PSG may replace Ibrahimovic with Sturridge; Arsenal join Gotze chase
The winter window might have shut, but the rumour mill rolls on. As always, Transfer Talk has its finger on the pulse when it comes to the latest rumours and gossip. See the latest deals here.
TOP STORY: Sturridge making move to Paris?
Whatever will Paris Saint-Germain do if, and seemingly more likely when, Zlatan Ibrahimovic leaves the capital for a new club? That's easy enough, they'll just snatch up Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge to fill his boots, according to the Sun.
The Sweden international has been linked with a move away from PSG by just about every outlet under the sun and, on several occasions, Ibra himself. One likely destination for the 34-year-old could be the Premier League, the current home of his potential replacement.
Sturridge has struggled with injury for much of his career, but this season has taken that struggle to a whole new level with the England international missing the bulk of Liverpool's 2015-16 campaign. With a squad overhaul expected this summer at Anfield under Jurgen Klopp, it remains to be seen if Sturridge fits in.
It's also worth asking, why would PSG want to take on a striker whose talent is without question, but whose inability to stay out of the treatment room is so well documented? Regardless of where Sturridge ends up, for football fans, the best outcome would be to see the 26-year-old able to put in a full season for club and country. He's really that good.
Arsenal to block Gotze's Merseyside move
More here from "as the Klopp turns," with German outlet TZ reporting that Liverpool's mooted summer move to reunite Mario Gotze with his former Dortmund manager could be in jeopardy.
The offending party? Arsenal, says the outlet, with the Gunners ready to jump into the Gotze fray and match any offer Liverpool might make for the 23-year-old. Gotze has endured a frustrating campaign thus far, battling injury while only featuring in 12 matches for the Bavarian giants.
There's more potentially bad news for Gotze on the homefront anyway, with TZ also reporting that incoming boss Carlo Ancelotti (see below) doesn't see the German international as part of his plans once he takes over the reins for the outgoing Pep Guardiola.
It's hard to say which direction Gotze's career is heading at this point. But at only 23, with a World Cup winning goal to his credit, and enough talent to attract the interest of one of the world's top clubs in Bayern, one would think he'd be worth a chance. Whether he's worth the reported £31 million pounds required to take that chance is up to his wealthy suitors to decide.
Arsenal teeming with turnover
In pursuit of Gotze or not, it's going to be a busy summer in North London if The Times are to be believed.
Per Mertesacker has 12 months to run on his current deal, but Arsenal are reportedly unwilling to offer the German new terms until he can prove his fitness and form next season, when he'll be 32. That's still better than many, though. Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and Tomas Rosicky are all "resigned to leaving after not being offered new deals," and Kieran Gibbs and Mathieu Debuchy are likely to be made available.
Manager Arsene Wenger will be handed £75 million to replace that lot and strengthen his Gunners side, The Times reports, but the club's goal will be to retain their core players: Santi Cazorla, Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil, Jack Wilshere and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
After a season as disappointing as 2015-16 has been for Arsenal, it's little surprise that whispers of personnel changes are beginning to emerge. This summer will reveal just how discontented Wenger really is with his squad.
Ancelotti reunited with Chicharito
Not sure how much this factors into the transfer rumour mill, but Javier Hernandez was spotted with Carlo Ancelotti, his former manager at Real Madrid, in Vancouver on Wednesday. Ancelotti is currently living in the Canadian city until he begins his new role as Bayern Munich manager, and Hernandez is there for Mexico's upcoming CONCACAF World Cup qualifier vs. Canada.
Ancelotti said in his Tweet the meeting with Chicharito was a nice reunion with "a great player and great person." Perhaps the Italian manager has an eye on bringing the Mexico international over to the Bayern squad from his current team Bayer Leverkusen? Seems unlikely, but it wouldn't be the first time Transfer Talk went down that road.
Conte to determine Ake future
Antonio Conte hasn't been confirmed as Chelsea manager just yet, but The Telegraph are reporting that the Italian tactician will decide the future of left-back Nathan Ake this summer.
The 21-year-old has impressed this season on loan at Watford, but insists that he would prefer a return to Stamford Bridge rather than spend another season at Vicarage Road. But with the London club historically wary of handing minutes to their youth players, Conte may look to sell the left-back or send him out on loan once again.
The latter would be preferable, with Chelsea still smarting from Ryan Bertrand's blossoming at Southampton, and perhaps Borussia Monchengladbach would make for a suitable destination as the Premier League champions negotiate to cut short Andreas Christensen's two-year loan deal at the Foals. With the likes of Liverpool and West Ham linked with £10m bids, another loan or a return to Chelsea appear the most likely of options.
- Juan Mata says he'd be happy to play alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic next season if the Sweden international moved on from Paris Saint-Germain. Ibra has been linked with a possible move to Old Trafford in recent weeks.
- A source has told ESPN that Arsenal have offered rising star Alex Iwobi an improved deal, following his impressive showing in a 2-0 win vs Everton last weekend. The 19-year-old scored his first Premier League goal in the match and also turned in a good showing in the Gunners' Champions League second-leg loss to Barcelona.
- Yesterday's transfer column had a bit on a possible move for Alvaro Morata from Juventus to Arsenal via a buy-back by Real Madrid (got that?). At the very least, there was a half-truth in there, as the Spain international confirmed that a move back to Madrid was a "real possibility."