Daniel Sturridge to join West Bromwich Albion on loan after choosing them over Newcastle United

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is to join Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion on loan for the rest of the season, having turned down the chance to join Newcastle United.

Sturridge, 28, had seemed set to join the Magpies – and was set to have a medical there – until Baggies manager Alan Pardew intervened and convinced him to make the move to the Black Country instead.

Inter Milan had shown an interest in Sturridge but had made no concrete offer. The terms of West Brom’s deal to secure Sturridge haven’t been revealed.

The move should help to get Sturridge more first-team football. He has slipped down the pecking order at Liverpool this season and has only started 5 PL matches. With the World Cup in Russia on the horizon, Sturridge wants game time to try and force his way back into England manager Gareth Southgate’s plans.

Pardew has been trying to strengthen his squad all month, and a striker was a priority given the Baggies’ poor record in front of goal this season – just 19 goals in 24 matches.

Bringing in a striker has also been one of Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez’s top priorities and had been chasing Sturridge all month. While the club had initially been put off by his wages – said to be about £150,000 per week – that stumbling block appeared to have been overcome.

Newcastle have also been chasing Feyenood striker Nikolai Jorgenson, but have had two offers rebuffed so far. However, Benitez is still chasing his man and preparing a third bid.

The deal for Sturridge may also have added satisfaction for Pardew as he gets one over on his old employers. Pardew was Newcastle manager from 2010 to 2014, but was never popular among fans.

Tottenham Hotspur close in on deal for PSG winger Lucas Moura

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Tottenham Hotspur are confident of securing a £21.9 million deal for Paris St-Germain’s Brazilian winger Lucas Moura.

Reports in France say that Moura, 25, is in London and could sign a 4-year contract with Spurs.

Moura joined PSG in 2013 in a euro40 million deal from São Paulo. Since then he has made 152 Ligue Un appearances for PSG, scoring 33 goals. He also has 36 cap for Brazil.

However, Moura has fallen out of favour with manager Unai Emery, making just 5 appearances this term.

Other clubs are interested in Moura, including Sevilla and Valencia in Spain, Napoli in Italy and Borussia Dortmund in Germany. However, it is thought that Spurs are leading the race to sign him, with the player favouring a move to the Premier League.

Spurs have also been chasing Bordeaux winger Malcom this month, but officials at the French club are refusing to budge from their £45 million valuation for the 20-year-old and insisting he won’t leave the club this month.

Chelsea turn attention to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud in search for striker

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Premier League champions Chelsea’s search for a striker in the transfer window has been well documented, and now it seems they have turned their attentions to city rivals Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud.

Chelsea have been linked with numerous strikers this month, including Stoke City’s Peter Crouch, West Ham’s Andy Carroll and Burnley’s Ashley Barnes. They have also lodged a bid with Roma for Edin Dzeko and are in talks with the club and player over a deal.

However, should a deal not be agreed with Dezeko, Giroud has emerged as another contender. He has been in and out of the Arsenal side this season – he has four goals in 15 Premier League appearances this season – and could be tempted by a move. He turned down a transfer to Everton in the summer as his wife didn’t want to leave London – but with Chelsea this wouldn’t be an issue.

But any transfer would depend on whether Arsenal strike a deal to bring Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Emirates Stadium. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been open about his pursuit of the striker, however Arsenal’s latest bid of £52 million is still some way below Dortmund’s valuation of him, and there is talk that the German side’s bosses are getting frustrated with the London side’s tactics in the negotiations.

There is also the prospect that Giroud could play a part in any deal for Aubameyang, such as moving on loan to Dortmund for the remainder of the season.

Another question is whether Chelsea boss Antonio Conte actually wants Giroud. He has talked of a need for a striker, but has claimed that he has little – if any – influence on transfers at Stamford Bridge, with the club deciding on targets.

Conte appears to be increasingly frustrated with the transfer situation at the club, but that is another story…

West Brom target Andre Schurrle and Benik Afobe to bolster attacking options

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Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion are targeting the signing of two attacking players as they seek to avoid relegation – Borussia Dortmund’s Andre Schurrle and AFC Bournemouth’s Benik Afobe.

Dortmund are believed to have offered the opportunity to sign 27-year-old Schurrle on loan to a number of Premier League clubs, with the German side prepared to pay some of his £140,000 a week wages.

Schurrle played for Chelsea from 2013-2015, but has struggled to establish himself in the Dortmund side since moving there in 2016.
Baggies manager Alan Pardew is looking for attacking options to bolster his squad, for whom goal scoring has been a major problem this season – just 19 in 24 Premier League matches.

To that end, he has also made enquiries about AFC Bournemouth striker Benik Afobe. Afobe has been in and out of the Cherries side this season, appearing 17 times but only starting on 5 occasions.

However, there are problems with this – for one, Bournemouth do not want to sell and Pardew has also been told he needs to sell before he buys. This could also mean that defender Jonny Evans heads to the exit door – he has been heavily linked with Manchester City and Arsenal and could be sold for £25 million, although Sky Sports News reported that he may have a release clause of just £3 million. Wolverhampton Wanderers are also said to be interested in bringing Afobe back to Molineux.

West Brom clearly need new attacking options, and these two would fit the bill. However, whether Schurrle would want to resurrect his career at a side battling relegation is unclear. Likewise, it is not known if Afobe would move to the Baggies – he may know the area but he is a regular squad member at Bournemouth.

Manchester City considering bids for Aymeric Laporte and Fred

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is seeking to strengthen his squad before the transfer window shuts, and is reportedly considering bids for Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fred.

City attempted to sign French defender Laporte in 2016, but he opted to stay in Bilbao. The 23-year-old has a release clause in his contract of £61.5 million, which doesn’t appear to have put Guardiola off, as City representatives have been in contact with Laporte’s agents, according to The Guardian.

It is well known that Guardiola is looking for defensive cover, given Vincent Komany’s injury record, and he is also weighing up bids for Real Sociedad’s Inigo Martinez and Jonny Evans of West Bromwich Albion. However, Laporte may be the favoured option, given his age and the fact he is left-footed and so could fill in at left-back.

City representatives are also said to have opened negotiations with Shakhtar Donetsk over a transfer of Brazilian defensive midfielder Fred. It is thought a bid of £35 million could be enough Shakhtar to part with the 24-year-old, who is known to be keen to move to the Premier League at some point in his career.

Fred could be seen as a long-term replacement for Fernandinho, and would certainly give the squad more depth.

Tabs are also being kept on Jean Michael Seri from Nice, although the 26-year-old Ivory Coast midfielder is attracting attention from other clubs, notably Manchester United.

Guardiola will be keen to make signings having seen his number one target, Alexis Sanchez, sign for Manchester United earlier this week with City having refused to meet his wage demands.