Football transfer rumours: Chelsea to sign West Ham’s Andy Carroll on loan?

Nick Ames on 5 January 2018

The days gradually begin to lengthen, the Christmas decorations come down and Antonio Conte is still fidgety about the size of his squad. Will he resort to recalling one of Chelsea’s 33 loanees? No, there’s a much better plan: succeed where they failed in August and nail Ross Barkley’s colours to the mast.

Given Everton’s association with blue and white that should not be overly difficult: they may even get him for a cut-price fee of around £15m, with the Toffees scrambling to get something for a player who is out of contract this summer and – because of the hamstring injury that scuppered his proposed move in 2017 – is yet to be involved this term.

Now they’ve got the scent for it, will those in the Stamford Bridge corridors of power sanction a further move? Perhaps even for Andy Carroll, who appears to have timed his annual star turn perfectly and could provide Barkley with some much-needed company if he arrives from West Ham on loan – hopefully on the pitch rather than the treatment table.

Talking of strapping centre-forwards, Newcastle are in desperate need of some extra cojones and Watford, seemingly, quite keen on losing some. So a move north-east for Troy Deeney may make sense, as Marco Silva prefers to ride with Bournemouth’s Benik Afobe in his unstoppable journey towards being the best manager the Premier League has ever seen.

Roy Hodgson is far less fashionable but on rather better form; that won’t stop him making tweaks to the Crystal Palace squad this January, and he is close to adding the Ipswich goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski to his ranks for a mooted fee of around £4m. Bialkowski has his eye on a World Cup place with Poland; that, of course, relies on Julián Speroni not making a stunning late charge for Argentina’s No1 spot.

Another Championship star could move on for rather bigger cash. Fulham’s Ryan Sessegnon – who scored past Bialkowski twice on Tuesday night – is being watched by Paris Saint-Germain, who are ready to move decisively for the thrillingly gifted 17-year-old. They could pay £30m for the youngster, who is already a mainstay in the second tier and, although generally playing at left-back, packs quite a punch further up the pitch. That would disappoint Tottenham, whose interest has been long-standing, and also Manchester United.

They’ll live. But how will La Liga’s basement side Las Palmas survive if their prize asset hot foots it to the sunlit uplands of, you guessed it, Burnley? Jonathan Viera has caught Sean Dyche’s attention as he looks to add a little creative je ne sais quoi/no se que to his robust ranks. Rafa Benítez has similar thoughts though – will Newcastle pip the Clarets to a £17.8m move?

Finally, news that a quick-witted, richly talented attacker is on his way out of Liverpool! That would be Ben Woodburn, and he’s only off on loan – with second-tier strugglers Sunderland, managed by his former national team maanger Chris Coleman, front of the queue to give him five months in the school of hard knocks.

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