Towards the city grounds where 23-year-old defender Jonathan Panzo returns from a loan spell at Cardiff City, where he made five appearances.
Well done, Michael. Let’s see what the afternoon has in store for us…
Okay, I’m going to go to lunch a little early now.. My colleague Stephen Flynn kindly intervenes. I will leave you for a moment in his capable hands. Cheers!
This was mentioned in the Rumor Mill but Brentford is exploring a loan possibility for Sergio Reguilón. The Bees’ first-choice left-back Rico Henry is out with a long-term knee injury and Reguilón is available, having returned to Spurs in January from Manchester United. With Destiny Udogie the undisputed number 1 at Tottenham, I think this is a deal that could easily happen.
We talked about Jordan Henderson returning to Europe from Saudi Arabia, and there are also rumors about Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian has not scored for Al-Alhi in 18 matches in all competitions since scoring a hat-trick on his debut, and is currently struggling for minutes despite his bumper salary.
Chelsea are reportedly turning to Firmino, with the Blues struggling to find striker options. Christopher Nkunku is injured again, Armando Broja has scored a league goal this season and Nicolas Jackson has been inconsistent (and currently at Afcon), although I think the Senegalese has been unfairly judged.
Karim Benzema, now 36, is also making headlines. The Frenchman was not included in Al-Ittihad’s mid-season camp in Dubai, but Benzema’s camp insists he is stuck in Mauritius, where he was on holiday, due to a tropical storm. He is apparently not on the best terms with coach Marcelo Gallardo, although it was the same for Cristiano Ronaldo at Al-Nassr with Nuno Espírito Santo, and he is the coach – not the player – who was kicked out. The other factor regarding Benzema is that I’m not sure anyone in Europe can match his salary at Al-Ittihad and comply with FFP.
Dier was also asked about his living situation. Harry Kane lived in a hotel with his family until Christmas, remember.
Dier was asked if he would be moving into Harry Kane’s new Munich mansion.
I don’t know if there’s room there,” he replied. “I haven’t been there yet but he invited me so I’ll definitely go.” But I don’t think I’ll stay there. He has a lot of kids so I know it’s very busy. I don’t want to add to this work.
Eric Dier took a bit of a beating this weekend for what appears to be a German accent in his first interviews with Bayern. Obviously other Englishmen abroad have been guilty of this in the past – Joey Barton at Marseille, Steve McClaren at FC Twente.
But I think it’s actually a pretty smart and nice thing to do, to slow down the speech, to make it easier to understand. I consider this unconscious kindness, even though most Europeans have at least a basic knowledge of English.
It is also worth noting that Dier is fluent in Portuguese, due to his childhood in Lisbon. I would expect him to speak German very quickly, he seems like a smart guy. Also, from the video above, I didn’t know Dier was born in Guildford. The internet seems to think he was born in Cheltenham, before his move to Portugal.
Hannibal Mejbri landed in Spain and will be revealed very soon as a Sevilla player. He showed glimpses of talent at Manchester United and could certainly become one of the best midfielders at Sevilla. It is a loan deal with a purchase option of 20 million euros, although Fabrizio reports that after an initial verbal agreement, Manchester United requested a possible buyout clause on Sunday.
We are waiting for the official confirmation of the transfer of Valentin Barco at Brighton, who paid the £8 million release clause to Boca Juniors. What a superb deal for a brilliant young left-back. When Pervis Estupiñán was injured, James Milner replaced him and did a good job. Barco is a great second option for Roberto De Zerbi. PSG and Manchester City were interested, but Brighton were the first to act.
Monday means one thing at Guardian HQ: Talking points about the Premier League.
A new striker at Old Trafford would cast serious doubts on the future of Anthony Martial. I feel like I’ve been typing this sentence for years. Martial is 28 now and has only scored two goals in 19 matches this season. Despite this, West Ham, Inter Milan and Fenerbahce are all keen on the Frenchman, who is said to have rejected approaches from Saudi Arabia.
What is really interesting in Guirassy is that he scores different types of goals. Left foot, right foot, dinks, headers, tap-ins, when he passes on goal and from long range. There is obvious talent here. The video below from the start of the season (where she started with 15 goals in nine league matches) is good proof of this.
Stuttgart’s Serhou Guirassy has a release clause of just €17.5m. Only Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappé have scored more goals than the Guinean striker in Europe’s top five leagues, so it is understandable that there is interest from abroad. West Ham are in desperate need of a striker, with Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta and Michail Antonio all injured.
However, Manchester United are lurking and could compete for Guirassy. Rasmus Højlund has failed to live up to expectations, Marcus Rashford is struggling and once again the club is looking for a short-term solution. Where is Odion Ighalo when we need him?
It should be noted that Guirassy is 27 years old. He has been a regular striker at best throughout his career, but has had a mammoth 2023-24, scoring 19 goals in 18 appearances in all competitions. He benefited hugely from a change in tactics at Stuttgart, who narrowly avoided relegation last season. This year they are third, just behind Bayern, with Guirassy as the focal point of the attack, ahead of three attacking midfielders. He’s not a child prodigy or an irrepressible young talent. He is a vastly improving striker who fits very well into his current tactical system. The question is whether this form could persist in a different system, a different team, a different country. I think he would be a great buy for West Ham. For Manchester United, I’m not so sure.
The Rumor Mill is live and do God’s work.
Monday morning in the UK sees us reach the halfway point of the January transfer window. There is a lot to discuss. West Ham’s need for a new striker. That of Tony Mowbray new enthusiasm for Birmingham City buffet. West Ham’s need for a new striker. The Brighton Prodigies. Oh yes.
We’ll start with Jordan Henderson. He is apparently not happy in Saudi Arabia and is eager to return to Europe – he is tired of “growing the game” after six months there. His club, Al-Ettifaq, don’t want to lose the 33-year-old, and that’s fair enough, as they signed him to a three-year contract in July.
However, Ajax have been linked with Henderson and manager John van ‘t Schip spoke to ESPN last night, insisting there had been “serious discussions” with the midfielder.
Serious discussions are underway with Henderson. He still has things to sort out in Saudi Arabia. This could be a great match. It’s no secret we could really use this type of player. Other guys can benefit from it.
Let’s see if there are any other developments today.