B/R Football Ranks Transfer Rumours: Olivier Giroud, James Maddison, Mariano

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportJanuary 7, 2020

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14: Nemanja Matic of Manchester United and James Maddison of Leicester City during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leicester City at Old Trafford on September 14, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

The B/R Football Ranks transfer column is your guide to which rumours are legit and which ones you can dismiss.

Our secret sources have top intelligence on the inside stories, and our informants have details on all the delicate dealings between top clubs and superstar names.

The aim here is to open up the truths inside this transfer window—we kick off this week with some good news for West Ham United...


Nailed on: Darren Randolph to West Ham

The Middlesbrough goalkeeper is keen on a Premier League switch, and the final details of a reported £4 million transfer were being ironed out on Tuesday morning.

Randolph is one of Boro's top earners on around £30,000 per week, and sources told B/R he will earn a pay rise as part of the move back to his former club, thought to be worth an extra £5,000 per week.

The Hammers have been searching for new back-up options for Lukasz Fabianski, and this transfer is very likely to open the door for Roberto to find a new club after his disappointing season.


Looking Likely: Olivier Giroud to Inter Milan

Frank Lampard is open to Giroud leaving if the right deal arrives, and it's looking increasingly likely he will land in Serie A by the end of this month.

There has been interest in the player from England, France and Spain, but Matt Law of the Telegraph reported Inter Milan now lead the race—and B/R sources confirmed this possibility is starting to open up.

Manager Antonio Conte wants one more forward option as his side chase success in the coming months, and sources say it could cost as little as £3 million to secure Giroud—who is out of contract at the end of the season.

Aston Villa and Newcastle have shown interest, too, but the player does not fancy a battle at the wrong end of the table.


Chances growing: Mariano Diaz to Lyon 

His move to Real Madrid in 2018 turned him into a global name—especially as some wondered if he was seen as the player to replace Cristiano Ronaldo.

But he has barely featured at the Santiago Bernabeu since joining and hasn't played at all this term, meaning a return to Lyon is beginning to look a good idea.

The French club have injuries to key players (Memphis Depay and Jeff Reine-Adelaide) and want a couple of trusty reinforcements to come in for the second half of the season; indications from sources in France suggest the deal is starting to look likely.


Don't rule out: Achraf Hakimi to Bayern Munich

Currently on loan to Dortmund from Real Madrid, Hakimi is a great right-back, who would understandably grab the attention of a club like Bayern.

Marca reported a deal could be on the cards as initial contact over his future availability has now been made. B/R sources insist no formal inquiry has yet been lodged, but it is an option they are aware could open up at the end of the season.


Very unlikely: James Maddison to Manchester United

Finally United are being linked to a player who excites the fanbase—but the chances of it coming to fruition this month are so slim.

Maddison is loving life under Brendan Rodgers at Leicester, and while he does have ambitions to test himself at other clubs, this is not a moment in which he is considering his future.

Steve Bates of the Mirror reported United will offer £45 million plus Jesse Lingard, which doesn't sound very tempting from a Foxes point of view.

Sources close to Leicester insist they are comfortable with the situation and are pretty sure he will stay, with one insider even suggesting Maddison could soon sign a new bumper contract that makes him one of the club's highest earners alongside Jamie Vardy and Kasper Schmeichel.


Not Happening: Caglar Soyuncu to Manchester City

Since Harry Maguire packed his bags and moved to United in the summer, Soyuncu has emerged as Leicester's new defensive rock. He's been superb all season, and it's no surprise he is being linked with a big club like City already. Reports in Turkey (h/t Leicester Mercury) suggest he has already been the subject of a £38.5 million offer.

However, there's nothing to see here. City sources insist the club have no interest in the player at this stage and no offer will be going in this month.

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