Life comes at you fast, as the Mill can attest. It seems like only yesterday that the summer transfer window was slammed shut, Adrien Silva left pawing at the glass like a flustered commuter. Back then, Raheem Sterling spent deadline day as a reluctant makeweight in the Alexis Sánchez saga. Now, he’s stalling on a new Manchester City contract until the summer, with Real Madrid lurking ominously.
With an eight-point gap to Barcelona and a pitiful seven trophies in the last two seasons, Real Madrid will spend big in January, or else. Eden Hazard remains perpetually on their radar, but he has company among the Chelsea ranks in goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. More realistic, if less catchy, names on Zinedine Zidane’s wishlist include Real Sociedad’s Alvaro Odriozola and Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
One man who won’t be off to the Bernabéu any time soon is Neymar – according to his former Barça team-mate, Luis Suárez. “I know what Neymar is like and the admiration he had for Barcelona. I don’t see him now going to play for Real Madrid,” Suárez told Marca in an interview that will surely age like a fine wine. Barcelona are still searching for that missing Brazilian magic, and want to hurry along moves for Gremio midfielder Arthur Melo and Palmeiras defender Yerry Mina.
Spurs have gone a bit Spursy of late, and Mauricio Pochettino wants to shore up his side’s midfield with the addition of Valencia’s Geoffrey Kondogbia. The bad news: he’ll have to wait until next summer, with the Spanish side thought to have first refusal on the Internazionale loanee. Pochettino will at least have some cash to spare after selling Danny Rose to Manchester United, who are also keen on snaffling Leon Goretzka from Schalke on a pre-contract agreement.
The next couple of months could be tough for Rafa Benítez, with Newcastle skidding down the table and the status of any takeover deal as clear as a glass of egg nog. The Spaniard’s shopping list has an optimistic look, with Porto goalkeeper Iker Casillas pencilled in at the top. Turkish hot-shot Cenk Tosun has been hurriedly crossed off, after Besiktas vice-president Deniz Atalay valued the striker, who is also wanted by Crystal Palace, at a cool £88m.
“The press expect me to sign a [Ousmane] Dembélé in each transfer window. I’m being put on an incredibly high pedestal.” Transfer supremo Sven Mislintat isn’t loving life at Arsenal, but has at least figured out that Theo Walcott isn’t much cop. The winger is to be sent back to Southampton, or over to West Ham, post haste. David Moyes is also keen on Russia striker Fyodor Smolov, who is primed to score the World Cup’s opening goal before quietly slipping into obscurity.
Finally, not one but two done deals – Giuseppe Rossi has signed for Genoa, while former Liverpool and Juventus player Momo Sissoko has joined Atlético San Luis in the Mexican second division. The Mill spoils you, it really does.