If you missed it, somehow … Our writers’ verdicts, club-by-club, on the January transfer window in the Premier League:
Is Harry Kane happy in Munich? It seems so:
Australia v South Korea are about to kick off in their Asian Cup quarter-final.
Rob Smyth has the story:
Sky Sports News just ran an interview with the Newcastle and England full-back Kieran Trippier, who was subject of a bid or two from Bayern Munich in January. Flattered to be linked, but happy where he is:
“I came back [to the Premier League from Atlético Madrid] because my family found it difficult in Spain,” Trippier said.
“I’m happy here, I’ve got an unbelievable relationship with the manager [Eddie Howe] … I’m committed to the club.”
Earlier, the Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola was asked about Ivan Toney, the Brentford forward who has just returned from a betting ban and who scored twice for the Bees in their Premier League win against the treble winners in November 2022. (They also beat them later in the season in London.)
“He’s an exceptional player, not just with the long balls,” said Guardiola.
Ah, damning with faint praise – or qualified praise?!
“With the set-pieces, with the penalties, free-kicks,” Guardiola adds. “From many things they [Brentford] can link with him … He’s an extraordinary player, so [I am] happy he’s back. Hopefully that period is forgotten in his life, and in his family … exceptional players are always welcome in the Premier League.”
I don’t wish to be pedantic, but wouldn’t it be better for Liverpool to take a few deep breaths, rather than hold their breath?
“It’s really about us digging deep into the season,” Klopp said. “Keep going, hold your breath, buckle up, all these kinds of things, and go for it. That’s what we are here for.”
Celtic face being without Reo Hatate for six weeks while Cameron Carter-Vickers is also set for another lay-off, manager Brendan Rodgers has said.
Midfielder Hatate suffered another leg muscle problem playing for Japan at the Asian Cup – his fourth similar injury in the past 12 months. He has only had 19 minutes of action for Celtic since October.
“It looks like he has actually done both calves, from what I have seen, so he is probably going to be five to six weeks,” Rodgers said. “Another part of this season where we have had no luck from an injury perspective to our top players. He will be back very soon and we will start treatment and get him back as soon as we can.”
The Celtic manager also confirmed he had prevented Gustaf Lagerbielke moving on loan after Carter-Vickers experienced further aggravation of recent injury problems after last weekend’s win over Ross County. The centre-back has suffered several lay-offs this term with a hamstring problem after missing pre-season amid his rehabilitation from knee surgery.
“The medical team are saying probably around three weeks,” Rodgers said. (PA Media)
So who else is happy/unhappy with their club’s business in the January window? Forest’s Nuno Espírito Santo can put a tick in the ‘happy’ column, reports PA Media:
Nottingham Forest boss Nuno Espírito Santo says his squad is more balanced after a late flurry of activity. Forest brought in Giovanni Reyna, Matz Sels and Rodrigo Ribeiro in the final 48 hours of the window while Orel Mangala left to join Lyon and a host of fringe players also moved out. Nuno feels he has a tighter group suited to his needs before Sunday’s visit to Bournemouth.
“I think we have been able to bring in players that we think are going to be helpful for us, gives us more options. I always said that it is a very difficult window to operate, it is hard, you can see how the clubs were quiet and not too much going on.”
Forest were looking at bringing goalkeeper David de Gea in but eventually settled on Sels from Strasbourg.
“He was playing usually at the club so he can help us also and give us another option for the goalkeepers,” Nuno said of Sels. “We are still waiting on the permit for him to be available. All the players that have come, the idea is for them to help us and give us solutions. It is not about choices. Matz is here because he is a good goalkeeper. He is experienced, he is playing regularly and gives us another option. It is up to us then to decide which is the moment (to play him). A thousand names came out, most of them are not true so let’s stop the speculation about that.”
“Your bringing up Mahomes reminds me of a thought I’ve had frequently during the NFL playoffs,” emails Harriet Osborn. “He and I are near the same age and attended the same university, and it’s still jarring to see him flogging footlong sandwiches and automobile insurance in nationally televised ads.
“Just before he first broke into the university team, there had been an almighty fight among the team quarterbacks because the coach couldn’t pick a starter; a few ended up transferring schools. We were sick of the chaos and of having a few rough seasons being coached by current US Senator and controversy machine Tommy Tuberville.
