Chelsea to replace Mata with Salah

Posted by ESPN Staff

Mohamed Salah PA PhotosMohamed Salah has attracted attention after some fine European displays for Basel.

Chelsea may be losing Juan Mata to Manchester United in the near future, but they have already found his replacement after agreeing a deal with FC Basel's tricky winger Mohamed Salah -- which would wreck Liverpool's January transfer window in the process.

The Blues are also keen on adding to their considerable attacking options this summer with a bid for Everton star Ross Barkley, while Joleon Lescott may finally be granted an exit from his Manchester City purgatory by Manuel Pellegrini.

22.56 GMT: That's all for tonight, but we'll be back tomorrow when there is a very real chance that Juan Mata will become a Manchester United player.

22.21 GMT: Young Brazilian striker Willian Jose says it is "a dream come true" to be signing for Real Madrid’s second team Castilla from Santos. STORY HERE.

21.46 GMT: Inter Milan president Erick Thohir has responded to claims made by Juventus' general manager Beppe Marotta that his club had "lacked seriousness" by pulling out of a deal to sign Mirko Vucinic. READ MORE.

21.27 GMT: German football publication kicker reports that Bayern Munich have been looking at Chelsea's David Luiz, but not everyone is that convinced that he can help the club. Another candidate to strengthen the European champions' defence could be Freiburg's Matthias Ginter, 20, who has also strongly been linked with Borussia Dortmund -- but should Bayern buy Ginter, he would be sent out on loan immediately. Bayern's hope is that Badstuber fully recovers, according to CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge: "There is no agreement to buy a new defender. We have no concrete contact with any other defender. We;d love to welcome Holger Badstuber back. He would be like a new signing."

20.56 GMT: The Press Association reports that Juan Mata has had to wait to complete his medical at United because he is waiting for the clubs to iron out the final details of the move, but Manchester United officials still fully expect the move to go through tomorrow, and he could train with his new side over the weekend and be presented to the media on Monday. Stay calm, United fans.

20.36 GMT: Italian striker Alessandro Diamanti looks set to leave Bologna in favour of a move to Guangzhou Evergrande. The Chinese super club are managed by Marcello Lippi and it appears the former World Cup winner has convinced Diamanti to join him in Asia. The club hinted at a deal earlier in the week when they posted a highlight video of Diamanti via one of their social media channels.

20.09 GMT: DONE DEALS Genoa have signed their second and third new defenders of the winter transfer window, with Marco Motta arriving from Juventus and Nicolas Burdisso joining from Roma. READ MORE.

19.29 GMT: DONE DEAL New York Red Bulls have signed Spanish defender Armando. STORY HERE.

19.03 GMT: Sky Sports News is convinced Juan Mata will be signing for Manchester United in the morning. A third party is said to have bid 40 million pounds, but Mata appears to have his heart set on the switch to Old Trafford and it appears that'll be where he ends up. Wayne Rooney, incidentally, has just begun following the Spaniard on Twitter.

18.50 GMT: Blackburn striker David Goodwillie is set to join Blackpool on loan, according to Sky Sports News.

18.35 GMT: ESPN FC sources close to Newcastle United have said Papiss Cisse has rejected the chance to join Borussia Moenchengladbach on loan, which may dent the English club's attempts to sign Gladbach striker Luuk De Jong.

18.17 GMT: Mata is expected to have a medical at Manchester United tonight, but the Daily Telegraph's Mark Ogden reports that he's still in London, so there may be more anxious waiting.

17.58 GMT: Chelsea loanee Thorgan Hazard has confirmed he will stay at Zulte-Waregem until the end of the season after being voted the best player in Belgium. READ MORE.

17.32 GMT: The Evening Standard reports that Crystal Palace are keen on signing Brighton's Will Buckley. The Eagles are yet to add to their squad this January despite being embroiled in a relegation fight, and Tony Pulis is expected to try and push through a deal for the winger to bolster his attacking options.

