Exclusive: Joao Felix to Chelsea – here we go! Plus Arsenal’s transfer priority + midfielder scouted by LFC – Fabrizio Romano

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Hello everyone and welcome to the latest edition of the Daily Briefing – my exclusive CaughtOffside column on Substack. If you like this post and want it in your inbox five mornings a week, completely ad-free, then click here to subscribe!

AC Milan

AC Milan will focus on new deals for Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud after Ismael Bennacer. Talks are already ongoing with both of them. Bennacer will sign within the next 48h new long term deal until 2027 – release clause for €50m will only be valid in 2024.


Arsenal were offered the chance to sign Joao Felix, but the priority has always been Mykhaylo Mudryk. A deal is not yet at the final stages as the two clubs still need to agree a fee.

Mikel Arteta on signings: “The problem is that we have only one striker and to cope for that many months until Gabriel Jesus is back isn’t easy. We have to get the most out of the players that we have at the moment. If we can have some reinforcements, great.”

Aston Villa

Aston Villa are now closing in on Alex Moreno deal. Agreement around €14m fee, expected to be signed in the next hours, documents being checked. Personal terms agreed with hope to get the medical tests done within this week. Here we go soon!


Teun Koopmeiners: “I saw the links and stories about Liverpool — nice to see that but I’m 100% focused on Atalanta, I’m so happy to play here.”

Atalanta have received no approach or bid from Liverpool for Koopmeiners as of now.

Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich will complete all details of the Konrad Laimer deal in the next few days, following a full verbal agreement being reached in December. Laimer will join as a free agent in June on a long-term contract. Talks with English clubs never advanced, he has been a top target for Julian Nagelsmann since 2021.


Benfica coach Roger Schmidt on Enzo Fernandez: “The Enzo story is closed, there’s nothing left. He’s our player. He’s in a good position, Enzo is happy, training well, he’s part of the team. He’s a key player. That’s all.”


Besiktas statement on Wout Weghorst: “Claims that there’s exit clause in Weghorst contract for €2.5m fee from Premier League clubs are completely fake. The decisions on Weghorst are only up to Besiktas. We will inform on more developments.”

Borussia Dortmund

Jayden Braaf could be allowed to leave Borussia Dortmund on loan in the coming days. Serie A side Hellas Verona are among the clubs interested in signing him. Braaf is considered an important talent as Dortmund want him to play more in the second part of the season.


Giorgos Giakoumakis could now leave Celtic as many clubs are approaching the Greek striker.

MLS clubs, Japanese clubs, and also Sampdoria have asked for the conditions of the deal.


Here we go! There is a full agreement in place for Joao Felix to join Chelsea on loan. The Blues will pay 100% of his wages and a €11m fee to Atletico Madrid. Felix will be in London today for medical tests, and also signed a new contract with Atletico before leaving.

Chelsea’s move for Felix won’t affect their pursuit of Marcus Thuram, they are different kinds of player so there could be room for both in the Chelsea attack.

Chelsea could send David Datro Fofana out on loan, with a decision to come later in January. It will take some time to make sure it’s the best option. Graham Potter will decide together with the Chelsea board, with Fofana getting the chance to impress to his coach now.

Chelsea are considering Noni Madueke from PSV as another potential January signing (Times)


Official, confirmed. Flamengo have signed Argentinian goalkeeper Agustin Rossi on a free transfer from Boca Juniors, as expected. The deal will be valid from July 1 until December 2027.


Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris announces his international retirement. The 36-year-old French goalkeeper steps down from Les Bleus after another great World Cup in Qatar.


Thomas Muller has decided not to retire from international duty – he will continue to make himself available for Germany. After 121 caps and 44 goals, the 33-year-old’s story with the national team continues.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan have denied stories about replacing Romelu Lukaku with Gianluca Scamacca. They are waiting for Lukaku to be in good condition for the second part of the season and the decision will be made at the end of the season. Nothing has been decided yet, and no talks are taking place for Scamacca.

Leeds United

Leeds United are closing in on deal to sign Georginio Rutter, confirmed. Final details being sorted between clubs, personal terms fully agreed days ago. Medical tests to be scheduled if all goes to plan. More than €30m to Hoffenheim.


Honestly, Atalanta have never received any approaches for Teun Koopmeiners in January. It’s a quiet situation and I don’t see them selling another midfielder after Ruslan Malinovskyi to Marseille. Rumours are there because Liverpool sent their scouts to monitor him multiple times in the last year, but things are quiet on the Koopmeiners deal, as of now.

Teun Koopmeiners has been scouted by Liverpool

Manchester United

For sure Man United are focused on summer more than January, in the summer they have to go for an important striker.

It’s impossible to make names now also because depends on the club sale situation, but they always told Ten Hag about plan to invest on new striker in summer 2023.

In terms of specific targets, it depends on too many factors. Victor Osimhen is involved in Serie A race with Napoli, Benjamin Sesko has already signed as Leipzig player, Harry Kane will be in talks with Spurs to decide his future and Antonio Conte’s future will be important too.

Diogo Dalot confirms talks with Man United over new long term deal: “We are taking, negotiating, we are seeing how much parties will benefit. It’s no secret that I’m happy to be here, I love Manchester United.”


Official, confirmed. Ruslan Malinovskyi joins Olympique Marseille on loan with obligation to buy from Atalanta. €10m fee plus €3m add ons. It’s a done deal.

Newcastle United

A full agreement is now in place for young talent Garang Kuol to join Hearts on loan. Reading were also interested, but he accepted the offer from Hearts and it’s now done.


Official. OGC Nice confirmed they have sacked the manager Lucien Favre, it’s over as club statement reports.


PAOK have completed an agreement to sign the Brazilian winger Taison. The player will travel to Greece this week for medical tests. Taison is set to sign a contract valid until June 2024.


Official, confirmed. Roberto Martinez has been appointed as new Portugal head coach after Fernando Santos, as expected.

Cristiano Ronaldo deserves respect after 19 years as part of the national team, we’re gonna speak about that together soon,” Martinez said.


Southampton are set to sign top talent Carlos Alcaraz from Racing. He wasn’t close to Benfica and Saints are now set to complete €14m deal.

Racing will have 15% on future sale, and medical tests will take place this week, one more here we go after Mislav Orsic.


Sporting Lisbon coach Ruben Amorim on Pedro Porro being the top target for Spurs as RB: “Porro and Edwards will only leave for the clause. We know the amount of attacks that go through Porro and Edwards, nobody is blind here. But the market is what it is.”


Gareth Bale has retired from football, announcing yesterday: “Thanks to all my former clubs, it’s time for the next stage of my life.”

His career was excellent, so people close to Gareth are not surprised with this decision. He didn’t feel any more temptation to continue after winning also in MLS, now it’s time to focus on different projects as Bale already had some ideas in mind before joining Los Angeles.

I think he’s been a fantastic, amazing player. Personally, to see him at White Hart Lane vs Inter in that famous game was unbelievable!

West Ham

Inter are not in talks over signing Gianluca Scamacca, they are still waiting for Romelu Lukaku to reach full fitness and form, and a decision will be made on his long-term future in the summer.

More Stories Alex Moreno Benjamin Sesko Cristiano Ronaldo Datro Fofana Enzo Fernandez Fabrizio Romano Gabriel Jesus Gareth Bale Georginio Rutter Gianluca Scamacca Hugo Lloris Ismael Bennacer Joao Felix Konrad Laimer Lucien Favre Marcus Thuram Mykhaylo Mudryk Olivier Giroud Pedro Porro Rafael Leao Romelu Lukaku Taison Teun Koopmeiners Wout Weghorst