It was hot. It was wet. Momentum shifted dramatically from Australia to Vietnam and back again. When the pendulum swung for Vietnam, Mat Ryan was there. But when it swung for Australia, they capitalised. In the end the Socceroos came out on top.
Steve Gerrard’s time at Aston Villa has been the most exciting period the club has experienced since its promotion to the Premier League just three seasons ago.
Philippe Coutinho has arrived and continued rumours around Everton’s Lucas Digne suggest that the Birmingham club has one hand on the prize when it comes to securing the signature of the left-back.
If anyone was seeking anything close to a confirmation from the club in regards to its interest and the potential signing of Digne, Gerrard’s comment that “there is no smoke without fire”, potentially tells people of the likely destination of the much-sought-after Frenchman.
As the excitement at Villa continues, the club has furthered its talks with West Ham United goalkeeper Darren Randolph, a player deserving of more minutes at the top level. As the third option for the Hammers, even they would not begrudge the 34-year-old Irishman one last and sustained run of consistent play before retirement.
Ajax has made a reported £15 million bid for Tottenham’s Steven Bergwijn, with the proposal met with a stern no. Just a few short weeks ago, Spurs were rumoured to be open to a sale, yet the money offered may well have insulted them and barring a new and more lucrative offer, the Dutchman appears likely to remain at the London club in the short-term.
With Brighton rumoured to be considering the sale of two significant stars, Tariq Lamptey and Yves Bissouma, it appears Paraguayan attacker Julio Enciso is on Seagulls’ radar, with the 17-year-old full international a long-term and potentially bargain option for a club well versed in investing for the future.
Scottish Premier League club Hibernian has secured Norwich City centre-back Rocky Bushiri on loan for the remainder of the 2021-22 season, with the Belgian a terrific signing in the short term and likely to be loaned out again when he returns to his parent club at the end of the season.
Hibs have also been on the defensive in recent days, with a £2 million offer from Al-Faisaly for Australian attacker Martin Boyle rejected. Boyle knows the Saudi Arabian landscape all too well, competing against them in the final stage of World Cup qualifying in a thrilling and tight battle for the two spots on offer. Boyle was rumoured to be interested in a potential deal, yet the club has now rejected two offers and the Saudis may soon turn their attention elsewhere.
In related news, Australian Nathaniel Atkinson has signed with Hearts in Scotland on a three-and-a-half year deal, in an exciting move for the talented young defender. Destined to represent his country for an extended period in the future, Atkinson has been one of the most impressive players down under for some seasons now and the chance to show his wares abroad could well make all the difference for a player with unquestionable talent.
More Newcastle news as a reported £30 million offer looms for the signature of Reims’ Hugo Ekitike. Another teenager with a huge upside, Ekitike appears open to the move and the money on offer may well suit the Ligue 1 club as well.
The futures of Antonio Rudiger and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appear to be in Spain, while the impossible to read Paul Pobga saga that engulfs Manchester United on a daily basis now looks likely to be settled in the summer, with the Red Devils certainly not offering him the wages reported a few days back when Pogba was rumoured to be about to become the most highly paid player in the Premier League.
Arsenal are rumoured to be outlaying something near £150 million in order to snare Dusan Vlahovic, with the Serbian’s insistence on top-tier wages deterring others but potentially seeing the Gunners as the last club standing. It would be a funny way to win a player’s signature, but for a man blessed with some of the best striking skills in Europe, the time and money invested could well pay off.
The rumours and deals continue to roll in, with 19 days still remaining in the winter transfer window. We’ve only just begun and where the next week of action takes us is anyone’s guess.
Be sure to stick with The Roar as we bring you all the latest signings and murmurings from within the cut-throat world of European football.