With Monday’s deadline fast approaching and most Premier League clubs keeping their cash firmly in their pocket, it’s all a little quiet for our liking. That’s why the Mill is heading west in search of transfer gold. If you’re looking for top-flight clubs who might actually sign someone, West Brom and West Ham are the places to be.
With West Ham unexpectedly pushing for Europe, David Moyes is mulling over his attacking options. Talks are ongoing for Jesse Lingard, with Saïd Benrahma’s loan having been made permanent, freeing up a loan space. Moyes also fancies a new striker: RB Leipzig’s Hwang Hee-chan, Cádiz’s Anthony Lozano and Reims’ Boulaye Dia are all on his shortlist.
At West Brom, Allardyce is working to hastily assemble a band of mercenaries capable of escaping relegation. Leicester’s Hamza Choudhury is a target for Allardyce and the equally sweaty-palmed Steve Bruce at Newcastle. If Brendan Rodgers doesn’t give the OK, Allardyce will move for Celta Vigo midfielder Okay Yokuslu. Galatasaray forward Mbaye Diagne is also expected to rock up at the Hawthorns on loan.
Let’s stay out west, specifically west London, where young Chelsea midfielder Billy Gilmour has seen the writing on the wall after Frank Lampard’s departure. Gilmour reckons a loan move is his best chance of breaking into Scotland’s Euro 202
01 squad, with his former club Rangers leading the queue. There is perhaps a cautionary tale here for Josh Doig, the young Hibernian full-back attracting interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City, among others.
With Arsenal moving up the table, Mikel Arteta can afford to relax and plan a little summer spending. Arteta is keen to bring in Celtic forward Odsonne Édouard and Brighton midfielder Yves Bissouma, and may try to tempt Eric García to join the Gunners instead of Barcelona. Arteta’s hopes of signing Lyon’s Houssem Aouar have taken a hit, though, now that Juventus have got wise to the midfielder’s availability. Lucas Torreira may be redeployed at Monaco after struggling at Atlético Madrid.
How about Manchester United, eh? Once Ed Woodward has finished wiping the tea off the Old Trafford dressing-room walls, he’ll work on clearing out the squad. Marcos Rojo wants a move to Boca Juniors, full-back Brandon Williams could be loaned to Southampton, and young forward Facundo Pellistri is set for a loan move to either Club Brugge or Alavés. As for Paul Pogba, he’s warming to the idea of staying put, and is open to extending his contract this summer.
One long-term United target that appears to have got away is Moisés Caicedo, with the Ecuadorian teenager set to join Brighton. Graham Potter also wants MK Dons full-back Matthew Sorinola to join his all-passing, no-scoring performance art project. Liverpool are also keeping tabs on lower-league talent, with 16-year-old Derby playmaker Kaide Gordon set to be their only January recruit.
Categorically not staying put is Leicester’s Demarai Gray, who has reportedly chosen Bayer Leverkusen as his next destination; another winger on the move is Everton’s Yannick Bolasie, who is off to Middlesbrough. Burnley have been told to up their £4.5m bid for Stoke defender Nathan Collins, while Scott Parker has just found Jean Michaël Seri hiding in a Craven Cottage cupboard, and will ship him off to Bordeaux tout suite.
On the continent, PAOK Salonika are partying like it’s 2014 after signing Shinji Kagawa and Baba Rahman on loan, while Udinese want Wolves forward Patrick Cutrone to partner new recruit Fernando Llorente up front. Finally, Parma think they’ve found the Man to ease their relegation fears – Romanian winger Dennis Man, currently playing for Steaua Bucharest.