BENTEKE FOR PSG?
Well, well, Having had two loan attempts for Michy Batshuayi turned down by Chelsea (despite Chelsea clearly not really being convinced by the perma-benched Batshuayi), PSG are ready to turn their attentions elsewhere, according to L’Equipe. Though the newspaper also claims that PSG are willing to wait until the summer to purchase back-up for Edinson Cavani.
Benteke’s agent Eris Kismet says he has had no contact with PSG and his client is focused on helping Crystal Palace fight relegation.
PSG's Patrick Kluivert may have enquired about Christian Benteke, but negotiations haven't taken place. Player is focused on Crystal Palace. pic.twitter.com/m7p58POwpd
— Kristof Terreur ? (@HLNinEngeland) January 16, 2017
PAYET CAN GO FOR £30M
West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan’s stance in the programme notes for Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace was that Dimitri Payet would not be allowed to leave this month, but The Guardian claim that his stance has since ‘softened’ and he would be willing to allow the Frenchman to move back to Marseille if they are willing to pay £30m for the player they sold for a little over £10m just 18 months ago.
Reports in France on Sunday claimed West Ham officials will meet the Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud on Monday to discuss the transfer and West Ham captain Mark Noble has said: “I am angry and disappointed, because I have always said that he is one of the best players I have ever played with. I had – and I say I had because I haven’t spoken to him for two or three weeks – a great relationship with him but I don’t know his reasons why he wanted to leave.
“I do know if someone doesn’t want to play for the team they are better off not even playing.”
‘COSTA TURNED DOWN CHELSEA DEAL’
Both The Times and The Sun agree on one thing – Diego Costa turned down an improved contract offer from Chelsea long before reported interest from Tianjin Quanjian. It seems unlikely that he wants to leave for China at this stage of his career, but he does not want to stay at Chelsea beyond this season. The Times detail: ‘Chelsea are believed to have offered Costa a five-year deal worth £200,000 a week – a £50,000 weekly increase on his existing wages – but the striker was unwilling to commit himself to the club.’
The Sun back up those claims and suggest that Costa and the club will part ways in the summer, with the Brazilian-born striker likely to commit for the rest of the season before leaving. As Andrew Dillon writes: ‘DIEGO COSTA is ready to call a truce with Chelsea and stay until the end of the season. But the unsettled striker has told pals he will not sign a new deal.’
AND THE REST
Tony Pulis has told West Bromwich Albion they need to buy in January and asked his bosses to loosen their “tight and rigid and strict” transfer budget….Real Madrid are on the verge of signing 17-year-old Swedish striker Alexander Isak – dubbed the next Zlatan Ibrahimovic…Hull forward Robert Snodgrass says he is focused on playing for the Tigers, not transfer speculation…Stoke boss Mark Hughes wants to keep forward Bojan Krkic, despite interest from Middlesbrough…Aston Villa’s French defender Aly Cissokho is set to be loaned to Greek champions Olympiakos.