Chelsea, Tottenham and others have all been dealt a blow in their transfer hopes after Willian completed an Eastern European move of the big money variety while Manchester United are alleged to have found another talent of Cristiano Ronaldo proportions.
Those stories lead Saturday’s edition of B/R’s World Football Gossip Roundup, but there’s also news on Alexander Doni, Steven Taylor and Andy Carroll further ahead.
Read on for your usual gossip fix.
According to the Daily Mail (h/t Sky Sports), West Ham have already agreed to take Liverpool forward Andy Carroll to Upton Park in the summer despite some considerable injury problems.
Speaking to the Mail, Hammers co-owner David Sullivan is reported as saying that while Carroll is yet to agree personal terms with the club, a deal is in place to make his loan signing a permanent one.
I am often asked about Andy Carroll's deal. It is a season-long loan. Liverpool had an option to take him back in January, but he has been injured.
West Ham have an agreement with Liverpool to sign him at the end of the season, but we have no agreement with the player. It was his desire to come to West Ham to prove himself to Liverpool and that hasn't changed.
The former Newcastle United star has scored just one goal in 11 games for the East London club but has the second half of the season to shrug off any niggles and live up to the expectations placed upon him several years ago.
In a not-so-shocking development in Eastern Europe, it’s Anzhi Makhachkala that have won the race for another one of the world’s more sought-after talents.
As reported by the Guardian, the Brazilian has agreed a "long-term" deal in Dagestan, supposedly costing the Russian club a fee in the region of €35 million (£30 million).
Willian becomes just the latest player to join the lucrative revolution that’s emerging in Russia, and will contribute much to the Anzhi cause if he can reach the heights shown during his days at Shakhtar Donetsk.
It’s been almost four years since Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford for the sunnier pastures of the Spanish capital, but ex-Crystal Palace midfielder John Salako says the Red Devils may have just signed the heir to his throne.
Speaking to Goal.com, the former Eagle and current Sky Sports pundit said:
Manchester United never really replaced Cristiano Ronaldo and I really do think Wilfried Zaha's got that kind of ability.
The lad's got everything; he's strong, quick and got so much ability, but he needs to learn the game - at the moment he's still quite raw. Certainly working under Sir Alex in that environment at Man United, he couldn't go anywhere better. I just think he's going to be an absolute star there.
Salako may be a biased judge based on his Selhurst Park allegiances, but the 43-year-old’s opinion is rightly influenced by Zaha’s incredible influence on Palace’s title push this season.
Whether or not the 20-year-old does live up to comparisons with one of the greatest players of all time is up for debate, but many an England fan are hoping such notions turn out to be true.
With his time at Anfield now done, Alexander Doni—now at Botafogo—has revealed how close he came to death not long into his Liverpool tenure.
The Brazilian spent much of his time in England mysteriously absent from the Reds’ lineup and, speaking to calciomercato.com as well as broadcaster Globo (h/t Guardian), explained as to why that was.
I always had an arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and during some tests in Liverpool suffered a cardiac arrest.
I carried out checks across Europe and I had to extend my period of absence from the field. I almost. I almost ended up on the other side. I had a heart attack for about 25 seconds.
Now back in his native Brazil, the 33-year-old will hopefully recover from such a scare and be able to resume a career once looking quite bright at Roma.
The French Revolution at Newcastle United has been an ongoing and well-documented project in recent years, with a very large chunk of the Magpies squad now hailing from France or French-speaking countries.
As the only Geordie left in the side’s regular starting XI, one might understand why Steven Taylor, more than anyone, would be upset with the sudden changes at St. James’ Park.
However, it’s now been reported (via Mirror) that the centre-back is listening to "teach yourself French" CDs in the car in a bid to settle in amongst his squad.
I’m talking all the time, probably with a terrible accent, but I’m trying. Thumbs up means good. I got a Spanish GCSE not French.
It’ll be nice to learn a bit of French, just in case. Yohan Cabaye did the same with the car CDs when he first joined and he’s fluent in English now!
Although it might seem a bit of a burden right now, who knows? French could actually become somewhat of a coded language a the northeast outfit, with Taylor at the helm of the ship.