Welcome to Fox Sports Africa’s round-up of football news for Saturday, January 5.
International and European club football
English giants Chelsea are reportedly keen on signing AC Milan and Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessie; Nigerian international John Obi Mikel has cancelled his contract with Chinese Super League club Tianjin Teda; and Manchester City could be banned from the Champions League if they are found to have deceived UEFA over sponsorship income, European football’s governing body has confirmed.
Premier League, EFL Championship & Scottish Premiership
Leroy Sane hailed Manchester City's 'special' grit after Pep Guardiola's side found a way to win against Liverpool and ignite the Premier League title race; Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa has suggested to Leeds Live that he wants to sign a winger and a goalkeeper; and Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe says no deal has yet been finalised to send former England striker Jermain Defoe on an 18-month loan to Scottish giants Rangers.
Ligue 1, Belgian First Division A, Eredivisie, Turkish Super Lig & MLS
Nice attacker Mario Balotelli has been tipped to join Newcastle United or Olympique Marseille, with his agent said to be negotiating the termination of his contract with the Ligue 1 club; Algerian Yassine Benzia could see his loan spell at Fenerbahce cut short if the Turkish Super Lig giants can secure the services of Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana; and Chelsea are reportedly readying a £36m bid for PSV forward Hirving Lozano this month.
Transfer rumours & gossip
Rafael Benitez has promised to remain silent on Newcastle’s January transfer policy as supporters continue to wait for investment from owner Mike Ashley; Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson is expecting Jason Puncheon to complete a loan move to Premier League rivals Huddersfield; and Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola says Callum Hudson-Odoi is highly valued by the club and he hopes the youngster will remain in west London.