Update on January EPL transfers for Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Man City, Liverpool, Spurs, Man Utd
With only nine days left in the January Premier League transfer window, titan clubs Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur along with other giant EPL clubs are scrambling to get the best football players they want to strengthen their squads and set them up for the remainder of the 2016-2017 season. With less than two weeks remaining, football clubs are pushing to get the business done in boardrooms across Europe to hire players that they need to improve their sides as the competition for top talent heats up. Managers are all 'playing the game' in trying to get the best deals during the transfer window.
Chelsea are 8 points ahead in first place with 55 points at the top of the Premier League Table meaning their title rivals may need to make changes to their squads in the coming days to stay in the top six. The race is on for a top position on the EPL Table to earn a spot to compete next season in the Champions League or Europa League. Arsenal are in second place on the table with 47 points, Tottenham Hotspur are in third with 46 points, Liverpool FC are in fourth with 45 points, Manchester City are in fifth with 43 points, and Manchester United are in sixth with 41 points. The six clubs at the bottom of the table fighting to avoid relegation are Leicester City, Middlesbrough, Swansea City, Crystal Palace, Hull City, and Sunderland.
Here is a look at some of the EPL transfer action to date:
Thibaut Courtois says Diego Costa's top of the table Chelsea team-mates do not doubt his commitment to their current Premier League title bid although Costa missed last Saturday's 3-0 win at Leicester City, complaining of back pain that sparked a fall-out with manager Antonio Conte. But the Premier League's joint-top goal scorer is back training and playing with the first team. Reportedly Chelsea want £130 million for Diego Costa and would be open to striking what would be a world-record transfer deal with a Chinese Super League club this month. Chelsea have reassessed that a lucrative move by Chelsea’s to goal scorer Costa to China would benefit Chelsea. The Blues asked agents to find a Chinese Super League club willing to pay £130m or more for the striker, who admitted he came close to rejoining top Spanish La Liga club Atletico Madrid last summer.
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte explained that he didn't think twice about recalling Diego Costa to his starting XI against Hull City when asked by the media if he had any hesitation in drafting Costa straight back into starting action following a furious training ground argument between the two amid talks of Costa moving to China, “No, because I try to make the best decision for the team. This is the reason why I decided to start with Diego,” said Conte. “If I decide to pick a player in my starting XI, for sure, he must be with a great mentality.”
Meanwhile, Spanish La Liga giant club Real Madrid is planning to step up their pursuit of Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois in the transfer window this summer. However the transfer will not involve Alvaro Morata. Madrid have made the Belgian stopper their No. 1 target, with Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wanting Courtois to compete with his current first team keeper Keylor Navas. Courtois' current deal at Stamford Bridge expires in July 2019, and Madrid hope to tempt him to transfer to the Bernabeu in a £25.6 million deal with a negotiated contract extension.
Former England manager and current Chinese Super League boss, Sven-Goran Eriksson said the CSL would be a good next destination for Manchester United captain and record high Man United goal scorer Wayne Rooney. Superstar striker and England captain, Rooney broke Sir Bobby Charlton's record as Man United's all-time highest goal-scorer with his 250th goal in the Red Devils’ 1-1 draw with Stoke on Saturday. “He has to make that decision together with his family and agent and so on, but why not?” said Eriksson, who has been coaching in China since 2013. “China today is a great place to live. If you have never been in China, you don't believe your eyes when you come here today. And I'm sure Rooney could play in any team here.”
Italian Serie A titan club Juventus are monitoring Emre Can's situation at Liverpool, interested in signing the Germany midfielder in January. The Italian champions have been scouting the former Bayer Leverkusen star since the start of the transfer window. However since Lucas Leiva suggests his decade-long term with the Reds may end this summer, it is unlikely that Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp would be willing to sell the twenty-three-year-old Can.
Crystal Palace and Newcastle United are continuing negotiations over a proposed deal for Andros Townsend. Transfer talks began last week with Townsend who is open to the move. The 25-year-old wants to take stock of his situation in the summer once the futures of both clubs are clearer.
Striker Saido Berahino’s transfer saga may finally be at an end after he joined Stoke City for an initial £12 million. New Stoke striker Saido Berahino will benefit from new manager Mark Hughes’ ability to straighten his behavior and to deal with troublesome footballers.
Robert Snodgrass who has attracted interest from West Ham and Middlesbrough, is believed to be suffering from a muscular injury. Middlesbrough were rebuffed by Hull City in a bid to sign midfielder Snodgrass with a £6million offer being turned down. Snodgrass attracted interest from the Hammers to date in the January transfer window, but Hull are determined to retain the Scotland international until the end of the current season.
