Transfer roundup: Arsenal lining up Sanchez replacements? Landon Donovan comeback?

FC Yahoo
Bordeaux forward Malcom could be <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/arsenal/" data-ylk="slk:Arsenal">Arsenal</a>’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/alexis-sánchez" data-ylk="slk:Alexis Sanchez">Alexis Sanchez</a> replacement. (Getty)
Bordeaux forward Malcom could be Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez replacement. (Getty)

Welcome to FC Yahoo‘s daily transfer roundup, where we’ll dissect the January market, assess the credibility of gossip, and discuss the likelihood that deals come to pass. Every day, we’ll split the various links between players and clubs into four categories to sift through the BS and direct your attention to the reports that deserve it.

Here’s the transfer roundup for Wednesday, Jan. 10:

WEDNESDAY’S DONE DEALS

Renato Steffen | FC Basel —> Wolfsburg — The 26-year-old Swiss winger joins for around $2 million.

REPORTS

Francis Coquelin | Arsenal —> Valencia — This one is all but official. Arsene Wenger confirmed after Arsenal’s 0-0 League Cup first-leg semifinal draw with Chelsea that Coquelin is off to Spain, and the La Liga side sent a cryptic tweet earlier in the day.

Coquelin was once seen as a potential solution at a problem position for Arsenal. He had the aggression and athleticism to be a proper defensive midfielder at the highest level. But his ball skills never developed, and he has never quite mastered the mental side of the game. At 26 years old, though, there’s still time for him to grow. And at around $14.4 million, he’s a nice buy for Valencia, which is well-positioned to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

Cedric Bakambu | Villarreal —> Beijing Guoan — Bakambu will become the most expensive African player ever. Gary Al-Smith tweeted a picture of Bakambu undergoing his medical, and reported that the Congolese striker will seal a $47.8 million switch to China.

Per Chinese Super League rules intended to limit ludicrous spending, Beijing Guoan will also have to pay over $40 million in “tax” – money that gets earmarked for the development of the sport in China. That means it’s an extreme overpay on the part of Guoan. But Villarreal won’t be thrilled to lose the 26-year-old striker for less than $50 million. He’s a real talent.

Alex Pritchard | Norwich —> Huddersfield — The Terriers are reportedly closing in on the signing of the 24-year-old attacking midfielder for around $17 million.

Diafra Sakho | West Ham —> Crystal Palace — Sakho has been buried on West Ham’s depth chart. Roy Hodgson has an opening on his. It’s no secret he wants an alternative to – or perhaps even replacement for – Christian Benteke. The 28-year-old Senegalese striker appears on the verge of becoming Palace’s first signing of the window.

Landon Donovan | Retirement —> Club Leon — Wait, what? Really? Yep. The Mexican media are going crazy with reports that Donovan is set to come out of retirement for a second time to sign with Leon. And, well, let’s just say Leon – or the person in charge of the club’s Twitter account – isn’t exactly denying the reports:


CHATTER

Did De Bruyne drop a Sanchez hint? — Man City star Kevin De Bruyne was asked about City transfer target Alexis Sanchez. After some inconsequential praise for the Chliean, he concluded with, “When he comes, he will add something to the team.” When, huh? Probably not worth reading into. But, on the other hand, it does seem a matter of if, and not when.

[More FC Yahoo: What should Arsenal do with Alexis Sanchez?]

Keita to Anfield in January after all? — Apologies if you’re getting dizzy reading all these Naby Keita updates. But the latest one, from German outlet Bild, contradicts earlier statements from RB Leipzig and says that there is a chance Keita could push forward his Liverpool move in January.

Ryan Sessegnon staying put … for now — Highly rated English teenager Ryan Sessegnon has been the subject of interest from Manchester United and Tottenham, among others. But Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan told the Telegraph that the 17-year-old left-sided player will be staying at the club at least through the end of the season.

RUMORS

Malcom | Bordeaux —> Arsenal — The 20-year-old forward was heavily linked with Manchester United in the weeks leading into the window, but now, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, Arsenal is set to meet with the Brazilian’s agent. Malcom isn’t a carbon copy of Alexis Sanchez, but if fulfills his potential, he would be a pretty darn good replacement.

Christian Pavon | Boca Juniors —> Arsenal — The Gunners are also reportedly pursuing Pavon, a highly-touted, 21-year-old Argentine forward, according to Argentine outlet TyC Sports. TyC reports that Pavon has a $37 million release clause in his latest contract, and an Arsenal offer would certainly tempt him. Both he and Malcom would fit the mold of what Arsenal is in the market for.

Eden Hazard | Chelsea —> Real Madrid — Radio Monte Carlo in France reports that Hazard could seek a move to Madrid in the summer. It’s not the first time we’ve heard this, and it probably won’t be the last, unless Hazard signs a new Chelsea contract sometime soon. He and Thibaut Courtois are both reportedly interested in Real, and Real is interested in them.

Amin Younes | Ajax —> Napoli — Napoli is in the market for an attacker. Younes might be its guy. The Serie A leaders have reportedly agreed terms with the 24-year-old German winger, who is on an expiring contract.

Some more rumors from around Europe:

  • Inter Milan are reportedly closing in on a loan deal for Barcelona’s Rafinha.

  • Liverpool is reportedly interested in Atalanta’s Alejandro Gomez.

  • Newcastle’s goalkeeper search has reportedly turned to Sparta Prague’s Martin Dubravka.

  • Russian forward Fyodor Smolov wants to join West Ham.

  • Crystal Palace, in addition to Diafra Sakho, is reportedly interested in Fiorentina forward Khouma Babacar.

  • Finally, Borussia Dortmund is the favorite for 22-year-old FC Basel defender Manuel Akanji.

JANUARY’S TOP DONE DEALS

(Chronological order)

Renato Steffen | FC Basel —> Wolfsburg ($2 million)
Mark Uth | Hoffenheim —> Schalke (summer, free)
Moritz Bauer | Rubin Kazan —> Stoke City ($6.8 million)
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou | Tottenham —> Burnley (loan)
Kevin Mirallas | Everton —> Olympiacos (loan)
Philippe Coutinho | Liverpool —> Barcelona ($192.5 million)
Cenk Tosun | Besiktas —> Everton ($36.5 million)
Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> Al-Gharafa (undisclosed)
Ross Barkley | Everton —> Chelsea ($20.3 million)
Marko Pjaca | Juventus —> Schalke (loan)
Konstantinos Mavropanos | PAS Giannina —> Arsenal ($2.4 million)

Terence Kongolo | Monaco —> Huddersfield Town (loan)

Virgil van Dijk | Southampton —> Liverpool ($101.4 million)
Diego Costa | Chelsea —> Atletico Madrid (€71.5 million)
Adrien Silva | Sporting CP —> Leicester City ($29.8 million)

Previous rumor roundups: Jan. 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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