elcome to Standard Sport’s latest LIVE coverage of the January transfer window as the rumour mill continues to gather pace.
The Covid-19 pandemic is causing financial uncertainty throughout football, though deals are still expected to go through this month amid a relentless schedule in the Premier League and elsewhere.
Resurgent Arsenal’s main priority appears to be to trim a bloated squad under Mikel Arteta, who says Mesut Ozil’s future could be resolved in the coming days. The Gunners are on the lookout for midfield reinforcements with Julian Brandt, Emi Buendia and Yves Bissouma among the latest players linked with the Emirates amid fresh doubts over Folarin Balogun, while teenage defender Omar Rekik is set to complete his move from Hertha Berlin.
Liverpool are said to be battling with Real Madrid for the signing of Bayern Munich stalwart David Alaba, while Sergio Ramos is also being touted for a move to Anfield along with Red Bull Salzburg forward Patson Daka.
Manchester United are still waiting to complete their deal for Atalanta winger Amad Diallo as Donny van de Beek is urged to consider his Old Trafford future, while Fikayo Tomori’s hopes of leaving Chelsea this month may now have been ruined by an injury to Andreas Christensen.
Tottenham are confident of agreeing a new contract with Heung-min Son and Manchester City are believed to remain the front runners to sign Lionel Messi.
Meanwhile, West Ham’s record signing Sebastien Haller is closing in on a €25million move to Dutch giants Ajax as the Hammers eye Bournemouth striker Josh King and former Southampton star Graziano Pelle, with Robert Snodgrass set to become Sam Allardyce’s first signing at West Brom.
Confirmed: Rekik joins Arsenal
Arsenal have completed their first signing of the January window as Omar Rekik signs from Hertha Berlin.
The 19-year-old has signed a professional contract and will initially join the Gunners’ U23 side.
Amad Diallo update
As Manchester United, and ourselves, wait for Amad Diallo to arrive at the club’s training ground, his soon-to-be former Atalanta head coach Gian Piero Gasperini has delivered an update.
“There seemed to be transfer difficulties,” Gasperini said. “But as soon as they are unlocked the player clearly goes to Manchester United.”
Arsenal planning on Saiba summer return
Mikel Arteta has insisted William Saliba has a long-term future at Arsenal and will return to fight for his place in the summer, writes Simon Collings.
The defender moved to Arsenal in the summer of 2019 for £27million but he was sent back on loan to Saint-Etienne.
Saliba duly joined Arsenal this summer, but he has still not made his debut and earlier this week joined Nice on loan.
The 19-year-old has joined the French club for the rest of this season, however it had been speculated that loan could last another year.
“He will come back for pre-season and he will be with us,” he said.
“And hopefully he will come back after playing a number of games and his performances raising and his development progressing in the right way. That is why we made that decision.
“I know that sometimes it is difficult to explain or understand after the money the club spent bringing him in, sending him on loan, but a lot of things have happened to him, he is a long-term player for us and we need to protect him as well.”
Haller set for Ajax medical
Sebastien Haller will have his Ajax medical today ahead of a permanent move to the Dutch capital, writes Jack Rosser.
West Ham are willing to take a loss of more than half of the club record £45m they paid to bring the striker in from Eintracht Frankfurt in 2019. The Hammers are expecting the fee, of around £20m, to be paid as one lump sum up front after suggestions it could be staggered across a few seasons.
Haller has flopped in east London and manager David Moyes is keen to replace the striker as soon as possible.
Speaking of which, Jurgen Klopp has just been talking to the press about the possibility of bringing a new centre-back in…
“I cannot say definitely we will not bring one in but it is just not likely because of the situation in the world,” said Klopp.
“We should not forget the situation is a tough one for all people and for football clubs as well.
“There might be some clubs with absolutely no financial problems but this club was, and always will be with these owners, just very responsible with the things we do.”
Liverpool ‘unlikely to sign centre-back’
The Athletic say that Liverpool will not sign a new centre-back this month because it would be ‘financially irresponsible’, despite their injury problems.
The Reds are short at the back, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out of action and Joel Matip regularly plagued by injuries.
However, Fabinho has filled in admirably, while youngsters Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams have also been called upon and Jordan Henderson started at centre-back in the defeat to Southampton on Monday.
The report claims that Jurgen Klopp is not interested in a short-term fix, given the surplus it would leave once the likes of Gomez and Van Dijk return.
Arsenal expected to shelve Buendia interest
Arsenal look set to suspend their pursuit of Emi Buendia.
According to The Telegraph, the Gunners are poised to shelve their interest in the Argentine midfielder due to Norwich’s adamant refusal to sell this month.
Buendia is the star player in a Canaries side that currently top the Championship as they look to secure an immediate return to the Premier League, while he is under contract at Carrow Road until the summer of 2024.
Wolves recall Cutrone
Wolves have bolstered their forward options by recalling forgotten man Patrick Cutrone.
The 23-year-old had spent the last 12 months on loan back in Italy with Fiorentina, where he scored four goals and was due to stay until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
However, Cutrone has now been ordered back to Molineux with Raul Jimenez still working his way back following that horrific skull fracture suffered against Arsenal.
Cutrone could play as soon as tomorrow night when Wolves host Crystal Palace in the FA Cup third round.
West Ham latest
Some interesting other tidbits on West Ham from Standard Sport’s Jack Rosser..
With funds extremely tight at the club this month, the sale of Sebastien Haller will allow David Moyes to go back into the market as he looks to strengthen his side after an impressive start to the season.
West Ham had been interested in a move for Bournemouth striker Josh King during the summer window, though talks between the two clubs are understood to have slowed and the Norwegian has made just eight appearances for the Cherries all season.
Moyes is also keen to bring in a left-back this month following Arthur Masuaku’s knee surgery and has shown interest in Brentford’s Rico Henry, though no approach has been made.
Van de Beek told to discuss Man United future
Staying with Manchester United, Donny van de Beek has been advised to talk to the club about his future amid concerns over his place in the Dutch squad for the delayed European Championship.
Van de Beek has made only two Premier League starts for the Red Devils since joining from Ajax last summer and was again handed little chance to make an impression last night as he was introduced as a very late substitute in the Carabao Cup semi-final defeat by Manchester City.
“Euro 2020 is coming, he will undoubtedly want to be there. Maybe it would be good for him to discuss with the club exactly what they want with him,” De Boer told AD.
“If the view on playing time does not improve, he may have to declare that he should be loaned or even sold.
“You have to be lucky every now and then. Of course it doesn’t look great now, but with a great performance it can suddenly change completely.”