Aston Villa want to sign Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona and have contacted the Brazilian's agent with a view to negotiating a deal.
Coutinho is ready to leave the Camp Nou and Villa are understood to be one of three Premier League suitors. The 29-year-old joined Barcelona from Liverpool for an initial £106m in January 2018 but the move has not worked out and he spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich.
Coutinho, who can operate as a wide player or attacking midfielder, has started only five games this season, the most recent of those a month ago. He tested positive for Covid last week but was said by Barcelona to be in good health.
The Brazil international had a highly successful five and a half seasons in the Premier League with Liverpool and Villa believe they could get him to spark again. Barcelona have made attempts to sell him since summer 2019 without finding a buyer.
Steven Gerrard, a teammate of Coutinho while the pair were at Liverpool, is expected to be backed in his first transfer window in charge of Villa. A defensive midfielder and reinforcements at fullback are among his targets.
Brighton have signed the Poland midfielder Kacper Kozlowski, who last summer became the youngest player to play at a European Championship. The 18-year-old has joined from Pogon Szczecin for £8m on a contract to June 2026 but will go straight on loan to the Belgian club Royale Union St-Gilloise.
Kozlowski made history when, aged 17 years and 246 days, he came on for Poland against Spain at Euro 2020, breaking a record set less than a week earlier by England's Jude Bellingham.
Meanwhile, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has offered the strongest sign yet that Aaron Ramsey could return to the Premier League this month by saying the Wales midfielder is on his way out of the Serie A club.
Ramsey has been linked with former club Arsenal, Everton and Newcastle while reports said Burnley had seen a formal approach for the 31-year-old turned down by the player.
But his exit from Turin seems increasingly likely during January, something that Allegri appeared to confirm in a press conference on Wednesday.
"Aaron Ramsey returned today after his leave to work in England, but he is an outgoing player," Allegri said.
Ramsey joined Juve on a free transfer from Arsenal in the summer of 2019, earning a reported €400,000 a week, and collected a Serie A winners’ medal in his first season.
But he has struggled to nail down a regular place in the side while being hampered by a series of injuries and remains one game short of his 50th Serie A appearance.
Ramsey has been on the pitch for less than 100 minutes of league action this term and Juve would be keen to get at least a portion of his considerable wages off the books.
But, while signalling that Ramsey's time was up, Allegri dismissed reports that Spain forward Alvaro Morata would be allowed to join Barcelona.
“I told Alvaro that he is staying here, he is not leaving Juventus, end of story,” Allegri added.