Liverpool have resisted five approaches for one of their fringe midfielders, while Chelsea are plotting a move on West Ham for one of their star performers, according to Wednesday’s newspapers.
FIVE CLUBS MAKE APPROACHES FOR LIVERPOOL MIDFIELDER
Swansea City, West Brom, Brighton, Newcastle United and Aston Villa have all made requests to take Liverpool midfielder Kevin Stewart on loan, according to reports.
In addition, it’s believed that two of those clubs – Newcastle and Swansea – have failed in a £6million bid to sign Stewart this month in a permanent deal.
The Liverpool Echo claims Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is determined to rebuff all requests for the midfielder, whom he sees as an important member of his squad.
The former Tottenham trainee is viewed as the perfect squad player by Klopp and the manager is determined to retain his services, having been highly impressed by his development over the past 12 months with the German praising his attitude and the intensity of his training.
Since making his debut in last January’s FA Cup tie at Exeter City, Stewart has gone on to make 18 first-team appearances. His progress was rewarded with a new five-year deal back in November.
His chances have been limited so far this term with two starts and five substitute outings but he’s expected to feature in this Sunday’s FA Cup third round tie with Plymouth Argyle at Anfield. Klopp views Stewart as a reliable back-up to captain Jordan Henderson in the holding midfield role.
Liverpool will rebuff any further attempts to sign Stewart in January and intend to re-assess the situation in the summer. Having joined the Reds from Tottenham on a free transfer three years ago, Stewart is now valued by the club around the £10million to £12million mark.
CHELSEA TO MAKE ‘SENSATIONAL’ MICHAIL ANTONIO SWOOP
Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has made West Ham midfielder Michail Antonio, 26, a surprise inclusion on a list of players he wants to sign in the transfer window, according to The Sun.
The England wing-back, or midfielder, has been a rare shining light in a difficult season for the Hammers and his displays have caught the eye of Conte, none more so than when his efforts were responsible for the last time his side suffered a defeat – October’s EFL Cup defeat at West Ham.
Antonio, 26, is West Ham’s top scorer with eight goals this season is extremely popular with the fans – making any move for the player tough for the Blues.
Antonio is clearly enjoying life at West Ham, where he has earned a call-up to the England squad since a £3million move from Nottingham Forest.
But Conte wants to up the energy levels in his team this month and has already admitted Chelsea ‘are trying to do something’ in this transfer window.
Chelsea are aiming high and have been linked with a daring move for Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal in a deal worth around £36 million.
Conte also already has his eye on next season’s Champions League with his team five points clear at the top of the Premier League and Londoner Antonio’s British heritage would be a boost for the squad where eight of the 25-strong players must be homegrown.
AND THE REST
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is ready to bring forward his interest in Sevilla star Steven N’Zonzi to this January (The Sun)
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola will wait until the summer before making a move for Atletico Madrid defender Lucas Hernandez, 20. The Frenchman is valued at £20m by the Spanish club (The Independent)
Marseille have entered the race to sign Manchester United outcast Morgan Schneiderlin this month (The Sun)
Antoine Griezmann has dismissed speculation surrounding his future at Atletico Madrid amid continuing speculation he is a transfer target for Chelsea and Manchester United
Jon Mikel Obi, 29, has received offers from four Chinese Super League clubs – the Nigerian’s contract at Stamford Bridge ends in the summer (Daily Mirror)
West Ham, Everton and Swansea are all interested in signing 21-year-old RB Leipzig striker David Selke, who scored 10 goals to help the club win promotion to the Bundesliga last season (Daily Mail)
Watford have made an £8m offer for Brentford striker Scott Hogan, 24, who has scored 14 goals in 25 Championship games this season (The Guardian)
Michael Carrick is still waiting for Manchester United to offer him a new contract – six weeks after Jose Mourinho said he wanted him to stay for another year (The Sun)
Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard is wanted by both Crystal Palace and Brighton as he contemplates a return to English football (The Sun)
Napoli full-back Faouzi Ghoulam, 25, has rejected a new contract amid interest from Premier League leaders Chelsea (London Evening Standard)
Tottenham will not sell midfielder Dele Alli, 20, at any price after reports emerged that Real Madrid are considering a £50m move for the England international (Sky Sports)
Rangers have made 21-year-old Arsenal midfielder Jon Toral, who is currently on loan at La Liga side Granada, their main January transfer target (Daily Record)
Sam Allardyce has turned to Norwich City’s Robbie Brady to solve Crystal Palace’s left-back problems (The Sun)
West Brom are looking to sign Southampton striker Shane Long, 29, and Leeds defender Charlie Taylor, 23, this month (The Sun)
Wilfried Bony played just six minutes during Stoke’s slump in December – but will still snub mega-money offers from China to stay at the club (The Sun)
Sunderland have knocked back West Ham’s move for Jermain Defoe and insisted the forward is not for sale (Daily Mirror)
Everton could move for Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson if they fail to land Ronald Koeman’s preferred target, Virgil van Dijk of Southampton (Daily Mirror)
Aston Villa have made a £3m bid to sign Nottingham Forest midfielder Henri Lansbury, 26, after Derby’s £2.5m offer for the player was rejected last week (Birmingham Mail)
QPR midfielder Tjaronn Chery, 28, is close to joining Chinese Super League side Guizhou Hengfeng Zhicheng for a fee in excess of £4m (Sky Sports)
Leicester are ready to step up their interest in Norwich wide-man Robbie Brady once they offload flop winger Bartosz Kapustka, who is yet to play competitively for the Premier League champions since a £7.5m summer switch from Polish side Cracovia (Daily Mirror)
Manchester United and Manchester City are keeping an eye on defender Jordan Bedeau, 17, and forward Callum Styles, 16, who have broken into League One side Bury’s first team this season (ESPN)
French side Lille are ready to test the insistence of Antonio Conte that Chelsea striker Michy Batshuayi will not leave the Premier League leaders this month (Daily Mirror)
Wolves boss Paul Lambert wants Championship rivals Blackburn’s Ben Marshall as his first signing (Daily Mirror)
Everton are preparing an improved offer for Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin after having a £19m bid turned down (Daily Mail)
Rangers target Conor Hourihane refused to commit his long term future to Barnsley after scoring a stunning late winner against Nottingham Forest (Daily Record)