Transfer roundup, Jan. 5: Ross Barkley to Chelsea, Emre Can to Juventus, and a stupid Messi story

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/ross-barkley/" data-ylk="slk:Ross Barkley">Ross Barkley</a> poses with <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/chelsea/" data-ylk="slk:Chelsea">Chelsea</a> director Marina Granovskaia after signing from <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/everton/" data-ylk="slk:Everton">Everton</a>. (Getty)
Ross Barkley poses with Chelsea director Marina Granovskaia after signing from Everton. (Getty)

Every weekday afternoon throughout January, FC Yahoo will weed through the topsy-turvy world of transfer gossip and bring you a roundup of the top rumors of the past 24 hours. But first, a note on what the roundup will entail. Because it won’t just be pure aggregation.

Not all transfer rumors are created equal. Some deserve your attention. Some don’t. So every roundup will be divided into four sections.

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First, there are the reports – news on a player and clubs, usually from reputable sources, that appear to be substantive. They often include specific information, like a timetable, a potential transfer fee, a meeting location, a negotiation obstacle, or other details.

Second, there is chatter – details regarding previously reported or rumored negotiations that are interesting, but don’t include concrete suggestions that a deal could be near.

Third, there are the rumors – the links between player and club(s) that are probably just speculative and unfounded. They’re usually from tabloids that have a long history of, for lack of a better phrase, spewing BS. So you probably should ignore them. But just in case you want to indulge, we’ll have you covered.

And finally, at the bottom of every roundup will be a running list of the done deals that have caught our attention – the ones officially announced by clubs.


Ross Barkley | Everton —> Chelsea — The second major deal of the January window exploded into life late Thursday, when reports surfaced that Barkley was undergoing a medical in London. By the following afternoon, the two clubs had agreed a £15 million fee, and Barkley was posing with an Everton shirt.

Chelsea’s announcement brought an end to a complicated transfer saga that swerved in multiple directions. Barkley had long been rumored as a Tottenham target, and, at various points over the summer and leading into January, the 24-year-old English midfielder appeared destined for Spurs. That was the assumption, at least. But on deadline day in the summer, there were reports that Barkley was undergoing a medical at Chelsea. They were followed by reports that Barkley had pulled out of a move to Stamford Bridge during the medical.

Four months later, he’s signed with the Blues after all, and at a bargain price. The fee for the summer move that fell through was reportedly £35 million. With Barkley’s contract expiring in June and an injury keeping him sidelined for the entire first half of the season, however, the number was slashed by almost 60 percent.

The final agreement reportedly includes add-ons that could ultimately raise the price, but it’s nonetheless a steal for Chelsea. Barkley has signed through 2023, and gives Antonio Conte something he doesn’t currently have: an offense-first, ball-carrying midfielder who’ll be able to do more final-third damage than Tiemoue Bakayoko. Barkley’s end product, and his affinity for long-range shots, leave a lot to be desired at times. But if he can stay healthy, he should be a hit at the Bridge.

Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> Al-Gharafa — After a short-lived spell at Nice, and just days after L’Equipe reported that Sneijder was in talks with the Los Angeles Galaxy, the 33-year-old Dutch playmaker is off to Qatar.


Cenk Tosun | Besiktas —> Everton — No official confirmation from Everton as of Friday afternoon, but Tosun was reportedly undergoing a medical Friday morning, and should be unveiled soon.

Emre Can | Liverpool —> Juventus — According to multiple reports, Can has agreed to join Juventus in the summer. It’s not yet official, but Can, who is on an expiring contract, has “reached an agreement in principle” to join Juve, according to Sky. There is still a chance Liverpool could choose to sell now, but whether the move occurs in January or June, “one thing is for sure,” writes Gianluca Di Marzio. “Emre Can has chosen Juventus.”


