Football transfer rumours: Oxlade-Chamberlain back to Southampton?

Start all the clocks, plug in the telephone … Joe Willock’s to sign following his half-season loan. Yes, the Mill’s back, albeit operating on pandemic-enforced “half-power” mode.

“Where have you been? What have we missed? Feed me etc,” we hear you cry (one email and counting). To bring you up to speed, the window so far has been a typically elaborate session of Cones of Dunshire, with long pre-announced England striker departure getting messy and Lionel Messi testing the salt-water-repelling properties of a lectern as he laments leaving Barcelona, (checks notes) contrary to his wishes.

With either Manchester City or Nuno looking to get their way re: Harry Kane, and PSG simply the only option for Messi if we’re all abiding by both the spirit and the letter of financial fair play, probably best to find other levels to this summer’s 3D chess.

With that in mind: howsabout Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain back to Southampton. The suddenly 27-year-old, having slotted seamlessly into the Adam Lallana role of “back from injury problems but not really trusted to actually play all that much” at Liverpool, is being lined up for what one source comically refers to as an “ambitious” move by the Saints, who he left a full decade ago this very week.

Potentially on the way out of St Mary’s is Jannik Vestergaard, with Brendan Rodgers once again finding himself light on defenders at Leicester after Wesley Fofana’s grim fibula fracture. West Ham are also having a look-see at the stern Danish defender.

Back in L4, Jürgen Klopp is apparently eyeing Aurélien Tchouameni to fill the hole in the middle of Anfield ploughed by Georginio Wijnaldum. The France under-21 midfielder, who enjoyed a breakthrough season at Monaco last time out, is also the subject of fluttering eyelashes from Juventus.

Tammy Abraham has read Tommy Tuchel’s tealeaves at Chelsea, and with Romelu Lukaku seemingly on the way, the occasional England forward will be making his own way to the Do One Door ta very much. José Mourinho may be the man sending a car, with Roma seemingly really quite interested, and “long-term replacement for Edin Dzeko” the label on the poisoned chalice that potentially awaits.

Last but by no means least, Willock’s expected permanent move to St James’ Park could help untangle the kite string keeping Mikel Arteta from Aaron Ramsdale. Sheffield United, who were looking around bemused wondering quite what they would do without him, have now realised that another keeper is probably the answer, with QPR’s Seny Dieng looking just the man.

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