Koeman reveals Austin was his #1 target

Ronald Koeman has revealed that Charlie Austin was Southampton’s “number one target” this month.

Saints tied up a £4million for the striker on Saturday, stealing a march on a number of other Premier League sides.

And Koeman, speaking after his side’s 3-0 win over West Brom at St Mary’s, said he was delighted to have Austin on board.

“I hope he brings goals,” the Dutchman said. “That’s the reason he was our number one target. We need a player like him.

“Everybody knows his numbers and he’s still [just] 26.

“It’s good to have him in now… good for his adaptation so we are also prepared for next season.

“We’re trying to make the squad stronger and stronger. I’m very pleased Charlie is a Southampton player.”

Asked about Austin’s fitness, Koeman added: “He’ll have tests on Monday so we know.

“The most important thing is that he’s ready physically.”


Norwich to sign Klose

Norwich have agreed a deal to sign Timm Klose, the Wolfsburg defender, according to ESPN FC.

The Canaries have reportedly had an £8million bid for the centre-back accepted.

Klose, 27, is a Swiss international but has made just eight Bundesliga appearances this season.

It is claimed he wants to leave the club for regular football during the second half of the campaign as he bids to cement his place in Switzerland’s Euro 2016 squad.

Done deal? Timm Klose is reportedly on his way to Norwich


Townsend in Newcastle talks

Newcastle and Tottenham are in talks about a potential transfer for England winger Andros Townsend.

The 24-year-old hasn’t played for Spurs since October and isn’t in manager Mauricio Pochettino’s plans.

He is expected to command a fee in the region of £10million.

Newcastle have already made one big signing this month, snapping up Jonjo Shelvey from Swansea for £12million.

On the move? Andros Townsend could join Newcastle this month


Arsenal legend: I was screaming out for Elneny signing

Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas says he was screaming out for Arsenal to sign a player like Mohamed Elneny.

The 23-year-old joined the Gunners from FC Basel this week and Nicholas believes he is the hard-hitting midfielder the club have been lacking in recent years.

“Elneny is a perfect fit for Arsenal and someone I’ve been screaming out for,” Nicholas told Sky Sports.

“At the start of the season Arsenal needed two positions filling, goalkeeper and a holding midfielder. They signed Petr Cech but never filled the other position, which was a bit of a mistake for me.

“Coquelin is robust and competitive and gets booked a lot, Mikel Arteta is not the player he was and Mathieu Flamini has done really well but he’s too similar to Arteta. Eleneny fills that void.”

New boy: Mohamed Elneny completed his move to Arsenal earlier this week


Man United line up British record James Rodriguez bid

United are reportedly lining up a £60million bid for Real Madrid playmaker James Rodriguez.

The Colombian has started just seven La Liga matches this season and the Sun claim he could be tempted by a move to Old Trafford.

Rodriguez moved to Real Madrid the same summer Angel Di Maria left the club to join United for £59.7million.

And it appears the Red Devils are ready to raid the Bernabeu club again for another of their star players.

Big money: United are reportedly ready to smash the British transfer record to sign Rodriguez


Jota pens goodbye letter to Brentford fans

Jota has penned an emotional goodbye letter to Brentford supporters after joining Spanish side Eibar on an 18-month loan.

The 24-year-old is returning to Spain with the intention of resolving an unspecified personal problem.

Brentford have the opportunity to recall him from the loan deal during either of the next two transfer windows.


City recall Evans

Manchester City have recalled midfielder George Evans from Walsall.

Evans moved to the League One side in October on an initial one-month loan before extending that deal.

He scored three times in 12 appearances for the Saddlers.


Shirt number news

Charlie Austin will wear the No.28 shirt at Southampton.

The striker has agreed a four-and-a-half year deal at St. Mary’s.

He will not be involved against West Brom today but is set to be paraded on the pitch before the game.



Brentford’s Jota has joined Eibar on loan.

The switch is a bizarre one with Jota also agreeing a contract extension at Griffin Park, with his current deal expiring in 2017.

His loan in Spain is set to last 18 months, where he could then return to Brentford for a further season.

Make sense? No, us neither.

