Mohamed El Neny

Friday’s transfer rumor roundup: Isco to Man City; Ighalo staying put

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The biggest transfer rumor making its way around the internet on Friday, the first day of the January 2016 transfer window in the UK, involves 23-year-old Real Madrid midfielder Isco, who’s said to be unhappy at the Bernabeu Stadium and open to a move to Manchester City, according to the Mirror.

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Man City are also in pursuit of 19-year-old Schalke forward Leroy Sane, according to Bild. Sane, who made his debut and lone appearance for the senior German national team in 2015, is reportedly valued at nearly $50 million by the Bundesliga side, a price at which City are said to have balked.

As for Watford striker Odion Ighalo, with whom many clubs across Europe have been linked after a stellar first half of the 2015-16 season (14 goals in 19 games), the Nigerian striker has poured cold water all over rumors saying he’ll be leaving Vicarage Road this month.

[ MORE: Top 5 Premier League storylines — 2016’s first matchday ]

Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny has reportedly passed his medical with Arsenal and will become the Gunners’ first signing of the January window. The 23-year-old will provide UEFA Champions League-experienced cover for the injured Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.

Claudio Ranieri insists his Leicester City side will not be dismantled in January, with forward Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez staying put — quotes from the Express. And finally, former Arsenal, Chelsea and Roma defender Ashley Cole has been offered a contract by Major League Soccer side LA Galaxy, according to numerous reports.

Elneny passes medical to become Arsenal’s first January signing

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Arsenal are all set to complete one of the first signings of the January transfer window, as midfielder Mohamed Elneny has reportedly passed a medical with the Gunners.

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Elneny, who’s 23 and currently plays his club ball for Swiss powerhouse Basel, is  close to completing his move to the Emirates Stadium for a few of just under $11 million, according to reports. Elneny’s move remains subject to the granting of a UK work permit, which should prove to be no problem for the 39-times capped Egyptian midfielder.

With midfield stalwarts Francis Coquelin (knee) and Santi Cazorla (knee) both out with long-term injuries, and Jack Wilshere still a long way from making his 2015-16 season debut, Elneny figures to go straight into an Arsenal first team making its first real Premier League title challenge since topping the league in 2003-04.

[ MORE: 2015 end-of-year table — Arsenal are January-to-December champions ]

Elneny will, however, not be eligible to play for Arsenal in the knockout stage of the UEFA Champions League after making a number of appearances for Basel in this year’s tournament.

Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup: Jackson Martinez to Chelsea, Spurs

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With Christmas and Boxing Day officially in the rearview mirror, the new year is just around the corner, and we all know what the new year brings with it: the January transfer window.

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A roundup of the biggest transfer rumors floating around the Internet this crazy Boxing Day

Just six months after leaving Porto for Atletico Madrid, Jackson Martinez is wildly out of form and said to be extremely unsettled, thus hello, Jackson Martinez transfer rumors. The Mirror tells us that Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur are two Premier League sides interested in the 29-year-old Colombian striker. After scoring 32 goals in 41 games (all competitions) for Porto last season, Martinez has made barely a dozen appearances for Atleti, scoring just three times. If truly available, Atleti would likely have to take a fair loss on the $43 million they spent to acquire Martinez in the summer.

According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal will make just one signing during the January window, but at least this time it’ll be for a player in a position where they desperately need reinforcements — central midfield. 23-year-old Mohamed Elneny is one linked to the Gunners for a fee of $10 million. The Egyptian midfielder currently plays for Basel, where he’s regularly feature for the Swiss side in the UEFA Champions League. Elneny will remain cup-tied in the CL this season, though, meaning he’ll be ineligible to represent Arsenal in the competition this year, if a move comes to fruition.

[ MORE: PL roundup — Man United, Arsenal, Leicester lose on Boxing Day ]

The Daily Star is reporting that Real Madrid will not make another move for Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea during the January window, but that they will attempt to bring the 25-year-old Spaniard back to his hometown in the summer.

West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Pulis is said to be quite the admirer of Arsenal defender Mathieu Debuchy, with the Daily Star linking the Frenchman with a loan move to The Hawthorns in January. After seeing his side hammered by Manchester City on Saturday, Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce is ready to spend wildly in January as the Black Cats attempt to stave off relegation once again.