Rumour Reel: Transfer deadline day
Frank Monkhouse | 31 January 2017
Who’s going where on Tuesday
Payet a done deal
The long-running Dimitri Payet story is finally over after the Frenchman got the move to Marseille he had been moaning about all winter. £25m was the final price agreed by both clubs, but The Hammers took a parting shot at their former favourite.
The Stratford side accused Payet of showing a lack of commitment and respect and joint-chairman David Sullivan told fans that they did not need to sell Payet for the cash, but wanted to make an example of him. Apparently, manager Slaven Bilic had the final say and agreed in the interest of squad unity. That says it all.
Van a Palace man
Another done deal is Sunderland defender Patrick van Aanholt to Crystal Palace for £14m. The 26-year-old Dutchman was ever-present in the Black Cats backline but has now signed with Sam Allardyce’s side in a four-and-a-half-year deal.
The former Chelsea employee pulled his weight in Sunderland’s bid to avoid relegation and that is exactly the kind of experience Big Sam is after. The Eagles gaffer told fans that he is expecting his newbie to be a great influence at both ends of the park, and he could certainly do with it, with Palace conceding 41 goals already this season, showing -11 in the goal difference tally.
Swapsies for Swans
Swansea City are close to signing Aston Villa attacker Jordan Ayew and are expected to stump up £5m for the privilege, as well as Wales international Neil Taylor thrown in for good measure. That seems a sound deal for both parties, with Taylor looking forward to a new challenge.
Jordan Ayew’s brother Andre played for Swansea last season, before a big-money move to West Ham, and the Ghana international will be eager to make a similar impact in Wales. Swansea are flirting with relegation and could certainly do with the firepower.
Blues ready to spend big
Chelsea were said to be interested in Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordan, but we have seen little on that front. News broke recently that Conte’s backers are ready to raid the Scottish champions for star-striker Moussa Dembele, with a whopping £40m doing the rounds.
The Bhoys want nothing to do with selling their hot-shot however, with Brendan Rodgers telling the press numerous times that the Glaswegians don’t want to, or have to, punt Dembele. They have already knocked back £20m for the French Under-21 international from West Ham, but Chelsea’s offer is sure to test their resolve.
Bears bring in Alnwick
Rangers moved to strengthen their squad with the addition of Port Vale keeper Jak Alnwick on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The Gers, currently involved in a scrap with Aberdeen for second-place, brought in the 23-year-old shot-stopper to push current number one Wes Foderingham.
Alnwick arrives after Rangers triggered a £250k release clause in his contract and the former Newcastle player told fans that he has no fear in jumping up a level to play for such a massive club, and he won’t be overwhelmed by the challenge. The fourth new face in Govan, joining Jon Toral, Emerson Hyndman and David Bates, while Matt Gilks is set to join Wigan.