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Transfer Rater: Sturridge to Valencia

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Liverpool to return for van Dijk in January; Man City join Griezmann race

Mark Donaldson and Stevie Nicol sift through the latest transfer rumours with the January window fast approaching.

With the January window on the horizon, there's plenty brewing in the transfer market. All the latest deals and potential deals can be found here.

Liverpool still want van Dijk

Ahead of Southampton's trip to Anfield on Saturday, the Daily Mirror reports that Liverpool are still keen to recruit Saints captain Virgil van Dijk when the transfer window reopens.

The Reds apologised for making an unofficial approach for the £70 million-rated defender in the summer but haven't given up hope of rekindling the transfer.

On Thursday, Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino said he couldn't guarantee van Dijk will stay at the club, admitting "everybody has got a price."

And if van Dijk impresses on Saturday, it could convince the Liverpool hierarchy to stump up the cash for a January move.

Man City target Griezmann

Manchester City have entered the race to sign Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid but face stiff competition for his signature, reports The Sun.

Griezmann is being considered by Barcelona as an alternative to Philippe Coutinho should they fail to convince Liverpool to sell the Brazilian in January. He is also a long-term target for Manchester United.

But City have apparently now contacted the forward's representatives with a view to making an official offer next summer.

Griezmann has struggled for form this season but is still expected to lead France's attack at the World Cup and scored in the recent friendly win against Wales.

Barca want Messi for life

Barcelona are putting together a lifetime contract for Lionel Messi in a bid to end speculation about his future once and for all, claims Mundo Deportivo.

The Catalan giants came to a similar agreement with Andres Iniesta in October and now want Messi to commit his future to the club.

The Argentine already has a contract until 2021 at the Nou Camp, but talk of a potential move to Manchester City has persisted.

Barcelona now hope to make Messi an offer he can't refuse to silence the rumours for good.

Brazil's Tite wants to play Philippe Coutinho in a central position, but says he can only place him there if Liverpool do.

Tap-ins

- David Luiz is being lined up for a shock move to Manchester United after being dropped by Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, according to the Daily Express. Luiz struggled to hold down a regular place under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge but has apparently been targeted for a reunion with the Portuguese coach at Old Trafford.

- Newcastle are plotting a £9m deal for wantaway Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, claims TalkSport. The Dutch stopper has been forced to settle for a place on the bench this season and could replace Rob Elliot at St James' Park.

- Claude Puel is keen to link up with Hatem Ben Arfa again at Leicester, according to the Daily Mirror. The duo spent the 2015-16 campaign together at Nice, with Ben Arfa scoring 17 goals to earn a move to Paris Saint-Germain.

- Croatia international Domagoj Vida is a target for Everton and AC Milan, reports The Sun. The centre-back is out of contract at Dynamo Kiev and could move to England on a free transfer in January.

Matthew Stanger covers European football for ESPN and is the editor of The Set Pieces. Twitter: @MatthewStanger

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