West Brom are in a fight to preserve their Premier League status and manager Sam Allardyce is keen to add to his attacking ranks to aid the cause.
Allegedly top of Big Sam’s January shopping list is Turkish striker Cenk Tosun, who the Baggies boss signed for Everton in 2018 when he was in charge at Goodison Park.
However, things haven’t gone to plan for Tosun at Everton, with a combination of injuries and playing second fiddle to Dominic Calvert-Lewin pushing him closer to the exit door.
According to Tosun’s agent Mesrun Izzet, his client is ‘first choice’ for Albion following a meeting with Allardyce earlier this week.
Speaking in Turkish outlet Fanatik, as picked up by Sport Witness, Izzet seemed exceedingly confident that West Brom will be Cenk Tosun’s next destination due to being a ‘former student’ of Big Sam at Everton.
It seems unlikely that Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti will block any exit for Tosun, particularly amidst recent Toffees links with Bayern Munich youngster Joshua Zirkzee this month.
Turkey international Tosun has bagged 9 Premier League goals in 49 top flight appearances for Everton since his arrival 3 years ago.
90 min report that the Hammers may entertain offers of £50m for the 22-year-old, a significant drop from the £80m fee they placed on Rice in the summer.
The reasoning behind a possible price drop is alleged to be due to the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen club revenues slashed due to the loss of matchday income in the absence of fans in the stands.
Although understandable in the current climate, it seems peculiar timing from the West Ham board considering Rice’s game has improved noticeably on the field.
The England midfielder has become club captain this season, with David Moyes handing duties over to Rice in place of ageing colleague Mark Noble.
All things considered, the player’s stock is rising in East London and although West Ham could do with some funds to reinvest in a thin playing squad, a cut-price deal for a prized asset may be worth reconsidering.
It is extremely unlikely that Rice will leave West Ham this month, but amidst links to Manchester United and Chelsea in recent weeks, it remains to be seen whether he is still playing in Claret and Blue this time next season.
Although no deal has yet been agreed between Wolves and the La Liga club, the player himself is said to have turned down a move to Atletico Madrid in order to pursue a career in the Premier League.
With Raul Jimenez’s injury leaving Wanderers light upfront, manager Nuno Espirito Santo has had to rely on 18-year-old record signing Fabio Silva to plug the gaps – a big task for the teenager which has been difficult to execute.
Therefore, it is no real surprise that 14th placed Wolves are in the market for a new forward whilst Jimenez steps up his recovery from a fractured skull.
An agreement to bring the Sociedad man to Molineux is set to be finalised today, according to Noticias de Gipuzkoa, as translated by website Sport Witness.
Several other Spanish outlets have claimed the only real catch in the deal is an agreeable fee -surprise surprise.
The latest as things stand is that a loan deal is set to be sanctioned with Wolves wanting an option to buy at the end of it and Sociedad wanting an obligation to buy.
That, along with the price of the player is what is allegedly ruffling feathers. Sociedad want £25m, Wolves won’t pay more than £20m.
Despite this, it seems that a deal will be thrashed out sooner rather than later, and Willian Jose will end up at Molineux; what the terms of the deal are though remains to be seen.
Wanderers take on non-league side Chorley in the FA Cup 4th round on Friday night.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the defender will be allowed to leave Old Trafford before the closure of the transfer window.
Rojo has been surplus to requirements at United for a while now, with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having a raft of centre backs to choose from – the majority of whom are ahead of the 30-year-old in the pecking order.
Having been a Manchester United player since 2014, it’s fair to suggest he has been underwhelming during his time at the club, amassing just 76 Premier League appearances in that time – only 8 of those have come under current boss Solskjaer.
Rojo was loaned to Estudiantes in his native Argentina in the first half of the season and he has remained in his homeland for several weeks after the expiry of the deal at the beginning of January.
Argentina is almost certain where he will stay, too – with Boca Juniors his believed destination come the end of the transfer window.
Estudiantes are also said to be keen on a permanent deal, but as picked up by Sport Witness, Rojo’s father is a ‘fanatic’ Boca fan.
The player is under contract at Manchester United, and it’s claimed that he will need to cancel his deal with the Red Devils by mutual consent in order to free up a switch away from Old Trafford.
The 32-year-old joined the north London club from Borussia Dortmund in July 2018 for an undisclosed fee and went on to make 69 appearances.
Sokratis helped Mikel Arteta’s men win the FA Cup last August – with the final against Chelsea proving to be the Greece international’s last first-team appearance for Arsenal.
In a statement, the Gunners said: “Working closely with Sokratis and his team, we have decided to cancel his contract by mutual consent.
“This gives Papa the freedom to negotiate a contract with a new club and return to action as soon as possible.”
Sokratis was out of contract at the Emirates Stadium this summer and technical director Edu sent his thanks to the departing defender.
“On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club,” Edu said.
“He has been an important part of our group and has been a model professional throughout. The negotiations to end his contract have been collaborative and we wish Papa and his family well for the future.”
Mesut Ozil is set to follow Sokratis out of Arsenal, with the playmaker in Turkey ahead of a move to Fenerbahce.
Sead Kolasinac has joined Schalke on loan and William Saliba will spend the rest of the campaign at Nice.
The midfielder has been linked with a move to Villa Park in recent days, with reports suggesting that manager Dean Smith is closing in on the capture of the French international.
It’s believed no deal has yet been agreed between the Ligue 1 club and Aston Villa but talks are ongoing around a £15m switch.
The 26-year-old has been at Marseille since 2017 after signing from Montpellier and helped guide the South-of-France club to a 2nd place finish in the French top flight last season.
Marseille boss – former Chelsea and Tottenham gaffer Andre Villas-Boas – said of Sanson recently:
“Sanson is a player who is highly rated.”
“He is a boy who interests English teams because of his characteristics, and it is possible that something could happen.”
With 23 goals in 148 appearances so far for Marseille, Sanson has been an influential player – but with 11 days remaining in the transfer window it remains to be seen whether he will be plying his trade in the Premier League come the end of the month.
DONE DEAL: Chelsea’s Tomori completes AC Milan switch | 22nd Jan 2021 18:13 | Niall McCaughan
Fikayo Tomori has completed his medical today and has now officially joined AC Milan on loan from Chelsea. As we wrote earlier this week, the defender will link up with the Serie A leaders til the end of the season with an option to buy. Even without fans, the San Siro – despite it’s dilapidated state these days – is a great place to play your football.
Everton striker Cenk Tosun top of West Brom wishlist | 22nd Jan 2021 14:19 | Niall McCaughan
West Ham open to lowering Declan Rice asking price | 22nd Jan 2021 13:34 | Niall McCaughan
West Ham slapped an £80m price on the head of star midfielder Declan Rice in the summer, but according to 90min, the Hammers are prepared to lower that to £50m. This is allegedly due to the financial impact of Covid-19, but seeing as Rice has improved this season and is only 22 years of age, it seems a strange thing to consider from the West Ham board. Rice has been linked with Chelsea and Manchester United in recent times, and of course he’s English, which is a great excuse to throw on a few extra quid to the asking price. It’s really unlikely that he’ll leave the London Stadium this month, but whether he is a Hammers player this time next year, who knows.
Wolves want Brazilian forward Willian Jose | 22nd Jan 2021 13:01 | Niall McCaughan
Marcos Rojo to leave Manchester United | 22nd Jan 2021 13:01 | Niall McCaughan
Marcos Rojo has been at Manchester United for almost 7 years, but now his stay at Old Trafford is up. The defender, who hasn’t even managed 100 Premier League appearances in his time at the club, will join Boca Juniors in his native Argentina before the end of the month. In December he was allegedly offered to Sheffield United after spending time on loan at Estudiantes for the first half of the season, but he is so out-of-favour at United that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told him not to bother coming back to England. Ouch.
