Gossip. Rumours. Reports. The January transfer window is less than a fortnight away and it’s that time of the year, when football aficionados keep refreshing their feeds for the latest updates.
With the Premier League table tight at the top and the title race far from being decisive, we look at the potential 2021 winter transfer targets for the top six teams.
The Liverpool transfer business has been hugely acknowledged in recent times. The acquisition of Mohammad Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Alison in 2017 have made Jurgen Kloop’s men one of the best teams in Europe. However, they have been pegged back with some injury concerns of late.
Diego Carlos - The Reds' primary need this winter would be a central defender. With Dejan Lovren moving away and Joel Matip getting interests from Paris Saint-Germain, the defending PL champions are in need of a defender. Van Dijk’s injury has not helped the dilemma. A 27-year old defender plying his trade in La Liga side Sevilla, Diego Carlos could be a good option for Jurgen Klopp. With Liverpool previously showing interest in the Brazilian we wouldn’t be surprised if they take a step further.
Ben White - Brighton defender Ben White is another option for the Reds’ CB role. The defender, who is just 22-years-old, already has a market value of around 50 million pounds. White had helped Leeds gain promotion last season and was on loan to Brighton before joining permanently. The young, solid defender might be the perfect fit for Liverpool.
Jeremy Doku - Another youngster who might make the move to Anfield this winter could be Rennes forward Jeremy Doku. The 18-year old could be a potential back-up to Liverpool’s forward line of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohammed Salah and Diogo Jota. With reports suggesting that his profile could be a fit for the champions, a January transfer might be too soon but he’s surely one on the watchlist.
The Cityzens have never shied away from spilling the cash ruthlessly on their transfer targets and with Pep Guardiola constantly being backed by the board, it seems that there is still that missing puzzle in the squad. So, who are on the oil-rich club’s radar?
Paulo Dybala - It’s evident that Pep’s team is missing the player who gets into that pocket of space to create scoring opportunities. The 2018 champions are still finding a replacement for David Silva who made his move to Real Sociedad last summer. Dybala has 18 months left in his contract with Juventus and will look to secure a long term future for himself. There is no question about his ability with the ball and City scouts will certainly have his name on their cards.
Diego Rosa - One of the more likely transfers to happen this January is Gremino’s South American midfield player Diego Rosa, who has been on the Blues watchlist for sometime now. Rosa was part of the U-17 WC winning squad of Brazil and would be Guardiola’s second signing from that team. His transfer amount might rise close to 20 million pounds and would most likely be loaned out for the rest of the season.
Declan Rice - Fernandinho’s contract ends after this season and there are question marks if the 35-year-old will serve any longer. One possible replacement is West Ham United’s Declan Rice. With the ability to play in both midfield and defense, the 21-year old could be the perfect like-for-like replacement for the Bralizian.
Frank Lampard went all out before the start of the season with a number of star signings coming to Stamford Bridge. But, the Blues are far from covering up all their bases and owner Roman Abramovich would like to back the manager.
Declan Rice - Lampard is looking to boost the defensive side of his team and the West Ham star could easily be pocketed by the Blues. Rice was a Chelsea graduate before he was released to West Ham and has done well for himself earning a national call-up. The 21-year old had mentioned in the past that he would love to play alongside Mason Mount and co. Chelsea who apparently tried to sign him before could make that move now since the boss will be selling quite a few players this window.
Matthew Bondswell - Chelsea are considering a move for RB Leipzig’s full back Matthew Bondswell, who could be a possible reserve for Ben Chilwell. The defender is currently on loan to a Dutch side for this season. The 18-year old was a regular England player since the U-15 level and has enough experience to test the waters on the biggest stage.
David Alaba - One of the hottest free agents this winter is Austria’s David Alaba. There were early talks about Alaba moving to Chelsea and the Blues are still keeping tabs on him. The 28-year-old’s versatility makes him a top buy for any club in Europe but the Bayern Munich player has a heavy wage demand is a mighty factor that might prevent Chelsea from making the move.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been quite active in recent transfer windows and we wouldn’t be surprised if he makes more business this winter. United are still in search of a centre-back and a right-winger. Here’s a look at their potential targets.
Dayot Upamecano - United were interested in pairing Upamecano with Harry Maguire before the start of the season but for some reason that didn’t work out. The 22-year old has impressed everybody with his ability with the ball in Germany and reports suggest that Upamecano has shown his willingness to play in the Premier League.
Kalidou Koulibaly - Another player in demand this winter is Kalidou Koulibaly. Reports suggest that Napoli is ready to sell him and he could be on his way to Old Trafford. However, there are other reports that suggest that the Reds have already made a bid for the Senegalese player.
Jack Grealish - The Aston Villa captain has been on Ole’s wishlist for sometime now. Had Villa failed to stay in the top division last season, Grealish might have already been on the United flanks today. With Manchester pulling out of the Sancho deal last summer, Jack Grealish could really make an effective alternative.
The Gunners have probably had one of their worst starts to a PL season and a grey cloud looms large over Mikel Arteta and his staff. Arsenal will have to change their fortunes quickly if they want to give themselves any realistic hope of a place in Europe and this winter window might just be the opening. The Arsenal director pointed out that they lack creativity in the middle and it’s more or less confirmed that the North London side will purchase a creative midfielder.
Papu Gomez - Gomez has had a rift with his manager in Atalanta and this could be a major reason for his departure from the club. The 32-year old might not have age on his side but his consistent performances make him a prime prospect. The Argentine has provided 37 assists in the last three seasons, more than any other player in Italy’s top flight.
Houssem Aouar - The name Houssem Aouar is no stranger to an Arsenal fan. The club was monitoring him closely over the last summer and after a failed move, they would love to go all out for him this time as well. The 22-year old has already contributed to goals and assists in the league this season and the number 10 role suits him fine. His attacking mindset could be the solution to Arteta’s lack of goals this season.
Pascal Gross - The Brighton player is not the biggest name in the window but he has proven his Premier League acumen. The German keeps Seagulls ticking and has created plenty of chances for them. He is also good with the dead-ball and can improve that department for Arsenal. With Arsenal lacking in the creative department, Gross might not be the worst option at a budget price if negotiated well.
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Arkadiusz Milik - The Polish striker is out of contract in the summer and this window would determine his future. Napoli are demanding 14 million for the striker and that wouldn’t be asking for too much, considering he has scored around 50 goals for the club. Jose has had a good run in the league so far, and would want to strengthen his squad depth for the second half of the season. Milik has been linked with Spurs on a few occasions now and we will have to wait and see what they make of it.
Wout Weghorst - The Dutch international revealed that he nearly made a move to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier before Spurs signed Carlos Vinicius on loan. Weghorst too has been linked with Jose men and was on the right track. The Wolfsburg player has been directly involved in quite a few goals this season but the German club is willing to let him go if a reasonable deal is offered.
Milan Skriniar - Another central defender tipped to be on the road is Milan Skriniar. Spurs currently prefer the pairing of Eric Dier and Toby Alderweireld but will look to add to their depth. Skriniar was apparently deemed expensive last summer and Jose had to go with a young Rondon instead. However, if Spurs want to fight for the title, Skriniar would definitely be someone Mourinho would love to have.