“When Mahomes came into the team, we won more often. Never got ranked, but we had a few more good Saturdays. It was a nice bump, and he seemed a nice kid, but that’s as far as any of us thought. Never would have thought nine years later he’d be chasing his third championship title. Or being mentioned in a blog mainly about association football.
“Funny thing, sport. Makes one wonder who we’re overlooking in a similar way at the moment.”
What a tremendous email. Thanks Harriet. I appreciate you!
Brighton’s Roberto de Zerbi gives a fitness update before tomorrow’s meeting with Palace:
“James Milner is not available. He can’t play I think for, I don’t know how much time, but for the next two, three, four games.
“João Pedro, tomorrow, we decide.
“Ansu Fati, maybe can come on the bench. I don’t know how much time he could play. Tomorrow morning we speak with the medical staff and we take the right decision.”
Is De Zerbi happy with the squad for the rest of the season?
“I don’t know. We will see in the next game. It’s not my business, the transfer market.”
(That sounds like an emphatic ‘No’.)
Finally De Zerbi is asked about Mahmoud Dahoud going back to Germany on loan after signing last summer. Where did it go wrong?
“It can happen. To change countries, it’s not easy. To come in this league, Premier League is different than the other leagues. Maybe he didn’t find the right condition to play his level.”
Unai Emery is having a chat with the media now. Is he happy with Villa business in the January window? “The most important thing is a strong structure … we tried to “do the transfer window”, and we did, in summer. Now we’re happy. We did small things. Bertrand Traore left and Kaine Kesler-Hayden rejoined from Plymouth … he was on loan, and playing well in the Championship … and with Morgan Rogers, I am really happy.
“I am really happy. We tried to be intelligent. We tried to bring in some young and talented players.”
Off the Reuters wire: Jordan edged Asian Cup debutants Tajikistan 1-0 to move into the semi-finals of the tournament for the first time thanks to a second-half own goal at the Ahmed bin Ali Stadium on Friday …
The even better news? Rob Smyth has Australia v South Korea, live, right here:
Erik ten Hag says it is “not a secret” that he wanted to bring in a striker in January and admits Manchester United’s inability to sign one means he will have to be a “little bit creative” for the rest of the season.
“I think it’s not a secret that I wanted a striker extra. Because with the injury of [Anthony] Martial we don’t really have back-up there, but it was not possible because we have to match the FFP rules. We have Omari [Forson], we have Amad Diallo, of course we have [Marcus] Rashford who can play there. I think for the rest, all the positions are occupied. But, yeah, we have to be a little bit creative if it’s up to the number nine position.”
Jadon Sancho, Donny van de Beek and Hannibal Mejbri were among those to leave on loan during a window that saw United focus on streamlining the squad. But even getting wages off the books was not enough to free up the money required to sign the back-up striker he sought.
“There are some disadvantages on FFP,” Ten Hag said. “So, to make space for FFP, you actually have to sell players and you have to sell good players and I don’t think that’s the way how you build a team.” (PA Media)
I noticed that Patrick Mahomes was extremely polite and indeed appreciative of a CBS reporter the other night, after sealing yet another visit to the Super Bowl for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Question is, should footballers really be more polite to on-pitch and tunnel interviewers? I don’t remember many, or any players telling Geoff Shreeves: “I appreciate you.”
Sir Alex Ferguson routinely used to say “well done” to Gabriel Clarke after interviews on Manchester United’s Champions League nights, which is something.
“I was wondering who you think might have had the most disappointing transfer window,” emails Aidan. “I certainly think Manchester United are in with a shout seeing as how they did not bring in any reinforcements to help them fight for a spot in Europe and loaning Sancho back to Dortmund after having bought him for 75 million only three summers ago.
“Was also a bitterly disappointing window for my club Leicester City. Yes they are the far and away favorites to win the Championship, but the fallout from failing to bring in Sensi shouldn’t be ignored. Maresca is clearly very frustrated with the board’s failures this window and that does not bode well for the future.”
That all sounds highly plausible. Thanks for your email Aidan.
“By the time we were up against AC Mill Inn in October last year, in the first round of the 11-a-side Scottish Amateur Cup, we expected a difficult game. We’d lost to them 19-0 the week before.”