17.24 GMT: Sky Sports sources are now suggesting that Juan Mata's move to Manchester United is expected to be announced in the morning as he prepares to have a medical at Carrington tonight.

17.16 GMT: Thibaut Courtois has called on Chelsea to make up their minds whether they want to recall him for next season or not. "I know that [Atletico] want to make an effort [to sign me], but it depends on Chelsea, on what they want and how much they are going to ask,” the Atletico loanee goalkeeper said. “First my agent is going to talk with Chelsea to see when I can speak with someone there, and from there we can take another step."READ MORE.

17.05 GMT: Goal reports that Wilfried Zaha is on the verge of completing his long-awaited loan move to Cardiff. With Chelsea set to snap up Mohamed Salah and thus allowing Manchester United to sign Juan Mata, the former Crystal Palace winger looks set to be granted his wish of regular football in Wales. And so the circle of life that is the January transfer window spins on.

16.55 GMT: Arran Lee-Barrett has signed a new contract with Bolton until the end of the season. The goalkeeper was signed on a short-term deal in October and has signed another extension to stay at the Reebok to provide cover.

16.47 GMT: Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has tendered his resignation ahead of a special meeting the club's board or directors are set to attend today concerning the Neymar transfer saga. READ MORE.

16.36 GMT: Goal states that Michael Essien could be set for a Stamford Bridge exit, with the Ghanaian midfielder's agent reportedly meeting with Milan board members over a potential loan move to the San Siro.

16.27 GMT: Sky Sports sources are reporting that Juan Mata is set to have his medical at Manchester United this evening. With Mohamed Salah moving closer to a move to Chelsea, the Blues are set to let the Spaniard go in what would be a record signing for the Red Devils.

16.22 GMT: An update from Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen's press conference this morning, where he confirmed that Derek Boateng has attracted interested from Watford and Evian, while the Cottagers are after Leicester's Liam Moore.

16.11 GMT: Here's our full story on Chelsea agreeing a deal for FC basel winger Mohamed Salah. READ MORE.

Here's the best of a promising performance from the Egyptian for the Swiss side at Stamford Bridge last year...

16.05 GMT: DONE DEAL! Hull have announced they have signed 19-year-old midfielder Elliot Kebbie on a short-term deal until the end of the season. The former Leeds and Atletico Madrid player will form part of Stephen Clemence's development squad.

16.01 GMT: FC Basel have also announced that they have agreed a fee with Chelsea for Mohamed Salah on Twitter.

15.55 GMT: Chelsea have reached an agreement with FC Basel for the transfer of winger Mohamed Salah, the Premier League club have announced on their official website.

"Chelsea Football Club can confirm an agreement has been reached with FC Basel for the transfer of their 21-year-old attacking midfielder Mohamed Salah. The move is subject to the Egyptian international agreeing personal terms and completing a medical examination."

15.30 GMT: Rafael Van der Vaart tells Bild that he wants to play football for as long as possible, and could imagine ending his career at Hamburg. "Should HSV want me beyond the end of my contract in 2015, I could imagine that," the 30-year old told Bild. The midfielder says he does not fear that Hamburg's horror season could make him miss the World Cup. “I am convinced that we’ll play a good Rückrunde. When I stay fit, I will be at the World Cup.”

15.10 GMT: Wilfried Zaha has sent out a cryptic Instagram message simply stating: "Journey carries on .." The Manchester United winger has been heavily linked with a loan move to Cardiff, so we could be seeing some movement on that deal in the near future. 15.04 GMT: The Standard now reports that Chelsea have bid 11 million pounds for Liverpool target Mohamed Salah, and want the Basel winger to replace Juan Mata should the Spaniard complete his expected move to Manchester United.

14.53 GMT: Here's today’s Bayern round-up with Thomas Mueller shrugging off rumours that he will move to Real Madrid, while Arjen Robben says he is happy to end his career at the Allianz Arena. READ MORE.

