Who will replace Lampard?
Chelsea are preparing to line up a replacement for Frank Lampard, with the Guardian reporting that the Blues boss is "running out of time to save his job" at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea have succumbed to five defeats in their last eight Premier League matches and the pressure is on the 42-year-old after spending over £200 million on transfers last summer. The club hierarchy are reportedly interested in a coach with Bundesliga experience, with Thomas Tuchel, RB Leipzig's Julian Nagelsmann, Southampton's Ralph Hasenhuttl mentioned as options - and Ralf Rangnick noted as a potential short-term choice until the summer. Former Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has also been touted as an option if they were to go down an alternative route.
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Paper Round's view: It seems like the end is nigh for Frank Lampard and Chelsea have a clear plan for his replacement. The club has signed Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner from the Bundesliga in recent transfer windows - but Lampard has failed to unlock the potential of any of the highly-rated trio. Chelsea have even reportedly made Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland their number one target ahead of the summer. Nagelsmann would probably be the first-choice option for the Blues but he wouldn't be available until next season... which is why Rangnick has been mentioned as a short-term option until the end of the season. However, Tuchel would be available immediately and would be able to use the next few months preparing his squad to mount a title challenge next season.
Alaba done, Camavinga next?
Real Madrid are steaming ahead with their summer transfer business and, after reportedly completing the signing of Bayern Munich defender David Alaba on a free transfer, Los Blancos are targeting French youngster Eduardo Camavinga next. The Liga club first made contact with Rennes last summer, but were forced to delay their move for the 18-year-old due to the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Zinedine Zidane views Camavinga as his "top target" as he looks to add new blood to his midfield. The club also want to bring superstar duo Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland to the Spanish capital, but both are unlikely to join this summer due to Real's financial limitations.
Paper Round's view: The Galactico era is returning to Real Madrid. Eden Hazard (although an unsuccessful signing thus far) moved to the Santiago Bernabeu for a club-record fee in 2019 and now more superstar names are being targeted. Camavinga could be the face of the club's midfield for the next 15 years. He might come with a big price-tag, but he looks worth the money. The 18-year-old has already been capped for France and impressed some of Europe's elite, but Real Madrid are the one club that are constantly linked with him. If Mbappe or Haaland were to follow Camavinga to Madrid this summer, it would be a huge - and much-needed - statement from Los Blancos.
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Wolves close in on temporary striker
Wolves are closing in on loan deal for Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose, according to the Guardian. The Brazilian forward would be a short-term replacement for Raul Jimenez, who has been ruled out since November after fracturing his skull against Arsenal. There is expected to be a option-to-buy clause inserted in the agreement between Wolves and Real Sociedad, which can be activated by the Premier League club in the summer transfer window.
Paper Round's view: Signing Willian Jose will be a huge boost for Wolves, who are looking light in attack following the horrible injury to Jimenez. Nuno Espirito Santo's side have struggled for goals so far this season, scoring just 21 goals in 19 matches. 18-year-old forward Fabio Silva was signed for a club-record fee last summer but stepping up in Jimenez's absence has been too much pressure for a player that young and inexperienced. Jose Willian will take some of that pressure away from Silva and could prove an important signing as Nuno attempts to get Wolves' season back on track.
West Ham to up bid in hunt for forward
West Ham are following the footsteps of fellow Premier League side Wolves as they look to add a new striker to their squad in the January transfer market. The Star reveal that the Hammers are targeting Sevilla forward Youssef En-Nesyri and are readying a second bid after an opening offer of £22.5 million rising to £27 million was rejected. However, the report states that Sevilla will reject the new bid - worth up to £32 million - as the Spaniards hold out for at least £35 million. West Ham are also exploring Ligue 1 pair Boulaye Dia and Gaetan Laborde as cheaper alternatives in their bid to replace transfer flop Sebastien Haller, who left for Ajax earlier in the winter window.
Paper Round's view: West Ham have an awful track record with signing strikers and they will be desperate for their next new forward to work out. However, a January transfer rarely goes this way. It usually starts with a club massively overpaying due to the inflated mid-season market and then they put too much pressure on the player to succeed without allowing them time to adapt to their new surroundings. En-Nesyri looks like a talented player, but it will be difficult to prise him from Sevilla during the season - especially while they are competing in the Champions League. Dia or Laborde might prove better options this month and then a return to Spain for En-Nesyri in the summer could work out nicely if needed.
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