It’s January and that means the transfer window is open. Which players are likeliest to move before it closes at the end of the month? David Amoyal rates the top rumours from around world football.
Cesc Fabregas to leave Chelsea — 55 percent
Despite Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri’s public plea to keep Fabregas until the end of the season, there’s a good chance the midfielder will leave Stamford Bridge in January as the club will not extend his expiring contract. A move to AC Milan makes a lot of sense because of their need for a playmaker after Lucas Biglia’s injury, but the Serie A side would be hard pressed to offer a significant transfer fee because of their Financial Fair Play restrictions. Thierry Henry’s Monaco on the other hand could ensure Chelsea receive a larger financial return, in addition to being able to offer Fabregas a multi-year deal.
Manolo Gabbiadini to Milan — 40 percent
The Rossoneri started the season with only two strikers in their squad and are looking to give manager Gennaro Gattuso more options as they battle for a Champions League spot. Milan have been linked to two former Serie A attackers and, with their No. 1 target Luis Muriel joining Fiorentina, Gabbiadini is now their priority. The Southampton striker has struggled to find consistent playing time this season and Milan have reportedly already been in touch with his agent Silvio Pagliari.
Kalidou Koulibaly to Manchester United — 5 percent
Napoli’s elimination from the Champions League and the racism Koulibaly was subjected to by fans recently have created a lot of buzz about the Senegal defender leaving in January. However, there’s no indication Koulibaly is pushing for a move, especially after the city of Naples rallied around him, and the club have agreed a new deal to make him the highest paid defender in Serie A.
Aaron Ramsey to Juventus — 40 percent in the summer
After landing Emre Can for nothing last summer, could the Serie A champions sign another Premier League midfielder on a free transfer? There is a lot of competition for the Welshman’s signature with most of Europe’s elite interested, but Juventus appear to be his preferred destination over Paris Saint-Germain and a lot of his other suitors, including Inter, aren’t willing to match his salary demands.
Elseid Hysaj to Chelsea — 35 percent
While Koulibaly and Dries Mertens are somewhat unrealistic targets for Chelsea in January, the same can’t be said for the Albania right-back. A Sarri favourite, dating back to their time together at Empoli, Hysaj has been benched a lot this season and would be available for considerably less than his €50m exit clause.
Isco to Manchester City — 15 percent (40 percent in the summer)
While the Spain midfielder has played down the talk of a move generated by his surprising lack of playing time at Real Madrid this season, there’s a significant chance he’ll be joining a new team in 2019. Isco has been linked to Manchester United, Chelsea and Juventus but at the moment Manchester City are the favorites to sign him. While new Real boss Santi Solari may not value him, he remains a world-class player on his day and the top clubs may be tempted by a price of around €100m.
Callum Hudson-Odoi to Bayern — 35 percent
With the Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery era nearing a conclusion, Bayern Munich are set for a complete overhaul on the wings. After signing 18-year-old speedster Alphonso Davies from Vancouver Whitecaps, the club seem keen to add another hot prospect in Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi and have already submitted a £20m offer. The forward has struggled to get first-team action under Sarri but the Blues are rumoured to want around £40m before they would consider a sale.
Eder Militao to Liverpool — 30 percent
Porto’s Eder Militao has attracted plenty of attention due to the release clause in his contract being set at €50m. On the one hand it could be an incentive for Liverpool to try and get the Brazilian defender in this transfer window, but on the other, the long list of suitors — including Manchester United — and Porto’s efforts to get him to sign a new deal with an increased clause could convince the Reds to look elsewhere.
Abdoulaye Doucoure to PSG — 40 percent
Adrien Rabiot’s decision to leave PSG this summer at the end of his contract (and subsequent dropping from the first-team) has opened a gap in Thomas Tuchel’s midfield that the French champions seem determined to fill with Watford’s powerhouse Abdoulaye Doucoure. The 26-year-old has been one of the top performers for the Hornets so far this season and though the club say they won’t sell him in January, should an offer in the region of €50m arrive, Watford’s convictions could easily start to waver.
Brahim Diaz to Real Madrid — 60 percent
Real Madrid are rumoured to be close to reaching an agreement over the transfer of the 19-year-old for around €15m. The club could have waited to get Diaz at the end of his contract, but decided to get ahead of the other suitors and move to finalise the transfer quickly. For a player who hasn’t broken into the first-team, Manchester City are happy to cash in given they would have lost him for nothing in a few months.