Transfer Talk: Return Of The Rumours

(Anyone else start getting the Star Wars theme music in their heads there? No? Carrying on then….)

Could Costa really be heading to China? What on earth has happened to West Ham’s Golden boy? And who the blaaady hell are PSG looking at?!

Yes that’s right chaps ( & chapettes!) Transfer Talk is back! A week seems a long time in football, with so much speculation flying around, I’ve dissected some of the week’s best rumours from the ‘yeah I can see that working’ ones to the damn right ridiculous ones.

Let’s start with the realistic ones first.

Martin Olsson (28) (Norwich – Swansea) Defender

As I’m writing this, I can see that the deal has actually happened. Way to rain on my parade their Swans. Couldn’t just give me a few more hours could you. But anywhooo, a very solid acquisition for Swansea City.  Who are still crying more than this fella, over the sale of Ashley Williams.

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Olsson will bring some very much needed Premier League experience to Swansea and excellent cover for the injured Neil Taylor. Although it might not be long until he’s playing against his old club Norwich in the Championship.

Robbie Brady (25) (Norwich – Sunderland / Crystal Palace) Midfielder

Things aren’t going well for Alex Neil at Norwich at the moment, and players are taking a chance to move whilst they can. Brady who came through the Manchester United Youth System.

Has already seen a bid for £10m turned down from Palace for his services. If Sunderland do make a bid, it’ll be in monthly instalments as they are strapped for cash. Would provide some extra impetuous going forward especially for the Black Cats.  Scored twice for ROI during Euro 2016 and for a midfielder 7 goals in 31 International appearances, is a rather tasty record.

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Scott Hogan (24) (Brentford – West Ham United) Striker

After 2 previous failed bids, have a feeling this one will drag on until the end of the window.  But after being left out of the defeat by Newcastle United with his manager stating ‘it was in the long term interest of the club’ it would appear it won’t be long until Hogan is pulling on a West Ham shirt.

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Brentford are rumoured to want £9m + £6m in add ons A.K.A £15m, but West Ham are only willing to pay £3m in add ons… But with 21 goals in 33 apps for Brentford, you’d imagine it won’t be long till West Ham cave.

Carl Jenkinson (24) (Arsenal – Crystal Palace) Defender

Doesn’t quite fit into Wenger’s plans unfortunately. With added knowledge of knowing that Bellerín is the 1st choice RB by some distance. Spent a fair amount of time on loan at West Ham previous seasons gone by.

Would appear that he’s not far away from joining up with one of his old managers in Big Sam at Palace. Who is in the market for defenders.

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Fernando Llorente (31) (Swansea City – Chelsea) Striker

Would be the jammiest move. Going from a relegation battle to a title battle. I personally don’t see Llorente key to Swansea’s survival hopes, he’s not like a Defoe who is going to score all the goals.

As the majority of us know, Conte worked with Llorente at Juve several seasons ago, but by no means did Llorente set Serie A alight. With a goal scoring record, just better than a goal every 3 games in the league.

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With the future of Costa uncertain, Llorente could be a shrewd bit of business from the Italian, with perhaps the unfavoured Michy Batshuayi heading in the other direction.

But with Chelsea playing some fantastic free-flowing football at the moment, it would appear strange to change that up to accompany a big target man who’s less mobile than Costa. But we wait to find out.

Jake Livermore (27) (Hull City – WBA) Midfielder

 This one broke over the last couple of days or so. WBA are keen to strengthen their midfield options, and have targeted Livermore. Underrated Premier League player, can play as a box to box midfielder or as a defensive one. Could work well with Pulis at WBA.

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£10m has been offered already for him, but Hull City want closer to £15m. You’d have to think that if Livermore and Snodgrass leave, Hull should almost definitely begin preparing for life in the Championship.

Bojan (26) (Stoke – Middlesbrough / WBA) Striker

When Bojan burst onto the scene at the Camp Nou in 2007, we were told he was going to be joining the likes of Messi and Ronaldinho. Did he really think 10 years later he would be choosing between staying at Stoke or joining ‘Boro?

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Did you know: Bojan made his Barca debut at 17 years and 19 days, breaking Lionel Messi’s record.

A career which promised so much at such a young age, looks likely to happen with ‘Boro, as Gaston Ramirez fancies a move to Leicester City.

