Douglas Luiz: Aston Villa ready to fight off any interest in midfielder in January – Paper Talk | Football News

Plus: Middlesbrough’s Hayden Hackney is being watched by scouts from top Premier League clubs; Jose Mourinho is in talks with AS Roma over an extension to his contract as manager

The top stories and transfer rumours from Wednesday’s newspapers…


Aston Villa are ready to fight off any interest in midfielder Douglas Luiz next month, with the Brazil international valued at more than £100m.

Alexis Mac Allister is not expected to be a long-term absentee from the Liverpool side with the knee injury he sustained against Sheffield United last week, but he is a serious doubt for Sunday’s Anfield date with Manchester United.

Middlesbrough defender Hayden Hackney is being watched by scouts from both Manchester clubs, Tottenham and Liverpool but any move is more likely to happen in the summer.

The Premier League has indicated to Everton’s prospective buyers 777 Partners that their takeover will not be approved before the end of the year, raising fears that the club could lose their offer, have to enter administration and face another points deduction next month.

Brighton have lost one of their key backroom staff, with head of medical and performance Adam Brett leaving the club in recent weeks after almost a decade in the role.

Dale Benkenstein is set to be unveiled as the new head coach of Lancashire after Chris Silverwood turned down the county’s approach to remain in his role with Sri Lanka.


Former Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea would be very interested in joining Newcastle United on a short-term deal in January, according to reports.

Injuries to Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw against Bayern Munich on Tuesday could leave Manchester United without 13 first-team players when they take on old rivals Liverpool on Sunday.

Despite comments to the contrary from Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola about Erling Haaland’s absence being more than short-term, his father Alfie, his brother Astor and girlfriend Isabel Haugseng Johansen have all removed the striker from their Fantasy Premier League teams.


Chelsea’s players are perplexed by Thiago Silva not being made captain in the absence of Reece James and Ben Chilwell, with suggestions that the veteran defender has been disrespected a growing topic in the dressing room.

The government has admitted that a “disagreement” with Roman Abramovich is stopping funds generated from the sale of Chelsea from being used to help victims of the war in Ukraine.

Newcastle’s hopes of Champions League progression could rest in the hands of their third-choice goalkeeper Loris Karius at home against Milan after Eddie Howe admitted that Martin Dubravka’s fitness is “unclear”.


Jose Mourinho is deep in talks with AS Roma over an extension to his contract as manager, but reports in Italy say Newcastle United remain “fascinated” by the 60-year-old.

Chelsea face being without England defender Reece James until March as his hamstring injury is on the more severe end of the scale.

Loris Karius is on standby for Newcastle’s do-or-die Champions League clash with AC Milan – over five years after his blunders cost Liverpool in the final.


Chelsea have bullishly insisted that they plan to keep handing out eight-year contracts, despite Premier League clubs voting to close the loophole that allowed them to spread transfer fees over more than five years.

West Bromwich Albion are edging closer towards a sale with unpopular owner Guochuan Lai set to choose a preferred bidder from three offers, one of which is from the USA and another from Nigeria.

Reims boss Will Still has emerged as the frontrunner to replace Tony Mowbray as Sunderland’s head coach although it remains far from certain he will accept the job because of other offers he has received.

Chelsea players went ahead with their Christmas party with the blessings of Mauricio Pochettino even though it was scheduled only a couple of hours after returning to London following their humiliating defeat at the hands of Everton.

Sportswear giant Puma is terminating its sponsorship agreement with Israel’s national football team, although the German firm insists the decision was made before Hamas’ October 7 attack on the nation and subsequent war.

Professional rugby players are among athletes who have become prime targets for ‘sextortion’ by social media scammers.


Richard Arnold has officially left Manchester United after 16 years as the club prepare to announce Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s investment deal with confirmation coming via his removal from their Companies House documents.

Liverpool are weighing up a decision on whether to recall Nat Phillips from his loan spell at Celtic given the serious knee injury suffered by Joel Matip.


Billy Vunipola is facing a six-week ban after he was cited for a dangerous clearout during Saracens’ defeat by the Bulls in the Champions Cup on Saturday.


Hibs boss Nick Montgomery has admitted his January transfer wish list “isn’t very long” and hopes the return of a few players from long-term injuries will feel like new signings. Adelaide United forward Musa Toure is one of his targets.

Juventus and Monaco have reportedly joined the list of clubs interested in signing Celtic’s Rocco Vata, who is out of contract in the summer.

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon has opened talks with Hearts over a new deal aimed at ensuring he ends his playing days at Tynecastle.


Rangers star Danilo has been given the nightmare news he’s facing four months on the sidelines.

Alan Burrows wants to get Celtic target Bojan Miovski tied down on a new contract.

Henrik Larsson has won a battle with a Scots businessman over the rights to his name.

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