14.48 GMT: Here's our full story on Juan Mata's expected arrival at Manchester United's training ground at some point today to complete his medical ahead of a proposed 37 million pound transfer from Chelsea. We'll have the latest as soon as we get any confirmation on the, er, matter. READ MORE.

These are the type of skills Red Devils fans can hope to be seeing at Old Trafford soon...

14.42 GMT: Crawley Town's productive January continues with the club announcing a deal for Rochdale midfielder Gary Dicker until the end of the season.

14.36 GMT: Fulham's 22-year-old winger Alexander Kacaniklic has signed a new deal at Craven Cottage, the club revealed on their official website. The Sweden international's contract was due to run out this summer, but he will now stay with the Cottagers until June 2015.

14.30 GMT: Time for some analysis of Yohan Cabaye's tactical future courtesy of ESPN's Michael Cox. Here's a snippet...

"Will any club of a higher standing than Newcastle play Cabaye as their No. 10? No. Would Manchester United pick him there, instead of Wayne Rooney or Shinji Kagawa? Would PSG play him there, and change their system? Would Arsenal sideline Mesut Ozil? The answer to these questions is obvious. Cabaye would be brought back into a deeper role."

Blog: Can Cabaye replicate his Newcastle excellence elsewhere?


14.18 GMT: From Barcelona to Aston Villa -- that’s the switch Paul Lambert is trying to persuade young Camp Nou striker Jean Marie Dongou to make for the rest of the season, according to the Metro. The paper reports that the Villa Park boss wants to make a loan move for the 18-year-old Cameroonian, who has been likened to Samuel Eto'o given his blistering pace and eye for goal.

14.11 GMT: We've got more on Arsene Wenger admitting he does not expect Arsenal to make a major signing in this transfer window after seemingly ruling out a move for Schalke midfielder Julian Draxler. When asked whether there was any chance of the Gunners signing Draxler, Wenger offered a firm "no". "It looks very unlikely," Wenger responded when asked whether he would sign anybody. "We are at the 23rd of January today and we are not close to doing anything. READ MORE.

14.06 GMT: Sticking with Mata, ESPN contributor Gabriele Marcotti dissects the deal that would undoubtedly be the talking point of the January transfer window and predicts what may come to pass if David Moyes gets his man.
READ MORE.

14.02 GMT: The Mail reports that Juan Mata has arrived at Manchester United's Carrington training base by helicopter ahead of his move to Old Trafford -- we'll have more as and when it develops.

13.57 GMT: While Liverpool’s pursuit of Mohamed Salah could be under threat from Chelsea, the Reds have been handed a fitness boost with the news from injured midfielder Lucas Leiva that he will be back in action “in a few weeks.”
READ MORE.

13.52 GMT: The Daily Star reports that Chelsea could potentially hold up Juan Mata's switch to Manchester United until they can be sure of landing Basel winger Mohamed Salah ahead of Liverpool. The paper suggests that while Mata has agreed a contract at Old Trafford, the Blues do not want to lose an attacking option without reinforcing their squad this January.

13.45 GMT: Arjen Robben has told AZ that he is relaxed about his situation at Bayern Munich, and can see himself retiring at the Treble winners. “Why not? I feel super. The atmosphere in the squad is class. Let's see. It's up to the club now." Meanwhile kicker reports that club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says they might start contract talks soon.

13.35 GMT: Inter Milan general manager Marco Fassone has hit back at Juventus' claims that they "lacked seriousness" in the negotiations over a potential swap deal involving Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic. "As far as Inter are concerned, the negotiations had not been concluded," he told reporters in Milan. "In the afternoon, we informed Juventus that we were not taking them any further." READ MORE.

13.25 GMT: Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has told kicker that “we can imagine a new contract for Sebastian Kehl.” The veteran skipper is under contract until the end of the season, and the 33-year-old could sign on for for one more year with BVB.

