Transfer round-up: Hammers set to sign Joao Mario

Activity in the Premier League looks set to hot up as we enter the final week of the January transfer window and West Ham are the latest club ready to improve their playing squad.

David Moyes has been searching for a central midfielder since taking over from Slaven Bilic as Hammers manager in November and he may get his just rewards with Inter Milan’s Joao Mario undergoing a medical at the London Stadium.

The 25-year-old, who won the European Championships with Portugal in 2016, has become increasingly frustrated with the limited playing time at San Siro this season under new manager Luciano Spalletti and has fallen further down the pecking order after the loan signing of Barcelona midfielder Rafinha earlier this week.

He may not be the biggest name of this transfer window, but Lois Diony’s move lit up social media as Bristol City announced their new man by the only way they know how… with a GIF!

The 25-year-old has joined the Robins on a loan deal until the end of the season from Ligue 1 side St Etienne and City fans will hope to see him celebrate even more when he scores goals at Ashton Gate.

Diony netted 11 times in 36 appearances for Dijon last season, which earned him a move to Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, but he has failed to score in any of 16 matches this season.

Elsewhere in the Championship, Aston Villa have bolstered their defence with the loan signing of Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United.

Jose Mourinho rates the England Under-21 international highly but he has struggled for game-time at Old Trafford with just three appearances in all competitions this season and can help Steve Bruce’s side to promotion.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been on the lookout for a new centre-back since taking over at the Premier League leaders due to the lack of fitness and trust in captain Vincent Kompany.

Nicolas Otamendi has starred at the back for City this season but Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte fits all the attributes for Guardiola’s possession-based football, similarly to John Stones, and the Spaniard has been monitoring the 23-year-old in recent seasons.

Aymeric Laporte looks set to join Premier League leaders Manchester City
Aymeric Laporte looks set to join Premier League leaders Manchester City (Adam Davy/Empics)

And it has been reported that City have met the release clause in the France international’s contract, believed to be in the region of £60million.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager may finally get his man, who nearly joined the club in 2016 when Guardiola first arrived at the Etihad Stadium, only for a broken ankle to stop negotiations.

Liverpool have been linked with Gremio attacking midfielder Luan in recent weeks as the Reds look to use some of the Philippe Coutinho money.

Jurgen Klopp has already spent £75million to lure Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk to Anfield but fans and pundits feel Liverpool need to add another attacking threat to their arsenal to ease the pressure on Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah.

The 24-year-old, who reportedly has a £15.75million release clause in his contract, has scored 18 goals in 51 appearances for the Brazilian club and is a player who could get Liverpool fans excited, but he has dismissed any rumours of a move to England by stating his desire to remain at Gremio.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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