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LIVE Transfer Talk: Arsenal keen on Leverkusen defender Tah

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'Confident' Nicolas Pepe showing his talent at Arsenal (1:25)

Frank Leboeuf and Don Hutchison examine how Nicolas Pepe has come into his own after a slow start at Arsenal. (1:25)

The winter transfer window is closed, but now it's time to look ahead to the summer! Here are the new rumours floating around following the Jan. 31 deadline day.

TOP STORY: Arsenal keen on Leverkusen defender Tah

Arsenal are reportedly tracking Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah, who has a €40m release clause in his contract this summer, according to Sport Bild.

Under contract until 2023, the 24-year-old Germany international must have the clause activated ahead of the 2020 European Championships if he wants to move, with the German outlet reporting that the Gunners are facing competition from Atletico Madrid.

David Luiz, Sokratis and Shkodran Mustafi have all underwhelmed at the Emirates this season, while Rob Holding and Calum Chambers have suffered injury issues.

RB Leipzig centre-back Dayot Upamecano has also been linked with the club, but scroll down to 11.46 for an update there.

LIVE BLOG

22.15 GMT: The Chicago Fire have announced they've signed 19-year-old winger Ignacio Aliseda from Argentine outfit Defensa y Justicia on a Young Designated Player contract.

21.08 GMT: Earlier in the day we brought you news of Tottenham's interest in Amiens forward Serhou Guirassy, and now Sky Sports reports that Chelsea are also monitoring the 23-year-old, who's expected to be available this summer for £18m.

20.01 GMT: Inter have opened talks with the representatives of Napoli forward Dries Mertens, with the Nerazzurri looking to strengthen their squad this summer with free transfers, Calciomercato writes.

18.54 GMT: Chris Smalling's priority is to remain at Roma, but if the Italian club can't qualify for next season's Champions League - they're six points out of fourth place as it stands - they likely won't be able to afford the on-loan Manchester United centre-back, according to Corriere dello Sport. A €40m outlay - including fees and wages - to retain Smalling is not financially viable for the Giallorossi, and Tottenham and Everton have already made contact with the player's representatives should the 30-year-old end up leaving the Italian capital at the end of the season.

17.47 GMT: Tuttosport reports that Juventus are keen to freshen up their attack this summer, and two names are on their shortlist: Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, who's spent this season on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus. Both players are reportedly valued at €70m, but Jesus is five years younger than the 27-year-old Icardi, and is more mobile and versatile to boot.

16.40 GMT: Corriere dello Sport reports that Hellas Verona defender Marash Kumbulla has now landed on the radar of Everton and Chelsea.

Manchester United and Manchester City had previously been credited with interest in the 20-year-old, but they will have some competition in the summer as the Albanian's pricetag is only €30m.

15.52 GMT: Were you wondering why former Arsenal, Man City and Real Madrid striker Emmanuel Adebayor joined Paraguayan side Olimpia Asuncion?

Wonder no more.

"At first I was impressed after speaking to the club president and Roque Santa Cruz who was my old team-mate at Manchester City," Adebayor said at a news conference. "He told me that in his country, people live and breathe football. I asked him for verbal assurance that everything will be fine. Santa Cruz gave me his word that I will love it here, so he played a big role in me coming here."

"I also got a lot of personal messages from some of the fans on social media and that made a big impact. But I was mostly touched by the words of the president's young son who, at six years old, said I am his idol. That was very emotional for me."

15.23 GMT: Olivier Giroud almost left Chelsea in January, with Inter Milan, Tottenham and Lazio linked, but the France striker says he will still give everything for the club until he's a free agent in the summer.

"I'm a Chelsea player so now I need to move on and look forward," Giroud told the club's official website. "I want to give everything for the team and it's a personal target for me to play as much as I can to play the Euros with my country.

"Right now, I'm 100% focused on Chelsea's targets and I want to keep fighting to come back on to the team sheet and the scoresheet. Every single game is a big opportunity for me to show my desire to do that."

14.39 GMT: Calciomercato reports that AC Milan are hoping to persuade Alexis Sanchez to cross the city once his loan with Inter ends this summer.

