That’ll do for today. Thanks to everyone for keeping me company and for sending in your wish-lists. And thanks to those of you who wrote in with answers to our quiz question. In case you’re late and want to play along, here’s the bran teaser below (scroll through the posts to find the answer):
The January transfer window was first introduced in the Premier League back in 2003 – but who was its most expensive signing?
The big stories today focussed on Wayne Rooney’s sacking, Sergio Reguilón’s return to Tottenham and Atalanta procuring the services of Isak Hien. Oh, Jenni Hermoso joined Mexico’s Tigers, which shows that winners continue to win despite the awful obstacles thrown at them.
Thanks ya’ll. We’ll be back tomorrow.
In case you missed it, here’s the write-up on Sergio Reguilón’s return to Tottenham after his loan spell at Manchester United came to an end:
We also have an interactive page covering the women’s transfer window.
It’s pretty quiet so far, with only a handful of undisclosed fees to speak of. But be sure to keep an eye on things over here:
Time for another dip into Ed Aarons’ piece on the top 10 transfer bits this January.
Bournemouth’s Lloyd Kelly has been a stalwart at the back and hasn’t signed a contract extension. Should the Cherries cash in?
The Bournemouth defender has impressed many clubs with his composed performances over the past 18 months and has stalled on extending a contract that expires in the summer. Liverpool and Tottenham are believed to have shown interest in the 25-year-old, who is understood to have been offered a bumper new deal to stay. “We will see what the market gives us,” Bournemouth’s manager, Andoni Iraola, said. “As a coach you don’t want to lose him but you never know whenever the market opens, you never know what’s going to happen. I think players have to take their own decisions.” Bournemouth are determined not to allow their top scorer, Dominic Solanke, to depart despite interest from Arsenal and West Ham, after he signed a new deal in September.
“Fake news!” says Hakim Ziyech’s agent, George Gardi.
The Morocco forward on the books at Chelsea but on loan at Galatasaray was caught up in a rumour suggesting his loan deal would be terminated this January. It seemed a done deal as the reports had seemingly come from his agent.
However, this morning, Gardi took to Instagram to call out the “fake news”, adding, “I never made any statement on Ziyech.
Not what Ziyech would want as he links up with his international teammtes for the African Cup of Nations.
No matter what happens in this transfer window, Manchester City are going to win the Premier League.
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. That’s according to Jonathan Wilson who is still backing Pep’s boys to do the business despite a ropey start to their defence.
Some Chelsea news from the Evening Standard.
Ian Maatsen has caught the eye of Borussia Dortmund despite failing to make an impact in London.
The 21-year-old defender has struggled to gain a foothold under Mauricio Pochettino and is now in the final 18 months of his contract.
Chelsea are reportedly hoping to get around £30 million, which seems like a lot to me and Dortmund too, so a loan deal might be in everyone’s interest.
Did you know we have a full list of all the January window signings?
Well, we do. It’s also interactive. So if you want to feel like Fabrizio Romano at your next gathering at the pub with your mates, take a gander at this:
Double delight for Tottenham. It’s been a busy day in North London.
First Spurs secured the services of Radu Dragusin, the 21-year-old Romanian centre back from Genoa.
Now they’ve landed Pepe Matar Sarr’s signature which will keep him at the club until 2030.
Top work Tom. I’ve had my rub down (steady) and I’m ready to get going.
Let’s carry on with Ed Aaron’s look at some of the tastiest January transfer narratives.
Here’s Ed’s view on Aaron Ramsdale who might be sick of sharing at Arsenal:
Job sharing with David Raya has not quite worked out for the England goalkeeper and he may be tempted to knock on Mikel Arteta’s door at the start of January after making five Premier League appearances this season. There would be no shortage of suitors if he did, with Chelsea and Newcastle rumoured to be interested in a loan after injuries to their respective first choices, Robert Sánchez and Nick Pope. Ramsdale was in England’s most recent squad despite being out of favour at his club but it was noticeable that Crystal Palace’s Sam Johnstone got the nod to play against Australia in October. The former Sheffield United goalkeeper will know he cannot take for granted his place at Euro 2024.