13.12 GMT: The vice-president of Brazilian football’s Federacion Paulista has labelled Neymar's transfer to Barcelona last summer "one of the biggest frauds in the history of world football," amid reports that Blaugrana president Sandro Rosell is considering stepping down to deal with the legal investigation into the deal. READ MORE.

13.06 GMT: Here's our story on Schalke's stars stating they want Tottenham's forgotten midfielder Lewis Holtby to join them in the Bundesliga. READ MORE.

13.01 GMT: DONE DEAL! Derby County have secured the signing of Kelle Roos from Nuneaton Town for an undisclosed fee on a two-and-a-half year deal, according to the Championship club's official website.

12.56 GMT: We brought you the news yesterday evening that Diego Forlan confirmed his move to Cerezo Osaka, and here's our full story on the Uruguayan tying up a deal with the Japanese side. READ MORE.

12.52 GMT: We've got more on Arsene Wenger's thoughts about Juan Mata's impending move to Old Trafford -- the Gunners boss told the club's official website that the timing of the move calls into question the fairness of the Premier League title run-in.

"They could have sold him last week but it opens at least the opportunity [to question] the dates of this transfer window. Some teams have already played twice against one opponent and some others not. I think if you want to respect the fairness for everybody exactly the same, that should not happen. I just think you would want that everybody is on the same level. Chelsea do not make the rules but maybe the rules should be a bit more adapted to more fairness."

12.46 GMT: The Mail reports that Chelsea could be set to sneak in and sign Mohamed Salah from under the noses of Liverpool at the last minute. The paper suggests the Anfield club are at an advanced stage of negotiations with the Basel winger, but Juan Mata's imminent move to Manchester United will free up money and a squad place which Jose Mourinho intends to fill with the Egyptian attacker.

Maybe this Champions League goal has helped to sway Mourinho into making a late move...

12.40 GMT: Bild reports that former Manchester City player Abdisalam Ibrahim could be moving to Eintracht Braunschweig. When Eintracht sporting director Marc Arnold was questioned about the 22-year-old, he replied: "no comment."

12.35: DONE DEAL! AFC Wimbledon have signed 30-year-old centre-back Darren Jones after the defender left Shrewsbury Town earlier this week.

12.28 GMT: DONE DEAL! Nottingham Forest midfielder Simon Gillett will stay on loan at Bristol City until the end of the season, the Reds have announced on their website.

12.24 GMT: DONE DEAL! Hull City forward Nick Proschwitz has signed a loan deal with Barnsley until the end of the season, the Championship club confirmed o their official website.

12.21 GMT: DONE DEAL! Shrewsbury Town have signed young Wigan midfielder Fraser Fyvie on loan for a month, the club have confirmed on their official website.

12.16 GMT: DONE DEAL! Cagliari have signed Brazil Under-20s playmaker Adryan Tavares from Flamengo on an initial loan deal, the Italian club have announced on their official website.

12.11 GMT: Everton boss Roberto Martinez told a press conference this morning that there is no news yet on Lacina Traore's proposed move from Monaco, and hopes that Falcao's injury does not scupper the deal.

12.05 GMT: The Mail reports that Real Madrid are drawing up a summer wish list that includes a bid for Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero or Falcao -- not a bad trio to choose from to play in front of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, really.

12.00 GMT: VfB Stuttgart could still sign the 18-year old Ecuadorian Carlos Gruezo, who impressed during a trial, with kicker saying the transfer fee for the holding midfielder will be around the one million euro mark.

11.53 GMT: January has not been a happy month for Southampton, and the club have today suspended Dani Osvaldo for two weeks following an incident at their Staplewood training ground, according to the Saints' official website. Whether this could lead to the forward making an exit from St Mary's during the transfer window is unclear, but the problems continue for Mauricio Pochettino down on the south coast.

