Premier League champions Liverpool have signed centre-back Ben Davies from Preston North End for a deal reportedly worth £1.6million.

The 25-year-old has signed a long-term contract with Jurgen Klopp's side and could make his debut against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. 

Davies made his Preston debut in January 2013 before spending time on loan at York City, Tranmere Rovers, Southport, Newport County and Fleetwood Town. 

He cemented his place in the Lilywhites' first team during the 2017-18 campaign, making 35 appearances across all competitions. 

Davies went on to make a further 98 appearances for Alex Neil's side, 19 of which came this season. 

"I'm obviously delighted to be here," he told Liverpool's official website. "It's a huge opportunity.

"Obviously it came as a bit of a surprise when it first came but once you start to get your head around it, the opportunity that is in front of me is incredible. I’d be silly to not make the most of it and learn off the players [at the club].

"I've never actually been to Anfield and I haven't had a look around yet. I haven't actually walked out of the tunnel yet, so I'm looking forward to that. Just to be in this kind of atmosphere is brilliant."

Davies' arrival at Anfield gives Klopp's some much-needed cover in the centre of defence. 

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees and Fabinho and Joel Matip struggling with injuries, Jordan Henderson and the inexperienced Nat Phillips were the centre-back pairing for Sunday's 3-1 win over West Ham.

"I want to come in and play games to start with," he added. "I want to get my foot in the door and make myself a Premier League player rather than a Championship player, and then take it from there really.

"I know we've got some top players here and players I can certainly learn from. Once you get your foot in the door then you’re here as well. Hopefully I can take my chance and then move forward with it.

"I'm looking forward to coming in and playing in front of everyone and showing everyone what I can do. I'm sure a lot of fans and people don't know [me], or haven't even seen me play.

"It's definitely an exciting time and I think they'll quite enjoy watching me when I'm playing well."

Premier League champions Liverpool have signed centre-back Ben Davies from Preston North End for a deal reportedly worth £1.6million.

The 25-year-old has signed a long-term contract with Jurgen Klopp's side and could make his debut against Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. 

Davies made his Preston debut in January 2013 before spending time on loan at York City, Tranmere Rovers, Southport, Newport County and Fleetwood Town. 

He cemented his place in the Lilywhites' first team during the 2017-18 campaign, making 35 appearances across all competitions. 

He went on to make a further 98 appearances for Alex Neil's side, 19 of which have come this season. 

Davies' arrival at Anfield gives Klopp's side some much-needed cover in the heart of defence. 

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term absentees and Fabinho and Joel Matip struggling with injuries, Jordan Henderson and the inexperienced Nat Phillips were the centre-back pairing for Sunday's 3-1 win over West Ham.

 

Sami Khedira hopes to repay Hertha Berlin for bringing him back to the Bundesliga by helping the club enjoy success on the pitch. 

The German midfielder has returned to his homeland to try and kick-start his career having been frozen out at Juventus this season. 

Khedira won five Serie A titles during his time with Juve but featured sparingly across the previous two campaigns as he was hampered by injury issues.

However, the 33-year-old – who was part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup – insists he is fit and ready to get back playing again with Hertha, who have struggled so far this term. 

"Hertha made great efforts to sign me and offered me the opportunity to return to the Bundesliga," Khedira said. 

"I'm grateful for that and I honestly cannot wait for the moment when I'll be wearing the blue and white shirt on the pitch for the first time. 

"I feel great physically would like to use the experience I have gained in recent years to help the team and lead Hertha to more sporting success."

Khedira won the Bundesliga with Stuttgart in 2006-07 and also had domestic and European success during his time with Real Madrid, including lifting the Champions League trophy in 2014. 

Now, though, he has joined a Hertha side that sit just above the relegation places. They recently made a coaching change, bringing back former boss Pal Dardai to try and improve their fortunes. 

"Sami Khedira is a successful leader on the pitch and a name that is recognised around the world. I am delighted that we have been able to bring him to Hertha BSC," said Hertha CEO Carsten Schmidt. 

"I am convinced that with his personality on and off the pitch, he will give our young team the stability it needs to be successful."

As well as Khedira, Hertha also confirmed the arrival of winger Nemanja Radonjic from Marseille on deadline day, initially on loan for the rest of the season but with an option to buy. 

Roma have confirmed the signing of defender Bryan Reynolds, initially on loan for the rest of the season but with an obligation to buy.  

Teenager Reynolds, who had also been linked with Juventus, arrives from Dallas for a loan fee of €100,000, describing the move as a “dream come true” as he continues his career in Europe.  

