Transfer Centre

Keep up to date with all the transfer rumours and news surrounding

Plymouth Argyle Football Club with the Argyle Life Transfer Centre.

Rumour: Cooper is Sheffield United target

16/07/24

Rumour: Sheffield United have made Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Michael Cooper a “top target” for a summer transfer

Age: 24

Position: Goalkeeper

Last season: 6 clean sheets in 19 appearances

Source: Sheffield Star

Verdict: This remains a developing situation. Ever since news emerged that Michael Cooper wouldn’t be renewing his contract at Plymouth Argyle, discussions have been rife about whether he’ll depart this summer, and what we’d consider to be an acceptable fee. His eventual destination, should he leave of course, has been more difficult to predict.

Recently, Sheffield United have emerged as strong contenders. The Blades were relegated from the Premier League last term, and both of their regular goalkeepers were appalling. It’d be no surprise if they were in the market for another shot stopper, and Cooper clearly fits the bill. Indeed, reports in the Sheffield Star today state United “have made him one of their top targets this summer.”

That doesn’t mean a deal is certain. Quotes in the article also link the player to Coventry City and Crystal Palace, suggesting this does have a while to run. It also includes Wayne Rooney’s direct quote to Argyle Life that it’d take “silly money” for the club to listen to offers for Cooper. It’s a lovely boost for our egos, and does suggest a deal is far from imminent.

Sheffield United also have a unique stumbling block to completing this, or any, deal. They are currently going through a takeover process, and are highly unlikely to conduct any transfer business until those boardroom issues are resolved. If that happens quickly, they could make an offer for Cooper soon after. If not, they could find themselves late to the party.

There’s still a fair bit to sort here. Nonetheless, the rumours around the player are rapidly swirling. I still hold the view that Cooper is much more likely to leave Argyle this summer than he is to remain.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Argyle chase Odense's Al Hajj

12/07/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will battle clubs across Europe to sign Swedish midfielder Rami Al Hajj

Age: 22

Position: Midfielder

Last season: 4 goals and 8 assists in 32 appearances

Source: Fotbolltransfers

Verdict: You can use plenty of words to describe Plymouth Argyle’s summer thus far, but “dull” certainly isn’t one of them. Having appointed an England legend to the dugout and made plentiful signings from abroad, the Greens would appear to be after another exotic arrival. Rami Al Hajj is the man in question, with the 22-year-old rumoured to be on the move to Home Park from Danish side Odense BK.

Al Hajj is a midfielder who caught the eye at Odense last season. His team were relegated though, and it seems obvious that the player is too good for the Danish second tier. It’s therefore rumoured he’ll be off this summer, and indeed his agent has said there is a lot of interest. Agent talk that may be, but I’d suggest a move of some kind is highly likely.

Argyle are said to be one of those teams, if of course you believe the word of Rasmus Elmdal Glud on the Fotbolltransfers website. And I’ve got no reason not to – as much as I’ve not heard of it before, a site specialising in Swedish footballers wouldn’t exactly look to generate clicks by inventing rumours related to Plymouth Argyle. It would be a weird deal, but Argyle have made a habit of making weird deals recently. This would hardly look out of place.

The article does mention that there is interest from elsewhere. Danish side AGF Aarhus are one of the main clubs linked, and we also have an indication from the player’s agent that they won’t be alone. Indeed, the article refers to “several” potential suitors for Al Hajj. Argyle have some work to do to complete a deal, but I don’t doubt they’re interested.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Cissoko loaned from Toulouse

09/07/24

Plymouth Argyle have made their fourth signing of the summer transfer window. Ibrahim Cissoko has arrived, joining from French top flight side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.

Cissoko plays primarily as a winger, and has represented the Netherlands at under-21 level. He played 15 times for Toulouse last season, having joined from Dutch side NEC Nijmegen a year ago for a fee believed to be in the region of £2.5 million.

Head coach Wayne Rooney was quoted as saying “We are extremely pleased that Ibrahim has agreed to join us for the season. He is a quick, athletic and technical winger who will add strength to our forward options.”

Cissoko is the second loan player Argyle have signed from abroad this summer, following Muhamed Tijani’s arrival from Slavia Prague. There is a key difference; Argyle have the option to buy Tijani at the end of the season, whilst Toulouse have confirmed that the deal taking Cissoko to Home Park is a straight loan. As things stand, he’ll be at Argyle for the totality of the 2024/25 season.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Hunt for Whittaker hots up

04/07/24

Rumour: Several Premier League and European clubs are chasing Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

Last season: 20 goals and 9 assists in 50 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Well, it was never likely to be easy, was it?

In the winter transfer window, rumours surrounding Whittaker were rife. He was linked with a plethora of clubs, and indeed Argyle had to turn down some fairly notable offers in order to keep their star man at the club. This summer, meanwhile, news surrounding Whittaker was pretty thin on the ground. That was until this afternoon.

A familiar name – Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider – has linked the player with numerous clubs today. That list includes two Premier League sides in Wolverhampton Wanderers and Brentford, as well as several European sides: Lazio (who made an offer a few months ago), Celta Vigo and Stuttgart. O’Rourke has also claimed that Argyle value Whittaker at around £15 million.

Truth be told I’m not sure entirely where today’s news leaves us. A report like this feels like it should be a significant step, but nothing in it feels particularly new. Anyone could realistically have known that Whittaker would attract potential suitors this summer and, perhaps aside from the teams mentioned, the report doesn’t really carry any surprises.

Still, it does act as a reminder that significant interest in the player remains.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Tyreik Wright joins Bradford permanently

04/07/24

Plymouth Argyle have confirmed the departure of Tyreik Wright. The 22-year-old joins Bradford City on a permanent deal.

Wright was on loan at Bradford from Aston Villa for the first half of the 2022/23 season. That form caught the eye of Argyle, who struck a permanent deal with Villa for the player in January 2023. Alas, the transfer never really worked out. He was back on loan at Bradford a year later, and his permanent departure from Home Park this summer was always likely. As it happens, he’ll be heading back to the Bantams.

Argyle didn’t mention a transfer fee in their article announcing Wright’s departure, but there will be one. Indeed, Bradford made reference to an “undisclosed fee” in their own signing announcement. I doubt it’s one that’ll land Argyle a great windfall. Wright isn’t a player who’d command a huge fee, and Villa will be owed a significant portion of any money paid as part of the deal that saw the player initially join Argyle.

Wright played 13 times for Argyle in all competitions during his stay.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Peter Reid – My Argyle Life

It is a genuine honour to be joined by one of the footballing world’s best players and biggest characters that is former Plymouth Argyle manager, Peter Reid. During Argyle’s struggles through administration, ‘Reidy’ fought for our club; not only funding the heating...

Joe Edwards: Captain, Leader, Legend

Joe Edwards was never the poster boy yet so often found himself front and centre: 2021 player of the year, lifting the League One trophy, and Argyle’s saviour.

Preview: Plymouth Argyle v Hull

On Saturday I have a suspicion, no, I’m absolutely certain, that the team will need the support of their wonderful fans once more.

Argyle’s Six Previous Relegation Showdowns

 Ahead of the 46th and final league match of the season on Saturday, where Argyle face off against Hull City, half an eye will very much be on Birmingham City's clash with Norwich a few hundred miles north of Home Park. Victory will secure safety for the Greens; draw...

Preview: Millwall v Plymouth Argyle

Events of the last few days have added layers of tension to this weekend’s game. It’s now more or less the dictionary definition of pivotal.

Preview: Stoke v Plymouth Argyle

This is a seismic game. It’s 47 points against 48. The Potters against the Pilgrims. Schuey against Dewey. What can we expect?

Argyle Reunited

  Friday was a glorious night for Plymouth Argyle. Under the lights, in front of the cameras, we took down the league leaders to deliver a monumental boost to our survival chances. There are now just three games to go and Argyle are effectively five points clear...

The Opposition View: Leicester City

   Unbeaten in the last two - since the second coming of the Dewsnip / Nance managerial partnership - Argyle face Leicester City in the fourth-from-final game of the season on Friday night. The Foxes make the 500 mile round trip looking to further their chances...

The Opposition View: QPR

  Well, here we are again. Another six-pointer. After a much needed win on the road in Rotherham on Friday night, Argyle play host to fellow relegation-battlers QPR under the lights at Home Park on Tuesday. It’s been 20 years since the West London side became our...

Preview: Rotherham v Plymouth Argyle

When looking at a team’s weaknesses, I often have to caveat them by mentioning that “only Rotherham” have a worse record. They’re that bad.

Confirmed: Tijani joins on loan

02/07/24

Following on from Darko Gyabi’s arrival earlier today, Plymouth Argyle have made another signing before pre-season training begins tomorrow. Muhamed Tijani is that man, joining from Czech side Slavia Prague on loan.

Tijani joined Slavia last summer, on a permanent deal from fellow Czech side Banik Ostrava. He scored four times, but generally struggled, and has now been moved on. It is an initial loan deal, but Argyle will have the option to buy Tijani on a permanent deal for a pre-agreed fee at the end of the season. That fee is believed to be a seven-figure sum.

Speaking of Tijani, head coach Wayne Rooney said “Muhamed joining further strengthens our forward line and he will bring different attributes to the squad. He is big, athletic and can run in behind, but is equally as good at holding the ball up and bringing other players into play.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Gyabi returns

02/07/24

Having spent much of the second half of last season on loan with the Greens, Darko Gyabi has returned to Plymouth Argyle. His spell last term was ended prematurely by injury, but he returns now on a season-long loan deal from Leeds United.

Gyabi played 12 times in total last season, ten of which came during his loan spell at Home Park. He only registered one goal contribution, but some positive performances did catch the eye. He also played exclusively under Ian Foster during his time with Argyle, and it’ll be interesting to follow his progress in what we assume will be a new system under Wayne Rooney.

The deal has been well kept quiet by Argyle over the summer. It was only initially reported as a rumour in Football Insider three days ago, and now the deal has been confirmed. Gyabi will join up with the squad (and many leaks would suggest he already has) ahead of the start of pre-season training tomorrow.

Head coach Rooney was quoted as saying “I heard really good reports about Darko from his time with Argyle last season and since watching him closely I was really keen to bring him back to the club. He fits the profile of midfielder I like to have within the squad, as he is good on the ball, powerful and athletic, and will fit the style of play I am looking to implement.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle to battle for Donley loan

02/07/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will battle Preston North End for the loan signing of Tottenham Hotspur’s Jamie Donley

Age: 19

Position: Attacker

Last season: 4 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: A player who has represented England at youth level? Check. A loan move from a club with whom Argyle share a good relationship? Check. A reliable source? No, I’m not so sure.

There’s a lot to this rumour that makes sense. Argyle have been linked with a move for 19-year-old Jamie Donley. He’s highly rated, and could become the third player this year, after Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine, to join the Greens on loan from Spurs. He fits the exact profile Argyle have been chasing for a while.

I have to be honest though, the source here seems more than a little dodgy. It stems from a Twitter account in the name of Sean O’Connor. It’s not one I’ve come across before, and to me it’s one that has all the hallmarks of the nonsense rumours accounts we’ve become used to over the years.

O’Connor has built up a following north of 3,000 on the platform. It’s not bad, but keep in mind that he actually follows more people than follow him back. There’s nothing wrong with that per se, but it does suggest that he’s built up his following through those interactions, rather than attracting numbers for his accurate rumours.

I’m also perturbed by the fact that the account has a pinned tweet from back in May of a rumour they did get right. As I’ve said in the past, the accounts that truly know their stuff are happy to let their records speak for themselves. If you have to point out the times you’ve been correct, it tends to be because you’re usually wrong.

Finally, the account’s bio of “signed, sealed, confirmed,” which is used regularly, seems a desperate attempt to form a catchphrase akin to Fabrizio Romano’s “here we go.” I don’t know this for sure, but such a juvenile attitude suggests to me this account is much more likely to be run by someone from his mum’s spare bedroom than the office of a journalist with connections.

I won’t rule this out entirely, but I don’t think it’s likely at this stage.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Confirmed: Miller signs for Huddersfield

01/07/24

Plymouth Argyle confirmed today that Mickel Miller has departed the club following the expiry of his contract. This did not come as surprising news – despite being offered an extension to his deal this summer, he has been linked with a number of clubs, and Argyle had seemingly brought in Nathanael Ogbeta as a direct replacement. Today, that became official.

Miller will play for Huddersfield Town next season, having signed a two-year deal with the Terriers.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Gyabi to rejoin

29/06/24

Rumour: Leeds United midfielder Darko Gyabi is set to rejoin Plymouth Argyle on loan

Age: 20

Position: Midfielder

Last season: 12 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: This is one that has been kept under wraps for much of the transfer window, but now seems a near-certainty to go through. Darko Gyabi, who spent a portion of last season on loan at Plymouth Argyle, looks set to return to Home Park on another loan deal.

The rumour has been posted in Football Insider by Pete O’Rourke. Of course, we’ve heard from them before. Their record is generally solid, but not infallible – they reported that Argyle were set to sign Josh Coburn and Femi Azeez, and neither deal ended up going through.

However, in the context of this rumour, I have no reason to doubt. With Coburn and Azeez, reports and rumblings had already been in place before Football Insider jumped on the bandwagon. Here, nobody had even mentioned Gyabi’s name before today – this is an exclusive, and they’d be making a rod for their own back if the rumour turns out to be nonsense.

The language in the accompanying article is also strong. This isn’t a case of talks being opened, or interest being declared. Rather, O’Rourke states that the clubs have “agreed a deal,” and Gyabi “will play under the stewardship of Wayne Rooney” this season.

Expect this to be confirmed relatively soon.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Update: Cooper rejects new deal

29/06/24

Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Michael Cooper has turned down the offer of a new contract at the club.

Reporting in Plymouth Live, Chris Errington claimed that the contract offered to Cooper would have made him the highest-paid player in the club’s history. With that deal rejected, Errington states Argyle “will look to sell Cooper this summer so they can maximise the transfer value of the talented academy product.”

The article also states that talks with Cooper have been open for weeks, and predate the conclusion of Argyle’s 2023-24 Championship campaign. With those talks not resulting in agreement, it now looks certain that the club and the 24-year-old will part ways this summer.

Source: Plymouth Live

Rumour: Argyle seek Ozoh loan deal

26/06/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are keen to take David Ozoh on loan from Crystal Palace

Age: 19

Position: Midfielder

Last season: 1 assist in 12 appearances

Source: London News Online

Verdict: Another day, another player linked with a move to Plymouth Argyle. After the frankly strange developments surrounding Slavic Prague’s Muhamed Tijani yesterday, the Greens are now being linked with a move for a player much closer to home: David Ozoh of Crystal Palace.

Straight off the bat, let me be clear that I absolutely trust this source. The article was posted on the London News Online website. It’s a site in its own right I don’t know too much about, but the journalist behind the piece, Edmund Brack, seems very reliable. He’s a football reporter for the South London Press, mainly focusing on Crystal Palace, and is followed on Twitter by fellow journalists such as David Ornstein. He wouldn’t be making this up for no reason.

The article itself isn’t the longest. It suggests that Argyle were looking to take Ozoh on loan in January (it’d certainly haver fitted the trend of the players brought in under Ian Foster), but Palace eventually decided to keep him at Selhurst Park. This summer though, it appears Ozoh will be heading to the second tier on a loan deal. Argyle, with Neil Dewsnip still at the helm and Wayne Rooney in the dugout, would appear to be natural suitors.

It’s not done – in a couple of places Brack mentions how Argyle “want” to bring in Ozoh, but that’s also what Argyle seemed to want a few months ago, and the deal didn’t get over the line. Still, the article does note a key difference, that Ozoh “will be allowed to temporarily leave” Palace this summer. Much like the Tijani deal, whilst this isn’t certain, I definitely think a move is more likely than not.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Tijani to join from Slavia Prague

26/06/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are set to sign Slavia Prague forward Muhamed Tijani

Age: 23

Position: Striker

Last season: 4 goals and 3 assists in 33 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: I beg your pardon?

After a quiet fortnight for Argyle in the transfer window, the rumour mill burst into life again today. And it’s linking Argyle with a player surely very few had heard of before these reports. Muhamed Tijani, the Slavia Prague striker, is the man rumoured to be the next through the door at Home Park.

The source, I will admit, is one upon which I have no knowledge. The rumour was tweeted out by an account with the handle @infotbal earlier today. It’s a Czech site, with a bio that reads “Every day we follow football transfers, speculations and negotiations.” Of course, that doesn’t mean a lot in its own right, with a number of English accounts claiming to have knowledge of transfers when they have nothing of the sort. But this account has built up a following of around 10,000, which is a good starting point.

You also have to consider why such a site would make up a bizarre rumour. It’s in the category of “so weird there must be some truth to it.” Ok, they may be looking to cash in on Wayne Rooney’s fame – indeed, the rumour does mention the Argyle head coach by name, stating “Muhamed Tijani (23) heads to Plymouth from Slavia for Wayne Rooney: one-year loan with high transfer option.” If accounts are just using Rooney’s name to gain traction, this may be something we have to get used to. Right now though, I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Since being tweeted out, the rumour has been shared elsewhere. This most notably happened on the Soccernet website, and again I know very little about them. They do reference the infotbal tweet, but it doesn’t have the feel of them being in cahoots and spreading a false rumour. In fact, I’d argue it being reported elsewhere adds another level of authenticity to the links.

Tijani hasn’t exactly set the world alight in Czechia, with his goalscoring record looking somewhat deficient for a striker. Still, it’s possible that Argyle have seen something in him – it wouldn’t be the first time Argyle have brought in a relatively unheralded player from abroad who has gone on to deliver. If the reports are indeed to be believed, Tijani could be next in line.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Update: Birmingham open talks for Scarr

19/06/24

Rumour: Birmingham City have opened talks over a move for Plymouth Argyle defender Dan Scarr

Age: 29

Position: Centre back

Last season: 1 goal in 31 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Right, this one is certainly gathering pace. For a couple of weeks, we’ve had rumblings of Birmingham City’s potential interest in Dan Scarr, but rumblings have been the extent of it. We hadn’t heard from any reliable sources that a deal was near to completion, or even likely.

That changed today. Reports in Football Insider, who certainly have a decent enough track record, have said that Birmingham have now opened talks for Scarr. Interestingly, it’s not an article by regular reporter Pete O’Rourke, but by Wayne Veysey, another on Football Insider’s books. I hadn’t actually heard of Veysey before today, but it looks as though he has a similar level of qualifications to O’Rourke, so we can assume he’s just as reliable.

I have to say the article is light on detail. Veysey mentions that Birmingham have “opened talks” over a move, but that’s the only real news. The rest of the article covers the sort of player Scarr is, alongside mentioning that Birmingham are looking to build a squad for League One next season (you don’t say?!). Still, Veysey does state that Scarr “is expected to be within the West Midlands club’s affordability range,” suggesting a transfer fee is very much on the table.

I’m not saying this one is done. The article doesn’t go into great detail, and it’s possible that some of this reporting is piggybacking on what has already been rumoured. I am however saying I now think it’s more likely than not that Scarr departs.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

New Contract: Will Jenkins Davies

18/06/24

Following on from Brendan Galloway, Will Jenkins Davies has become the second Plymouth Argyle player to accept the offer of a contract extension this summer. The 19-year-old, who spent most of last season on loan at Torquay United, saw his old deal expire this month, but has now agreed new terms. Interestingly, Argyle claim it’s just a one-year extension, suggesting this season may mark the academy graduate’s last chance to make the grade at Home Park.

Jenkins Davies was quoted as saying “I am buzzing. All I have known is Argyle since I was young. I joined the club when I was seven, and it is a club that has nurtured me all the way through to this stage.”

Mickel Miller is now the only Argyle player whose contract expires this summer with a new deal on the table. He appears very likely to leave.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Edwards to remain at Argyle

17/06/24

Today we’ve had a significant update on Bristol Rovers’ pursuit of Plymouth Argyle captain Joe Edwards. The Bristol Post initially ignited the rumour around a month ago, suggesting the Gas were “desperate” to bring him in. It looks, however, that the desperation hasn’t been matched by the player. Reports today in the same paper suggest Edwards will instead remain at Home Park.

Their latest article claims that “there was confidence within Rovers that a deal could be struck for Edwards early in the window,” but now states that “any negotiations regarding a deal have seemingly fallen through.” Argyle’s captain appears to be willing to stay and fight for his place under new head coach Wayne Rooney.

By all accounts, Edwards was close to joining Rovers in January, having been one of many players to fall out with Ian Foster. That didn’t happen, thank goodness, and Edwards now looks set for an even longer stay in Devon.

Source: Bristol Post

Rumour: Argyle in Barron chase

14/06/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are competing for the signing of Aberdeen midfielder Connor Barron

Age: 21

Position: Midfielder

Last season: 1 goal and 3 assists in 42 appearances

Source: Daily Record

Verdict: Here’s a proper rumour. For a while now we’ve had to deal with scraps on Twitter about players Argyle may be interested in bringing in or shipping out this summer. Finally, we have a genuine publication linking Argyle with a signing.

Connor Barron is the man in question. He’s a deep midfielder who has had a strong season at Aberdeen, and he’s unlikely to remain at Pittodrie with his contract expiring this summer. That doesn’t mean he’ll be free though – Barron is still only 21, and Aberdeen would therefore be due compensation if he were to leave. That figure is believed to be around £500,000, which many believe still represents a discount on his true market value.

The rumours surrounding Barron first came into our consciousness through an article by Chris Errington earlier today. Having read the article, it seems the main source is another article in the Daily Record (owned by the same company as Plymouth Live). Without having a local presence, there’d be no reason for a Scottish paper to link a player to Argyle if they hadn’t at least heard something.

It must be said that Argyle aren’t necessarily the favourites to secure Barron’s signature. Reading between the lines, I’d suggest Rangers currently lead the race, but Ibrox isn’t the only potential destination. Barron has also been linked with Hellas Verona and Bologna in Italy, along with three other Championship sides: Swansea City, Cardiff City and, you’ll not believe this one, Stoke City.

Still, it’s clear that there is interest here. Yes, there are hurdles in the way of Argyle getting their man, but I’d expect to see some sort of development sooner rather than later.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Two in for Tyreik Wright

12/06/24

Rumour: After signing him on loan last season, Bradford City have made another move for Plymouth Argyle’s Tyreik Wright

Age: 22

Position: Winger

Last season: 7 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: This is another EFL Hub rumour, and I should say right away that I think they’re putting two and two together here and coming up with five. However, it still wouldn’t surprise me if there was some movement on the player’s future in this transfer window.

