The striker has failed to fire for Tottenham but nearly moved to the Bernabeu this summer, while Manchester City are hoping to delay Yaya Toure’s departure for Afcon 2015
HOW SOLDADO’S REAL MADRID LOAN MOVE FELL THROUGH
Roberto Soldado could have been playing for the European champions this weekend had events transpired differently over the summer.
The Tottenham striker came very close to a loan move to Real Madrid in the final days of the window as Carlo Ancelotti looked for a backup striker.
Soldado was desperate for the deal to go through but Madrid refused to meet Spurs chairman Daniel Levy’s demands for a €8 million loan fee.
The transfer fell through on deadline day as the Spanish giants signed Javier Hernandez on loan from Manchester United instead.
Spurs were in any case reluctant to sell the €30m forward with no replacement lined up and only two other strikers at the club in Emmanuel Adebayor and Harry Kane.
Soldado, 29, has struggled badly in north London and scored his first Premier League goal since March in last week’s 2-1 win over Everton.
But he retains an excellent reputation in Spain where he scored 30 goals in 46 matches in his final season at Valencia.
Soldado is not understood to be seeking a move in the upcoming January transfer window and both the player and Tottenham will wait until the summer before making a decision on his future.
Manchester City will speak with the Cote d’Ivoire FA this week about keeping Yaya Toure for an extra week before the Africa Cup of Nations.
The tournament takes place between January 19 and February 15, and the Cote d’Ivoire squad are scheduled to meet up in Paris on January 2.
But the Premier League champions want to keep their midfielder for an additional week and have him available for the FA Cup 3rd round.
The Etihad side face Everton on January 10 and are hoping Cote d’Ivoire will be flexible in allowing the 31-year-old to stay with his club side.
Jonny Evans is in contention for a return from injury in Manchester United’s clash with Southampton on Monday.
Evans played the full 90 minutes for the United Under-21s against a Southampton side on Monday and suffered no ill effects.
The Northern Ireland international has been out of action for two months with an ankle injury and rode a couple of stiff challenges in the run-out.
The centre-back has been given the all-clear after coming through two further hour-long games in training this week.
NO EARLY LIVERPOOL MOVE FOR ORIGI
Liverpool are unlikely to attempt to bring forward Divock Origi’s move to Anfield, Goal understands.
The Anfield side struck a deal to sign the Belgium international from Lille in the summer, with the striker returning to the Ligue 1 club for the 2014-15 season.
Liverpool have lost Daniel Sturridge to a long term injury, while Mario Balotelli has also been ruled out of action with a hamstring problem, leaving Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini as the club’s only recognised front men.
But a source close to the deal told Goal it is unlikely that Origi will make an early move to Merseyside.
“It probably won’t happen,” the source said. “It would not really be in the spirit of how the original deal was agreed.”
The 19-year-old, who has stated he would be willing to move early to England – has scored three goals in nine starts so far this term for Lille.
– By Graeme Bailey