The 19-year-old has also provisionally agreed a four-year contract should he join on a permanent basis, with an initial fee set at €6.75million. However, as part of the terms, there are a number of performance-related clauses that could be worth a total of €5.65m.  

MLS will also retain the right to 15 per cent of the profit on any future sale of the highly rated full-back, after factoring in the total amount already paid for the player at the time of his departure.  

"I am excited and humbled to join Roma. It is a dream come true," Reynolds said. 

"After speaking to the club, I quickly realised that this is the ideal place for me to improve and develop as a footballer.  

"My challenge now is to keep improving day after day: I will work hard to achieve great things for this club."

Reynolds has represented the United States at youth level, including recently being involved in a training camp for the Under-23 squad.  

Roma had already added Stephan El Shaarawy during the January window, the forward returning for a second spell with a club he previously represented between 2016 and 2019.  

However, it remains to be seen whether Edin Dzeko will be on his way out; the striker has not been involved with the first team for recent games due to a rumoured disagreement with coach Paulo Fonseca.  

Inter CEO Giuseppe Marotta confirmed talks over a potential swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez did not get off the ground, so the striker is left waiting to see if he will be moving on before the deadline.

Manchester City have loaned highly-rated defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis to Championship side Blackburn Rovers. 

The 19-year-old made his debut for City against Preston North End in the EFL Cup in September 2019 and has gone on to make a further eight appearances across all competitions for Pep Guardiola's side. 

Harwood-Bellis will spend the rest of the 2020-21 campaign with Rovers, who are eighth in the Championship. 

His move means it is unlikely fellow central defender Eric Garcia will be allowed to join LaLiga giants Barcelona. 

There had been suggestions Garcia would return to his boyhood club before the close of the mid-season transfer window on Monday, but Guardiola will want to ensure he has adequate cover for the heart of his defence in the second half of the season. 

The 20-year-old's contract expires at the end of this season and it appears he will have to wait until then to rejoin Barca.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has challenged his Manchester United players to rediscover their "mojo" as they bid to return to winning ways in the Premier League against Southampton on Tuesday.  

The Red Devils' title tilt has suffered a blow over the past week, a shock home defeat to rock-bottom Sheffield United followed up with a point from a 0-0 result at Arsenal on Saturday – their fourth goalless draw in the league this season.  

They are now three points behind leaders Manchester City - who also have a game in hand - in the Premier League table, having sat top not so long ago. 

United will hope to get back on track against a Southampton side they have not lost to in nine games, although they are looking to complete their first league double over them since their title-winning campaign of 2012-13. 

Ralph Hasenhuttl's side might fancy their chances of ending that run, however, given United have lost four of their 10 top-flight home games this season. That is already the third highest number of losses they have suffered in a single Premier League campaign, after 2001-02 (six) and 2013-14 (seven). 

United have scored just four goals in their previous five Premier League games, leading Solskjaer to acknowledge his side have lacked "spark" in front of goal.

"There's not been time to do a lot on the training pitch," he told a media conference. "The boys that played are still on the recovery track from Saturday but they have to prepare for the game tomorrow; it's right in between for them. 

"The session was light but they scored some goals. We want to get that mojo back, that spark. 

"We have created enough chances to score the goals, now it's about feeling good, taking a deep breath and putting the ball between the posts. 

"We want to keep on trying to dominate games. We need a little bit of brightness, a spark in the last third and take our chances." 

United have allowed Jesse Lingard, Teden Mengi and Facundo Pellistri to leave on loan during the mid-season transfer window, but Solskjaer revealed there will be no incomings at Old Trafford on deadline day. 

"I can confirm there won't be anyone coming in, so don't stay up late," the Norwegian said, with the window closing late on Monday. 

"We've made decisions we feel have been good for individuals and for us as well, with the young players moving on. Our group is a tight-knit group and we don't have too many players in excess." 

The famous Bergkamp name is set to grace English football once again after Mitchel, son of Arsenal legend Dennis, joined Championship club Watford.

The Hornets announced that, following a trial spell, the 22-year-old has signed a six-month contract with the option of a further deal, subject to international clearance.

Midfielder Mitchel will continue his development with Watford's under-23 side having opted to move to England after nine years at Dutch side Almere City.

Dad Dennis won the Premier League three times during his 11-year stint at Arsenal, while he sits fourth on the Netherlands' all-time scoring list with 37 goals in 79 international appearances.