Sanchez, 31, will likely be sold by Manchester United as soon as the transfer window opens again after a dismal spell following his move from Arsenal. But Milan are looking to rebuild and can offer the Chilean winger his own chance to start again.

13.34 GMT: Amiens forward Serhou Guirassy has caught the eye of Tottenham, says Le10 Sport, as the London club have suffered injuries to Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min recently.

Guirassy, 23, signed for just €1m from FC Koln last summer and is now reportedly worth around €20m after netting eight goals in 21 appearances this season.

The ex-France U20 international has also been linked to Celtic, as the Scottish club seek a replacement for Odsonne Edouard, as well as Aston Villa and Leicester.

13.15 GMT: Reminder: Borussia Dortmund signed Erling Haaland for just €20m. How DO they keep doing it?

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12.36 GMT: Werder Bremen attacker Milot Rashica is on Liverpool's radar, with the club having scouted him a number of times this season, says Bild.

Rashica, 23, has scored seven goals for Bremen this term and set up a further three as they tumble towards their first relegation from the Bundesliga since 1980. The Kosovo international is also of interest to Borussia Dortmund, as they search for a Jadon Sancho replacement in the summer, but his €38m release clause is only available to foreign clubs.

"It's clear that there is interest in a player like Milot after his performances in recent years. But we have not negotiated with any club so far," Bremen sporting executive Frank Baumann told Bild.

11.46 GMT: RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano has been speaking about his future, with Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Munich all interested in him.

Upamecano, 21, has a reported release clause of €68m in his contract this summer and could be set to leave Leipzig.

"As I said, first I focus on Leipzig," the France U21 international told RMC Sport. "And afterwards, I know that I am being courted, that there are clubs that want me. I will talk well with my agents and my parents at the end of the season. And we will make the right decision."

11.08 GMT: Leicester City are looking to sign Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana when his contract runs out this summer and Sky Sports are reporting that the club (who are managed by former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers) have reached out to his representatives.

10.12 GMT: There are no contract talks between Neymar and PSG for now, reports Le Parisien.

Neymar, 28, has a deal that expires in 2022 and has been repeatedly linked with a move back to Barcelona. However, sources told ESPN in January that the Brazilian was willing to commit his future to the club.

Yet he recently criticised how PSG delayed his return from a rib injury and said he could have played sooner to improve his physical condition.

09.25 GMT: Barcelona expect to complete the surprise signing of Leganes' Martin Braithwaite on Wednesday after being given permission to bring in a forward outside the transfer window, sources have told ESPN.

Barca will give the striker's €18m release clause to La Liga if Leganes, who sit in the relegation zone in Spain's top flight, stick to their stance that they are not willing to negotiate. The Madrid-based club lost another frontman, Youssef En-Nesyri, to Sevilla in January and do not want to lose Braithwaite as well.

Braithwaite, 28, has already agreed terms with Barcelona and is expected join his new teammates immediately. He could make his debut on Saturday against Eibar. Leganes will not be able to sign a replacement.

Barca were given permission to turn to the transfer market by La Liga after losing Ousmane Dembele to injury for the rest of the season, but the same rule does not exist for clubs who see a player leave through their release clause.

08.56 GMT: Borussia Dortmund have turned midfielder Emre Can's loan move from Juventus into a permanent deal, the Bundesliga club announced on Tuesday.

Can, 26, arrived at the Westfalenstadion on deadline day in the January transfer window. Since then he has made four appearances, most recently in Tuesday night's 2-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain.

In the hours before kick-off in that Champions League round-of-16 first leg, Dortmund announced that the Germany international has signed a four-year contract that will begin on July 1.

08.28 GMT: Morocco international Achraf Hakimi insists his intention is to continue to play regularly when asked about returning to Real Madrid this summer.

Achraf joined Borussia Dortmund on a two-season loan from Real Madrid in June 2018 and the 21-year-old right-back has enjoyed regular playing time. He is tied to Madrid until June 2021.

Asked if he was looking forward to his return to Real Madrid this summer, Achraf, who is a reported target of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Juventus, told Cadena Ser after Dortmund's 2-1 home win over PSG in the Champions League on Tuesday: "That's what people say and what my contract stipulates here but anything can happen in June and we will see what the summer holds."

