Transfer round-up: Newcastle close to January breakthrough, Sunderland man eyes permanent exit

Rafa Benitez.
Rafa Benitez.

Which Black Cats wideman is keen never to return to the Stadium of Light? And could Rafa Benitez be on the verge of a breakthrough in the January transfer market?

It's your daily round-up of the links, news and views from around the football world.

Rafa Benitez is hoping this week will see bring positive news in the Newcastle United manager's pursuit of January recruits (Shields Gazette).

Sunderland wideman Jeremain Lens is keen to end his spell at the Stadium of Light and remain at loan club Fenerbahce, according to his father (Sunderland Echo).

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic is close to joining Manchester City (Jutarnji List).

Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola isset to renew his interest in Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte. His moves to sign the 22-year-old were rebuffed last summer (Mirror).

Leicester City are set to make an improved bid to sign Italy defender and rumoured Sunderland target Francesco Acerbi from Sassuolo (Gazzetta dello Sport).

West Brom are also interested in Acerbi, as is David Moyes (GazzaMercato).

Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri says he is studying English, but not in preparation to be the next Arsenal manager (Gazzetta dello Sport).

Paris St-Germain are preparing a £60m summer bid for Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez (Maxifoot).

Alternatively, Atletico Madrid have earmarked Chile international Sanchez as a possible replacement for Antoine Griezmann should the France striker leave (Don Balon).

Manchester United are in a three-way battle to sign Monaco holding midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko. Manchester City and Chelsea are also keen on the Frenchman (Daily Record).

Meanwhile, the Red Devils have told Everton they must pay more than £20m for Morgan Schneiderlin (Daily Mail).

And Jose Mourinho is rumoured to be open to keeping out-of-favour Netherlands winger Memphis Depay (Fox Sports).

Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi could join Swansea City on loan as part of a deal for Spain striker Fernando Llorente to move to Stamford Bridge (South Wales Evening Post).

Watford may enter the race to sign Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury, linked with Newcastle last month. Derby and Aston Villa have already bid for the 26-year-old (Nottingham Post).

Middlesbrough's former England striker David Nugent is set to join Steve McClaren's Derby in a £3m deal (Sun).

Southampton are targeting Liverpool defender Mamadou Sakho as a replacement for captain Jose Fonte who has handed in a transfer request, but face competition from Galatasaray. Fonte has been linked with a January move to Manchester United (Mirror).

Swansea have been linked with Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber, with new Swans boss Paul Clement ready to use his contacts at the Bundesliga club to get the deal over the line (Wales Online).

West Ham are in talks to sell their Algeria winger Sofiane Feghouli to Italian side Roma (Sky Sports).