World Football Gossip Roundup: Fellaini, Benteke, Mame Diouf
The winter transfer window may have slammed shut a little over a week ago, but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill from continuing to produce the usual pieces of transfer tittle tattle.
The past 24 hours have seen several stories linking Arsenal, Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Gremio and Spanish rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona with high-profile names from across Europe emerge.
Here is a roundup of the biggest transfer rumours currently doing the rounds in the footballing world.
Finding the fact amidst the fiction will be the tricky part.
Fellaini Tells Chelsea to Step Up Their Interest
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According to The Sun, Everton's powerhouse midfielder-cum-forward Marouane Fellaini has reportedly issued a "come-and-get-me" plea to Chelsea.
The Belgian said, "If Chelsea want to sign me, then they need to come forward with a bid for me. I have heard about Chelsea’s interest, but I’ve honestly not spoken to them."
The price for a potential transfer quoted by the British tabloid is £30 million, though if Everton manage to qualify for next season's Champions League, all bets could be off.
"It might feel better to play Champions League football for Everton than Chelsea, as they gave me my debut in England," Fellaini revealed.
Gremio Target Andre Santos on Loan
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Arsenal's Andre Santos may not be in the midst of a stellar season for his club, but that hasn't deterred Brazilian club Gremio from reportedly expressing an interest in a temporary move.
Gremio president Fabio Koff told Zero Hora "Andre Santos is one of our interests. We talked with Arsenal, but there is nothing certain. It is a very difficult negotiation." (h/t Sambafoot).
With the Gunners having signed highly-rated Spanish full-back Nacho Monreal this past January, Santos has fallen even further behind in the pecking order at the Emirates.
The Brazilian side have until Tuesday to complete a loan transfer, as this is the final chance to confirm squad lists for the upcoming Copa Libertadores.
Real and Barca Battle for Sporting Gijon Youngster
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Spanish publication AS is currently reporting that La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have locked horns over the potential signing of Sporting Gijon youngster Borja Lopez (h/t SoccerNews).
It is claimed that "both clubs had the centre-back watched in last weekend’s game against Racing Santander with a view of making a summer bid for the player’s services."
Borja's contract with Sporting was recently extended, but should a big-money offer arrive on the club's doorstep, it would naturally be very difficult to say "no."
The player is a current member of the Spanish Under-19 squad.
Arsenal Favourites to Swoop for Benteke
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The form of powerful Belgian striker Christian Benteke has proven a rare bright spot for Aston Villa this season.
The midlands club have struggled to pick up any sort of form, despite the beastly Benteke having scored 14 goals in all competitions.
Should Villa get relegated, the Daily Star is claiming that Arsenal are in pole position to swoop for a transfer worth close to £16 million (h/t The Mirror).
The Gunners may face competition for their target, though, as it is believed that "Chelsea and Manchester City are also interested in the 22-year-old," according to the newspaper.
Mame Diouf Won't Replace Lewandowski at Dortmund
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Since struggling to make a name for himself at Manchester United, Mame Diouf seems to have settled at Bundesliga club Hannover 96.
The Senegalese forward has scored an impressive 22 goals in 34 appearances in all competitions for the German side, 12 of which have already come this season.
Responding to rumours that Diouf could eventually replace Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund, Hannover chairman Martin Kind made it clear in an interview with Sport-BILD weekly that his player isn't for sale (h/t Sky Sports).
"We are planning our own future, we are not planning the future of Borussia Dortmund,” he said. “Mame Biram Diouf is under contract at our club, he is a great striker and an important player. We do not have any interest in selling him.”