Tyreik Wright’s spell at Plymouth Argyle just hasn’t worked out. He joined in January 2023, but struggled to find his feet in a side that clinched the League One title. After promotion, it was clear that the jump in quality to the second tier was far too steep.

Wright made just seven Argyle appearances last season. Only five of those were in the Championship, and only one of those was a start (the dreadful 4-1 defeat at Bristol City). Wright fell so much out of favour that he was loaned out just a year after joining, returning to Bradford City where he had been playing before Argyle picked him up. He made 15 appearances for the Bantams last term.

Now, it’s only fair to point out that Wright is still just 22. There’s every chance that he’ll eventually have a successful career in the game. With Argyle preparing for another season in the second tier though, it feels increasingly unlikely that said future lies at Home Park. Bradford could provide the answer.

Wright scored twice during his spell with the Bantams last season. It’s not a terrific record, but he’s still held in high regard by the Bradford faithful. It’s possibly not a coincidence that their five-game winning run to conclude the season happened with Wright starting each time. If he’s available, I’ve no doubt Bradford would be interested in signing him for a third time.

Of course, EFL Hub will have consider this. They’ll know Wright is likely to be available, they’ll know Bradford are likely to be interested, and they’ve used that to deliver the “news” that a bid has been made. They’ve even linked him with Carlisle United too, giving themselves some plausible deniability. In short, they’re guessing.

However, this rumour is spared from being brandished with one star, because it’s reaching the stage where I’d be more surprised if Wright wasn’t moved on this summer.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Miller to move to Stoke

12/06/24

Rumour: Stoke City are set to make a move for Plymouth Argyle’s Mickel Miller

Age: 28

Position: Wing Back

Last season: 1 goal and 1 assist in 37 appearances

Source: Teamtalk

Verdict: Nothing here would be a surprise. Mickel Miller is out of contract this summer, Argyle appear to have already replaced him with Nathanael Ogbeta, and the 28-year-old is being linked with a move to another Championship side. So of course – OF COURSE – rumours are swirling that he’ll make a switch to Steven Schumacher’s Stoke City.

The source for this one is Teamtalk, a site I hadn’t heard much about until recently but does at least seem to have a degree of credibility above some of the Twitter chancers we’ve become used to. And a Stoke swoop for Miller would make total sense. Schumacher hasn’t been shy to raid his old club for players, his side need a left back (whether Miller is a genuine left back is up for debate) and the player is free to leave. Particularly with Ogbeta joining, this feels a sensible move for all parties.

I should say that the language in the article doesn’t exactly suggest a deal is imminent. Rather, Teamtalk report that the Potters are “weighing up a move” for Miller, that he “features on their wish list,” and they have been alerted to his availability after “discussions over a new deal have ground to a halt.” That could mean all sorts of things.

At the risk of getting splinters from sitting on the fence, this one could have legs or could go nowhere. I would say it’s more likely than not that Miller leaves this summer though – whether his destination is Stoke remains to be seen.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Scarr set for Birmingham return

12/06/24

Rumour: Dan Scarr is set to return to former club Birmingham City

Age: 29

Position: Centre back

Last season: 1 goal in 31 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Dan Scarr will always get a hero’s welcome at Home Park. He won the title in 2023, and retained the support of the Green Army as both he and the fans quickly fell out with Ian Foster. After Foster’s dismissal, Scarr came back in and played every minute as Argyle secured the points they needed to stay up in dramatic fashion.

Rumours today however suggest that Scarr could soon be making a move to Birmingham City, the team Argyle pipped to survival on the final day. This rumour hasn’t been circulated much in the Argyle world, but has passed through various Birmingham circles online.

Many first became aware of the rumour when it was tweeted out by a Twitter account by the name of “Blues News.” I’ve had a look through and I’m getting the sense this “news” came from elsewhere. At 1:16pm yesterday a post on Birmingham forum “Small Heath Alliance” stated an ex-Birmingham player would be joining the club this summer, and that player would be Scarr. At 1:41pm, Blues News sent out their tweet linking Scarr with a move. Coincidence? I’ll let you judge for yourself. I’m clearly too much of a sceptic.

A lot about this deal would make sense. Birmingham are clearly looking to spend their way out of League One this season, and Scarr has already proved to be an excellent player for that level. I’m not wholly sure Argyle would turn down an advance either. Sure, Scarr is adored, but the club may be keen to accept a decent fee for a player with one year remaining on his deal, and may feel they can upgrade on him this summer. Add in the fact that Scarr is from Birmingham, and has been at Birmingham before, and all of the elements for a deal are there.

Just because a deal would make complete sense though, it doesn’t mean it’ll go through. Ultimately this rumour stems either from a Twitter account or a fan’s forum, neither of which has provable credibility. There isn’t enough reliability behind this for me to believe it’ll happen. Not yet, anyway.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Argyle lead hunt for Murphy

11/06/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are the frontrunners to sign Oxford United’s Josh Murphy

Age: 29

Position: Winger

Last season: 10 goals and 6 assists in 38 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Josh Murphy is a hero in Oxford right now. After all, he scored both goals at Wembley to see his side past Bolton Wanderers in last month’s League One play-off final. He is out of contract though, and a strong season in the third tier has alerted a number of sides to his availability.

If you believe the EFL Hub Twitter account, one of those is Plymouth Argyle. They reported today that many remain interested in the player, but Argyle are the “frontrunners” with a “three-year deal” on the table, something that would surely appeal to a player who turns 30 in February.

Now, EFL Hub and I have plenty of history on this page. I will concede that they do have credit in the bank, having been the first account to tweet news of Nathanael Ogbeta’s move to Home Park. But they still get plenty more wrong than they do right, and all of their rumours should be treated with a degree of scepticism. They were also quick to laud themselves when the Ogbeta news came through, which irked me slightly – the accounts that truly know their stuff let their records speak for themselves.

I’d also point out that Argyle are far from the only club to be linked with the player. As well as Oxford’s pending contract offer, EFL Hub have linked Murphy to Argyle, Derby County, Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers. In effect, they’re suggesting Murphy could finish the summer at a quarter of the entire league. It’s hardly pinpoint reporting.

Still, the rumour has gained traction throughout the day. Sun journalist Alan Nixon refused to rule out the move, though he did refuse to rule it in too. In effect, he’s demonstrating he has no idea, but it has added another layer to what is quickly becoming a protracted saga.

I suspect Argyle do hold an interest in Murphy. However, given the competition and the reliability of the source, I’m not confident enough to suggest I expect this deal to be done.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Argyle remain in Langstaff race

11/06/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle lead Swansea City in the race to sign Notts County’s Macauley Langstaff

Age: 27

Position: Striker

Last season: 29 goals and 4 assists in 49 appearances

Source: Swansea Independent

Verdict: I do get the sense that this rumour is set to run and run all summer. Right now though, I still don’t see much merit in the reports that Plymouth Argyle are set to sign Notts County’s prolific striker Macauley Langstaff.

Following bogus reports earlier on in the window, links between Argyle and Langstaff were rekindled earlier today after an article appeared on The 72, a website covering the EFL. On closer inspection, the actual source was an article published today in the Swansea Independent.

Now, that may feel like a pretty reliable source, but keep in mind that the Swansea Independent appears to be a fan website rather than a local newspaper. A well-respected one, but a fan website nonetheless. It is, of course, much harder to verify a fan website than it would be a newspaper source, and their rumours tend to be less reliable. And I say that as someone who is writing on a fan website right now.

The article in the Swansea Independent states that “we can now state that Plymouth Argyle are increasing their interest in Langstaff.” Considering that Argyle’s interest appeared to be non-existent beforehand, I suppose that could be true. But it hardly paints a picture of an imminent transfer deal.

These reports do mark a slight development in the rumour, but no more. Langstaff has just taken the captaincy at Notts County, and I’d argue that’s a much bigger indication that he’ll stay than today’s reports are that he’ll leave. Still, you can bet we’ll hear more and more in the coming weeks.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

New contract: Brendan Galloway

31/05/24

Plymouth Argyle have announced that defender Brendan Galloway has signed an extension to his contract at the club. The 28-year-old, who made 26 appearances for the Greens in the Championship last season, saw his original deal expire this summer. However, he’s now signed a two-year extension that will keep him at Home Park until 2026.

Galloway was quoted as saying “This is a place that I’ve called home for the past few years, and I love every single thing about the club: the players, the staff, the fans, the togetherness. It was important for me to stay here.” He also mentioned the arrival of Wayne Rooney as a factor, stating “the main thing was the club overall; that made my decision. But I think with the new gaffer coming in, that was a factor as well. He was a great player, a great coach – he’s a serial winner.”

There has always been an impression that Galloway is a supremely talented player whose career has been blighted by injury. Having stayed fit since November, he’s been linked with a number of Championship clubs, particularly with his status as a free agent. Those rumours can now be put to bed.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Ritchie linked with three

31/05/24

Rumour: Free agent Matt Ritchie is wanted by Plymouth Argyle, Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City

Age: 34

Position: Winger

Last season: 1 goal in 17 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: It’s been a week of strange rumours emanating from strange accounts, and this one probably takes both titles.

Today, Argyle have been linked with Matt Ritchie. He’s going to be 35 in September and has quite the career behind him. That includes 184 appearances in the Premier League, as well as 16 senior appearances for Scotland. He’s now set to be released by Newcastle United, and it seems unlikely at his age that he’ll find another club in the top flight. Thus, the links to Championship clubs have been rife.

Enter SportsAlert, possibly the most bizarre source I’ve come across. The account was set up on Twitter in 2017, and has since tweeted over 110,000 times. 110,000! Does the owner of the account ever get up to anything else?! I should point out that the account doesn’t just tweet out transfer rumours, and covers a variety of sports reporting, but that’s still extreme. It’s also quite remarkable that, despite apparently never being off Twitter, the account has fewer than 200 followers. Hardly an endorsement of its credibility.

The account has linked Ritchie with a move to Argyle, along with Blackburn Rovers and even League One side Birmingham City. Truthfully though, I’d be surprised if he took up any of those offers. Ritchie has made no secret of his desire to return to Portsmouth, where he came through the academy, saying in 2020 his “goal is to come back to Portsmouth at some stage, have an impact. It would be great to take the club back to where it deserves to be.”

If he does move to a Championship side on the south coast this summer, it’ll surely be there. And even if he doesn’t end up at Pompey, there surely isn’t enough merit in the source to suggest that Argyle are in the frame.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Argyle chase Exeter's Jules

30/05/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are on the cusp of signing Exeter City defender Zak Jules

Age: 27

Position: Defender

Last season: 2 goals in 47 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Ok, I’m getting a sense of wires being crossed here. Argyle have been linked with a move for Jules today, quite extensively in places, but right now I don’t think there’s anything in the rumour.

Jules joined Argyle’s rivals on the Somerset border last summer, signing a one-year deal after leaving Milton Keynes. He largely impressed, and was offered a new deal at the end of the season to extend his stay. Sensibly, he seems to have declined. Journalist Pete O’Roruke, who tends to be reliable in these matters, tweeted earlier today that Jules had turned down a deal, and that this news had alerted “a number of Championship and League One clubs to his availability on a free transfer.”

And now we have the issue. Even earlier today, a generally nonsense Twitter account named “TransferCentre9” – we’ve covered them before on this page – posted a rumour stating that Jules was close to signing for Argyle on a free transfer. Given their track record, I’d imagine this was a “best guess” situation, as Jules was taking a while to sign his new deal. And it’s in their interests to link an Exeter player with Argyle because, well, it’s engagement heaven.

People have been joining the dots between O’Rourke’s tweet and the TransferCentre9 rumour, but they are unlikely to be related. I suspect Jules will indeed leave Exeter, and given the location element and the fact we know Championship clubs are interested, I’d expect Argyle to at least have made contact regarding an offer. But that is a long, long way from a deal being considered imminent.

Jules would be an interesting signing. Argyle brought in Nathanael Ogbeta a matter of hours ago, someone who can act as a potential “replacement” for Mickel Miller. Stylistically at least, Jules would probably act as a “replacement” for Brendan Galloway. It’s also important to keep in mind that Argyle stealing one of Exeter’s best players would be absolutely hilarious. Still, let’s wait and see whether this one develops any further.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Confirmed: Ogbeta becomes first summer signing

30/05/24

Well, I’ll take my hat off to the EFL Hub Twitter account. They’ve got plenty wrong in the past, but their report earlier that Plymouth Argyle were chasing a deal for Nathanael Ogbeta clearly had some merit. Ogbeta has just been announced as Argyle’s first signing of the summer.

Ogbeta, who has represented Argyle at youth level, came through the academy at Manchester City before joining Shrewsbury Town in 2021. He impressed, and moved to Swansea City in 2022, but found game time limited in South Wales. As such, he’s had loan spells back in League One with Peterborough United and, most recently, Bolton Wanderers. He started for Bolton in the League One play-off final just over a week ago, as the Trotters lost to Oxford United.

Ogbeta was released by Swansea this summer, and therefore joins Argyle as a free agent.

Discussing Ogbeta, head coach Wayne Rooney was quoted as saying “he is quick, good on the ball and provides balance on the left side of defence. I’m sure the fans will enjoy watching him play and I look forward to welcoming him to Plymouth Argyle when we return to pre-season at the beginning of July.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Kane having Argyle medical

30/05/24

Rumour: Herbie Kane, formerly of Barnsley, is having a medical at Plymouth Argyle

Age: 25

Position: Central midfielder

Last season: 10 goals and 5 assists in 47 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: The second rumour to surface just this morning from a Twitter account with a track record that can be described as “questionable at best.” Alas, this one appears to be even more bogus than the post surrounding Nathanael Ogbeta earlier.

Herbie Kane was linked with a move to Argyle today by a Twitter account with the handle “rumours134”, which is already a troubling start. They claim in their bio they are “the most reliable transfer rumour account on Twitter” (I’ll be the judge of that, thank you) and that they are “mostly covering rumours from Yorkshire/North West/North East.” Looking through their account, however, it appears they only cover rumours linked to Barnsley.

I haven’t come across this account before, so I had a quick look through their previous posts to look for any credibility. The first thing that struck my eye was that the account had already linked Kane with a move to Argyle in January for a fee of £600,000. That didn’t happen, but it doesn’t necessarily negate today’s rumour, right? After all, Argyle could have decided it was a better idea to sign the player for free at the end of his contract.

Well, consider another. In January, Barnsley were looking for a centre back, and were heavily linked with Fleetwood Town’s Josh Earl. This account came out to say that the deal had “fallen through” and Earl “won’t be signing for Barnsley this window.” The next day, Earl signed for Barnsley.

There is no credibility here I’m afraid. Scrolling back further through their timeline, it would appear they seem to enjoy winding people up with false rumours. My best guess is that this account as a whole was an inside joke that’s gotten a little out of control, and whoever runs it is now taking the opportunity to try and build up as much of a following as they possibly can.

Without delving further into his numbers, I’d be quite keen on a deal for Kane. That only makes my thoughts about the source for this rumour all the more disappointing.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Argyle seek Ogbeta deal

30/05/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are looking to sign Swansea City’s Nathanael Ogbeta, who spent last season on loan at Bolton Wanderers

Age: 23

Position: Left wing back/winger

Last season: 2 goals and 4 assists in 17 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Interesting. Argyle have been linked with a wing back who recently played for Swansea City and is set to be available as a free agent. Have we perhaps found ourselves a left-sided Matthew Sorinola?

Ogbeta is fairly versatile, able to play pretty much any position on the left, be that as a full back, wing back or winger. He’s generally played further back, but found himself as a wing back in Ian Evatt’s system at Bolton last season, and didn’t post bad numbers. Should he arrive at Home Park this summer he could, and I’m not trying to manifest anything, act as a like-for-like replacement for Mickel Miller.

If I’m honest, this would feel like a typical Argyle signing. We know ex-Swans have proved fertile ground for the Greens’ business in recent years, and the fact Ogbeta has represented England at youth level is an obvious link to the Argyle hierarchy. Add in the fact that he’s set to be released by Swansea, representing value on the market, and all the stars would appear to be aligning.

Now for the source. Hmm. Long-term viewers of this page will know that “EFL Hub” have been at this for years. I’ll give them some credit by suggesting they don’t get everything wrong, but most of the rumours that have any merit have usually already been hinted at elsewhere. When they post “exclusive” rumours, as is the case here, I’m less inclined to believe them. I may be wrong, but that’s my instinct on this occasion.

A lot about this move would make sense., but there are enough doubts about the source for me to suggest holding fire for now.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Argyle keen on Langstaff

26/05/24

Rumour: Wayne Rooney is keen on bringing Notts County’s Macauley Langstaff to Plymouth Argyle

Age: 27

Position: Striker

Last season: 29 goals and 4 assists in 49 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: No. Nothing in this one. But this does act as an interesting opportunity to explain how so-called “journalists” can feign credibility in a transfer window whilst having absolutely none in reality.

This rumour has gained traction having been tweeted by an account in the name of Peter Dunnel. I’ve never heard of him (the reason for that will soon become clear), but he says in his bio that he is “mainly a footy transfer reporter.” Considering he’s built up a following of over 2,000, some have taken this as an indication that there may be merit to his clams.

Consider this though: how did “Dunnel” build up this following? Scrolling through his timeline, it’s clear it isn’t because of his football knowledge. Rather, the account has been guilty of engagement farming since its inception. They have built up numbers with offers like “retweet and follow for the chance to win free Fortnite codes.” This works, apparently. I must be getting old.

The football rumours started coming from the account only yesterday. As well as linking Langstaff with Argyle, he’s posted rumours surrounding Millwall and Sunderland, linked Ryan Bertrand to Coventry, and outdone himself this morning by saying Liverpool will sell Cody Gakpo for £30 million. It’s perhaps a damning indictment of the Green Army that his tweet about Langstaff is the only one people seem to be believing. Most of the rumours have only been liked by one account: Dunnel himself.

My best guess is that whoever runs the account is using the transfer window to farm engagement again, build up more followers, before moving on to whatever gimmick comes next in September. If that’s the case, we may hear from Dunnel more in the coming months. So take this as a warning: ignore anything he says.

Langstaff has been more reliably linked with Argyle before, most notably last summer. If he does join, he would indeed be a very exciting signing. Alas, this report is nothing.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Bristol Rovers chase Edwards deal

24/05/24

Rumour: Bristol Rovers are interested in a deal to sign Plymouth Argyle captain Joe Edwards

Age: 33

Position: Wing Back

Last season: 3 goals 37 appearances

Source: Bristol Post

Verdict: There is never – NEVER – a dull moment supporting Plymouth Argyle. In the last 24 hours Wayne Rooney has been heavily linked with the managerial post, and we are now hearing news that Argyle’s heroic captain Joe Edwards may be heading for the exit door.

Edwards would have been a club legend regardless of what happened last season. He’d already been promoted twice during his time at the club, including winning the League One title as captain. Last season’s exploits pushed him even further into the history books, as his goal on the final day against Hull City’s secured Argyle’s Championship survival.

Still, Edwards’ total time at Home Park hasn’t been seamless. It’s been widely reported that he fell out of favour under Ian Foster, something that is probably worn as a badge of honour for many players in Argyle’s ranks. Supposedly, he was told he could find a new club on deadline day back in January, but nothing came to fruition. Thank goodness it didn’t.

By the looks of things though, that wasn’t for the want of trying. Reports today have suggested that Bristol Rovers tried to sign the player, with manager Matt Taylor supposedly “desperate” to bring Edwards in. Considering everything had to be worked out in one day, it’s perhaps no surprise that the deal fell through. Nonetheless, it looks likely that the deal could be rekindled during this summer transfer window.

I can definitely see why such a deal would make sense, at least for the buying club. Edwards was born in Gloucester, and made his professional debut for Rovers’ rivals Bristol City. Location is clearly in their favour, and they have form in signing aging Argyle stars, with James Wilson crossing the Westcountry divide at the end of last season. Still, it’d be a surprise to see Argyle sanction the deal, given the negative PR that has surrounded the club in recent days.

I’m not suggesting the move is imminent. The report states that there is a “there is a desire to resurrect talks,” but of course those talks could be quickly closed down. Still, the Bristol Post is a good source, and wouldn’t report on this if there wasn’t at least some merit to the rumour. I’d expect to see some sort of talks to take place in the coming weeks.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Miller interest intensifies

23/05/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle’s Mickel Miller is attracting interest from a variety of Championship clubs

Age: 28

Position: Wing Back

Last season: 1 goal and 1 assist in 37 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: As things stand, I’m not wholly sure what to make of this one.

Miller is, of course, out of contract at Argyle this summer, with a new offer remaining on the table that would keep him at Home Park. But that offer has been outstanding for a while, and one assumes there must be a deadline for Miller to decide whether he wants to remain at the club. I doubt that deadline has been reached just yet; it’d be somewhat unfair to force him to commit before knowing the identity of the new head coach. Nonetheless, the uncertainty has led to speculation that his future may lie away from Devon.

The most significant report on this has probably come today. Pete O’Rourke has written in Football Insider that Preston North End, alongside newly-promoted Portsmouth and Oxford United, are interested in Miller’s services. And that’s not all – in the article itself there is an indication that both Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday may also be keen on the player.

It’s a tricky one to predict. Generally speaking, O’Rourke is a reliable source. He isn’t infallible though and, as I’ve often said on this page, I’m much more inclined to believe him when he links a player to a specific club, rather than presenting a number of options. Here, it’s does feel that he’s somewhat hedging his bets.

In stating that five clubs are interested, along with a contract offer from Argyle remaining on the table, O’Rourke has effectively linked Miller with a quarter of the entire league. This is obviously one to keep an eye on, but I wouldn’t expect a resolution anytime soon, nor do I believe this marks a hugely significant development.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Cooper to be sold

05/05/24

Rumour: Michael Cooper’s departure from Plymouth Argyle will shortly be announced, for a fee in the region of £8 million

Age: 24

Position: Goalkeeper

This season: 6 clean sheets in 19 appearances

Source: PASOTI

Verdict: Argyle’s season ended in glorious fashion yesterday, with captain Joe Edwards’ goal securing a win against Hull City and keeping the Greens in the Championship by a single point. And after a heavy night followed – I did not, repeat NOT, get lost on the Barbican – attention has turned to next season. It’s going to be a busy summer, with plenty of incoming business and, you suspect, a few sales too.

Rumours on those sales have already commenced. We’ve heard a lot of speculation surrounding Morgan Whittaker’s future, but another who could be heading for the exit door is Michael Cooper. The Argyle academy graduate has proved to be one of the Championship’s best goalkeepers this season, and is clearly a fan favourite. But with just one year remaining on his contract, it could be a shrewd move to cash in now rather than potentially losing him for free next summer.

