Deadline day: Arsenal still after Villa, Man Utd in for Belhanda?
The latest rumours on the final day of the January transfer window
THE MOST exciting day of 2013 so far has dawned as football clubs scramble to make up for lost time and sign some new faces as the transfer window creaks shut. It's been a pretty quiet month so far with few major moves, but it's worth remembering that January 31 is the anniversary of Fernando Torres's move to Chelsea an Andy Carroll's switch to Liverpool, so there is a history of ill-conceived panic buying.
With that in mind, reporters, bloggers and football agents will be beside themselves with excitement as fans and outside broadcast units congregate outside football grounds to try and find out who might be going where.
• The fate of David Villa is, amazingly, still being discussed on deadline day. Goal.com won't let the story of his proposed move to Arsenal die and claims that the Gunners have tabled an offer worth more than £10m for the Barcelona striker. The 31-year-old has announced that he wants to leave the Camp Nou, and Arsene Wenger admitted that he was interested in the striker. However, Barcelona have repeatedly insisted that he is not for sale. If Arsenal pull off a deal it will be a major coup.
• Spurs could pull off one of the biggest deals of the day if they manage to rush through the signing of Brazilian striker Leandro Damiao before the window closes at midnight. According to ESPN the player's current employers, Internacional in Brazil, have opened the door to the possibility of a £15m switch. Damiao was the top scorer at the Olympics and Spurs are in need to extra fire power.
• Could Younes Belhanda agree to join Manchester United today? The 22-year-old Moroccan playmaker has been a target for United, Arsenal and Newcastle this month, but was expected to join Fenerbache. However, talks with the Turkish side have collapsed opening the prospect of a move elsewhere. According to Morroccan website Almarssadpro he will agree to join United, but in a deal that will see him stay with French club Montpellier until the end of the season.
• According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal will be forced into a deadline day hunt for a new left-back after Kieran Gibbs was injured against Liverpool. The paper says Arsene Wenger no longer has any faith in reserve defender Andre Santos, who was himself a deadline day arrival in the summer of 2011. If he does pick up another full-back, Wenger will want to make sure he picks a better one this time.
• Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, who is admired by Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, appears to have issued what could be construed as a "come and get me" plea. The Uruguayan has a massive £54m buy-out clause in his contract but told Gazzetta dello Sport: "If a club has a clear project and they want to focus on me, they can't be frightened in front of this figure."
• QPR boss Harry Redknapp has been in action as you would expect on deadline day and is being linked with a move for unwanted Arsenal winger Andrei Arshavin. Inside Futbol claims that Russian sources are suggesting that the 31-year-old could move across London for the rest of the season on loan.
• In other QPR news, Redknapp has confirmed the arrival of centre-back Chris Samba for a fee of £10m. "It is good we have brought him in to replace Ryan Nelsen," he said. CaughtOffside was quick off the mark to announce that Congolese defender was about to join the Hoops from Anzhi Makhachkala.
• Sunderland have signed out-of-favour Swansea striker Danny Graham. The 27-year-old has joined the Wearside club for £5m and has signed a three-and-a-half year contract. The player, who was born in Gateshead and used to play for Middlesbrough admited some fans "might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland" but insisted he was committed to his new club.
• Leeds striker Luciano Becchio has joined Premier League side Norwich, with another forward, Steve Morison, heading in the other direction. The 29-year-old Argentine has no top flight experience, but is used to the English game after spending five years at Elland Road.
• Championship side Nottingham Forest are expected to be among the big movers today, as new manager Alex McLeish lures targets to the City Ground with wads of cash donated by the club's Kuwaiti owners. First to arrive was Kuwaiti international goalkeeper Khaled Al-Rashidi. Peterborough midfielder George Boyd has also undergone a medical with the former European champions. A busy McLeish has also confirmed his interest in Wolves full-back Stephen Ward and been linked to 34-year-old Barry Robson, once of Middlesbrough. ·