Transfer Rumor Roundup: Ighalo on the move; Grillitsch to Tottenham
Odion Ighalo has told Sky Sports that he wants to return to the Premier League.
The Nigerian international spent two-and-a-half seasons at Watford (two in the PL) from 2014-17 as he scored 16 goals and added four assists in 50 PL starts. He’s spent the past 12 months playing in the Chinese Super League for Changchun Yatai, scoring 36 goals in 55 games but, per the report, Ighalo is flying to the UK this week and wants to hold talks about his future.
A transfer fee of $25 million (what Changchun Yatai paid Watford for Ighalo in January 2017) has been suggested if Ighalo is to be sold, but which PL clubs will be interested in his services?
At a quick glance a few stick out: Southampton, Everton, Leicester and Crystal Palace would all seem like decent spots for him to land as they need added firepower and a target man. Everton have struggled in that area and have the cash the pay Ighalo, while Everton may have to get sell the likes of Shinji Okazaki and Kelechi Iheanacho to bring Ighalo in. Southampton have sold Manolo Gabbiadini, so a spot has opened up but does his style of play suit Ralph Hasenhuttl’s high-pressing philosophy? Probably not.
Crystal Palace would be a good fit for Ighalo but whether or not they have this kind of cash is another matter. With Christian Benteke about to return from injury, Roy Hodgson may give him a run in the team, while Jordan Ayew has found some decent form in recent weeks in a central role.
Ighalo, 29, could want a move back to the PL as much as he likes, but at the moment there doesn’t seem to be many clubs who could take 1) afford his wages, and 2) have a spot for him to be a regular.
Another report from Sky Sports claims that Tottenham want to sign Austrian midfielder Florian Grillitsch, 23, from Hoffenheim.
The report claims that Grillitsch has a release clause in his contract for $24 million and with Mousa Dembele close to sealing a move to Chinese Super League side Beijing Sinobo Guoan, it appears Spurs have found their replacement.
A penny for your thoughts, Harry Winks, Victor Wanyama and Olivier Skipp...
This move seems very much like a Tottenham transfer. A young player who has UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga experience who is ready to make the step to a team competing in the top four of the Premier League each season and is hungry to improve under Mauricio Pochettino.
Grillitsch is a tall defensive midfielder who is comfortable on the ball, and likes to break up the play, so it seems like he would be a direct replacement for Dembele. This potential move says an awful lot about Winks’ future at Tottenham, while Wanyama has been hit by injuries but it appears he could be heading out of the door this summer. Either way, Spurs need extra depth as it is so if Dembele does leave then at least giving Pochettino the cash to bring in a replacement for a few million more is the least Daniel Levy can do.