Indeed, if you believe the rumours today, that would appear to be Argyle’s way of thinking. It has been reported that Argyle have agreed to sell Cooper to a club that is currently unnamed. The fee is reported to be £8 million, a figure that would be hugely significant for a player who joined Argyle as a youngster. And whilst the destination club is not confirmed, we can make some guesses through the process of elimination by considering those who need a goalkeeper and could afford such a fee.

I personally can’t vouch for the reliability of the source. The rumour stems from PASOTI and a poster called Andy B, who directly says “Cooper’s gone for 8m. It is being kept under wraps for now – The destination Club is secret but its 8m signed and done. Same source who told me about helicopter trip, Fosters sacking etc.” I don’t have an active PASOTI account, so can’t go back through the poster’s previous comments to see how reliable they are, but the reaction seems to suggest many believe what they say.

Maybe there is nothing to this for now, but if clubs are in for £8 million this summer I’d be very surprised to see Argyle turn it down. Watch this space.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Weimann offer to be made

23/05/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will offer a contract to free agent Andreas Weimann, making him their highest-paid player

Age: 32

Position: Forward

Last season: 3 goals and 3 assists in 34 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: In this particular corner of the silly season jungle, run by TransferCentre9, we regularly see 2 and 2 put together to come up with 5. That’s if they’ve bothered to do any sums at all, which isn’t guaranteed.

A few people have said they would like to see Argyle sign Weimann this summer. He’s free, recently played for another club in the Westcountry, and has significant experience at this (and higher) levels. Just because many want him to join though, it doesn’t necessarily mean Argyle will bring him through the door.

TransferCentre9 know nothing. The account either tweets rumours that are already circulating elsewhere or, like here, make educated guesses on where players will end up. They’ll hope to get lucky to “prove” their credibility, but they have none. We’ve actually covered their rumours a few times on this very page; rarely if ever have they actually come to fruition.

Argyle might sign Weimann this summer. It would make sense in many ways. But until it’s reported by somebody more reputable, this rumour can be ignored.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Argyle and Rotherham in defender battle

14/05/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will battle Rotherham United for Queens Park Rangers defender Arkell Jude-Boyd

Age: 21

Position: Right back

Last season: 6 goals in 17 appearances (on loan at Torquay)

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Well this one has come from the blue. Arkell Jude-Boyd will be released by Queens Park Rangers this summer having not made a single appearance for the club he joined as a youngster. Apparently though, that may not be the end of his Championship ambitions, with reports today linking him with a move to Home Park.

Jude-Boyd did have a hugely impressive loan spell at Torquay United in the second half of last season, winning the club’s young player of the year award. It’s no surprise to see him linked with clubs higher up the pyramid, and his time in Torquay would make an Argyle connection obvious. But is a player who has never played above the sixth tier really ready for a spell in the Championship? QPR clearly didn’t think so. It wouldn’t be without precedent, but would be surprising.

I will admit the source here is fairly solid. Pete O’Rourke and Football Insider may not get everything right, but they do have much better connections than we see from the chancers on Twitter. I have a suspicion that O’Rourke will have heard of Argyle sending scouts to Torquay, possibly to watch Jude-Boyd. Whether that’s as far as the interest develops remains to be seen.

I’m torn on this one. The fact that the transfer would be so odd puts me off, but then I consider that it would be very strange for O’Rourke to make up such a bizarre rumour. I’m not convinced that will lead to Argyle eventually signing the player, particularly with there being apparent competition too, but am prepared to be proven wrong.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Retained List Announced

10/05/24

Plymouth Argyle have announced their retained list upon the conclusion of the 2023/24 season. The list brings less news than we’ve come to expect in recent years, with much of Argyle’s squad already under contract for the 2024/25 campaign.

Goalkeeper Callum Burton is the only senior player confirmed to have been released this summer. He’ll also be joined by Jack Endacott and Oscar Halls, who are being released from Argyle’s youth ranks.

As expected, Argyle have offered contracts to Mickel Miller and Brendan Galloway. A new deal has also been offered to Will Jenkins-Davies, who spent much of last season on loan at Torquay United.

Full retained list:

Under contract: Michael Cooper, Bali Mumba, Jordan Houghton, Julio Pleguezuelo, Dan Scarr, Joe Edwards, Ryan Hardie, Morgan Whittaker, Callum Wright, Mustapha Bundu, Lewis Gibson, Tyreik Wright, Adam Randell, Conor Hazard, Ben Waine, Saxon Earley, Adam Forshaw, Matthew Sorinola, Zak Baker, Freddie Issaka, Caleb Roberts, Josh Bernard and Jack Matthews

Offered new contracts: Mickel Miller, Brendan Galloway and Will Jenkins-Davies

Released: Callum Burton, Jack Endacott and Oscar Halls

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Dewsnip confirms loan talks

06/05/24

Here we go, confirmation that I wasn’t going mad yesterday when I thought this had been mentioned already. Plymouth Argyle director of football Neil Dewsnip has confirmed that the club have already expressed an interest in extending the loans of Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine. Both have both spent the last four months at Home Park having been borrowed from Tottenham Hotspur.

Dewsnip said that “the loan players will obviously go back, but we are already in discussions to see if we can maybe access one or two of those to stay again next year, but we are very early in the discussions.” He later confirmed that he was referring to Phillips and Devine.

By the sounds of it, this one won’t be resolved immediately, but it’s definitely worth paying attention. With no head coach in place, Dewsnip is the absolute authority on transfers right now. And we know he’s the sort to enjoy bringing in players who have represented England at youth level. This feels far from certain at present, but could have legs.

Source: Plymouth Live

Rumour: Argyle looking to extend Phillips and Devine loans

05/05/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have opened talks to extend the loan spells of both Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine from Tottenham Hotspur

Age: 18 (Phillips) & 19 (Devine)

Position: Defender (Phillips) & Midfielder (Devine)

This season: 1 assist in 20 appearances (Phillips) & 2 assists in 15 appearances (Devine)

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Call me crazy, but I feel like Neil Dewsnip had already eluded to Argyle being in talks with both Phillips and Devine about possible loan extensions. Maybe I’ve made that up – there is probably a lot from yesterday that I think happened that didn’t in reality. I’ll put it down to the occasion.

Whether it’s true or not, this one has spread today after appearing on social media. It’s appearad on a Twitter account by the name of “Argyle Tweets”, which tends to do exactly what it says on the tin. They haven’t posted any further details other than the ones we’ve covered, that Argyle are in talks with the intention of extending the loan spells of both players.

I’m not wholly sure what to think of this one. Not with the players themselves; my reservations about them are a different matter, but both clearly have talent and are young enough to make even more of an impact at Championship level with a full pre-season behind them. But I’m not convinced we should believe everything about this rumour.

Argyle Tweets’ record used to be quite good, but has been much more mixed lately, and I wouldn’t take everything they say as gospel. Furthermore, it’s not guaranteed that Spurs would sanction both players returning to Argyle for another season. We saw that with Devine himself, who was at Port Vale for half a season before being recalled and sent to Argyle for the next phase in his development. It’s possible the players’ parent club may wish to do the same here.

This one doesn’t strike me as one that’ll be resolved soon. One or both players may be back at Argyle next season, but even if not, we know Argyle have developed a good relationship with Spurs. They could look to take advantage of that by bringing in players we haven’t yet mentioned.

It could indeed also lead to Phillips and Devine staying. Let’s see.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Update: Miller and Galloway contract talks

19/04/24

Plymouth Argyle director of football Neil Dewsnip has confirmed that talks are ongoing with both Brendan Galloway and Mickel Miller on potential new contracts at Home Park. The duo’s current deals end in June, with both having played more Championship football than many perhaps expected given their respective injury records.

Speaking initially about Miller, who has been ruled out for the final three games of the season due to a knee injury, Dewsnip said “his contract does run out. Negotiations have already taken place so we are well down the pathway. I notice that social media allegedly said that he was leaving with another player (Galloway). I don’t really know where that has come from, but so be it.” He confirmed that “we have talked to both players, we have talked to both agents and discussions are ongoing.

Dewsnip seemed to imply that staying in the Championship would be crucial to getting the pair to sign on the dotted line. He continued to say “there is the obvious isn’t there? What league are we in? I think both players have done well in the Championship. They want to stay in the Championship. So would you, so would I. So I don’t really foresee too many issues as long as we are in this league.”

Source: Plymouth Live

Rumour: Phillips linked with Sheffield United loan

15/04/24

Rumour: Ashley Phillips, currently on loan at Plymouth Argyle, is being linked with a move to Sheffield United for next season

Age: 18

Position: Centre Back

This season: 1 assist in 18 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: I’ve actually toyed with whether it’s worth posting this as a rumour, since it won’t strictly impact Argyle. A move would only take place once Phillips’ loan spell at Home Park concludes and, with Ian Foster gone, the chances of Argyle wanting to extend the loan spell for another season have drastically reduced. Still, he’s an Argyle player for now, so let’s delve in.

Another Championship loan move seems highly likely for Phillips next season. He has of course spent time with Argyle in the second tier, and with the player still only 18 parent club Spurs are unlikely to want to stunt his development by keeping him in their academy side for another year. Sheffield United will almost certainly be in the Championship next season, so in many ways that feels like a natural next step in the player’s career.

But is it likely? It has to be conceded that, whilst Phillips had an excellent start to his Argyle loan spell, he’s undoubtedly tailed off a little in recent weeks. Is he really ready to be part of a side whose clear aim will be Championship promotion next season?

The source also raises a few questions. I first came across the rumour through a Twitter post from The Spurs Express, but it originally seems to have stemmed from a familiar name in Alan Nixon. Alas, Reluctant Nicko still has me blocked on Twitter, so I can’t tell whether this was a Twitter rumour or one he charges for on Patreon. But it doesn’t really matter – a few years ago I’d have taken anything Nixon said as gospel, but his record has been patchy recently.

I think it’s incredibly unlikely that Phillips will be at Plymouth Argyle next season. Sheffield United? That’s anyone’s guess.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Sporting prepare Whittaker bid

15/04/24

Rumour: Portuguese club Sporting are preparing a £20 million+ bid for Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

This season: 20 goals and 9 assists in 47 appearances

Source: Trigger the Press

Verdict: This has been doing the rounds today. But I don’t think it’s a huge development, for a few reasons.

We’ve already heard that Sporting may be interested in signing Whittaker this summer. Now, had another source come in to corroborate this report, that would go a long way to adding credence to the rumour. Crucially though, that’s not the case. The source for today’s report is relatively new website Trigger the Press, exactly the same site that made the initial link. Right now, it just looks like their expanding on their own story, which isn’t currently verified anywhere else.

There’s also the report on the fee, which feels a little farfetched. Trigger the Press still appear to believe that Argyle value Whittaker at £25 million, but suggest Sporting will offer £20 million with a potential £5.5 million in add ons. That doesn’t strike me as a serious proposition, but rather feels like the author has taken something straight from the Football Manager playbook – if you don’t want to spend the entire fee up front, just offer a little more in add ons and you’ll get your man.

I should say that I’m not dismissing this entirely – Trigger the Press are an untested source and, whilst there’s nothing in their record to back up their reliability, there isn’t anything to dismiss it either. I do not, however, think today’s report marks a significant development. They appear to just be pushing their own story again, with a few more details. I can imagine their story on Whittaker got plenty of traction the first time around, and they were hoping to generate a few more clicks again.

I guess by reporting on it we’ve done their job for them (you’re welcome Trigger the Press), but it’s what we’re here for.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Three more clubs join Whittaker hunt

30/03/24

Rumour: Three more clubs, including Portuguese side Sporting, are lining up a move for Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

This season: 20 goals and 8 assists in 43 appearances

Source: Trigger the Press

Verdict: I can’t tell if this has come completely out of the blue, or whether I should have expected this even sooner. Regardless, it’s not even April, and we’re starting to see rumours surrounding the future of Morgan Whittaker surfacing already.

This latest report is particularly interesting, because it lists three clubs we haven’t heard from before as being interested in signing Whittaker. Leicester City (probably promotion-dependent) and Crystal Palace are perhaps expected, but it was a surprise to see Portuguese side Sporting linked. Then again, the article also reaffirms the interest of Lazio, who we know looked to sign Whittaker in January, so perhaps further interest from the continent isn’t the biggest shock in the world.

Perhaps most interestingly, the report mentions that Argyle value Whittaker at £25 million. That would be substantially more than Lazio, or indeed any side, offered in the winter. It may well also be enough to turn the heads of even the most ardent members of the Green Army who are desperate to keep hold of the player. Could Argyle command this fee if they’re relegated? Let’s hope we don’t have to find out.

Now, there are a couple of things that lead me to question the report. The first is the source itself; Trigger the Press came into existence very recently – I can’t see any evidence on its site or social media that it was around before last month. They’ve also only built up a Twitter following of 448. Ok, that may be due to how new they are, but it’s hardly a sign that we can trust them implicitly. As an aside, the fact that the first line of their Twitter bio is “modern football news for the cultured football fan” has given me the ick immediately.

Secondly, I have questions to raise regarding the content of the article. Sporting’s successful purchase of Viktor Gyokeres from Coventry City is being used as a reason why they’d shop in the Championship again. But I don’t necessarily buy that – rather, I believe the source is using Gyokeres to shoehorn in some potential interest in Whittaker. In short, I think they’re making an educated guess, rather than reporting inside info to us.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Whittaker left this summer. Would anyone? But I don’t think this report necessarily points things in one particular direction.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Leonard on Argyle's radar

12/03/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are looking to sign Brighton’s Marc Leonard this summer, who has spent this season on loan at Northampton Town

Age: 22

Position: Midfielder

This season: 5 goals and 6 assists in 40 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Marc Leonard is a player who will almost certainly be on loan in the Championship next season. He’s been an ever-present at Northampton in League One this year, and has recently been in terrific form, with a number of goal contributions from the centre of midfield. In his last nine appearances alone, he has four goals and three assists for the Cobblers. Still only 22, the second tier is his next obvious destination

Those rumours have started already. Argyle have been linked with the player alongside Swansea City and Preston North End. Not spuriously either – the link between the player and the clubs has been made by Fabrizio Romano. He’s a well-respected football journalist, of course, and it’s interesting that he’s reported on Argyle’s news more and more since he first broke the Luke Cundle deal in the summer. The wonders of the Championship, huh?

This deal is obviously nowhere near completion for the moment. First of all, we don’t know if all of the clubs mentioned will even be in the Championship this season – Leonard surely won’t join Argyle next season if the Greens are relegated to League One. And even if Ian Foster’s side do stay up, it’s clear they’ll face competition for the player’s signature from many quarters. Add in the fact that we’re still a couple of months away from the window being open, and this one clearly has a long way to run

Still, it’s good to know that Argyle are already making plans for what will be a big summer whatever happens.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Three clubs linked with Galloway

27/02/24

Rumour: Three Championship clubs are looking to sign Plymouth Argyle’s Brendan Galloway on a free transfer

Age: 27

Position: Centre back

This season: 1 goal in 20 appearances

Source: The Sun

Verdict: Should Argyle maintain their Championship status, the future of Brendan Galloway has been a key question to consider. When he’s fit, he’s unquestionably excellent. But “when he’s fit” is key, because Galloway regularly spends more time in the treatment room than on the pitch. It’s made the decision on whether to offer him a new contract at the end of this campaign a difficult one for many, but that decision may well be taken out of Argyle’s hands regardless.

According to The Sun (yes, I know, more on that in a moment), Galloway is being eyed up by three Championship sides. Middlesbrough, Blackburn Rovers and Coventry City are all said to be keen on signing the defender on a free transfer at the conclusion of this season. With Argyle not yet believed to have offered a new deal to the Zimbabwean, the chance of future security for a player whose career has been ravaged by injury may seem appealing.

As ever, a national source like this is reliable in a qualified way. Like many of you, I’d dismiss anything stemming from The Sun out of hand in most instances. Given their national scope though, I don’t see a reason why they’d make up a rumour such as this one surrounding Galloway. If they wanted a clickbait story born out of nothing, they’d make one involving a Premier League side, as indeed they have done many times previously.

This one obviously won’t be solved quickly. Teams aren’t officially allowed to make an approach for soon-to-be free agents before the season ends (not that this will stop them unofficially, of course). And the fact multiple clubs are linked rather than just one leaves us with enough doubt about his future destination to be cautious. We can certainly say though that another layer has now been added to the Galloway debate.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Update: No more January business expected

01/02/24

Well, so much for the Femi Azeez rumours. Chris Errington has just announced that no more business expected at Plymouth Argyle before the 11pm transfer deadline.

During January, Argyle have brought in six new signings: Ashley Phillips, Darko Gyabi, Alfie Devine, Matthew Sorinola, Adam Forshaw and Lino Sousa came through the door. Eight players departed, including the four on loan at Argyle who were all recalled by their parent clubs.

Perhaps most importantly, it means Morgan Whittaker will remain at Argyle for the rest of the season.

Source: Twitter/X

Confirmed: Earley loaned to Wycombe

01/02/24

Who had a relationship developing between Plymouth Argyle and Wycombe Wanderers on their transfer window bingo card? Well, here we are. Following Matt Butcher’s permanent departure to the Chairboys yesterday, Saxon Earley has since followed him out of the door on loan until the end of the season.

Earley had been linked with Stevenage throughout the day. We’ll probably never know whether they were actually interested, or whether Wycombe came in with a better offer. Either way, he’ll be playing at Adams Park for the remainder of the campaign.

Following the arrival of Lino Sousa earlier today, a loan move for Earley made complete sense. It was always just a question of where he’d end up.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Sousa joins on loan

01/02/24

Plymouth Argyle have completed the loan signing of Lino Sousa. The player has moved from Arsenal to Aston Villa on a permanent deal, before immediately joining Argyle on loan from Villa for the rest of the season.

Sousa, a left back, never made an appearance for the Arsenal first team. He has, however, played a number of times at youth level, including for Arsenal’s development side in the EFL Trophy. Perhaps less surprisingly, he’s represented England at youth level, which presumably put him on the radar of Ian Foster and Neil Dewsnip. The latter also made reference to Argyle’s strong relationship with Villa making the deal possible.

Quoted on the official Argyle website, Foster said “Lino is somebody that I’ve known for a while. I’ve always been excited by his performances at Arsenal and with the England development teams. He’s a really exciting player with huge potential and I think you can see why the likes of Arsenal and Aston Villa have taken him.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Argyle working on Azeez deal

01/02/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are working on a deal to sign Reading’s Femi Azeez

Age: 22

Position: Winger/Forward

This season: 5 goals and 6 assists in 34 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Here we are. This deal was first rumoured yesterday, and I mentioned that I wouldn’t be fully convinced until a more reliable source came along to report on the deal. That’s exactly what has happened.

It’s Pete O’Rourke again, who has made a report in Football Insider that Argyle are looking to secure the signing of Femi Azeez. It’s perhaps slightly crass that they describe their scoop as an “exclusive”, particularly considering the fact the rumour initially started spreading yesterday, but this is undoubtedly the most reliable source we have on this one to date. It’s certainly enough to push the deal into the “more likely than not” category.

There are still some hurdles to overcome. O’Rourke has stated that Argyle are “working hard” to beat the transfer deadline, but I can’t imagine running out of time will be the issue that holds this deal up. That’s particularly the case if the deal has been in the works since yesterday.

So, work to do, but I’m convinced by this one as of now.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Rumour: Stevenage to loan back Earley

01/02/24

Rumour: Stevenage are looking to sign Plymouth Argyle defender Saxon Earley on loan

Age: 21

Position: Left Back

This season: 2 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Saxon Earley has endured a difficult season at Plymouth Argyle, and through no fault of his own. He impressed in his two appearances earlier in the campaign, but injury has kept him out of the Argyle squad ever since. Still only 21, it still feels as though Earley has a bright future, but he’s at an age where game time is paramount to his development.

With that game time set to be limited, particularly with the imminent arrival of Lino Sousa in the same position. A loan move may therefore be shrewd. Step forward Stevenage, which would appear to be a completely logical destination. It was at Stevenage that Earley impressed last season, leading Argyle to make their move in the January transfer window. With both clubs now a division higher than they were last term, spending the rest of the season at Stevenage would be the ideal way for Earley to resume his playing career.

There are a couple of caveats to consider. The first is that I have no clue about the source. The rumour has been tweeted out by Reece Donnelly, a “freelance scout” and Stevenage fan. He seems to have built up a good following, and I don’t think he’d have any reason to make up a rumour, but that means nothing in the modern day. The second caveat is the wording used in the rumour. Donnelly claims Stevenage have been “enquiring” about Earley. Not that there has been an offer, nor that he is set to sign. Just enquiring.

I’m slightly torn on this one. The move would make complete sense for all sorts of reasons. But without knowing the source and without hearing more direct language about a potential deal, I’m not confident enough to say this is certain just yet. That may well change.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: West Ham prepare Whittaker bid

01/02/24

Rumour: West Ham United are considering a late bid for Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

This season: 16 goals and 7 assists in 31 appearances

Source: Caught Offside

Verdict: It’s not over. Why would we ever expect us to have a deadline day undisturbed? After being linked with the player for much of the window, West Ham are rumoured to have stepped up their interest in Morgan Whittaker today.

The rumour stems from the Caught Offside website, which we haven’t covered a great deal in recent weeks. I’ll admit I’ve only had a cursory glance at their recent work, but they appear to spend most of their time aggregating news stories from elsewhere. I suspect that’s exactly what has happened here. Pete O’Rourke’s Football Insider piece from back in mid-January is referenced, and I don’t really think the Caught Offside article expands on that much at all.

If there is a news story here, it isn’t that a move is in any way imminent. Rather, I suspect this acts as a warning that West Ham are still in the hunt. Much of the recent coverage has surrounded Brentford, Fulham and Lazio, with the Hammers falling off the radar somewhat. So they’re still in the hunt. But until we hear more on an official bid being launched, that’s all it is at the moment.

So yes, I have no doubt that West Ham retain an interest in Whittaker. Irons, join the queue.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Butcher joins Wycombe

31/01/24

Matt Butcher’s departure from Plymouth Argyle has been confirmed. He was linked with a move to Wycombe Wanderers earlier today, and Argyle have since officially announced he’ll be heading for the exit door.

Perhaps surprisingly, Butcher moves on a free transfer to the Chairboys. His contract, which had six months to run, was terminated by Argyle today to facilitate his transfer.

