Football transfer rumours: Pulisic in, Hudson-Odoi out at Chelsea?

Barry Glendenning on 31 December 2018

Not long now. At 12.01am, as the final drunken renditions of Auld Lang Syne echo through the dark winter UK night (other time zones are available) and assorted folk make life-improving resolutions they almost certainly won’t keep, the January transfer window will open for business. We’ve had some belters over the years: Afonso Alves to Middlesbrough, Jimmy Bullard to Hull City and Kostas Mitroglou to Fulham, to name just three who flopped spectacularly having surfed from one club to another on a New Year wave of optimism. But for every Giannelli Imbula to Stoke, there’s a Luis Suárez to Liverpool and so it is that football fans approach this time of year with understandably high hopes of what the month ahead might hold in store.

Sitting in front of a croissant, glass of orange juice and cup of coffee on Sky’s Sunday Supplement yesterday morning, German journalist Raphael Honigstein told his fellow guests that it is his “understanding” that Chelsea are the only club to have made a concrete offer for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic, despite rumoured interest from Liverpool and Manchester United.

“Dortmund are looking to see if there are other offers coming in as you would, but it is kind of agreed that the player will move in the summer definitely because he still has a year to run on his contract,” said Honigstein, who knows his Bundesliga onions and bratwurst, although speculation elsewhere suggests the USA international could move sooner. With Pulisic set to make the move from Germany to England, Callum Hudson-Odoi will move the other way and may be able to pick his pick of teams with both Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig understood to be after him.

Cardiff City remain hopeful of signing Nathaniel Clyne on loan from Liverpool, who have already set the wheels in motion on a deal to send Dominic Solanke to Crystal Palace for the rest of the season. The striker has coughed, opened his mouth wide and said “Awwww!” for the Selhurst Park medics and his move may be finalised today. Yet to start a match for Tottenham this season, blue-eyed Spanish striker Fernando Llorente will head for pastures new at Galatasaray. Spurs left-back Jaden Brown has also been deemed surplus to requirements, with a move to Huddersfield Town being mooted for the 19-year-old whose contract expires at the end of the season.

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Meanwhile at Goodison Park, Mason Holgate is reported to have undergone a medical at West Brom ahead of a loan move to the Hawthorns, while the future of Manchester City midfielder Brahim Díaz remains up in the air. Out of contract in the summer, the 19-year-old is being courted by Real Madrid. “I know they are in conversation but I don’t have any new information about the situation,” said Pep Guardiola on Saturday. “I was clear last week when I spoke about it. We do everything to keep them [young players] but they decide.” Pep is also in hot pursuit of Real Betis left-back Junior Firpo.

Barcelona have released a statement in which they clutched their pearls at the very notion they might have tapped up unsettled Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, but conceded they have made a legal approach. They’re also sniffing around recent Rumour Mill staples Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, who look certain to leave Ajax for the Spanish side in the next few weeks. And finally, Valencia are going to chance their arm with a cheeky January bid for West Ham fox in the box, Javier Hernández.

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