Asked if he wants to return, he said: "In my mind all I want is to keep playing, to continue to grow as I've done up to now and to be given the chance to do so where I'm given the opportunity as they are doing here in Germany. I'm able to prove here the player that I am and more than anything, I'm enjoying myself doing what I love to do the most."

08.00 GMT: ICYMI - Paul Pogba expects to leave Manchester United this summer, but the club are determined that he will not be sold in a cut-price deal, sources have told ESPN.

Pogba was keen to leave Old Trafford last summer but was convinced to stay for at least another season by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The France international believes he will be allowed to move at the end of the campaign, with Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, or former club Juventus, his preferred destinations.

Despite Solskjaer's public declarations that Pogba will not be sold, there is a growing feeling among key figures that the 26-year-old -- along with agent Mino Raiola -- is becoming too big a distraction and will have to move on.

However, United insist privately that they will not be put on the back foot during any negotiations and are prepared to stick to their valuation of more than £150m.

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PAPER TALK (by Harry Kettle)

LA Galaxy to offer Messi a way out?

It has been fairly well documented by now, but things haven't exactly been going smoothly between Barcelona and Lionel Messi recently. Two weeks ago an outburst on Instagram raised the possibility of his leaving the club and the fallout is still rumbling on.

But where would he go? Manchester City? A return to boyhood club Newell's Old Boys? If a report from Argentine broadcaster Radio Continental is to be believed, his destination could be MLS side LA Galaxy.

The report states that Galaxy manager and former Boca Juniors star Guillermo Barros Schelotto reached out to Messi's father, Jorge, last year to see if there were any possibility of making a move to MLS after they lost Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Now, Messi's contract reportedly features an exit clause that allows him to leave the Catalan club at the end of each season, which would leave him free to join the Galaxy -- or any other club -- this summer.

The only hitch is that LA already have three designated players in Javier Hernandez, Cristian Pavon and Jonathan dos Santos, which means the five-time MLS Cup champions would have to get creative to find a way to fit Messi under the league's salary cap. Indeed, ESPN Argentina reports that the Galaxy want to make Pavon's loan move from Boca Juniors permanent in a deal worth around $20m.

Champions League could shape Man United recruitment

Just three points separate Manchester United from fourth-place Chelsea, who occupy the Premier League's fourth and final Champions League qualification place (unless Man City's ban is upheld), and the Red Devils' win on Monday over the Londoners might have given them the momentum to catch and pass their rivals for a place in Europe's premier club competition.

For the sake of this summer's recruitment drive, doing so is vital.

The Athletic reports that United's months-long pursuit of Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho could come down to whether the English giants qualify for the Champions League. Their inability to offer participation in that tournament cost them the opportunity to sign Erling Haaland in January, and he coincidentally netted a brace for Dortmund on Tuesday in their Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain.

The good news for Man United is that they have additional targets in attack who won't be quite as particular about which level of European football they'd be playing come autumn. Aston Villa's Jack Grealish is reportedly Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's No. 1 target this summer, and the 24-year-old wouldn't be influenced by whether there will be Champions League football at Old Trafford next season.

Man United identify technical director candidates

There could soon be someone other than executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward dictating transfer strategy at Manchester United, according to the Independent. The publication reports that two names on the Red Devils' shortlist for their new technical director position are Antero Henrique and Ralf Rangnick.

Henrique spent 26 years at Porto, the last 11 in charge of the Dragoes' first-team construction. The 51-year-old has been out of work since June, when he left his position as sporting director at PSG, and is said to be in advanced negotiations to take on the role at Old Trafford.

However, there are senior figures at the club who prefer Rangnick, Red Bull's head of sport. The 61-year-old prefers that his next career move to take him to the Premier League, which is lucky for the United hierarchy, with AC Milan also reportedly interested in his services.

Tap-ins

-- Chelsea youngster Samuel Iling-Junior could leave Stamford Bridge this summer, Football Insider reports. The 16-year-old is said to be one of the most promising talents to come through Cobham and, with his contract expiring in the summer, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, Ajax and Schalke are queuing up to take the winger abroad for a cut-price fee.