Man Utd to offload Januzaj for Coleman or Marquinhos?
Arsenal and Liverpool after Mkhitaryan as West Brom lose patience with wantaway Berahino
With a mere 150 days – give or take – until the transfer window reopens the big clubs are already eyeing their off-season targets, many of who appear to be the same as their January targets:
• Arsenal and Liverpool are on reddish alert for Borussia Dortmund dynamo Henrikh Mkhitaryan. According to Caughtoffside the midfielder is in search of a new challenge and that's given the two Premier League clubs a boost. "Henrikh has a desire to leave Dortmund in the summer. I need to see what we can do about it," agent Mino Raiola is quoted as telling German daily Bild. With Dortmund no longer the force they once were, the Armenian is weighing up his options and Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is reportedly keen on the 26-year-old as a replacement for the departing Steven Gerrard.
• Just because a deal did not come to pass during the transfer window, there is no reason for the press to believe it won't happen in the summer. And the Manchester Evening News suggests that Manchester United, having failed to sign any of their targets could fare better once the season is over. It adds that Adnan Januzaj, who was denied a loan move last month, could be offloaded in return for one or two players linked with Old Trafford last month. "With United considering moves for Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos and Everton's Seamus Coleman, Januzaj could yet be offered in exchange for either of those targets," says the paper.
• Despite plenty of rumours last month, West Bromwich Albion striker Saido Berahino stayed at the Hawthorns but he is unlikely to be there next season as the club and player head for an "acrimonious" summer split, says the Daily Telegraph. West Brom will sell their star player for £20m at the end of the season after breaking off contract talks. The 21-year-old's attitude has infuriated the club and things appear to have come to a head after he gave an interview, "agreed without the permission of his club, in which he admitted he hopes to 'move on to bigger things'". Liverpool and Spurs are the clubs in pole position to sign him.
• Why he's said it now, 48 hours after the January transfer window shut, is anyone's guess but Athletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has admitted his club are tracking fullbacks Cesar Azpilicueta and Nacho Monreal. The Evening Standard reports that the Chelsea man and the Arsenal centre-half both "fit Athletic's transfer policy, which sees the club only sign players from the Basque Country". Urrutia didn't explain to Spanish rag AS why he didn't make a move for either of the defenders last month but he did admit they could swoop in the summer. "We have to be aware, monitoring, whether they continue [playing] at their clubs, " he explained, "because they are interesting."
• Chelsea gaffer Jose Mourinho has reportedly identified Brazilian star Jonathas "as a replacement for Stamford Bridge legend Didier Drogba". According to the Daily Star the 25-year-old Jonathas, currently contracted to Italian outfit Pescara, has come to the attention of Mourinho after favourable reports from his scouts who saw the South American in action while on loan with La Liga side Elche. A summer bid could be in the offing, but then a lot of water will flow under the Stamford Bridge between now and then, so who really knows.