De Maio set for Sassuolo

Bologna defender Sebastien De Maio is reportedly on the verge of moving to Sassuolo.
The 30-year-old centre-back only joined Bologna from RSC Anderlecht in July for €2m, but has found playing time difficult to come by.
He has made 11 appearances this season between Serie A and the Coppa Italia.
According to Sportitalia, De Maio is ready to move from Bologna to Sassuolo this month, on loan with obligation to buy at the end of the season.
The Frenchman is effectively a replacement for Paolo Cannavaro, who retired in order to join brother Fabio at the Guangzhou Evergrande coaching staff.
He had also been linked with a return to his old club Genoa, where he played from 2013 to 2016, Stoke City and Crystal Palace.

Liverpool could replace Coutinho with AC Milan’s Suso

After having cashed in on Philippe Coutinho’s transfer to FC Barcelona for €160 million and spent around half of that income on Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool are looking to strenghten their attack with the rest.

The Liverpool Echo report that Jurgen Klopp and the club’s directors are looking to replace Coutinho by bringing back former Spanish winger Suso, who is currently playing for AC Milan. 

According to the report, AC Milan have already informed Liverpool that they do not want to part ways with the player who has developed into a great player with the Rossonero whom he joined three years ago from Anfield for around €1 million.

The player himself is also reportedly sceptical of returning a club that dismissed him and did not believe in him but this could change in the summer. When signing a new contract with AC Milan a redemption clause of somewhere around €40-50 million was inserted and if AC Milan fail to qualify for the Champions League whilst Liverpool do qualify for the tournament, then he could rejoin Liverpool and AC Milan can’t do anything to stop him.

Darder downs Malaga

Espanyol midfielder Sergi Darder scored the only goal of the game against his former club to plunge Malaga and Coach Michel into deep trouble.
Signed from Lyon in the summer, Darder found the corner of the net in the sixth minute after being set up by Sergio Garcia in the decisive goal of a flat and frustrating encounter for the hosts.
Chory Castro and Adalberto Penaranda were among those guilty of missing presentable opportunities for the Andalucians, who’s lack of firepower was once again telling.
The Costa Del Sol club now lie five points adrift from safety after their latest defeat – their 13th in 18 league games  – while Espanyol climb two places to 14th.

Sevilla fans stage protest

Sevilla fans protested outside the club’s stadium on Sunday following on from their derby defeat at home to Real Betis.
Los Rojiblancos were sunk 5-3 by their city rivals in a damaging defeat on Vincenzo Montella’s La Liga managerial debut, but the protests were aimed at the club’s board.
Sevilla’s president Jose Castro was the main target of the protests, which took place ahead of Sevilla Atletico’s home clash with Lorca on Sunday morning.
Castro’s salary and club structure was criticised, while there is also growing discontent with sporting director Oscar Arias and the transfers and salaries he has sanctioned.
Sevilla currently lie 5th in La Liga and remain in both the Champions League and Copa Del Rey, but performances and results have both come in for criticism this campaign.

Benfica want Bruno Peres

Roma are reportedly in talks with Benfica over Bruno Peres, who could leave on loan with obligation to buy.
The Brazilian has struggled to hold down a place in the side under Eusebio Di Francesco, making 10 Serie A appearances so far this season.
According to Il Tempo, sporting director Monchi has met with Peres’ agent as well as an Italian intermediary about a sale.
The most likely destination would be Benfica, but the Giallorossi want at least €10m to sell the full-back.
That means the most likely solution would be an initial loan deal, but with an obligation to buy for a fee close to that in the summer.

Moussa Dembele backs Celtic in Europa League after Zenit draw

Moussa Dembele is confident Celtic can make an impact in the Europa League as they look ahead to a last-32 tie against Zenit St Petersburg.
The Hoops, who finished third in the Champions League group, were paired on Monday with the Russian club, who topped their Europa League section with five wins and a draw.
The first leg is at Celtic Park on February 15 with the return game in St Petersburg a week later.

Michael Owen says Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk is the player Liverpool need

Liverpool have been heavily linked with a move for Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
When speaking exclusively to BT Sport, ex-Reds striker Michael Owen explained how things really will be looking up for his former club if they manage to get a deal for Saints centre-back Virgil van Dijk over the line soon.
Liverpool have been quite sensational going forward this season, but question marks remain over their fragile defence, and Jürgen Klopp will surely be prioritising the addition of an established centre-back in January.
One of their prime targets is the Southampton ace, although Yahoo Sports claim that it would take £70 million to prise him away from St Mary’s.

The 26-year-old is one of the most highly-rated defenders in the league, however, and although £70 million seems rather extortionate on the face of it, in today’s currently inflated transfer market, it could very well prove to be good value for the Merseyside outfit.
And Owen labelled the Dutchman as a ‘proper player’, when speaking to BT Sport, insisting that things will be looking up for the Reds, if they manage to sign Van Dijk:
“Van Dijk is a proper player. If they can get him and Keita in midfield, things are looking up.”
With the opening of the January transfer window just three weeks away, this will certainly be one to keep an eye on.

Young gun Danny De Silva haunts Perth Glory in 1-0 loss to Mariners

Substitute Blake Powell has propelled Central Coast to a one-sided 1-0 win over a gritty Perth and into the A-League’s top four.
Last weekend, Powell marked his return from nearly a year injured with an assist against Wellington.
At Gosford on Sunday, the 26-year-old attacker replaced Kwabena Appiah with 13 minutes to play and within 60 seconds had created and scored the game’s only goal.
That the two sides could not be separated early was scarcely believable, such was the Mariners’ dominance.
They were finally rewarded when Powell played an inch-perfect pass to star playmaker Danny De Silva, who rushed to the byline and cut back for Powell to hammer it under the crossbar.
The result gives the Mariners back-to-back wins for the first time since February and lifts Paul Okon’s team to fourth, leaving travel-weary Perth seventh.
Okon said capitalising on chances was still a work in progress.
“It’s an area we’re working on, we’re improving at it,” he said.
“In the end the goal comes from a bit of Daniel De Silva magic and Powelly finishes it off,” he said.
“Delighted for Blake, he’s worked hard the past six months … and he gets his reward this evening.”
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Okon opted for an unchanged XI from a 4-1 away shellacking of the Phoenix.

They were met by a Glory outfit missing attacking trio Diego Castro, Adam Taggart and Andy Keogh, the skipper unable to overcome a groin issue in time.
Keogh’s strike replacement Joe Knowles made his first start since his debut two years ago and the 21-year-old might have made an impact had he been given some service.
For the Glory could barely keep 30 per cent possession early on and by halftime the home team had everything but a goal.
Jake McGing’s work rate and impeccable crossing yielded two strong chances for Appiah, who was thwarted by Liam Reddy.

Man-of-the-match De Silva pleased the 8115-strong crowd with his trickery, flicking a cute backheel to Andrew Hoole amid his constant menace.
The Glory relied on some timely last-line defending and the odd counter-attack that would have put them ahead just before the break had Ben Kennedy not expertly denied an on-target Mitch Nichols.
Central Coast could not quite maintain their first-half fluency and Perth, the most prolific side in the last 15 minutes of games, slowly circled.

But Wout Brama burst free and deftly teed up Appiah in the goal mouth, only for Joseph Mills to get there first, before Powell came off the bench.
“We weren’t disgraced here,” said Glory coach Kenny Lowe.
“First 20 minutes they were good value and probably controlled the game and then the last 25 we sussed it out and it was even.
“Second half we did quite well, took their sting away and started to get into it.”