Everyone knows Sam Allardyce likes to play with a big man up top, so he must really not like Christian Benteke. Because the Crystal Palace manager, despite inheriting a centre-forward in his exact preferred shape and size at Selhurst Park, already wants to sell him.
The Mirror says Big Sam intends to put Benteke on the transfer list, just five months after the Belgian became the Eagles’ record signing, because he wants to “raise transfer cash”. Which sounds like a kind way of saying he thinks Benteke was a waste of money.
Allardyce is allegedly planning a “shake-up” of his squad that has so far involved making unsuccessful bids for Leicester’s Jeffrey Schlupp, Norwich’s Robbie Brady and Sunderland’s Jermain Defoe – so far without success.
The Eagles may also have a hard time recouping the £30m they paid for Benteke in the summer, although the Sun offers hope with the eternally reassuring line, “Chinese clubs are thought to be interested”.
Speaking of Schlupp, his lack of Premier League appearances consistently fail to deter his army of suitors. The Guardian says Palace face competition from West Brom and Aston Villa for the winger, who has made just one league start all season, and that he is likely to leave the King Power Stadium for £12m this month. Steep.
Another wideman on the move could be Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who the Metro says is top of Jurgen Klopp’s January shopping list. The Liverpool boss has been given a £40m transfer window budget and is also pursuing Bayer Leverkusen winger Julian Brandt and Inter Milan striker Gabriel Barbosa. Sounds like he might need more than £40m then.
John Terry could end his career down on the south coast with his fellow pensioners according to the Telegraph, which reports that the Chelsea skipper is a January loan target for Bournemouth. The Blues recently recalled defender Nathan Ake from his Cherries loan spell and the paper suggests the 21-year-old may already be ahead of the legendary JT in the Stamford Bridge pecking order.
That would really annoy the Hammers, who are trying to emulate Antonio’s bargain signing by snaring another Championship hotshot in the shape of Brentford’s Scott Hogan. The Mail says the Bees have rejected West Ham’s £12.5m bid for the 24-year-old and are demanding £15m.
The Hammers also have ambitious plans to sign Paris Saint-Germain duo Jese Rodriguez and Gregorz Krychowiak, who are available for a combined £55m and are also wanted by Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, says the Sun.
Elsewhere, Southampton are targeting £4m-rated Porto midfielder Sergio Oliveira (Sun), Lyon have opened talks with Manchester United forward Memphis Depay over a £15m move (Metro) and Arsenal are “increasingly concerned” that Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are going to quit the Emirates in the summer (Star). Oops.