After an unsurprisingly slow start largely down to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the rumour mill is really beginning to hit overdrive as we head into the latter stages of the New Year window.
Christian Eriksen has also been linked with a return to Spurs of late, though it is now claimed that Inter Milan team-mate Nicolo Barella – also on Liverpool’s radar – could be a target for Jose Mourinho instead.
Arsenal have once again been linked with Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish, though Norwich boss Daniel Farke remains adamant that Gunners target Emi Buendia will not be allowed to depart Carrow Road this month. There are even suggestions that Arsenal are pondering a swap deal involving Eriksen and Lucas Torreira, while Real Madrid’s Martin Odegaard could be a canny loan option.
At Chelsea, speculation over Frank Lampard’s future as manager has ramped up further following a 2-0 defeat by Leicester on Tuesday night. Could Erling Haaland be a perfect summer remedy for the Blues?
Liverpool have not given up hope of signing Bayern Munich stalwart David Alaba, while Manchester United are rumoured to be preparing an offer for Lens defender Facundo Medina and Crystal Palace look set to sign Jean-Philippe Mateta from Mainz.
West Ham’s striker search also continues, though the Hammers have failed with an initial bid for Montpellier frontman Gaetan Laborde and seem to have been priced out of a move for Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri.
Follow all the latest deals, rumours and gossip from the January transfer window with Standard Sport’s LIVE blog.
Lampard has three games to save job?
Is the writing on the wall for Frank Lampard? Not quite yet.
According to reports, Chelsea will stick by their manager for three more games – which takes him to the end of January. Will a new man be in charge for the trip to Tottenham on February 3?
Arsenal ready for Buendia
An update on Arsenal’s interest in Emi Buenida from Fabrizio Romano. With plenty of outgoings done, is now the time for Mikel Arteta to buy?
One to watch with Ozil’s confirmed exit imminent.
Hasenhuttl to Chelsea?
An interesting tidbit – one of many, of course – from our earlier Chelsea Q&A with correspondent James Robson when asked about possible replacements for Frank Lampard.
“I know Ralph Hasenhuttl’s name has been mentioned quite prominently – and it’s hard not to be impressed by the job he’s done at Southampton, but I would think Abramovich would want that immediate hit from a top class manager. He’s gone for the patient approach with Lampard over the past 18 months – I’d imagine he wants tangible results now.”
Sokratis: I gave everything for Arsenal
Sokratis has bid an emotional farewell to Arsenal and the club’s fans on social media…
“One of the most enjoyable times in my career ended today,” he tweeted.
“It has been an honour to wear the Arsenal shirt and I want to thank all the coaches, team-mates, staff and fans around the world for the love and respect they have given me.
“I gave everything for Arsenal and Arsenal also gave me a lot. I wish you all the best health and success always. Thank you.”
Where next for Sokratis?
Sokratis is attracting interest from a number of clubs, including Serie A side Genoa, Greek giants Olympiacos and LaLiga outfit Real Betis, writes Simon Collings.
He is the latest player Arsenal have sought to get off their books this window as Arteta looks to trim his bloated squad.
Mesut Ozil has also mutually terminated his contract and is close to joining Fenerbahce in Turkey, while Sead Kolasinac has been loaned to former club Schalke.
William Saliba was also sent out on loan to Nice in Ligue 1.
Sokratis is obviously now open to negotiate with any other club after becoming a free agent.
The Greek international made 69 appearances in total after joining the Gunners from Borussia Dortmund in a £17m deal in 2018, winning last season’s FA Cup and reaching the 2019 Europa League final.
However, he had fallen down the defensive pecking order and was due to be out of contract in the summer.
“On behalf of Mikel, our coaches, players and everyone at the club, I would like to thank Papa for his contribution to the club,” said Arsenal technical director Edu.
“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.”
Sokratis leaves Arsenal by mutual consent
Sokratis Papastathopoulos has officially left Arsenal.
The Gunners announced in the last few minutes that the Greek defender’s contract – which was due to run until the summer – had been cancelled early by mutual consent.
Sokratis made 69 appearances for Arsenal after joining from Borussia Dortmund in 2018 but was left out of Mikel Arteta’s Premier League and Europa League squads this term.
Bayern want Upamecano deal
Bayern Munich are determined not to be beaten by Premier League suitors in the race to sign Dayot Upamecano, reports suggest.
Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United have all been linked with the talented RB Leipzig defender over recent months, though reigning Bundesliga champions Bayern seem intent on taking him to Bavaria.
According to The Mirror, Bayern have asked to be immediately notified if any club activates Upamecano’s £37m release clause that is due to become active this summer – presumably with the intention of swiftly matching it.
Chelsea ponder German speaker as Lampard replacement
The next manager at Chelsea is likely to be a German speaker, it has been claimed.
The Athletic report that the Blues are looking at the possibility of hiring a coach fluent in German in order to help coax the best form from expensive summer signings Timo Werner and Kai Havertz – both of whom have flattered to deceive for the majority of their maiden campaigns in English football.
Southampton’s Austrian boss Ralph Hasenhuttl could potentially be in the frame, while such a report is bound to increase speculation that someone such as RB Leipzig’s Julian Nagelsmann or Thomas Tuchel – recently sacked by Paris Saint-Germain – could be in line to replace the increasingly under-pressure Frank Lampard.
Ozil confirmation expected this weekend
It seems that those waiting for official confirmation of Mesut Ozil’s move to Fenerbahce may have to hold on a little longer.
Reports emanating from Turkey today suggest that the Istanbul giants have pencilled in an announcement on Saturday.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed earlier this week that Ozil was undertaking a medical, with only the necessary paperwork left to be completed.