Far be it from the Rumour Mill to claim to know what goes on in the mind of Roman Abramovich, but it’s being reported that Chelsea’s Russian owner is ready to replace Frank Lampard unless he quickly whips his side into shape following last night’s humiliation at the hands of Manchester City.
The Athletic say the 42-year-old manager’s position is “under serious threat” and claim Chelsea have “started to explore alternative plans with a view to replacing Lampard if the current slump continues”. They don’t, however, go so far as to speculate over who might take over should Abramovich pull the trigger.
With their client under contract at Tottenham Hotspur until June 2024, Harry Kane‘s “people” have begun informal talks with Daniel Levy with a view to extending his deal in a bid to keep cashed-up predators at bay. It’s been suggested the installation of Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain has got the Spurs club hierarchy twitchy and they want to keep their star striker sweet in a bid to prevent him having his head turned by the French champions or anyone else. Still in José Mourinho’s bad books, Dele Alli continues to be linked with a move to the French capital and is believed to have held talks with his former manager. PSG are also hoping to make the loan signing of the Everton striker Moise Kean permanent, with a fee of £31m being mentioned.
French sports daily L’Equipe claim William Saliba is ready to take a significant reduction in wages if it means getting the opportunity to leave Arsenal on loan. Having failed to make a single appearance under Mikel Arteta, the 19-year-old French defender is hankering after a temporary return to his former club St Etienne. Dutch side PSV Eindhoven are also believed to have enquired about the possibility of taking him on loan. David Luiz, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Calum Chambers may also be shipped out in a January exodus of defenders that would free up a sizeable chunk of the club’s wage bill.
Steve Bruce wants to bolster Newcastle United’s midfield and has identified Leicester City’s Hamza Choudhury as a potential enforcer; Brendan Rodgers has said he will assess the midfielder’s future in the next couple of weeks. Third in the table following their win over Bruce’s side yesterday, Leicester want Schalke’s Turkish defender Ozan Kabak, but will have to fend off interest from Milan, Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Tottenham to land the £25m-rated 20-year-old. In need of a centre-half, Liverpool had been linked with a move for Kabak but for reasons that remain unspecified, are understood to have cooled their interest.
The Birmingham Mail say Aston Villa are giving Norwich City winger Emi Buendía the glad eye, but are unlikely to be successful in their attempts to bring him to Villa Park in the current window. With seven goals to his name already this season, including his weekend winner against Barnsley, Buendía is also the subject of long-term interest from Arsenal. QPR goalkeeper Seny Dieng is a man in big demand, with Arsenal, Crystal Palace and Leeds all reported to be interested in securing the 26-year-old’s services.
And finally, having once described Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage as a “forthright, forward-speaking, intelligent man”, the West Brom manager Sam Allardyce has fallen victim to karmic irony and new regulations that came into force following the UK’s recent exit from the European Union. “I have found three players already who were capable of coming here and they’re not allowed,” he said of his January recruitment drive. “It’s a shame.”