And with that I’m subbing myself back off again now and rolling sub Daniel Gallan is swigging from his energy drink on the touchline and ready to return. Laters.
Teams may tweak and sign, offload or splash big, but Manchester City are looking ominously like title favourites again. Here’s Jonathan Wilson’s latest, on why:
More possible Sergio Reguilón news: looks as if he could be shipped out again pronto, possibly to Dortmund, possibly to Premier League rivals …
On to the actual playing of football matches, which is what all this transfer kerfuffle is about, there’s a full programme of matches in the Scottish Premiership and Championship, what with today being a public holiday in Scotland, the lucky blighters. Among the 3pm kick-offs Rangers will look to put their Old Firm disappointment behind them when they host Kilmarnock while third-placed Hearts visit Livingston, the bottom club. Celtic are away to St Mirren in a 5pm kick-off. And St Johnstone, who visit Dundee, have announced a couple of signings: The Aston Villa defender Kerr Smith has joined on loan after signing a new deal at Villa Park, and the striker Benjamin Kimpioka arrives from AIK in Sweden on an 18-month deal, subject to international clearance.
Down in League One, Reading’s Charlie Savage has attracted his share of attention this season, some of it admittedly for being Robbie Savage’s son but the rest of it for his impressive midfield performances in a struggling side. But he could be picked off by Derby as the Rams look for reinforcements in their promotion challenge.
Thanks Daniel, and afternoon everyone, as we continue to endeavour to slam the wasps from the pure apple of transfer truth. One of the rumours doing the rounds concerns interest from Tottenham in Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher, which has had Mauricio Pochettino upping his efforts to keep the midfielder at Stamford Bridge. This has potential to be a low-rumbling story through the month.
I’m taking a breather. Tom Davies has you covered in the interim. Over to you Tom.
Aston Villa’s young Columbian Jhon Durán could be wearing the famous red and black stripes of AC Milan sometime soon. The Italian giants are reportedly interested in the forward who hasn’t been able to dislodge Ollie Watkins at the front of the Villa line.
So, Milan are keen. There’s a catch. Because he’s a non-EU player, Milan would have to get rid of one of their current non-EU players.
Visa issues. I’ve been there.
Sergio Reguilón is leaving Manchester United. The Spanish defender wants more game time and he’s just not getting it under Erik ten Hag. So, after mutual agreement, he’ll return to Tottenham after United activated a break clause.
The Premier League awaits for Andre from Fluminense. That’s according to the South America football expert Tim Vickery who was speaking with Sky Sports.
André Trindade da Costa Neto, to give him his full name, has already been capped four times by Brazil and impressed for his club against Manchester City in the Club World Cup.
He’s only 22 and ranked first in the Brazilian Serie A this year for pass completion (94.5%), passes into final third, progressive carries and total touches.
““A lot of people in Brazil feel like he should be moving to a club competing for the top honours,” Vickery said.
Fulham are apparently leading the way for his signature.
Another Ed Aarons bump. Next is perhaps the most intriguing story from the transfer window. Where will Ivan Toney land up?
Here’s what Ed reckons:
“The England striker has been back in training since mid-September and admitted his enforced absence, as he serves an eight-month ban for gambling offences, was “like being in football prison”. Toney’s ban ends on 16 January and the question is whether he will still be at Brentford by the end of the month, with their technical director, Lee Dykes, admitting last week that “maybe the time comes very shortly that Ivan moves on to another club”. Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs have discussed a potential move for Toney, who has scored 32 goals in 68 Premier League appearances. How much Brentford demand to sanction the sale of their prized asset remains to be seen, with a reported price tag of £100m in January likely to put off many suitors – especially given that is expected to be significantly reduced by the summer.
It’s chaos at Birmingham. But chaos is a ladder for some and Atalanta are keen to take advantage of the uncertainty in the Midlands with a formal offer for Jordan James.
