Per Alan Nixon of the Sun, the Potters are desperate to land the Dynamo Kiev forward and will not balk at the reported asking price of more than £20 million―a fee that would set a club record. Everton have been frequently linked with the Ukraine international, while Ukrainian outlet Sport (h/t Alex Wood of the Daily Star) previously claimed Arsenal had already agreed to a deal for the 26-year-old.
Yarmolenko is one of the most uniquely gifted players not plying his trade in a top league and has been in strong form in the 2015-16 campaign, per WhoScored.com:
Andriy Yarmolenko: Has scored 13 goals in 22 appearances for Dynamo Kyiv this season https://t.co/4fD5v0HoXM2016-1-11 13:00:32
While he mostly plays as a winger, he has the size of a typical in-the-box striker and the passing vision to operate in midfield. His biggest asset is undoubtedly his raw pace, and combined with his brute strength, he's a nightmare to defend out on the wing.
He routinely overpowers smaller full-backs and can use his speed to devastating effects against centre-backs, as you can see in the video below:
Transfer rumours have regularly mentioned Yarmolenko's name for some time now, and as explained by Sport Witness, a move away from Kiev seems to be on the horizon:
Yarmolenko has been on the verge of leaving his Kiev club for a couple of years but every time it came to the crux, he stayed at Dynamo.
Things are starting to change, Yarmolenko wants to test himself in a more high profile league, and he's certainly shown that he's good enough to join a top club, it being a frustration sometimes that there doesn't appear to be the interest there should be.
The issue is that after all this time, the move still hasn't happened. Reports like the one from Sport, which claimed a deal had been made, continue to surface, but every single time, the fans' hopes Yarmolenko will finally come to England are dashed soon after.
As a result, fans shouldn't―and won't―get too carried away with these latest rumours. Dynamo would obviously prefer to wait until summer to sell, rather than lose the player near the end of the January window. Unless Yarmolenko himself confirms reports of a deal, it's safer to remain sceptical.
Seydou Doumbia Enquiry Reported
Roman-based newspaper Il Messaggero (h/t Daily Express' David Wright) claimed Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was keen to bring the Ivory Coast international to the Emirates as back-up for Olivier Giroud, but he will instead challenge for the starting position at St. James' Park.
Per football writer Graeme Bailey, he's close to signing for the Magpies and traveled to England for a medical on Sunday:
Graeme Bailey @GraemeBailey
Seydou Doumbia has arrived in England for medical with Newcastle. They are still trying for Saido Berahino too.2016-1-31 12:07:40
The speedster joined Roma in January of last year after impressing with CSKA Moscow, but he never found his groove in the Italian capital and returned to Russia on loan last summer. He scored five goals in 11 Russian Premier League starts, per WhoScored.com, and returned to Roma in January.
The Giallorossi are thought to be keen on moving him as soon as possible, which would explain why they recalled him earlier this month. Here's a look at some of his highlights:
Given the 28-year-old's struggles in Serie A, some fans will question whether his solid career numbers are a product of playing in a relatively easy league and whether he's good enough to hold his own in the Premier League.
As shared by Sky Sports News HQ, his numbers in the Champions League suggest he should manage, however:
Sky Sports News HQ @SkySportsNewsHQ
Seydou Doumbia has the fourth best minutes per goal ratio out of current @ChampionsLeague players. #SSNHQ https://t.co/Ts1VJhSA2p2016-1-31 19:55:04
From Doumbia's perspective, the move to Newcastle makes more sense, as he's more likely to start for the Magpies than for Arsenal. At the age of 28, he needs to be playing regular football and making the most of his career.
He's yet to put pen to paper, however, and if Arsenal feel he would add valuable depth to their attack, they should at least consider jumping in at the last second. He may have already taken his medical, but until he signs for Newcastle, approaching him and Roma remains a possibility.