Hot Football Transfer Gossip: Cole, Sandro, Alcacer, Griezmann

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Everyone knew it would happen, but we just didn’t know when. Until now it had only been talked about in hushed, anxious tones in the pubs, restaurants and back alleys of Wearside, but now - finally - it screams at us from the back pages of our Sunday papers. The inevitable has happened: Carlton Cole has been linked with Sunderland.

The Sunday People is the unsurprising vehicle for this momentous news, which will bring a mixture of excitement and trepidation in the North-East, coupled with unbridled relief in the house of Carlton Cole, who has been a free agent for more than four months. But cometh the fifth month, cometh Sam Allardyce to rescue his former substitute from the wilderness. And the new Black Cats boss is not stopping there, according to the People. The tabloid says Allardyce is also keen to return to West Ham for their reserve defenders James Collins and Joey O'Brien, in addition to signing QPR’s Brazilian midfielder Sandro. Heady times indeed.

At the opposite end of the Premier League table, Manchester City are being linked with a couple of Spanish starlets, including one they just sold. Striker Jose Angel Pozo left City in the summer, but the club are reportedly considering exercising a buy-back option after he impressed for Almeria. The Citizens are also said to be interested in Sevilla’s 17-year-old centre-back Jose Maria Amo, who the Star says has been hailed as “Spain’s best prospect in that position since Sergio Ramos”.

Chelsea are equally keen on a young Spaniard, in the form of 22-year-old Valencia striker Paco Alcacer, who the Sun on Sunday claims is a £50m January target for Jose Mourinho. Everyone costs £50m these days don’t they?

Arsenal are being linked again with Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann, with Spanish media outlet Fichajes saying the Gunners intend to sign the Frenchman “before Euro 2016” for £33m. The Sun on Sunday instead has Arsene Wenger making a less extravagant £7m January swoop for Dynamo Moscow’s Aleksandr Kokorin.

Finally, Steve McClaren says in the Guardian he will need “three transfer windows” to make Newcastle successful, which would keep him in a job for the next two seasons if Mike Ashley lets him have them. Hmm. Nice try, Steve.

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