TRANSFER GOSSIP COLUMN: Arsenal are set to complete a permanent deal for David Raya, while Manchester United eye move for Everton centre back Jarrad Branthwaite

The January transfer window opens in just over a month and clubs are already starting to make plans to strengthen their squads.

Manchester United have been linked with the signing of a centre-back, with Nice’s Jean-Clair Todibo and Sporting Lisbon’s Goncalo Ignacio both among their targets.

It could also be a busy month for Chelsea, who have been linked with Napoli winger Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, while defender Trevoh Chalobah could be shown the exit door.

It looks set to be a fascinating start to 2024, with teams looking to put themselves in an optimal position to finish the campaign strongly.

Below, Mailsport takes a look at all the latest news and gossip on Friday.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is expected to target a central defender in January

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Arsenal are close to finalizing a permanent contract for goalkeeper David Raya. The shot-stopper joined Brentford on loan this summer, with the Gunners having the option to buy him at the end of the season. After replacing Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal’s No.1, Raya is now ‘guaranteed’ to sign permanently for £27million in 2024.Fabrizio Romano)

Manchester United have reportedly identified Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite as their top defensive target. Branthwaite has started the season positively at Goodison Park and has attracted the attention of the United hierarchy, although he has also been linked with Tottenham. (TEAMtalk)

Wolves defender Rayan Ait-Nouri is on Chelsea’s list of potential left-back options. Mauricio Pochettino is keen to bring in a left-back after trying Ben Chilwell, Levi Colwill and Marc Cucurella in the position so far this season. (90min)

Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are both on Real Madrid’s radar. The Spanish giants are putting together a budget of £342 million, including £111 million in the bank and £231 million in credit policy, and are reportedly eyeing moves for the forward-thinking duo as they look to make a ‘Galactico signing’. (IF)

Arsenal will reject any advances from Bayern Munich for Takehiro Tomiyasu. The versatile defender has been linked with a move to Germany, but the Gunners want to keep him and tie him down to a new contract. (Evening standard)

Real Madrid make room in their budget for Erling Haaland (left) and Kylian Mbappé (right)

David Raya’s move to Arsenal will soon be made permanent

Saudi Al-Ahli is interested in signing Luka Modric and Casemiro. Negotiations with Modric are reportedly going well, and they are also trying to convince the United midfielder to join in January. (Rudy Galetti)

Barcelona are eyeing a move for Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso. The Catalan club are looking to provide cover for the injured Gavi and could turn to Lo Celso, who has struggled for game time at Spurs this season. (Mundo Deportivo)

Brentford are preparing a transfer for Real Betis winger Assane Diao. The teenage winger already has four goals to his name for Betis this season and made his Spain Under-21 debut last month. (Air sports)

Wolves have joined the race to sign Viktoria Plzen striker Rafiu Durosinmi. Brighton and Eintracht Frankfurt have also been linked with the 20-year-old Nigerian, who is valued at around £10million. (The Telegraph)


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