If a transfer window can slam shut then it can also spring open. There’s no such thing as New Year’s Day signalling a dry January in the heady world of football transfers. This is where the party starts for 31 days of signing-on fees, yellow tickers and term sheets with agents and ITKs hammering the WhatsApp like thunder.
Now that the revoking of Chelsea’s transfer ban means he is able to open Roman Abramovich’s cheque book, Frank Lampard fancies rolling back the years to the club’s glory days and spending like Viv Nicholson. Frank sees Moussa Dembélé – once of Fulham and Celtic, now of Lyon – as a potential new Didier Drogba, which may be bad news for Tammy Abraham. Another option as a forward is the CSKA Moscow striker Fyodor Chalov who would cost around £20m.
Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud’s desire for first-team football before Euro 2020 and Wilfried Zaha’s permanent state of being the subject of transfer speculation has led to talk of some kind of swap deal, with the Frenchman heading to Crystal Palace and Zaha joining Frank’s entertainers on London’s fashionable Kings Road.
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Also for the Chelsea off may be Emerson Palmieri, who is wanted by Antonio Conte at Internazionale.
And on the opposite side of the defense, Chelsea are willing to pay £30m to sign Ricardo Pereira from Leicester, with Tottenham also interested.
Emerson’s availability may be a prelude to Chelsea showing real interest in Ben Chilwell, though Manchester City’s long-term courting of the Leicester left-back remains undiminished in its ardour.
This January could see the opening skirmishes of a running battle between José Mourinho and Daniel Levy over transfer policy, and the Tottenham manager wants three players to come in. Firstly, a centre-half: that may be one of Bournemouth’s Nathan Aké or West Ham’s Issa Diop.
Next, Serge Aurier’s ears may be burning with the suggestion that a right-back is being targeted: Napoli’s Elseid Hysaj and Marseille’s Hiroki Sakai are two names in the offing beyond Pereira. And, with Christian Eriksen entering the limbo of being able to sign a contract with a new club from 1 January, an attacking midfielder is desired. Gremio’s Everton Soares fits that bill.
When Snyder announced he had fired team president Bruce Allen, he said Washington would “reevaluate our team leadership, culture and process for winning football games.”
If anyone can reshape that in Washington with Snyder still owning the team, maybe it’s Rivera. It’ll be a big job, and he’s reportedly going to bring in the big guns to get it done.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Rivera is expected to target Jack Del Rio as his defensive coordinator, who has proven results in defensive improvements when he was the head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Denver Broncos.
Washington went 3-13, which wasn’t fun, but it means they get the second pick of the 2020 draft. Expect that to be Ohio State pass rusher Chase Young, who looks like a phenomenal prospect. The rest of the roster has a few interesting players. A key is if 2019 first-round pick Dwayne Haskins can develop at quarterback.
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