Luton go to Newcastle tomorrow. Their manager, Rob Edwards, is asked about the challenges of the mid-season transfer window. “They’re difficult … but it’s done now. We can move forward. It was important that we kept the group together. We brought in 13 players in the summer, and that’s a lot, and for me that’s enough. I’m pleased that it’s over now.”
What Postecoglu said about Tottenham’s signings in January: “We had a real gap at centre-back, particularly after letting Davinson Sanchez go after the window closed last time … getting Radu [Dragusin] in early was great, getting Timo [Werner] in early was also excellent for us.
“With the kind of injuries we’ve had, with Sonny [Son Heung-min] away … and the beauty of getting them in early was that they’ve already made a contribution. If you leave it to the last day it still takes guys time to settle. They’ve both settled in really well.”
An actually funny bit of banter by Postecoglou a few minutes ago after a question about Spurs dealings in the January window. He initially said he was happy, and then:
“Probably the only disappointing one was yesterday, I thought there was a really good opportunity for us, and you know, the club just didn’t feel it was the right move for us. Disappointed with that, but he ended up at Ferrari, so we just have to cop it …
“Look at you all, eh?!” he chuckles at the assembled journalists. “You were ready to type away!”
Arsenal’s Arteta was asked about the confrontation between White and Zinchenko at Forest.
“They’ve been in the same house for the last three days, sharing wives (?!) and everything [laughter] … They’re living together. They are best mates. You don’t argue with somebody that you don’t have a great relationship with. That happens because you have the trust, chemistry with somebody, to react the way he did.”
Do Arsenal need that sort of behaviour this week, when people are “at each other”?
“I love it,” Arteta says. “As long as it’s in a respectful way, only with an intention to be more demanding, and better as a team, and it stays there. Really happy with that.”
“With Thomas [Partey], unfortunately he had a little setback a few days ago,” Mikel Arteta reveals. “Whether it is a matter of days or weeks, we will see. He felt something again in a very similar area …
“It’s a big concern, he is such an important player. He gives us something very different that no other player in the squad can. He’s a real miss.”
Do Arsenal need to prove a point with a win over Liverpool? “We have done it. We have beaten big teams already [this season] … it’s a big opportunity to beat Liverpool now and be in a much better place. We talk about momentum, and we won the last two games. I want to win the third one, especially at home … it’s going to be an incredible atmosphere … we’re going to need that. So I encourage everyone [the fans] to play with us every single ball. And we will have a big chance to win the game.
Will Klopp’s announcement boost Liverpool and make them more determined to finish the season stronger? “I don’t have a clue. Hopefully not.”
Will he miss Klopp? “Absolutely. He is going to be a big loss. He’s been an inspiration. He’s added a new dimension to the Premier League with the way he sets his teams up … He will be missed, but for now, he’s here.”
Ange Postecoglou is asked for a fitness update before Spurs’ lunchtime meeting with Everton tomorrow: “No issues from the other night … the lads are still recovering … we haven’t done much training. Pape Sarr’s back [From Afcon with Senegal], he had a long trip back – fair to say he’ll be involved, although I’m not sure to what extent.”
Guardiola is asked about stories in Spain suggesting that Erling Haaland is unhappy in Manchester. Is that a tactic to try and unsettle him?
“I don’t know. You have to ask the media from Madrid. … Maybe they have more info than we have? I don’t have … we don’t have that feeling, that he is unhappy. He didn’t play for two months, because he was injured … Yeah, maybe the media in Spain, especially Madrid, have more information than us?
“We cannot say he didn’t adapt quick [when he signed], and he was not fine since he arrived … just the level he showed, since day one [was very high] … we cannot control like what you [journalists] say, or what other people say. What’s important is that he’s happy. If he is unhappy, he will take his decision.”
The Manchester City head coach, Pep Guardiola, is asked about Brentford manager Thomas Frank before the two club’s Premier League meeting on Monday night: “Unbelievable. The consistency … the club, how they rely on him … for many many years everybody knows exactly what they have to do … they did really well, they have incredible strikers up front, big big compliment [to him] – I have a lot of admiration for him.
Is it important having a fit squad? [Answer: Yes.]
“Of course it’s really important … everybody fit, everybody ready … this is really important … the busy period is ahead of us, the Champions League with many games, so it’s good to have everyone …
Is Erling Haaland ready to start? “Yes. Everybody is ready. He’s ready. He is not injured.”
John Stones? “He’s feeling really good.”