11.44 GMT: The Irish Independent reports that Glenn Whelan is a target for Norwich if Stoke manage to pry Lee Cattermole away from Sunderland this month. The 30-year-old midfielder would be surplus to requirements should Mark Hughes land the Black Cats skipper.

11.38 GMT: DONE DEAL! Manchester City's 21-year-old goalkeeper Eirik Holmen Johansen has moved to Sandefjord on loan until the end of the season.

11.32 GMT: DONE DEAL! Wigan have signed promising Chelsea midfielder Josh McEachran on loan until the end of the season, the Championship club have announced on their official website.

Latics boss Uwe Rosler said: “This is a big scoop or us. There's no doubt Josh is a huge young talent, and we have worked really hard to convince him and Chelsea this is the right place for him to be for the rest of the season." The 20-year-old is eligible for Wigan's FA Cup tie with Crystal Palace on Saturday.

11.28 GMT: SC Freiburg sporting director Klemens Hartenbach has refused to reveal whether the club would be taking Manchester United outcast Fabio on loan this month. “I know the player, but I don’t want to say more about it.” The Guardian had previously reported that the Bundesliga side were interested in a deal for the Brazilian. Freiburg also also still interested in the SV Grodig attacker Philipp Zulechner, and hopeful of offloading Garra Dembele -- the forward returned from a loan at Chinese club Wuhan Zall, but has had no chance to break into the team.

11.22 GMT: The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that PSG are on the verge of bidding a monstrous 70 million euros (£57.5m) for Juventus star Paul Pogba. The Bianconeri are intent on keeping their young midfielder, but a bid of that magnitude would surely seal the deal. And to think, he couldn't even get a game in a Manchester United team with no fit midfielders in 2011...

11.16 GMT: We've got a Schalke round-up for you now -- coach Jens Keller tells kicker: "I've said that I would love to have one [new signing]. But I'll accept it if it does not work out financially." Meanwhile, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar would love to see Lewis Holtby return to the club: "Holtby would help us," the Netherlands attacker said in Bild. "He can play nearly every position in midfield. Lewis has quality, and Schalke always needs that." Captain Benedikt Hoewedes adds: "He is a good player. If it fits for both sides, he would in any case help us." Holtby's agent Marcus Noack says that Holtby always "felt fine" at Schalke and he is working on finding "a good solution for Lewis, so he can be happy again. The most important thing for him is play."

11.10 GMT: Diego Milito says Fredy Guarin will be welcomed back into the Inter side after his move to Juventus fell through. The striker has called on the fans to get behind the team against Catania at the weekend, and defender Hugo Campagnaro has called for support and not whistles.

11.04 GMT: Rennes say Paul-Georges Ntep's wage demands of 100,000 euros monthly put them off signing the Auxerre starlet. The attacker, 21, could now join QPR.

11.00 GMT: Despite Arsene Wenger's comments this morning on January moves being unlikely, the Mirror reports that Arsenal are still hopeful of signing Schalke starlet Julian Draxler this month, and will send representatives to Germany to secure a move.

10.53 GMT:DONE DEALS! Hartlepool United have completed a double swoop for Manchester United's Jack Barmby and Middlesbrough's Luke Williams on one-month loan deals.

10.46 GMT: Those helicopter rumours are gathering strength, as James Ducker of the Times reports that a landing pad is being constructed at Carrington. Unless Manchester United are preparing for unexpected (rich) guests, it seems that the deal for Juan Mata will be done today.

10.42 GMT: DONE DEAL! Swindon Town have signed Charlton striker Michael Smith for an undisclosed fee, with the 22-year old signing a two-and-a-half year deal.

10.37 GMT: The future of Wayne Rooney is still very much up in the air according to the Mirror, who reports that Manchester United will try to tie down Wayne Rooney to a new contract after signing Juan Mata to avoid a summer stand-off with Chelsea. The paper reports that the Blues are preparing a summer bid for the striker, so it looks like it is up to Old Trafford's deal-makers to secure his signature before the season's end.