But Jota’s move back to Spain is required so he can work through personal issues.

Boss Dean Smith said: “I have found Jota to be really conscientious and I am understanding of the human nature of the personal issues he has been facing.

“I am disappointed that I will not get the opportunity to work further with his talent but the bigger picture for Jota is more important.”


North of the border

Celtic are closing in on FC Midtjylland defender Erik Sviatchenko.

The Scottish champions have agreed a £1.5m deal with the player set to undergo a medical today.

Sviatchenko, 24, has already won four caps for Denmark.

Meanwhile, Celtic striker Anthony Stokes is close to re-joining Hibernian on loan.

Stokes moved to Parkhead from Hibs back in 2010.


Ashley Cole is heading out of Roma.

The former England left-back moved to Italy in the summer of 2014 but has struggled for opportunities.

Cole’s contract expires at the end of the season but Il Tempo reports he has agreed to terminate his contract.

LA Galaxy are keen on the former Chelsea man and a move to the States looks to be on his card.


Could Pelle be on his way?

Southampton risk star striker Graziano Pelle returning to Italy after delaying talks over a new contract.

Pelle – wanted by both Juventus and Fiorentina – is into the final 18 months of his current deal, when the Saints would usually begin discussing an extension.

But manager Ronald Koeman has revealed those negotiations will not take place at least until the summer.

He said: “Graziano’s situation is different to other players because he will be 32 this year and that is difficult.

“It is too early to conclude about his future. Maybe that will happen in the summer, maybe after.”


View from the Saints

Les Reed, Southampton’s Executive Director of Football, said: “We are very happy to be able to welcome Charlie to the club.

“Coming after Wednesday’s morale-boosting home victory, this signing is an indicator of our intent to finish the season strongly and continue the progress we’ve made in the last few years.

“Charlie shares that ambition. He has a fantastic goalscoring pedigree, but remains hungry to improve and develop as a footballer – something that convinced him that Southampton is the ideal next step in his career.

“Having had a taste of Premier League football and his first call-up to the England squad last season, he is determined to establish himself at the highest level of the game.

“Bringing Charlie here is a show of the club’s commitment to its plan for future success through investment in talent with a desire to grow and develop.”


Austin on Saints move

“I’m delighted to have got it over the line so soon into January. I can’t wait to get started now.

“As soon as Southampton showed an interest that was the one club I wanted to go to.

“You see the progression from when I was playing against Southampton for Swindon. For me, it was important to come to a club that’s on the up and that’s what I’ve got here.”


Southampton sign QPR’s Austin

And there it is.

Southampton have confirmed the signing of Charlie Austin for a fee understood to be in the region of £4million.

Austin scored 18 goals in a rank-bad QPR team last season. That is an absolute steal.


Robins target Pearson

Bristol City have made Nigel Pearson their top target to replace Steve Cotterill.

The Robins axed the 51-year-old on Thursday following a poor run of results that leaves them languishing in the bottom three.

John Pemberton and Wade Elliott have been placed in temporary charge of the Championship strugglers, but they have already started the search for Cotterill’s successor.

Pearson, who was given the boot by Leicester last summer, is favourite for the Ashton Gate post.

However, former Reading boss Steve Clarke, Garry Monk and Uwe Rosler are also being considered for the job.

City take on league leaders Middlesbrough today searching for a first win in seven games.


Byram not involved for Leeds

Leeds youngster Sam Byram has been left out of the squad for today’s clash with Sheffield Wednesday.

The full-back is in huge demand with Everton having agreed a fee earlier this week.

Byram is set to travel to Merseyside on Monday to discuss a move but Everton face competition.

West Ham and Newcastle are said to be keen with Roberto Martinez insisting a switch is a long way off.


How much for Neymar?

We all know PSG have got huge amounts of money to spend.

And they’ll need it too, if they are to land Barcelona superstar Neymar.

Their interest in the Brazilian was reported earlier this week after the player finished third in the Ballon d’Or.

But according to SPORT, they will have to cough up a staggering €400MILLION to get him.

Neymar’s minimum fee release clause stands at around €190m, with PSG required to offer a salary of around €20m-per-season net (€40m gross).

