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Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing, featuring two January targets for Arsenal, Chelsea ace’s advanced transfer talks, and more

Happy Monday folks and welcome to my latest Daily Briefing! If you want this straight to your inbox five mornings a week, click here to subscribe!

Arsenal

Arsenal are now four points clear at the top of the Premier League after their 1-0 win over Leeds and Liverpool’s victory against Manchester City.

Arsenal have always been optimistic for this season, but they were not expecting to be top of the league and four points clear in October.

They will keep going step by step, game by game with the aim to improve the whole project with new contracts, new players in the future and more.

They will be ready in case there will be good opportunities; midfielder and winger were two possibilities considered in the summer and still in the potential plans, but it depends on the players.

I think Arsenal need at least one more midfielder to help Arteta’s rotation, I’d have loved to see Youri Tielemans there.

Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone: “Cristiano Ronaldo’s possible arrival at Atletico in the summer? The little birds told you anything far from what happened. People speak sometimes to tell what they want to tell, not reality.”

Barcelona

Frenkie de Jong on Chelsea and Manchester United interest: “I was calm. I decided in May I wanted to stay. My opinion never changed. I remained calm, then you know the pressure will start coming from all sides. I wanted to stay at Barca so it never made me confused.”

Liverpool have been the latest team linked with Frenkie de Jong recently, as well as back in August, but my understanding is nothing has changed with his situation. As he said also in the last days and weeks, he wanted to stay at Barcelona and there are still no changes. This situation could only change if Frenkie himself decides to go. Liverpool were focused on different kind of players, despite rumours on FdJ at the end of August and again more recently.

Xavi on Barcelona’s situation: “We have to change our mentality if we want to win titles. I don’t target the players, I’m the most responsible. We’re starting a project, we’re a team under construction.”

Bayern Munich

Bayern director Hasan Salihamidzic: “We chose a clear strategy in the summer about the striker [not replacing Lewandowski with #9]. Nagelsmann was always on board on our decision about. That’s what we all decided together – there’s no debate for me.”

Chelsea

Nothing has changed with Romelu Lukaku at Inter Milan. He will complete the season on loan with Inter. There have been some discussions to extend the loan for another year, but nothing is agreed or signed. Lukaku’s injury has complicated the situation, but he’s close to coming back so he can show what he can do. Whatever speculation you’re hearing, as of now there are no issues between Inter and Chelsea, the plan is still for him to stay until the end of the season and then we’ll see.

What a performance we saw from Kepa Arrizabalaga yesterday! The Spanish shot-stopper pulled off some incredible saves to keep Chelsea in the game, eventually helping them win 2-0 against Aston Villa, who could quite easily have scored three in the first half!

Kepa was actually close to leaving in the summer as Napoli were in advanced talks with Chelsea over a deal. In the end, Todd Boehly didn’t accept a loan proposal with buy option as he only wanted to proceed on permanent deal.

Kepa is now doing great under Graham Potter but I’m sure Edouard Mendy will also be ready to compete soon, so there’s no news on the goalkeepers situation at Chelsea right now.

Graham Potter: “We believe in Mason Mount a lot. We love him as a player, he’s a great guy. You can see the influence he has on the team.”

Key figures at Chelsea all agree that extending Mount’s contract is a top priority. It is a work in progress.

Thiago Silva’s wife Bella: “We don’t have any plans to leave Chelsea, we are really enjoying it here and Thiago still has a contract.”

Inter Milan

I’ve had some fans ask me about top talents to watch at the World Cup this year, and though it’s a bit early to say, one name did come to mind.

It will be important to see who is called up, but, for example, Martin Satriano is a very interesting talent for Uruguay, a 21-year-old forward with one cap for the senior national side.

He’s currently on loan to Empoli from Inter but the problem is about the space for this kind of players. Let’s see after the official lists!

Juventus

Paul Pogba’s agent Rafaela Pimenta has announced Paul’s imminent return after his long-injury: “The nightmare is finally over. Pogba will be Juventus new leader very soon.”

Pogba signed a four-year deal with Juve in July after completing a free transfer from Manchester United.

Leicester City

Youri Tielemans’ future is still not resolved. Personally, I rate him very highly and think he’s an excellent opportunity on the market at the moment. As I mentioned above, Arsenal are likely to be on alert for possible midfield signings in January, and in my opinion he’d be perfect to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s side even more.

Liverpool

Liverpool have been the latest team linked with Frenkie de Jong recently, as well as back in August, but my understanding is nothing has changed with his situation. As he said also in the last days and weeks, he wanted to stay at Barcelona and there are still no changes. This situation could only change if Frenkie himself decides to go. Liverpool were focused on different kind of players, despite rumours on FdJ at the end of August and again more recently.

Manchester United

David de Gea has spoken publicly about how happy he is at Manchester United, he made it very clear he’d like to extend his stay. He’s also made this clear in private – the message from his agents to Manchester United is that the player wants to stay. United have the option to extend his contract by one more season, but during the coming months they will decide whether or not to extend it by even longer. De Gea has been clear with his intentions, so now it’s up to the club, and to Erik ten Hag.

Man Utd struggled in attack again yesterday as they were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Newcastle, so will they make changes up front in January?

There are some good options out there – I always mention Jonathan David as I think he’s really underrated and could be a great solution, but we have to wait for the World Cup to see which clubs will move for him.

I think it’s just a difficult moment for Man Utd without scoring goals; and I also think Cristiano Ronaldo can never be described as a problem, only a solution for the team. I wouldn’t panic – I’m sure they will be back scoring goals very soon.

Napoli

Napoli fans may have been left wondering “what if?” after seeing yesterday’s outstanding performance from Kepa Arrizabalaga as Chelsea beat Aston Villa.

As I mentioned above, the Serie A side entered into advanced talks over signing the Spanish shot-stopper, but Todd Boehly pulled the plug on the deal as he preferred a permanent sale straight away, rather than a loan with a purchase option included.

PSG

Kylian Mbappe, speaking after the Marseille game: “I have not asked to leave Paris Saint-Germain in January. I’m not furious with the club, it’s not true.”

Lionel Messi rumours continue, but as I’ve said many times, he will not decide his future until 2023. He plans to speak with his family, his lawyers, and everyone around him. He’s not currently negotiating with Barcelona, or for a new contract with Paris Saint-Germain.

Barcelona are tempted to try to bring Messi back, and also PSG are prepared to make him a proposal to keep him for longer. Still, negotiations will have to wait. For now, Messi is focusing on the current season and on the World Cup, before deciding in 2023.

Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti in September: “I have told Fede Valverde that if he didn’t score at least 10 goals this season… I will tear up my coaching license and leave!”.

Fast forward to October 17th, and the Uruguayan has six goals in all competitions.

The post Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano’s Daily Briefing, featuring two January targets for Arsenal, Chelsea ace’s advanced transfer talks, and more appeared first on CaughtOffside.

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