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Transfer rumours: Will Aubameyang find a new club? West Ham play the waiting game and Dembele’s sad end at Barca draws nearer

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20th January, 2022
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In another twist in the ongoing mystery around exactly where Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will eventually end up in the next phase of his football journey, Saudi Arabia has suddenly loomed into contention.

An offer to take the 32-year-old Gabonese on loan until the end of the season has been tabled by Al Nassr, and with the Gunners still keen to sign Arthur Melo this month, the option to off-load a player who appears to have become surplus to requirements may well be an attractive one for the London club.

Melo is not the only man on the radar of Arsenal, with Juventus midfielder Arthur recently visiting the English capital for discussions around his future. While Arsenal is keen to activate a loan arrangement, the Italian giants are reportedly seeking an obligation-to-buy clause, which raises serious questions around the view it currently has of the talented midfielder.

West Ham United fans are becoming increasingly resigned to the fact that former loan player Jesse Lingard appears to be headed elsewhere and is not destined for a return to the London Stadium. As per usual, Newcastle United have been linked with one of the best and most available players on the market. Desperate to leave Manchester United along with many teammates, the signing of Kieran Trippier has apparently impressed the 29-year-old Englishman, yet a complete deal does still appear to be well off, with a great deal of negotiation yet to take place.

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Hammers fans are also growing in frustration, concerned that their David Moyes-led squad has had no new blood added to it as we approach the final days of the winter transfer window. For a team sitting fourth on the Premier League ladder and with the recent cash injection of a new part-owner, it would seem logical that the East London club would be pushing as hard as possible to qualify for the Champions League for the first time. Yet still the fans wait for the cunning Moyes to make his first move, something most see as necessary for the team to improve enough to be a serious contender for the top four positions.

The murmurs continue in relation to a potential move for Eden Hazard back into the Premier League, with Newcastle United rumoured to be the most interested, yet it is the breaking story of Steven Gerrard and Aston Villa’s interest in Luis Suarez that has become the talk of world football overnight. At 35 and no longer the star at Atletico Madrid, the player is reportedly open to a move, and with Villa looking to build something special under their new manager, his qualities in the short term could well be an asset for them.

Since the news broke, the club has expressed a clear view that Suarez is not a potential Villa player and Gerrard will be looking elsewhere to bolster the squad. Rumoured approaches for Suarez from Brazil and Saudi Arabia do not appear to have cut the mustard, and the chance to reunite with Birmingham’s newest star, Philippe Coutinho, could well be too good to refuse for a player seeking one last swansong in top-flight football.

Antonio Conte is adamant that Steven Bergwijn will be a Tottenham player in the short-term future. After the amazing finish he conjured against Leicester City, Bergwijn’s value may well have increased, and Ajax’s previous offer of £15 million (A$28.2 million) could well need upping should the Dutch club even have a chance of securing his services. The issue for Conte is that, despite his insistence that the 24-year-old Dutchman is a key part of his future plans, the apparent willingness of the Tottenham board to sell the emerging star could add further fuel to a fire that continues to burn between the coach and the decision-makers at the club.

The situation around Ousmane Dembele and his future at Barcelona has become increasingly ugly and distasteful, with the financial ultimatum handed to the player yet to be agreed upon and the club’s apparent determination to see him depart growing stronger every day. Obviously annoyed, Dembele appears content to ride out the embarrassing situation and collect his wages until the summer, when he could well be forced to move on. Any interested club could potentially pounce on the situation, with Barcelona unlikely to play hardball over any prospective deal. Sadly for Dembele, his price tag appears to be warding off most major European clubs.

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As some sit in the wings awaiting major announcements, other clubs are desperately scrapping to recruit players to avoid relegation and/or press for European competitions. Stick with The Roar for all the rumours and deals as we enter the final stages of the winter transfer window.

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