That’s according the big man in the know:
Liverpool are open to offers on their returning centre back, Nat Phillips, whose loan at Celtic was cut short this week.
The 26-year-old failed to impress with the Scottish champions with the little game time he had, playing only 314 minutes across six appearances.
He’s already hd three loan spells with stints at Stuttgart and Bournemouth.
For those interested, here’s the full list of January 2003 signings. Yes it’s a Wikipedia article. And yes, it’s legit.
Aston Villa have signed 19-year-old Kerr Smith. It’s the young centre back’s first professional deal. He’s already impressed for the youth team since joining in January from Dundee United. He’ll now go out on loan to St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership.
WE HAVE A WINNER!
Well, two actually. There were mere seconds between the emails so I’m going to take it as a draw.
“The January transfer window was first introduced in the Premier League back in 2003 – but who was its most expensive signing?”
Anthony (no last name given) simply provided the correct answer but didn’t include the fee, though the correct clubs were mentioned.
Alexandra Ashton, though, sent this in:
“I don’t quite recall the year, but would it happen to be Jonathan Woodgate from Leeds to Newcastle for £9m? I know that was when Venables resigned due to him being sold… but I’m unsure whether £9m would make it the most expensive signing of the window.”
That is bang on! Congrats to you both. Prizes on their way*
* There are no prizes beyond the unfettered pride you must both be feeling right now.
Time for the next instalment of Ed Aaron’s top 10 transfer targets for January.
Next up the Feyenoord’s striker, Santiago Giménez. Here’s Ed’s take:
The Mexico forward capped a spectacular 12 months that yielded 31 Eredivisie goals by being named man of the year by the respected Dutch football magazine Voetbal International. Giménez surpassed the record held by Luis Suárez and has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of the Uruguay striker by moving to the Premier League. Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal and Fulham have been linked but Feyenoord are likely to demand about £60m, with several La Liga clubs also believed to be interested. Giménez was born in Buenos Aires but grew up in Mexico after his father, Christian – a former El Tri international – moved there to play professionally.
I can just picture Andy Wakelin crying out at his desk. I hope you didn’t spill your coffee Andy because it’s not the right answer.
At the risk of going all Clive Myrie on you all, can I please ask that answers include the fee and the clubs involved. I’ll give bonus points if at least one of those variables are correct.
The latest on the never ending saga with the most inevitable conclusion:
“Was it James Milner by chance”
That’s from John Jones to our question regarding the record signing in the 2003 January transfer window.
I must admit that Milner was my first guess (no idea why, just the first name that popped in my head).
Sadly for both of us, John, it is the incorrect answer.
West Ham defender Thilo Kehrer could be getting a tax break in his near future as AS Monaco are in “advanced talks” to secure his signature. (Please don’t send angry emails, I’m not really sure how Monaco’s tax system works).
Kehrer joined the Hammers for an initial £10m from PSG in the summer of 2022 – but he has not started a Premier League game this season.
Joining Kehrer out the exit door could be Nayef Aguerd. The 27-year-old Moroccan has struggled at times with his positional awareness at the back but has established himself under David Moyes. Still, an ‘unnamed Saudi club’ – according to Sky Sports – are closing in on the signing.
However, West Ham won’t let their man go until they’ve found a suitable replacement.
Speaking of Liverpool, could they pull the biggest fish of all and nab Kylian Mbappé? They’ll be in a tussle with Real Madrid who must surely be favourites in that tug-o-war.
Tom Davies has the lowdown on today’s Rumour Mill:
Starting to get some answers to Niall’s question which was: The January transfer window was first introduced in the Premier League back in 2003 – but who was its most expensive signing?
Simon Frank on X says, “His name is Rio”. Is that Ferdinand?
Captain Leroy – also on X – says with more confidence, “2003 January transfer window….god, AKA Robbie fowler joined city from Leeds for £6 mill.”
Unfortunately they’re both wrong.
I’ll give you a hint. The fee was £3 million more than what Cpt Leroy suggested.
