Liverpool have reportedly had an offer in the region of £8m rejected for Southampton striker Shane Long. The Saints have recently completed a cut-price deal to sign Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin which led some supporters to wonder if they were preparing for the Irishman’s exit. Kop manager Jurgen Klopp is known to have grown frustrated with the injuries suffered by Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings.
According to the Daily Mirror, the German approached Southampton with an initial £8m offer this week but was rejected out of hand. The former West Bromwich Albion and Hull City man scored eight goals last season but it is suspected that his current employers would rather offload Graziano Pellè. The Italian is said to have attracted the interest of Juventus in recent months.
Mathieu Debuchy, the Arsenal defender, has accused manager Arsène Wenger of misleading him over his future at the Emirates Stadium. The former Newcastle man joined the Gunners for £12m in 2014 but has not appeared for Wenger’s side since 8 November. Speaking to Parisian sports newspaper L’Equipe, Debuchy said: “I would have preferred to have left last summer but the coach told me I would have my chance. It was not the case. I don't know who is responsible.
“Last year, I was injured (shoulder) and I was out a long time and [Hector] Bellerin played well. This summer, I had a good pre-season and I was ready to begin the season as a starter but the coach decided otherwise. That is competition, no problem. That is football.” Aston Villa are reportedly interested in the France international.
Atletico Madrid are entertaining the idea of re-signing controversial Chelsea striker Diego Costa, according to Spanish outlet Fichajes. The 27-year-old has endured a terrible season since lifting the Premier League title in May, struggling to rekindle his goalscoring form and allegedly suffering a heated fall-out with ex-manager José Mourinho. The report says the La Liga club, who have been hit with a similar transfer ban to the one suffered by Real Madrid, have been forced to rush their business through this month.
Diego Simeone’s men have occasionally lacked leadership this season and the enigmatic boss believes Costa could the man to restore some familiarity into his dressing room. Guus Hiddink, the interim Blues boss, is unlikely to welcome the sale of any of his strikers this winter, even Loic Remy, after bemoaning the situation at Stamford Bridge in the past fortnight.
Tottenham Hotspur are expected to step up their pursuit of Moussa Dembele despite Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic's insistence the Frenchman is going nowhere. The London Evening Standard state Spurs have been locked in discussions with representatives of the Championship outfit for some time. As he is under 24, foreign clubs would have to pay a nominal compensation fee, while the system in this country would bring in a substantially bigger transfer fee.
“This is all speculation and I want them to stay,” Jokanovic told reporters after Fulham’s 1-1 draw away to Huddersfield. “We intend to use the loan market and we are looking to bring players in. It won't be easy. We are under an embargo and can't spend money but we need to try to strengthen. This was the Fulham plan before I arrived and this is what we want to do.”
Los Angeles Galaxy have offered Ashley Cole an immediate escape from his bleak Roma stay as he negotiates a settlement with the Serie A giants. The 35-year-old has suffered mild ignominy in Italy since signing a two-year contract 18 months ago and is actively pursuing a way out of the Stadio Olimpico. According to The Guardian, Major League Soccer outfit Galaxy are the only side so far to offer Cole with a contract worth considering.
The former Arsenal and Chelsea defender would team up once more with Steven Gerrard, whom he played alongside at international level with England, if he leaves for the United States. Cole played just 11 matches for the Giallorossi last term in his 17th season as a professional footballer, bookending a career which has paid witness to three Premier League triumphs, seven FA Cup successes and a Champions League win in 2012.
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