Arsenal sign Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan | 22nd Jan 2021 11:49 | Marley Anderson
Arsenal have signed goalkeeper Mat Ryan from Brighton on loan for the rest of the season. The Aussie had been replaced recently at Brighton by Robert Sanchez, and with Graham Potter handing a new deal to Jason Steele, that was a clear sign that they were happy to let Ryan leave. The 28-year-old has played over 100 times for Brighton in the Premier League, so will add experience to the ranks, and will wear the number 33 shirt at the club he says he supported as a child.
Everton eye swoop for Bayern Munich forward | 22nd Jan 2021 10:49 | Niall McCaughan
Yesterday, Sport Social’s Marley Anderson highlighted that the German press are reporting Everton’s interest in young Bayern Munich striker Joshua Zirkzee. The 19-year-old has struggled to get game time ahead of Robert Lewandowski (who wouldn’t?!) and is said to be open to a move. Carlo Ancelotti could orchestrate a deal for the Dutchman as much needed back-up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, but the Bundesliga side are supposedly only willing to do a loan deal.
Southampton manager confident of Danny Ings stay | 22nd Jan 2021 10:36 | Niall McCaughan
On yesterday’s Football Social Daily podcast, we discussed the ongoing tussle between Danny Ings and Southampton over a new deal. Ings wants to stay – but he’s concerned over the size of the release clause in the new deal that has been offered to him. Saints are willing to make the striker their highest paid player of all time, but the 30-year-old is hesitant to sign because of that hefty release clause – something which may scupper a move to a big club in future. Despite this, Ralph Hasenhuttl is confident that player and club can overcome their differences.
Aston Villa hit snag in Morgan Sanson pursuit | 21st Jan 2021 15:48 | Niall McCaughan
DONE DEAL: Jean-Philippe Mateta to Crystal Palace | 21st Jan 2021 09:40 | Jim Salveson
As we mentioned yesterday, Crystal Palace have snapped up Jean-Philippe Mateta on loan from Mainz, which has finally been announced by the club. The Frenchman has scored 7 goals so far this term in the Bundesliga and has joined the Eagles on an 18-month loan deal, subject to international clearance. The Evening Standard are reporting that Palace do have an obligation to make the deal permanent at the end of the loan with a fee of £13million agreed – something we also picked up yesterday for you. Roy Hodgson’s side have only scored 22 goals so far this season so they’ll be hoping Mateta will provide much needed firepower.
Wolves bring in attacking option | 20th Jan 2021 19:47 | Jim Salveson
Nuno Espirito Santo has bolstered the Wolverhampton Wanderers attack with a loan deal for Real Sociedad’s Willian Jose. Jose has bagged 60 goals in 169 La Liga appearances and The Daily Mail are reporting that Wolves have an option to make the deal permanent should all go well in the West Midlands. Wanderers have looked short of goals since the injury to Raul Jimenez earlier in the season and Santo will hope that Jose can provide another option to record signing Fabio Silva who has struggled to find the net since his move to Molineux in the summer.
Arsenal make second approach for Odegaard | 20th Jan 2021 19:39 | Jim Salveson
Mikel Arteta is keen on brining Norwegian attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard to the Emirates and has gone back to Real Madrid with a second offer according to Sky Sports. The player is expecting to leave the Spanish giants this Transfer Window in search of first team football but Real don’t want to lose the talented youngster on the cheap despite him only costing them around £2.7million from Stromgodset back in 2015. Arsenal are facing stiff competition for his signature however including interest from at least one other Premier League club.
Sayonara Sokratis as defender’s Arsenal contract cancelled | 20th Jan 2021 15:43 | Niall McCaughan
There has been a flurry of transfer activity at Arsenal this week, with sporting director Edu and manager Mikel Arteta looking to rearrange the Gunners squad. They haven’t pulled any punches either, with Sokratis Papastathopolous (that’s tough to type) the latest to be shown the Emirates exit door. The Greek defender has had his contract cancelled by mutual consent, meaning he is now free to find another club as and when he pleases. Sokratis’ last game was the FA Cup final win over Chelsea – not a bad way to go out. Elsewhere, Mesut Ozil is set to finalise his Fenerbahce move on Friday after a period of self-isolation in Turkey, whilst William Saliba and Sead Kolasinac have been loaned out.