More Liverpool fans writing in with some requests. (If only it worked like that).
“How about Liverpool sign Luca Netz from Mönchengladbach instead? Probably a more economical option with more upside.”
That’s from Joe Pearson. He’s 20-years-old left back, in case you weren’t aware. (Netz, not Joe).
A report from the Daily Mail suggests that Mohamed Elneny could soon be out the door at Arsenal.
The 31-year-old Egyptian international has attracted interest from Turkey with Trabzonspor and Besiktas the leading candidates.
Elneny joined the Gunners in 2015 from FC Basel in Switzerland and has made 159 appearances.
Ed Aarons has picked out 10 January transfers targets. We’ve already spoken about the first – Serhou Guirassy from Stuttgart. So let’s keep the ball rolling and unpack the second on the list, Manchester City’s Kalvin Phillips.
Here’s what Ed had to say on the holding midfielder:
Still not fancied by Pep Guardiola after 18 months of watching from the sidelines, Phillips is desperate to get back to playing and was told in October that he was free to leave “if he decides to do it”. With a place in England’s Euro 2024 squad on the line and having featured for 89 minutes in the Premier League this season, the 28-year-old has accepted that leaving the treble winners is the only option after his transfer from Leeds for an initial £42m. Newcastle, Crystal Palace and Juventus are interested in taking him on loan.
Some Manchester United news now. And doesn’t that club need something fresh?
Two important but underperforming players in Casemiro and Raphaël Varane are staying put, though reports suggest United are looking to recruit in central midfield and defence.
Jadon Sancho might be on his way out despite being the face on the official club calendar for the month of January.
Stuttgart striker Serhou Guirassy has attracted interest and could come with a £15.6 million price tag.
“Will Liverpool sign Antonee Robinson?”
That’s what reader Kurt Perleberg wants to know.
To be honest, Kurt, I’m not sure. But you’ve given me some homework so I’ll do what I can do dig that out.
While we’re on that. Do write in with any transfers you’d like to see. Who’s on your wish list for a late Christmas gift?
Thanks Niall. Top shift. Howdy folks. Glad to be at the wheel.
To kick things off, Carlo Ancleotti has declared his undying love for Real Madrid (which is handy as he’s currently Real Madrid’s manager.)
This from the capataz according to Fabrizio Romano:
I love Real Madrid and I want to stay here. I could stay here also after being the manager
I had contacts with Brazil, for sure — but it was all in stand-by as I was always waiting for Real Madrid. I’m happy to stay here
Time to hand over to Daniel Gallan, who will guide through all this afternoon’s news.
On Monday, we brought news that Jeremy Sarmiento was heading back to Brighton after his loan at West Brom was cut short. Well, it seems that Sarmiento won’t be hanging around long – reports in his native Ecuador claim he is going back out on loan, this time to promotion-chasing Ipswich Town.
I posted this question earlier: The January transfer window was first introduced in the Premier League back in 2003 – but who was its most expensive signing?
Nobody has the right answer yet – mainly because nobody has guessed. A clue: like the second-most expensive signing that month, he was an England international, leaving Leeds United.
Before the inevitable rush of transfers this afternoon, why not spend five minutes soaking up David Squires’ vision for football in 2024?
Ed Aarons has picked out some big names who could move during the January window, starting with a Bundesliga hotshot …
Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart)
The Guinea striker’s record‑breaking start to the Bundesliga season that brought him 14 goals in his first eight league games has caught the attention of teams across Europe. Manchester United and Newcastle are among a number of English clubs to have expressed interest in signing the player who joined Stuttgart on a permanent basis from Rennes in the summer, having initially moved there on loan.
Champions League-chasing Stuttgart have made no secret about Guirassy’s release clause of €17.5m (£15.2m) and may be forced to cash in after the 27-year-old’s representatives indicated he would be keen to leave if a Premier League side comes calling. His involvement at the Africa Cup of Nations, which starts on 13 January, could complicate things, however.
