West Brom might have to be active in the January transfer window for a defender, according to one journalist.
The Baggies are lacking strength in depth in defensive areas due to a season-ending injury to Kean Bryan. Having to be taken off against Hull in midweek, the 25-year-old didn’t feature against Middlesbrough on Saturday. The club have now confirmed Bryan suffered damage to his anterior cruciate ligament, which will require surgery to repair.
Dara O’Shea is already out after breaking his ankle for the Republic of Ireland during the last international break. The 22-year-old also suffered ligament damage and will still be sidelined for a few more months.
Matt Clarke is another centre-back who has had injury troubles already this campaign. The former Derby man has only featured nine times this season but seems to be back to full fitness.
According to Birmingham Mail journalist Joe Chapman, the Baggies could dive into the upcoming transfer window due to their shortages at the back.
Speaking on Twitter about Bryan’s injury, he said: “Brought in as injury cover himself, to lose him is less than ideal. If Ajayi goes to AFCON, Albion might have a decision to make in the January window. #wba”
Brought in as injury cover himself, to lose him is less than ideal. If Ajayi goes to AFCON, Albion might have a decision to make in the January window. #wba
— Joe Chapman (@ChapmanJ92) November 8, 2021
Valerien Ismael’s men face Huddersfield after the international break. With his favoured formation being 3-5-2, the Frenchman only has four fit senior centre-backs to choose from.
However, Clarke, Semi Ajayi, Kyle Bartley and Cedric Kipre are all fantastic options to have.
If Ajayi is selected for Nigeria at the 2021 African Cup of Nations – which starts at the beginning of January – Ismael will certainly be hoping to bolster his defence in the transfer window.
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Ismael struggling with time-wasters
West Brom boss Valerien Ismael has stated he can’t stand when teams time-waste against his side.
Frustration is starting to boil over for the Baggies boss, who labels it as ’embarrassing’.
Speaking to the Express & Star, he said: “Honestly, at some points, I find it really embarrassing when you see players stay down for so long and the referee doesn’t say anything.
“But I always ask myself if it will be a help if I say something – or is it better to stay focused on my team.
“I just need to stay focused on myself on my team and look at the mistakes we make and the wrong decisions we make.
“But sometimes it’s hard when teams are time-wasting.
Cristiano Ronaldo ‘can leave Man Utd on one condition’ after crunch Richard Arnold talks
Cristiano Ronaldo could leave Manchester United in the summer on one condition after talks between his representatives and Richard Arnold, according to reports.
One of the greatest players of all time, Ronaldo’s return to Man Utd prompted much excitement in the summer. More than a decade after leaving the club for Real Madrid, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner returned in a transfer from Juventus.
Some questions were asked of how he would affect the balance of the team and whether it was a short-sighted move. Intrinsically, though, the 36-year-old’s comeback at Old Trafford was a momentous move for the club.
Both parties reunited with the expectation of challenging for honours again together. But the first half of the season was complicated for United. It led to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer losing his job as manager.
Ralf Rangnick replaced him on an interim basis until the end of the season. He has inherited a big task – and how he does may have implications for Ronaldo’s future.
According to The Sun, a meeting between Ronaldo’s representatives and new chief executive Arnold has led to the conclusion that the Portuguese ace will be allowed to leave the club if they do not qualify for the Champions League.
After 20 matches of the Premier League season, Man Utd are in seventh place. They need to catch up with the top four in the final few months of the campaign.
If not, they could risk losing Ronaldo one year ahead of schedule. He signed a contract until 2023 when he returned to the club and intends to keep playing until he is 40.
But he wants to do so at the top level and will therefore not be against moving on if United cannot guarantee him Champions League football.
Cristiano Ronaldo has Man Utd concerns
It would prompt another minor rebuild in the summer and raise further questions of the direction in which they are heading.
Ronaldo is said to be particularly concerned about a lack of intensity at Carrington. It is not what he was used to during his first spell with the club.
But there is still time for them to ensure his second stint lasts as long as it should. They will need to reverse their form though to keep him on side. If not, Ronaldo may be on the move again in 2022.
So far this season, he has scored 14 goals and provided three assists from 21 matches for United. His overall record for the club is 132 goals and 72 assists from 313 games. But if they cannot keep up with his ambition, he may only have six months to add to them.
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Insider reveals Ronaldo feelings
Earlier this month, The Sun carried quotes from a source revealing how Ronaldo was feeling disillusioned already.
The source revealed: “Cristiano is very concerned about what is happening at United.
“The team is receiving a lot of criticism and he knows he is regarded as one of the leaders.
“There are quite a lot of problems and Cristiano is feeling the pressure and is very stressed by the situation.
“He desperately wants his United move to be a success. But he is starting to recognise that winning trophies with the current set up could be a real struggle.
“Jorge [Mendes, agent] came to see him and they spent time chatting through how things are going, what they think are the problems, how they might be solved and what the solutions may be.
“Nothing has been ruled out.”
READ MORE: Negotiations ‘underway’ as Anthony Martial says yes to unexpected loan switch
Newcastle transfer options take double hit with defender injured and striker nearing exit
Newcastle United’s transfer options have taken a double hit with a defensive target now injured and a potential striker signing nearing an exit.
The Magpies were always going to find the January transfer tricky. And sure enough, they’ve encountered a variety of issues when pursuing transfers to help them get out of their current predicament in the Premier League.
Lille blocked their approach for centre-back Sven Botman, Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek didn’t want to join them, and Eden Hazard won’t leave Real Madrid.
Now two further issues have been discovered. The first relates to Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti.
It was hoped that he could a loan signing, with all parties open to that option. But that deal is now out of the question.
As per Mundo Deportivo, Umtiti will be sidelined for three months following surgery on his foot.
That leaves Sevilla’s Diego Carlos as the sole centre-back Newcastle are currently in the hunt for. Ideally, if they can get him signed then another will be wanted.
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And at the other end of the pitch, there has also been a hitch in the club’s plans.
That’s because according to Fabrizio Romano, Borussia Monchengladbach are in talks with Zenit St. Petersburg over the sale of their striker Alassane Plea.
Plea is one of the Toon’s attacking targets to replace the goals of the injured Callum Wilson. Reports from his native France indicated Howe viewed him as an ideal Chris Wood partner.
And with him being good friends with Allan Saint-Maximin, there was belief a deal could be done.
But now it seems Russian side Zenit have swooped in. Romano also notes that Atalanta are still reluctant to sell fellow Magpies target, Duvan Zupata.
Alternative Newcastle target suggested
Meanwhile, a pundit has told Newcastle to move for former Chelsea and Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa.
The Spaniard bagged 58 goals in 120 games for Chelsea during a three-and-a-half-year spell at Stamford Bridge. He helped the Blues to win two Premier League titles and one EFL Cup.
He left England to re-join Diego Simeone’s team in January 2018, before going on to sign for Atletico Mineiro in August.
The 33-year-old is now a free agent after terminating his contract in Brazil. And those on Tyneside have been urged to “sign him tomorrow”…
READ MORE: Newcastle told to sign renowned ‘match-winner’ who could ‘get them out of trouble’