Casemiro, Lewandowski, Martinez, Palhinha & Branthwaite: The Essential Transfer Round Up – Saturday, December 9th

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Dec 11, 2023, 13:49

Casemiro already heading for the Old Trafford exit

While Manchester United might have their sights set on clinching another crucial top-four finish this season, it has been heavily suggested that a number of Erik ten Hag’s first-team stars could be heading for the Old Trafford exit.

Although the former Ajax boss might have broken the bank last year as they spent £70million on Casemiro, the former Real Madrid superstar has drastically struggled to find any kind of stability this season.

Dealing with another injury blow and not making a single appearance for the Premier League giants since a 3-0 loss against Newcastle on November 1st, the 31-year-old has come under some mounting scrutiny.

With it reported that United are keen on getting Casemiro’s bumper salary off of their wage bill, the Brazilian midfielder could be a blockbuster departure from the red half of Manchester next month.

Along with continued speculation over a potential return to Brazil, it has also been suggested that Al-Nassr are keeping tabs on Casemiro’s situation at Old Trafford.

Lewandowski on his way to Saudi Arabia

While Robert Lewandowski might have played a crucial role last season as Barcelona claimed a first La Liga crown since 2019, the former Bayern Munich record-breaker has endured a public Spanish struggle this time around.

With Xavi publicly stating earlier in the week that he was eyeing a summer swoop for Atletico Madrid striker Alvaro Morata, it has been suggested that Barca could already be willing to part ways with the Polish icon.

Drawing a blank in nine of his previous 10 appearances across all competitions, the 35-year-old has failed to replicate a similar level that saw him claim Spain’s Golden Boot last season.

With the Nou Camp hierarchy still dealing with some public financial issues behind the scenes in Catalonia, it appears that a number of Saudi Arabian clubs are keen on completing another blockbuster swoop next month.

Already recruiting striking superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, it has been reported that PIF officials have already approached Lewandowski’s entourage.

Martinez to extend his stay in Milan

While Inter Milan might have suffered Champions League final heartbreak at the hands of Manchester City back in June, the Italian giants certainly haven’t shown any signs of a hangover this time around.

Firing on all cylinders and tipped as a leading contender to reclaim their Serie A crown this season, a huge part of Simone Inzaghi’s success has come thanks to their attacking talisman.

Although it might have been suggested last year that Lautaro Martinez could be heading for the San Siro exit, the Argentina ace has quickly transformed into the Nerazzurii’s poster boy.

Breaking a string of records since opening up the 2023/24 campaign and firing Milan to the Champions League knockout stage, Martinez has already bagged 13 goals in his first 14 Serie A appearances this season.

Often in possession of Inter’s captain’s armband this year, Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta has confirmed that both parties are inching closer to announcing a bumper five-year extension at the San Siro.

Arteta keen on Palhinha swoop

With their sights now firmly set on securing a first Premier League crown since 2004 this season, Arsenal’s summer recruits have certainly made an immediate impact since arriving in north London.

Watching England international Declan Rice continue to shine since completing a £105million move from West Ham, it appears that Mikel Arteta is keen on adding more midfield reinforcements during the January transfer window.

With continued speculation that Thomas Partey could be allowed to leave the Emirates next month, it has been reported that Arteta has identified Fulham’s Joao Palhinha as his key January target.

While the Portuguese ace might have eventually been denied a dream move to German heavyweights Bayern Munich over the summer, it has been suggested that the Cottagers are willing to part ways with their midfield talisman should an acceptable offer land on their table.

Despite reportedly valuing the 28-year-old at £100million, Arsenal are confident of completing a cut-price deal during the January window.

Branthwaite on Tottenham’s radar

While Tottenham might have come flying out of the traps after appointing Ange Postecoglou over the summer, Spurs have certainly come crashing back down to earth on either side of November’s international break.

Now once again facing a real battle in their bid to claim a crucial Champions League return, the former Celtic boss has a mounting headache over Spurs’ continued defensive issues.

With summer recruit Micky van de Ven sustaining a long-term hamstring injury last month and not expected to feature again until the New Year, Tottenham have defensive reinforcements at the top of their January wishlist.

Watching Everton enjoying a stunning resurge following their infamous 10-point deduction last month, England U21 international Jarrod Branthwaite has played a huge part in Sean Dyche’s recent success at Goodison Park.

Although the 21-year-old might have only put pen to paper on a new long-term deal back in October, it has been reported that Postecoglou is a huge admirer of Branthwaite and are eyeing a January swoop.

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