The Messi contract story is dumb — Apologies for being so blunt, but here’s the deal. Spanish newspaper El Mundo ran a big cover story Friday about a clause in Lionel Messi’s contract that would allow him to leave Barcelona for free if Catalonia secedes from Spain. That’s the headline that has now made the rounds. But it’s disingenuous for multiple reasons.

The first thing to note is that El Mundo is a Madrid-based, anti-Catalan independence paper. If, let’s say, it were interested in scaring tons of Catalan citizens – many of whom are Barca fans – away from backing independence, this is precisely the headline that would do the trick.

More importantly, there are a few relevant details that make this a non-story. The clause would only activate if Catalonia split from Spain AND Barcelona was no longer able to compete in La Liga or one of Europe’s other top leagues. Now, La Liga chief Javier Tebas, who reportedly sides with Spain on the independence issue, has said Barcelona would not be able to compete in the Spanish top-flight in this scenario. But if Barcelona no longer belongs to La Liga and the Spanish federation, according to experts, that would apparently make all Barcelona contracts null and void, meaning all players could leave for free.

The Messi clause, therefore, isn’t relevant. This seems like a nothing story.


Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid —> PSG — This rumor isn’t exactly new, but Spanish outlet El Confidencial reports that Ronaldo is “an obsession” for PSG’s Qatari ownership. The paper reports that PSG could sell Gonzalo Guedes (currently on loan at Valencia) and Edinson Cavani to fund the deal. Nothing more than a rumor at this point, though.

Andy Carroll | West Ham —> Chelsea — Lol. No.

Arturo Vidal | Bayern Munich —> Chelsea — The Daily Star claims Chelsea is ready to offer big money for the 30-year-old Chilean midfielder. If it really is, Bayern should sell. This would be a misguided purchase on Chelsea’s part.

Gelson Martins | Sporting CP —> LiverpoolPortuguese outlet Record reports that, amid Liverpool interest in the 22-year-old winger, Sporting is trying to elevate his release clause to €100 million.

Arda Turan | Barcelona —> Chicago FireBeIN Sports in Turkey came out with this report late Friday. It’s unclear whether it has any legs.

Malcom | Bordeaux —> Borussia Dortmund — The Sun, notoriously untrustworthy, says Dortmund are now in for the 20-year-old Brazilian, who is widely reported to be a Manchester United target.

Kiaran Tierney | Celtic —> Manchester United — Reports out of Scotland suggest United is interested in the 20-year-old left back.

Guido Carrillo | Monaco —> Southampton — The Saints have reportedly put in a £17.5 million bid for Radamel Falcao’s backup.

Ryan Sessegnon | Fulham —> PSG — Sessegnon, a 17-year-old left back or left winger on the radar of every top English club, is also reportedly on the radar of PSG.

Alfie Mawson | Swansea —> West Ham — The 23-year-old English center back would fit the profile of what West Ham needs. But might be a bit pricey. Sky Sports says the fee would have to be in the region of £25 million.

Some more quick-hitters: Chelsea has reportedly offered David Luiz to both Real Madrid and Barcelona. Arsenal is reportedly considering Real Madrid’s Lucas Vazquez as an Alexis Sanchez replacement. Liverpool is reportedly interested in Riyad Mahrez. Both Milan clubs are reportedly interested in Tottenham’s Moussa Dembele. And AC Milan is also reportedly interested in Arsenal forward Theo Walcott.


Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> Al-Gharafa (undisclosed)
Ross Barkley | Everton —> Chelsea (£15 million)
Marko Pjaca | Juventus —> Schalke (loan)
Konstantinos Mavropanos | PAS Giannina —> Arsenal (€2 million)

Terence Kongolo | Monaco —> Huddersfield Town (loan)

Virgil van Dijk | Southampton —> Liverpool (£75 million)
Diego Costa | Chelsea —> Atletico Madrid (€60 million)
Adrien Silva | Sporting CP —> Leicester City (£22 million)

Previous rumor roundups: Jan. 2 | 3 | 4

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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