Mitchel admits he has become accustomed to comparisons with his famous father but is now plotting his own path in the professional game.

"When I was younger it was difficult [to be compared all the time] but I've adapted to it now," Mitchel told Watford's official website.

"It's just my name and I'm my own player and hopefully I can leave my own legacy. He's been amazing to me and for me. He's my number one fan and has always been there for me. 

"It's a privilege to have him as my dad and to work with him on my game."

Watford have also signed Maurizio Pochettino, son of Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio, during a busy transfer window as they look to seal a quick return to the Premier League.

Dan Gosling is another new arrival, while Glenn Murray's season-long loan from Brighton and Hove Albion has been terminated.

Inter never came close to completing a swap deal for Edin Dzeko and are not expecting any departures before the transfer deadline, Giuseppe Marotta has revealed. 

Media speculation suggested the Nerazzurri could be set to bring in striker Dzeko in a player exchange with Roma, who would get Alexis Sanchez in return.

However, the switch will seemingly not be happening this month and, according to Marotta, talks never actually reached an advanced stage. 

Dzeko's future in Rome remains unclear amid a reported disagreement with coach Paulo Fonseca. He has scored seven league goals in 15 appearances this season but has not featured for the first team since coming on as a late substitute in the Coppa Italia tie against Spezia on January 19. 

"It was a bit of audacity on the part of the agents of the two players," Inter CEO Marotta told the media on Monday about the rumoured Dzeko-Sanchez switch.  

"Apart from a meeting between the directors, we never got into the heart of the negotiations."

Meanwhile, Christian Eriksen and Ivan Perisic - a reported target for Everton - are set to remain at Inter, meaning Antonio Conte will continue to work with the squad he has at his disposal.

Marotta pointed to the financial impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as a need to be cautious in the transfer market.

Asked if the club are now closed for business in this window, he replied: "Yes.

"We are faced with an extraordinary event. The pandemic has had a strong impact and the model of the past is not sustainable.

"At this moment, we have to deal with the cost of labour - it must be reviewed in order not to risk a default. 

"We will not entertain any negotiations for big transfers and big salaries."

Inter sit second in Serie A, two points behind leaders Milan. They are also through to the last four of the Coppa Italia, where they will go up against Juventus.

Mikel Arteta joked he has spoken to Arsenal's technical director Edu more than anyone else in the past year, including his wife.

Arteta returned to the Gunners to replace Unai Emery in December 2019 and a busy rebuilding of the first-team squad coupled with the issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic have led to a busy time for the Spaniard and fellow ex-Arsenal midfielder Edu.

With Monday representing the end of the transfer window, the two are set to be in contact a lot on a typically hectic day.

Arteta's close relationship with Edu is something he cherishes, and is clearly not lost on his spouse.

"Probably in the last year or so I spoke probably to Edu more or less more than anybody else in my life!" Arteta said ahead of Arsenal's Premier League clash at Wolves on Tuesday.

"That's for sure what my wife says because of the things we have to go through with coronavirus as well, [and] the transfers. 

"Luckily we have a great relationship, a great understanding and we support each other in a great way. It's lucky you have to talk all the time with someone around the day that the relationship is strong."

Despite the challenges on the club's finances caused by the global health pandemic, Arsenal have still managed some shrewd business including bringing in Thomas Partey and Gabriel during the previous window.

With Martin Odegaard having also arrived on loan from Real Madrid last week, Arteta praised the work done by Edu behind the scenes.

"Well, I think he's doing a great job and the club since I joined," he added.

"The clarity he showed when they tried to convince me to join the club and stick to the plan we have, the way he's going about it I'm really impressed with him."

Arteta still has issues down the left-hand side ahead of the visit to Molineux, with the status of full-back Kieran Tierney (leg) and Bukayo Saka (hip), both of whom missed Sunday's goalless draw with Manchester United, remaining unclear.

"We don't know yet, today we have a training session, they haven't been able to train yet with us," Arteta said. 

"I think it will be difficult for them but we will see the last minute how they're feeling."

Captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is still waiting to hear if he can play. The Gabon striker was unable to feature against the Red Devils as he follows protocol rules after visiting his ill mother last week.

"There are still some things to clear up, maybe yes maybe not, we're still doing some paperwork at the moment," Arteta said when asked if Aubameyang, who also missed the win over Southampton, can face Wolves.

Will he stay or will he go?

That is the question regarding Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe, who is a reported target for Real Madrid and Liverpool.

If Mbappe opts to call time on his PSG stall, the French champions are still aiming high.