“It’s a good move for him, hopefully he can play more,” says the Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino of Armando Broja’s loan move to Fulham. “I think the options we have up front are enough.”
On an uneventful January transfer window: “It was calm and quiet … on Spanish radio, they said one year ago, the Premier League invested nearly £1bn … the market was quiet in the whole Premier League and Championship.”
Regarding how he reacted to the heavy loss at Anfield: “I didn’t want to talk about the polemics, about the [refereeing] decisions … the performance wasn’t good enough. That I repeat again. It’s important to be critical – be realistic – we were not good enough.
“Of course I need to defend my club, the interests of my club and my fans … but we didn’t have the luck you need to win games and to change the direction of the game. We didn’t have luck [but] Liverpool was better after 90 minutes.”
Time for some Women’s Super League news, courtesy of PA Media.
The Bristol City manager, Lauren Smith, has stressed her bottom-placed side are not “down and out”. The Robins were left three points from safety at the foot of the Women’s Super League table last Sunday as they were beaten 2-1 at home by 11th-placed West Ham.
Following their promotion back to the top flight last season, they have accrued only five points from 12 WSL games. Smith told a press conference ahead of Saturday’s trip to Aston Villa: “We had a few honest conversations about where we are, but I think keeping it positive in the fact that we are still only one win away from where we already were.
“It’s not like everything suddenly slipped away from us and we are talking about being down and out. There is a real kind of bit between the teeth of the players on the [training] pitch. It [getting off the bottom] is within touching distance because it is only three points. Are we going into battle every single weekend? Absolutely.”
West Ham are back in action on Sunday when they host Arsenal. Villa boss Carla Ward, whose side are eighth, said: “Bristol City are fighting, every game for them now is a cup final, they need to pick up points to try to stay in the division. “It’s going to be very difficult, and we have to be prepared to be frustrated because I definitely think they will try their best to do that.”
Mikel Arteta is going to be having a chat at half-past the hour before the Gunners’ seismic encounter with Liverpool.
In among the flurry of Friday lunchtime team news, here’s something really important from the professional footballer Katie Rood – on why the game must play its part in tackling climate change:
“Barclays, the lead sponsor for the Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship in England, was the top European funder of fossil fuels between 2016 and 2022, according to the Rainforest Action Network’s banking on climate chaos report. The report states that Barclays provided £149bn to the fossil fuel sector, including to Shell and TotalEnergies, whose products are driving up planet-warming emissions. This situation is sadly not unique to women’s football but we have an opportunity – and I believe a duty – to change it.”
How will Wolves react to their agonising stoppage-time defeat by Manchester United? Pedro Neto ripped off his gloves in disgust after Kobbie Mainoo curled in a 97th-minute winner at Molineux and Mario Lemina and Nelson Semedo collapsed on to all fours. Gary O’Neil’s side travel to Chelsea on Sunday so must quickly shake off any lingering sense of disappointment.
Wolves hoped to sign a No 9 before the transfer deadline but could not make the numbers stack up when it came to the Chelsea striker Armando Broja, who instead joined Fulham on loan. A move for Yuri Alberto, the Corinthians striker, also failed to materialise due to agent fees. O’Neil reiterated Wolves had to be mindful of profit and sustainability rules, alluding to the recent 10-point deduction that has been handed down to Everton.
“We couldn’t afford to go to where other clubs were able to go to without putting ourselves at risk,” O’Neil said. “It’s the position the club’s in, the position they told me they were in when they spoke to me [before I was appointed in August].
“I was hopeful that letting a couple [of players] go early, clearing some wages would give us some room to do something. It turns out wages wouldn’t have been a problem. We could have brought people in on wages but some of the fees, whether it’s obligations or loan fees, penalties for people not playing. Things like that proved too much of a hurdle for us and we couldn’t get anything done.
“Of course we could have thrown our toys out of the pram, thrown a strop and demanded things, but all of that would have been jeopardising the good of the club and where we’re trying to go.”
O’Neil was not overly enamoured with having to juggle taking charge of a game – a pesky 8.15pm kick-off – in between trying to get transfers over the line with Wolves’ sporting director, Matt Hobbs, before the window shut at 11pm. “It is a crazy way to spend deadline day, playing football matches on deadline day is a terrible idea,” he said. “You’re being asked questions from higher up the chain about ‘Shall we do this? Can we do that?’