10.33 GMT: We've got more details for you about Tim Wiese’s end at Hoffenheim. The former Germany keeper made 11 appearances in total, and, according to Bild, got a 6 million euro compensation package to agree to be released from his contract. That, along with his wages, would put him on 1 million euros per match -- startling. Wiese, for the time being, wants to stay in the Hoffenheim region and plan his future.

10.28 GMT: Goal reports that Mata will arrive at Manchester United's Carrington training base in true style this morning -- the Chelsea man will apparently fly in by helicopter to complete his move to the Premier League champions. Maybe that entrance will make an impact on David Moyes' under-performing squad.

10.22 GMT: Wenger has also expressed his surprise at Manchester United's imminent deal for Juan Mata, but is not keen on the idea that the Spanish midfielder will move after the Red Devils and Chelsea have already played each other twice in the league. We'll have more on this it unfolds.

10.16 GMT: The Gunners boss also says that the club are ready to give Thomas Vermaelen a new deal, despite the centre-back rarely featuring this season and interesting the likes of West Ham and Napoli.

10.12 GMT: Arsene Wenger has confirmed in his press conference this morning that Arsenal are unlikely to make any January signings, and are not close to finalising any deals -- but says they could make a move if an "exceptional" deal becomes available. The Gunners are top of the league so can hardly complain with how their season is going, but one or two additions could make the difference with Manchester City and Chelsea chasing them.

10.07 GMT: DONE DEAL! Bradford have signed winger Adam Reach on a one-month loan deal from Championship side Middlesbrough, the League One club have announced on their official website.

10.00 GMT: There could be movement away from Manchester's other club as well if Yaya Toure's recent comments are anything to go by -- the midfield powerhouse suggests he could leave for PSG one day. "Everything's possible. Why not? In life, you never know. Everything's going well at City for the moment, but you never know... For me, PSG are a big club," he told RMC. However, he added that the Premier League suits his style the most: "Since I arrived in England, I've felt it's the league that suits me best. I feel good at this club."

Ross Barkley PA PhotosRoss Barkley has become an important player for Everton this season.

09.51 GMT: The Mirror reports that Chelsea are preparing a summer bid for Wayne Rooney in a concerted effort to finally land the Manchester United striker.

09.44 GMT: Joleon Lescott is a wanted man it seems, and he can't even escape the attention out on the pitch as Kevbin Nolan has confirmed he tried to persuade the Manchester City defender to join West Ham during a break in play in the two side's recent Capital one Cup semi-final clash at Upton Park. "I was trying to tell him to come and help us out. I saw Joleon and I know he has been heavily linked with us and I was trying to persuade him [to come to West Ham] because he is a top-quality player. That would only make us stronger." READ MORE.

09.36 GMT: The Mail reports that Stoke aren't done yet with the January shopping, as they look to make an unlikely move for Tottenham outcast Lewis Holtby. The Potters are also after Monaco striker Emmanuel Riviere, but Crystal Palace also want the 23-year-old.

09.30 GMT: Most clubs only concern themselves with adding fresh faces in January to aid the second half of their seasons, but Manchester City have gone one better and bought a whole club. The Premier League side have taken control of struggling A-League club the Melbourne Heart, purchasing their license in partnership with Australian National Rugby League side the Melbourne Storm. An intriguing prospect in terms of tours and youth options for the future, surely. READ MORE.

09.21 GMT: Genoa set to complete a double defensive swoop by signing Marco Motta from Juventus and Nicolas Burdisso from Roma.

09.13 GMT: According to France Football, Monaco are to up their interest in Toulouse's Tunisian international centre-back Aymen Abdennour.

