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Transfer roundup, Jan. 24: Is Antonio Conte sending a message to Chelsea's board?

Antonio Conte during Chelsea’s Wednesday match against Arsenal. (Getty)

Welcome to FC Yahoo‘s daily transfer roundup, where we’ll dissect the January market, assess the credibility of gossip, and discuss the likelihood that deals come to pass. Every day, we’ll split the various links between players and clubs into four categories to sift through the BS and direct your attention to the reports that deserve it.

Here’s the transfer roundup for Wednesday, Jan. 24:

REPORTS

Aymeric Laporte | Athletic Bilbao —> Manchester City — City, according to several reports, is “expected to” trigger Laporte’s $80.6 million release clause sometime this week or next. If City has indeed decided to trigger it, the presence of the clause means negotiations with Bilbao won’t be an issue. Instead, the next seven days will effectively be a tug-of-war between the two clubs, and it will be up to Laporte to decide which one he’ll be playing for come Feb. 1. It sounds like he’ll choose City.

City has long been linked with center backs, and Laporte would fill the need. The 23-year-old Frenchman is left-footed, so could play on the left of a three or a two. He’s a ball-playing defender, but not quite to the extent John Stones is. He’d be a capable backup, an alternative if Stones falters, and the long-term replacement for Nicolas Otamendi.

Joao Mario | Inter Milan —> West Ham — “Almost done,” per Sky Sports‘ Kaveh Solhekol. It will be a loan with an option to buy for, reportedly, $37 million in the summer. That, by the way, is almost $13 million less than what Inter paid for the Portuguese midfielder off the back of his Euro 2016 triumph.

The 25-year-old had reportedly turned down a move to West Ham earlier in the window, but with his playing time at Inter diminishing, he has reportedly done an about face. He’ll immediately become David Moyes’ top playmaker.

Guido Carrillo | Monaco —> Southampton — It’s not done, but the two clubs have agreed a fee of $27.2 million, per Sky Sports and other reports.

Vicente Guaita | Getafe —> Crystal Palace — The 30-year-old goalkeeper is on an expiring contract, and has reportedly passed a medical at Palace. The question now is whether he’ll join in January or over the summer.

Ali Gabr | Zamalek —> West Brom — Reportedly a loan, with an option to buy the Egyptian defender for around $2 million at season’s end.

CHATTER

Is Antonio Conte sending a message to Chelsea? — Managers have varying levels of power across Europe. Some have final say on transfers. Some have less say. Some of little to no say. Antonio Conte would seemingly fall toward the latter end of the spectrum. Or at least that’s where he’d put himself.

“The club decides every single player,” he said after a 2-1 League Cup semifinal defeat at Arsenal. “For sure, I don’t have a big impact on the transfer market.”

But he does have the power to tinker with his squad in ways that would compel the club to act in the transfer market. With Chelsea in negotiations with Roma for Edin Dzeko, Conte might have just done that against Arsenal. With Alvaro Morata injured, he started three forwards, but no true No. 9, despite having Michy Batshuayi available. With the selection, he implicitly said to Chelsea’s transfer department: We don’t have enough competent strikers.

Meanwhile, Dzeko started for Roma on Wednesday and scored a late equalizer.

Some reports suggested Chelsea and Roma had agreed a fee for the Bosnian striker on Wednesday, but Roma’s sporting director, Monchi, denied that. “At this moment I don’t like the offers that we have received, so we do not take them into consideration,” he said.

Negotiations, therefore, go on. But perhaps Conte’s no-striker lineup will make Chelsea up its bid.

Arsenal’s Aubameyang bid rejected — Arsenal reportedly put in a second firm bid for Aubameyang: $61.2 million, with no player going in the other direction. Dortmund reportedly rejected it. Because Aubameyang wants out, and Arsenal therefore likely believes it has leverage, this one is probably going to deadline day.

Lucas Moura to Spurs not likely in January — We discussed Lucas yesterday. He seemingly has to move in January, but Tottenham would rather do a summer deal, per ESPN.

RUMORS

Mateo Kovacic | Real Madrid —> Manchester UnitedPer Italian outlet Calcio Mercato, United has joined Inter Milan in pursuit of the Croatian midfielder, who has been a backup for Madrid since joining in 2015.

Yannick Carrasco | Atletico Madrid —> RomaAccording to Calcio Mercato, there has been discussion between the clubs of a loan with an option to buy.

Nicolas Gaitan | Atletico Madrid —> Swansea — Not a new rumor, but an ongoing one. Swansea is still reportedly in talks with player and club. Previous reports suggested Gaitan didn’t fancy the relegation battle.

Nicolai Jorgensen | Feyenoord —> Newcastle — The Magpies have reportedly had a bid rejected, but could come back with another one. The Danish striker would be their most expensive signing ever, at a price likely in the region of $28 million.

JANUARY’S TOP DONE DEALS

(Chronological order)

Lassana Diarra | PSG (free)
Aaron Lennon | Everton —> Burnley (undisclosed)
Kenedy | Chelsea —> Newcastle (loan)
Jaroslaw Jach | Zaglebie Lubin —> Crystal Palace ($2 million)
Javier Mascherano | Barcelona —> Habei ($12.3 million)
Rafinha | Barcelona —> Inter Milan (loan)
Alexis Sanchez | Arsenal —> Manchester United (swap)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan | Manchester United —> Arsenal (swap)
Leon Goretzka | Schalke —> Bayern Munich (summer, free)

Jurgen Locadia | PSV Eindhoven —> Brighton (19.5 million)
Ezequiel Barco | Independiente —> Atlanta United ($15 million)
Robin van Persie | Fenerbahce —> Feyenoord (free)
Kostas Stafylidis | Augsburg —> Stoke City (loan)
Cedric Bakambu | Villarreal —> Beijing Guoan ($49 million)
Theo Walcott | Arsenal —> Everton ($27.6 million)
Martin Hongla | Grenada —> Barcelona (loan) 
Lisandro Lopez | Benfica —> Inter Milan (loan)
Manuel Akanji | FC Basel —> Borussia Dortmund ($27 million)
Alex Pritchard | Norwich City —> Huddersfield Town ($16.6 million)
Yerry Mina | Palmeiras —> Barcelona ($14.2 million)
Francis Coquelin | Arsenal —> Valencia ($14.4 million)
Fousseni Diabate | Gazélec Ajaccio —> Leicester City ($4.8 million)
Renato Steffen | FC Basel —> Wolfsburg ($2 million)
Mark Uth | Hoffenheim —> Schalke (summer, free)
Moritz Bauer | Rubin Kazan —> Stoke City ($6.8 million)
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou | Tottenham —> Burnley (loan)
Kevin Mirallas | Everton —> Olympiacos (loan)
Philippe Coutinho | Liverpool —> Barcelona ($192.5 million)
Cenk Tosun | Besiktas —> Everton ($36.5 million)
Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> Al-Gharafa (undisclosed)
Ross Barkley | Everton —> Chelsea ($20.3 million)
Marko Pjaca | Juventus —> Schalke (loan)
Konstantinos Mavropanos | PAS Giannina —> Arsenal ($2.4 million)

Terence Kongolo | Monaco —> Huddersfield Town (loan)

Virgil van Dijk | Southampton —> Liverpool ($101.4 million)
Diego Costa | Chelsea —> Atletico Madrid (€71.5 million)
Adrien Silva | Sporting CP —> Leicester City ($29.8 million)

Previous rumor roundups: Jan. 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 22 | 23

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.