“I imagine there’ll be the usual schadenfreude around Rooney’s demise at Birmingham, but as a Derby fan who remembers the dignity and class with which he conducted himself in impossible circumstances at the Rams, I feel for him,” writes David Hopkins.
“Feels like Birmingham brought him in partly to benefit from his high profile, in a situation which clearly would take some time to work through, then cut him loose without giving him a fair shake. All very shabby.”
Here’s the full story, with Wayne Rooney giving his reaction to the decision.
Football is a results business – and I recognise they have not been at the level I wanted them to be. However, time is the most precious commodity a manager requires and I do not believe 13 weeks was sufficient to oversee the changes that were needed. Personally, it will take me some time to get over this setback.
It’s official: Birmingham City have sacked Wayne Rooney and his assistant, Carl Robinson.
“We are committed to doing what is necessary to bring success to St. Andrew’s,” said the club’s CEO, Garry Cook. “Unfortunately, Wayne’s time with us did not go as planned and we have decided to move in a different direction.
“The search for a successor begins with immediate effect and we will update supporters when we have further news.” Steve Spooner will take charge of the first team on an interim basis.
Brandon Vázquez to Brentford? Facundo Torres to Arsenal or Ajax? Here are the MLS stars that could make a move to Europe this January.
Away from transfers, there are widespread reports around this morning that Wayne Rooney has been sacked by Birmingham City.
Since replacing John Eustace at St Andrews, Rooney has won two of 15 games in charge. After Monday’s defeat at Leeds, the club are 20th in the Championship, six points off the relegation zone.
Some loan admin to report: Burnley winger Dara Costelloe has ended his loan spell at St Johnstone and immediately moved to Dundee until the end of the season. Meanwhile, Brighton midfielder Jensen Weir has been recalled from his loan spell at Blackpool.
A Spurs update, from Fabrizio Romano; it looks like Radu Dragusin could soon follow in Gheorghe Popescu and Vlad Chiriches’ footsteps.
Tom Cairney has extended his Fulham contract until June 2025, taking the Cottagers’ captain past a decade of service with the club.
“It means everything to me to extend my contract. Ten years is a hell of a long time in football, a very rare thing,” the 32-year-old, who joined from Blackburn for £3m in 2015, told the club website.
“I said from quite early on that Fulham feels like home. I just want to thank everyone for the support over the years – the fans have been incredible with me, and I’ll just look to keep repaying them.”
In what I’m calling transfer-adjacent news, official squads for the Africa Cup of Nations continue to drop. Algeria have left out Saïd Benrahma, which could be good news for West Ham – although both Lyon and Marseille are reportedly keen on a January move.
Time for a quiz question. The January transfer window was first introduced in the Premier League back in 2003 – but who was its most expensive signing? Answers via the usual channels, and there’s no prize.
We’re only forty minutes in, and I’ve got a second done deal to bring you. It comes in Serie A, where Atalanta have announced the arrival of Swedish centre-back Isak Hien from Verona.
The 24-year-old played as a striker alongside Alexander Isak in AIK’s youth setup, before switching to centre-back in 2017. After making his breakthrough with Djurgården, he joined Verona in August 2022.
As Tom mentioned in today’s Mill, an early confirmed transfer featuring the Guardian’s footballer of the year, Jenni Hermoso. The World Cup winning Spain forward has announced she is changing clubs in Mexico, leaving Pachuca for Tigres.
Based in Monterrey, they are the country’s most successful women’s side and recently won the Apertura title; the Clausura begins in three days’ time. Hermoso is in Madrid today, giving evidence against former Spanish FA head Luis Rubiales in court.
Let’s kick things off with the Rumour Mill, and it’s a bumper crop today.
Good morning. After an arrival at PSG and a departure from Old Trafford on New Year’s Day, things may move up a gear today as the transfer window opens in Spain and Italy.
We’ll have all the latest news, rumours and transfer targets to watch, and you can catch up on what’s been happening so far in the men’s and women’s transfer markets with our interactive guides.