Ten players who could leave this January month
The January transfer window is open and clubs around the world will be looking to bolster their squads. Players will also be looking for greener pastures while others look for playing time to stay in contention for Euro 2020 and Copa America. So who are likely to move on? Alfayo Onyango explores.
1. Paul Pogba
Manchester United want-away midfielder Paul Pogba has been a difficult player to understand during his second tenure at the club.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has added fuel to the fire, claiming the player is in pursuit of a club that challenges for major trophies while United coach Ole Gunnar Solksjaer insist the star is going nowhere.
The player himself admitted last summer that he would like a new challenge and that has not changed given United’s struggles this season.
Real Madrid and former side Juventus are the clubs interested in his signature with Aston Villa FC’s Jack Grealish, Leicester City’s James Maddison and Sporting CF’s Bruno Fernandes lined up as potential replacements.
2. Granit Xhaka
Arsenal’s Swiss midfield maestro has been at loggerheads with the London club’s supporters and this flared up when he walked off the pitch in a home game against Crystal Palace in October.
Speculation of the Swiss captain departing for Bundesliga Hertha Berlin amid personal terms agreed and a fee of about £25 million have been surfacing all over the last few weeks.
New Arsenal coach Mikel Arteta, has, however quashed the rumours labelling Xhaka as a crucial part of his plans.
3. Olivier Giroud
Chelsea’s World Cup winning striker is not happy at the little playing time he is getting. The 33-year-old has started just two of Chelsea’s 21 Premier League games but never completed 90 minutes.
He has not been named in the squad for nine games, and has been an unused sub in seven as he faces stiff competition from on-form English striker Tammy Abraham who has 12 goals domestically.
But with the Euros not far off and being France’s favoured striker, it may be time to live.
4. Paco Alcacer
The signing of 19-year-old wonder-kid Norwegian Erling Braut Haaland at Borussia Dortmund seems to have left Spanish striker Paco Alcacer in a spot of bother.
While the Signal Iduna Park faithful are looking forward to Haaland possibly having the same impact as Robert Lewandowski when he was at the club, Alcacer is considering his options given his playing time is going to be reduced significantly.
The Spanish striker is looking to secure a place in Luis Enriques’ squad for Euro 2020 hence the need to be playing regularly.
5. Dayot Upamecano
The 21-year-old French defender who plays for Bundesliga leaders RB Leipzig is wanted by Arsenal after injuries to the likes of Calum Chambers and Keiran Tierney.
Frenchman William Saliba is not expected in the club until next summer so defensive cover is needed hence the interest Upamecano.
However, Leipzig’s short change of pricing from £15 million last summer to £70 million this January may have Arsenal reconsidering their options.
6. Moussa Dembele
Lyon prolific front man Dembele, good at using both feet, may be on his way to Chelsea.
After a dismal start to the Ligue 1 this season despite his 10 goals in 18 appearances, the striker may be lured by Chelsea’s spending power and the challenge of fighting for a starting place with Tammy Abraham in Frank Lampard’s bid to return the club to the top tier of world football.
7. Christian Eriksen
It is not a matter of if but when the Danish playmaker will leave Tottenham Hotspur.
Eriksen has been unsettled at the Champions League finalists all season long after failing to land his dream move to Real Madrid last summer.
Former coach Mauricio Pocettino and new boss Jose Mourinho have left him out of the squad and it seems the club has given up on him.
Given he has only six months left on his deal, clubs could take the chance to sign him cheaply now or sign a pre-contract agreement to snap him up for free in the summer.
8. Thomas Lemar
He formed a part of AS Monaco’s golden generation alongside Kylian Mbappe, Bernado Silva, and Benjamin Mendy that won the Ligue 1 title in 2017 and reached the Uefa Champions League semi-final.
That made him one of the hottest properties and Atletico Madrid won the race to sign him for £52.5 million in 2018.
He has, however, failed to live up to expectations as recently admitted by Atletico coach Diego Simeone. Arsenal and Spurs are linked to the attack-minded left-footed winger.
9. Vinicius Junior
Real Madrid Brazilian trickster is having a season to forget under French coach Zinedine Zidane. Zidane has preferred an attack of Brazilian revelation Rodrygo and Karim Benzema leaving Vinicius in the sidelines.
That has left Vinicius begging for a move out of the Spanish capital. However, it will be a challenge to meet his huge wage demands after enjoying life on a silver spoon in Madrid.
10. Dres Mertens
In the final year of his contract, the Belgian striker is on the radar of clubs such as Arsenal, Liverpool, and former coach Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton.
Everton are said to be preparing a €50 million to secure the 32-year-old’s signature which will make him the club’s most expensive signing alongside Brazilian winger Richarlison.