“All the while it’s interrupting game prep and what we should be doing and then I end up being on the touchline fo the last few hours of the window, so if there were any decisions to be made around things I’d have had no input at that point.”
Jürgen Klopp, a weight visibly lifted from his shoulders after he announced his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season, was particularly entertaining in his press conference today. Here he is on why Liverpool need to focus on themselves and not worry about Arsenal, or Manchester City, or anyone else:
“Inside, we just focus on the game. Arsenal, if they beat us, they are definitely ‘there’ … we will try to make it as hard as possible … everybody wants to finish the season above us. Let’s see if we can do that [finish top]. This is the best league in the world and we are top of the table. Are there any bad players in this team? No.
“So … it’s fine, I answer your questions [about Liverpool’s rivals], but the job is not to reflect on what they did, or how fantastic they are … good-looking, on top of that, and all these kinds of things. It’s really about us digging deep into the season, keep going, hold your breath, buckle up, and go for it. That’s what we are here for.”
Ange Postecoglu, the Spurs manager, will be having a chat shortly. Then “The Arsenal’s” Mikel Arteta is up at 1.30pm.
“I’m very happy with the [transfer window] business,” Hodgson adds. “I congratulate the club … We would have been interested in the possibility of Maxwell Cornet – I thought for a time that would be a possible – but then West Ham decided they weren’t prepared to let him go, that he wasn’t going to be allowed out on loan, after all … that’s a shame because he would have been a good addition to the squad.”
Is that frustrating, Hodgson is asked? “Transfers are frustrating … I suppose there is a sense of frustration … [chairman] Steve Parish and [sporting director] Doug Freeman pursued it, and pursued it in good faith – but at the end of the day it’s the club who owns the player who decides … you’re always at risk of a club saying we’ve changed our minds.”
Roy Hodgson says he doesn’t know if Eberechi Eze will be available to face Brighton this weekend, but that he’s having a scan, and is hopeful he will play.
“I think he will be available for the game, but I can’t give you a 100 per cent guarantee,” Hodgson says.
On the fitness of Michael Olise he is similarly unemphatic, but again is hopeful that he should be fit to play tomorrow. He explains Palace had a recovery day yesterday and have not trained today so he’s waiting for updates.
The Crystal Palace gaffer, Roy Hodgson, is up soon.
A bit more from Jason Tindall, the Newcastle assistant manager. Firstly an injury update before tomorrow’s visit of Luton. He says the striker Alexander Isak is “a lot better … he’s improved Wednesday, Thursday … he’ll be one we have to assess after today … he’s got a chance to be involved tomorrow. That’s what we’ll have to assess today.” He adds that Harvey Barnes, Callum Wilson and Joe Willock all remained sidelined and are being monitored. “Harvey and Callum are a little bit ahead of Joe … we have to assess them and decide whether they’re involved.”
Regarding his “mad dog” nickname and the attention he’s been getting on social media, he says: “It’s stuck [the nickname] anyway. It’s been there for a while … there’s a lot of memes being sent around but it’s all within good humour. It’s fine, no problem. Other people create these things, I don’t sort of instigate it in any way … I can’t control what other people say. All I can focus on is what I do for Newcastle.”
It is put to Tindall that he gets under the skin of opposition managers on the touchline. “It’s not deliberate. I’m just me,” he replies. “I won’t stop being me … [I’m not going to change] all of a sudden, because of what people say … Once kick off is there, my only motivation, my only goal, is to do everything in my power to help the team … if that upsets a few people along the way, then so be it.”
Any thoughts on the transfer window, this weekend’s games, or anything else?
Thank you Barry and good day to everyone.
Football press conferences. News. Previews. And much, much more. Let’s go!
Handover: With plenty more press conferences due to take place in the next few hours, I’ll leave you in the capable hands of Luke McLaughlin.
All fun and games in West Ham’s admin department last night. Pablo Fornals and Said Benrahma were both waiting to complete deadline day moves – the former to Real Betis for £7m, the latter on an initial loan – but as of now both are still West Ham players. Blame IT issues. What a situation.
Unsurprisingly Lyon have reacted furiously with West Ham and are heading with Betis to see if Fifa will push the transfers through. It’s unclear if they’ll be successful. I’m told Fifa are quite strict on these issues, so it will be interesting to see how they react with this one. It’s similar to Hakim ziyech not joining PSG on loan last year after Chelsea messed up the paperwork.
