Mamma mia, it’s-a the transfer rumours! There’s a strong Italian presence among today’s stories, with several out-of-favour stars seeking an escape from the Premier League and one talented youngster considering a move to England.
Elsewhere, China continues to cast its considerable presence over the transfer market as West Ham and Tottenham both seek replacements for players headed to the Far East.
These are the big rumours doing the rounds on Thursday.
6. Pair of Italian Left Backs on Inter’s Radar
Inter’s search for a left back has seen them linked with two Premier League outcasts who could fill that position: Matteo Darmian of Manchester United and Emerson Palmieri of Chelsea.
Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness) claims that Darmian is the favourite. His contract at Old Trafford expires in the summer, meaning that he would be a cheap option – always a bonus for a club like Inter, aiming to avoid falling foul of Financial Fair Play.
Emerson has played just 13 minutes of Premier Leeague football this season and doesn’t want to lose his place in Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad. However, his agent Fernando Garcia admits a January move is unlikely for the 24-year-old.
5. Bundesliga Hotshots Among Barcelona Targets
Barcelona are keeping tabs on some of the most in-form strikers in Europe as they begin the search for a forward who can replace the outgoing Munir El Haddadi, Mundo Deportivo reports.
Chief among these targets are two of the most prolific goalscorers in the Bundesliga this season: RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner (11 goals in 17 appearances) and Luka Jovic, who is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Benfica (12 goals in 15).
The report also mentions Celta Vigo’s Maxi Gomez (eight goals in 16), Ajax’s Kasper Dolberg (seven goals in 11), and Genoa’s Krzysztof Piatek (13 goals in 19). The dream target is Tottenham’s Harry Kane, but his astronomical cost makes a move highly unlikely.
4. Gianfranco Zola Aims to Lure Cagliari Starlet to Chelsea
Chelsea assistant manager has reportedly held ‘various phone calls’ with Cagliari midfielder Nicolo Barella ahead of a possible move to Stamford Bridge in January.
Earlier this week it was reported that Chelsea would be willing to bid £55m for the highly-coveted 21-year-old. Cagliari have maintained that they won’t sell Barella midway through the season, but an offer of that magnitude would be difficult to turn down.
Il Mattino (via Sport Witness) claims that Zola, who handed Barella his debut when he was Cagliari manager, has been in close contact with his former protégé to convince him that a move to the Premier League would be in his best interests.
3. Tottenham Keen on Hoffenheim Midfielder
Tottenham are ready to make a move for Hoffenheim midfielder Florian Grillitsch, having sent scouts to watch the 23-year-old several times this season, according to Sky Sports News.
Spurs, who did not make a single signing last summer, may be forced into action by the imminent sale of Mousa Dembele to Beijing Sinobo Guoan. Grillitsch, who has impressed with his performances for club and country, could be the ideal replacement.
Borussia Monchengladbach’s Denis Zakaria is also on Mauricio Pochettino’s shortlist, with Tanguy Ndombele, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Donny van de Beek mentioned as well, but Grillitsch’s £18m release clause makes him the most tempting prospect.
2. Bournemouth Striker Lined Up to Replace Marko Arnautovic
West Ham are preparing for the possibility of losing Marko Arnautovic to the Chinese Super League by lining up a move for Bournemouth striker Callum Wilson, according to the Daily Mail.
The Hammers are reluctant to sell their star striker, but huge wages could turn the Austrian’s head, and a £26m fee would represent good business for a player who turns 30 this year.
Wilson would probably cost in excess of £35m, but nine Premier League goals this season is the best return of any striker outside the top six. West Ham would need to move fast though, with Chelsea also eyeing a move for the former Coventry striker.
1. Manolo Gabbiadini Set for Saints Exit
Manolo Gabbiadini has reportedly agreed a move to Sampdoria and will complete his transfer to the Serie A side for a fee in the region of £10.8m.
Gabbiadini’s agent has told Sky Italia (via Sport Witness) that his client is on the verge of returning to his home country, saying: “There was a desire on both sides to come back together, now only the details and medical visits are missing and then everything will become official.”
Gabbiadini, who joined Southampton from Napoli in 2017, scored both of their goals in the EFL Cup final against Manchester United that same year, and in 2018 he scored the goal against Swansea which effectively kept his team in the Premier League.