It all appears a bit far-fetched with Barca surely unlikely to let their No.11 depart for any price.


Howard heading back to the States?

Tim Howard is a target for a move back to the MLS, according to the Express.

The Everton stopper has come in for criticism this term after a series of disappointing displays but was back to his best against Man City in midweek.

Howard’s current deal expires in 2018, when he will be 39, and has made no secret of his wish to end his career in the States.

Colorado Rapids are said to have made a big-money offer with Roberto Martinez recently admitting the player may not be at Goodison come next season.


Austin to Southampton?

Big news on the south coast this morning.

According to those pesky Sky sources, Charlie Austin is on his way to Southampton.

The striker is out of contract at QPR in the summer and the R’s don’t want to lose him.

It is claimed Austin could move for as little as £4m, with the striker having reportedly already agreed personal terms and passed a medical.

Does that mean Shane Long is on the move this month? One to keep an eye on.


Yarmolenko wanted by Arsenal?

Arsenal have reportedly opened talks with Dynamo Kiev ahead of a potential swoop for Andriy Yarmolenko.

The winger is valued at £20.5million by the Ukrainian club according to Portuguese outlet A Bola.

Yarmolenko has scored 13 goals racked up eight assists for Kiev this season.

Everton are also keen on the Ukraine star and his agent has reportedly been spotted at Goodison Park this season.

Roberto Martinez has refused to rule out a move but Champions League football would give Arsenal the edge.

Arsenal sealed their first January signing on Thursday, with midfielder Mohamed Elneny finally completing his move to the Emirates.


No go for Haller

Norwich’s move for Sebastian Haller has reportedly fallen through.

The French Under-21 international seemed to be on his way to Carrow Road with Norwich beating off competition from Villa and Sunderland.

But now according to the Mail, the deal if off.

Haller arrived at Carrow Road earlier this week but is said to have had a change in heart.

The Canaries also face competition for Steven Naismith from Swansea, although Roberto Martinez admitted a deal was close to being agreed this week.


Could Stevan Jovetic be heading back to England?

The Montenegrin striker is currently on loan at Inter Milan from Manchester City but has fallen out of favour in recent weeks.

After a bright start, he has featured just 13 times and Corriere dello Sport claim his time with the club could be coming to an end.

And now Tottenham and West Ham are considering loan moves for the striker – should he return to City.

Fiorentina and Galatasaray are also said to be keen on the 26-year-old.


Spurs to lose starlet?

Tottenham could be about to lose defender Milos Veljkovic, according to the Mail.

The 20-year-old has been tipped to become a first-team regular at White Hart Lane but has made just two first-team opportunities.

Veljkovic returned to Spurs after loans with Middlesbrough and Charlton but his progression seems to have stalled.

His current deal expires at the end of the season and Spurs want him to stay put – but Veljkovic has other ideas.


Charlie Austin

Age : 26

£££ : £6m

A more left-field option Austin was a scoring sensation in a rank-bad QPR team last season and showed signs he has many of the tools required to step up to the next level.

With just six months left on his deal at Loftus Road, Austin’s asking price has plummeted meaning the Rs would likely do a deal around £6m or £7m.

A slightly troublesome injury record is the only caveat which has seen a number of teams test the water only to look elsewhere.

May be a gamble but could be one worth talking with Klopp sorely in need of goals.


Saido Berahino

Age : 22

£££ : £15m

Perhaps the most likely of all Berahino is itching to get away from the Hawthorns with manager Tony Pulis apparently equally as happy to see him go.

The England U21 international hasn’t hit the heights of last term yet after seeing his “dream” move to Tottenham collapse at the 11th hour in the summer and has mostly been seen kicking his heels on Albion’s bench of late.

Chairman Jeremy Peace is a notoriously tough nut to crack and won’t let Berahino leave on the cheap – but if the Reds want him bad enough they can get him before the month is out.


Jamie Vardy

Age : 29

£££ : £15 m

The Premier League’s premier goalgetter Vardy is a man in demand and would, without doubt, be a big upgrade up top for Liverpool.

In the form of his life the England forward would surely command a king’s ransom should Liverpool go in for him, and that is where this one looks more of a long shot than a sure thing.