Butcher leaves having made 66 appearances for the Greens in all competitions. He’ll always be fondly remembered as a title winner at Home Park, and his goal in the Devon Derby victory in April will go down in Argyle folklore.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Ipswich and Stoke chase Hardie

31/01/24

Rumour: Ipswich Town and Stoke City are looking to sign Plymouth Argyle forward Ryan Hardie

Age: 26

Position: Striker

This season: 11 goals and 4 assists in 26 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Ok, this should be a quick one. No, I don’t foresee Ryan Hardie leaving for either Ipswich or Stoke on the final day of the window.

The rumour has spread on social media today having initially been tweeted out by Henry Armstrong, a Brentford season ticket holder describing himself as a “semi-retired sports journalist.” He rarely tweets, but when he does it’s almost exclusively to post transfer rumours. That’s made it fairly easily to assess his record, and it appears he gets absolutely nothing correct. Certainly, he’s never broken any news that hasn’t already been reported elsewhere, and all of his ‘original’ rumours are bogus.

I can see why Armstrong would link Hardie with a move to Ipswich or Stoke. It’s easy engagement, and links the player to two teams Argyle have had a form of rivalry with in recent months. The fact we’ve had to report on the rumour means he may have already won by receiving the attention he craves. But stand down; this one surely won’t be happening.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Sousa to join on loan

31/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are set to sign Aston Villa left back Lino Sousa on loan

Age: 29

Position: Left Back

This season: 0 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Here’s some classic transfer deadline shenanigans. Lino Sousa isn’t even an Aston Villa player yet, but he looks set to join Unai Emery’s side before being loaned out to Plymouth Argyle.

As first reported by Fabrizio Romano (he’s popped up far more in Argyle’s transfer window than I’d expected), Sousa is set to move from Arsenal to Aston Villa on a permanent deal. Villa are set to beat Rangers, Galatasaray and Juventus to sign the 19-year-old, but he won’t be part of Emery’s first team straight away. Instead, as reported by Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider, Sousa will be loaned to Argyle for the remainder of the campaign.

There are a lot of reasons why this looks likely. Argyle maintain a good relationship with Villa; Finn Azaz, Tyreik Wright and Kaine Kesler-Hayden have all moved to Argyle from the Villans in the last 18 months. And much like some of Argyle’s other signings, Sousa has represented England at youth level. He actually holds Portuguese and English joint nationality, but has exclusively represented England, and made his debut for the under 19s in September.

The deal does seem quite odd. Argyle already have many full backs/wing backs on the books, particularly after the arrival of Matthew Sorinola, and unless one is set to leave this may well leave Argyle overloaded in the position. And if Villa are so happy to allow a new wing back to be loaned out, why didn’t they just allow Kesler-Hayden to remain at Home Park?

As strange as it is though, I’d say this one is almost certain to go through.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Rumour: Argyle in Azeez enquiry

31/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have made an enquiry for Reading’s Femi Azeez

Age: 22

Position: Winger/Forward

This season: 5 goals and 6 assists in 34 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Some of the rumours we’ve heard recently have been easy to assess. They’ve either come from a completely bogus source allowing us to dismiss them right away, or they’ve come from reliable journalists with some obvious basis behind them. This one is somewhere in between, and it’s tricky to draw any firm conclusions as a result.

Argyle have been linked with a move for Reading’s Femi Azeez. He’s probably been the Royals’ star man this season, with 11 goal contributions in a struggling side. He also scored a late winner against Exeter City on New Year’s Day to briefly move his side out of the relegation zone. No mean feat given their points deduction and problems off the field. To many therefore, he’s earned a Championship shot.

The rumour has sourced from a Twitter account in the name of Courtney Friday, described as a “former reporter” on Reading. We can therefore assume the account owner does occasionally receive news from his old contacts, but is that reliable enough? Sure, if the account owner was a current reporter, I’d have much more of a mind to believe the rumour. But a former reporter? Right now I’m just not so sure.

I’d also just focus on the wording of Friday’s tweet, stating that Argyle have simply “enquired” about Azeez, and the “decision whether or not to sell will be purely down to [Reading owner] Dai Yongge.” It doesn’t suggest a deal is certain, nor that it’s even likely. Friday merely claims there has been an enquiry.

Because of that, and a few doubts about the source, I’m leaning against this one for now. But I may be wrong, and we’ll keep a close eye on any movement surrounding Azeez in the final hours of the window.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Butcher to move to Wycombe

31/01/24

Rumour: Wycombe Wanderers have opened talks to sign Plymouth Argyle midfielder Matt Butcher

Age: 26

Position: Central Midfielder

This season: 18 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Plymouth Argyle’s outgoings this winter may not be complete. Reports today suggest that Matt Butcher, scorer of the winning goal in April’s Devon Derby victory, may be heading to Wycombe Wanderers.

Pete O’Rourke, rapidly becoming a major player on the journalistic scene this window, has made the report in Football Insider. They’ve had a mixed record this winter, but I always feel there’s more to it when O’Rourke links a specific player to a specific club. That’s exactly what has happened here – no other clubs have been linked, and it would seem odd for O’Rourke to link Butcher just with Wycombe without any merit.

The deal isn’t certain; indeed, O’Rourke simply claims that talks have been opened rather than a deal concluded. But with the Chairboys looking to secure a permanent deal for a player with six months remaining on his contract, this deal feels like it’d make sense for all parties. You can’t imagine they’d have made their move without at least some encouragement.

Exactly eight years after Rick Cowdery figuratively soiled himself live on Argyle’s Twitter page after a loss to Wycombe, Argyle may be about to sell a player to their old foes.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Update: Lazio Whittaker bid rejected

30/01/24

Plymouth Argyle have rejected an offer from Lazio for Morgan Whittaker. Reports emerged yesterday of the Italian side’s interest in Argyle’s top scorer, but it appears their efforts have been knocked back by the Greens.

Quoted in Plymouth Live, director of football Neil Dewsnip said “Last night we received an official offer for Morgan from Lazio. Having discussed this internally and with the player’s representatives, the offer was immediately rejected. Morgan is very happy at Argyle and we maintain our position that he is not for sale.”

The news tallies with earlier reports that Lazio have switched their intentions to Norwich City’s Jonathan Rowe, having had a bid rejected for Whittaker and for Sunderland’s Jack Clarke.

Reports in Italy suggest Argyle rejected an offer of €10 million from the Serie A side, equivalent to roughly £8.5 million. It’s also been mooted that Argyle are looking for closer to €18 million, or around £15.5 million. That figure may be enough to tempt some of the other teams in the race, so this isn’t game over just yet. But Lazio would have to seriously improve their offer to force Argyle’s hand.

Source: Plymouth Live

Update: Mundle set for Sunderland

30/01/24

Plymouth Argyle appear to have missed out on signing Romaine Mundle. The Greens were linked with the 20-year-old this month but reports from Fabrizio Romano, who was the first to break the news of Lazio’s interest in Morgan Whittaker, has announced the player is set to join Sunderland on a permanent deal.

It always seemed a long shot that Argyle would sign Mundle this winter. Yes, they were linked to the player, but they were always competing with other Championship sides with bigger budgets. Swansea City and Stoke City were the main clubs linked, but Sunderland have appeared from nowhere to secure the deal.

That he hasn’t become another Argyle target to join up with Steven Schumacher at Stoke is a small mercy at least.

Source: Twitter/X

Rumour: Clubs "line up" Whittaker bids

30/01/24

Rumour: Italian Serie A side Lazio have approached Plymouth Argyle to sign Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

This season: 16 goals and 7 assists in 31 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: I’m so tired. Do we really have three more days of this to go?

The rumours surrounding Argyle’s star man Morgan Whittaker have evolved once again. Just last night we were digesting news from Fabrizio Romano that Lazio had made an approach for Whittaker. Now another journalist, Pete O’Rourke, has thrown his hat into the ring by linking the player to Premier League sides Fulham and Brentford.

Romano covers transfers of note from all over the world, whilst O’Rourke specialises in the EFL. That doesn’t automatically mean we should trust him more, but it does mean he has access to information that would, with the greatest of respect, be of no interest to Romano. Indeed, O’Rourke claims in his latest development that representatives from both London clubs were watching Whittaker during Argyle’s FA Cup tie at Leeds on Saturday.

Again though, I feel this is a development that doesn’t really change anything in my mind. We already knew Premier League clubs were keen on Whittaker, with O’Rourke himself linking the player to Fulham, Brentford and West Ham earlier this month. That two of those are now “readying offers” hardly feels like a significant change.

Really, O’Rourke is just rehashing old news. That doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but this isn’t a major step in either direction.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Lazio approach Argyle for Whittaker

29/01/24

Rumour: Italian Serie A side Lazio have approached Plymouth Argyle to sign Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

This season: 16 goals and 7 assists in 31 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Oh Fabrizio. I was having such a calm evening until you came along.

Fabrizio Romano, possibly the most famous football transfers journalist in the world, has been tweeting about Plymouth Argyle again. His last two Argyle-related rumours have linked the Greens to near-namesakes Cundle and Mundle, but this update has been a lot less welcome. Romano has now linked Morgan Whittaker with a move to Serie A side Lazio.

Lazio have become the second Italian side to be linked with Argyle’s star player this winter, following rumours Atalanta were after him earlier this month. We can add them to the list alongside a number of Premier League clubs who have been chasing Whittaker for a while. No move has come off just yet.

But this one feels more serious. Romano has tweeted a standalone, exclusive rumour linking Lazio with Whittaker. He claims Lazio have been hunting in the Championship, and have had a proposal knocked back for Sunderland’s Jack Clarke in recent weeks. Whittaker would appear to be their next target.

Whether that means a move is likely is another matter. Could Lazio afford Whittaker’s fee if they had an offer rejected for Clarke? Could another club beat them to the punch? Would the player even want to move to Italy? These are all pertinent questions, and you’d expect we’ll have some more drama to come in the coming days. Let’s hope it fizzles out again.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Miller linked with Championship move

23/01/24

Rumour: A number of Championship clubs are looking to sign Plymouth Argyle’s Mickel Miller before the transfer window closes

Age: 28

Position: Wing Back

This season: 1 assist in 23 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Wow. Ok. This is possibly the most unexpected rumour to surface in the window thus far. And it’s not one I can completely rule out either.

Having finally gotten a run in the first team after an injury-ravaged spell at Home Park, Mickel Miller is now being linked elsewhere. Journalist Pete O’Rourke, who we’re more used to seeing in articles he publishes on Football Insider, tweeted out the rumour this evening. He noted that “a number of Championship clubs” have their eyes on Miller, and that a move before the end of the month wasn’t out of the question. He also mentioned Miller’s contract situation, with his current deal running out this summer.

I have two major questions. First, why? Why is Miller attracting interest from clubs in the second tier? I mean no disrespect to him, as he’s really found his stride at Home Park in the last couple of months. But before that, he hadn’t really impressed, and spent more time in the physio room. Second, why aren’t these interested clubs waiting for the summer? Sure, you may face more competition, but you’d make a saving on a transfer fee and still have a decent chance of securing the player’s services.

O’Rourke hasn’t linked a specific club to Miller yet. I’d therefore err on the side of caution for now, and wait for more news to come out before jumping to any conclusions. Keep an eye on this though; the rumour may be odd, but it’s not without merit.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Argyle sign Forshaw on permanent deal

19/01/24

Plymouth Argyle have completed the signing of Adam Forshaw, which was heavily rumoured yesterday. Perhaps surprisingly, he joins on a permanent transfer rather than a loan move from Norwich City. He was released by the Canaries earlier today, making his move to Home Park possible.

Forshaw immediately brings a wealth of Championship experience that was sorely lacking for Argyle during the first half of the season. The 32-year-old has made 129 appearances in the second tier throughout his career, and a further 69 in the Premier League. Forshaw, along with Joe Edwards, becomes only the second player in Argyle’s squad over the age of 28.

The midfielder has been signed in time to feature for Argyle in tomorrow’s game with Cardiff City. He joins new arrivals Alfie Devine and Matthew Sorinola, who will also be hoping to make their debuts against the Bluebirds.

Forshaw will wear the number 27 shirt during his stay at Home Park

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle in Mundle hunt

18/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are one of the clubs keen on signing Standard Liege’s Romaine Mundle

Age: 20

Position: Winger/Forward

This season: 2 goals in 10 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Argyle have been linked with Isaac Hayden, who spent the first half of the season on loan at Standard Liege, for much of the window. Could it be that Mundle has been the player they’ve been after all along? Perhaps, if you believe today’s rumours.

Earlier today Fabrizio Romano (yes that one) tweeted that Argyle hold an interest in Mundle. With a following of almost 20 million, Romano has no reason to make up stories around English second tier clubs, so we can safely assume that this part of his tweet is true. Some of you may remember that Romano was the first to report on Luke Cundle’s loan move from Wolverhampton, something Argyle themselves sampled in his announcement video.

Does this mean a deal is imminent? Not necessarily. Romano’s tweet is shaped around Swansea City’s interest in Mundle, and he claims the Swans have had a bid rejected for the player today. He does mention Argyle as one of the interested clubs, but that’s along with Swansea and (please don’t shoot the messenger) Stoke City. Add in the fact that Mundle would command a transfer fee, something Argyle have been reluctant to part with in a frugal window, and the stumbling blocks in the way of this deal become clear.

Mundle fits Argyle’s profile much more than Adam Forshaw, who was linked with the Greens earlier. He’s young and came through Spurs’ academy, who we know Argyle have a good knowledge of through their acquisitions of Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine this month. But of the two, I think the Forshaw deal is the more likely to come to fruition. Let’s see.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Forshaw in Argyle talks

18/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are keen on signing Norwich City midfielder Adam Forshaw

Age: 32

Position: Midfielder

This season: 9 appearances

Source: Mail Online

Verdict: This rumour has thrown me a little. On the face of it, it seems pretty reliable. But it’s very left-field, and Forshaw doesn’t fit the profile Argyle have been targeting this summer at all.

The source is pretty sound. It’s been published as a standalone article in the Mail Online, who report that Forshaw is “in talks” with the Greens after he missed Norwich’s FA Cup replay victory over Bristol Rovers last night. As ever with these rumours, try not to think of the Mail and its reputation too much – the sports reporters from such publications do tend to have insider knowledge. If they wanted to make something up for clicks, they wouldn’t randomly link a player with a move between two clubs in the second tier.

If you’re not convinced, consider that the rumour has also been shared via the Twitter account of Paddy Devitt. He’s the editor of Pink Un, which covers Norwich online. And that name may be familiar to you – aside from Mickey Hassan’s clues the day before, Pink Un were the first real media outlet to confirm Bali Mumba’s impending move from Norwich to Argyle in the summer.

Forshaw though would be such an odd signing. He’s 32, and would immediately become Argyle’s second-oldest player should he join. He’s had a disappointing season, and has never represented England at youth level. The fact he’s Scouse and came through the ranks at Everton is probably the only thing that fits with Argyle’s transfer strategy.

That’s on its own isn’t enough to say the transfer won’t happen. Quite the opposite, in fact, given the weight of sources behind the rumour. It’d be a weird one, but would certainly provide Argyle with some of the experience they’ve been missing. His technical ability, and the fact he’s worked with Neil Dewsnip before, may have been enough to convince Argyle to make a move.

But who could possibly say they saw this one coming?

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Confirmed: Argyle sign Sorinola

17/01/24

Argyle’s busy day in the transfer market has continued, with the signing of Matthew Sorinola now confirmed. The wing back signs as a free agent, having left Belgian league leaders Union Saint-Gilloise at the start of the month.

Sorinola spent last season on loan at Swansea City, making 31 appearances in all competitions. In South Wales, he demonstrated his ability to play on both sides of the defence, and particularly flourishes in a back five. In that sense, it seems very clear that he’s been brought in as a direct replacement for the departed Kaine Kesler-Hayden.

Speaking of Sorinola, Ian Foste said “he is a really good age, he’s got great experience of English football, and he has had a taste of football on the continent as well, which will do him the world of good in terms of his development as a person and a player.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle close to Sorinola signing

17/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are close to signing Matthew Sorinola, who recently left Belgian side Union Saint-Gilloise

Age: 22

Position: Full back

This season: 0 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: It’s the third transfer rumour of the day, and another that seems fairly likely to soon come to fruition.

Matthew Sorinola is the latest player to be linked with the Greens. He last played in Belgium, but is an English full back who spent last season on loan at Swansea City. As rare as it seems, he hasn’t actually represented England at youth level, but he does fit the mould of the sort of player Argyle like to target. That’s particularly the case since Kaine Kesler-Hayden was recalled from his loan spell by Aston Villa a few days ago.

The source on this one seems pretty sound. It’s been tweeted out by Graeme Bailey, who describes himself as (although I don’t know what all these words mean in practice) the Strategic & Operational Head of Football at HITC Football. Whatever it means, it’s fairly significant; he’s built up a following of over 100,000 on social media, and would hardly risk that through a rumour surrounding Plymouth Argyle signing a free agent full back.

Bailey claims that “Ian Foster has seen off interest from a host of clubs to take him to Home Park.” It’s an exciting thought, and a signing that will surely soon be completed.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Confirmed: Devine loan completed

17/01/24

Plymouth Argyle have completed the signing of Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Alfie Devine. The 19-year-old joins on loan, and will link up with fellow Spurs youngster Ashley Phillips at Home Park.

Devine is another signing who has worked with Ian Foster previously. He was, alongside Darko Gyabi, a part of the England under 20s squad Foster took to Argentina last summer. Devine was also part of Foster’s England under 19s squad that won the European Championship in 2022.

Speaking on Devine, Foster said “ringing him here was a no-brainer in terms of knowing what I’m getting from the person and the player. I know how talented he is, I know how hard working he is, and it gives me a little bit of a head start because he knows the role and he knows exactly what I’ll be asking him to do. Regardless of the shape, he understands the principles of play.”

Devine will wear the number 16 shirt during his stay at Home Park.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Whittaker linked with London move

17/01/24

Rumour: Fulham have joined West Ham United and Brentford in the race to sign Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

This season: 15 goals and 6 assists in 29 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Sorry folks, here we go again.

Morgan Whittaker has been linked with a move away for much of the window. Luton Town were initially linked with a £4 million move, but the source was bogus and that sum would never tempt Argyle. Later he was linked to Italian side Atalanta, with a source that seemed more reliable but a bid hasn’t yet been forthcoming. In between all that, there have been rumblings on social media that a number of Premier League clubs are also keen on his services.

Today, we’ve had the first official reports that this may indeed be the case. Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider has been busy this window, and his report today has linked Whittaker with three London-based top-flight sides. Along with Brentford, who a few believed may have already placed a bid for Whittaker, Fulham and West Ham are also reported to have an interest.

With a number of clubs now circling, it may now seem inevitable that Whittaker is heading for the exit door. The saving grace is that I don’t think today’s reports actually change anything. We’ve all suspected for some time that Premier League clubs hold an interest in Whittaker, but we are past the halfway point in the window and he’s still at Home Park. Nothing has materialised for the moment.

O’Rourke has reported that a number of clubs have ‘joined the race’ to sign Whittaker, not that they’ve placed a bid or that a move is imminent. So whilst this is obviously one to keep a close eye on, I’m not in blind panic mode just yet.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Devine loan close

17/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will sign Alfie Devine on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, following his recall from Port Vale

Age: 19

Position: Attacking Midfield

This season: 3 goals and 4 assists in 27 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Here’s a rumour that’s moved quite quickly today. This morning, Alfie Devine was recalled from a loan spell at Port Vale, and all the signs are pointing towards Spurs loaning him out again, this time to Plymouth Argyle.

The rumour has surfaced from Twitter account Lilywhite Rose, which covers Tottenham exclusively. This isn’t us jumping to conclusions based on a random account though – Lilywhite Rose has gathered a following of over 100,000, the account owner is a fan writer for BBC Sport, and much of their reporting surrounds the Spurs youth team. They’d have no reason to make up a questionable rumour about one of the players they cover going on loan to the Championship.

As a 19-year-old, Devine would represent another risk for a youth-focused Argyle in the transfer market. But it’s obvious that he fits the pattern of signings. We know Argyle have been on the hunt for midfielders since Luke Cundle and Finn Azaz were recalled, and Devine represented England at youth level just like Ashley Phillips and Darko Gyabi. It all adds up.

So yes, I think this one is very likely to go through. You may recall that Lewis Gibson’s transfer from Everton was first broken by a Twitter fan account covering the Toffees. With a similar source here, Devine looks to be the next one through the door.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Update: Argyle weighing up Ejaria move

16/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are ‘weighing up’ a move for Ovie Ejaria, who is believed to have been on trial at the club

Age: 26

Position: Midfield

This season: 0 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Sometimes in a transfer window you see rumours move quickly. Other times they drag on and end up being protracted sagas. This is very much in the latter category.

Still, it looks as though Argyle’s move for free agent Ovie Ejaria is gathering pace. With rumours circulating that Ejaria has been on trial with the Greens, Pete O’Rourke has now claimed in a Football Insider that Argyle are ‘weighing up’ a move for the midfielder. And whilst that may seem like it’s nothing new – Argyle would hardly have Ejaria on trial if they weren’t weighing up a move – it does mean something that O’Rourke is confident enough to publish an article linking the player to a specific club.

Ian Foster mentioned this morning that Argyle are likely to make loan signings rather than permanent additions this winter, presumably due to budgetary constraints. But of course, Ejaria wouldn’t command a transfer fee as a free agent, so the move could make sense. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion just yet, but it’s certainly getting closer.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Atalanta join Whittaker race

15/01/24

Rumour: Italian Serie A side Atalanta are keen on signing Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker

Age: 23

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

This season: 15 goals and 6 assists in 29 appearances

Source: MailPlus

Verdict: Morgan Whittaker has been linked with a number of clubs this window. That’s not at all surprising given his form for Argyle since his £1 million move from Swansea City in the summer. Up until now those links have just been speculation, with no sources of any repute touting Whittaker’s services elsewhere. That may be about to change.

Simon Jones’ Transfer Confidential column is regularly published in MailPlus. Now say what you want about the Daily Mail and their reliability – I have done many times – but Jones isn’t the sort to make up rumours about Championship players. MailPlus’ scope is large enough that, if they really wanted to generate clicks, they’d make up some rumours surrounding the Premier League’s big six.

The proposed destination is surprising though. Whittaker may have been tenuously linked to Premier League suitors, but this time it’s Italian Serie A club Atalanta being linked with a move. I’ll shamelessly copy and paste the segment in Jones’ column below for your consideration.

“Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker has been attracting plenty of interest from top flight sides and rival clubs in the Championship this season.

The attacking midfielder scored his seventh goal in seven games and his 15th of the season against Huddersfield Town at the weekend.

Among those represented in the stands was Italian side Atalanta who had English scout Mick Doherty watching. Doherty joined Atalanta from West Ham this season and is the man recognised for discovering Everton captain Seamus Coleman.”

