Wednesday Transfer Rumor Roundup: Remy, Guarin, Salah and premium prices

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Who’s going where (in theory) today? Oh, goodness me, it’s Wednesday’s Transfer Rumor Roundup!

— Does the world need a Mario Balotelli who isn’t calm? He sure doesn’t think so, and as such he’s putting an end to rumors that he could leave AC Milan for the blue pastures of Stamford Bridge.

–If Chelsea is really interested in dynamic attacker Fredy Guarin, they’re going to have to prove it with 15 million pounds. Jose Mourinho offered 13 million to start but saw the bid rejected, as Inter Milan says their star isn’t for sale. The 27-year-old is out of contract after this season and has 7 goals in 47 matches for Inter and has appeared 47 times for Colombia.

Guarin is No. 5 in PST’s Top 20 to watch in this window. Have you checked out the list?

— Harry Redknapp’s really coming out of his shell lately, isn’t he? The rarely-reserved QPR manager is shocked that Newcastle United haven’t dropped 16 million pounds to outright buy now-on-loan Loic Remy. The Frenchmen has been a revelation at Newcastle, the club that nearly purchased him last January before QPR burst through the door with an eight million pound transfer after an agreement with the Magpies and Remy seemed in place.

Well, NUFC manager Alan Pardew has been keen on keeping Remy around full-time, but not at twice the price of last year’s figure. Newcastle haven’t reportedly made any offers yet, and QPR would like to keep their Remy options open should they get promoted again, but Redknapp said 15 or 16 million would be his magic number. Ever shy about speaking his mind, Redknapp also has laughed off swapping London jobs should Sam Allardyce find himself out of the West Ham United gig.

— Kyle Walker is a constant starter at White Hart Lane and it’s difficult to believe Spurs have an interest in unloading the England back, but when the vast currency of PSG and Monaco comes calling, can they — or he — resist? Staying with Spurs, as mentioned yesterday, it looks like Erik Lamela wants out of Tottenham. At 21, he’s failed to have the impact expected by Spurs nor the player and may prefer a return to Italy. Oh… and Michael Bradley to WHL?

— Liverpool was ready to land Mohamad Salah in what could’ve been the move of the period, but Zenit St. Petersberg looks set to double the Reds bid. Double. The linked report makes the point that Basel worries more about the highest bid than anything else, which could spell disaster for the Reds, Spurs, Manchester United and anyone else thinking they could land the Egyptian star at a cheaper rate.

— Much has been made of Paul Lambert’s desire to bring Wes Hoolahan to Villa Park, but Norwich City says that desire for the 31-year-old will go unrequited (especially after a very low bid). The Canaries won’t be losing their ace, and a big factor may be how Lambert left Norwich.

— Could Arsenal be ready and willing to spend upwards of 33 million to get Jackson Martinez from Porto?

Report: Newcastle activates $12m release clause of ex-Arsenal youth

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Reports out of Turkey say Newcastle United have finally struck the transfer market for a new No. 10.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Aksam reports that Rafa Benitez got the Magpies hierarchy to activate a near $12 million release clause for Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

The 25-year-old was part of Arsenal’s youth set-up until 2012, making two League Cup appearances in 2011-12 before moving to Besiktas.

Dutch-born Ozyakup is 35-times capped with a goal for Turkey, twice captaining the Crescent-Stars.

Ozyakup lost playing time to Talisca this season, and registered just four assists in 24 appearances. In 219 appearances for Besiktas, he’s posted 27 goals with 50 assists.

Like the move for Newcastle?

Lukaku pens inspiring post on hard-scrabble upbringing

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Manchester United and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has an inspiring and emotional post in The Players’ Tribune which tugs at the heart strings and explains his competitive fire.

[ MORE: West Ham adds Diop ]

Lukaku talks about how his family’s poverty caused him to become a fierce competitor in the hopes of meeting his dreams head-on and providing for his family.

The Belgian, 25, scored twice in his side’s 3-0 World Cup-opening win over Panama earlier this week, and is now far removed from his youth, but he tells his story as if it lives fresh in his mind.

From The Players’ Tribune:

There were even times when my mum had to “borrow” bread from the bakery down the street. The bakers knew me and my little brother, so they’d let her take a loaf of bread on Monday and pay them back on Friday.

Lukaku also talks about racism in football, his debut for Anderlecht, and that aforementioned competitive drive. It’s 100 percent worth the read.

West Ham signs club record center back from Toulouse

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West Ham has reportedly set a club record with its latest signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini.

Issa Diop is the player, the 21-year-old Toulouse captain and center back costing the Irons around $29 million.

[ MORE: Arsenal signs Leno ]

Diop scored three goals with an assist and eight yellow cards in 31 Ligue 1 matches this season, giving the young defender 95 apps, six goals, three assists, and 23 yellows since debuting with the senior team at 18.

Capped by France at every level below the senior team, Diop’s 2.2 interceptions per game ranked sixth in Ligue 1.

Toulose finished 18th in Ligue 1, but won its promotion/relegation playoff to stay in the French top flight.

From WHUFC.com:

“I am very happy to sign for such a historic, English club, and I hope to show my best here. I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show: Episode 3

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In the third episode of Layla’s Occasionally Unbiased Football Show, England pulls out a massive win while VAR finds its way into the World Cup spotlight.

[ LIVE: World Cup scores ] 

There will be plenty more to come over the next few weeks, with the show coming via the Men In Blazers.

Click play on the video above to watch the first episode in full.