Martin Odegaard eyeing Arsenal stay, Max Aarons on radar for Tottenham - Transfer Notebook
The dust has barely settled after the close of the transfer window, but we can already be sure that certain January events will influence the summer market. In the latest Inside Football, Dean Jones opens his Transfer Notebook to look at storylines which will swirl around some of England's biggest clubs over the second half of the season.
Martin Odegaard of Arsenal during a training session at London Colney on February 01, 2021 in St Albans, England.
Martin Odegaard has joined Arsenal after buying into the vision of Mikel Arteta. Not just his short-term vision, but the long-term one too. Odegaard was very close to signing up for another loan spell at Spanish side Real Sociedad when Arsenal suddenly convinced him otherwise.
The player’s future at Real Madrid is uncertain under Zinedine Zidane and he knows that Arsenal want to sign him permanently if the opportunity arises. If Zidane remains in charge at Madrid, sources say he does not want to go back. And if this period at Arsenal goes as well as he is hoping, he will be more than happy to stay.
One of the big issues with Zidane's second reign is his failure to embrace and nurture youth. Achraf Hakimi was forced to move away to Inter Milan last July and he won’t be the last to give up on breaking into the side.
Zidane’s situation is one to watch in the coming months as there is no guarantee he does stay at Madrid. They have recently suffered defeat in the Copa del Rey to minnows Alcoyano and they trail Atletico Madrid in La Liga by 10 points. Failure to win a trophy is likely to lead to a change of head coach.
Chelsea's search for Tomori upgrade
Fikayo Tomori of AC Milan looks on during the Coppa Italia match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan
Image credit: Getty Images
Chelsea’s choice to loan Fiyako Tomori to Milan and include an option to buy has left many fans baffled, yet the club have clear intent after agreeing to the clause.
Milan were very keen to ensure they had the option included and while Tomori is considered a very good defender by Chelsea, the £25 million option would give the Blues further strength to go and buy a truly elite centre-half in the summer.
The names Dayot Upamecano, Kalidou Koulibaly and Niklas Sule are all thought to be among top-tier figures the club have talked about so far as they look ahead to the next stage of recruitment.
And there is a feeling at the highest level of the club that to make £25m profit from 23-year-old Tomori, who came through the youth system, could be pretty good business.
Equally, the club would be very open to him coming back and proving he deserves a place at the club if Milan do not take up the option.
As a result he was dropped from Tottenham's game against Brighton - and although he was back in the side to face Chelsea last night, his long-term future is not secure. And Norwich City’s Max Aarons is on the radar as a potential replacement in the summer.
Aurier had been at fault for allowing Sadio Mane free to tee-up Roberto Firmino but, by all accounts, did not take the criticism well.
Aarons is going to be one of the most sought after defenders in Europe in the summer market with Bayern Munich and Manchester United also being linked.
However, Spurs have been scouting him over the past year and sources say he will be on their shortlist of options they will consider if Aurier does indeed leave.
Lampard exit gives Aston Villa new Barkley hope
Jack Grealish of Aston Villa embraces Ross Barkley of Aston Villa during the Premier League match between Southampton and Aston Villa
Image credit: Getty Images
Villa are hopeful of landing Ross Barkley on a permanent deal in the summer if things go well for him in the rest of this season.
Barkley started his loan spell at Villa well but was then forced into the treatment room with a hamstring issue. Since returning he has started to find good form again and there is talk around the club that a permanent switch from Chelsea is something that is becoming more possible.
During January their chances of doing so were given a boost because Frank Lampard was given his marching orders from Stamford Bridge. He had always hoped that new confidence and improved form would help Barkley return to the picture at Chelsea - but now that Lampard is no longer at the club there are not many figures within the West London set-up focused on giving his Blues' career new life.
This will help bring in extra financing for the club at a time when so many teams are struggling with the impact of Covid-19, and will give them an opportunity to strengthen in the summer.
It is not yet clear how much extra cash will be made available for transfers but sources are suggesting that Leeds are likely to make an offer for Wolves' Adama Traore, who has been on their radar all season.