Atalanta are one of the best run clubs in Italy. I know that isn’t necessarily saying much in its own right, but Whittaker is exactly the sort of signing they’d be keen to make. The English scout link is also significant – Atalanta have been extensively linked with Birmingham City’s Jordan James this month, suggesting the Championship may be fertile grounds for their transfer ambitions.

It’s important to have perspective. Nowhere in his column does Jones suggest a move is close, or even that a bid has been submitted by the Italian side. But keep an eye on this.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Tyreik Wright loaned to Bradford

15/01/24

Tyreik Wright has completed a loan move from Plymouth Argyle to Bradford City, where he will remain until the end of the season.

Wright was at Bradford for the first half of last season, before being recalled by Aston Villa (a familiar tale) to be sold to Argyle. It’s not believed that Argyle actually paid a fee for Wright’s services, but a significant sell-on clause is believed to have been part of the deal.

Wright has struggled to get regular game time since, particularly since Argyle’s promotion to the Championship. A move back to Bradford, and playing in a 4-4-2 system that should suit him perfectly, could be enough to reignite the spark in his career. With Wright still only 22 and remaining as an asset on Argyle’s books, this feels like a move that suits all parties.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Loan-to-buy offer for Loizou

15/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are keen on signing Loizos Loizou from Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia, on an initial loan with an option to buy in the summer

Age: 20

Position: Winger

This season: 6 goals and 3 assists in 22 appearances

Source: FootballTransfers.com

Verdict: Now this was a surprise rumour to wake up to this morning, but perhaps makes more sense the more I think about it. This isn’t the first time Argyle have been heavily linked with a player in Cyprus, and it appears that scouting network has been active again, with the excellently named Loizos Loizou the latest player to be linked with a move to Home Park.

The player seems to be in a similar mould to Morgan Whittaker, as a left-footed right winger who has been in sound goalscoring form this season. And whilst that may alarm some (has he perhaps been lined up as a direct replacement?), Loizou has also been known to play on either flank or as an attacking midfielder. Bringing him in could solve a fair few of Argyle’s problems this window.

The source appears to be somewhat sound. Website FootballTransfers.com (it does exactly what it says on the tin) as well as journalist Jacque Talbot have built up a solid following on social media. It’d be a surprise for them to risk their reputations linking Plymouth Argyle with a move for a random Cypriot winger without prior knowledge, so we ought to assume that they have an insight about the deal being close to the finish line.

I wouldn’t bet my life on it just yet though. FootballTransfers.com don’t get everything 100% right, and even their own article states that the Pilgrims face competition from a number of European clubs to secure Loizou’s signature. For now though, it appears Argyle are the favourites.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Confirmed: Warrington returns to Everton

14/01/24

There we have it. Plymouth Argyle went into the January transfer window with four loan players on their books. Two weeks later, every single one of them has been recalled by their respective parent clubs.

Lewis Warrington’s recall by Everton is perhaps the least surprising. He’s currently injured and has made just two league appearances for the Greens since joining in the summer. Many supporters suspected his loan may be cut short this month, and that has indeed proved to be the case.

Speaking of Warrington, Neil Dewsnip mentioned that “his return, and Kaine [Kesler-Hayden]’s recall earlier today to be involved in the Aston Villa first-team squad gives us an opportunity to freshen and strengthen the squad further. The recruitment team have been working tirelessly on identifying targets and these recalls give us an opportunity to work with Ian [Foster] to put his own stamp on the squad.”

With the squad now looking alarmingly threadbare in many areas, we must hope that is indeed the case.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Kesler-Hayden recalled by Villa

14/01/24

Kaine Kesler-Hayden has become the latest loan player to be recalled by their parent club this window, in what is becoming a nightmare month in terms of outgoings at Plymouth Argyle.

Finn Azaz and Luke Cundle have already been recalled this window, but Kesler-Hayden’s return is more surprising. Whilst rumours swirled around Azaz and Cundle since the January window opened, there were no real signs that Kesler-Hayden was likely to return to Aston Villa. An announcement confirming as much was suddenly made this morning.

The one saving grace is that Kesler-Hayden has been recalled with the best part of the week until Argyle next play, with no midweek game before Cardiff City visit Home Park on Saturday. Neil Dewsnip has confirmed that a replacement for Kesler-Hayden has been lined up, so I’d expect to see some swift movement.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Gillesphey signs for Charlton

12/01/24

It’s taken longer than anticipated, but Plymouth Argyle have finally announced the departure of defender Macauley Gillesphey. The 28-year-old has dropped down a division to sign for Charlton Athletic on a permanent deal.

Having joined in the summer of 2021, Gillesphey made 91 appearances for Argyle in all competitions, scoring four goals. Alas, playing time this season has been much more limited following Argyle’s jump to Championship level. But Gillesphey will be fondly remembered by the Green Army, not least due to his opening goal in the FA Cup against Chelsea in 2022.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle in McAtee hunt

12/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are interested in signing Luton Town’s John McAtee, who is currently on loan at Barnsley

Age: 24

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Striker

This season: 9 goals and 3 assists in 22 appearances

Source: HITC Sport

Verdict: Interesting. We’ve seen a couple of players be recalled from their loan spells at Argyle this summer, only to move on to other clubs. Wouldn’t it be lovely if Argyle were able to give another club a taste of that medicine?

The latest rumour sees them Greens linked with attacker John McAtee. A Luton Town player officially, he’s spent the majority of the season on loan at Barnsley in League One. And he’s impressed, with nine goals for the Tykes so far in the current campaign. If you believe the article published on the HITC Sport website this morning, that has alerted a number of Championship clubs to his potential availability.

The problem? I can’t see his next destination being Argyle. That’s not to say I don’t believe HITC Sport at all – we’ve certainly heard from some less reliable sources over the course of the window – but I can’t see the Pilgrims beating off the competition. The article is framed in a way that suggests Sunderland lead the race to sign McAtee, with Cardiff City and Ipswich Town also battling. Argyle almost seem to have been thrown in as an afterthought.

It also remains to be seen whether McAtee will actually be recalled by Luton. Doug O’Kane, sports editor at the Barnsley Chronicle, has tweeted suggesting that the player will actually remain at Oakwell for the remainder of the season. Granted, that may change; just last week Argyle seemed fairly confident that Luke Cundle would stay for the rest of the campaign. It does though add another complication to a deal that would already be difficult for Argyle to get over the line.

So no, at the moment I don’t see this one happening. But as with many rumours this window, that is subject to change.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Confirmed: Gyabi loaned from Leeds

11/01/24

Plymouth Argyle have confirmed their second signing of the winter transfer window, with Darko Gyabi joining on loan from Leeds United. The midfielder, who was part of Ian Foster’s squad for the recent under 20 World Cup, has joined the Greens on a deal until the end of the season.

Gyabi was first linked to Argyle a couple of days ago, and the deal has looked likely ever since. He has been signed in time to be in the squad for Argyle’s trip to Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

Quoted on the official club website, Foster said he’d “been aware of Darko’s qualities for a number of years after his performances as a young player in the England pathway. He played an age group up in the Under-20 World Cup in Argentina which shows his qualities and he has great ability to link the play from midfield to attack. He has the athleticism to drive forward both with the ball and without it, and also has a real knack of arriving into the box late.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Hayden recalled by Newcastle

11/01/24

Isaac Hayden has been recalled by Newcastle United from his loan spell at Standard Liege. The midfielder joined the Belgian outfit in the summer, but has returned to the Magpies after making 11 appearances on the continent.

It is now expected that Hayden will now have another loan move, this time with him remaining in England. Argyle have been linked to the player, but face competition from the likes of Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End. It remains to be seen whether Home Park will indeed be the 28-year-old’s next destination.

Rumours had swirled from early this morning that Hayden had indeed been recalled by Newcastle; his club have now confirmed this is official.

Source: standard.be

Rumour: Gyabi to join Argyle on loan

09/01/24

Rumour: Leeds midfielder Darko Gyabi is being lined up for a Plymouth Argyle loan

Age: 19

Position: Midfielder

This season: 2 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: This rumour only emerged this morning, but is beginning to look quite likely. Joe Gelhardt was linked with a loan move to Argyle from Leeds yesterday, but perhaps it’s Gyabi that the Greens have been looking at all along.

Pete O’Rourke has linked Gyabi with a move to Argyle in Football Insider this morning. O’Rourke has his flaws but, as I often say, when he links a player to a specific club, he tends to have a positive record. Gyabi has made just two senior appearances this season, and it’s no surprise that Leeds are looking for him to get minutes elsewhere. From their perspective, Argyle would be an excellent destination.

Gyabi was part of the deal that took Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City, and he’s struggled for game time at Elland Road ever since. Aged just 19 we can cut him some slack, but the pressure will be on to hit the ground running should he move to Argyle. As a 6 foot 5 midfielder though, he could offer the Pilgrims something they’ve been lacking in the centre of the park.

This deal isn’t certain just yet. O’Rourke has mentioned that Argyle have opened talks with Leeds, but a deal hasn’t been agreed at the moment. And let’s not forget that O’Rourke did once claim Argyle had agreed a deal for a loan player that eventually fell through, as Josh Coburn did not join from Middlesbrough in the summer.

Nonetheless, I’d expect to hear more from this one in the coming days.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Argyle lead chase for Gelhardt

09/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle lead the race to sign Leeds United’s Joe Gelhardt on loan

Age: 21

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Striker

This season: 1 goal in 8 appearances

Source: Alan Nixon

Verdict: This is a surprising one, and it’d be quite the coup for Argyle if they’re able to pull it off.

Gelhardt is currently at Leeds, where he’s made 49 appearances in all competitions. But this season, playing time has been hard to come by, with the 21-year-old making just eight appearances across the campaign. Really, that’s unsurprising, given Leeds’ attacking strength and depth. It’d take a pretty special player to dislodge Crysencio Summerville, Dan James, Georginio Rutter or Joel Piroe from the side.

Naturally, Leeds’ next step has been to look for a loan move for Gelhardt, and this is where it gets interesting. He’s been linked with a number of clubs in the Championship play-off hunt, as well as both Celtic and Rangers in Scotland. But the impression being given out is that Leeds don’t want to strengthen a promotion rival – we’ve seen Leeds loanee Sam Greenwood help to propel Middlesbrough up the league, for example.

Step in Plymouth Argyle. It won’t surprise you to know that I don’t subscribe to Alan Nixon on Patreon. However, by all accounts, he seems to believe Argyle have a chance of securing Gelhardt’s services, for exactly the reasons stated above. This has now spread to various accounts on social media, but Nixon is unquestionably the source.

A lot about this move makes sense. He’d help fill a number of positions in Argyle’s attack, he’s Scouse and he has, say it with me, represented England at youth level. Just because a move ‘makes sense’ it doesn’t mean it’ll come off; it would have made sense to strike a permanent deal for Finn Azaz, but here we are. But I am at least partially convinced by this one, at least to the stage I believe it’s more likely than not.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Ejaria on trial at Argyle

09/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have taken Ovie Ejaria on trial with a view to signing him on a free transfer

Age: 26

Position: Midfield

This season: 0 appearances

Source: Football League World

Verdict: If you believe everything you read on social media, Ovie Ejaria is currently on trial at Argyle, and the Greens will look to sign him as a free agent this month. Of course, we’re not inclined to believe everything we see on social media automatically, so there’s a little more digging to be done to make an assessment.

Ejaria has plenty of Championship experience with Reading, but was released by the Royals last month having not made a single appearance this season. I wouldn’t read too much into that in its own right – Reading are currently a basket case club fighting against relegation to League Two, and releasing Ejaria was simply a way to get him off the wage bill.

This winter he’ll be looking for a new club, and the Football League World piece has many people intrigued. However, it’s important to understand the context of the article. Rather than stating that Argyle are close to signing Ejaria, they simply claim that he’d be a good fit to replace Finn Azaz. Perhaps that is the case, but it does nothing to suggest any inside knowledge, particularly as on the same day, the same author wrote a piece stating how well he’d fit in at Derby County.

Putting two and two together, I’d imagine Argyle are at the very least taking a look at Ejaria. He’s a former world champion with England at under 20 level, and as a potential ‘value in the market’ option he clearly ticks a lot of boxes. But I’d want to hold fire for now, and perhaps look for a reputable source to come forward and confirm talks.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Phillips becomes Foster's first signing

08/01/24

After a series of outgoings, Plymouth Argyle have made their first signing of the January transfer window. Ashley Phillips is the man brought in, with the 18-year-old centre back joining on loan from Tottenham Hotspur until the end of the season.

Phillips had a breakthrough season with Blackburn Rovers last season. That led to Spurs activating his £2 million release clause, and he joined Ange Postecoglou’s side this summer. Now he’ll be lining up at Home Park for the remainder of the campaign.

Having represented England at various youth level age groups, Phillips’ arrival is perhaps the first indicator of Ian Foster using his connections during the transfer window.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Wolves recall Cundle

07/01/24

In another huge blow to Plymouth Argyle’s transfer window, Luke Cundle has been recalled by parent club Wolverhampton Wanderers. He becomes the second player to be recalled from Argyle by their parent club this window, following Finn Azaz returning to Aston Villa last week.

It had been reported a few days ago that Cundle was set to be recalled, before being sold on by Wolves for a fee of between £1.5 million – £2 million. That’s now almost certain to be the case, with Stoke City the rumoured favourites to secure his services.

Like Azaz, Cundle also signed off from Argyle with a goal in his final game. He scored the opener in the Greens’ 3-1 FA Cup win over Sutton United on Saturday.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle to raid Oxford for double swoop

07/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will raid Oxford to sign Elliott Moore and James Beadle, the latter of whom has been at Oxford on loan from Brighton

Age: 26 (Moore) & 19 (Beadle)

Position: Centre back (Moore) & goalkeeper (Beadle)

This season: 1 goal and 1 assist in 28 appearances (Moore) & 9 clean sheets in 28 appearances (Beadle)

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Ok, this one has been spreading a bit lately. And maybe things will change as the window progresses, but right now I can’t see this coming to fruition. It looks to me like a few wires have been crossed online, leading to some unlikely conclusions.

The story starts with Oxford’s FA Cup game away at Coventry yesterday. Moore and Beadle were left out of the squad, leading to speculation around their respective futures. Now I should point out there have been rumblings about the future of the pair for a little while. Moore had been tenuously linked with an Argyle move, and it had been suggested that Beadle would be recalled by Brighton to be moved on elsewhere (sound familiar?). But there has never been concrete evidence for either of those rumours, particularly the former.

With both out of the squad today, social media has been speculating that one or even both may be on the move to Argyle. And that’s all it’s been. Social media. No journalists, no managers, just social media. And that’s why I’m struggling to give this one much credit.

There have been plenty stoking the fires, but the first tweet I can find is from a random Oxford fan named Aaron Spicer – just a random fan it would appear – whose source was “talk in the away end by a player’s dad.” So no, it’s not exactly a bulletproof source in the slightest. But now it’s been picked up on by a number of bogus “in the know” accounts, and suddenly this is getting some traction.

There are so many obstacles to these deals that I can’t see either going through. With Moore, Oxford manager Des Buckingham confirmed (in strong terms to say the least) that he was missing today with illness, rather than an impending move. There’s a school of thought that Moore has a release clause in his contract, so Argyle could bypass Oxford entirely. But there are problems. 1) the clause is rumoured to be £2 million, which as we’ve learnt this week Argyle won’t pay, and 2) I don’t actually believe the clause exists.

As for Beadle, there is more of a chance he leaves Oxford this window. It’s not likely, however, that he’ll end up at Argyle. Rather, I think people are hearing the links with Moore and throwing Beadle in there with no real basis. I suspect Brighton will recall him to loan him out to another Championship club, with Sheffield Wednesday the current favourites. After all, why would Argyle waste a loan slot on a goalkeeper with four already on the books? There have been suggestions that Conor Hazard is unsettled at the club, but that feels like pure conjecture.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Mr Spicer did speak to a player’s dad in the Coventry away end, and/or maybe the sources aren’t actually piggybacking on each other. I guess if even one of the players arrives at Home Park this month, it could be a qualified success for the rumour. But for what it’s worth, I don’t believe either will.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Cundle to be recalled and sold by Wolves

04/01/24

Rumour: Luke Cundle will be recalled by Wolverhampton Wanderers to be sold this window, with a number of Championship clubs interested

Age: 21

Position: Midfielder

This season: 4 goals and 5 assists in 26 appearances

Source: Express & Star

Verdict: Good grief here we go again. Not even 24 hours after Finn Azaz was recalled to be sold by Aston Villa, there are strong rumours that exactly the same fate awaits for fellow Argyle loanee Luke Cundle.

The first reports of Cundle’s potential departure came today in the Express & Star newspaper. The article is behind a paywall so I can’t confirm exactly what is written, but judging by the social media account of the newspaper, as well as journalist and ‘Wolves correspondent’ Liam Keen himself, they seem pretty reliable. Think of this report being as believable as something Chris Errington may publish in Plymouth Live; the source is sound.

According to Keen’s tweet on the article, Stoke City (of course) and Bristol City lead the chase for Cundle, but a number of clubs are said to hold an interest. Wolves are believed to be ready to sanction a sale, with a fee of around £2 million said to be enough to secure his services. The story really is almost identical to the ones we saw surrounding Azaz yesterday.

Again, given the competition this story is likely to run for a little while. But the debates will surely surround which club he ends up at, rather than whether he leaves at all. The only positive I can think of is that Argyle’s new manager will have plenty of loan slots to work with…

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Confirmed: Azaz recalled by Villa

03/01/23

This one appears to have moved even faster than many anticipated today, but now it’s official. Finn Azaz has been recalled by Aston Villa following his loan spell at Argyle this season.

Based on previous reports, Villa are now likely to sell the player on to Middlesbrough. Multiple fees have been reported, but it’s believed to be in the region of £2 million-£2.5 million. Boro are said to have beaten Southampton, Bristol City and Toulouse to secure his services. Were Argyle ever truly in the frame to secure Azaz on a permanent deal? I guess we’ll never know.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle in chase for Hayden

03/01/24

Rumour: A number of clubs, Plymouth Argyle included, are looking to sign Newcastle United’s Isaac Hayden

Age: 28

Position: Midfielder

Last season: 10 appearances

Source: The Telegraph

Verdict: Well we deserve this at the very least. After a number of rumours linking players with a move away from Argyle, some more credible than others, we finally have a new link with a potential incoming.

Isaac Hayden is the man in question. The rumours surrounding him initially came to prominence with a piece in Football League World, but on closer inspection they appear to be quoting from an earlier article in the Telegraph. Alas, the Telegraph article is behind a paywall, so the likes of me will never know for sure exactly what is being claimed. So I’ve no choice but to assume the Football League World summary is accurate.

Hayden has been out of favour for a while at Newcastle. He had a spell last season on loan at Norwich City, and is currently on another temporary deal with Belgian side Standard Liege. But that’s not thought to be a problem; apparently some clubs consider it acceptable to recall players from their loans to sell them on elsewhere. It sounds like a dirty practice to me.

This deal is by no means imminent. Argyle are linked with the player along with three other Championship sides in the form of Blackburn Rovers, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston North End. There’s plenty of competition, but it’s at least reassuring to know that Argyle are actively pursuing new players, particularly in midfield with Finn Azaz set to depart.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Azaz to be recalled and sold by Villa

03/01/24

Rumour: Finn Azaz will be recalled by Aston Villa and sold to Middlesbrough for £2.5 million

Age: 23

Position: Midfielder

This season: 7 goals and 5 assists in 28 appearances

Source: Various

Verdict: Whilst the reports of an imminent departure for Morgan Whittaker yesterday were laughable, I regret to say that Finn Azaz does look somewhat closer to the exit door.

Reports have sprung up in various places regarding a move to Middlesbrough, made possible by Aston Villa recalling Azaz from his Argyle loan spell. The rumour initially appeared in a Teamtalk article, which linked the player to both Middlesbrough and Southampton, before the Boro link was reemphasised today in articles in the Sun and Mail Online. Neither may be the most reliable publication, but their sports sections at least do offer credibility.

It’s important to say that a deal isn’t done yet. It’s not out of the question that rumours surrounding Azaz could swirl for the remainder of the window. But if I’m honest, I think the debate will centre around which club he goes to rather than whether he stays at Argyle. As well as Middlesbrough and Southampton, Azaz has also been linked with a permanent move to (surprise, surprise) Stoke City and Ipswich Town.

Azaz, who has spent most of the last 18 months on loan at Home Park, has excelled since Argyle’s return to the Championship. It’d be a crying shame to see him go, but it seems incredibly unlikely that Argyle will match the reported £2.5 million being offered from elsewhere.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Whittaker to move to Luton

02/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle’s Morgan Whittaker is set to move to Luton Town for £4 million

Age: 22

Position: Winger

This season: 13 goals and 5 assists in 27 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Every now and then, I start to believe that these nonsense Twitter accounts have closed down for good. Then they appear again when transfer windows come along, and I’m plunged back into the pit of despair with the knowledge they’ll be blighting the internet with their presence forever.

This ‘news’ linking Whittaker with Luton is a non-story. The rumour started from Twitter account TransferCentre9; whoever is behind it has been spewing rumours for a while now with no basis whatsoever. I don’t think they’ve ever got anything correct that hasn’t already been posted elsewhere, which is almost impressive in its own right. The account was apparently created in 2013, meaning they’ve been at this now for over a decade. Do they never get bored?

The content of the tweet is laughable. They seem to be suggesting that Argyle would accept a fee of just £4 million for their most valuable asset, and that the deal will be complete by Friday afternoon to allow him to play for the Hatters in the first round of the FA Cup against Bolton Wanderers. I wonder if it’s occurred to them that the Argyle boardroom might be a little busy at the moment, and that selling star players for well below their value won’t be on the agenda.

This isn’t the first time we’ve been forced to debunk TransferCentre9 on this page, nor will it be the last. Despite our best efforts though, rumours stemming from there will still spread across social media across the next few weeks (and, if we’re honest, the next few years). So I leave you with a simple request: if you see the account spreading anything in the next few weeks, please pay them no attention.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Gillesphey to join Charlton

01/01/24

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle defender Macauley Gillesphey is on the brink of a permanent move to Charlton Athletic

Age: 28

Position: Centre back

This season: 4 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Yep, time to say our goodbyes I think. Macauley Gillesphey, who will always be remembered for his goal at Chelsea but also his crucial role in Argyle’s promotion last season, is set to leave the club.

