Football transfer rumours: Maitland-Niles to West Brom? Gordon to Liverpool?

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We begin down at the Emirates, where Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been kicking up a fuss about being placed into cold storage by Mikel Arteta. Word of the utility player’s restlessness has reached Sam Allardyce, who is desperately scrambling around for a bit of quality as he tries to rescue West Brom – and his own shiny never-been-relegated reputation – from slipping into the void. Arsenal are not against letting the 23-year-old leave on loan but they are concerned that half a season under Allardyce could send his football development spiralling and would be happier if “an unnamed current top four team” took him. If true, it’s the kind of elitist kick in the teeth that Allardyce will digest about as well as a vegetarian bhuna.

Galatasaray have no such worries about their players being readied for a relegation dogfight at the school of Allardyce and towering Senegal striker Mbaye Diagne has already completed a medical ahead of a loan move to the Hawthorns. Next up on Diagne’s list of things to do will be to watch that Ultimate Target Man video that Allardyce has presumably sent him, featuring 10 hours of Kevin Davies’ best hold-up play.

Injuries to Fabinho and Joël Matip have left Liverpool in even more dire need of a centre-back who isn’t a midfielder or a school-age teenager. So they’re going to sign … a 16-year-old midfielder, of course. Kaide Gordon, who made his debut for Derby against Birmingham in December, has not accepted a deal to stay at the Championship club and is expected to sign a scholarship contract at Anfield. As for that defender that Jürgen Klopp so desperately needs, here’s what Liverpool’s manager had to say after the 3-1 win at Spurs: “If you have a centre-half available at a reasonable price, and one with the quality we need, then send me a message.” Klopp has already said thanks but no thanks to the chance to sign Sokratis Papastathopoulos on a free.

One centre-back who might be making a move to a club in the north-west of England is Nathan Collins. Stoke City would be prepared to let the 19-year-old leave for £15m and Burnley’s new owners might be willing to splash the cash. Arsenal are also interested in the Republic of Ireland Under-21 international.

Edin Dzeko has fallen out of favour at Roma and the words is that he has been offered to both Manchester City and Manchester United. Now, it’s well-known that United love an ageing striker but that position has already been filled by Edinson Cavani and can anyone really see Pep Guardiola jumping at the chance to sign 34-year-old Dzeko? One for Allardyce to look at?

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Sergio Romero has had enough of being the Carlo Cudicini de jour at Manchester United and may try to force a move to Crystal Palace before the window shuts. Romero has not trained with United this year and is training alone in Buenos Aires in an attempt to keep fit so he has a chance of making the Argentina squad before the Copa América. Another player on his way out of Old Trafford is Jesse Lingard. United have agreed loan terms with West Ham and the 28-year-old is set for a reunion with the rejuvenated David Moyes.

And it says here that Germany will hand Bayern Munich’s Jamal Musiala, 17, a call-up to stop him playing for England. Musiala lived in Stuttgart till he was seven and then moved to Croydon so is eligible to play for either national team. He’s represented England at Under-21 level. Over to you Gareth Southgate.

EPL transfer news 2021, gossip, rumours, Liverpool FC, Chelsea, Kylian Mbappe, Erling Haaland, latest transfers, done deals

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With only a few days remaining of the January transfer window, much of the attention has already turned to what could happen at the end of the season.

And if the latest reports are to be believed, it could be full of blockbuster deals involving some of Europe’s biggest clubs and players.

It’s all in today’s Rumour Mill…

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Defensive howlers gift Reds thumping win 1:28


New Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel is planning to raid the Bundesliga even further for two more signings now he has his feet under the desk at Stamford Bridge.

Lampard brought in Kai Havertz and Timo Werner from Bayer Leverkusen and RB Leipzig respectively but neither had hit the ground running and their form was a big factor in his sacking earlier this week.

And now Tuchel wants to return to his homeland to pick up Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Bayern Munich’s out-of-contract defender David Alaba.

Real Madrid are the favourites to sign both players, with Alaba out of contract at the end of the season and Haaland having a release clause that comes into play in 18 months.

Sky Sports reports that Dortmund will be tempted to sell Haaland at the end of the season if they receive an offer greater than the £66m they would get for his buyout clause next year.

Alaba, meanwhile, is one of the hottest free agents available having rejected Bayern’s attempts to tie him down to a new contract.

The 28-year-old’s availability has generated interest from the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain as well as Chelsea.

‘He’s taken the cover off that!’ 0:39


Another young star who has entered the final 18 months of his contract is Kylian Mbappe, and he could be on the way out of PSG.

The French megastar is in talks over a new contract but has publicly suggested that he may look elsewhere to continue his career.

Should he decide against signing a new deal, Mbappe will almost certainly be sold at the end of the current season, as it will be the final chance PSG will have to get a large sale price for him rather than risking losing him for free, according to MARCA.

Real Madrid are long-term admirers of the 22-year-old and are expected to make a bid, while Liverpool are also keen as they look to revamp their front-line attack.

“I’m in a period of reflection,” Mbappe said at the weekend, after PSG’s win over Montpellier. “I want to know what I want for myself in the next few years - where I want to be.

“I’m happy here, but I don’t want to sign a contract and leave a year later.”

Premier League clubs have come out of the pandemic more financially stable than the likes of Real Madrid, but it remains to be seen where he will end up.

VAR denies Salah’s super strike 1:07


Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has revealed the role Tim Cahill played in the Gunners signing Socceroos goalkeeper Maty Ryan from Brighton last week.

Arteta and Cahill starred alongside each other for Everton and have remained good friends and the Arsenal boss has revealed he got in contact with his former teammate for a reference of Ryan’s character.

“I did speak to him obviously because I always like to have information with players, with coaches that have spent time with them,” Arteta said in a press conference.

“I got really positive feedback from Tim as well as other people. When you have reliable sources, you feel much more confident to make any decision.

“He’s settled really quickly. I was really impressed when I talked to him.

“He’s really focused, really engaged with what we want to do. He’s a very professional guy and he’s coming here to compete with Alex (Runarsson) and with Bernd (Leno). That’s the mentality and the desire that we want for any player that joins our club.”

Aaron Long loan, Kylian Mbappe approach, Shkodran Mustafi claim

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So says Ian Doyle in his Verdict. He writes:

The ecstatic scream that went up from the Liverpool players at the sound of the final whistle could probably be heard all the way back to Merseyside.

And the message Jurgen Klopp’s side had sent out to the rest of the Premier League during the previous 90 minutes was just as blaring.

Rumours of the Reds’ demise have been greatly exaggerated.

Having seen their obituary penned in some quarters after a dismal start to the calendar year, Liverpool responded with their best performance of the season to send a reminder they will still have a major say in matters at the top of the Premier League.

How it was needed after more than four league games without a goal, their proud unbeaten home run having been ended and smarting from an FA Cup exit to bitter North West rivals Manchester United.

Nobody, though, should have doubted their mentality and sheer strength of character that allowed Liverpool to shake off the recurring nightmares of dodgy VAR calls and centre-back injuries to secure a first league win since thrashing Crystal Palace 7-0 on December 19.

Rejuvenating title talk may be pushing it a bit, Manchester City clearly the favourites going into the second half of the campaign.

But Liverpool once again underlined they reserve their best for their nearest rivals, moving back into the top four and now just three points behind second-placed United after capitalising on favourable results the previous day.

This was a brave display, willing to take the game to a Tottenham side who live for the counter-attack while backing their ability to keep possession and poke holes in an admittedly under-strength home rearguard.

Not only were there huge performances throughout the team, they came from players desperately in need of an injection of self-belief.