The morning papers brought news of an influx of arrivals at Manchester United, but as the day has developed, three of their Premier League rivals have shouldered the Red Devils from beneath the transfer spotlight.
Dele Alli – MK Dons to Newcastle
This League One superstar has long been courted by Liverpool, Man Utd and Arsenal, but Goal.com report Newcastle have jousted the three big guns from their front row seats in the skirmish for his services.
A midfield powerhouse in the making, Alli has bagged ten goals in 22 outings for the Milton Keynes club and the Magpies believe an offer now will allow them to fend off competition from more prestigious suitors, who would prefer to wait until the summer before making a move.
Juan Cuadrado – Fiorentina to Chelsea
The Colombian’s hopes of a move to west London have collided with a €35m stumbling block.
Fiorentina are demanding the Blues fork out the full amount of his release clause before a deal is sanctioned.
Having pulled plenty of fast ones in the transfer market of late (£50m for David Luiz springs to mind) being held to ransom in such a way will undoubtedly be irking Jose Mourinho, who isn’t happy with his current five-man band of attacking midfielders.
The Portuguese plans to fund the move by selling one of them, Andre Schurrle, with Wolfsburg believed to be interested, though Cuadrado’s valuation by Fiorentina is sure to bolt a few millions onto the German’s price tag.
It’s 5/1 that the Serie A star signs on at Stamford Bridge before the close of the winter window.
Samuel Eto’o – Everton to Sampdoria
Another deal to have tripped over a root protruding from the earth but a few meters from escaping the woods of negotiation is the Cameroonian’s move to the kingdom of calcio.
Personal terms are agreed between Africa’s most decorated footballer and the Genoa-based side, but Everton have requested additional funds be paid at the last.
Such transfer tomfoolery is sure to test the Italian club’s patience, who prior to today, were convinced the switch was verging on completion.