With less than five full days remaining before the January transfer window closes, there are a number of potential deals still up in the air.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ross Barkley, Diego Costa and Philippe Coutinho have all been wrapped up well in advance, while this past week finally saw an end to the Alexis Sanchez saga with the Chilean forward finally making a move to Old Trafford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan going in the other direction.
But certain clubs still have some business to take care of, and time is running out to do so. Here are ten players that could be on the move before next Thursday.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This looks a fair bit less certain than it did a week ago. After days of speculation, Arsenal finally made their move for the forward on Saturday – only for the offer to be quickly rebuffed by Dortmund. The Gunners have since come back with a second bid of just over €50m rejected by the Bundesliga side, who are reportedly holding out for €70m and by all accounts are getting pretty fed up of Arsenal’s dithering around with low bids.
It is still leaning towards a deal being done, but Arsenal can’t afford to wait for Dortmund to blink first.
Edin Dzeko & Emerson Palmieri. It look earlier in the week as though Chelsea had agreed a €50m deal to sign both Dzeko and Roma teammate Emerson Palmieri, though that seems to have gone quiet lately. Palmieri looks pretty much nailed-on at this point, but links with Olivier Giroud (more on him below) on Thursday suggested that Chelsea are looking at their options again (which, having looked at Andy Carroll, Peter Crouch, Ashley Barnes and Mark Arnautovic, they should probably stop doing). Roma, meanwhile, insist that no offer for Dzeko so far has been to their liking.
At this point it’s hard to predict what way this deal will go, but if Chelsea fail to sign a striker in January then serious questions have to be asked of the club’s recruitment policy.
Lucas Moura. Linked with Manchester United earlier in the window, but reports ovr the past few days have indicated that the Brazilian could be set for a €25m move to Tottenham Hotspur. Lucas is surplus to requirements at Paris Saint-Germain, that much is obvious, and while Spurs had also been looking at Bordeaux forward Malcom, the former would be a cheaper and less problematic transfer than the latter in terms of prising him from his club – though Dortmund are also keen on buying him with all of that sweet, sweet Aubameyang money.
Aymeric Laporte. This one looks set to go over the line. Manchester City have reportedly agreed to trigger Laporte’s €65m release clause in order to bring to the French U21 defender to the Etihad this month. Barring any late hitches, the Athletic Bilbao centre-back will be moving to the Premier League within the next week.
Olivier Giroud. Linked with a loan move to Dortmund as part of the Aubameyang deal, Giroud has been told by Arsene Wenger that the only possibility of him leaving is if they get someone in. That someone is Auba, but even if that happens there is no guarantee that the French striker will be leaving the Emirates.
Chelsea have also been linked as they continue their search for a target man, but it’s 50/50 really as to whether Giroud will still be an Arsenal player next week.
Thomas Lemar. Liverpool Twitter went into a frenzy this week (as Liverpool Twitter tends to) when Lemar was left out of Monaco’s French Cup defeat to Lyon, resurrecting rumours of a potential £75m+ move to Anfield. However, it seems that the Frenchmen was merely rested for the match and although Jurgen Klopp is apparently keen on signing him in the summer, Liverpool fans shouldn’t hold their breaths over a potential January move.
Daniel Sturridge. The England forward has been linked with a loan move to Inter this month, and while Jurgen Klopp has been fairly ambiguous regarding the situation, Sturridge himself is willing to leave in order to enhance his chances of playing for England in the World Cup. Realistically, though, Liverpool are still involved in three competitions and would probably be better served keeping him.
Jonny Evans. West Brom seem far less determined to keep Evans now than they were in the summer, particularly as selling him for north of £20m would allow Alan Pardew to bring in a striker before the window closes. Arsenal are keen, though one suspects that they are looking to bring the Aubameyang price down in order to better align it with their budget for both players. Man City are also interested, but Laporte is the bigger priority.
Nicolai Jorgensen. The fact that, almost 13 years later, Michael Owen is still Newcastle’s record signing tells you everything you need to know about spending in the Mike Ashley era – and although that £17m investment was lavish at the time, nowadays it barely gets you one Jordon Ibe. The Magpies have had two bids forJorgensen knocked back by Feyenoord this week, the second believed to be worth around £15m (or exactly one Jordon Ibe).
Despite the re-signing of Robin van Persie this week, the Eredivisie side are keen for the Danish international to stay, but reports suggest the their heads might be turned if Newcastle come back with a club-record £20m offer for the 27-year-old, but the clock is ticking.
David Luiz. Seemed destined for a Stamford Bridge exit earlier in the season when he was unceremoniously dropped after a reported bust-up with Antonio Conte. Although something could still happen in the next few days and Luiz is yet to win his place back in the team, the rumours around the Brazilian appear to have gone quiet.
At this point, a summer departure seems more likely, unless Luiz chooses to ride it out and gamble that Conte will be gone before him (also a distinct possibility).
In this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish Football Podcast, we speak to new Cork City goalkeeper Peter Cherrie on his move from Bray Wanderers, we reflect on Ireland’s UEFA Nations League draw as well as the usual round-up of this week’s League of Ireland news and transfers.