Rumor-mongering is big business around this time of year for a lot of newspapers, but it looks that instead of waiting until the last week of January, some significant moves could happen right when the windows open.
I'm not entirely certain how I want to go about this. There are two seemingly solid rumors that have hit the papers with regard to late-stage negotiations between clubs and Newcastle United. I don't suppose on the preponderance of the evidence either one should be particularly surprising, so you probably have already read this in your head.. . but here we go anyway.
It is understood that the Magpies have finally reached an agreement with the Ligue 1 side which will see the right-back head for Tyneside for six million euros (approximately £4.9million), having failed to successfully conclude their pursuit of the player in the summer.
The 27-year-old, a former team-mate of United midfielder Yohan Cabaye, has made no secret of his desire to head for St James' Park, and a resolution to the long-running saga would come as a huge relief to manager Alan Pardew.
Sources in France have indicated that could now happen with the transfer window due to open on Tuesday, and that would come as a timely boost for Pardew after a difficult festive programme.
Now for the other major story being reported:
Demba Ba will meet with Chelsea chiefs this evening to discuss a potential January move to Stamford Bridge.
The Newcastle striker leads Chelsea's winter target list even though his transfer fee could be pushed beyond the £10million-mark by extra payments.
Ba’s £7.5m release clause has been well documented with both Arsenal and Liverpool known to be monitoring the 27-year-old’s situation, but now the Sunday People are reporting that the Senegalese’s advisers will demand between £3m and £5m on top of that as part of any deal.