News of Gillesphey’s imminent departure was first reported by South London News reporter Richard Cawley. He mentioned that Gillesphey was at The Valley for Charlton’s 2-1 defeat today against Oxford United. That was after he was left out of the squad for Argyle’s 3-3 draw with Watford. Further images have since spread on social media of Gillesphey’s presence at the game, suggesting his move is more or less confirmed.

By all accounts the deal will be permanent. A six-figure sum has been mooted, with some circles believing the fee to be £200,000, though this hasn’t been confirmed. But that’s the only part of this story we don’t know. Barring any sudden u-turns in the next couple of days, Gillesphey’s departure is certain.

Having joined in the summer of 2021, Gillesphey made 91 appearances for Argyle in all competitions, scoring four goals. Alas, playing time this season has been much more limited following Argyle’s jump to Championship level. Selling him before a replacement has been brought in does come as a surprise, but perhaps suggests that movement on incoming transfers may be closer than we think.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Rumour: Waine linked with Japan move

24/12/23

Rumour: Japanese side Albirex Niigata have made an offer for Plymouth Argyle forward Ben Waine

Age: 22

Position: Striker

This season: 4 goals in 17 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: There I was thinking that the Indian health website linking Conor Bradley with Argyle would easily take the award for the most bonkers rumour of the winter window. I’m pretty sure it still will, but this one relating to Waine runs it close, particularly because I’m certainly not in a position to completely rule it out just yet.

Earlier this afternoon, Ben Waine was linked with Japanese side Albirex Niigata, who have just finished in 10th place in the 2023 J-League season. The link has appeared on Twitter through an account with the handle @footballiseki – in their bio they claim they “tweet about transfer information related to the J League and overseas Japanese people.” At least according to Google Translate anyway. So how believable are their claims?

Well, I hate to play down my abilities in front of you all, but I’ve found it tough to judge. Yes, they’ve built up a decent following of around 16,000, though that could just make them a Japanese version of accounts like the EFL Hub, who rarely have any useful knowledge. Their pinned tweet, again with the trust of the translation, states “I tweet about J League related transfer information, etc. Since this is just a rumor, we cannot guarantee its authenticity, so please enjoy it for entertainment purposes only.” It hardly feels like a vote of confidence in their own beliefs.

The added layer of complication is that the account obviously doesn’t tweet in English. As someone who doesn’t speak Japanese and is not immersed in Japanese culture, I’m not able to assess the character or tone of the account at all. It’d perhaps be useful if Argyle had a supporter based in Japan. Someone who is perhaps pretty well known, who has travelled to Plymouth before to watch Argyle and is active on social media. Somebody like that would have a much better insight into the legitimacy of such a rumour. Alas, until I find such a person, I’ll just have to assume my initial assessment is correct.

With that all being said, if the rumour isn’t true it’d be a pretty bizarre one to make up. And if my assessment of the account is wrong, which is entirely possible, perhaps there will be some movement on this one in the near future. Argyle may be short on strikers at the moment, but the opportunity to cash in on Waine after his six-figure move last January may be too good to turn down. And as it’s pre-season rather than mid-season in Japan, perhaps Albirex Niigata will have more in the transfer kitty than we may think.

Who knows? It’s just over a week until the transfer window opens and, whilst this one seems unlikely, we’ll keep an eye on it where required.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Battle for Bradley loan

21/12/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are one of five clubs looking to bring Liverpool’s Conor Bradley in on loan

Age: 20

Position: Right back

This season: 2 appearances

Source: Glucose Club

Verdict: I’ve seen this one floating around the standard social media channels today. And whilst it may be nice to think about, it’s one I’m afraid I’m going to have to nip in the bud straight away. But I’ve taken some joy from the way the rumour has developed, and I’m willing to share that joy with you, on the off chance you’re as entertained by pre-transfer window nonsense as I am.

The rumour linking Argyle specifically with Bradley initially appeared on a website called Glucose Club. It’s a site that claims to be “here to make all healthy, happy and strong because when we are strong then naturally we are happy and healthy from all dimensions physically, mentally and emotionally.” They also “deal with the infinite flora and fauna of India and other foreign lands and their medicinal values too.” Are you not convinced by their footballing credentials yet?

It won’t surprise you to know that rumours surrounding Bradley didn’t originate here, though why India’s ‘specialists’ in natural remedies are jumping on rumours about the Sky Bet Championship is anyone’s guess. In fact, Bradley was initially linked with a move away in the much more familiar Teamtalk, who reported earlier that West Bromwich Albion, Leeds United, Middlesbrough and Burnley were chasing the defender.

And that’s where it gets weirder. Glucose Club credit the Teamtalk article in their own, but in no part of the Teamtalk article are Argyle even mentioned. I considered the possibility that things could have been lost in translation, with much of Glucose Club’s output being in Hindi, but even that seems farfetched. With the words “Plymouth” or “Argyle” not appearing once in the original source, we can only assume that this Indian website has attached Argyle’s name to the player for no reason. It makes no sense.

Even if the rumour was true, it’d still be tough to see this one going through. Argyle are surely a much less attractive proposition than the other clubs linked, with three battling for promotion to the Premier League and one already there. If you’re in Liverpool’s shoes, getting the player game time in a side not battling relegation to League One feels a comparative no brainer.

But all that assumes that the rumour has some merit. And, let’s be fair, it doesn’t.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Permanent contract offered to Azaz

19/12/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have offered a permanent contract to loanee Finn Azaz

Age: 23

Position: Midfielder

This season: 6 goals and 4 assists in 24 appearances

Source: Twitter/X

Verdict: Ok, this is one with quite a bit to take in, and not all necessarily as a result of the tweet that’s recently surfaced. But let’s make that our starting point. An account called “Aston Villa hub” today tweeted that Argyle have offered Finn Azaz a permanent contract, presumably under that an impression that a transfer fee has already been agreed with Villa. But there are a number of caveats to take into account.

First, the account only has 715 followers at the time of writing which, whilst being more than me, doesn’t exactly suggest it’s built up a reputation of trust at a club currently in the Premier League title race. I’d also note that they claim the offer “which will be accepted in January if they offer the right money” which is concerning on two counts. 1) anyone could come up with that, he’s hardly going to accept the ‘wrong’ money, and 2) what exactly counts as the right money? Is it realistic? Affordable? They don’t say, I suspect because they simply don’t know.

The Azaz saga has been running for a while, and your opinions on it probably depend on who you trust the most. Some have suggested that there is an option to buy clause in his loan contract that Argyle have already activated, and the player will become a permanent signing at Home Park upon the opening of the January transfer window. Others believe Aston Villa are minded to pull a similar move to Swansea City with Morgan Whittaker, by recalling him in January and attempting to sell him on for a larger fee. It should be made clear that neither camp has proved their case beyond all doubt.

It would be much more surprising if Argyle weren’t in for Azaz, particularly given how well he’s played in the first half of the season. I’m not convinced that the Aston Villa hub Twitter account knows any more than the rest of us, so I don’t think their tweet can act as a significant development in either direction – it certainly doesn’t change my personal view.

As ever, before the window every rumour has a fair way to go before being resolved. This is no different.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Argyle in Blackett-Taylor chase

11/12/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are chasing Charlton winger Corey Blackett-Taylor

Age: 26

Position: Winger

This season: 7 goals and 7 assists in 22 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Silly season is officially back. Have you missed it? I’m not exactly sure I have. But as ever, we’ve got little choice other than to tackle it head-on.

The first player to be linked with a move to Argyle is Charlton winger Corey Blackett-Taylor. He’s been in good form for the Addicks in the first half of the season, notching 14 goal contributions in 22 appearances, and that appears to have put Championship clubs on high alert. His contract expires this summer, and it could be a clever move for someone to swoop in for a cut-price deal, given the player appears to be at the peak of his powers.

Pete O’Rourke, who we so often hear from at transfer window time, has reported this particular link. As we’ve seen in the past, he can be reliable, but is far from perfect. His last reporting on Argyle saw him confirm Josh Coburn’s loan move that never happened, and when he links a player to a number of clubs, I tend to suspect he’s just looking for clicks from various fanbases. Blackett-Taylor being linked to Huddersfield Town and Hull City in the same report is straight out of the O’Rourke playbook.

Still, we shouldn’t dismiss the rumour on the back of that alone. Argyle are often looking to find value in the transfer market, and Blackett-Taylor would fit the mould. This may yet have a way to run; that feels a little stupid to say, given that the window isn’t yet open. But that’s where we are, and that’s the month or two we have to look forward to.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Argyle sign Bundu from Anderlecht

01/09/23

Plymouth Argyle have finally added a striker to their ranks this transfer window. Sierra Leone international Mustapha Bundu has joined the Greens on a two-year permanent deal from Belgian side Anderlecht.

The 26-year-old has had a meteoric rise through the game. The Craig Bellamy Academy graduate has experience playing in the South West of England, having made a single appearance for Newquay as a favour to a friend, scoring twice. He’s played in loftier divisions since, with a spell at Aarhus in Denmark alerting Anderlecht. His time in Belgium hasn’t worked out, but he’s still had notable loan spells with Copenhagen, Andorra and another period at Aarhus.

A player who can play anywhere across the front three, Bundu will wear the number 15 shirt during his time at Home Park.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Coburn deal off

31/08/23

Well, we finally have our first ‘five star’ rumour fail to come to fruition. Argyle have been linked with Coburn all window, and it appeared last week that a deal was imminent following reports in Football Insider that terms had been agreed. However, despite reports in Teeside Live today that a deal with Argyle had been agreed in principle, it now seems that parent club Middlesbrough have reneged on the deal.

In a press conference today, Boro manager Michael Carrick was quoted as saying “Josh is staying with us. It’s important for us as a club to look after our younger players, especially the ones coming through and develop and put them in the right place at the right time. Sometimes the right pathway changes.

“Coming back in pre-season, it was a case of getting to know Josh a bit more and deciding whether he went on loan or not, it was about what’s best for Josh and what’s best for us as a group and a squad. Over time it’s been pretty clear what Josh can bring. He’s back fit, looking really strong, we’re delighted to have him and all round it’s the best decision to have him with us.”

These quotes are confusing, given that a deal in principle was clearly agreed with Argyle less than a week ago. It is perhaps the case that Middlesbrough’s poor start to the season has led to a swift reappraisal of their targets for the campaign. They may now view Argyle as a genuine divisional rival, and have opted therefore to prevent Coburn from moving to Home Park.

In any case, Argyle will have to revert to a new plan for their final signing of the summer. Bringing in another striker will surely be a priority heading into deadline day tomorrow.

Source: Teeside Live

Rumour: Argyle close on Coburn

25/08/23

Rumour: Josh Coburn is set to join Plymouth Argyle on loan from Middlesbrough

Age: 20

Position: Striker

Last season: 10 goals and 3 assists in 41 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: It’s been a little quiet on the transfer front ever since Luke Cundle joined Argyle on loan at the start of August. In that time it’s hardly been a secret that Steven Schumacher has been pursuing a striker, and one of the names thrown into the mix was Josh Coburn. Today, it’s been all but confirmed that Coburn will be making the move to Home Park.

The same source that broke the Cundle story is on show again here – Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider generally has a good track record, particularly when he links a single player to a single club. That’s what he’s done here and, given the links between Coburn and Argyle for much of the window, we can safely assume that a deal is imminent.

Coburn enjoyed a good spell on loan at Bristol Rovers last season, scoring ten league goals and providing three assists in all competitions. That led to him being named the club’s young player of the season. He’ll become the second Argyle player this season who spent last year with the Gas, following in the footsteps of Lewis Gibson.

It remains to be seen whether this will be Argyle’s last signing of the window. A striker has long been mooted as the final piece of the jigsaw, but who knows how much remains in the transfer kitty?

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Confirmed: Argyle complete Cundle loan

07/08/23

Plymouth Argyle have confirmed the signing of Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Luke Cundle. The 21-year-old, who spent last season at Swansea City, joins the Pilgrims on a season-long loan.

Cundle has played for the Wolves first team in the Premier League on four occasions, and scored three times in 32 appearances for Swansea last year. He can play in a variety of midfield positions, adding depth and versatility to Steven Schumacher’s ranks in the middle of the park.

Cundle will wear the number 28 shirt during his stay at Home Park.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Cundle deal close

06/08/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are closing in on the loan signing of Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Luke Cundle

Age: 21

Position: Midfielder

Last season: 3 goals and 3 assists in 32 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Yeah, I’m pretty convinced by this one. We’ve had a few rumours stemming from Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider this year, and this is the most convincing of the lot.

Admittedly, a few of the previous rumours haven’t come to fruition. But when they’ve been published, Argyle have been linked to players alongside a host of other clubs. It’s straight out of the O’Rourke playbook to drive engagement from as many fan bases as possible. But when he links a player to just one club specifically, we listen, because that suggests a much deeper level of knowledge that we know he possesses.

Cundle would feel like a classic Steven Schumacher signing. He’s already had a relatively successful loan spell last season with Swansea City, and Argyle have dealt with his parent club Wolves before through the signing of Nigel Lonwijk. Cundle can play across the midfield in a deeper or more advanced role, and would seem to be the perfect signing for the versatility Schumacher is looking to develop.

We’ve seen a couple of other signs too that a deal is imminent, such as Cundle interacting with Morgan Whittaker on social media. And with that, along with O’Rourke’s pretty solid report, I’d expect this one to be announced sooner rather than later.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Confirmed: Azaz joins on loan

02/08/23

Plymouth Argyle have brought yet another of their 2022/23 loan stars back Home Park, with Finn Azaz becoming the latest to return to the club. The 22-year-old once again joins from Aston Villa on a season-long loan deal.

The 22-year-old, who appeared 39 times for the Greens last season, joins Morgan Whittaker and Bali Mumba in extending his stay. Azaz was key to Argyle’s title-winning side, scoring eight goals and providing eight assists. He scored Argyle’s first and last goals of the season as the Pilgrims won the league on 101 points.

Azaz signed a new contract at Villa before joining, so he won’t be available on a free transfer at the end of the loan. But Argyle have a good relationship with Unai Emery’s side, having signed Azaz, Kaine Kesler-Hayden and Tyreik Wright from Villa this year alone. It would not come as a surprise if further discussions were held further down the line.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Youth loan: Jack Endacott

02/08/23

Jack Endacott has become the latest youth player to leave Plymouth Argyle. The 18-year-old left-sided defender has joined Tiverton Town on a three-month deal.

Endacott, who made his Argyle debut in the EFL Cup against Peterborough United, recently signed his first professional contract at Home Park. As well as appearing against Posh, Endacott appeared regularly in the EFL Trophy, notching an assist in a 3-1 win at Swindon Town.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle looking at Josh Maja

26/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are looking at bringing in former Bordeaux striker Josh Maja

Age: 24

Position: Striker

Last season: 17 goals and 6 assists in 41 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: Ah, the latest opportunity to review a Twitter account I haven’t come across before. Another Argyle rumour has surfaced, and this one comes from account with the handle “Argyle Antifa” – that’s a combination I didn’t expect to come across this summer, but sure.

They’ve linked Argyle with a move for striker Josh Maja. He’s just departed Bordeaux following the expiry of his deal, but not before a prolific season in France’s Ligue 2. Prior to that, most people became aware of him after practically having an episode dedicated to him on Netflix’s Sunderland ‘Til I Die. He’s also had loan spells at Fulham and Stoke City, and is by all accounts a talented second tier striker.

I do not know the person/people behind Argyle Antifa, but my instinct is they may just be jumping on a bandwagon. We can see it from their previous tweets; they do tend to report on deals Argyle are close to completing, but not before others have released the information already. These links to Maja come just a day after his availability following his Bordeaux spell was widely shared on social media. Coincidence?

As it’s an account I was previously unaware of, I won’t rule this out completely. But for now, I’d err on waiting for something more official.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Confirmed: Warrington joins on loan

26/07/23

Following the recent speculation, Plymouth Argyle have completed the signing of Lewis Warrington. The 20-year-old midfielder joins on a season-long loan from Everton.

Warrington spent last season on loan at Fleetwood Town. He made 44 appearances in all competitions, scoring once. He appeared for Fleetwood in the 0-0 draw with Argyle at Home Park back in February, playing the full 90 minutes. He’s also made an appearance for the Everton senior side, coincidentally coming against Fleetwood in the EFL Cup. There’s every chance that his performance there inspired his move to Fleetwood a fortnight later.

Argyle will be the third loan spell of Warrington’s career, having also lined up for Tranmere Rovers before Fleetwood. His contract at Everton expires at the end of the 2023/24 season, so expect more movement on his long-term future sooner rather than later.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Youth loan: Oscar Halls

26/07/23

Plymouth Argyle have announced that defender Oscar Halls has joined Plymouth Parkway on loan. As with the recent announcement on Will Jenkins-Davies, the duration of the 18-year-old’s loan wasn’t initially disclosed. It is, however, believed to be a three-month deal.

Halls has yet to make a league appearance for Argyle. However, he has played regularly in the EFL Trophy, scoring his first goal in a group stage encounter with Swindon Town.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Warrington interest intensifies

26/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have stepped up their interest Everton midfielder Lewis Warrington

Age: 20

Position: Central Midfield

Last season: 1 goal and 2 assists in 46 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: Following our reports of Argyle’s interest in Warrington back on 4th July, it appears a move for the midfielder has taken a step forward.

Think back to when Argyle confirmed the signing of Lewis Gibson. Just before the news was announced, we saw a tweet alluding to the fact from an account known as ‘The Bobble’. It’s an Everton-centred account which is followed by numerous reputable journalists from across the football world. When they tweet news relating to Everton players, it’s not without merit, and they’ve recently confirmed the link between Argyle and Warrington.

We’re not given any information on whether Argyle are in talks for a permanent deal or a loan. And this deal will be harder one to complete than Gibson’s, with Warrington still under contract at Goodison Park for another year. But this one seems close and, whilst it’s always good to wait for official confirmation, I’d expect to see some movement here in the coming days.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Youth loan: Will Jenkins-Davies

21/07/23

On a busy day for Plymouth Argyle transfers, Will Jenkins-Davies has joined Torquay United on loan. The 18-year-old, who appeared for the Argyle first team in the home victory against Ipswich Town last season, is entering his first season as a professional.

The length of the loan has not been made clear, but Jenkins-Davies will join the squad at Plainmoor ahead of a weekend friendly with Exeter City.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Argyle spend £1 million on Mumba

21/07/23

Plymouth Argyle have made another transfer market swoop, confirming that Bali Mumba has returned to the club on a permanent deal. Much like Morgan Whittaker on Monday, last season’s loanee Mumba has signed a four-year deal.

The deal equals the club-record fee Argyle spent on Whittaker, meaning Mumba rejoins the club for £1 million. He’ll wear the number 2 shirt during his latest stay at Home Park.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Argyle in advanced talks with Mumba

21/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are in advanced talks with Bali Mumba ahead of a potential return

Age: 21

Position: Wing back

Last season: 6 goals and 10 assists in 47 appearances

Source: Pink Un

Verdict: Well hasn’t this one moved quickly? It feels but an hour ago I was writing on here assessing the validity of one of Bali Mumba’s best mates. Suddenly, it’s being reported through various other channels, and it looks as though this deal may actually be imminent.

The news has now been reported in an article by Pink Un. It’s a Norwich City site with a handsome following, and the article itself has been written by their ‘chief Norwich City reporter’ Connor Southwell, who also writes for the Eastern Daily Press and the Norwich Evening News. As much as those publications all do feel like inventions from Steve Coogan and Armando Iannucci, they are genuine, reputable organisations.

It’d appear that some good work across pre-season from Norwich full back Kellen Fisher has opened the door for Mumba to depart. And it goes without saying that Plymouth Argyle would be an ideal destination given his exploits last season. Earlier today I encouraged us to hold the cups and glasses and await more news. You can smash them now.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Rumour: Mumba set for return

21/07/23

Rumour: Bali Mumba is set to return to Plymouth Argyle

Age: 21

Position: Wing back

Last season: 6 goals and 10 assists in 47 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: This is a pretty tenuous one, but it’s been doing the rounds on social media across the last 24 hours. And I’m not going to rule it out entirely, but I’m going to need to hear a little more before I get truly excited about the prospect of Mumba returning.

There hasn’t actually been a tweet directly saying Mumba is on his way back to Argyle. Or at least, there hasn’t been from a source of any particular repute. Instead, Mumba’s impending arrival has been interpreted from a tweet by Mickey Hassan, which seemed to suggest that movement on this one was imminent. Hassan knows Mumba well, and was on the pitch with him as Argyle won promotion at the end of last season.

It won’t surprise you to know that I don’t have any friends who are famous footballers. I’ve spent my summer rating Plymouth Argyle transfer rumours; which part of that suggests I have friends? But if I knew I could make a single tweet about my footballer friend could have a fanbase on strings, would I have fun with that? I think I probably would, but maybe that’s just me being cynical.

Maybe Mickey is a wind-up merchant, or maybe he isn’t. But let’s wait to hear from a more official channel before we get too engrossed.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Defender Connor Taylor linked

19/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have joined the race to sign Stoke City defender Connor Taylor

Age: 21

Position: Centre Back

Last season: 18 appearances

Source: Bristol Post

Verdict: Plymouth Argyle have been strongly linked to Terry Taylor for much of the summer. And now it appears that his namesake Connor is the next to appear on Steven Schumacher’s radar.

This rumour wasn’t actually sourced from an Argyle-related publication. In fact, it surfaced in the Bristol Post, and centred around Bristol Rovers’ pursuit of the centre back. Taylor had a loan spell with the Gas two years ago, and scored the second goal in their bonkers 7-0 win over Scunthorpe United that secured promotion on the final day. They’ve been interested in bringing him back ever since, and that interest extends to this summer. But Rovers face stiff competition, with Argyle one of the clubs mentioned.

The content of the article suggests that Taylor may be available for transfer this summer, but a few things will have to fall into place. It sounds like he wants to leave, with all indications suggesting he’s become frustrated with the lack of first-team opportunities at Stoke. Whether he’s allowed to, however, will depend on which centre backs (and how many) the Potters are able to bring through the door – Alex Neil has lost plenty from his side during pre-season.

I’m interested in seeing how this develops. Are Argyle a better draw than Bristol Rovers right now? Without question. But there are rumoured to be a few more Championship clubs sniffing around. And with Stoke still needing to complete more business before the new season, this one could run for a few weeks yet. It wouldn’t surprise me to see Taylor’s future decided in the dying embers of the transfer window.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Argyle sign Whittaker for club-record fee

17/07/23

As reported earlier today, Plymouth Argyle have completed the signing of Morgan Whittaker. The 22-year-old, who spent the first half of last season on loan at Home Park, joins on a four-year deal.

