Welcome to Fox Sports Africa’s round-up of football news for Thursday, January 3.
International and European club football
Former Nigerian international Ikechukwu Uche has urged Samuel Chukwueze to continue his development at Villarreal and treat growing transfer speculation as a compliment; Senegal and Internazionale attacker Keita Balde has condemned the racist abuse suffered by his compatriot, Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly; and Diego Costa has stepped up his recovery from surgery on a foot injury, with Atletico Madrid hopeful the striker will be fit to face Juventus in the Champions League.
Premier League, EFL Championship & Scottish Premiership
Chelsea made an early splash in the January transfer window on Wednesday by making Christian Pulisic the most expensive USA footballer as clubs across Europe geared up for business; Steve Bruce is back in management at Championship club Sheffield Wednesday, though he won’t take up the post until next month; and Charlie Adam says he is “absolutely” interested in a return to Scottish giants Rangers.
Ligue 1, Belgian First Division A, Eredivisie, Turkish Super Lig & MLS
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is expected to join Monaco this month, claims French outlet L’Equipe; Jordi Cruyff has suggested that Ajax stars Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong should snub all other offers to move to the Camp Nou in 2019; and Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre is attracting interest from Turkish side Goztepe.
Transfer rumours & gossip
Crystal Palace are still hopeful of signing Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke on loan; Wolves are in talks over the permanent signing of Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham; Genoa president Enrico Preziosi has dismissed claims that Krzysztof Piatek could be joining Chelsea in January; and Juventus are lining up a bumper summer move for French World Cup winner Kylian Mbappe, according to La Repubblica.