Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Newcastle United have continued their January transfer window business by agreeing deals to buy Lucas Digne and Chris Wood, respectively.
Having already signed Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan, Villa manager Steven Gerrard is set to bring in Everton left-back Lucas Digne, 28, in a deal worth around £25 million ($34.2m).
The France international has fallen out with Everton manager Rafael Benitez, who confirmed last week that the 28-year-old — who has also been linked with Chelsea and Newcastle — no longer wanted to play for the Merseyside club.
Digne has not played since the Merseyside derby defeat against Liverpool on December 1 after a fallout with the Spaniard over tactics and his role in the team. He returned to the squad as an unused substitute a month later for the defeat at home to Brighton.
Benitez was critical of Digne’s attitude, saying: “We are paid big money to do our job and if someone is happy or not happy it is [still] up to you to perform in your job.
“You have to put your interests behind the interests of the club. If you are not thinking about that the priority is you and not the team.”
In a completely separate deal, Everton are signing Villa's Dutch winger Anwar El Ghazi on loan. The 26-year-old has mostly been used as a substitute since the arrival of Gerrard as manager.
Newcastle, meanwhile, have followed up their signing of Atletico Madrid and England full-back Kieran Trippier by agreeing a deal worth around £25m for Burnley striker Wood.
The Magpies — currently second bottom of the league, one place behind relegation rivals Burnley but level on points — have triggered a release clause for the 30-year-old New Zealand international.
Wood, who has scored 49 goals in 144 league appearances for the Clarets, could go straight into the starting line-up for Newcastle's crucial clash at home to fourth-bottom Watford on Saturday.
It will be a much-needed addition for the Tyneside club who were knocked out of the FA Cup by third-tier Cambridge United on Saturday and will be without top goalscorer Callum Wilson for eight weeks due to injury.
Newcastle are also looking to sign another striker before the end of January, with reports suggesting negotiations have begun with Reims for France Under-20 attacker Hugo Ekitike. The 19-year-old, who made his debut for Reims in August, has scored eight goals in 17 Ligue 1 appearances this season.
Eddie Howe's side have also been linked with Liverpool forward Divock Origi and Bournemouth attacker Dominic Solanke.