KIRCHHOFF BOOST for Sunderland
Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce's hopes of landing Bayern Munich's Jan Kirchhoff have received a boost after the defender was left out of his club's mid-season trip to Qatar.
The 25-year-old was not among a party of 29 who left for Doha yesterday morning, with Bayern confirming he had been left behind to push through a move.
A statement on the club's official website said: "The travelling party do not include Jan Kirchhoff, who is away with his agent concluding negotiations for a possible transfer."
Kirchhoff spent last season on loan at Schalke after a previous temporary spell with the Gelsenkirchen club and is yet to make a competitive senior start for Bayern, for whom he has made one appearance as a substitute during the current campaign. - PA Sport.
No Newcastle bid for Lacazette
Newcastle have not made a formal bid for Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette after learning he is not for sale.
The Magpies have a long-held interest in Lacazette and are desperate to boost their striking options this month, but he is unavailable.
Reports from France have claimed the Magpies have tabled bid of around £18.3 million ($38.3m)for Lacazette.
However, sources on Tyneside were mystified by the suggestion and insisted that is simply not the case. - PA Sport.
Pool may recall Ilori from Villa loan
Liverpool are exploring the possibility of bringing Tiago Ilori back from his season-long loan at Aston Villa.
However, in order for the player to return to Anfield, Villa would have to cancel the loan agreement as there is no recall clause.
The 22-year-old joined Villa in the summer but, despite their struggles in the Premier League, he's yet to feature for them.
Juergen Klopp is short of central defenders after finishing Tuesday's League Cup win at Stoke with Lucas Leiva filling in alongside Kolo Toure. - PA Sport.