Mainz man Mateta heading for Crystal Palace | 20th Jan 2021 15:29 | Niall McCaughan
Sheffield United in a fight to land Jesse Lingard | 19th Jan 2021 16:27 | Niall McCaughan
Jesse Lingard has only played 3 times for Manchester United this season, so naturally the rumours surrounding his Old Trafford future are swirling. The Blades are reportedly interested in taking Lingard as they battle to stave off relegation, but as Sport Social’s Marley Anderson writes, Tottenham have now entered the race for his signature. Could Lingard be tempted to link up with former boss Jose Mourinho?
Spurs youngster Harvey White joins Pompey on loan | 19th Jan 2021 14:01 | Niall McCaughan
One of the smaller deals that took place yesterday was Tottenham’s 19-year-old midfielder Harvey White joining Portsmouth on loan. White made an impressive first start for Spurs in their recent FA Cup game with non-league Marine, and links up with the League One side to gain valuable first team experience with Pompey currently in with a shout of automatic promotion to the Championship.
Hourihane heading for Aston Villa exit door | 19th Jan 2021 12:33 | Niall McCaughan
West Brom keen on Turkey international | 19th Jan 2021 10:02 | Niall McCaughan
West Brom may have secured a huge three points against rivals Wolves last time out, but defensive worries continue to be of concern for the Baggies. Despite them having conceded the most goals in the Premier League this season, it is in fact a midfielder who they have been linked with over the last 24 hours rather than defensive reinforcements. Albion are said to be in talks with Celta Vigo’s Turkish international Okay Yokuşlu, according to the player’s agent. You can hear more about West Brom’s pursit of the La Liga man here.
West Ham turn to Spain for Haller replacement | 19th Jan 2021 09:30 | Jim Salveson
West Ham continue to be linked to seemingly every striker in Europe as they search for a replacement for Sebastien Haller, who signed for Ajax earlier this month. The Athletic are reporting that the latest name on the Hammers’ hitlist is Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri. Some sources are claiming however that the West Ham board have remained true to form and only offered 50% of the fee demanded by the Spanish club which means, once again for the Hammers, that transfer is unlikely to get over the line. Sport Social’s Niall McCaughan has more on this story which you can read here.
Chelsea look to steal march on Premier League rivals to land Haaland | 19th Jan 2021 08:27 | Jim Salveson
Chelsea are trying to beat the pack of Premier League clubs chasing Norwegian star Erling Haaland by attempting to agree a deal for a summer transfer. According to Sky Sports journalist Angelo Mangiante, the Blues have two main targets for their summer spending; Declan Rice and the Dortmund striker. The players’ release clause does not activate until the summer of 2022 but Roman Abramovich is allegedly prepared to break the clubs transfer record to seal the deal.
Dele Alli awaits decision on French future | 19th Jan 2021 07:59 | Jim Salveson
Dele Alli will find out this week whether Jose Mourinho will grant his wish and let him leave Tottenham for PSG. Former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino wants Alli as part of his new look PSG side but the London team seem reluctant to part with the player who has only had a bit-part role so far this season. The Mirror are reporting that a decision will be made this week on whether to allow Alli to move to Paris on loan for the rest of the season.
The Republic of Ireland international is on the radar of second tier frontrunners AFC Bournemouth and Swansea City.
The 29-year-old has amassed over 100 appearances since his arrival at Villa Park from Barnsley in 2017 and is one of few players in the English game to have scored in all four divisions of the EFL.
Bournemouth boss Jason Tindall – whose side are currently third in the Championship – is reported to be keen to add extra creativity to the Cherries’ midfield.
However, with Jack Wilshere’s recent arrival at the Vitality Stadium, Bournemouth are well stocked in that area and thus may have to ship out some players to squeeze Hourihane in.
That is, of course, if Aston Villa are willing to sell.
