While the agents of Steven Pienaar, Joseph Yobo and James McFadden have been waiting anxiously for a call ever since David Moyes was unveiled as West Ham manager, their phones seem unlikely to ring any time soon. Having had a couple of days to familiarise himself with his new surroundings, the Scot is already being linked with three new signings in the January transfer window and – amazingly – none of them are Everton old boys.
Bournemouth’s Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter is top of a Moyes’s shopping list that also features the names of Sporting midfielder William Carvalho and sulking Sunderland central defender Lamine Koné. Despite arriving at the London Stadium just last summer, £24m flop Marko Arnautovic will be sold to help contribute towards the cost of the new additions. Yet to register a goal or an assist since his arrival, it is safe to say the Austrian will not be missed.
Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff has accidentally let slip that Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka has already agreed a deal to make his way to England next summer, leaving those of us who peddle often baseless tittle-tattle scratching our heads and wondering which club he’ll be joining. Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have all been chasing the 22-year-old from Bochum, while conflicting reports say he’d rather play in La Liga should Barcelona come calling.
The Rumour Mill has often been accused of having delusions of adequacy, spurious allegations we’re always quick to deny. Nevertheless, it seems yesterday’s speculation that Arsenal are hitching their skirts in the direction of Nabil Fekir has spurred Barcelona into action as they see the Lyon playmaker as a cheaper alternative to his Liverpool counterpart, Philippe Coutinho.
Eden Hazard has put the fear of God in Chelsea supporters by appearing on Belgian TV channel RTL to issue what is bound to be interpreted as a come-and-get-me plea to Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane. “I do not know what will happen in my career in the future,” said the scampering midfield maestro. “However, for sure, to play under Zidane would be a dream.” Spanish sports weekly Don Balón have done little to assuage the fears of the Stamford Bridge faithful by announcing that Zidane is eager to get rid of Gareth Bale and replace him with Hazard. You Tottenham fans can stop sniggering at the back, by the way: Zizou is still keen on luring Harry Kane to the Spanish capital.
With his career at Manchester United more stagnant than the most neglected pond, Luke Shaw has been offered an escape by Turkish club Fenerbahçe, but will turn the chance of moving to Istanbul in the hope that his former mentor Mauricio Pochettino will find a spot for him in the Tottenham Hotspur dressing room. Meanwhile at the Etihad, the HR department are speedily drafting up a contract for Lazio central midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic in the hope of landing the Serb in January. Sergej, according to the back of his shirt, is valued at around £60m and is also a summer target of Manchester United, Real Madrid and Milan, but City plan to wipe their rivals’ collective eye by swooping six months earlier. Both Manchester clubs and Chelsea are also preparing to duke it out for Roma and Italy midfielder Lorenzo Pellegrini, who has a release clause just north of £22m in his contract.
Having apologised for the tantrum he threw upon learning he would not be featuring in the Everton team that beat Watford last Sunday, Kevin Mirallas will not decide on his future until the club appoint a new full-time manager. Stoke City striker Peter Crouch doesn’t have the air about him of a man prone to throwing his rattle out of the pram, but makes little or no secret of his frustration at not getting more game time from Mark Hughes. Nevertheless, Stoke chairman Peter Coates has suggested that Crouchy will be offered a new contract and hopes the big man will sign it.