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Tuesday 31 January 2023 Dublin: 8°C
Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images Scott Parker: Chelsea bound?
# Ins and outs
The Departures Lounge: your daily lunchtime transfer round-up
Find out which Irish centre-half has just moved clubs and what development looks set to bring a definitive conclusion to the Fabregas-Barcelona transfer saga.

AS IT’S FRIDAY, we’ll start with a treat in the form of an actual transfer (well, a loan move).

Everyone’s fifth favourite Irish centre-half, Darren O’Dea, has gone to Leeds for the season.

Elsewhere, in the most riveting premise since 24 ended, Barcelona have exactly 11 days to rescue/sign Cesc Fabregas, or an evil super-villain known as Arsene Wenger will keep him imprisoned for good.

In addition, Joey Barton is being linked with two unnamed clubs, however, this is unlikely to be true given that the definitive journalistic source on the matter – Joey Barton’s Twitter account – has yet to comment on the rumour.

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole may be on his way to Paris St Germain, finally reducing the club’s excessive group of midfielders.

Another winger, Barcelona’s Ibrahim Afellay, has rejected the tentative advances of Spurs and Liverpool, saying he is happy at Barcelona for now.

Speaking of Spurs, unless they sign some players quickly, they’ll just end up fielding a team of youngsters in the Europa League according to Harry Redknapp, confirming that it has become little more than the European equivalent of the Carling Cup – or a ‘Mickey Mouse’ competition as Eamon Dunphy might say, given to teams as punishment for their failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Finally, Alex Ferguson has expressed fears that Paul Scholes is so laid back that he won’t even turn up for his own testimonial. According to unconfirmed rumours, when contacted by reporters, Scholes said he couldn’t really be bothered providing a coherent response.

Ill-advised prospective deal of the day: Is there really any point in Chelsea signing Scott Parker? Won’t he just end up on the bench like last time? Some football clubs never learn.

Advised prospective deal of the day: Karim Benzema may not be able to get into the Real Madrid side, but he is still a world-class striker. So Arsenal really should do their utmost to sign the talented Frenchman.

Read: As if the summer wasn’t going badly enough: Arsenal draw Udinese in CL play-off round>

Read: Pardew hints at Barton reconciliation>