Football transfer rumours: Aubameyang to make Barça return? – The Guardian

Today’s fluff is turning it off then turning it on again
Southampton win an actual game and suddenly the rumourmongers are abuzz with chat about their players. Chelsea and Manchester United are reported to be tussling over right-back Kyle Walker-Peters. Chelsea see him as reinforcement for the injury-prone Reece James while Erik ten Hag apparently wants an upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But while Walker-Peters is stalling on a new contract and thought to be keen on a move, he’d cost a cool £40m if he went this month.
Saints’ League Cup semi-final opponents, Newcastle, have reignited their interest in Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby. The 23-year-old winger has had a patchy season in the Bundesliga but Eddie Howe is thought to like the cut of his jib, though German media suggest a deal will have to wait until the summer.
Chelsea and Barcelona have two of the most chaotic transfer policies in Europe, into which maelstrom leaps Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who seemingly wants to jump ship back to the Camp Nou from Stamford Bridge. AS reports the striker is “unhappy” at Chelsea, where he has struggled to impress, and has contacted Xavi Hernández, the Barça manager, to flutter the necessary eyelashes. Much will depend on whether Memphis Depay stays, with the Dutch striker attracting interest from Atlético Madrid and the Premier League.
Liverpool have been pretty coy about transfer activity this month but that hasn’t stopped them being linked with oodles of players, the latest being the Napoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski. Those with a particular memory for transfer blether may recall that the 28-year-old was heavily linked with an Anfield move seven years ago when at Udinese, even being pictured in a Liverpool shirt. Could he finally be wearing one on the pitch? We shall see, though Jude Bellingham and Moisés Caicedo remain likelier targets.
Another thus-far underwhelming big-club signing, Manchester United’s Facundo Pellistri, is wanted on loan by Watford to turbo-boost their Championship promotion campaign. Pellistri made his full debut for United this week, against Charlton, and Slaven Bilic reckons he could be just the man to pep up the Hornets in the second half of the season.
With only Premier League survival now to focus on, Wolves are scribbling more names on their shopping list. Atlético Brazilian centre-back Felipe is one such name, and a deal is thought to be imminent for the 33-year-old. Another thirtysomething target for Julen Lopetegui, West Ham’s Michail Antonio, could prove harder to get, with the Hammers unwilling to sell to relegation dogfight rivals.
West Ham, for their part, are bothering Amiens about a possible swoop for the French club’s 22-year-old Senegal defender Formose Mendy, though they will have to offer more than the £7m tabled by Lens, which Amiens rejected.
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If Felipe does complete a move to Molineux, Atlético could well replace him with Leicester’s Caglar Soyuncu. The Turkey central defender’s contract at the King Power Stadium runs out in the summer but Diego Simeone is keen on a deal in this window.


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