Transfer gossip: Chelsea keen to swap Eden Hazard for Gareth Bale
Unsettled Real Madrid star Gareth Bale's and the German Bundesliga's deadliest marksman feature in today's transfer round-up.
BALE COULD BE A TARGET FOR CHELSEA
Real Madrid’s eagerness to bring Chelsea’s Eden Hazard to the Bernabeu may see them consider a lavish swap deal involving their club record signing Gareth Bale, according to fresh reports.
Rumours in Spain over the last few months have suggested that Hazard is one of Real Madrid’s top transfer targets, with the club’s new manager Zinedine Zidane known to be a firm admirer of the Belgian playmaker.
Despite his alarming slump in form in the back end of 2015, Real Madrid still see Hazard as a player they want to add to their ranks of superstars and the question remains whether they would allow Bale to leave if he is being replaced by the current PFA Footballer of the Year.
Manchester United tried and failed with extravagantly expensive bids to sign Bale from Real Madrid last summer, but a move that could see both clubs acquiring top quality players may be more palatable to the hierarchy at the Spanish club.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid have played down reports that Bale is unhappy at the club following the sacking of coach Rafa Benitez on Monday, with Zindane insisting the Welshman is a central cog in the club’s future.
DORTMUND STAR COULD BE A BIG JANUARY MOVER
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could emerge as the biggest signing by a Premier League club in this transfer window, amid fresh reports in Germany the Bundesliga’s leading scorer could be destined for the Premier League.
Arsenal and Liverpool are believed to be at the front of the queue to sign Aubameyang, with the 26-year-old Frenchman missing training with his club on Tuesday due to “a personal appointment”, according to a club statement.
Bids in excess of £40m would be required before Dortmund would consider selling their star man this month, but that figure may not deter big spending Premier League clubs who have the guarantee of a windfall of fresh money from the lucrative new TV contract that will kick in next summer.
“We all hope he will stay,” said his Dortmund team-mate Matthias Ginter when asked about Aubameyang. “He’s very important, on the pitch and off, for what he contributes to the group atmosphere.”
Aubameyang has fired 18 Bundesliga goals this season, with Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp well aware of his abilities as he worked with the Frenchman in his final two years with Dortmund.
ARSENAL CLOSE ON THEIR FIRST JANUARY SIGNING
FC Basel midfielder Mohamed Elneny is edging closer to a deal to become Arsenal’s first signing of the January transfer window, after his club confirmed they expected him to leave “in the coming days.”
Basel returned to training on Tuesday after the Christmas break and Elneny was not a part of the group working under coach Urs Fischer.
A statement on Basel’s website read: “Absent (from training) was Mohamed Elneny, for who there could be a transfer in the coming days.”
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has hinted that he will be busy in this transfer window, with Elneny set to be the first of several signings designed to bolster their squad in a season when they are emerging as favourites to lift the Premier League title.
FALCAO OFF TO AMERICA?
Chelsea are eager for Radamel Falcao to find a new club this summer after his disastrous and expensive loan move from Monaco, with a report in the Daily Mirror suggesting MLS side Columbus Crew are eyeing up a bid for the Colombian.
A move to MLS at the age of 29 would confirm that Falcao’s days as a top level performer are over, but his stock has never been lower after a woeful spell at Manchester United last season has been backed up by an equally poor stint at Chelsea in the last few months.
Chelsea will be forced to continue to pay Falcao’s wages for the rest of this season unless he finalizes a move in this transfer window, with his parent club Monaco under no obligation to take him back under the teams of his year-long deal they agreed with the Premier League champions.