The Foxes are unlikely to want to part with their main man in January – regardless of the amount of money waved at them – leaving the Reds likely to look elsewhere.


Shane Long

Age : 28

£££ : £10m

The Southampton striker is apparently on Klopp’s radar and certainly appears on the surface to fit exactly what the German likes in his players: energy, and bags of it.

Republic of Ireland international Long would surely relish the chance to test himself higher up the league – sorry Saints fans – and would definitely add some versatility and hard running up top for the Reds.

That said, despite sporadic goal gluts Long has never been the most consistent and might be a little too hot and cold for Klopp’s liking.


5 strikers Liverpool could turn to

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has admitted he may be forced into the January transfer market for striking reinforcements.

The goal-shy Reds have only scored 25 goals in 21 games with most of Klopp’s offensive options sidelined with injury.

“We don’t have too many striking options that is true,” he said.

“It is the same with the centre-halves. Martin (Skrtel) will be a few weeks still. Dejan (Lovren), not fit. Mama (Sakho), problems. Kolo (Toure)? Experience. Very experienced! But he is great.

“So then we had to do something. We are always watching the offensive ends for what we can do. Probably, maybe or never. Then we have to make decisions about where we want to go.”

So who could they turn to?

Inaki Williams

Age : 21

£££ : £15m

The Reds have had the 21-year-old forward watched at length this season and the Spanish U21 international would certainly add the pace the Reds front line sorely lacks right now.

Bang in form Williams has already found the net 10 times this season prompting admiring glances from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham as well as Liverpool.

Bilbao, notoriously difficult negotiators at the best of times, are working on a new deal for Williams which is likely to include a big mark up on his release clause meaning now may be the best time for the Reds to swoop.


New deal talks for Stones

Everton are ready to open talks with John Stones over a new deal, reports the Liverpool Echo.

The England defender appeared likely to leave Goodison Park last summer with Chelsea leading the race for his signature.

Everton rejected four bids that came their way and are ready to reward Stones with an improved deal once the window closes.

The Blues are also ready to discuss new contracts with Mo Besic and Bryan Oviedo.

Besic has been excellent in recent weeks after returning from injury while Oviedo remains a favourite at Goodison Park.


Saints risk losing Pelle

Southampton risk star striker Graziano Pelle returning to Italy after delaying talks over a new contract.

Pelle – wanted by both Juventus and Fiorentina – is into the final 18 months of his current deal, when the Saints would usually begin discussing an extension.

But manager Ronald Koeman has revealed those negotiations will not take place at least until the summer.

He said: “Graziano’s situation is different to other players because he will be 32 this year and that is difficult.

“It is too early to conclude about his future. Maybe that will happen in the summer, maybe after.”

Pelle, signed from Feyenoord at the start of last season, has been kept out of the team by a knee injury in recent weeks but is still Saints’ nine-goal top scorer ahead of Saturday’s clash with West Brom.


A deal right down the football pyramid this morning.

FC United of Manchester have completed the signing of George Thomson from Chester.

Thomson who previously plied his trade with Nottingham Forest, has been on loan with the non-league outfit.


New deal for Willian

Chelsea midfielder Willian is keen to sign a new deal at Stamford Bridge.

The Brazilian has been the stand-out performer in a disastrous season for the Premier League champions.

Willian is three years into a five-year deal at Chelsea after arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013.

He told the Sun: “The club knows exactly how I feel. I am very happy here. it was always my dream to come here when I was playing in Ukraine the realisation of a dream. I want to stay.

“But at the same time my head is calm I am just going to see how things go. I’m happy.

“I tend to not get involved in that side of things too much. I leave it up to my agent to deal with it but the club knows exactly how I feel.”


Debuchy heading for Villa?

Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy is heading to Aston Villa, according to reports in France.

The 30-year-old has struggled for opportunities this term and Villa boss Remi Garde has made no secret of his interest.

He previously said: “I had a conversation with Arsene a few days ago about some of the players and Mathieu Debuchy was among these players.

“It’s too early and it won’t help me or anyone to go forward in this style to make too many more comments.”

