January transfer window: Who could be on the move?

Isco, Paul Pogba, Adrien Rabiot

What’s that noise you can hear?

With the New Year upon us, the transfer rumour mill is cranking back into action.

Whether chasing the title, aiming for promotion, or looking to avoid relegation, managers will be looking for their chairmen to pull out the chequebooks to sign the players who can make that crucial difference.

Paul Pogba, Isco and Adrien Rabiot are just some of the names being linked with a transfer.

BBC Sport takes a look at players who could be on the move in January.

Premier League

PAUL POGBA (25, midfielder, Manchester United)

Paul Pogba
Praying for a move?

Linked with: Juventus, Barcelona, Paris St-Germain.

The biggest name on our list. The world’s most expensive player at the time of joining Manchester United from Juventus for £89m in 2016, BBC Sport’s gossip column has been packed with reports that Pogba’s time at Old Trafford could end for the second time this January.

Dropped from the team in December, including against rivals Liverpool, the France World Cup winner has been of interest to former club Juventus amid reports of a £125m bid, with Barcelona and PSG also said to be circling.

But the departure of manager Jose Mourinho, with whom he had a fractured relationship, has lifted the gloom at Old Trafford and it remains to be seen whether a more liberated role in the side changes circumstances for Pogba or not.

DANNY DRINKWATER (28, midfielder, Chelsea)

Linked with: West Ham, Fulham.

Premier League winner Drinkwater’s move to Chelsea has not gone to plan – he even missed out on their Europa League squad. His only appearance this season came in the Community Shield loss to Manchester City and he has been told by manager Maurizio Sarri he can leave.

The 28-year-old former Leicester player would add some steel in the middle of the park, and a reunion with ex-Foxes boss Claudio Ranieri at Fulham is a possibility.

GARY CAHILL (33, defender, Chelsea)

Linked with: Arsenal, AC Milan, Aston Villa, Fulham.

Another Chelsea outcast who has failed to break into the team under Maurizio Sarri, Cahill is down the defensive pecking order at Stamford Bridge and has been told he too is free to go.

Possessing plenty of experience on the club and international stage, as well as a healthy looking trophy cabinet, Cahill would not be short of offers from top clubs in the Premier League, Championship and, perhaps more surprisingly, Serie A.

Elsewhere, Bayern Munich have reportedly made a £20m bid for Chelsea teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi, while team-mates Cesc Fabregas, Victor Moses and Andreas Christensen may also be on the way out.

BRAHIM DIAZ (19, midfielder, Manchester City)

Brahim Diaz

Diaz is out of contract in the summer and is growing frustrated with limited first-team opportunities.

The Spain Under-21 international is one of the country’s brightest prospects and may follow in the footsteps of Jadon Sancho by trying his luck outside the Premier League.

Reports in Spain say La Liga giants Real Madrid have agreed a £13.6m deal, with the player to receive £60,000 a week in wages.

JERMAIN DEFOE (36, striker, Bournemouth)

Linked with: Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Sheffield United, Wigan.

Former England international Defoe has found game time hard to come by this season, playing fewer than 30 minutes in the Premier League.

Seventh on the Premier League’s all-time top scorers list with 162 goals, Defoe is a proven finishers and could do a short-term job for a team in need of a striker, despite his advancing years.

DOMINIC SOLANKE (21, striker, Liverpool)

Linked with: Crystal Palace, Huddersfield, Brighton.

Solanke, who has won one cap for England, is yet to make a first-team appearance for Liverpool this season, having failed to make the breakthrough expected of him.

Numerous Premier League sides are interested in a loan move and Solanke has also been linked to clubs in the Championship as well as outside England.

Also look out for whether goalkeeper Simon Mignolet stays at Anfield, with the Belgian firmly second choice behind summer signing Alisson.

ADRIEN SILVA (29, midfielder, Leicester)

Linked with: Sporting Lisbon.

What a farce this transfer has turned out to be for Leicester. The Foxes agreed to sign the midfielder for £22m on deadline day in the summer of 2017, but missed filing the paperwork by 14 seconds. He stayed at Sporting Lisbon and did not play until January.

But 12 months on from his debut and only 19 appearances later (three this season), Silva now seems to be heading back to his old club in Portugal.