Argyle have confirmed that Whittaker joins for a club-record transfer fee. This is believed to be in the region of £1 million with the potential for add-ons further down the line. It breaks the transfer record that has been held by Steven MacLean since 2008.

Whittaker will take the number 10 shirt, worn by Danny Mayor last season, for his second spell at the club.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Reading complete Smith signing

17/07/23

Following reports that Plymouth Argyle and Reading were chasing the signing of Sam Smith, it’s been confirmed that the Royals have won the race. Smith has signed a three-year deal at Reading, which sees him rejoin a club he represented at youth level.

Following today’s news on Morgan Whittaker, I’m sure this will be the last thing on Argyle fans’ minds.

Source: readingfc.co.uk

Update: Whittaker return announcement imminent

17/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are set to announce the return of Morgan Whittaker on a permanent deal for a club-record fee

Age: 22

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

Last season: 10 goals and 7 assists in 46 appearances

Source: Various

Verdict: First of all, please allow me to extend my apologies to Twitter account Only Swans. They were the first to report on Whittaker’s imminent arrival at Home Park over the weekend, and I wasn’t wholly sure whether to believe them. It appears they were right all along.

Yes, Argyle are set to announce the return of Morgan Whittaker. Various sources, official and otherwise, have reported on the impending news today, with the player himself being pictured at the ground holding his new number 10 shirt. The fee is believed to be £1 million plus a series of add-ons, which will break a long-standing club-record transfer fee.

Put the bunting out or pop open a cider or two (responsibly, of course) because this one is done. And what a timely boost it is for Plymouth Argyle’s summer.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Rumour: Plymouth a likely destination for Whittaker

15/07/23

Rumour: Morgan Whittaker is set to move away from Swansea City, with a return to Plymouth Argyle most likely

Age: 22

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

Last season: 10 goals and 7 assists in 46 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: Right, this one is tough to dig into. A tweet from “Only Swans” appearing to announce Whittaker’s imminent departure has sent many Argyle fans into a frenzy. But I’d urge some restraint for now, at least until we hear a little more on how this one progresses.

Let’s look at the content of the tweet. They say that Whittaker wasn’t included in Swansea’s behind closed doors friendly with Swindon Town today. And that’s true – Whittaker didn’t feature at all despite the Swans using a significant number of players across the 90 minutes. The rest we can only guess. We can deduce that Whittaker may be in talks elsewhere, but that could be a case of putting two and two together and coming up with five.

The rumour is also a little weird for the account itself. From a quick scroll through, it appears they regularly tweet Swansea-related rumours, but only when there is another source quoted. There isn’t here, and indeed the account says that’s because they’re “the first ones to report this”. So whether we believe this rumour depends entirely on how much we trust this Twitter account.

Regretfully, verification on Twitter means nothing ever since the world’s oldest infant took ownership of the company. And as I’ve never come across the account before, I just can’t vouch for its reliability before I hear any more. I’d be delighted for them to prove me wrong, but at the moment I wouldn’t expect to see any movement on Whittaker for a while.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Rumour: Argyle fight Reading for Smith

15/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are battling Reading to sign ex-Cambridge striker Sam Smith

Age: 25

Position: Striker

Last season: 14 goals and 4 assists in 52 appearances

Source: Football League World

Verdict: Argyle were linked to Cambridge United’s Harvey Knibbs for much of the window before he eventually joined Reading. But for many, including myself, Sam Smith has seemed the ideal pickup from Cambridge all along.

He had a more than solid season at the Abbey Stadium last season. His 14 goals included a hat trick against Burton Albion in a frankly bonkers 4-3 win, and he scored in six consecutive League One games at the end of the season to help his side beat the drop. He should be easy to obtain too – he’s been released by Cambridge following the expiry of his contract, but not because of his ability. Rather, manager Mark Bonner has accepted he “want to seek other opportunities”.

All that being said, I’m not wholly confident on the deal just yet. The report appears to have come directly from Football League World who, to give them credit, haven’t seemed the type to make up baseless claims in recent weeks. But usually, their reports tend to be sourced from elsewhere. This time, I can’t find another source in the article, suggesting they’ve brought the rumour up themselves. And because that’s rare for them, I have no real way of verifying how reliable they are.

I don’t know – maybe Argyle have been linked to so many players now that I become more sceptical with every rumour. But I’ll wait to see how this is reported elsewhere before I start to get excited. Besides, we’ve got to beat Reading to him yet, which won’t be easy. After all, it was the Royals who got a deal for Knibbs over the line.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Schumacher 'open' to Azaz return

13/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle retain an interest in bringing Finn Azaz back to the club

Age: 22

Position: Attacking Midfield

Last season: 8 goals and 10 assists in 39 appearances

Source: Plymouth Live

Verdict: I don’t think it comes as much of a surprise that Argyle remain very keen on Finn Azaz. The 22-year-old midfielder impressed for the Greens last season on loan from Aston Villa, and as long as his future remains unclear links between the player and club are always likely to surface. They’ve been cropping up all summer.

But today we saw the first concrete evidence that the interest exists. Chris Errington reported in Plymouth Live that Argyle are open to the possibility of bringing back Azaz, and it was hardly without merit. In fact, the news was backed up directly by a quote from Steven Schumacher, who said “if we could bring him back I would like to bring him back because he is a good player, if he wants to come back. We will have to see.” The word ‘if’ does a lot of heavy lifting there, but sources hardly get more reliable than the manager himself.

It’s important to note that this is just interest at this stage. There is no suggestion that a deal is imminent, or even necessarily likely. If I were a betting man, I’d put money on Azaz having his future decided fairly late in the window, so don’t expect too much movement on this one for a little while. But are Argyle in the race? Without question.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Confirmed: Argyle sign Hazard for £150k

11/07/23

Following strong rumours last week, Plymouth Argyle have today confirmed the signing of goalkeeper Conor Hazard. The Northern Irish international joins on a three-year deal from Celtic, for a fee believed to be £150,000.

Hazard made just seven appearances in his time at Celtic, but had numerous loan spells away from Glasgow. That includes last season, when he won the league title in Finland with HJK Helsinki.

It remains to be seen what the signing of Hazard will mean for both Callum Burton and Michael Cooper, whose futures at Home Park now come with a few question marks.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Boro win race for Silvera

07/07/23

Middlesbrough have won the race to sign Plymouth Argyle target Sammy Silvera. The 22-year-old Australian was announced at the Riverside this morning, alongside another Aussie in goalkeeper Tom Glover.

Whilst Argyle haven’t signed Silvera, there is plenty we can learn from the pursuit of the player. The fee Boro paid is officially undisclosed, but is strongly rumoured to have been £500,000. We know Argyle (amongst others) matched that bid, and it was the player’s choice to move to Teeside.

With Argyle willing to bid half a million pounds on one player, could that be a sign of further spending to come in the window?

Source: mfc.co.uk

Rumour: Goalkeeper Hazard to join

04/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have agreed a fee with Celtic for goalkeeper Conor Hazard

Age: 25

Position: Goalkeeper

Last season: 4 clean sheets in 14 appearances (Europe only)

Source: Daily Record

Verdict: Wait, what? If there was one position I wouldn’t expect Argyle to spend a fee on this summer, it’d be in goal. But here we are, with a report in the Daily Record suggesting the Greens have agreed a fee with Celtic for 25-year-old shot stopper Conor Hazard.

Hazard (no relation to Eden or Thorgen) spent last season on loan in Finland at HJK Helsinki. Right now I’ve only been able to find stats for the appearances he made in European competitions, though I’m sure if pushed I could track down a few more. But the signs are good; HJK Helsinki won the league title last season, with Hazard named the league’s best goalkeeper.

There are plenty of interesting points to the report. It’s suggested that Argyle have agreed a “six-figure fee” for Hazard, with the potential for some add-ons further down the line. He’s described as a player “keen to kick on with his career and to get regular first-team football”, which implies there will soon be an opening at Argyle to help with this. The Daily Record is, in this area at least, a fairly reputable publication. There’s no reason to doubt the main headline of the story.

But what does it mean? Argyle already have two goalkeepers on the books in Michael Cooper and Callum Burton, and the former was comfortably the best ‘keeper in League One last season. You’d imagine this won’t be a signal on Burton’s future; if he was off, why would Argyle spend six figures on a backup when many free options are available? Hazard would surely have to dislodge Cooper. Is he set to be sold this summer? Will his injury keep him out for even longer than initially believed? Is Hazard happy to sign on the basis he’ll start when Cooper eventually leaves? It’s impossible to say.

This has come completely out of the blue. Based on the report, I’d say the deal is as good as done. But I’m most interested in what it means for the rest of Argyle’s window.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Confirmed: Key joins Swansea from Exeter

04/07/23

Plymouth Argyle have missed out on the signing of Josh Key. The former Exeter defender, rumoured to be a target for the Greens this summer, has signed for Swansea City on a three-year deal.

Argyle recently announced the signing of Kaine Kesler-Hayden on loan from Aston Villa. Kesler-Hayden plays a similar role to Key, whilst admittedly not being quite as versatile. That could be a sign that Argyle’s pursuit of Key was never likely to succeed, and they turned their attentions elsewhere a while ago. If Kesler-Hayden hits the ground running, Key would be no great loss.

Source: swanseacity.com

Rumour: Argyle keen on Warrington

04/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are interested in signing Everton midfielder Lewis Warrington

Age: 20

Position: Central Midfield

Last season: 1 goal and 2 assists in 46 appearances

Source: Football Transfers

Verdict: After finally announcing the signing of Lewis Gibson yesterday, could Argyle be looking to bring another youngster in from Goodison Park? Don’t be surprised. The latest rumour to surface links Argyle with a move for midfielder Lewis Warrington, a player currently at Everton who spent last season on loan at Fleetwood Town.

I’ve been trying to work out what to think of the source. It’s from a website called “Football Transfers”. Nice, straight to the point. I like that. But I’ve never heard of the website before. Is that a hole in my knowledge? Should I have picked up on these guys before? I’m disappointed that somebody has managed to buy a domain name like that and they’ve completely flown under my radar. If they’re genuine, of course.

The article in question isn’t actually about Warrington. Rather, it appears to be a roundup of the latest Everton transfer rumours, with the final sentence just touching on Argyle’s interest. So I’ve dug a bit further into the website and the journalist, Jacque Talbot. Both have a Twitter following in the 30,000 range, so you’d imagine they’re not completely bogus. It’d certainly be strange for them to throw a line in about Argyle and Warrington for no reason.

On the face of it, he’s exactly the sort of player you’d expect Argyle to pursue. Steven Schumacher’s links to Everton play a role; they’ve already been useful in signing Gibson. And Warrington is a young player with EFL experience and resale value, both of which we know hold great weight with the Argyle hierarchy.

But there’s one key difference between Warrington and Gibson: Warrington is still under contract with Everton. Argyle could perhaps pursue a loan move, or be prepared to fork out a fee to get their man. In any case, it’ll be a much more difficult deal to complete.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Confirmed: Gibson joins on permanent deal

03/07/23

It’s not exactly been a closely guarded secret, but Plymouth Argyle have finally announced the signing of Lewis Gibson. The 22-year-old defender becomes the Greens’ third signing of the summer.

Argyle have been strongly linked to the player for a while, and he even appeared to be spotted at Home Park last week. The only doubt was whether he’d sign on permanent terms or join on loan from Everton. We’ve learnt today that his deal will indeed be permanent.

He spent last season on loan at Bristol Rovers, but does have Championship experience having played for Reading in the 2020-21 campaign. He’s also worked with Neil Dewsnip at England youth level. Putting the pieces together, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Argyle have been after Gibson for some time. In any case, they finally have their man.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Four bids accepted for Silvera

03/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are one of four clubs to have had a bid accepted for Sammy Silvera

Age: 22

Position: Winger

Last season: 8 goals and 6 assists in 29 appearances

Source: Daily Record

Verdict: Cast your mind back to around a week or so ago. You may recall that Argyle were rumoured to have had a bid rejected for Central Coast Mariners winger Sammy Silvera. Well, it appears their interest has only intensified, with reports now that another bid has now been accepted for the Australian.

The latest update comes from the Daily Record, a Scottish tabloid which has been pursuing the story from the angle of Hearts’ pursuit of the player. They report that his move to Hearts is on the rocks, with “six-figure” bids accepted from four clubs in the Championship. The article doesn’t explicitly state who those bids are from, but it does touch on interest from Argyle alongside Middlesbrough and Stoke City.

It’s said that Silvera will make a decision on his future “over the next 24 to 48 hours”. And at time of writing that statement is now five hours old, so the clock really is ticking. It’s fairly certain at this point that Argyle are in for the player, so will they conclude the deal? We’ll find out pretty soon whether they’ve beaten some stiff competition.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Interest held in Go Ahead Eagles' Lidberg

03/07/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are one of a number of clubs chasing Swedish striker Isac Lidberg

Age: 24

Position: Striker

Last season: 8 goals and 5 assists in 36 appearances

Source: Voetbal International

Verdict: You know silly season is beginning to peak when you’re putting Google Translate to work to make sense of an article in Dutch. But here we are and, after completing the signing of Julio Pleguezuelo, Argyle look to be keen to raid the Eredivisie once more.

According to Voetbal International (I know), Argyle are now looking to sign striker Isac Lidberg from the superbly named Go Ahead Eagles. The translated article sees him described as “a chunky striker who stands out for his work ethic”, which feels slightly harsh. Still, does that description perhaps suggest Argyle are eyeing him up as a potential replacement for Sam Cosgrove? It’ll shock you to know I’ve never watched Lidberg play, but that’d be my natural deduction from the pursuit of a target man.

I’ve got no particular reason to doubt the source. Again, shock horror, I’m not familiar with the work of Voetbal International. But they’ve built up a Twitter following of over 500,000. As Utrecht-based experts on Dutch football, it’d be surprising to say the least if they were making up rumours about Plymouth Argyle without at least some basis.

But I’m not wholly convinced a deal is imminent, or even likely. Lidberg is still in contract at Go Ahead Eagles, so Argyle wouldn’t be able to swoop in and sign him for free as they did with Pleguezuelo. And they’re far from the only club keen on Lidberg. The article links him with Blackburn Rovers, Birmingham City, AJ Auxerre, Leuven and St Pauli “among others”. An eclectic mix indeed.

Argyle face plenty of competition here, and would possibly need to clear one hurdle too many to secure their man. But let’s watch this one closely.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Argyle in talks with Gibson

30/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are in talks with Everton defender Lewis Gibson

Age: 22

Position: Centre Back

Last season: 1 goal in 33 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: I never expected a rumour coming from an account I’d never previously heard of on Twitter to seem completely reliable. But this one does. Stick with me.

Everton’s Lewis Gibson is the latest player to be linked with Argyle. The rumour has stemmed from an account known as “The Bobble”. It doesn’t come with a bio, but a quick scroll of the Tweets shows it’s solely centred on Everton. And they’ve built up quite a following too – their follower count currently stands at just under 55,000. That includes some big names; Jamie Carragher, David Ornstein and Fabrizio Romano are all part of that following. A couple of names who make waves throughout football every transfer window. And Jamie Carragher.

Clearly, the account has built up a reputation of reliability. There’s surely no reason they’d tweet directly about Plymouth Argyle being in talks with an Everton player without there being some truth behind the words.

Even without a reliable source behind it, there are a lot of reasons why Argyle may be interested in the player. Steven Schumacher’s links to Everton is obvious, but Gibson has the experience to back up any interest. He’s had numerous loan spells in the EFL, and his last stint was a very successful one at Bristol Rovers.

So, we have a player who already has a link to the Westcountry, and looks ready to take a step up. What we can’t say for sure is whether Argyle are in for a permanent or loan deal. Gibson is out of contract at Everton this summer, but has been offered new terms. That can mean two things. Everton may genuinely see a future for him at the club, and they’d like to tie him down to a new deal before considering the next phase in his development. Or, they’re offering him a new deal to ensure they get compensation for a player under the age of 24 leaving the club.

Either way, and I know I may be about to make myself look stupid in the coming days, I’d say a deal here looks pretty imminent.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★★

Confirmed: Kesler-Hayden loaned from Villa

29/06/23

Plymouth Argyle have completed their second signing of the summer transfer window. Kaine Kesler-Hayden has joined on a season-long loan from Aston Villa. He’s described as a wing back, primarily on the right side.

Kesler-Hayden made his senior debut in 2021. That was for Villa against Liverpool in the FA Cup, forced into the side after the first team were required to isolate due to COVID protocols at the time. At youth level, he captained the side who won the FA Youth Cup in the same year.

More recently, Kesler-Hayden has had loan spells at Milton Keynes in League One and, last season, Huddersfield Town in the Championship. He made 15 appearances for the Terriers, scoring once, but his spell was terminated in January to free up a loan slot for another position in the side. He has also made five appearances for England at under 20 level.

Steven Schumacher was quoted as saying “I’m very pleased that Kaine has agreed to join us for the season. He has excellent pedigree, and great experience for his young age, including in the Championship. He will give us energy and versatility – I am really looking forward to working with him.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Update: Bid for Taylor rejected

29/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have had a bid rejected for Terry Taylor

Age: 22

Position: Central Midfielder

Last season: 5 assists in 33 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: This one now appears to be moving at pace. Argyle have been linked with Taylor for much of the summer window, and it was recently rumoured that Hibernian have entered the race for the player. Now we have this latest report from Pete O’Rourke, always fairly reliable, that Argyle have had a bid rejected by Burton Albion.

The player is out of contract at Burton this summer, so an agreement with the club doesn’t necessarily need to be reached. However, with the player currently under 23 (it is in fact his 22nd birthday today – happy birthday Terry if you’re reading, which you’re probably not), Burton would be due compensation for any transfer. Clearly, Argyle’s preference would be to agree a deal now and avoid any potential tribunal to decide upon a fee.

So, can we expect this to go any further? Ultimately, Burton won’t be able to reject a move this summer, so you’d expect Taylor to leave one way or another. But one wonders whether Argyle’s desire to seal a deal via this method means that a fee agreed at tribunal could be out of their price range. And there’s still interest from elsewhere; alongside Hibs, Cardiff City are now said to be keen on bringing Taylor to Wales. So whilst things are beginning to move quickly, his destination remains unclear.

Nonetheless, Argyle’s interest in the player seems more certain by the day.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

New contracts: Jack Endacott and Zak Baker

27/06/23

Jack Endacott and Zak Baker have signed their first professional contracts at Plymouth Argyle.

Endacott played eight times for Argyle last season, including his first league appearance, and recorded an assist against Swindon Town in the EFL Trophy. Goalkeeper Baker, meanwhile, has yet to make an appearance. However, he did make the bench for Argyle as Callum Burton’s EFL Trophy backup before the signing of Adam Parkes.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Two bids rejected for Silvera

27/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have had two bids rejected for Australian winger Sammy Silvera

Age: 22

Position: Winger

Last season: 8 goals and 6 assists in 29 appearances

Source: Edinburgh Evening News

Verdict: If you mentioned this rumour a year ago, I’d say it was far too left-field to be genuine. But with the way Argyle have been conducting their business recently, it’s just possible that this deal has a chance.

Sammy Silvera is the latest player linked to Argyle from Australia. He’s another player linked this summer who is probably a winger primarily, but his competence on both sides would probably allow him to fit in nicely behind the striker in a 3-4-2-1. He’s coming off the back of a highly productive season in the A League, where his Central Coast Mariners side were crowned champions.

Silvera had a big part to play. He scored twice in the end of season play-offs which saw Mariners crowned champions, including one in the 6-1 Grand Final drubbing of Melbourne City. He actually bookended his campaign with goals, also scoring in the season opener against Wellington Phoenix back in October. Opening the scoring for the opposition that day? Ben Waine.

Unless we’ve got some fun and games from the player’s agent here, Argyle’s interest in Silvera is a near certainty. We know the club keep a close eye on the A League, having brought in Waine and Macauley Gillesphey in recent years. And there’s really no reason for the source to be lying about Argyle’s bids. The rumour has come from the Edinburgh Evening News, and is actually framed around Hearts’ interest in the player. Argyle actually play Hearts in pre-season. Who knows whether Silvera will be present? And on which side?

Whether a deal is actually imminent is another matter entirely. Argyle will probably make another bid, but remember that the Greens had a bid rejected for Waine last summer before he eventually joined in January. And along with Hearts’ interest, an article in the Daily Record suggests that Middlesbrough are also keen.

Alas, there are plenty of legs in this rumour yet. But I’d be very surprised if Argyle weren’t involved in some capacity.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Argyle chase Huddersfield's Koroma

25/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are challenging Millwall for Huddersfield Town’s Josh Koroma

Age: 24

Position: Striker/Winger

Last season: 9 goals and 4 assists in 44 appearances

Source: Alan Nixon

Verdict: I really don’t know what to make of this one, both in terms of the player and the rumour itself.

Let’s start by looking at Koroma, who has just come off the back of a rollercoaster season. Seemingly unwanted by Huddersfield at the start of 2022/23, he was loaned to Portsmouth on deadline day. He started like a house on fire at Fratton Park, scoring a beauty against Argyle in September’s 2-2 draw. But, much like Pompey as a whole after that game, his form fell off a cliff. He scored just once more in the league before Portsmouth opted to terminate his loan at the start of January.

He was met with a great stroke of luck. In February, Huddersfield hired Neil Warnock, who reintegrated Koroma into the side. He’s started the majority of the Terriers’ games under the 74-year-old, and has posted better numbers in the Championship than he did in the first half of the season in League One. He’s out of contract this summer, and that form has put plenty of clubs on high alert.

Huddersfield would ideally like to keep Koroma, and their retained list confirms that they have offered him a new deal. But if you believe Alan Nixon, Argyle and Millwall are both interested in taking Koroma off their hands. And do you believe Alan Nixon? Well, that’s a tougher question to answer than it may have been a few years ago.

I’m not able to judge Nixon as easily as before. In the interests of full disclosure, he’s actually blocked me on Twitter after I was one of many to spot his use of a racial slur against a Celtic player in 2021. But I don’t think that has made much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. Nixon’s Twitter account is now on private, and he posts the details of most of his rumours on Patreon. For paid subscribers.

Between you and me, if I were paid for every rumour, I would be making any old story up by the minute. Alas, I do this stuff for free, so this remains a safe space for transparency. Still, Nixon has been right on some things in the past, so let’s assume that Argyle hold some form of interest.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Argyle in race for Exeter's Key

25/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are one of three clubs chasing the signing of Exeter City’s Josh Key

Age: 23

Position: Right Back/Centre Back

Last season: 4 goals and 2 assists in 48 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Ooh this one would be fun. Remember the furore from up the road when Joel Grant signed for Argyle back in 2017? Now imagine that, but it’s an Exeter academy graduate making the jump across the Devon divide.

