Germain's Ezequiel Lavezzi this winter despite their interest, sources have told ESPN FC. Lavezzi, 30, is out of contract at PSG at the end of the season, but the Ligue 1 champions are unwilling to consider selling the Argentine this month as they want to keep hold of their squad ahead of the Champions League round of 16 tie against Chelsea next month.

Another key player who could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge is Nemanja Matic -- for the second time in his career, no less. The Serbian left West London for Benfica in 2011, but was re-signed by Jose Mourinho in 2014 before starring last season. This term the defensive midfielder has looked a shadow of his former self, with the Mail reporting that the 27-year-old is considering leaving the club once more.

Neymar meeting a Real invention

Neymar's father has dismissed reports the Barcelona star has had talks with Real Madrid directors, calling the allegations an "invention" on Thursday.

Contrary to Wednesday's reports from Onda Cero that the Brazil captain and his father met with Real representatives while attending the 2015 Ballon d'Or ceremony earlier this month, Neymar Sr told Mundo Deportivo: "This meeting with Real Madrid is an invention, it's silly. We were all together in the same hotel, the directors of Barcelona and Real Madrid. We greeted them, but there was not any meeting. This is an invention."

Still, Real may be getting a little desperate after former Los Blancos president Ramon Calderon told ESPN FC he believes both Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale could leave the Bernabeu in the summer. Calderon said: "I get the impression that everything is possible for Ronaldo and Bale... [Manchester] United, clearly, are interested in signing both players and while it would be hard to do a deal to sign Ronaldo and Bale in the same summer, it is very possible that one could move to United. Of course this is possible."

Teixeira to Anfield?

Liverpool's January transfer window certainly heated up a little on Thursday after sources told ESPN FC that the Reds have sent a delegation to speak with Shakhtar Donetsk about signing forward Alex Teixeira. Jurgen Klopp is hoping Liverpool's representatives can work their magic and land the Shakhtar star during the Ukrainian side's winter break in the United States at the Florida Cup.

Teixeira, who has also attracted interest from Chelsea, has scored 22 goals in 15 league appearances for Shakhtar this season, and his potential arrival would raise more doubt over Daniel Sturridge's Anfield future. But West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has ruled out a move for the England international, telling reporters: "That is only a rumour and there is nothing behind it. I am not talking about who we want -- Daniel Sturridge is a big player and a big name, but that is only paper talk."

Still, Mauro Zarate's move to Fiorentina could well see the Hammers in the market for a striker soon, with the Mirror reporting that 28-year-old Fenerbahce frontman Emmanuel Emenike, currently on loan at Abu Dhabi club Al Ain, is a target.

Magpies movement

Newcastle signed Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea last week, and The Sun reports that the Magpies will again look to Liberty Stadium for signings with a £7m offer for striker Bafetimbi Gomis. The Swans could then move for Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes, according to the Mirror.

Despite the talk of Gomis, Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's pockets don't seem to stretch far enough for Tottenham's liking -- the Guardian reports that the Magpies will give up on their pursuit of England winger Andros Townsend as Spurs chairman Daniel Levy has refused to lower his £14m valuation. That could still work out badly for Spurs, and Newcastle are now reportedly chasing Barcelona's Sandro Ramirez -- heavily linked with a switch to White Hart Lane.

TAP-INS:

- Forward Giuseppe Rossi has made it clear he is on the verge of leaving Serie A club Fiorentina in search of more playing time. The former Man United striker could make a move to Levante after starting just four league matches this season as he recovers from a fourth knee operation, and said: "Football is life for me, and if you take that away from me I can never be happy."

- Patrick Bamford failed to impress on loan at Crystal Palace during the first half of the season, but the Mirror reports that Norwich are keen to sign the 22-year-old striker on a permanent deal to boost their survival hopes.

- Premier League clubs are set to receive a huge cash boost this summer due to the new TV deal, and the Mirror reports that Stoke boss Mark Hughes has celebrated a little early with a £19m bid to sign Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula.

- AC Milan striker Luiz Adriano has denied his move to Chinese club Jiangsu Suning fell through because he changed his salary demands, saying: "The truth is I was not given any guarantee at all over my salary."

- The Seattle Sounders' pursuit of U.S. international forward Jordan Morris has finally paid off, with the Stanford University junior -- also wanted by Werder Bremen -- officially signing with the MLS club on Thursday.

- "The Lord" may finally be returning to the Premier League, with former Arsenal striker and current Wolfsburg misfit Nicklas Bendtner wanted by Crystal Palace. Eagles boss Alan Pardew -- who is also eyeing Emmanuel Adebayor to boost his front line -- said: "We're still going down the line of Adebayor and a few others mentioned. A couple more have come to light. Bendtner is available, someone else we are looking at. He's someone who can fit into our group and give us a lift, a big player coming in."