 

TOP STORY – LIFE WITHOUT MBAPPE IN PARIS?

Paris Saint-Germain are more determined than ever to give head coach Mauricio Pochettino a dream forward line amid doubts over Kylian Mabppe's future, according to Le10 Sport.

Mbappe – out of contract in 2022 – has been heavily linked with LaLiga champions Real Madrid and Premier League holders Liverpool.

If Mbappe does not remain in Paris, PSG will step up their pursuit of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

 

ROUND-UP

Massimiliano Allegri has turned down Roma as he waits for Madrid, repots Todofichajes. Zinedine Zidane is under mounting pressure in the Spanish capital, while it is a similar situation for Roma boss Paulo Fonseca.

Manchester City are willing to sign a striker and Messi this offseason, according to The Athletic. With City yet to offer Sergio Aguero a new deal, Borussia Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Inter pair Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku are reported targets as Pep Guardiola's side also eye soon-to-be free agent Messi.

- Fabrizio Romano says Liverpool have agreed to sign Ben Davies from Preston North End ahead of Monday's deadline day. Jurgen Klopp has been eyeing a defender due to the club's injury crisis.

Dele Alli's proposed switch from Tottenham to PSG is not progressing, reports Romano. Struggling for game time at Spurs, Alli has been keen for a loan move to PSG, but Tottenham are unwilling to sanction a departure as Inter block Christian Eriksen's return.

Leicester City are the frontrunners to sign Arsenal's Ainsley Maitland-Niles, claims The Mirror.

Bayer Leverkusen have confirmed the signing of winger Demarai Gray from Premier League side Leicester City.

Gray joined Leicester from Birmingham City midway through 2015-16 and went on to help the Foxes to a sensational title triumph that season.

He went on to feature 133 times in the top flight, scoring 10 goals and providing nine assists, but never really established himself as a first-team regular under Brendan Rodgers.

With his contract at Leicester having been set to expire at the end of 2020-21, Gray – who was linked with a number of Premier League clubs – has made the move to Germany.

The 24-year-old made just one league appearance this term, totalling 18 minutes, and joins a Leverkusen side who sit fourth in the Bundesliga.

Leverkusen had looked ready to mount a title challenge this season, but a run of just one win in seven games has seen them drop off the pace.

Gray has only committed to Leverkusen until June 2022 but is confident he will flourish in the Bundesliga – a league in which English talents have fared well in recent years.

Jadon Sancho has become a star at Borussia Dortmund, where Jude Bellingham, another former Birmingham youngster, is also impressing, while Reiss Nelson and Ademola Lookman have shone in loan spells at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig respectively. Lookman struggled after a permanent move, however.

"I saw Bayer playing attacking football, going forward aggressively and dictating the game with possession," Gray said.

"I'll fit in well. I can and would like to develop myself further here and be successful with this attractive team."

WHERE WILL HE FIT IN?

While Gray has had little chance to show his quality this season, he will bring an extra option to a vibrant, youthful Leverkusen attack and could be vying for a place with Leon Bailey.

After struggling for consistency last season, Bailey has enjoyed something of a resurgence this term, scoring four goals and creating five more in 18 Bundesliga games.

Bailey's 26 chances created rank fourth in Leverkusen's squad, with 17-year-old sensation Florian Wirtz (31), Moussa Diaby and Nadiem Amiri (both 27) ahead of him.

Gray may also find himself going up against former Paris Saint-Germain forward Diaby for a starting berth.

The 21-year-old has created a team-high seven big chances for Leverkusen in the Bundesliga, however, with his rapid pace a major outlet for Peter Bosz's side.

Gray is Leverkusen's third signing of the January window, following defenders Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Jeremie Frimpong, signed from Manchester United and Celtic respectively.

Watford have signed Maurizio Pochettino from Tottenham.

Pochettino, son of former Spurs and current Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino, will join up with the Hornets' under-23 squad initially.

A 19-year-old winger, Pochettino played eight times this season for Tottenham in Premier League 2 but did not make a senior breakthrough at his father's old club.

Watford have had a busy weekend ahead of Monday's transfer deadline, with former Everton and Newcastle United midfielder Dan Gosling joining from Championship counterparts Bournemouth and Spain international Gerard Deulofeu making his move to Udinese permanent.

Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele is open to joining Paris Saint-Germain in the future after revealing he has previously discussed a move with Kylian Mbappe.

