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Football transfer rumours: Kessié in and Ndombele out at Tottenham?

Currently larging it up at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, for whom he scored on Thursday as they guaranteed qualification for the knockout stages, eliminating reigning champions Algeria in the process, Franck Kessié could be on his way to the Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur are ready to make Milan a decent offer for the 25-year-old midfielder before the January window closes, in the hope of avoiding an unseemly bidding war for his services with Manchester United, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain when his contract expires in the summer.

Spurs see Kessie as the ideal replacement for Tanguy Ndombele, who looks increasingly likely to go on loan to PSG, in a deal which could include an option for the runaway Ligue 1 leaders to buy at the end of the season.

Newcastle United remain interested in bringing Jesse Lingard on loan to St James’ Park until the end of the season and have made a new and improved offer after having a previous one rejected. Lingard is reported to be interested in the move but Manchester United want to cash in with a permanent deal for the 29-year-old, who will be a free agent in June.

Newcastle are also reported to have submitted a £14.5m for Bayer Leverkusen’s Dutch left-back Mitchel Bakker and are inching closer to completing their £30m deal for Sevilla central defender Diego Carlos, despite facing competition from another unnamed Premier League club. With Bernd Leno also rumoured to be off to Tyneside, Arsenal will try to sign New England Revolution’s Matt Turner as a replacement for their reserve goalkeeper.

After returning home early from Afcon following the detection of heart lesions after testing positive for Covid, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang has taken to Instagram to provide fans with a medical update. “Hi guys, I came back to London to do some additional checks, and I’m very happy to say that my heart is absolutely fine and I’m completely healthy!!” he or one of his people wrote in a message accompanied by a beaming Pierre giving a thumbs-up in the gym. “Really appreciate all the messages over the last few days and I’m already back at it.” The news will be welcomed by Milan, Juventus, PSG, Marseille and Sevilla, who are all interested in taking the out-of-favour Gabon international on loan.

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Bordeaux and Nigeria winger Samuel Kalu is wanted by Watford, according to manager Claudio Ranieri. “It is not closed 100% and for this reason I said if the club think he is good for us, for now, for the future, we are ready to train with him,” he said. With three players signed already this month, Watford are also ramping up their efforts to get Liverpool defender Nat Phillips in the dressing-room door.

And finally, Hull City winger Keane Lewis-Potter is a young man in big demand, with Brentford, Southampton, Leicester and West Ham all forming an orderly queue. His 19-year-old Fulham counterpart Fabio Carvalho has also turned heads at several Premier League clubs including Liverpool, Leeds and West Ham.

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