Key to me sounds like a defensive version of Byron Moore, in that he is outstandingly versatile. I’ve listed him as a right back or a centre back because that’s where he was most regularly found last season. But he seems perfectly suited to any team playing a back three. He’s comfortable as a right wing back, as well as on the right side of a back three. Put him anywhere else, though, and you can still expect him to deliver. Against Sheffield Wednesday in April he started the game up front. And scored.

There’s an obvious geographical link here, and the source is pretty sound; it’s another to come from Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider. Thus, there is a lot of evidence that a deal is possible at the very least.

Nonetheless, there are a few stumbling blocks still in play. The first is Key’s contract situation. Yes, he’s out of contract this month, and manager Gary Caldwell confirmed as recently as this morning that the player will leave this summer. But as a 23-year-old he’d come with a cost. Exeter would be entitled to compensation for any transfer that takes place, and for someone who’s been at the club for the last eight years that figure wouldn’t be cheap. If no agreement with Exeter can be made, a fee would be decided by an independent tribunal.

We must also consider the calibre of the other interested clubs. Yes, the article links Argyle with a move, but Swansea City appear to be considered to be the frontrunners. The Swans have “made an undisclosed bid” whilst Argyle, along with West Bromwich Albion, are simply said to be “trying to find an agreement with Exeter.”

I’d love for this deal to go through, and I’m certainly convinced that Argyle are in the race. But this one has a way to run yet.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Update: Hibs challenge Argyle for Taylor

24/06/23

Rumour: Hibernian have joined Plymouth Argyle in the race to sign Terry Taylor

Age: 21

Position: Central Midfielder

Last season: 5 assists in 33 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: There’s a fair bit to take in here, some of which is a little odd. So let’s start right at the beginning.

Argyle have been linked with Taylor since the end of last season, before I even bothered to set this page up again. He’s a talented young midfielder at Burton Albion, who was flourishing last season before injury cut his season short in early February. Only 21, he’s widely regarded as having a bright future in the game. And with his contract at Burton expiring this summer, news of Argyle’s interest made a lot of sense.

Since he was linked the rumour has evolved. Argyle are still interested in the player, but a couple of weeks ago Cardiff City were reported to have entered the race. Today we’ve had a further development in the saga, with Scottish side Hibernian becoming the latest contenders for Taylor’s signature. It was reported on Twitter by Football Insider, alongside an article from Pete O’Rourke. He tends to have at least some knowledge, even if he never seems absolutely sure where a player will end up.

The confusing part though? The article linked in the tweet doesn’t seem to exist. Rather, it just takes the reader to the Football Insider homepage. Just a misplaced link, I initially thought. But I’m now struggling to find any evidence that the article exists at all. Honestly, Google anything relating to Terry Taylor and Football Insider. Can you find anything from the last day linking him to Hibs? I know I can’t.

I imagine this is just a case of gremlins in the system. But feel free to get your tinfoil hats on and make up any theory you like. Maybe the article was taken down because they’ve learnt something new and it’s no longer relevant. Or maybe there was never an article in the first place and the tweet was just put out to generate a conversation. Let your imagination run wild.

In all seriousness, Taylor’s future is still up in the air. Argyle are surely interested, but so are plenty of others. Let’s see what happens.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Rumour: Contract offered to Latibeaudiere

22/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have a “contract on the table” for Joel Latibeaudiere

Age: 23

Position: Right Back/Centre Back

Last season: 2 goals and 3 assists in 37 appearances

Source: Internal

Verdict: Having announced the arrival of Julio Pleguezuelo yesterday, Argyle appear to be after another tongue-twister of a signing in Joel Latibeaudiere. And, much like the signing of the Spaniard, bringing in Latibeaudiere would be a statement of intent.

The 23-year-old has a great pedigree in the youth game, where he was initially billed as a talented centre back. He came through the academy at Manchester City, and was part of the England side that won the U17 World Cup in 2017. During his time with the recent treble winners, he also had a spell on loan at FC Twente in the Netherlands. Another one. Have Argyle set up a scouting network in Enschede without us being aware?

More recently though, Latibeaudiere has been at Swansea City. He’s spent the best part of three years in Wales, but will be released upon the expiry of his contract this summer despite being a first team regular last term. He’s evolved into more of a right back/right wing back over the past couple of years. Whilst he still has the ability to play in the centre of defence, it suggests Argyle may be looking to play him in a Joe Edwards/Bali Mumba sort of role. He’s versatile in any case, making his Jamaica debut just a few days ago in defensive midfield.

The source for this one is internal, which we will understandably not reveal. Without wanting to go all Ted Hastings on you, let’s just say we’ve received an anonymous tip-off. This source has proved reliable in the past, so we’ve got no reason to doubt them now.

They do, however, state that other clubs have made their own offers for Latibeaudiere. We’d therefore stop short of saying the deal is a near certainty. But either way, it’s an exciting indication of the sort of business Argyle are looking to do this summer.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Confirmed: Defender Pleguezuelo Signs

21/06/23

Argyle have announced the signing of Spanish defender Julio Pleguezuelo on a free transfer from Dutch side FC Twente. Pleguezuelo joins following the expiry of his contract in the Eredivisie, having made 27 appearances last season in the Dutch top flight.

The 26-year-old had various experiences of top-tier academies at youth level, including stints at Barcelona and Arsenal. He even made a senior appearance for the Gunners in an EFL Cup game against Blackpool. More recently, he joined FC Twente in 2019, and rejected a new deal this summer to sign for the Pilgrims.

He’s described as a defender who can also fill in at right back and defensive midfield. Given Argyle’s current system, you’d suspect he’ll be a straight replacement for James Wilson. That may cast doubt over another rumour – Argyle have previously been linked to Liverpool’s Oludare Olufunwa, who plays a very similar role.

Pleguezuelo becomes Argyle’s first ever Spanish player.

Source: pafc.co.uk

New contract: Adam Randell

19/06/23

Plymouth Argyle have confirmed that academy graduate Adam Randell has signed a new deal at the club. The extension will keep the 22-year-old at Home Park until the summer of 2026.

The central midfielder has scored five goals in 81 appearances for Argyle, including a memorable strike away to Port Vale as the Greens were crowned champions. But it’s Randell’s all-round game that’s really caught the eye over the last 12 months. Finn Azaz was the only Argyle player to have more key passes than him last season, and nobody completed more crosses. Randell also complemented that with a healthy 62% success rate in both ground and aerial duels.

Manager Steven Schumacher concluded that he was “absolutely delighted” to see Randell commit his future to the club.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle interested in Longstaff

19/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle have a “genuine interest” in Newcastle United midfielder Matty Longstaff

Age: 23

Position: Central Midfielder

Last season: 10 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: Ah, our old friends the ‘Tipster Twins’ have taken to Twitter again. I thought after they stopped tweeting in March we’d finally seen the back of them but no, they’re back again with the complete nonsense they like to bring to every transfer window.

The fact that people believe these chancers is staggering. The account exists mainly to post betting tips (and surreptitiously delete punts that don’t come in), but every now and then they post a transfer rumour. And that transfer rumour is only EVER about Plymouth Argyle. I suspect there’s a bored Argyle fan behind the account looking for some engagement. Who are you? Are you reading this? Identify yourself. You need help.

This time they’ve linked us with out-of-contract Newcastle midfielder Matty Longstaff, who you may remember scored the winner against Manchester United on his Premier League debut. Sadly things haven’t gone quite so well in the years since, with Longstaff most recently spending an injury-hit season on loan at League Two strugglers Colchester United. So just the sort of player you’d expect a newly-promoted Championship club to pursue, right?

If you’re going to make up nonsense for likes, at least make it believable.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Liverpool's Olufunwa Targeted

18/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are targeting Liverpool defender Oludare Olufunwa

Age: 21

Position: Defender

Last season: 0 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Yeah, quite a lot of merit in this one I’d say. Olufunwa is set to depart Liverpool this summer on the expiry of his contract, and whilst it’s hard to judge a player who hasn’t broken into the first team at his current club, the clubs being linked suggest he has earned a chance at EFL level.

This is far from a done deal, but the source on this one is fairly solid. Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider likes to link players to a few clubs when he isn’t absolutely certain where they’ll end up, and he’s done so again here. But of the clubs linked – Argyle are listed alongside Bristol Rovers, St Mirren and Kilmarnock in the report – you’d have to say that a move to Home Park is the most attractive prospect.

Olufunwa is primarily a centre back, and indeed he’s been used exclusively there in Premier League 2 and the EFL Trophy this season. But he’s also been known to fill in at right back on occasion. With that in mind, the early indications are he’d be the ideal replacement for James Wilson in Argyle’s current system.

A lot about this deal makes sense, and the source is relatively strong. Let’s keep an eye on this one.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

Rumour: Argyle in Ogbene race

14/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are chasing the signing of Rotherham United’s Chiedozie Ogbene

Age: 26

Position: Winger/Attacking Midfielder

Last season: 9 goals and 4 assists in 42 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: Chiedozie Ogbene looks fairly certain to leave Rotherham this summer. His contract is expiring and reports suggest he has rejected a new deal at the club. If and when he does leave, it’ll be no surprise to see a number of clubs keen on his services.

Ogbene strikes me as the sort of player who’d be a great fit for what I’m calling the ‘Morgan Whittaker role’. Attacking midfield is certainly where he’d best fit Argyle’s current system, but he’s probably most competent as a winger, whilst also having the versatility to play as a striker. He got some solid goal contribution numbers in the Championship last season, and in the last two years he’s earned 15 caps for the Republic of Ireland, scoring four goals.

This rumour has had an interesting trajectory. It really came to prominence recently when a report in the Sheffield Star suggested Argyle, along with Sheffield Wednesday, Luton and Ipswich, were “considering a move” for Ogbene. However, the earliest mention I’ve found for this came a week prior, when BBC Sheffield journalist Rob Straton said that a number of Championship teams, “including the newly promoted sides”, had registered an interest in the player. This news has been recycled further in various publications and across social media.

I just wonder if the evolution of the rumour has left it vulnerable to distortion. Just because Straton mentioned that “the newly promoted sides” are interested, that doesn’t necessarily mean all the newly promoted sides. Look at the clubs also linked: Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday have had far bigger budgets all season, Luton dwarf them all by being in the Premier League, and Norwich City are now said to be in for Ogbene. If they’re all in, we can’t seriously believe Argyle have the budget to compete with them, can we?

I get the impression that Argyle’s supposed interest here has been mooted without any solid basis. But for a player of this quality I’d be happy to be proved wrong.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Confirmed: Wilson to leave Argyle

13/06/23

Plymouth Argyle have confirmed that defender James Wilson will leave the club upon the expiry of his contract this month. Wilson was offered terms to remain at Home Park, but the deadline to accept those terms has now passed. Thus, the offer has been withdrawn.

The now 34-year-old first joined Argyle in the summer of 2021 from Ipswich Town. That was after he’d won the player of the year award with the Tractor Boys the season prior. He ended up making 95 appearances for the Greens, scoring once in a 3-1 win over Milton Keynes in January 2023.

Manager Steven Schumacher was quoted as saying “James played a huge part in our success last season and will forever be a part of the history of this football club. It is a shame we won’t see him in an Argyle shirt again but I wish James all the best moving forward and thank him for all his hard work and commitment during my time at the club.”

Source: pafc.co.uk

Rumour: Three clubs after Argyle's Miller

11/06/23

Rumour: Notts County, Barnsley and Peterborough United are keen to sign Plymouth Argyle’s Mickel Miller

Age: 27

Position: Wing Back

Last season: 1 assist in 12 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: I dare say a few Argyle fans may have been quietly pleased to hear of potential movement on Miller. His deal since signing for the Greens from Rotherham last summer hasn’t really worked for club or player. I accept he’s looked good in patches, but he’s spent far more time in the treatment room than on the pitch. James Bolton and Conor Grant were released this summer with similar injury records, and I suggest Miller would have been subjected to the same fate had he not had an additional year on his contract.

Alas, I must nip this one in the bud fairly quickly. The source of this rumour is totally unreliable. This particular iteration of the EFL Hub on Twitter, and there are many, has only tweeted 49 times. As we can see from their first tweet, the account was initially set up to provide betting tips, before swiftly turning to transfer rumours.

If I were to be ultra-cynical, I’d suggest that the gambling industry may have a role here in setting up baseless rumours to encourage punters to have a flutter. That may be the case on a wider scale, but I don’t think this account is quite so sophisticated. No, this is a bunch of kids posting random rumours in the hope of getting social media attention. I guess by reporting on it I’ve given them what they wanted. But at what cost to their reputation? I’ll let you be the judge.

I suspect Argyle would listen to offers for Miller this summer. But am I expecting one to arrive based on this tweet alone? Not a chance.

Rumour rating (/5): ★

Rumour: Argyle show interest in Pennington

11/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are interested in signing Shrewsbury Town defender Matthew Pennington

Age: 28

Position: Centre Back

Last season: 6 goals and 3 assists in 42 appearances

Source: Twitter

Verdict: I feel like I spend at least a slice of every transfer window assessing Argyle being linked to Matthew Pennington. Honestly, how many times have we been led to believe the Greens have been pursuing him in recent years? You’d have thought if Argyle were serious about the player they’d have signed him at least once by now.

You can see why Argyle have been linked to him so consistently. He’s formerly of Everton, so well known to Steven Schumacher, and he’s certainly looked competent in the EFL through numerous loan spells before his permanent move to Shrewsbury. His goalscoring record this season suggests he can be a threat from set pieces, something which could prove key to Argyle at a higher level. And he’s now out of contract at Shrewsbury so, whilst he has been offered a new deal in Shropshire, this could finally be the perfect time for Argyle to make their move.

But whilst there’s a lot to like, I’m just not convinced. He’s seemed like a young prospect for years, so much so that I was shocked to learn he’s now 28, hardly a spring chicken in football terms. And whilst he’s looked good for a compact Shrewsbury side, playing for a more expansive team at a higher level is another matter entirely. I also don’t hold much confidence in the source; I’ve not come across the “EFL Transfer Hub” account too often before, perhaps not surprising as it was only set up in December last year, but from what I’ve seen they appear to take the scattergun approach to transfer rumours. That is, they try spewing a number out each day and hoping there may be some truth to one or two.

Besides, the rumour also links him with a move to Portsmouth, which could be more appealing. After all, you tend to get more playing time at a lower level.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★

Update: Argyle face battle for Whittaker

08/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle will battle a number of clubs to sign former loanee Morgan Whittaker

Age: 22

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Forward

Last season: 10 goals and 7 assists in 46 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: How lovely would it be to see Argyle bring Morgan Whittaker back to Home Park this summer? It certainly seems like the club won’t die wondering, with more reports now linking the club and the player. This time it’s another rumour originating from Pete O’Rourke who, along with Argyle, has linked Whittaker to Rangers (shock), Sunderland and Coventry City.

To be honest, I’m not sure exactly what this update tells us. Sure, as I can tell you from the latest update on Harvey Knibbs, Pete O’Rourke’s reports are generally reliable. But I’d suggest the majority of his most recent report suggests what we already knew. The fact that O’Rourke is now linking Sunderland and Coventry to the player I guess marks a development, but we’ve got no further evidence that it’s actually true, and even if it is, they may just prove to be a sidenote to the saga.

Signing Whittaker was always going to be a challenge. Swansea reportedly turned down a £1.5m Rangers bid for the player in January, and surely even that price would be out of Argyle’s range. Maybe I’m wrong, and I’d love to be, but I cannot see a route to Argyle signing the player this summer. I fully believe we’re in for him, as the report suggests, but I’d need to see plenty more to get excited.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

Update: Argyle set to be beaten to Knibbs

02/06/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are set to miss out on the signing of Cambridge United’s Harvey Knibbs

Age: 24

Position: Attacking Midfielder/Winger

Last season: 5 goals and 6 assists in 47 appearances

Source: Football Insider

Verdict: Argyle were first linked with Knibbs in the winter transfer window, and not without basis. It’s well documented that the Greens had a bid rejected for Knibbs in January, and Steven Schumacher indicated that he’d look to reopen talks this summer, with Knibbs now out of contract at Cambridge and expected to move on. But if he expected to approach the player unchallenged this summer, he’s set to be disappointed.

This latest update on the player’s future is from Pete O’Rourke in Football Insider. As much as I occasionally take issue with how O’Rourke links players to a number of clubs, this is certainly one of the more reliable rumour sites. What is notable is that O’Rourke’s update doesn’t mention Argyle at all, instead suggesting that Huddersfield Town, Derby County and Bristol City are battling for the player. With the journalist’s desire for namedropping clubs where he can, we may be able to infer that Argyle’s complete absence shows they have turned their attentions elsewhere.

Many Argyle fans were slightly underwhelmed when linked with Knibbs back in January. Sure, he’d looked decent for Cambridge, but he was hardly setting League One alight. The circling by other clubs certainly suggests there is something in Knibbs’ underlying data to back up Argyle’s interest, but that is of course a double-edged sword. This report seems believable, and surely now Argyle aren’t the favourites for Knibbs’ signature.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★★

New Contract: Jordan Houghton

02/06/23

Jordan Houghton has become the latest player to sign an extension to his contract at Plymouth Argyle.

The 27-year-old has made exactly 100 appearances for the Greens since a switch from Milton Keynes in 2021. That’s in addition to the appearances he made during a loan spell from Chelsea back in 2016. The midfielder will add to those numbers across the next two years.

Source: pafc.co.uk

New Contract: Dan Scarr

27/05/23

Putting an end to recent speculation regarding his future, Dan Scarr has signed a two-year extension to his Plymouth Argyle contract.

The defender, now 28, rose through the non-league ranks before joining Argyle from Walsall in 2021. He’s been a mainstay in the back three ever since, becoming a fan favourite in the process. The Green Army will now be able to enjoy his magic for the next two seasons.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Confirmed: Ennis joins Blackburn

26/05/23

Niall Ennis has departed Plymouth Argyle, and will join Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer. Ennis was offered an extension to his contract, but has opted to become a Rovers player upon its expiry at the end of June.

Ennis first joined Argyle in 2021 during the Greens’ first season back in League One. The 24-year-old shone during the back end of last season, including scoring a memorable overhead kick against Bristol Rovers on the road to the title. He’ll be back at Home Park next season in the away dressing room.

Source: rovers.co.uk

Rumour: Argyle Looking at Langstaff

25/05/23

Rumour: Plymouth Argyle are battling for the signature of Notts County striker Macauley Langstaff

Age: 26

Position: Striker

Last season: 41 goals and 6 assists in 47 appearances

Source: Football League World

Verdict: Langstaff will doubtlessly have a variety of suitors this summer. Last season, he broke the record for goals scored in a single National League campaign. And not a single one was a penalty. He’s won promotion with Notts County, and is blatantly too good for the fifth tier.

But is he good enough for the Championship? That’s a question that will divide opinion. It is the sort of move Argyle have been known for though – picking up a player from a less than glamorous surrounding (think Ben Waine from the A League) and looking to make their signing value for money. It’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Argyle have seen something in Langstaff (40+ goals in a season will have that effect) and believe he can make the step up.

So a move is at least feasible, but is the source reliable? As unhelpful as it is, I’ve found that difficult to decipher. The Football League World Twitter account has over 30,000 followers which doesn’t happen overnight. From what I can gather they seem to have built a reputation from aggregating rumours elsewhere, but this is a little different in that it’s branded as an exclusive. It’s harder to judge, as you can rest assured that their significant following wasn’t built on these ‘exclusive’ reports.

If I’m to be a cynic, I’d say that including Ipswich and Wrexham in the rumour is a marketing ploy. Both clubs have just won promotion, as of course have Argyle, and eyes will be on the respective windows of those clubs more than most. Including all three in the report ticks all the clickbait boxes. I’m also a bit perturbed by the wording in the article, which simply states that Argyle and Ipswich are “both keen to take him to the Championship.” It’d hardly scoop of the century.

I have no doubt that Argyle are monitoring Langstaff, along with dozens of other clubs across the country. And I wouldn’t dismiss this rumour out of hand. But before we hear anything more concrete, let’s assume it remains at the ‘monitoring’ stage for now.

Rumour rating (/5): ★★★

New Contract: Ryan Hardie

25/05/23

Scottish forward Ryan Hardie has signed a new three-year deal at Plymouth Argyle.

The 26-year-old first joined the Greens on loan from Blackpool in January 2020, before making his move permanent a year later. He top-scored for the title-winning Greens last season.

Source: pafc.co.uk

Retained List Announced

10/05/23

Plymouth Argyle have announced their retained list following the conclusion of the 2022/23 League One title-winning campaign.

13 players remain under contract, whilst an option has been activated to extend the deal of young centre back Oscar Halls. Brendan Galloway has also played enough games across the campaign to trigger an automatic extension to his deal.

Of those out of contract, deals have been offered to five players. Niall Ennis, Ryan Hardie, Jordan Houghton, Dan Scarr and James Wilson have all been offered terms to remain with the Greens.

Heading those released is Danny Mayor, who by all accounts will be moving north to be closer to his family. James Bolton and Conor Grant have also been released after injury-hit campaigns, whilst Luke Jephcott also departs after struggling to find a place in Steven Schumacher’s upgraded formation before a loan at Swindon. Finley Craske, Ryan Law, Adam Parkes and Brandon Pursall will also leave Home Park this summer.

Argyle’s five loanees have simply been listed as returning to their parent clubs. Of course, nobody expected any further news on Finn Azaz, Sam Cosgrove, Nigel Lonwijk, Jay Matete or Bali Mumba before the window officially opens. There could be further movement in the weeks and months to come.

Full retained list:

Under contract: Michael Cooper, Macaulay Gillesphey, Matt Butcher, Joe Edwards, Mickel Miller, Adam Randell, Ben Waine, Saxon Earley, Callum Burton, Callum Wright, Tyreik Wright, Will Jenkins Davies, Caleb Roberts.

Option to extend exercised: Brendan Galloway, Oscar Halls.

Under-18s offered new contracts: Jack Endacott, Zak Baker.

Out of contract, offered new contract: Jordan Houghton, James Wilson, Dan Scarr, Ryan Hardie, Niall Ennis.

Out of contract, released: James Bolton, Conor Grant, Danny Mayor, Luke Jephcott, Adam Parkes, Ryan Law, Finley Craske, Brandon Pursall.

Loan expired: Sam Cosgrove, Bali Mumba, Finn Azaz, Nigel Lonwijk, Jay Matete.

Source: pafc.co.uk