Porto's Juan Manuel Iturbe set to seal River Plate loan

Juan Iturbe, Argentina, 2013

Iturbe llega a River / Getty

Porto forward Juan Manuel Iturbe is set to finally secure a loan move to River Plate, ending weeks of speculation.

Negotiations between the clubs initially began late in December but, after neither party could reach an agreement, Iturbe’s agent Augusto Paraja claimed his client was being “punished” by the Portuguese outfit and threatened legal-action.

But it seems there has been a breakthrough after Iturbe took to his Twitter page to post the latest in a series of cryptic messages in relation to the proposed move.

“All it needs is the punchline. Overjoyed,” said Iturbe (@ Juan_Iturbe93), confirming that all the deal lacks is the formalities.

Last monday, Iturbe posted “This is long..”, in a comment understood to be in relation to the ongoing negotiation process.

The 19-year-old will join the club on a year-long deal that provides Porto with the option of recalling him after six months.

Nelson completes Palermo switch

Palermo have confirmed the signing of former Real Betis defender Nelson.

The 29-year-old was released by Betis at the end of December and has signed an 18-month deal with the Rosanero, making him the club’s sixth acquisition this month.

According to A Bola, the Portugal international will be unveilved in Sicily on Tuesday along with Mauro Boselli, who completed a loan move from Wigan Athletic.

The Cape Verdean-born Nelson had been previously linked with a move to Brazilian-side Vasco Da Gama but Palermo swooped first to land the defender.

Nelson, a right-sided attacking full-back, will be counted on to inject some life into a Palermo team that has scored only 19 goals in 22 Serie A matches this season, resulting in the Rosanero languishing 19th in Serie A.

The former Benfica defender is the latest in a series of new faces to arrive at Stadio Renzo Barbera with club president Maurizio Zamparini hoping his latest recruits can aid Palermo’s survival challenge.

Nelson has been capped by the Portuguese national team three times.

Hughton declares an interest in Van Wolfswinkel

Norwich manager Chris Hughton has declared an interest in signing Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, however he has not revealed whether a concrete offer has yet been made.

The Canaries boss has reportedly been in the market for a striker to bolster his attacking options and to partner or possibly replace Grant Holt.

QPR’s Jamie Mackay and Celtic’s Gary Hooper have also been strongly linked with moves to Carrow Road.

However Van Wolfswinkel appears to top the former Newcastle boss’s transfer wishlist, after he revealed in the club’s programme notes that their was a strong interest to sign the Netherlands international.

Hughton said: “Yes, I have seen those reports on him and there is an interest from ourselves but how far that interest has gone from us I don’t know. But certainly there is an interest.”

The 24-year-old first impressed in Holland at Utrecht and has since gone on to prove himself in the Portuguese top-flight with Sporting, scoring 27 goals in 59 appearances for the club.

Coloccini letter to San Lorenzo was misinterpreted, says Pardew

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew believes Fabricio Coloccini’s open letter to San Lorenzo fans has been misinterpreted.

The 31-year-old wrote the letter to the Argentine side, which appeared on the team’s Facebook page, thanking fans and club chiefs for their attempts to sign him this month.

The Newcastle United captain cited personal reasons as the cause for his desire to return to Argentina, and admitted he was “disappointed” with the decision to refuse him a move.

“When you interpret one language from another, while the words can look the same, the interpretation can be slightly different and I think the interpretation of that was slightly lost, if I’m honest,” Pardew said.

“It’s his home-town club, of course, and he’s got friends and family there, and I think he just wanted to say, ‘Thanks for your offer of help if I needed it’.

“Unfortunately for them, it hasn’t happened; fortunately for us, he remains our captain and committed to the cause, make no mistake about that.”

West Ham sign Pogatetz on loan until end of season

West Ham have signed Wolfsburg defender Emanuel Pogatetz on loan until the end of the season.

The 31-year-old is thought to have also attracted interest from Fulham, but will now spend the five months at Upton Park after finding first-team opportunities hard to come by at Die Wolfe.

The former Middlesbrough player has also expressed his delight at returning to England, after spending five years plying his trade in the Premier League and Championship back in 2005 to 2010.

“I feel very good to be here and I am very excited about playing for West Ham,” Pogatetz told the club’s official website.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to play for the club and help it get good results. I will be doing my best to play well and hope I can play a part in the club achieving the targets for this season.”

The Austria international, who has been capped 52 times, added: “First of all when I heard that West Ham wanted me, I thought it was a club I wanted to play for because they are a very traditional club, with passionate supporters.

“Secondly, it was good for to have the opportunity to come back and play in England. This is the football I want to play and I have missed playing here, I want to show what I am still capable of after five years playing in Middlesbrough.”