Newcastle, eh? Depending on who’s holding court, either a sickening oil-backed behemoth-in-waiting, or a club freed from its Sports Direct-branded shackles, and now flourishing with a manager getting a tune out of an astutely-assembled band of players not completely weighed down by stardust.
Maybe this month could mark a sizeable shift from the latter towards the former, with the club hoping to reinvigorate their previous interest in James Maddison. The creative Leicester and England man, currently sidelined with a “mystery knee injury”, was the subject of a failed £50m bid in August, and pre-knack showings may result in the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund needing to trouble the club’s record transfer, last summer’s payout of £59m for Alexander Isak. But could Martin Dubravka, recalled by his club after just two Carabao Cup appearances on loan at Manchester United, be of interest as a makeweight?
Meanwhile, Danny Murphy thinks Everton, who are now third from bottom of the Premier League, should take Kelechi Iheanacho off Brendan Rodgers’s hands, but he probably doesn’t get much of a say in these kind of things. More concrete is the Merseyside club’s interest in Villarreal’s Senegal forward Nicolas Jackson, though fellow relegation-worriers Southampton look like their ducks are a little more aligned for the 21-year-old winger, possibly on loan with a commitment to stump up £27m at a later date.
Another Dutch renaissance could be in the offing at Liverpool, if Jürgen Klopp follows the signing of Cody Gakpo by getting re-interested in Atalanta’s defensive midfielder Teun Koopmeiners. With all tedious metrics demonstrating that energy has ebbed markedly from the pressing game that has served Klopp’s side well in recent years, the 24-year-old Netherlands international could bring a bit of the yeps back to replace current yips.
Germany’s teenage sensation Youssoufa Moukoko has been, in a term that will never not feel slightly wrong, “tracked” by a host of clubs including Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool. With Borussia Dortmund keen not to lose their young forward for free in the summer, a move is surely imminent, with Barcelona mooted as most-likely of six or seven seemingly plausible destinations.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s frustrating time eyeing Diogo Dalot’s coat-tails at Old Trafford could soon be at an end, with Wolves and West Ham both extremely interested, while a beckoning and beaming Patrick Vieira could be the romantic/admission of failure option at his former club Crystal Palace. Before anyone gets too excited, however, Manchester United are mulling whether they need to sign a replacement reserve right-back, or whether young options already at the club, including the predominantly-left-sided Brandon Williams, can do a job.