The January transfer window closes at 11 pm on Tuesday night, bringing an end to the rumour carnival for another few months.
In truth, it’s been a quiet window generally, with the title chasers happy to stick with what they have and relegation battlers thwarted in their attempts to strengthen (with the exception of Hull, who have signed four and look set to add several more before the deadline).
However, with a number of deals left hanging in the air going into the final 12 hours, there is a possibility at least that Tuesday could bring some level of excitement.
For various reasons, certain players either need to leave to further their career, to get first-team football, or because they’ve torched some bridges on the way out.
Ashley Young (Manchester United)
Linked With: West Brom, Hull, Everton, Shandong Luneng
Limited to just two Premier League starts all season, it would be in Young’s interests to find a new club on Tuesday. The 31-year-old barely features on José Mourinho’s radar, and with a number of clubs reportedly vying for his signature, he would be expected to move on this month.
Mourinho has said that he would like Young to stay, but would understand if he wanted to leave.
Robbie Brady (Norwich City)
Linked With: Burnley, Crystal Palace, Hull, Swansea, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland, Leicester
Brady’s importance to the Ireland national side has grown exponentially in the past eight months due to his Euro 2016 heroics, which in turn has led to increased interest from a number of Premier League sides.
Burnley have emerged as the frontrunners to sign him this month, and Norwich have said that the 25-year-old can go in this window providing they receive the right offer, and if they have time to find a replacement.
The smart money would still be on Brady being a Burnley player by Tuesday night, but it could be a close one.
Leonardo Ulloa (Leicester City)
Linked With: Sunderland, Alaves
Ulloa’s relationship with Leicester and manager Claudio Ranieri has deteriorated dramatically in the past few weeks, stemming from his desire to leave in search of regular football. The Foxes’ refusal of three offers for the Argentine striker, one from Alaves and two from Sunderland, has led to Ulloa taking to Twitter to pretty much kill off any hope he had of playing for the club again:
With all respect for LCFC FANS.
I feel betrayed by Ranieri and let down by the club. I will not play again for them…
— Jose Leonardo Ulloa (@Ciclone1923) January 30, 2017
Amazingly, there’s still no guarantee that he’ll be leaving the King Power on Tuesday, so he could find himself training with the reserves on Wednesday.
Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)
Linked With: Crystal Palace, Swansea, Southampton, Stoke, Inter Milan, AC Milan, PSG, Lille, Sevilla
Sakho’s Liverpool career has imploded in dramatic fashion in less than 12 months. A provisional drugs ban and multiple breaches of club discipline have led to manager Jurgen Klopp washing his hands of the defender. Attempts to move him out on loan in August proved fruitless, and now they want him gone permanently.
Sky Sports reported on Monday night that Crystal Palace had entered into talks the sign the centre-back. Liverpool’s £20m asking price could yet prove to be a stumbling block but Sakho will almost certainly be leaving Anfield (be it permanent or on a loan deal) in the next 12 hours.
Asmir Begovic (Chelsea)
Linked With: Bournemouth
With a £12m fee agreed and Begovic desperate to join Bournemouth, this deal should have been pretty straightforward. However, any transfer is dependent on Chelsea finding a replacement for the Bosnian international – and is proving to be something of a challenge.
Celtic have rejected a £3m bid for Craig Gordon and Newcastle aren’t minded to allow Karl Darlow to leave, so unless the Blues can work something out then Begovic will be forced to remain at Stamford Bridge.
Scott Hogan (Brentford)
Linked With: Aston Villa, West Ham, Crystal Palace
The Irish-qualified striker has been in fine form for Brentford this season, scoring 14 goals in 25 Championship games. This has led to strong transfer interest from clubs in both the first and second tier, with West Ham already having a bid of around £10m knocked back.
The Hammers have since dropped their interest in Hogan but Crystal Palace made an enquiry as to his availability on Monday, and by Tuesday morning Sky had made Aston Villa the favourites to sign the 24-year-old.