According to l’Equipe, the deal is all but done with Debuchy joining Villa until the end of the season.


Reds target Williams

Liverpool are weighing up a move for Athletic Bilbao’s Spanish sensation Inaki Williams this month.

Jurgen Klopp is closely monitoring the 21-year-old forward as he considers bringing in more firepower in the January window.

Klopp has been left short of options due to Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi’s injury problems while Christian Benteke has yet to convince since his £32m summer move to Anfield.

Lightning-quick Spain under-21 starlet Williams, the fastest player in La Liga, has scored 10 goals in 21 games for Bilbao.


Garcia on the move

A done deal in Australia.

Former Liverpool legend Luis Garcia has secured a move to Central Coast Mariners in the Hyundai A-league.

The Spaniard announced his retirement from football in January 2014 but returned a few months later for Atletico de Kolkata in the Indian Super League.


Swans reject Ayew approach

Swansea City have rejected an approach from Sunderland for forward Andre Ayew.

The Ghanaian scored and won a penalty when the two sides met at the Liberty Stadium in midweek to pique the interest of Black Cats boss Sam Allardyce.

It is believed Sunderland were readying a £12million bid for the former Marseille man, who joined the Swans on a free transfer last summer.

The 26-year-old has been one of the few success stories of a miserable season for the Welsh club, leading their scoring charts with seven goals.

Having already sold Jonjo Shelvey to one relegation rival in Newcastle, Liberty Stadium chiefs are not prepared to countenance moving on another player, particularly with Alan Curtis’s side chronically short of goals.


Arsenal gossip round-up

Arsenal have reportedly opened talks with Dynamo Kiev ahead of a potential swoop for Andriy Yarmolenko.

The winger is valued at £20.5million by the Ukrainian club according to Portuguese outlet A Bola.

Yarmolenko has scored 13 goals racked up eight assists for Kiev this season.

Arsenal sealed their first January signing on Thursday, with midfielder Mohamed Elneny finally completing his move to the Emirates.



Liverpool gossip round-up

Liverpool are considering a surprise bid for Southampton striker Shane Long, according to reports.

The Sun claim Jurgen Klopp could swoop for the former West Brom striker, with a number of his current forward options either injured or out of form.

Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge are both long-term fitness concerns, and Christian Benteke is yet to prove himself at Anfield.

Should Klopp decide to swoop for Long, an £8million offer should do the trick.



Manchester United gossip round-up

Dynamo Kiev manager Sergei Rebrov has had his say on rumours linking defender Aleksandar Dragovic with a January move to Manchester United.

Reports this week say the 24-year-old will move to Old Trafford before the end of the transfer window.

However, Rebrov believes Dragovic is committed to Kiev’s cause.

“Is Dragovic going to Manchester United? I doubt Dragovic reads those stories or that he gives any meaning to all that is written about him,” he said.

“I talk with Alex a lot. He is an absolutely decent man. Now he has a goal, he wants to play in the Champions League playoffs [against Manchester City] for this team. After that? Only God knows.”



Saturday’s newspaper gossip round-up

Let’s start with a look around today’s newspapers.

After five day’s graft it’s time to sit back and enjoy a cracking weekend of football, with Sunday’s clash between Liverpool and Manchester United the biggest game on the slate.

But as well as all the on-the-pitch action we’ve still got plenty of transfer talk to fit in, as the window starts to heat up.

With more than two weeks remaining before the window slams shut, there’s plenty more time for feverish speculation, tweets about players you’ve never heard off and ludicrous last-minute deals.

So without further ado, HERE are the top stories from Saturday’s newspapers:



Good morning ladies and gents, how are we all doing? What are you doing up at this time on a Saturday?! Oh yeah, all that lovely transfer news, of course.

Yes, we’re at the half way point of the window now and deals are gathering pace.

Arsenal and Liverpool have already got some business done this month with others lower down the table also busy bees in bringing new faces in.

With time running out others are sure to follow to get deals over the line.

We will have all the latest news, views, rumour and innuendo for you right here throughout Saturday so don’t touch that dial.

Without further ado, in the immortal words of Steven Gerrard, we go again …


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