With the Premier League now worth so much money, none of the 20 clubs currently in the league want to drop out. The January window represents a great chance for clubs at the bottom of the table to try and pull clear with some good signings, whilst teams at the top will be targeting more squad depth for the testing months ahead. With that in mind, here are some of the players who could be bought (or loaned) by the Premier League clubs in the month ahead.
Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich)
Linked with: Chelsea (£34-40m)
Antonio Conte seems almost certain to spend the £60m that Chelsea have recieved for Oscar in the January window – which has seen the Blues linked with just about anyone decent. One of the more likely moves to happen, is a move for Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal – who has worked with Conte before, and is currently not first choice at Bayern Munich. It would be a big statement of intent if Conte were to get his man in this window.
Virgil van Dijk (Southampton)
Linked with: Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City and Manchester United (£60m)
Seemingly the most in-demand player in the January window, Virgil van Dijk is wanted by some of the best clubs in the country – and Southampton’s £60m price tag appears to not be putting them off. Chelsea can use the money from the Oscar sale to fund the move, but they don’t need van Dijk at the moment – meaning it would just be buying him to block Manchester City from strengthening (they look the next most likely destination).
Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal)
Linked with: West Ham and Crystal Palace (Loan)
Having recently come back from a serious injury sustained while on loan at West Ham, Jenkinson has been unable to usurp Hector Bellerin as Arsenal’s right back – and failed to impress when Bellerin was injured. As a result, he will most likely be loaned out in this transfer window – with previous loaners West Ham, as well as other London rivals Crystal Palace both interested.
Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa)
Linked with: Middlesbrough (£6m)
Middlesbrough are looking for another striker to provide competition for Alvaro Negredo, and Villa are looking to offload a striker or two (they have six!). Instead of targeting a different type of striker, it seems Middlesbrough want another target man – and have recently had a £6m offer accepted for Rudy Gestede. Shouldn’t be long before this one is confirmed.
Morgan Schneiderlin (Manchester United)
Linked with: Everton and West Brom (£20m)
One of two Manchester United players deemed surplus to requirements by manager José Mourinho, Schneiderlin will be the pricier of the two at £20m – Everton, West Brom and Inter Milan are all interested, and Mourinho would prefer to sell to Inter or West Brom (who have already had a £13m bid rejected).
Memphis Depay (Manchester United)
Linked with: Everton (£13m)
The other castaway at United, Depay has been urged to leave the club by his own national team manager, Danny Blind. With Mourinho also admitting that he is going to let Depay leave, there will be no shortage of offers from around Europe. The only interested side so far in England though, is Everton – with Depay’s fellow countryman Ronald Koeman interested in signing him as a replacement for the injured Yannick Bolasie.
Franck Kessié (Atalanta)
Linked with: Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal (£25m+)
Another in-demand player is Atalanta’s 20-year old Ivorian midfielder, Franck Kessié – who is wanted by most of the Premier League’s top sides. Chelsea reportedly had a £21m offer rejected a couple of days before the window opened, and appear to have cooled their interest slightly – especially as Kessié has now departed for the African Cup of Nations. Arsenal seems the most likely destination now.
Victor Lindelöf (Benfica)
Linked with: Manchester United (£40m)
A seemingly never-ending transfer saga, with some reports claiming the deal is off, and others saying it is nearly done. Whilst Marcos Rojo and Phil Jones have done well at the heart of the United defence, there is a lack of quality backup options with Eric Bailly now at the African Cup of Nations – which could mean that United do end up signing Lindelöf.
Jermain Defoe (Sunderland)
Linked with: West Ham and Crystal Palace (£6m)
The only player currently giving Sunderland hope in their fight against relegation, it’s hard to see them letting him leave. However, West Ham and Crystal Palace have both been linked in their search for a striker, and £6m isn’t much for a proven striker in the Premier League. It could happen, but it isn’t likely.
Patrick van Aanholt (Sunderland)
Linked with: Crystal Palace
Sam Allardyce was always going to be linked to some of his former players, but Patrick van Aanholt appears a serious possibility, with Palace in need of a new left back. If any offer is made, it will probably be part of a double offer – along with Jermain Defoe
Lee Grant (Derby County)
Linked with: Stoke City (£1.5m)
Having impressed during his loan with Stoke, it seems that Lee Grant will be making the move permanent (especially with Butland still out injured) after they agreed a fee with Derby. The loan expires on the 3rd of January, so expect the deal to be confirmed soon.
Holger Badstuber (Bayern Munich)
Linked with: Manchester City
A late starting rumour – as Man City feel there is too much competition for Virgil van Dijk, so could move for a cheaper alternative in Badstuber – who Guardiola has worked with before at Bayern. Some injury problems have seen him stall, and Ancelotti doesn’t rate him like Guardiola did so there’s room for a deal.
Steven N’Zonzi (Sevilla)
Linked with: Arsenal, Man City and Chelsea (£25.5m)
Steven N’Zonzi has had a rocky ride at Sevilla, and seemed likely to leave in the summer. He didn’t though and has since become an integral part of Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla side that are doing so well. That has inevitably attracted the attention of some big clubs in need of some midfield steel, and Sevilla could be tempted into selling for an inflated price.
Emil Forsberg or Quincy Promes (RB Leipzig/Spartak Moscow)
Linked with: Liverpool (£20m)
With Sadio Mané off to the African Cup of Nations, and Daniel Sturridge injured (again), Liverpool are on the lookout for a new attacking player. Their original target was Christian Pulisic, but Dortmund have told Liverpool in no uncertain terms that he isn’t for sale, so they have turned their attention to getting one of Emil Forsberg or Quincy Promes. Promes is the more likely deal, as Wijnaldum has openly stated that he wants them to sign him – and he will likely be the easier player to obtain.