Having watched his Manchester United side take on Bournemouth with a giant void up front where a hungry striker should be, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has made it a priority to bring in a proper No 9 this January. And to make the winter transfer window more enjoyable for the club’s fans than actually watching his team play, he will try to get one over on Liverpool while doing so. Timo Werner has been linked with a move to Anfield for so long we suspect he was being watched by club scouts when he was weening – and when a move to Bayern Munich fell through last year, Liverpool jumped to the top of the queue to sign the Leipzig goal-guzzler. The thing is, Solskjær will try to sweet-talk the 23-year-old into a move to Old Trafford instead by telling Werner that he will play every week at United, whereas if he signed for Liverpool, he’d become a Carabao Cup cameo man like Rhian Brewster. Werner would only cost United his £27m buyout clause, too, which would make him that rarest of things at Old Trafford: a good value signing. What a time to be alive!
There is the possibility that Werner will just choose Liverpool anyway, because who wouldn’t want to be hugged regularly by Jürgen Klopp? If this happens, Solskjær may nip in ahead of Milan to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a short-term deal till the end of the season. This would be ludicrous but at least it would free up money for a midfield reinforcement – and at the top of United’s wishlist is West Ham’s ball-winning tempo man Declan Rice. But get this, the Hammers want £80m for him. Oof!
Mauricio Pochettino has decided Hugo Lloris might not be very good any more – and what better time to replace him than when he’s on the sidelines nursing a dislocated elbow. Ajax’s André Onana impressed Tottenham’s manager last season and would be the No 1 target but he’ll cost £35m – and this is Spurs we’re talking about.
We may have to put up with José Mourinho’s punditry for longer than we would like after Max Allegri jumped to the top of the shortlist to succeed Niko Kovac at Bayern Munich. And rumour has it that Unai Emery has been given a month to save his Arsenal job and the Gunners would not be in a hurry to hand Mourinho the keys to the Emirates Stadium in any case.
Despite not having a manager, Bayern Munich still have the hots for Manchester City’s convalescing winger Leroy Sané. It was expected the German champions would have to bid up to £85m to lure him away from the Etihad Stadium but Bayern believe an offer of £69m will land them the 23-year-old, who will have only 18 months remaining on his contract this January. City could use a slice of the money they get from selling Sané to bring in Rodrigo Bentancur from Juventus. The powerful midfielder would cost around £35m but Barcelona are also sniffing around Turin and may be the Uruguay international’s preferred destination.
Brendan Rodgers is keenly aware that the in-form Jamie Vardy’s football party can’t go on for ever. He’s fast approaching 33 and could fall apart at any minute. So Leicester have sent scouts to Metz to look at Senegal striker Habibou Diallo. The 24-year-old has earned glowing reports, having scored seven goals in 11 games for the French club. Newcastle have also been monitoring the striker, which means the Foxes are surely favourites to sign him.
Adam Lallana is expected to take his suitcase full of Cruyff turns to the Chinese Super League or MLS when his Liverpool contract ends next summer. And Jack Rodwell’s agent is certainly earning his corn. After almost landing the much-mocked midfielder a move to Roma last week, the 28-year-old is now in talks with Serie A side Parma, whose sporting director Daniele Faggiano wants a player with a “strong engine”. Get yourself revved up, Jack!