The January transfer window is in full swing and football fans across Europe will be scanning the rumour mills. Liverpool may have the Premier League title wrapped up but that won’t stop the rest of the league’s big six looking to bolster their squads with some of the top talent across the game. Will this month surpass the biggest transfers of 2019? Here we take a look at some of the names being associated with the Premier League’s heavyweights.
Manchester City chose not to replace Vincent Kompany last summer and now face a rather vacant centre-back position, given Aymeric Laporte and John Stones suffering injury troubles. Nicolas Otamendi and Fernandinho have been partnering up but some extra cover would be much appreciated by Pep Guardiola. Despite the club previously saying that they will not be doing business during this window, a reported bid for Caglar Soyuncu has been rejected by Leicester. Soyuncu has done a stellar job replacing Harry Maguire this season and it’s unlikely that City will give up first time around. They are still backed to clinch him at a short 6/4.
Meanwhile, Wolves attacker and dribbling-sensation Adama Traore is another one attracting interest from European big guns, having registered five goals and seven assists this season. The Spaniard hasn’t made a secret of wanting to keep his options open and, as things stand, City are a close second in the betting at 6/1.
It is safe to say that Liverpool are faring well with their existing roster of players and look like the most complete squad in the league. Every area on the pitch is packed with talent and versatility and, after signing Takumi Minamino, they may just be on the lookout for an impactful substitute and are unlikely to spend much more this month. Either way, Jurgen Klopp’s side remain in a strong position to chase the treble this season. Make that the quadruple, if you count the FIFA Club World Cup already safely in the trophy cabinet.
🔴Jurgen Klopp has extended his contract with Liverpool until 2024.
He is the fastest Liverpool manager to reach 💯 Premier League wins (159). 👏
Complete this sentence. 👇
— GrosvenorSport (@GrosvenorSport) December 13, 2019
That said, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury may cause Klopp to seek out a central midfielder but for now it’s aforementioned winger Traore whose name is in the frame of potential new recruits. While Spurs and Manchester City are ahead in the betting as things stand, a move to Anfield is getting harder and harder to resist for top talents and Wolves know it’s only a matter of time before they are forced to cash in. The Reds are fancied at 7/1 for his signature.
As one of the richest clubs on the planet, Manchester United have the purchasing power to acquire the world’s top talent. They are certainly not averse to looking closer to home for their next big-money signing though, as demonstrated last summer when they bought former Leicester man Harry Maguire for £80m.
One transfer window later and we could see a similar move come to fruition, with James Maddison being heavily linked with an Old Trafford switch. This season is proving to be a turning point for him as he continues to be a revelation for Leicester. Maguire’s move made him the most expensive defender in the world and, should Maddison be poached, the Foxes will be looking to make top dollar once again. United head the betting at 3/1.
Another young midfielder on United’s radar is Tottenham’s Harry Winks. The home-grown product is also being linked with Manchester City and Chelsea but it’s United who are as short as 4/1 to seal the deal on the England international.
The Blues will have been relieved to have seen their transfer ban reduced as they are certain to want to do some business this January. Michy Batshuayi could be on his way out of Stamford Bridge this month, meaning even more reliance will be put on Tammy Abraham to get the goals. Abraham has duly delivered but Frank Lampard could do with another attacker to bolster the squad.
Meanwhile, Chelsea lead the way for the sought-after Nathan Ake at 5/2. The 24-year-old hasn’t played since injuring his hamstring last month but prior to that was enjoying a fine start to the season. They are favourites in the betting by quite some way, with Manchester City next in line to address their defensive frailties with the Bournemouth man. Chelsea also are in the running alongside City to sign Soyuncu at 4/1, so it could be a case of one of these clubs settling for the other’s second choice.
It seems that Jose Mourinho’s honeymoon period at Spurs was both underwhelming and short-lived, with recent games also proving costly in terms of a growing list of injuries among the first team, which now extends to club talisman Harry Kane. However, existing defensive issues are being compounded with centre-back Jan Vertonghen’s rumoured departure. Kalidou Koulibaly is the man being tipped to replace him and, at a price of 6/1, could potentially be making the journey from Napoli to north London. He is one of the best defensive talents in Europe and at 28-years-old has the experience to partner up with this season’s ever-present Toby Alderweireld.
🎄 The last time Tottenham had 29 or fewer points after the #BoxingDay matches?
— GrosvenorSport (@GrosvenorSport) December 26, 2019
The rumour mills have been swirling with a possible return by Gareth Bale to the club that cashed in big-time on his move to Real Madrid in 2013. It’s no secret that the Welshman is uninspired by life in the Spanish capital and Tottenham are the favourites to sign him should he wish to leave the Bernabeu. A move to China fell apart in the summer and with long-time admirer Mourinho a big draw, we could finally see Bale return to the Premier League, with Spurs the hot 4/1 favourites.
Conceding 30 league goals in 20 matches, Arsenal continue to look shaky at centre-back, particularly since the departure of Laurent Koscielny who made his Emirates exit last summer. Their current go-to men are David Luiz, Rob Holding, Sokratis, Shkodran Mustafi and Callum Chambers and, despite having plenty of options, they haven’t really found a partnership that fits. Koulibaly could certainly be the man to turn things around but, as yet, Arsenal have to settle for being third in the betting at 14/1 ahead of City and Spurs.
With another few weeks to find the perfect defensive addition, there is a midfielder who is being heavily linked to Arsenal right now. Cue the aforementioned Maddison. While United are currently favourites to sign him, Arsenal are not far behind at all and are priced at 5/1 to rain on the Red Devils’ parade.