Having secured their first signing of the January window in agreeing a £12m (and rising) fee for Atlético Madrid and England full-back Kieran Trippier, Newcastle hope to further bolster their hopes of avoiding relegation by bringing an injury-prone Welsh midfielder to Tyneside from Turin. Speculation abounds that Aaron “Rambo” Ramsey could swap the black and white stripes of Juventus for those of the slightly less decorated English club, although reports he has turned down an approach from Burnley because he wants to sit in the physio room of a more high-profile club suggest Newcastle’s owners will have to dig deep in a bid to turn his head. Ramsey has also been linked with a return to Arsenal and could share a taxi from Luton airport to their nearby St Albans training ground with his Juve teammates Dejan Kulusevski and Arthur Melo.
Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Arsenal have formally bid the thick end of £45m (plus the £15m-rated Lucas Torreira) for Fiorentina’s 21-year-old Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic, who already has 16 Serie A goals to his name this season. A player in big demand across Europe, Vlahovic seems happy enough where he is for the time being. “Only God knows what will happen in the next period,” he said recently. “My desire is to take Fiorentina to Europe, because we haven’t been in Europe for a long time. We’ll see.”
Chelsea, West Ham and yes, you’ve guessed it, Newcastle are all interested in liberating French left-back Lucas Digne from his Everton purgatory, but will have to pay up to £30m to get their man. “The most important thing for me is having players on the pitch who want to be there,” said beleaguered Everton boss Rafa Benítez after dropping Digne and playing right-back Séamus Coleman in his position in defeat against Brighton on Sunday, in a state of affairs that suggests the player will be shown the Goodison door this month unless his manager goes first.
Manchester United central defender Axel Tuanzebe’s season-long loan to Aston Villa has been brought to a premature end after Villa boss Steven Gerrard refused to give the 24-year-old assurances he’d get game time in the second half of the season. He’ll be off to Napoli. Arsenal midfielder Ainsley Maitland-Niles is another young buck who could be Serie A-bound and may wrap up his loan to Roma on Wednesday.
Having been forced to read an entire paragraph without seeing their club being linked with anybody in today’s Mill, Newcastle fans will be pleased to learn that Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa wouldn’t be adverse to a move to St James’ Park despite the resident club’s lowly league position, but is also wanted by goal-shy Wolverhampton Wanderers. Depending on your news outlet of choice West Ham definitely do or do not want the 25-year-old Brazilian international, but are reported to have definitely cooled their interest in Adama Traoré.
Aymeric Laporte could become the latest player to tread the well worn path between Manchester City and Barcelona, with the Catalan club apparently prepared to send Frenkie de Jong the other way in a swap deal.
And finally, rumours abound that the worrying number of preening, self-regarding and under-performing divas who currently occupy the Manchester United dressing-room continue to scoff at the notion that they might be in any way responsible for their poor performances and are already plotting a mutiny against recently-appointed manager Ralf Rangnick, with whom they are reported to be underwhelmed.