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Transfer rumours: Rice won’t come cheap, Coutinho to be Villa’s saviour and Pogba offered big money to stay at Man U

Declan Rice of West Ham United scores their second goal during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and West Ham United at Villa Park on October 31, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Expert
7th January, 2022
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Every West Ham United fan’s worst nightmare is slowly but surely becoming a reality, with reports of monumental offers being put together by multiple clubs, in an effort to steal away their prized captain.

Declan Rice is a star of the future, incredibly mature for a 22-year-old and on the radar of every European club worth its salt. Hammers fans live in everyday fear of their captain and potential future leaving, with Manchester United consistent in paper talk surrounding a new home for the incredibly gifted and resilient central midfielder.

David Moyes has erected the ‘not for sale’ sign and Rice himself has said as recently as January 5th that, “There’s no limits to what we can do (at West Ham). We just need to stick together.”

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Yet everyone knows the £100 million valuation of the young star will have prospective suitors knocking down his managers’ door, with the player keen to play Champions League football on a regular basis.

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Declan Rice of West Ham

(Photo by James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images)

In more frightful news at the London Stadium, Newcastle United has apparently set its eyes on Issa Diop in a potential move to solidify a defence that will need to be far more professional over the reminder of the season, should the club hope to avoid relegation.

West Ham can ill afford to lose another defender after being hit by injuries throughout December. The curious question is why a cashed-up Newcastle would be interested in a third-string West Ham defender. This one seems a little tricky to decipher and who knows where the cards will end up falling.

An even more unusual development is the reported £500,000 per-week offer made to Paul Pogba by Manchester United, with the entire football world feeling certain that he was destined to have played his final season with the Red Devils.

With the club keen to get its hands on Rice, and Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid interested in Pogba, logic suggested he was on his way out of Old Trafford.

Paul Pogba holds off a defender

(Photo by Giuseppe Cottini/Getty Images)

Perhaps the new manager has caused a sudden about-face when it comes to the club’s view of the enigmatic and inconsistent Frenchman.

Philippe Coutinho has made his decision and will spend the rest of the 2021-22 season under Steve Gerrard at Aston Villa.

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With many seeing a bright future for the Birmingham club and Coutinho’s presence destined to attract other quality players, the focus now shifts to ensuring that relegation is avoided and a top-ten finish on the Premier League ladder achieved.

Arsenal continue to firm in the market as the successful suitor of Dusan Vlahović, yet Tottenham, Manchester United and Juventus continue to lurk in the shadows, all keen to acquire the services of one of the most promising young strikers in football.

Interest in Divock Origi has apparently spread to three Serie A clubs, while the Liverpool attacker has expressed a preference to remain in England.

It raises an interesting dilemma for the Reds, with the Belgian’s class irrefutable, yet his potential worth on the transfer market also attractive for a club looking to evolve in preparation for a second generation of success under Jürgen Klopp.

Kieran Trippier appears will report for duty at Newcastle United in the coming hours, while Todd Cantwell has also come under the radar of the freshly cashed-up club, with the £20 million transfer fee rumoured to be on his head comfortably managed by the Magpies and potentially attractive to Cantwell’s home club, Norwich.

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Brazilian forward Antony is reportedly in discussions with Barcelona, as Real Madrid and Liverpool watch on closely in the hope of pouncing on a situation that is still somewhat unclear.

Dutch side Ajax have placed a high price on the 21-year-old’s head, with €35 million being the upper ceiling should any club dare to engage in discussions. Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Juventus have also expressed interest in Antony, yet the asking price does appear to be a potential deal-breaker when it comes to an agreement being reached for the services of such a talented youngster.

AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessié has been strongly recommended to Tottenham Hotspur, with Antonio Conte having worked with the player previously and Milan apparently open to the idea of letting the Ivorian go for the right price.

Things continue to hot up in the race for talent and the pursuit of deals that suit both parties involved. Be sure to stick with The Roar tomorrow for all the Day 8 transfer window action.

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