Chelsea could make a surprise move for West Ham midfielder Dimitri Payet after the France international effectively went on strike in an effort to force a move away from the club.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic revealed on Thursday that Payet was refusing to play for the club anymore as he wants to leave, although conflicting reports emerged afterwards that claimed the midfielder said he was injured and went for a back scan in an effort to get out of training, rather than flat-out refusing.
According to The Sun, London rivals Chelsea could offer 29-year-old Payet the ‘big club’ move that he is keen to secure, with the Blues switching their attentions to the former Marseille player after missing out on Bayern Munich’s Arturo Vidal.
It’s claimed that Carlo Ancelotti’s refusal to sell Vidal – something that is said to have infuriated the Italian manager – has led Chelsea to consider alternative options, and after allowing Oscar and Jon Obi Mikel to leave this month, the Stamford Bridge outfit are keen to make at least one signing in January after recalling Nathan Ake from his loan spell at Bournemouth.
However, The Times suggests that Chelsea will have to fork out at least £35m if they want to sign Payet this month, although the report also states that Marseille remains the frontrunner for his signature, with the Ligue 1 club in a much stronger financial position than when they sold Payet in 2015 due to their recent takeover.
Manchester United remain keen to sell Memphis Depay, but have rejected an offer for the unwanted Dutchman from Lyon, according to ESPN. United want around £15m to allow the 22-year-old to leave Old Trafford this month, having fallen out-of-favour with Jose Mourinho, but Lyon attempted to capitalise by offering a cut-price fee for his services.
According to the report, United have rejected the offer and insisted that they will not allow his to go cheaply, given they shelled out £25m to sign him from PSV Eindhoven in 2015.
A busy week for United looks set to continue, with reports that winger Jesse Lingard has agreed a new long-term contract worth £95,000-a-week, according to The Sun. 24-year-old Lingard has impressed Mourinho this season, and after scoring in last season’s FA Cup final, appears to have been rewarded with a new deal that falls just short of a six-figure weekly salary.
The club are yet to confirm the news, although Mourinho could be quizzed on the matter when he faces the media on Friday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s Premier League clash with Liverpool.
Reigning Premier League champions Leicester City are on the verge of letting Jeffrey Schlupp leave the club in order to join Crystal Palace, with a medical scheduled for Friday afternoon. The Independent confirmed on Thursday that Palace had a £12m bid accepted for Schlupp from the Eagles, who look to have beaten West Bromwich Albion to his signature.
However, Schlupp would still prefer to join West Brom, who had three bids rejected in the summer for the 24-year-old German.
Another player who is on his way to Palace is Arsenal defender Carl Jenkinson, with Arsene Wenger confirming that he will join on a permanent deal “in the next two to three days”. Jenkinson has struggled since his return to Arsenal from West Ham after suffering a serious knee injury, and with Hector Bellerin ahead of him in the pecking order, Wenger is willing to let the former Charlton Athletic defender leave the club.
Palace are also rumoured to be in talks with former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra, although any move would certainly come as a shock and something of a coup for the south London side.
Evra is currently out of favour with Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, and Sky Italia claims that a move back to the Premier League is on the cards.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies