Villa join the race for Pienaar
London: Aston Villa have joined the race for Tottenham midfielder Steven Pienaar. The South Africa international has found his first-team chances limited at White Hart Lane since his move from Everton last January.
Pienaar has told Harry Redknapp he is keen to leave the club in search of regular first-team football and Villa manager Alex McLeish is interested in taking the 29-year-old.
Sunderland and Everton are also keen. Everton and Villa would prefer loan deals but Sunderland could pay the asking price.
Tottenham will demand around £4 million (Dh22.76 million) for Pienaar but McLeish is also weighing up a loan move for LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane and is interested in Fulham's Damien Duff and Blackburn's Keith Andrews.
Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers are eyeing a loan move for Spurs' versatile youngster Jake Livermore. QPR have been offered former Italy Under-21 centre-half Marco Andreolli, 25, who plays for Serie A side Chievo Verona.
Everton are ready to rival Fulham in their interest for Paris Saint-Germain striker Guillaume Hoarau (right), 27, and are also keen on another PSG striker Mevlut Erdinc, 24.
Blackpool have pipped Sheffield United to the loan signing of Rangers' John Fleck, 20, but United are expected to sign his Rangers team mate Kyle Hutton on loan. Derby have signed Mansfield Town defender Tom Naylor for £100,000.
Huddersfield are interested in a loan deal for Bristol City striker Jon Stead and are also keen on Leicester defender Sean St Ledger, who has been transfer listed by Nigel Pearson. Ipswich are hoping to persuade Newcastle striker Alan Smith, 31, to join them.
Swansea have signed Iceland international Gylfi Sigurdsson on loan for the rest of the season.
The goalscoring midfielder returns to England from German club Hoffenheim and links up again with Brendan Rodgers, who managed him during a six-month spell at Reading. Sigurdsson cost Hoffenheim £6 million when Reading sold him in 2010 and the Bundesliga club's fans voted him player of the season in his first year. But he got injured and this move will help him return to full fitness.
Hoffenheim sporting director Ernst Tanner said: "We hope Gylfi will get the necessary game time to recover his previous strength."
Manchester City are showing interest in Real Madrid defender Raul Albiol. The Spain international can play central defence and defensive midfield. City are also hopeful of pushing through their proposed £5 million deal for Real's 15-year-old Jose Angel Pozo.
Chelsea defender Alex is due to hold talks over a possible move to QPR today. The 29-year-old Brazilian is wanted by Santos and Juventus but is keen to hear what QPR have to offer and Chelsea want around £2 million.
Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is not expecting a quick resolution in his bid to sign Bolton defender Gary Cahill, despite the clubs agreeing a fee. Cahill is understood to be asking for wages of around £120,000 a week.
Lukas Podolski has ruled out a January transfer to Arsenal. Kon Schramm, the representative of the Cologne striker, said a move in the Bundesliga winter break is "all but impossible", citing the player's reluctance to endanger his chances of featuring for Germany in the European Championship. "Cologne has priority right now; we have time [for everything else] in the summer," said Schramm.