And now for the crazy audacious rumours.

Christian Benteke (26) (Crystal Palace – PSG / WBA) Striker

Quite possibly the maddest of the lot. From a Premier League relegation battle to a probable Ligue 1 title. PSG are looking for a battering ram – esque striker as a back-up for Edison Cavani.  But could you really see Benteke pulling on a PSG shirt? I think he might like to mind!

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West Brom on the other hand seemed willing earlier on in the window, with the virtually non – existent Saido Berahino heading in the other direction plus cash. But that rumour seems to have run it’s course now.

Andre Gray (25) (Burnley – West Ham) Striker

With the Hammers having little success in the market so far with bids for Defoe & Hogan both rejected, and with one of their most attacking options in Payet refusing to play for the club. West Ham’s attack is looking in pieces.

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The form of the Championship’s player of the season 15-16, has lead to being linked with a host of Premier League clubs with West Ham supposedly ready to make a £15m offer to Burnley.

But you’d think the Clarets would be bonkers to let him go. With 28 in 56 games for Burnley so far, fans will be hoping he continues that great record.

Patrice Evra (35) (Juventus – Manchester United / Crystal Palace) Defender

Could the former United star be heading home? His former team mate in Rio Ferdinand hasn’t helped speculation with his posts via social media adding to the rumours.

With Luke Shaw fading into the background ever more at United, and Darmian a natural right footed player playing at Left Back, you have to think this rumour could turn into something. As we all know Evra ‘loooooves this game’ and keeps himself incredibly fit and dedicated so even if he provides cover for the rest of the season.

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Crystal Palace offer that attraction of playing Premier League football and being able to live in London, but I see United as the front runners on this one.

Let’s see what next week brings us!

Thanks for reading folks!

T

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Transfer Talk: Gossip to Dead Certs

It’s the 3rd Round of the FA CUP weekend. Wahooo, What a glorious fixture in the football calendar. A time where if big teams roll in with their pumped-up egos, they will inevitably leave with their tail between their legs. Magic.

But anywho, I’m sitting waiting for Mike Dean to ruin, oops I mean run* the Tottenham Vs Villa game on the Beeb and thought it would be time to follow up my previous blog.

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If you can’t remember / haven’t read it YET/ a disgruntled Chelsea fan / I’ll catch you up to speed, I discussed the January Transfer Window and also where I think the Top 6 need to strengthen to increase their respective chances of lifting the coveted Premier League trophy.

Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the gossip flying around in the first week of the window, some might be seen as speculative dross and some could be a dead cert.

Anyway, Let’s be havin’ yaaa!

I’ll start with the ones which I can see happening:

  • Steven N’Zonzi (29) (Sevilla — Manchester City / Chelsea) (CM)

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Interesting one. When the former Blackburn & Stoke midfielder left for the sunny sights of Sevilla and La Liga, I was convinced we wouldn’t be seeing him in the Premier League again.

I think City need him more than Chelsea do at the moment. Losing the versatile Gündogan is a massive blow for City and with Yaya not being the biggest fan of defending.

Although Fernando has excelled this term I think Pep needs more defensively minded players in his squad.

Sevilla are looking for £25m for the tough tackling midfielder, which after signing him originally for only £7m looks like a bloody good deal.

  • Morgan Schneiderlin (27) (Manchester United — Everton) (CM)

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Probably not the move he wants, but the one his career needs.

Sadly for Southampton’s player of the season for 2012-13 the move to Manchester United just hasn’t worked out.

Once one of the hottest box to box midfielders on the market, but after a lack of game time under Mourinho, looks destined to go and re-join his former manager at Everton.

Schneiderlin will be hoping a move can re-ignite his international career.

Around £20m for the midfielder should seal it.

  • José Fonte (33) (Southampton — Manchester United) (CB)jose-fonte-403002

From League 1 to Europa League, Fonte has been there through thick and thin for Southampton.

But this season has lost his place in the starting line-up down at St. Marys and unable to dislodge Van Dijk & Yoshida and after handing in a transfer request last week, it’s looking more likely that Southampton will be parting company with their club captain this month.

After playing a key role in Portugal being crowned European Champions in the summer, it would appear he’s keen to link up with his Portuguese counterpart Mourinho.

