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: Rashford rejected Liverpool switch
If people haven’t been talking about FIFA, they’ve probably been talking about Marcus Rashford, whose debut goals helped Manchester United out of a difficult situation in the Europa League.
The local lad, who has scored twice as United secured a huge tie against Liverpool in the next round, turned down the Anfield club as a youngster, says the Manchester Evening News.
It reports that 18-year-old Rashford, United’s youngest-ever European goalscorer, was also wanted by Everton.
But Ron Jamieson, the chairman of Fletcher Moss Rangers where Rashford cut his footballing teeth, told the paper: “He’s a United fan.”
Clubs ‘still bidding for Neymar, Messi, Suarez’
Friday was all about the FIFA election and new president Gianni Infantino, with thoughts of a new dawn for world football’s governing body and the idea that things might be about to change.
But some things don’t change, says the Mirror, which reports that Barcelona’s Neymar remains someone for whom bids continue to be made.
The paper quotes the Brazil star’s father — who has previously said Manchester United had a huge summer offer rejected — as saying other bids have been received, and turned down, this season.
“These offers are still coming, but the club are prepared to reject them,” Neymar Sr. tells Ara, also claiming his son is not the only Barca megastar for whom an enormous cheque could be written.
“These bids are not just for Neymar, but also for [Luis] Suarez and [Lionel] Messi,” he says.
But any Barcelona fans who are sleepless about the future of Neymar shouldn’t fret, he adds soothingly, saying: “Neymar is very happy at Barcelona — people don’t need to worry.”
Well, alright then.
It’s Marshall law if Howard goes
Earlier this week, it emerged that Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard’s mooted move to MLS side Colorado Rapids was becoming anything but rapid.
Nevertheless, the Merseysiders are preparing for life without the U.S. keeper and have their eyes on a replacement, according to the Mirror.
Who might that be? Step forward Cardiff City’s David Marshall, rated at £10m.
The paper says Scotland international Marshall, under contract at Cardiff until 2018, has long been admired by Everton. The former Norwich man was close to a move to West Brom in the summer, but that one fell through when the clubs were unable to agree a fee.
Ighalo speculation ‘is normal’
Clubs interested in signing prolific striker Odion Ighalo from Watford in the summer had better get ready to dig deep, Vicarage Road boss Quique Sanchez Flores has hinted.
Ighalo, whose partnership with Troy Deeney has been key to the Hornets’ fine season, has been linked with Arsenal.
And the Star quoted Flores as saying: “It’s good. I like speculation for all the players in the squad. When there is speculation about the transfer value, everything is good.
“It means every team wants the players of Watford, so we are doing something well to improve the values of the players. It is a positive when all the teams want Watford players.”
He said speculation about Ighalo was “normal” and called him “one of the best in the league.”
Ox on way to pastures new?
Arsenal are willing to listen to summer offers for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, according to the Independent.
The former Southampton attacker, who could be out “for weeks” after suffering a knee injury against Barcelona in the Champions League defeat on Tuesday, may be on his way at the end of the season, the paper says.
England international Oxlade-Chamberlain, 22, has been criticised by some observers for failing to fulfil his full potential at the Emirates, and the Independent suggests he could be heading for a fresh start.
Mahrez: Bernabeu … or bench?
Leicester, collectively, have wowed everybody this season, but if we’re talking about Foxes individuals then Riyad Mahrez is very high up the list of those with a particular wow factor — so much so that he has been linked with Real Madrid.
Manager Claudio Ranieri wants him to prove he is good enough to play for a club like Real or Barcelona — and indicated that he would not stand in the way of a summer exit for his creative, goal-scoring force if a mega-club waltzed in with a mega-offer, the Sun reports.
But the affable Ranieri has a no-nonsense side, let’s forget — and he has been swift to warn Mahrez that if his performance levels drop then the only place he’ll be going is the substitutes’ bench.
– Remember that time when Andrey Arshavin scored four goals for Arsenal in a ridiculous 4-4 draw at Anfield?
Where is he now, or where is he about to be? According to the Sun, the 34-year-old Russian is off to the Kazakhstan Premier League, where FC Kairat are in talks with him. He is a free agent after departing from Kuban Krasnodar at the beginning of the month.
– Newcastle winger Rolando Aarons “could be swapping the black and white of Newcastle United for that of Juventus,” says the Sun, quoting reports in Italy.
The Magpies may have had a season of struggle so far, but Tuttomercato claims Aarons is the subject of attention from clubs also including AC Milan and Arsenal. The 20-year-old has had a stop-start season because of injuries, making only eight appearances.
– Hull manager Steve Bruce, who has the Tigers at the top of the Championship, is eyeing permanent summer deals for two on-loan successes, the Mirror reports.
The paper says Bruce will attempt to keep on-loan Arsenal midfielder Isaac Hayden and is also looking at a permanent switch for Manchester United’s Nick Powell.