Dean Smith has overseen a huge improvement in his side this campaign after narrowly avoiding relegation from the Premier League last season – but Villa’s upturn has largely been without Hourihane’s involvement.
The Irishman has played just 4 times in the top flight this season and hasn’t played a minute of football for Aston Villa since November.
You could argue therefore that Hourihane has been surplus to requirements at Villa Park in recent months and may well fancy his chances elsewhere.
After the departure of £45m signing Sebastien Haller to Ajax earlier this month, the injury prone Michail Antonio is left as the Hammers only recognised first team striker.
As such, West Ham have made the capture of a replacement for Haller a top priority in the remaining two weeks of the transfer window.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein has suggested that Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri, who has scored 12 times in 25 games so far this season, is a target for David Moyes.
Ornstein claims that West Ham have been putting together a €30m package to bring the Morocco international to the London Stadium, but according to local Seville newspaper Estadio Deportivo, the La Liga side are after a much more substantial fee than the one the Hammers have been readying.
As picked up by website Sport Witness, the article translated in to English claims that West Ham would need to go ‘significantly higher’ in order to secure El-Nesyri’s services.
Furthermore, Sevilla are keen to have a replacement sorted before sanctioning any possible move to London.
With 12 days to go until the transfer window closes, this deal is currently looking quite unlikely – but as we saw two summers ago with recently-departed Seb Haller, West Ham haven’t been afraid to spend good money on forward players in recent times.
The Baggies are in a battle to remain in the Premier League this season and no doubt manager Sam Allardyce will be exploring his options in the transfer window in order to maximise their chances of staying up.
Although defenders appear to be of priority to West Brom, Celta Vigo’s Turkish international midfielder Okay Yokuşlu is catching their eye.
Yokuşlu has earned 29 caps for his country and has played in La Liga since 2018, with Celta Vigo enjoying a good season so far as they sit 8th in the Spanish top flight.
However, the midfielder has barely been involved this campaign after falling out of favour with a previous manager and failing to impress his replacement.
The lack of game time this season has meant that Yokuşlu’s chances of being involved with the Turkey squad for the rescheduled Euro 2020 are slim – but a move to the Premier League may be the catalyst he needs if he is to be selected for the national team.
Last week the Daily Mail reported West Brom’s interest in the 26-year-old, and the player’s agent this week confirmed to news outlet AS that talks are ongoing between the two clubs over a possible switch.
Although there is still a fair way to go before any sort of agreement is reached, Celta Vigo are open to letting the ill-fancied Yokuşlu leave the club in order to reduce their wage bill, particularly as they hunt for a new striker this month.
West Brom are interested but there is still a fair bit of negotiating to be done before a deal is struck.
According to reports, the Blues defender is on the verge of linking up with the Serie A club for the remainder of the season.
Chelsea boss Frank Lampard recently admitted that he was not averse to allowing the centre back to head out on loan this month.
Tomori has found himself further down the pecking order this season, with the summer signing of experienced Brazilian defender Thiago Silva squeezing the 23-year-old out of favour.
AC Milan have been the frontrunners to secure Tomori’s signature so far this transfer window and according to Italian website Mediaset, the Rossoneri are in pole position to get the deal over the line.
They claim an agreement for a loan move with an option to buy is on the verge of being completed, with Tomori set to finalise the deal either Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
The two clubs have done loan business in the not too distant past when Tiemoue Bakayoko had a spell at the San Siro for a season in 2018-19.
The details of the deal are believed to be a €3m loan fee with the option to buy stipulation in the contract set at €25m.
Tomori no doubt has a bright future in the game, highlighted in his performances at Stamford Bridge last season – but it remains to be seen if we see him back at Chelsea after this move goes through.
One player who has confirmed their departure from Stamford Bridge today is Danny Drinkwater.
The exiled midfielder has signed a loan deal with Turkish Super Lig side Kasimpaşa until the end of the season.
Drinkwater hasn’t played for Chelsea’s first team since featuring in the 2018 Community Shield against Manchester City.
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