Transfer Clock: United target's £30m clause shock, Chelsea striker target for Palace

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Manchester United, Arsenal, Aston Villa, Chelsea and Crystal Palace feature.

Six days down, 25 to go until the transfer window closes. Here are five of the big stories from the past 24 hours you need to know.

1) Marco Reus is officially a no-go for Manchester United, after it was revealed the release clause in his contract cannot be paid this January. The Mail write that the £30m release clause in his contract is can only be activated in the summer. It was widely reported last month that United sent scouts to check out the Borussia Dortmund star in action. Reus has always said he was keen to stay at Dortmund, and his club now have until the end of the season to persuade him to sign a new deal without a clause in ahead of the summer. United are widely reported this evening to have a transfer kitty in the region  of £100 million, but it remains to be seen how much David Moyes will choose to spend this January, amid concerns he will not be able to sign top targets, with Reus a case in point.

2) Crystal Palace have emerged as shock contenders to sign Demba Ba from Chelsea, report The Mirror. Manager Tony Pulis is an admirer of the striker, having tried to sign him for Stoke previously only for the deal to break down due to medical grounds. Palace are hoping to do a loan deal, but it will be dependent on Chelsea bringing in another striker as they already have one, Romelu Lukaku, out on loan. Palace already are at their loan limit in terms of number of players, but aim to make Jason Puncheon a permanent signing from Southampton within days, freeing up a space for Ba.

3) Chelsea's Kevin de Bruyne is edging closer to a switch to Wolfsburg, according to reports. Belgian newspaper HLN reported that the player's agents had been spotted in Abu Dhabi, where the German club is currently holding a training camp. Manchester United had just this week been credited with a surprise interest, but reports in Germany and his homeland believe a transfer to Wolfsburg is imminent. Chelsea are however yet to agree to a deal.

4) The Mail report as we did last month that Emiliano Viviano is unsettled at Arsenal. The Italian has not played for the first team since his arrival on loan on deadline day. He too has only made one under-21 appearance in which he shipped five goals. They report that AC Milan and Bologna are both interested in bringing the goalkeeper on board, with the decision resting with parent club Palermo.

5) Aston Villa have lodged an interest in Belgian midfielder Steven Defour. The Porto midfielder's agent has revealed Paul Lambert's side have been in touch regarding a transfer. The Mirror reported he stated that while there has been no bid, they have expressed their interest, adding: "Steven is certainly open to joining an attractive club on condition that they offer him more playing time than he has at present. He’s not unhappy at Porto but he needs to be playing regularly with an eye on the World Cup.” Defour has made just eight appearances in the Primeira Liga this season, and was previously a target for Manchester United while at Standard Liege.

image: © Dirk_Vorderstraße

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