The January transfer window is now open, and as usual, the rumors are swirling around EPL’s finest! Virgil van Dijk got things started early with a move to Liverpool. Here’s my take on the rest: who stays and who goes!
Philippe Coutinho: Yesterday, Nike ‘accidentally’ leaked that a deal has been reached for the midfielder with Barcelona for 125 million pounds. As far as I’m concerned, Liverpool has already spent part of this transfer money on Virgil van Dijk. Say your goodbyes, folks!
The Arsenal Wantaway Duo: The problem with contract standoffs is that it’s almost a lose-lose situation for the club. Arsenal has played the waiting game with their two stars: Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, and by the summer, they will be free to leave if no contracts are signed. Apparently, Manchester United and Barcelona want Ozil, while Manchester City or PSG could go for Alexis. Regarding Ozil, the news may be better for Arsenal fans. He seems to be engaged with the club and is likely to stay for the long haul if the money is right. Alexis, on the other hand, is a bit trickier. Body language experts and Thierry Henry allege that Alexis has fallen out with his teammates, and reports say that there have been dressing room bust-ups between him and Wilshere. Either way, it’s safe to say that he’s not likely to leave in January to a club like City who would have no incentive to buy him in this window when they can get him for free later. Past the summer? Now, that’s fair game. As tightly as Arsenal has historically held on to their money, it would be laughable/poetic justice if they lost either of these guys for free. Their only face saving move would be to break the bank to keep them; harmonious dressing room be damned.
Harry Kane–Gareth Bale swap: Harry Kane, the player with the most goals this calendar year should be playing for a team like Real Madrid, you would think. There is a school of thought that truly believes that Harry Kane is not world class until he wins silverware. But if Real Madrid think they can come to Tottenham with anything less than real money– I’m talking break the bank, leave Pogba’s transfer fee in the dust money–they better think again. And no, using Gareth to shave off millions will not work.
Eden Hazard: Per reports, he doesn’t want to sign a contract extension with Chelsea in case Real Madrid wants him. Real Madrid has ‘wanted’ Hazard for at least 3 years now and every year it hasn’t happened. They say the figure is around 120 million pounds, but the way the market is swinging, Chelsea would surely want more for their star player. He has not had the best of seasons thus far, so Real Madrid would not be willing to pay more for him. They’ll be at an impasse and he will stay at Chelsea.
Mohamed Salah: Real Madrid allegedly wants this guy in the summer and we know why–23 goals in half a season. Now, this is a guy that Liverpool should not entertain any conversation about. A winger who always looks dangerous every time he scurries down the field and one who converts his chances is someone to hold on to. I don’t even want to spend too much time giving credence to this rumor. There is no reason to expect that he will leave this summer.
Danny Rose: According to the rumor mills, he is as good as gone to Manchester United since a falling out with his boss in early December. How true this is, no one really knows, but since returning from injury, he has not commanded a starting place in the Tottenham squad. If Mourinho really wants him, he may be able to get him without having to spend striker money.
David Luiz: Is he injured? Is there a fallout with the boss keeping him out of the squad? Per rumors, it’s a combination of both. What we do know is that young Christensen is doing a great job filling Luiz’s boots, and it is possible that he may not be able to get in the first team even when he becomes fit. Allegedly, Arsenal is leading the usual suspects, Barcelona and Real Madrid in the race to land him. Knowing Arsenal’s penchant for buying players of rival teams past the age of 30, this is not far-fetched at all. The only thing truly difficult to call is his landing spot. Because knowing Conte’s impatience for dissent, he is all but gone.
The transfer season is sure to be active. The wait and see game begins NOW!
image source: google images