On a personal note and as a Saints fan, cheers for the good times José! Anywhere from £7-£10m should see Fonte a Manchester United player come February.

  • Victor Lindelöf (22) (Benfica —- Manchester United) (CB)

After being on and off more than tube strikes, it looks like Lindelöf’s proposed move to Manchester United is now back on. Known as ‘The Iceman’ at Benfica for his confidence and composure, should help to provide stability to an ever-improving Manchester United defence.

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Has been deployed as a RB for Sweden before but better known for his ability to read the game in the heart of defence. Comparisons have been made to one Rio Ferdinand. Bodes well.

  • Memphis Depay (22) (Manchester United — Everton) (W / IF)

What has happened to Memphis? He was supposed to light up the Premier League like Ronaldo did at the start of his career at United. We all saw the free kicks he was rattling in most weeks in the Eredivisie.

Struggling to get in United’s match day squad, looking more likely that a move is needed to get his career going again. But Jose is unwilling to let Memphis leave on loan, and with Everton spending the bulk of their funds on Schneiderlin. Memphis could be looking at more time in the reserves at United.

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Long Shots

 Manolo Gabbiadini (25) (Napoli — Southampton / Stoke / Everton) (ST)

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The creative and hardworking forward is gaining the attention of managers in the Premier League with Stoke & Saints looking the most likely to bid. Saints are looking for a replacement with Charlie Austin cruelly dealt another injury blow after being in good form.

But Stoke are also looking to replace the woeful Wilfred Bony who seems more than happy to just collect his mega bucks from Man City.

William Carvalho (24) (Sporting CP — Manchester City) (DM) 

Another transfer window, and another transfer rumour involving William Carvalho.

Another defensive midfielder target like N’Zonzi, the Portuguese international would be an excellent addition to Manchester City’s squad. A consistent 1st team player for Sporting CP since 2013.

Ben Gibson (23) (Middlesbrough — Chelsea) (CB)

Gibson has been a key figure for Middlesbrough achieving a good start to life in the Premier League and has already been touted for international recognition. Been a ‘Boro boy for his entire career so far, but if Conte comes a knockin’ what would his answer be?

Conte will be looking for a long-term replacement for Cahill, and Gibson could be the answer as a mobile CB playing in a three.

Could take a deal involving up to £25-£30million to take him away from Aitor Karanka’s team.

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Jermain Defoe (34) (Sunderland —- West Ham) (ST) skysports-premier-league-football-jermain-defoe_3863145

One of the Premier League’s gems over the years, deadly from anywhere inside the box. Give him an inch at your peril. Jermain only deals in Goals. Instrumental in keeping Sunderland up last season, and even at the ripe old age of 34, still shows defenders a clean set of heels most weekends.

A move to his boyhood club West Ham would have turned his head, but while West Ham keep up this pathetic low ball transfer approach, no clubs will take them seriously.

Could do a job for any Premier League team who wants to solve a lack of goals crisis. Could see him linking up well with Rondon at West Brom but probably doesn’t want to move again at this time of his career. Unless it was back to London…

James Rodríguez (25) (Real Madrid — Manchester United) (CAM)

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Seems a rather big long shot, but doesn’t seem to be a key player in Zidane’s plans and wants to link up with former boss Mourinho. But how often do we see big money spent in January? If this is going to happen, I suspect it’ll happen in the summer.

If the Columbian did sign though, how bloody good would that be? Well, not for everyone..

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Kasper Schmeichel (30) (Leicester City — Liverpool) (GK)

Could be a really interesting one. Kasper showcased his abilities in a special season last year, and with Liverpool known for their poor goalkeepers it could happen. Liverpool are going head to head with Chelsea for the title and this would certainly be an improvement to their current squad.

Although Kasper will want to play knockout Champions League football with Leicester City later on in the season.

Kasper Dolberg (19) (Ajax — Premier League) (ST)

When comparisons start getting made between yourself and Zlatan, you know you must be doing something right.

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Kasper Dolberg, could be the next big thing. Already a full International with Denmark at the age of 19.

You might have read about him earlier his season when he scored an 18 – minute hat-trick against NEC Nijmegen.

Reports suggest he’s a very relaxed individual, so it might take a big money offer to turn his head.

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Let’s see what next week has in store for us!

Ta,

Tom