Saturday is matchday meaning football fans throughout the land require some sustenance before wrapping up and heading out, so tuck in to some elevenses folks, it’s chilly out there.
Our daily digest of transfer news features a trio of teams whose combined ambitions are to offer their potential new recruits Champions League football next season, beginning with Liverpool.
Ezequiel Lavezzi (above) – PSG to Liverpool
This is the rumour that keeps on filling column inches, but has failed to yield any significant updates in some time, until now that is.
PSG manager Laurent Blanc is reportedly incensed that Lavezzi chose to go AWOL when he should have been reporting for a winter training trip to Morocco.
The former Manchester United defender has publicly stated he now wants shot of the Argentine forward this month, so all Liverpool need do is pick up the receiver.
Asier Illarramendi – Real Madrid to Arsenal
Arsene Wenger’s search for a world-class defensive midfield lynchpin has often seen the Gunners linked with Real Madrid’s World Cup winner Sami Khedira.
However, fresh reports by Spanish newspaper Marca indicate that the focus of this hunt may have shifted, leading the Frenchman to approach the Champions League winners over Illarramendi instead.
The Spaniard has yet to find a consistent slot in Los Blancos’ first XI under Carlo Ancelotti, while Lucas Silva’s imminent arrival also applies more pressure for places in the engine room.
Fabian Delph – Aston Villa to Tottenham
Aston Villa are in a lose-lose situation over their best midfielder, who has refused to extend a contract set to run out in the summer.
Even with the spectre of relegation looming over the Villains, the club would rather face the impending dogfight without Delph in their ranks than miss out on a transfer fee altogether.
The 24-year-old has long been a mooted target of both Liverpool and Tottenham, with the latter supposedly the England man’s destination of choice.
Villa have set the bar at £4m minimum.