09.05 GMT: Kicker reports that Colombus Crew are interested in a transfer of Maik Franz. The defender has not been able to win a place at Hertha BSC Berlin, and now the 32-year-old could be on his way to MLS. "That's something that could tempt me. But in the end, everything needs to fit." Another option for Franz could be to become the leader of the Hertha reserve, who are struggling to stay in the fourth tier.

08.52 GMT: You would think that most players would be keen on a move to Real Madrid, but Bayern's Thomas Mueller is quite happy where he is thank you very much. "Real Madrid? There has been a lot of speculation about my future in the past few weeks, months and even years. We have all seen what has come from those rumours so far," Mueller told AZ. "It's not a bad feeling when you hear about interest from abroad. However, at the moment there is absolutely no reason for me to leave Bayern Munich for another club."

08.42 GMT: Earlier we mentioned that Jackson Martinez might not be moving to Arsenal, preferring instead to stay at FC Porto. The full story can be read here

08.28 GMT: Yaya Toure has opened the door to a possible move to Paris Saint-Germain, but added he feels the Premier League "suits me best". Toure, 30, is central to Manchester City's Premier League and Champions League bids this season. However, the Ivorian, who played for Monaco before joining Barcelona, told RMC he would not rule out a return to Ligue 1 with big-spending PSG.

"Everything's possible. Why not? In life, you never know. Everything's going well at City for the moment, but you never know. When you have big teams like that, where there are big players, of course it's attractive. To be part of an adventure like that is exceptional. To work with great players is always my objective. It allows you to learn many things. In football, you never stop learning. For me, PSG are a big club."

08.10 GMT: Fulham signed Derek Boateng this summer on a free transfer, but the Ghana midfielder hasn't really taken a shine to the Premier League so Evian are prepared to show some bottle and spring him free. Maybe the Ligue 1 side can flush out his issues and let him flow free. TalkSPORT have the full story.

07.45 GMT: Good morning, and how's this for a piping hot rumour to go with your coffee: The Telegraph reports that Chelsea intend to bid for Everton's Ross Barkley in the summer, as part of the plan to sell Juan Mata to Manchester United this month.

07.00 GMT: The Guardian is reporting that Joleon Lescott has been told he can leave this month if City can find an adequate replacement for the 31-year-old before the end of the deadline. The former Everton star currently has two suitors in relegation battlers West Ham and Fulham, with West Ham reportedly willing to take on his current 90,000 pounds weekly salary. If the Hammers get relegated, the club is still apparently willing to pay him 70,000 a week. Lucky man.

Staying in England, Arsenal appear to be close to bringing in some reinforcements. No, Gunners fans, it's not Jackson Martinez, Julian Draxler or Carlos Vela. The Daily Express is claiming that Arsene Wenger has decided to finally bring in long-term target Yoann Gourcuff from Lyon and is also contemplating a move for once-promising striker Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus.

One intriguing bit for Wenger's side is a Metro report stating that Arsenal would like to bring in Roma's young striker, Mattia Destro. Let's hope it works out better than the previous young Italian Roma striker to head to the Premier League (Fabio Borini).

Speaking of Martinez, the once-mooted Chelsea and Arsenal target is set to turn down prospective interest from both clubs and sign a new deal with Porto. The Daily Star quotes the striker's agent, who says the deal is already agreed upon with the club and he is flying to Portugal to sort out the final parts of the new contract.

While some may be asking why Martinez would want to re-sign with Porto when he can join a so-called bigger club, it is reported no concrete deal has come in for the striker and he is said to be underpaid with a deal that is rumoured to be 1 million euros. At 27, long-term security is always preferred.

Moving on to other European sides, AC Milan appear to be making moves -- loans, at least. On Tuesday, it was reported by Italian outlets that Sulley Muntari could be on his way out, and today, The Daily Express reports that Michael Essien could be his replacement. The publication quotes his agent, who says that it is true that the Ghanaian could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge. Reports out of Ghana, however, suggest that Essien will reunite with former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba at Galatasaray.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.