France international Ndombele joined Tottenham from Lyon for a club-record fee reported to be around £63million in July 2019, ending long-running links with a switch to PSG.

He endured a difficult first campaign in north London but performances have improved in 2020-21, the 24-year-old featuring 26 times for Spurs in all competitions.

Ndombele remains under contract with Tottenham until 2025 and, while not actively seeking a transfer, he is not ruling out the prospect of returning to France with PSG, where ex-Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino is now in charge.

"I'm a boy from the Paris region. Wearing the Paris jersey one day? Why not. But today I'm at Tottenham, and it's going well," he told Telefoot.

"I spoke with Kylian about possibly coming to PSG - two or three years in a row we discussed it. It didn't happen and today at Tottenham it's going well, but why not in the future?"

Ndombele was left out of Tottenham's squad on occasions last season, but he has been praised by boss Jose Mourinho for working hard off the field to become a regular.

He ranks particularly high for dribbles, completing an average of 3.02 per game in the Premier League this term.

That places the midfielder behind only Christian Pulisic (3.28), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (3.53), Allan Saint-Maximin (4.66) and Adama Traore (5.24) among those to have played at least 10 games.

With his brace against Wycombe Wanderers in the FA Cup last Monday, Ndombele became the first Spurs player to score at least twice in a match as a substitute since Roman Pavlyuchenko against Birmingham City in May 2011.

Reflecting on a mixed time at Tottenham, Ndombele said: "It was tough. I questioned myself a lot, but now the page is turned.

"It's true that at a certain moment I wanted to leave, I didn't feel in the right place. I told them I wanted out. They didn't want me to go."

Ndombele is hopeful his form could see him earn a first appearance for France since June 2019 with the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament on the horizon.

"Of course I miss the France team," he said. "As a competitor we want to be one of the best.

"The European Championship remains a goal in the back of my mind. If I do well at club level, why not be called up?"

Sami Khedira is in talks with Hertha Berlin over a return to the Bundesliga, the German club's chief executive has confirmed.

Juventus midfielder Khedira is expected to leave the Serie A champions before the transfer window closes on Monday.

The contract extension the World Cup winner signed in 2018 is up at the end of the season, but he is set to depart early having failed to appear in a single matchday squad for Juve this term.

Khedira initially had a big impact after joining the Turin club in 2015, scoring 19 goals in 77 games across three successive title-winning Serie A campaigns.

He has since played just 22 times in the competition, suffering with injuries and falling out of favour entirely under rookie coach Andrea Pirlo.

Khedira spoke of a potential move to the Premier League ahead of January, but Berlin and Hertha – 14th in the Bundesliga – now appears his most likely destination.

Hertha CEO Carsten Schmidt told Sky Sport: "Yes, we are having talks with Sami Khedira. I can confirm that. I also spoke to him on the phone.

"We are dealing with it, but there are still a few things to be clarified, of course. We still have many questions to answer."

But Schmidt would not comment on Hertha's reported interest in Werder Bremen attacker Milot Rashica.

Rashica has been hindered by knee and thigh problems this season, playing just 379 minutes in all competitions and failing to score. He has provided a single assist from five chances created.

Sergio Ramos is reportedly set to quit Real Madrid and is eyeing Manchester United, while David Alaba is apparently not a target for Manchester City.

Ramos, 34, seems set to leave Madrid at the end of the season with his contract expiring.

With the defender appearing no closer to agreeing to a new deal, he could make the move to the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – RAMOS TO QUIT MADRID, EYES MAN UTD

Ramos is ready to quit Real Madrid and his camp are set to target Manchester United as his next destination, according to the Mirror.

Manchester City, Liverpool, Paris Saint-Germain and Everton have also been linked with the defender.

Ramos has been at Real Madrid since 2005, winning five LaLiga titles and four Champions Leagues among numerous other honours.

 

ROUND-UP

- Another defender set to move at season's end is David Alaba, with the Bayern Munich star linked with numerous European giants as his contract comes to an end. But 90min reports Manchester City will not be making an approach for the Austria international.

- Amid an injury crisis at centre-back, Liverpool could sign a defender before Monday's transfer deadline. The Evening Standard reports they are interested in Arsenal defender Shkodran Mustafi, who is out of contract at the end of the season.

- Arsenal may not be done in this transfer window, either. The Mirror says Arsenal are considering a move for Crystal Palace left-back Patrick van Aanholt.

- Marcos Rojo is set to get a Manchester United exit. Sky Sports reports the defender will terminate his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the season, before joining Boca Juniors on a free transfer.

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