Done deals are starting to trickle through as we edge closer to the January transfer window closing on Wednesday.
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Two deals for Premier League strikers were completed on Monday with Leonardo Ulloa heading back to Brighton & Hove Albion, plus Diafra Sakho has left West Ham and joined Ligue 1 side Rennes.
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Ulloa, 31, has joined the Seagulls on loan for the rest of the season after falling out of favor at Leicester. He put in a transfer request last January but wasn’t allowed to leave amid reports of unrest behind-the-scenes with then boss Claudio Ranieri. Ulloa signed a contract extension in the summer but has played just six times this season.
The Argentine striker spent 18 months at Brighton from 2013 to 2014 when they were in the Championship and became a fans favorite as he scored 26 goals in 58 appearances in all competitions. Ulloa was sold by Brighton to Leicester for $11.2 million in 2014 and scored six goals in 29 appearances during Leicester’s title-winning season in 2015-16, including plenty of crucial late goals in their incredible title success.
Overall he’s scored 20 goals in 102 appearances for the Foxes but has seen his chances become extremely limited with Jamie Vardy, Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani now all ahead of him in the pecking order.
Brighton are the second-lowest goalscorers in the Premier League and Ulloa’s arrival will add plenty of experience alongside new club-record signing Jurgen Locadia.
Diafra Sakho has finally got his move from West Ham with the Senegalese striker joining Ligue 1 side Rennes for $11.2 million
Sakho, 28, has wanted out of the Hammers for quite some time and was caught up in a bizarre case on Transfer Deadline Day back in the summer when he flew to France to complete a medical with Rennes… without West Ham’s permission.
He has scored 24 goals in 71 appearances in all competitions since arriving at the Hammers from Metz in the summer of 2014 but he’s fallen out of favor over the past 12 months under Slaven Bilic and now David Moyes with injures also playing a big part.
Sakho started his West Ham career in fine fashion, scoring six goals in his opening six games for the club which saw him named the Premier League player of the Month for October 2014. Since then he’s found minutes tough to come by with Andy Carroll and several other forwards placed ahead of him.
With PL clubs such as Crystal Palace and Swansea City said to have been interested in signing Sakho, the Senegal international was also keen on a return to France. He’s got his wish and West Ham have got plenty of cash for a player who has struggled with injuries and form.
However, with Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and Marko Arnautovic out injured, it does leave Moyes very short up front at a pivotal stage of the season. Surely the Hammers have a new forward lined up to arrive before Wednesday’s deadline and help bolster their chances of staying up.