Allardyce closes in on Kirchhoff signing

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is closing in on his first January signing after Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchhoff arrived in the north east.

The 25-year-old headed for England to hold talks and undergo a medical after being left out of the Bayern squad which flew to Qatar for a mid-season training camp yesterday.

Kirchhoff appears to be surplus to requirements in Munich after spending last season on loan with Bundesliga rivals Schalke. He has made just 10 appearances for the club in the two-and-a-half years since he signed from Mainz, all as a sub and just one this season in the 1-0 German Cup victory over Darmstadt.

Meanwhile, Sunderland have been credited with an interest in Italy striker Ciro Immobile, on loan at Spanish club Sevilla from German outfit Borussia Dortmund.

Tottenham are on the verge of signing highly-rated teenager Shilow Tracey from Ebbsfleet United. The 17-year-old was invited for a trial at Tottenham in October and travelled with the club’s U18s to play at the IMG Cup in Florida last month.

A deal is close to being finalised, with Tracey expected to seal his switch by the end of the week.

Tracey is comfortable playing either in central midfield or further forward behind a striker, although he has only featured once for Fleet’s first team.

Tottenham’s priority in the transfer window remains adding another striker to provide cover for Harry Kane, who has played in all but one of the club’s 27 games this season.

One reported target was Marseille forward Michy Batshuayi but any hopes of a January switch look to have ended after the Belgian signed a new contract with the French side until 2020.

Brighton are close to signing Standard Liege midfielder Anthony Knockaert, the Belgian club have announced.

The Championship club have contacted Liege and the Frenchman is thought to be travelling to England to negotiate personal terms.

Knockaert, 24, previously turned out for Leicester between 2012 and 2015, making 93 appearances and scoring 13 goals before moving to Standard Liege on a free transfer last summer.


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