Winter is coming. You can tell it from the frost on the rooftops and the increased number of exotic attacking midfielders your club is being linked with. But instead of lasting about six years like the winter in Game of Thrones, the Game of Football winter will last just one month. What we’re experiencing now is just the arduous, meticulous preparation. Window is coming.
There is all sorts of Hot Football Transfer Gossip knocking about today, and the bit Arsenal fans will enjoy least appears in Marca. The Spanish paper claims that Gunners star man Mesut Ozil “regrets” leaving Real Madrid and has “offered his services” to his former club amid ongoing contract negotiations at the Emirates.
Arsene Wenger could also sign a player from Madrid, with Goal linking the Frenchman with a move for Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak. However, a potential stumbling block is that the Slovenian has a €100m (£85m) release clause in his contract and Wenger, unsurprisingly, would sooner re-sign Andre Santos than spend that kind of dough on a goalkeeper. One option is to just wait until the Euro exchange rate improves. Could be a few years though.
Another Arsenal transfer story concerns Mathieu Debuchy, who the Metro says could be on his way to Marseille, but nobody is that bothered about what Mathieu Debuchy does so we won’t mention him again – don’t worry.
Chelsea are being linked with all manner of wild and wacky new signings – none of which sound particularly exciting. The Blues are said to be interested in Hoffenheim defender Niklas Sule (ESPN), Sampdoria forward Lucas Muriel (Calciomercato) and Napoli full-back Faouzi Ghoulam (Star), all of whom sound like they would be signed and loaned out immediately.
Potential outgoings from Stamford Bridge are Branislav Ivanovic to Juventus (Telegraph), John Obi Mikel to Besiktas (Star) and – perhaps most interestingly – goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to West Ham (Bleacher Report).
The Hammers are also reportedly preparing to offer Dimitri Payet even more money than they gave him this time last year to stay in east London. The Sun says the Frenchman will be offered an improvement on his already-improved £125,000 a week contract to ward off interest from Manchester United.
The Red Devils are expecting – or should it be praying – to receive bids for 10 players in January, including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Memphis Depay, Morgan Schneiderlin, Matteo Darmian, Marcos Rojo, Ashley Young, Daley Blind, Marouane Fellaini and Anthony Martial (Manchester Evening News).
However, left-back Luke Shaw has no intention of leaving Old Trafford and will fight for his place despite Jose Mourinho apparently not liking his face (Mail).
Elsewhere, Middlesbrough are planning a £6m bid for Hull City defender Harry Maguire (Mirror), Leicester are set to revive their interest in Sporting Lisbon midfielder Adrien Silva (also Mirror) and Daniel Levy will spend his Christmas trying to convince Juventus and Inter Milan that Moussa Sissoko is really worth the £30m Tottenham just paid for him, with both Italian clubs said to be keen on the unhappy French midfielder (Calciomercato). If anyone can, Levy can.