In this case Benrahma had travelled to France, undergone a medical and was due to be announced as Lyon player. Fornals was at the London Stadium, watching from the tunnel as West Ham drew with Bournemouth. They probably could have done with both players given that West Ham’s first choice on the left, Lucas Paqueta, was out, and David Moyes decided to pick four central midfielders. Poor Maxwel Cornet – the left sided forward wanted to go to Crystal Palace, wasn’t allowed to because Benrahma and Fornals were going, and still only got on for a minute against Bournemouth.
Good old West Ham. Insiders are blaming Benrahama’s representatives by delaying the deal with repeated demands and add that they had trouble connecting to Fifa’s transfer matching system because of WiFi issues at the London Stadium, leaving them unable to enter all the details of the deal before the 11pm deadline. Not easy on a matchday.
As for Fornals, West Ham think he still might join Betis and say that everything was submitted on TMS on time, but an administrative error stopped the deal going through. Spanish media state West Ham forgot to include the agent working on the deal on the form.
Asian Cup: Tajikistan are currently taking on Jordan in the first quarter-final of the Asian Cup at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Qatar, where the deadlock remains unbroken after 35 minutes. Niche footabll enthusiast Paul Watson was a guest on the Football Weekly podcast yesterday and gave us the lowdown on the tournament minnows from Central Asia.
Wolves: Speaking directly after his side’s narrow defeat at the hands of Manchester United last night, Gary O’Neil discovered the club had been unsuccessful in their attempt to get Armando Broja, or any other striker, in on loan.
“We were speaking to Chelsea a lot about Broja during the day and I haven’t checked but I presume he’s gone to Fulham because we couldn’t afford to do it financially, the way it ended up. There were a few No9s that I really liked and we couldn’t afford any. That’s where we are as a football club but at least we haven’t been deducted 10 points.”
Liverpool: Jurgen Klopp has been singing the praises of his Argentinian midfielder Alexis Mac Allister and his father, Carlos, who used to analyse games with his sons when they were kids. Alexis’s brothers Francis and Kevin are also footballers, while their uncle, Patricio, is also a retired footballer.
“Macca is the same in midfield as [Diogo Jota further up the field],” said Klopp. “Like a football doctor. It is a wonderful story with his father, brothers and uncles, analysing games as a kid. I could not thank his father enough for that knowledge and education. Playing the position he plays the way he does is very, very special. Super smart. And his contribution for all our play in possession is extremely important.
“We have had it in a few years during a time I was here when going well that everyone wants to write a book about an individual player They are all good, really good. That’s why we are top of the table in the best league in the world at this moment in time.”
Newcastle United: In the Big Chair for Eddie Howe today, Jason Tindall is asked if he has any aspirations to be a manager. “I have always made it clear, I’m happy in my role and what I do,” says Howe’s No2. “I work well with Ed, we have worked together for so long, I hope it continues.”
On Newcastle’s run of two consecutive wins, the most recent in midweek against Aston Villa, after a month-long wobble, he had this to say: “It was really important. We knew we needed to get back on track. We had a good result at Fulham in the FA Cup. To go there and perform the way we did was great for us and it gives us confidence going into the game this weekend.”
Liverpool: Should Liverpool beat Arsenal on Sunday, they will open an eight-point gap on Manchester City, who don’t play until Monday night when they travel to Brentford. While most pundits will expect Pep Guardiola’s side to swat the Bees aside with a minimum of fuss, it’s worth remembering that Brentford played quite well in defeat against Tottenham during the week and were the only team to beat City at home and away in the Premier League last season.
“If we win Arsenal it will be eight points but everyone knows that,” said Jurgen Klopp. “All that is outside talk. Inside we just focus on the game, on the things we have to do. We have to learn from the games we have played against them and try to win. Against Arsenal it’s more difficult anyway. We are in a good moment. We should pack in the things we did well. Improve. We have to be much more dominant.”
Deadline Day debrief: Did you know that Kieffer Moore went on loan from Bournemouth to Championship high-fliers Ipswich Town yesterday? I must confess that’s a Deadline Day move that went under my radar and it will be the Welsh striker’s second spell at Portman Road.
