Five days gone, 26 until the transfer window opens; and our midnight news round-up is here:
1) Manchester United face an uphill task in signing Brazil's prolific playmaker Everton Ribeiro. SkySports have reported Cruzeiro will 'only let the player go if they want to'. The player's agent says he is communicating directly with United, but the Brazilian champions claimed no bids have been received yet. There are certainly mixed signals but this one sounds like an agent pushing the transfer more than either club desire to.
2) Arsenal have been linked with Standard Liege striker Michy Batshuayi. The 20-year-old has bagged 10 goals in his last 10 games for the Belgian club, and 12 in 17 overall, with Talksport claiming the Gunners are considering a January bid. Batshuayi's club president confirmed Arsenal's interest but is adamant he will not sell in January. The Belgian under-21 striker was named by scout Tor-Kristian Karlsen as one of the best five strikers in Europe outside of the top five leagues.
3) Liverpool are lining up a move for Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka, formerly a target for Manchester United. The Metro report Borussia Moenchengladbach could demand £20 million for the ex-Basel midfielder, who is just 21. The paper claim Brendan Rodgers sees Xhaka as 'the next Steven Gerrard', a daunting tag for any player.
4) Speculation continues that Premier League target Ilkay Gundogan will move to Real Madrid, with Marca bringing the latest. The German midfielder has so far refused to sign a new contract with Borussia Dortmund, and there is continued discussion the transfer will take place as part of a permanent deal which sees Dortmund sign ex-Liverpool loanee Nuri Sahin permanently.
5) Manchester City signing Stevan Jovetic's agent has cooled speculation the player could return to Italy in January either on loan or permanently. The Montenegrin has barely featured so far at the Etihad due to injury, and his agent says such a return would be 'unimaginable'. He also added there had been no concrete enquiries, and that Jovetic will return to full training next week.
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