The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Manchester United ‘have eyes on Zlatan’
The possibility of a whole new dimension of entertainment lies before us with the news that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be heading for the Premier League in the summer.
Zlatan’s agent Mino Raiola, tease that he is, tells us that the PSG superstar, whose contract expires in the summer, has already decided what his next move will be — but he isn’t going to let us know until the end of the season.
But French newspaper L’Equipe, quoted by the Mail, has said he could be on his way to Manchester United, one of several European clubs reported to have expressed an interest.
The report says the United powers that be believe Ibrahimovic would be the right sort of experienced name to help develop the career of former Monaco striker Anthony Martial.
But — unsurprisingly — there will be competition for the 34-year-old. One of his former clubs, AC Milan, remain interested in bringing him back to the San Siro, while a switch to Arsenal has also been mooted as an outside possibility.
The Mail reports that United sources “played down talk of a move” on Friday night, but adds the caveat that the Old Trafford club “have targeted older, high-profile players in the past, having signed Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich last summer.”
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic, though, can tell us one thing Zlatan won’t be doing — and that’s moving to West Ham.
The Mirror quotes him as saying Ibrahimovic is a star beyond the Hammers’ reach.
“We are moving to a new stadium,” Bilic says. “We are doing well, but Ibra is out of our league, unfortunately. If he leaves Paris, I don’t know where he is going to go — but I can’t see him coming to West Ham.”
Herrera today, gone tomorrow?
The Sun reports Louis van Gaal is a goner after United’s “pathetic” Europa League performance at Anfield on Thursday — and he’s not the only one heading through the exit door.
The paper reckons the arrival of Jose Mourinho as LVG’s successor is now a certainty, with the ex-Chelsea boss having reportedly drawn up a list of players he wants to sign in a “massive rebuilding job.”
– Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) 11 March 2016
But one player who probably won’t be part of that still-hypothetical new Manchester United era is Ander Herrera, who the Sun reports could “deal the club a massive blow by packing his bags and quitting.”
Herrera, who has been unable to establish himself as a regular since arriving from Athletic Bilbao, has played only 18 times in the Premier League this season and, the paper says, “is becoming increasingly frustrated with the Dutchman’s constantly changing tactics.”
Atletico Madrid and Juventus are both reported to be interested in bringing in the 26-year-old, who is believed to be keenest on a return to Spain should he bring an end to his time in Manchester.
But Juventus, readying themselves for another summer of bids for the perpetually sought-after Paul Pogba, want Herrera — and, the Sun says, could table a tempting offer to stave off Atletico’s interest.
Bruce could be man to refurbish Villa
Now here’s an interesting one. Let’s suppose that, as reported, Hull City manager Steve Bruce could be tempted to take on the gigantic challenge of revitalising Aston Villa’s fortunes. What might he need?
A hefty transfer kitty for starters, says the Daily Mirror, which says current manager Remi Garde’s “short-lived reign is doomed to end this summer with the club virtually certain to go down.”
Bruce, who once managed Villa’s arch-rivals Birmingham, is likely to want a total shake-up of the squad — and shipping out plenty of players would raise the funds to bring in new blood.
Micah Richards, Charles N’Zogbia, Idrissa Gana, Jordan Veretout, Jordan Ayew, Brad Guzan, Joleon Lescott, Kieran Richardson and Adama Traore could all go, the Mirror says, either bringing in transfer fees or freeing up space on the wage bill.
And if the last player out of Villa Park could switch off the lights, that would save a few extra pounds as well.
– Manchester United have confirmed a deal for American youngster Matthew Olosunde, the Daily Star reports.
The paper says the defender, from New Jersey, signed from New York Red Bulls in January but the the deal has only been announced now after international clearance was obtained. Olosunde, 18, can play either on the right or in the centre of defence and has been added to United’s academy squad.
– It seems so long since Peter Odemwinge‘s transfer deadline-day drive to QPR for a move that turned out not to be. Now he’s at Bristol City, having arrived on loan from Stoke — and Robins boss Lee Johnson is pretty pleased about that.
Johnson said: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to bring someone of Peter’s quality in. He’ll provide us with experience, and hopefully goals. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
– Huddersfield have signed Wolves winger Rajiv van La Parra on loan until the end of the season, with the deal becoming permanent in the summer.
Van La Parra, 24, whose contract with the Terriers will run until 2019, makes the move for an undisclosed fee.