Inside the Window: Former Real Madrid Star in an Unexpected Career Turn

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportJanuary 26, 2017

Inside the Window: Former Real Madrid Star in an Unexpected Career Turn

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    Michel Euler/Associated Press

    This may not have been the most thrilling transfer window so far, but nobody could have claimed to expect this career path was likely...

    Last season, Jese was at Real Madrid. Then he made a €25 million transfer to Paris Saint-Germain. Now he is in talks over a loan switch to Middlesbrough.

    Today, B/R's Inside the Window column takes a closer look at the Jese situation, while also analysing the bizarre ongoings at West Ham United as they try to sign Robert Snodgrass and cling on to Dimitri Payet.

    We also have an update on Fernando Llorente, and news on a potential addition at West Bromwich Albion.

Boro Dream of Landing Jese and Bojan

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    Middesbrough have not been the Premier League's most exciting team to watch this season, but that should change if they manage to complete a fascinating double signing.

    The biggest news is that Jese is expected to complete a loan move to the Riverside Stadium, as a loan deal is agreed in principle.

    It seems an incredible bit of business for the Premier League side, as he only moved to PSG from Real Madrid for €25 million in August.

    Jese has widely been considered one of the most exciting, direct attackers in European football in the past.

    Now, at the age of 23, it is believed a deal will go through as long as they can convince the player it can be of long-term benefit to him.

    Jese is keen to move on after a disappointing first season in Paris, having made just one Ligue 1 start, and realises other big opportunities could open up if he shines in England.

    The transfer has been driven by Victor Orta, Middlesbrough's head of recruitment—and it does not mean a deal for Bojan of Stoke City would be dead.

    They are hopeful Bojan will arrive as well but also want his switch to be an initial loan agreement.

    The Teessiders believe that landing both players would add an edge to their attack.

Snodgrass Waiting for West Ham Move

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    Snodgrass has set West Ham as his top destination for a January move.

    Hull City are ready to sell him this month for £10 million, as previously revealed in our column.

    Burnley have been hoping to sign him, and a fee has been agreed, while Middlesbrough are also pursuing him, along with Jese and Bojan.

    But the player would rather move to the London Stadium.

    West Ham are keen to do the deal but are in a difficult situation.

    They are also trying to sign forward Scott Hogan for £13 million from Brentford, and wantaway star Payet remains in limbo.

    It is looking increasingly likely that Payet's future will be decided close to the transfer deadline—but Snodgrass is viewed as the player who would fill Payet's role in east London.

Swansea Won't Let Llorente Join Chelsea

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    Chelsea are still knocking on the door to ask Swansea City for Fernando Llorente on loan.

    Antonio Conte has him in mind as a good back-up alternative to Diego Costa and is convinced the player fancies the move.

    However, Swansea see no reason to do business on the terms Chelsea are offering.

    Llorente is an important figure in the side as the Swans attempt to turn around a poor first half of the season.

    The fact Chelsea only want him on loan to boost their own chances of winning the Premier League title has left Swansea unimpressed, so no deal looks likely.

West Brom to Tighten Their Defence

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    West Brom manager Tony Pulis is looking for ways to make his side even harder to beat.

    The Baggies sit eighth in the Premier League table, and their success has been built on the back of a resolute defence that is tough to breach.

    Pulis thinks it can become even stronger, though, and has had scouts working on new targets for the centre of his defence.

    I am told the names have now been narrowed down, and that a centre-back will be signed before deadline day.

    Sources at the club were keeping cards close to their chest when B/R tried to find out the name of a top target they are in talks with.

    At this stage, our information is simply that the defender is playing abroad and is keen on the move to England.