Lautaro blow pushes Man City towards Erling Haaland, Son to sign in summer - Transfer Notebook
Manchester City's desire for a new striker is stronger than ever given Sergio Aguero's struggles this season and when the window opens in the summer they are likely to be ready to make their move. But with Lautaro Martinez now looking impossible, writes Dean Jones, expect more talk of a pursuit for Erling Haaland....
Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund Looks on during the Bundesliga match between Sport-Club Freiburg and Borussia Dortmund at Schwarzwald-Stadion on February 6, 2021 in Freiburg im Breisgau
Manchester City are ready to move on from a top target on their shopping list, as they lose hope of signing Lautaro Martinez from Inter Milan.
He has been monitored closely over the past year, in line with finding a successor for Sergio Aguero, but the Manchester club have been kept up to date with advances on his situation in Italy and now expect him to prolong his stay in Serie A. Sources believe he is close to agreeing a new contract at Inter that will almost double his current salary.
The Haaland to City rumour was doing the rounds again in English tabloids over the weekend and it is a story that will continue to build momentum for the rest of the season.
Chelsea intend to challenge them for Haaland’s signature but it is worth bearing in mind that some of the player’s closest allies have reservations about him moving to the Premier League just yet.
And, remember, the pursuit of Lionel Messi is also in the background for City if he decides it is time to leave Barcelona.
Son to sign new deal in summer
Son Heung-min of Tottenham Hotspur celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 2-0 during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Image credit: Getty Images
Son Heung-min is being tipped for a new deal at Tottenham, with Jose Mourinho saying it is a case of waiting for the "right moment”.
His deal ends in 2023 but Tottenham are fully aware of how important he is to this side - losing him to any other European club is not an option.
Sources close to the situation are adamant that, like Harry Kane, the conversations around this new deal are very advanced but the belief is that Spurs will hold off on an announcement until the end of the season.
Leicester City have to make a decision on Cengiz Under at the end of the season but as it stands they will not be looking to keep him at the club.
They have an option to buy him from AS Roma for around £22m but manager Brendan Rodgers has not seen enough to convince him he should be part of their plans moving forward.
In fact, Leicester are already looking into other potential options to fill the attacking role Cengiz was brought in for and have a keen eye on Marseille's Florian Thauvin.
Toney fits bill for West Ham
Ivan Toney of Brentford applauds during the Sky Bet Championship match between Middlesbrough and Brentford at Riverside Stadium on February 06, 2021 in Middlesbrough, England
Image credit: Getty Images
West Ham are looking towards Brentford forward Ivan Toney as a potential new signing for the summer window. They opted against making a quick signing to replace Sebastien Haller last month and are instead taking their time to find the right man at the right price when the market reopens.
As usual with West Ham, many different avenues are going to be explored - with reports recently linking them to a new bid for Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri. Sources in Spain believe such a move is extremely unlikely, given he is their star man and one of the leading scorers in La Liga this term.
But Toney, 24, is emerging as in intriguing option. He is enjoying a great season at Griffin Park and has 22 goals from 27 Championship appearances.
The Hammers have been monitoring a few Brentford players over the past year and last month loaned them Winston Reid in an attempt to ensure a good working relationship is in place between the two sides ahead of any future business they might negotiate.
Miami move for Shawcross?
A final rumour to take seriously is Inter Miami’s attempt to land Stoke City’s Ryan Shawcross.
The story emerged at the weekend and it is true that Phil Neville has been pursuing him as the first signing under his leadership.
Shawcross, 33, has a contract at Stoke that ends in the summer but he has not started a league game so far this season and it is thought there is a chance his contract will be terminated early in order for him to move into MLS ahead of their new season, which is expected to begin in April.