Transfer Talk: Shane Long on a few shopping lists, Ronaldinho to Turkey and Solskjaer lined up for Cardiff job
Ronaldinho must not have had enough Turkey at Christmas dinner if reports are to believed, and is Shane Long leaving West Brom?
It's that time of year again when the rumour mill kicks into overdrive as club owners and managers begin to look to bolster their squads as they head in to the long post-Christmas slog, and try to push as high up the table as they can. One of the players that a lot of the bosses are looking at is West Brom's Shane Long, who had an unsettled few weeks at the end of the summer transfer window when it seemed a done deal that he was heading to Hull.
Queens Park Rangers have emerged as a possible destination ('Arry Redknapp involved in transfers? That's weird...) while, according to The Independent Hull are still interested, as are Nottingham Forest. However, West Brom are having their own problems with Anelka, and it's possible that Long may be convinced to stay at The Hawthorns with an improved contract that would see his deal extended beyond the summer, when he would be able to leave for free.
Ronaldinho is another man who may be on the move, in a fairly surprising switch to Besiktas. According to Goal.com, the Turkish club have stated that they're trying to get their hands on the Brazilian, who showed that he's still got plenty to offer at the World Club Cup recently, and he's a free agent now that his contract is up with Atletico Mineiro. They are also apparently looking at bringing in Joleon Lescott, so they must have quite a large wage bill to blow this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is by all accounts already on a plane to Cardiff, as the club are looking to announce a new manager before their match with Newcastle in the FA Cup on Sunday. It would certainly be a step up in the management ladder for the Molde man, but with all that has been going on at Cardiff recently, it might be a very short-term move. We're assuming it's only a matter of time before Vincent Tan appoints himself anyway.
Brendan Rodgers was possibly sending a bit of a message last week against Chelsea when he brought on the young Brad Smith, who looked totally out of his depth, when he had a few other options on the bench which he could have gone with. It looks like that message has gotten through, as he might be getting Mohamed Salah as his first signing of 2014, with many outlets reporting that a deal is almost done with Basel for the winger.
Manchester United are hoping to have a much better window this January than they did in the summer, and are already lining up two big targets. Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund is one of those players that they're looking for, and if rumours are to be believed, they could be willing to part with up to €50 million for the German. David Moyes is also looking to return to his old stomping ground and pick up Leighton Baines (again) and has £16 million with which to do so. They may also look to buy Southampton's Luke Shaw, but the £20 million price tag could put them off.
In other news, according to The Daily Mail it seems that Atlético Madrid may be lining up a shock swoop for Giorgios Samaras from Celtic to add to their attacking options and keep their title push going. Kevin Doyle may be eyeing up the exit door as Kevin Phillips is close to joining Wolves, but manager Kenny Jackett has stated he won't be leaving this window. Chelsea have completed a deal for Burkina Faso youngster Bertrand Traore, and are expecting very big things from the youngster.
Barcelona's search for a goalkeeper continues as Victor Valdes is on his way out, and while their number one is rumoured to be on Manchester City's shopping list, the Catalan club are looking to replace him with Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Borussia Monchengladbach. Spurs have informed Inter Milan that Lamela is not going to be leaving London this window, while that hasn't stopped the nerazzuri looking to sign Juan Mata. Javier Pastore could be leaving PSG to head to Roma on loan, while Paul Pogba may be headed to the French capital.