All the latest transfer news and gossip you need to know...
Arsenal have been dealt a boost in their pursuit of Demba Ba, after the player was quoted praising the club, and Newcastle are unlikely to be impressed with his comments. Responding to speculation, Ba said there had been no movement on any bids, but confirmed his release clause was still in place. He told French TV station Canal +, "Arsenal are one of those teams who makes you dream.' Liverpool, and Tottenham are also said to be interested, and with Newcastle struggling in the bottom half of the table this season, we may not have seen the last of this one.
Barcelona want to sign Chelsea's talented 20-year-old Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois. He is yet to feature for the Blues since signing, spending the last two season at Atletico Madrid, helping them win the Europa League last season, and to second in La Liga. Chelsea have him pegged as a long-term replacement for Petr Cech, but The Sun report Barcelona are hopeful of signing him and keeping him in Spain. The Catalan giants are hopeful the 20-year-old will try to force through a move, rather than being sent on loan again.
Chelsea are keen on Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis, who is also being chased by Liverpool. The Metro report the Blues have even opened talks over signing the attacker. Gomis has said he expects his future to be sorted out by the end of January. He says he will either renew his contract next month, or otherwise expects to be sold.
The Mirror report Norwich City want to sign Brighton and Hove Albion striker Craig Mackail-Smith. Norwich were said to have had a £3 million offer rejected for the forward in the summer, and are likely to going to have to offer over £5 million to sign the 28-year-old who has already scored into double figures this season. With Brighton in the top half of the Championship, they will not want to let their star striker go lightly. The same report says City also want Brighton midfielder Liam Bridcutt but face competition from Aston Villa.
Manchester City and Chelsea target Paulinho has moved to dampen transfer talk by insisting he has no intention of leaving Corinthians. The £12 million rated attacker was speaking after the Club World Cup victory over Chelsea, stating bluntly; "I'm staying at Corinthians."
Arsenal flop Marouane Chamakh has been offered a route out of the club; it is being claimed by the Telegraph that Sam Allardyce wants to bring him to West Ham on loan. Chamakh likely played his last game for the Gunners in the defeat to Bradford, and a loan switch would allow him to stay in the capital, although former club Bordeaux have previously expressed an interest in him. West Ham boss Allardyce spoke yesterday of the need to bring in new players in January, highlighted by the fact his injury list meant he was only able to name six substitutes against West Brom rather than seven yesterday.
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