Monday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup: Rabiot to Arsenal; Vardy to Chelsea
After yet another shocking defeat at the weekend, more reports are surfacing that Jose Mourinho will be handed plenty of cash in January to try and turn around Chelsea’s fortunes.
The Daily Telegraph believes that Mourinho has earmarked three players -- Jamie Vardy, Saido Berahino and Alex Texieira -- who could improve the Blues’ attack for the second half of the season.
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It would take a huge fee to sign Vardy, 28, from Leicester City given his current form of 14 goals in 15 games this season but with the Blues able to offer a huge rise in wages, could Vardy turn down an astronomical contract at Stamford Bridge? It would take a lot for him to leave the Premier League leaders. As for Berahino, West Brom turned down a $30 million bid from Tottenham for him in the summer and despite the England U-21 international having plenty of upside, he’s failed to find form so far this season for the Bagges. The wildcard here is Texieira but the Brazilian attacker has been splendid for Ukrainian powerhouse Shakhtar Dontesk and has previously told others that the Blues are in talks with Shakhtar about a $45 million transfer. If he mirrors Willian’s success at Chelsea, then why not?
Whatever happens in January, it’s highly likely changes will occur at Chelsea as Mourinho must wheel and deal to ship out under-performing stars and rejuvenate his squad with new faces if the defending champs are going to pull away from the relegation zone and make a miraculous challenge for a place in the top four.
Another London club could be doing some business in January with injuries to several key players, once again, hitting Arsenal hard. Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla have gone down with long-term knee injuries, meaning Arsene Wenger may need to dip into the market for a short-term option until those players return. A good option on that front could be Paris Saint-Germain’s Adrien Rabiot, 20, who according to the Daily Mail is seeking a loan move in January as regular minutes with his hometown team continue to evade him. Laurent Blanc has an embarrassment of riches in central midfield and Rabiot could fit the bill to help shore up Arsenal’s woes until the end of the season. Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere are scheduled to return from injury in January to help out but the skillful Frenchman may add a little something extra to the mix.
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Another player Arsenal should move for in January is Southampton’s Kenyan destroyer Victor Wanyama. That’s according to former Gunners winger Robert Pires who has told journalists in Nairobi that Wanyama “has the speed, skill and physique. However, I think he needs to score more goals because then he will be world-class material.” Wanyama, 24, joined Saints from Celtic in 2013 for $19 million but has 18 months left on his contract at St Mary’s and Ronald Koeman’s side blocked a summer move to Tottenham Hotspur as Wanyama momentarily threw his toys out of the pram.
Now that he’s focused, Wanyama has shored up Saints’ midfield but he has yet to score this season after netting three times last campaign. If Arsenal do move for Wanyama it could be next summer as he will have less than a year left on his deal and may be available for less than $20 million. He’d be the true destructive holding midfielder they’ve been searching for and has UEFA Champions League experience under his belt during his time with Celtic. Wanyama is ready to take the next step and follow in the long line of Saints players moving to a top four team, but will Koeman offer him a new long-term contract and will the Kenyan accept it?
Rounding up the transfer rumor roundup, Manchester United are hoping to secure the services of 15-year-old Ajax starlet Juan Familio-Castillo with the Dutch U-16 captain impressing the Red Devils scouts for over a year. According to the Daily Mail, Familio-Castillo could arrive in January as the versatile player can operate in midfield and defense and is highly-rated by the Amsterdam club.