As featured on NewsNow: Football news

The Insider - Rudy Galetti: Liverpool star Salah's SPL agreement remains; Napoli twin Udinese raid; De Bruyne's Man City farewell?

Kevin de Bruyne is open to a new experience; Atalanta are working to sign Jordan James; Neheun Perez is the main target for the Serie A champions. Here are some of the main stories over the last few days of the transfer market from TribalFootball's transfer expert Rudy Galetti.


Kevin De Bruyne returned to play after a long injury, putting his feet back on the pitch after almost 6 months in the FA Cup match won by Manchester City against Huddersfield. If his short-term goal is to return to having a leading role with the Citizens, at least until the end of the season, his future is still to be decided.

Kevin, in fact, represents a hot name to be monitored with great attention in the next month for his possible involvement in market dynamics. Last October, Al Nassr approached the Belgian player with the aim to explain their project in detail, trying to convince him to land in Saudi and strengthen a squad already full of stars.

De Bruyne – whose contract with Manchester City expires in 2025 – on that occasion informed the Saudi negotiator and the representatives of Al Nassr that he wanted to remain fully focused on City at least until June. And so it will be, but now, a delegation from the Public Investment Fund are back in touch with Kevin, reiterating that he represents a main target for the next season. After this latest contact, the Belgian player confirmed that, in the summer, he is open to evaluate a possible transfer to Saudi Arabia. We'll just have to wait and see…


Leading the Premier League standings, Liverpool want to continue to achieve excellent results and, despite not having much need to improve the squad, they are also attentive to any possible opportunities in the winter transfer market that could provide alternatives for Jurgen Klopp.

As for example could happen in attack, with Johan Bakayoko from PSV - also Tottenham on his tracks - and Pedro Neto from Wolves, among the names they are following in January. However, Liverpool are already making moves ahead of the summer, in particular to strengthen their midfield.

Khephren Thuram, considered a key player by his current club OGC Nice, is always among the most concrete targets. Assan Ouedraogo is also closely monitored, but the competition from Bayern Munich for the young Schalke 04 talent is fierce and makes the negotiation difficult. A similar situation for Manu Kone, who remains on Klopp's preferred list, but also in this case the competition – from PSG – may complicate things.

Closing with the defence, Gonçalo Inacio is appreciated a lot: Sporting CP are not open to negotiate the price, still considering valid the release clause (€60m) included in the Portuguese centre-back's contract, but contacts could intensify in the next few weeks to discuss more in detail his possible transfer.


One of the best teams at making the most of young talent is undoubtedly Atalanta. Also in this transfer window, the Italian club is committed to finding players with great potential, at a low cost, as is happening with Jordan James.

In fact, Atalanta are keeping up their pressure to sign the Welsh midfielder: after 2 offers rejected by Birmingham - the last one set at around 5 million euros plus bonuses - now they are preparing a higher bid to convince the English club to let him go.

On his part, the player wants the move and is pushing to convince his team to accept the proposal, because his desire is to land in Serie A. Obviously no problem on personal terms: the player Jordan is keen to join Atalanta and, above all, to work and be coached by Gian Piero Gasperini. Talks continue and confidence remains: in the second part of January - after the 15th - a speed up in the negotiation is expected.

The English club is asking for around 10 million euros to sell the midfielder and Atalanta plan to get closer - also leveraging on add-ons - to this figure.


Napoli are experiencing a very complicated season after winning Serie A last year. At the beginning, the Rudi Garcia issue destabilised the environment, now the profound crisis in results puts the possibility of finishing among the top 4 in the standings at serious risk, failing the target to obtain a valid place for the next Champions League season.

This is why president Aurelio De Laurentiis wants to revolutionise the squad, with some important and quality purchases. Like Lazar Samardzic: only a few details under discussion between the Italian champions and Udinese, but on personal terms everything has been agreed. The finalisation of the deal also between clubs seems to be just a matter of time. The Serbian midfielder, given the difficult situation at Napoli, won't be the only new arrival, because they are also looking for a centre-back and have targeted another Udinese player, Nehuen Perez.

Walterr Mazzarri considers the Argentine the ideal profile to strengthen the defence and, despite interest also in Radu Dragusin – on his way to Tottenham – he is the real target as a new CB. After Pasquale Mazzocchi - arrived from Salernitana - and Samardzic, as mentioned, one step away from leaving Udinese, now, the Italy Champions are working hard to sign Nehuen Perez as soon as possible.


Mohamed Salah, also this season, continues to be one of the absolute protagonists of the Premier League, with 14 goals scored and 8 assists provided in 20 appearances so far. Now he will be involved in the Africa Cup of Nations, trying to lead his Egypt team to victory, but the market dynamics - in view of June - do not stop.

In fact, as probably never in the past, some things are suggesting that next summer could be the decisive one for his farewell at Liverpool and a transfer to Saudi Arabia. Al Ittihad are always on his tracks: after the multiple attempts last August, they are planning the strategy for the summer, leveraging on the will of the player: Salah, months ago, agreed personal terms with the Saudi club but – as we know – in the end Liverpool rejected all offers received for him.

In addition to Al Ittihad, let's keep an eye also on Al Hilal, that some weeks ago joined the race for Salah: they've already started contacts with his entourage to explore the opportunity for a move at the end of the season. So, at least Al Ittihad and Al Hilal will battle to convince Salah: it's an open race and this is just the beginning.

Video of the day:

Rudy Galetti
About the author

Rudy Galetti


Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free