In what has been a rather dull transfer window so far, the big news seems to be coming from Loftus Road. While this is unsurprising considering the change of regime from Neil Warnock to Mark Hughes, some of the names being bandied around may be a little bit more eyebrow raising.
Big news for QPR fans comes in the form of an accepted bid for Chelsea defender Alex. The Brazilian submitted a formal transfer request towards the end of 2011 so a move from Stamford Bridge this month was always on the cards but, given the stature of the player, a successful approach by Mark Hughes would be a huge coup for the Premiership strugglers.
In true merry-go-round fashion that is often associated with the January window, Alex’s departure is more likely given the expected news that Gary Cahill looks set to complete his move to Chelsea from Bolton within the the next two days. Cahill was said to be at Chelsea on Friday for a medical so, barring any unforeseen problems, the Trotters’ star defender looks likely to have played his last game under Owen Coyle.
One departing player usually means another will arrive, and the Bolton manager looks to have followed the lead of Arsene Wenger and Alex McLeish by looking to the MLS for Cahill’s replacement. Tim Ream of the New York Red Bulls is believed to have been at the Bolton training ground on Friday. Whether the USA international will be able to fill Cahill’s boots for the relegation threatened side remains to be seen.
One man who always gets his share of attention when the windows open is Harry Redknapp and this January is no exception. The Spurs boss has denied reports that unsettled striker Jermaine Defoe will be leaving White Hart Lane this month, with Liverpool, Newcastle, Sunderland and QPR all reportedly monitering the situation. Defoe has switched agents to the same man who represents Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing, fuelling rumours of a Merseyside switch.
Two more strikers gaining headlines this week are Robbie Keane and Andy Carroll. Keane completed a switch to Aston Villa on a two month loan but the rumour mill kicked into life about a potential return to Tyneside for Carroll, who left for Liverpool at the end of January last year. Carroll’s form since the move has been spotty at best, with some suggesting he struggles to perform in a side where he is not the focal point of the attack. While Alan Pardew conceded that he would love to take the young striker back in the future, he pointed out that the speculation was unfounded.
“I think it’s unfair on the Newcastle public and I think it’s unfair on Andy,” the Toon chief said “It was speculative journalism that had no foundation.”