THAUVIN BACK TO FRANCE
…and he might be joined by one of his Newcastle team-mates. After struggling to acclimatise to life in the Premier League since moving in the summer, Florian Thauvin has been linked with a move home.
According to French daily L’Equipe, Thauvin’s former club Marseille are interested in taking the winger back on loan this winter. The Frenchman left the Ligue Un club for £13million (plus a Remy Cabella) in the summer, but has made just three starts in the Premier League.
As well as Thauvin, Yoan Gouffran could be heading down the well-trodden path from Newcastle to France. Lille want him, apparently. Weirdos.
It’s not just the English press who are at it in this January transfer window, you know?
There are claims emanating from Spain that Lionel Messi and Pep Guardiola could be reunited. At Manchester City? No. At Manchester United.
According to Spanish daily Marca, sportswear giant adidas are ‘prepared to dig deep’ to ensure both Barcelona legends find their way to Old Trafford in the summer. It is adidas’s ‘impossible dream’, they add.
The claims are attributed to ‘several sources in the United Kingdom’. The only problem is that we can’t find any of the ‘several’. There are stories saying the same, with the Daily Express one of the first on these shores to do so. But they, just as the others do, slap a big fat ‘according to Marca’ in the middle.
So Marca publish a story on Messi and Guardiola joining Manchester United, saying that their source is ‘sources in the United Kingdom’. The UK media then publish the same stories, attributing their claims to Marca. A transfer rumour plucked from absolute thin air.
Even more brilliant is that the last line in Marca’s story includes the claim that ‘Pep Guardiola has already chosen Manchester City as his next club,’ according to numerous sources. Lovely.
Remember the summers of 2013 and 2014, when Toni Kroos infiltrated the psyche of the English transfer rumour mill, before laughing at everyone and joining Real Madrid? That was great. Well, after a brief hiatus, he’s back again.
The typical outlets have jumped on this one – the Daily Star, the Metro, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Express – with reports emanating from Fichajes.net. That’s quite the pedigree in transfer bullsh*t, ladies and gentlemen.
Anyway, according to reports from the Spanish website, Kroos is unsettled at Real Madrid, and his representatives have been sounded out by three clubs offering safe haven. Fichajes claim that Kroos is unhappy with his lack of playing time at the Santiago Bernabeu, having been dropped by former coach Rafael Benitez.
Here’s the first problem. Kroos has started 17 games in La Liga this season; only two of his team-mates have started more. He has played more minutes than all but Cristiano Ronaldo, Keylor Navas and Luka Modric. And now Zinedine Zidane, a fan of his, has been appointed as boss.
That does not stop Fichajes, of course. They do add that Zidane’s appointment ‘considerably decreases’ the chances of a departure for the World Cup winner, but they continue valiantly. The three clubs who have approached Kroos are Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain. They are each willing to offer around £37million, and will provide Kroos with a yearly salary of £4.5million. How they would ever attain information surrounding such values is a mystery, not to mention the fact that they themselves pretty much add that Kroos ain’t leaving.
The Daily Star interpret this news with the following headline: ‘Chelsea open talks with £40m Manchester United and Liverpool target.’ When were Liverpool mentioned?
REDS WANT ODEGAARD
Another blast from the transfer past to finish off; Liverpool want Martin Odegaard.
The Reds were one of 427 clubs chasing teenager Odegaard this time last year, with the Norwegian eventually plumping for Real Madrid. The midfielder turned 17 only last month, and despite making his La Liga debut last season, there remain a minority who are confused at his lack of playing time. He’s 17. What were you doing at 17? Don’t answer that.
According to Spanish daily Marca (sorry), Liverpool have approached Real with regards to a possible loan move for Odegaard. The Spanish club have rejected the offer, and insist there is no possibility of Odegaard leaving in the near future. That’s that, then.
AND THE REST
Manchester United have joined the chase for Sporting Lisbon striker Islam Slimani…Alexandre Pato would prefer to join Chelsea over Liverpool…Manchester United are close to signing 24-year-old Austria centre-back Aleksandar Dragovic from Dynamo Kiev in a £16m deal…Remi Garde is close to signing Bordeaux defender Lamine Sane as he bids to strengthen his Aston Villa squad…Tottenham and West Ham are on red alert after reports in France claimed Wissam Ben Yedder is ready to force a move out of Toulouse this month…Stoke City are preparing a bid for Saido Berahino and think they can beat Tottenham Hotspur to the West Brom striker’s signature…Saido Berahino may have to stay at West Brom for the rest of the season as Tottenham are unwilling to pay the £23m they offered for him last summer…Liverpool, Real Madrid and AS Monaco remain locked in a three-way battle over 17-year-old Monaco forward Kylian Mbappé…Everton scout Ian Atkins checked on Leeds United right-back Sam Byram during Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat by Ipswich Town…Watford believe they are in pole position to sign Malaga keeper Carlos Kameni, who is also wanted by Bournemouth…Bournemouth are among clubs to have asked about taking Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts, 18, on loan.