Robbie Keane, who worked under Strachan at Coventry, said, “I think the most important thing for Sunderland is that they keep Jermain Defoe. This is a big 10 days for them. He’s the one that scores the goals. I’ve played with Jermain, and he's a top finisher.”
West Ham United
Defender Jose Fonte joined West Ham for £8m while the Hammers also signed England Under-19 international Nathan Holland from Everton on a three-and-a-half-year contract. Holland signed pro terms with Chelsea in January 2016, but he failed to make a senior appearance at Goodison Park and his contract was due to expire this summer. The 18-year-old will join West Ham's elite development program and is set to be included in Academy director Terry Westley's squad for the upcoming match against current Premier League champions Leicester City on Monday night. West Ham are ready to sell Dimitri Payet after French Ligue 1 club Marseille made a bid of £25million. Slaven Bilic's West Ham side won successive games including yesterday's 3-1 win at Middlesbrough without disgruntled talisman Payet. West Ham owners are now convinced the club can go forward without Payet as a result. The 29-year-old made it clear he wants no future at West Ham, with his family already returning to France.
According to the club’s former striker Robbie Keane, West Ham should sell Dimitri Payet at the earliest opportunity to strengthen the club. Payet wants to move back to Ligue 1 team Marseille, but the twenty-nine-year-old French club have not yet come up with a fee that satisfies the east London club. “It is looking like that the best thing for the club and him is probably to leave, certainly if you can get good money for him,” said Keane. “He is a top, top player, but they are flourishing since he announced he wants to go. When you have a player who is a special talent and wants to leave, there is always a few in the dressing room, people like Mark Noble who is a legend there, who is thinking 'this is my club and you just want to walk away. Everybody has their own situations. I don't know if he's homesick and his family wants to go home, but I think for West Ham, try and get the money and get someone in this window or in the summer.” Popular Andy Carroll applauded his team’s spirit that has united the West Ham side in the wake of Dimitri Payet's plea to leave their club after the Hammers were shaken by the news that their star man wanted to leave earlier this month. Slaven Bilic's side responded in a positive way by earning back-to-back Premier League victories over Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough without him taking part. Carroll scored a stunning volley in a 3-0 whalloping of Crystal Palace and then got a double on Saturday as his side got a 3-1 victory against Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium.
Everton captain Phil Jagielka wants to leave Everton after ten years at the club as Jagielka talked over his future with West Ham and Sunderland showing interest. However West Ham moved to sign Jose Fonte instead last week. Sunderland remain in the picture with manager David Moyes wanting to re-unite with his former captain. Eighteen-year-old Everton midfielder Nathan Holland has joined West Ham United on a three-and-a-half-year deal. Holland joined Everton’s Academy at the age of nine and signed professional terms in January 2016. Holland is eligible to represent England or Barbados at international level. Merseyside club Everton winger Gerard Deulofeu will complete a six-month loan deal move to Italy Serie A giant club AC Milan. The Spaniard will join the San Siro club until the end of the season, after Milan announced the deal Friday before it had been finalized.
Thierry Henry has urged Arsenal star Mesut Ozil to commit his future to Arsenal by signing a new long-term contract in order to become a Gunners legend. Former Arsenal superstar striker Henry left the club in 2007 when there was similar uncertainty over the future of veteran Gunners manager Arsene Wenger. Henry told Ozil to remain and focus on winning trophies at the Emirates. “I'm desperate for him to stay,” Henry said. “But I understand his predicament. I was in the same situation in 2007 when I joined Barcelona - with a heavy heart. I didn't know Arsene's plans, either, as he was coming to the end of a contract then, too. Mesut has won the World Cup with Germany. But at club level, he has only one title, with Real Madrid in 2012. He will be desperate for more. But he can do that at the Emirates. That's why I'd urge him to stay and become an Arsenal legend.”
Manchester City has signed forward Gabriel Jesus who said his debut for the club is a “dream come true” after coming off the bench in Saturday's 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. Jesus completed his move to City for £27million last week.
Watford expect to ratify the signing of former West Ham striker Mauro Zarate from Fiorentina by Monday. The former West Ham and QPR forward arrived in London for a medical on Saturday and is expected to sign on an initial loan with option for ta permanent £2.5million deal and a three-year contract. The 29-year-old has scored four goals in nine appearances for Fiorentina this season.
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