Chelsea turn down Diego Costa swap with Jackson Martinez; Liverpool eye Denis Cheryshev; Manchester United battle Leicester for Ahmed Musa

See if your club are making the moves they need to push on in the final half of the season

Atletico Madrid have failed with an audacious late coup after Chelsea turned down the option of selling Diego Costa in a player exchange deal which would have included Jackson Martinez, according to reports this morning. 27-year-old Costa signed for the Blues from the Vicente Calderon club just 18 months ago for £32m and has scored six goals in as many games under interim manager Guus Hiddink. 

But the cracks left behind in former boss Jose Mourinho’s wake, typified by stagnant performances and very public sulking, remain hard to ignore. This hasn’t been a vintage year for the Spain international and speculation has subsequently been rife about his future. Atletico boss Diego Simeone, the Daily Mirror says, is desperate to take Costa back to the Spanish capital and would even be prepared to lose Martinez, whom he only signed from Porto last summer, to facilitate the transfer.

Chelsea are believed to have turned down the cash-plus-player offer immediately, however, and remain insistent Costa is going nowhere – especially at such short notice.

Liverpool could yet make a showpiece deadline day signing as their efforts to secure Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk appear to stall. Jurgen Klopp is on the look-out for a stellar addition to inject life into the Reds’ season but the Ukrainian outfit appear unwilling to do business this month. While there is hope at Anfield that a deal could be struck before Big Ben chimes tonight, other targets have been earmarked as a contingency.

Klopp has, according to AS at least, turned to Real Madrid’s Russian ace Denis Cheryshev. Zinedine Zidane, the Real manager, confessed yesterday that the 25-year-old could leave the La Liga giants before the winter window’s deadline passes this evening. The Frenchman said: “We'll see tomorrow but yes, Cheryshev could leave. He's a great player but he needs to be playing regularly. The most important thing for him is that he gets minutes. He is a hard-working player and he needs to be building up playing time. I wish him the best. If he has the chance to leave, I’d be delighted for him. We’ll see what happens tomorrow.”

Ahmed-Musa.jpg
The CSKA forward Ahmed Musa who has scored seven goals for his club this season

Premier League leaders Leicester City are continuing their efforts to sign a new striker, with Chelsea’s Loic Remy and CSKA Moscow forward Ahmed Musa chiefly among their thoughts. The Foxes have recently offloaded £7m hitman Andrej Kramaric on loan to Hoffenheim, freeing up a space in Claudio Ranieri’s strike-force in need of filling. Jamie Vardy, the top-flight’s top goalscorer, has so far been supported by either Shinji Okazaki or Leonardo Ulloa.

One man who is likely to leaving his current club, irrespective of the destination, is Remy. The Frenchman has been pushed yet further down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the arrival of Alexandre Pato on a temporary deal from Corinthians. The former Newcastle United striker has been linked with a return to St James’ Park but Leicester have reportedly tabled an £11.5m offer. 

Manchester United, meanwhile, hope to steal a march on Ranieri’s side in their pursuit of Musa, the powerful Nigeria forward with 35 goals in 113 appearances for CSKA. The Daily Mirror speculate that Leicester have had two offers, equating to £15m and £18.7m apiece, rejected by the Russian outfit but remain optimistic of agreeing a deal in time. The Foxes’ transfer record, currently in the region of £9m for Ulloa, would likely be smashed should they succeed in luring Musa to the King Power Stadium.

Louis van Gaal, the United manager, would like to bring in attacking reinforcements to spearhead his team’s fight to qualify for the Champions League. Currently five points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, that objective is still viewed as a very realistic target by the Old Trafford hierarchy despite their stuttering form under the Dutchman this term.

10-Saido-Berahino-Reuters.jpg
Saido Berahino scores the first of his two goals against Peterborough

Saido Berahino, the unsettled West Bromwich Albion striker, is being targeted by up to three Premier League suitors this morning. According to the Daily Mirror again, Newcastle are joined by Tottenham and Stoke City in making late bids for the former England under-21s forward. The report states that Berahino, in line with other accounts, wishes to join Mauricio Pochettino at White Hart Lane but the Baggies are stubborn to sanction a deal after their fall-out with Spurs in the summer.

Tony Pulis, the West Brom manager, has previously expressed his willingness to keep Berahino at the Hawthorns despite the player’s apparent desire to leave. Newcastle, meanwhile, are growing increasingly frustrated in their attempts to bring in a new striker. The Toon are understood to have valued attacking cover among their most important objectives this month but have thus far failed to tempt either Berahino, Remy or Swansea City’s Bafetimbi Gomis to the North East.

Comments