“We are delighted to have signed a striker with strong Championship pedigree, as well as experience in the Premier League and at international level,” said Ipswich manager Kieran McKenna.
“Kieffer will bring some very important technical and physical attributes to the squad. We feel his professionalism and mentality will be an addition to the culture we already have within the group.”
Liverpool: Following the demolition job they performed on Chelsea at Anfield on Wednesday night, Liverpool travel to the Emirates to take on Arsenal in this weekend’s most high profile game. Jurgen Klopp has told reporters that Darwin Nunez may not be available after picking up a foot injury against Chelsea, but says he will be unconcerned if the Uruguayan is forced to sit this game out.
“It’s not a challenge,” he says. “For the first time this season we have a kind of a luxury problem. We have more players available for different positions than we can start. It’s absolutely no problem.
“It’s the only week where we only have one midweek game. After that we go again every three days. So we need all of them in a good shape. We had a lot of injuries throughout the season but we were lucky because the others could deal with it. We had players who were still available, or came back from injury, at the right time.”
Newcastle United: With Eddie Howe feeling poorly today, Jason Tindall has been given a moment in the spotlight he will surely relish by fielding questions at the pre-match presser ahead of Newcastle’s match against Luton Town tomorrow. So fabled for his reluctance to shun the limelight that he has become an internet meme, Howe’s assistant manager has told reporters he expects his boss to have recovered from whatever it is that ails him in time to take his place in the technical area for tomorrow’s game at St James’ Park. We’ll have more from Jason later.
West Ham: Real Betis’s attempt to sign Pablo Fornals for £6.8m yesterday appears to have collapsed because a computer at the at the London Club’s end said “no”. The Spanish club’s chief excutive, Ramon Alarcon, has blamed the Hammers for an IT glitch that prevented the transfer of the 27-year-old winger, who has spent the past five seasons at West Ham, being finalised but remains hopeful that the deal can still be finalised in the coming days.
‘There was a last minute problem with Fornals, we think it was a computer problem,” he said. “Betis sent all the documents correctly and on time and it seems West Ham had a computer problem. It wasn’t just with Betis it was with other [West Ham] deals. We hope that it gets resolved in the next few days.”
In news that may or may not be related, Said Benrehma’s move to Lyon also collapsed, prompting David Moyes to say “we need to see what happened”. Basement-dwelling staff with Monster Munch-stained T-shirts at the London Stadium are currently turning everything off and then turning it on again.
Sheffield United v Aston Villa: Having taken grave and inexplicable exception to a referee’s assistant eating a sandwich in his precence during a post-match visit to the match official’s dressing-room at Selhurst Park on Tuesday night (hear more on the matter in yesterday’s Guardian Football Weekly), Chris Wilder has calmed for long enough to look ahead to his relegation-threatened side’s match against Aston Villa at Bramall Lane tomorrow.
“If you’re playing well it will come to you,” he said. “I believe we are playing well and I believe it will come to us. It has to happen sooner or later, we understand that, and that’s the pressure we play under.
“That pressure we should thrive upon and look to enjoy as well and why shouldn’t we enjoy the game on Saturday night? It’s going to be a fabulous game. We’ve had some cracking games against Villa in the past, home and away. Full house, Bramall Lane under the lights, half-five. It’s something we’re really looking forward to.”
Everton v Tottenham Hotspur (Sat 12.30pm GMT)
Brighton v Crystal Palace (3pm)
Burnley v Fulham (3pm)
Newcastle v Luton (3pm)
Sheffield United v Aston Villa (5.30pm)
Bournemouth v Nottingham Forest (Sun 2pm)
Chelsea v Wolves (2pm)
Manchester United v West Ham (2pm)
Arsenal v Liverpool (4.30pm)
Rob Draper went to Kirchweidach, a village of 2,000 people in deepest Bavaria, to watch Harry Kane meet and greet his adoring public, sing along to local chants, season some soup slide beer steins down a shuffleboard. Amid all this chaos, the England captain made time to sit down for a chat …
Hallelujah. The quietest transfer window in recent memory has finally closed, your club almost certainly didn’t strengthen in an as many areas as you’d have liked and no sooner has one midweek cycle of Premier League games concluded with some late, late Wolves heartbreak at Molineux than the latestr round of weekend fixtures is upon us. Football never stops, so fasten your seatbelts and let’s get on with the fun.