CHELSEA, ARSENAL AND SPURS WANT BARKLEY
Frankly, we find this as hard to believe as the notion that every elite club wants Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but we are here to bring you the gossip and the Daily Telegraph claims that Chelsea and Arsenal are ‘monitoring the situation’ with the English midfielder, while Tottenham could make an offer as early as January.
‘Barkley, though, is currently concentrating on trying to win and hold down a first-team starting place, and will not be rushed into any decision on his long-term future,’ says the Telegraph, which makes us think that this whole story has come from Barkley’s people, who would presumably like the world to think that clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal want their man, even if Everton manager Ronald Koeman is not so keen.
The same report suggests that Tottenham will move for Wilfried Zaha again in Tottenham, while the Daily Mirror has brought up those age-old rumours about Isco and Tottenham, saying that ‘Mauricio Pochettino is a huge fan of the 24-year-old midfielder, who has yet to decide his future with the Spanish giants’.
CHELSEA WANT LLORENTE
Poor Swansea. They only have a handful of players good enough for the Premier League and now Chelsea are apparently ready to pluck one of that handful, with Spanish newspaper AS claiming that striker Fernando Llorente is wanted by Chelsea as back-up for Diego Costa. The Spanish striker is the Swans’ joint top scorer this season with six league goals and has previous experience of working with Antonio Conte at Juventus.
Conte’s lack of faith in £30m-plus striker Michy Batshauyi was perfectly illustrated on Saturday against Bournemouth with his decision to play without a striker rather than trust the Belgian. The AS report says that the Italian has already told Roman Abramovich that he wants Llorente. Poor Swansea.
HAMMERS WANT DEFOE AND DEFOE WANTS HAMMERS
We have previously been told that West Ham want Jermain Defoe and now the Daily Mirror say that the Hammers are ‘convinced the Sunderland striker wants to join them next month’. They are apparently willing to wait until the end of the window and presumably hope the English striker starts to put pressure on Sunderland to sell.
“He’s a very good player,” said Slaven Bilic on Thursday. “Defoe is scoring goals and that is important. I have a few midfielders from different countries telling me his movement is the best of strikers they have played with. He’s someone else’s player so I don’t want to talk about it.”
AND THE REST
Chelsea will try to fend off interest from Real Madrid in Thibaut Courtois by holding talks with the goalkeeper over a new long-term contract…Gerard Deulofeu is considering leaving Everton on loan after falling out of favour under Ronald Koeman…Manchester City and Chelsea remain interested in signing Virgil van Dijk from Southampton but will wait until the summer…Italian side AC Milan will move for Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas…Championship side Aston Villa want to sign 26-year-old Middlesbrough striker Jordan Rhodes – but not for the £11m asking price…Newcastle United are confident that striker Aleksandar Mitrovic does not want to leave the club…Stoke manager Mark Hughes is eyeing loan moves for Napoli striker Manolo Gabbiadini and Leipzig forward Davie Selke…Black Cats striker Fabio Borini will not be moving back to Italy despite interest from AC Milan and Roma.