Transfer Rumor Roundup: Leicester chasing Demiral, Chelsea favorites for Zaha

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With the 2020 January transfer window still just a few days young, there is still much to do as teams identify needs and look for targets that may be available. The winter transfer window often proves difficult with available players few and far between. Still, there are options and some teams are hoping to pry players from their current homes while others hope to cling to important members of the squad.

According to Sky Sports, Leicester City has seen an initial bid of $33.4 million rejected by Juventus for defender Merih Demiral. The 21-year-old Turkish international is a wanted man this winter having appeared just three times this season in Italian league play. The Foxes are in the market for a center-back with 32-year-old Jonny Evans having already racked up 2,159 minutes this season and partner Caglar Soyuncu at just under 1,900.

The Foxes will be facing heavy competition for Demiral’s signature, with Borussia Dortmund reportedly seeing a larger bid rejected as well. The Sky Sports report states that Leicester City actually prefers to bring Demiral in on loan before committing a heavy investment of funds, and they have looked to fellow Turkish international Soyuncu to convince Demiral of life at Leicester City.

A report by The Daily Mail claims that Crystal Palace whiz Wilfried Zaha has made a change in representation that could boost Chelsea’s chances of securing a deal. The report states that Zaha has fired his current agent and hired Israeli agent Pini Zahavi who has a close relationship with Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich. Zahavi was instrumental in Abramovich’s successful acquisition of Chelsea back in 2003 and also was a major player in Chelsea transfer dealings that summer.

Zaha has been an ever-present figure in transfer rumors over the past few seasons, and is reportedly frustrated at his inability to secure a move away from Selhurst Park. The Mail report states Crystal Palace wants a bid of over $100 million for the 26-year-old, but it has seemed their high valuation of Zaha has warded teams off over the last few years. Zaha’s contract runs through the summer of 2023, so the club still has plenty of control over his future.

Sheffield United has impressed this season, proving a difficult opponent for top sides as they sit eighth in the table despite just being promoted this summer. They have one of the best defenses in the league, and while they have scored timely goals to earn results, the offense has lacked at times. That has seen them look for attacking reinforcements, and according to Algerian outlet DZFoot, they have interest in former Marseille frontman Billel Omrani who currently plays in the Romanian top flight for CFR Cluj.

The 26-year-old Omrani has six goals in 16 Romanian top flight games this season, and scored another six in eight Champions League qualifying games as the club was eventually downed by Slavia Prague before the group stages. They now remain in play in the Europa League round of 32, and he recently impressed against Celtic.

Aston Villa is playing hardball with creative star Jack Grealish, and manager Dean Smith went on record to say the club is pushing hard to keep him at Villa Park. Smith admitted there has been heavy interest in the 24-year-old who has eight goals and six assists this Premier League season, but said emphatically, “People can keep looking but they can’t touch. We want to keep our best players and he’s showing he’s one of the best in the Premier League.”