Transfer Gossip: Lingard’s surprise move, Forest wanted Arsenal, Liverpool keepers

Karim Benzema has little choice but to engage in clear-the-air talks with Saudi officials, while Jesse Lingard’s decision to sack his agents has led him to South Korea…

BENZEMA TALKS OVER SAUDI FUTURE
So that’s it. The January 2024 transfer window is in the bag. And now, it ought to be chucked in the river.

It was quiet. Deathly quiet. For some very good reasons, it must be said. But the window closed with many clubs still staring at massive holes in the squad.

It was thought that maybe Chelsea, Arsenal or Manchester United would fill their striker voids with Karim Benzema. The former France centre-forward was said to be seeking a move away from Al-Ittihad having fallen out with his coach and become generally disillusioned with life in Saudi.

No Premier League club made a concrete move for Benzema and while a return to Lyon was mooted, it would not have been possible without a massive pay-cut. Obviously.

Now, the 36-year-old has little choice but to engage in clear-the-air talks with Al-Ittihad. Ben Jacobs says ‘the club, and the wider Saudi dealmakers’ are hoping to convince Benzema to stay for another season beyond the current campaign. The ex-Real Madrid star signed a three-year contract when he moved to the Pro League as a free-agent last summer.

LINGARD TO KICKSTART CAREER IN KOREA
Jesse Lingard considered with the idea of moving to Saudi. The ex-Manchester United attacker has toyed with many things since becoming a free agent at the end of the last season, but still he remains without a club. Much to Paul Scholes’ bemusement.

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Perhaps Lingard’s sabbatical is about to come to end… in South Korea.

A couple of weeks after the 31-year-old sacked his agents, including members of his family, the former England star is said to have verbally agreed a two-year contract to kickstart his career at FC Seoul. Apparently, Lingard will fly out in the coming days to complete the move.

FOREST CHASED LIVERPOOL, ARSENAL STOPPERS
One of the few interesting aspects of Deadline Day was Nottingham Forest’s scramble for a new goalkeeper. Matt Turner has had a dreadful time of it in the Forest goal of late, and the club seemed to decide very late in the window that the USA international needed replacing. Or, at the very least, a kick up the arse in the form of competition for his place.

Forest eventually signed Matz Sels from Strasbourg for around £5million. The Athletic‘s Daniel Taylor says they bid for Wolfsburg’s Koen Casteels last week and twice tried to sign Sam Johnstone. Forest also asked about Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale and Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher.

Indeed, the Daily Mail reckons Forest went as far as offering Liverpool £15million for their back-up stopper but the Reds rejected the offer, despite the expectation of Kelleher being allowed to leave at the end of the season to forge himself a career as a No.1.

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