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January BBC Gossip Column Debunked – Issue 14

The end of the week is upon us and that means that the back pages are brimming with rumours as the first fortnight of this January transfer window comes to a close, with that said we shall dive head first into all of the gossip on offer. Here we go.

As always – gossip in plain text, may views in bold

Liverpool are ready to join Manchester City and Manchester United in the race to sign Arsenal and Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, 29. (Sunday Mirror) Reports that Manchester City are ready to shelve plans to sign Sanchez due to the requested fee by Arsenal. Will this let Manchester United and now Liverpool into the race for his signature?

As well as Sanchez, Manchester United want to sign 29-year-old Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil from the Gunners.(Independent on Sunday) You get the feeling that this move is a more viable prospect than that of Sanchez. To sign both of them would be something of a masterstroke

United boss Jose Mourinho is prepared to sacrifice summer moves for Atletico Madrid’s 26-year-old France striker Antoine Griezmann and Real Madrid and Wales forward Gareth Bale, 28, in order to sign Sanchez on wages of £350,000 a week. (Mail on Sunday) Sanchez goes to the top of queue then, while a move for Bale goes on the backburner. That said I can still see Bale moving to Old Trafford this Summer.

The player has been given until Friday by Manchester United to sign for them or they will withdraw their interest. (Sunday Express) And with that said, I still think they will opt for Bale in the Summer.

Manchester United may have to pay Sanchez’s agent £10m as part of any deal to sign the former Barcelona player. (Sunday Telegraph) Agents are parasites

Sanchez’s family have arrived in London in preparation for his departure from the Gunners, and Manchester City are still in the running to sign him. (Goal) But what about the Dogs?

Liverpool are interested in Sporting Lisbon’s 22-year-old Portugal winger Gelson Martins, who has a 60m euro (£53m) buyout clause. The Reds are prepared to pay about half that, but have offered to multiply his salary by five. (Correio da Manha – in Portuguese, subscription required) They were reportedly keen on him in the Summer before opting for Mohamed Salah. They obviously made the right decision but could opt for the Portuguese winger second time around

Stoke are still keen on appointing Republic of Ireland boss Martin O’Neill as Mark Hughes’ replacement. (Sunday Telegraph) I just can’t see O’Neill getting back into weekly management when he has a relatively easy gig with Ireland.

If O’Neill accepts the offer, Roy Keane is likely to join him as assistant – but the former Sunderland, Leicester, Celtic and Aston Villa boss already has a verbal agreement to extend his contract with the Republic. (Irish Independent) So it looks unlikely then.

Espanyol boss Quique Sanchez Flores had agreed to take over at Stoke but changed his mind. (Sky Sports) I for one am surprised he wanted to not swap living in Barcelona for Stoke

Liverpool are ready to pay £60m for Monaco winger Thomas Lemar, 22, but the Ligue 1 club have set a £90m asking price for the France international. (Sunday Times – subscription required) Liverpool are going to have to dig a little deeper

RB Leipzig’s 22-year-old Guinea midfielder Naby Keita wants to complete his move to Liverpool – currently agreed for the summer – after Saturday’s match against Schalke. (Bild – in German) He wants to but I think RB Leipzig will hold out until the end of the season.

The Reds still have a chance of signing Schalke midfielder Leon Goretzka, despite the 22-year-old Germany international being heavily linked to a move to Bayern Munich. (Sunday Mirror) Bayern Munich usually get their man in the end and I would imagine that they will still head the queue this time around

Real Madrid have total confidence in manager Zinedine Zidane, and the Frenchman will have the job for as long as he wants. (Marca) I don’t think that will be the case if the gap gets even bigger to Barcelona, could be 19 points by the end of the day. I think he will be off in the Summer

Barcelona are considering selling five more players in the January transfer window – including 23-year-old Spanish winger Gerard Deulofeu, who is a target for Italian club Napoli. (Sport – in Spanish) The return for Deulofeu has not worked out and he has been overshadowed by other signings, looks like a return to Italy could be on the cards

Borussia Dortmund are close to signing Basel’s 22-year-old Switzerland centre-back Manuel Akanji for about £19m. (Blick – in German) A Manchester United target in the past and it looks as if they will be beaten in their bid to sign the defender

But Manchester United are still in the running to sign the defender. (Kicker – in German) Unless you want to believe this report

Nantes manager and ex-Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has hinted that Paris St-Germain and Brazil midfielder Lucas Moura, 25, has decided to join Manchester United. (Sunday Express) It is not physically possible for Manchester United to sign everyone

Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis says on-loan English defender Lewis Baker, 22, may make an early return to Chelsea. (Northern Echo) He won’t get a game at Stamford Bridge though

Watford manager Marco Silva and several players were unsettled by Everton’s interest in the Portuguese. (Sunday Times – subscription required) I have said this many a time on this website

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