The January transfer market enters its closing-down weekend, and business continues to be less than brisk. There may some knockdown offers around, starting with Callum Wilson – a Newcastle team short on firepower of late have decided that the sellers’ market for strikers could land them some profit and sustainability leeway.
Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United: if you want him, a player said to be unhappy with life on Tyneside, you got him – the price will be a knockdown £18m for the Cov-born penalty king. Miguel Almirón, still linked with Saudi Arabia, is said to be far happier remaining at the club. Edging out such players leaves room for other recruitment, and Morgan Gibbs-White is a player Eddie Howe would like to add to his forward line. Nottingham Forest, whom Gibbs-White captains these days, have even bigger FFP problems than Newcastle, with a Premier League judgment looming, and they may need to start selling to pick up brownie points.
Whether Manchester United want Wilson, the decision will not be up to Erik ten Hag, with Ineos’ takeover of sporting matters at Old Trafford removing him of his executive role on transfers. He likes the look of striker Brian Brobbey at old club Ajax – no surprises there – and Jarrad Branthwaite, the Everton defender, but Ten Hag must now kowtow to a transfer committee. Something on their in-tray would be the possible availability of Vinícius Júnior, as discussed on Thursday. Would that mean someone had to be shipped out? Viní’s best position looks rather like that of Marcus Rashford. A United player going out on loan could be Amad Diallo, back to Sunderland where he did well last season, only to start just once this season for Ten Hag.
Chelsea have been by no means as active as they were this time last January – for good reason – but their various sporting directors would still like to do a deal if possible. Armando Broja has been on open sale for much of this window and the club closest linked with him is Wolves, though they, like most clubs, are on the edge when it comes to financial regulations. Fulham are another club linked, and Chelsea will be lucky to get the £50m price quoted and benchmarked against Manchester United’s Rasmus Hojlund. An offer of £35m is believed to be the limit.
A possible replacement might be Aston Villa’s Jhon Durán, a player of talent though one who has had problems in playing enough for Unai Emery’s team. Villa would like to sign Middlesbrough’s Morgan Rogers, though Durán has an injury that precludes him playing for the next few weeks. After their problems with Christopher Nkunku, would Chelsea fancy signing an injured player? It seems unlikely but hardly impossible.
Other possibilities? Emerson Royal to depart Spurs for Al Nassr, home of Cristiano Ronaldo? The player would like to stay in north London. And Lautaro Martínez, the Internazionale striker, is said to fancy a move to La Liga as his new contract remains unsigned.