Premier League transfer rumours: Newcastle set sights on Chris Wood
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We’re steadily nearing the halfway stage of the January transfer window as Premier League clubs continue to seek to improve their squads. Newcastle, Aston Villa and Everton are among the busiest teams with Arsenal and Tottenham slightly higher up the table also looking to recruit fresh talent before the month is up.
Newcastle are desperately looking to sign centre-backs and centre-forwards in a bid to boost their chances of avoiding Premier League relegation.
While Aston Villa are building a new-look team under Steven Gerrard with Philippe Coutinho coming in and potentially Lucas Digne to join him.
Everton have signed a left-back and a right-back and could yet bring in more additions to help out Rafael Benitez.
While Arsenal and Tottenham are both pushing for top-four and want new players such as Dusan Vlahovic and Adama Traore, and Chelsea could sign a left-back to replace the injured Ben Chilwell.
Express Sport keeps you up to date on all the latest goings on in the January transfer window with regular updates below.
Newcastle run into problems
Newcastle will prioritise overseas deals this month having found it difficult to convince their Premier League rivals into business, Express Sport’s Ryan Taylor reports in his latest column.
Eddie Howe is understood to be becoming restless in the club’s search for reinforcements but Burnley are refusing to engage in conversation with the Magpies over James Tarkowski and Chris Wood.
Newcastle have also shown interest in West Ham’s Issa Diop but the Hammers are not interested in selling the Frenchman this month due to injuries.
Furthermore, Liverpool have refused to sell Newcastle Divock Origi while Lucas Digne looks to have snubbed the Magpies in favour of a move to Aston Villa.
Talks are ongoing with Stade Reims over the signing of 19-year-old forward Hugo Ekitike, who has eight goals in Ligue 1 this season.
Newcastle have also held formal discussions with Monaco over the signing of 20-year-old centre-back Benoît Badiashile but any deal now appears unlikely after the defender picked up a muscle injury against Nantes last weekend.
Newcastle dealt Ekitike setback
Newcastle’s opening approach for Reims striker Hugo Ekitike is poised to be rejected according to Fabrizio Romano.
The 19-year-old Frenchman is a target for the Magpies as they look to replace the injured Callum Wilson.
They appear desperately eager to do so before this weekend’s must-win Premier League clash with Watford.
Ekitike has eight goals in Ligue 1 this season and is valued at £30million by the French club.
But as it stands, Eddie Howe’s side are yet to put a deal on the table that would tempt Reims into business.
Dominic Solanke, Chris Wood and Divock Origi have been mentioned as alternative targets for Newcastle.
Taylor’s Tuesday Transfers
Express Sport reporter Ryan Taylor’s latest transfer column is out now.
We’ll be bringing you snippets of the best bits throughout the day.
But if you want to read it all now instead, click here.
Coutinho could make Villa debut this weekend
Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard has also discussed his plans for new arrival Philippe Coutinho, who he hopes can make his Villa debut this weekend at home to Man United.
The Brazilian arrives on loan from Barcelona and can move to Villa Park permanently in the summer for around £33million.
He said: “Philippe is currently in the process of finalising his immigration papers and we are looking forward to getting him on the training pitch with the group on Wednesday at Bodymoor.
“He is an outstanding footballer who boasts a highly impressive CV laced with plenty of elite honours.
“I am really pleased that we have been able to bring him on board and I am looking forward to working with him.
Ronaldo and Messi at PSG?
Cristiano Ronaldo has been spectacularly linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain to link up with Lionel Messi.
The Portuguese’s return to Manchester United has not gone as planned thus far despite a decent goals return for the striker.
Le10Sport say that should Ronaldo opt to move on from Old Trafford in the summer, he could be a real option for PSG.
Their current summer priorities are Erling Haaland and Robert Lewandowski with Kylian Mbappe widely expected to depart for Real Madrid upon the end of his contract this summer.
But Ronaldo could be a surprise option in a blockbuster deal that would pair him and long-time rival Messi in the same team for the first time ever.
Gerrard hints at Digne to Villa
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard has hinted Lucas Digne could become his second signing of the January transfer window.
The wantway Everton left-back has been a target for Newcastle and Chelsea but more recently has been linked to Villa.
Speaking after the FA Cup loss to Manchester United last night, Gerrard admitted: “We are working hard on targets.
“It is not respectful to mention any names but there is no smoke without fire and we want to try and improve certain areas of our team and our squad.”
Man Utd could pull off steal of a deal
Manchester United have not made a big for Denis Zakaria but Ralf Rangnick appreciates the player.
That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, with Rangnick’s admiration of the Swiss midfielder hinting a deal could be done in the summer.
That’s because Zakaria will be going on a free in a few months’ time once his Borussia Monchengladbach contract runs out.
Four clubs are said to be working on a deal and United could enter the fray for the soon-to-be free agent given how much he could improve their midfield without a significant outlay.
Arsenal’s £150m Vlahovic agreement
Arsenal’s board are agreed that their bid to sign Dusan Vlahovic from Fiorentina will not be halted by the club and player’s demands.
The Daily Mail say that Arsenal must pay a £58m transfer fee and hand the Serbian striker pre-tax wages of £300,000 a week in a five-year deal.
Further fees of £15m are also expected to be paid to members of the player’s camp, leading to a total cost of £150m when all is taken into account.
Yet Arsenal’s board are apparently in agreement that such an outlay will not put them off in their attempts to sign the striker.
Vlahovic, 21, has 16 goals in 20 Serie A matches for seventh-placed Fiorentina this season.
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