Football transfer rumours: Michy Batshuayi to Crystal Palace?

Barry Glendenning on 3 January 2019

Following his side’s stirring win at Molineux on Wednesday, Roy Hodgson confirmed that Liverpool striker Dominic Solanke will not be joining Crystal Palace on loan, despite expectations to the contrary. “It turns out there are complications, other factors involved in it, and the club decided in the end it was not the right moment for us to be doing it,” said Hodgson, who may now focus his attention on bringing Michy Batshuayi to Selhurst Park instead. The Chelsea striker has failed to impress on loan at Valencia and has previously been a Palace target, while the south London club are one of several Premier League outfits also hitching their skirts at Tammy Abraham, who has been banging them in on his secondment to Villa Park from Stamford Bridge. Hodgson has also told Jason Puncheon he is surplus to requirements at Selhurst Park and revealed the midfielder may be off to Huddersfield Town.

Free to leave Bournemouth this January in his quest for more game time, Jermain Defoe could be off north of the border to Rangers, according to the Daily Record. The 36-year-old striker has made just four substitute appearances in the Premier League this season but remains contracted to the Cherries for another 18 months on rumoured wages of £130,000 per week. Wages the Mill suspects Rangers cannot afford, so let’s watch this space.

Leicester City midfielder Vicente Iborra has been approaching random strangers on the street, telling anyone who’ll give him the time of day that he might be heading for Villarreal. “It is a possibility that is there,” the midfielder told Spanish media outlet RNE. Elsewhere, West Brom winger Matt Phillips is the subject of interest from both Cardiff City and Burnley, who are both in need of extra bodies for their respective fights to stay in the top flight. Newcastle’s Jacob Murphy is another winger in demand, but Rafael Benítez is unlikely to listen to overtures from Huddersfield or Derby County until he receives assurances that he’ll be getting some new blood into the St James’ Park dressing-room. Strasbourg’s Kenny Lala, Dijon’s Valentin Rosier, Milan’s Diego Laxalt, Borussia Mönchengladbach’s Patrick Hermann and Atlanta United’s Miguel Almirón are all reported to be on the Spaniard’s radar as he tries to convince Mike Ashley to sanction the signing of a left-back, winger and striker.

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Meanwhile in France, Paris Saint-Germain want to sign Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucouré, but the Hornets have made it clear they are not ready to sell the £50m-rated Frenchman, who was extremely fortunate not to see red for a studs-up lunge on Ryan Fraser in his side’s thrilling draw with Bournemouth on Wednesday.

Having failed to spend much time in the middle for Barcelona since signing from Bordeaux last summer, Malcom may be regretting his decision to perform a last-minute U-turn after agreeing a deal with Roma. Barcelona are ready to offload the Brazilian they signed for £36.5m and Everton are believed to be interested, but will have to fend off interest from Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, who are rumoured to have bid £45m.

And finally, Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fàbregas appeared to bid a fond farewell to Chelsea fans, in a show of emotion that fuelled speculation the midfielder is off to Monaco to play for his former Arsenal team-mate Thierry Henry. With a home FA Cup match against Nottingham Forest this weekend, the Spaniard may find himself blowing even more goodbye kisses to the Stamford Bridge faithful at around 4.50pm on Saturday afternoon.

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