TOM HEATON (32, goalkeeper, Burnley)

Linked with: Aston Villa, Leeds.

Having missed most of last season with a shoulder injury, Heaton’s number one spot at Turf Moor was taken by England international Nick Pope, and he fell further out of the reckoning after the signing of Joe Hart in the summer.

Though he has recently been restored to the starting line-up, Heaton may want more guaranteed game time, with Championship sides Aston Villa and Leeds interested.

STEVEN DAVIS (33, midfielder, Southampton)

Linked with: Rangers.

Despite Southampton’s struggles in the league, ex-captain Davis has barely featured this season. His luck has not changed under new manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, and the Northern Ireland international is likely to be allowed to leave in January.

A return to Rangers seems his most likely move, with manager Steven Gerrard recently calling Davis “a top player and a great guy”.

OUMAR NIASSE (28, striker, Everton)

Oumar Niasse
Will Niasse sign for Cardiff or Huddersfield?

Linked with: Cardiff, Huddersfield, Crystal Palace.

Niasse netted eight Premier League goals for Everton last season but has since been restricted to four substitute appearances in the league and has reportedly been made available for transfer by the Toffees.

Given Niasse was signed for about £13m in 2016, manager Marco Silva will have to accept a cut-price deal to sell the Senegal striker, who could provide Cardiff and Huddersfield with the firepower they need.

Team-mate James McCarthy has returned to full fitness after a double leg break and might also be allowed to leave on loan.


BRADLEY DACK (25, midfielder, Blackburn)

Linked with: West Ham, Crystal Palace.

Dack’s goalscoring exploits in the EFL have not gone unnoticed, and he has attracted interest from clubs in the Premier League.

The attacking midfielder scored 18 goals as Blackburn were promoted to the Championship last season and his form has continued in the second tier, with nine goals so far.

KEMAR ROOFE (25, striker, Leeds)

Linked with: Wolves, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Palermo.

Former Oxford forward Roofe has been in superb form for Leeds this season, scoring 13 goals as Marcelo Bielsa’s side push for promotion to the Premier League.

A host of Premier League clubs are reportedly keen on bringing him in, while Serie A side Palermo have also been linked.

MAX AARONS (18, full-back, Norwich)

Max Aarons
The highly rated Aarons has won four caps for England Under-19s

Linked with: Tottenham, RB Leipzig.

Despite only making his debut in August, Norwich teenager Aarons is regarded as one of the most exciting full-backs in the Championship.

The performances for the Canaries in his breakthrough season have brought attention from Premier League side Tottenham, who could make a £15m move, as well as Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig.

NEAL MAUPAY (22, forward, Brentford)

Linked with: Huddersfield.

Brentford may be battling at the wrong end of the Championship, but France youth international Maupay has been a shining light, with 14 goals and six assists this season.

With Huddersfield the lowest scorers in the top flight this season, Maupay could provide much-needed goals in a £10m move.

JARROD BOWEN (22, winger, Hull)

Linked with: Cardiff, Fulham, Leeds.

Another player performing well for a struggling team. Bowen was Hull players’ and supporters’ player of the year last season and has found the net eight times this campaign.

Would the winger fancy swapping Hull for clubs such as Cardiff or Fulham, who are finding life difficult in the top flight?

LLOYD KELLY (20, defender, Bristol City)

Linked with: Liverpool, Manchester United.

England youth international Kelly has been Bristol City’s standout performer in the Championship this season and is highly thought of at Ashton Gate.

Described by manager Lee Johnson as an “absolute beast”, the speedy Kelly may soon be in the top flight if his impressive performances continue.

Free agents
Some free agents to keep an eye on…

From across the border

DEDRYCK BOYATA (28, defender, Celtic)

Linked with: Fulham.

Premier League strugglers Fulham had a bid for Belgium international Boyata rejected in the summer and, with the Cottagers shipping goals this season, they could come back in for the Celtic centre-back.

Boyata’s contract with the Scottish Premiership champions expires in the summer and they may look to cash in if a reasonable offer arrives in January.

JORDAN JONES (24, midfielder, Kilmarnock)

Linked with: Rangers, Swansea, Burnley.

Northern Ireland international Jones has played an integral role in Kilmarnock’s surprise challenge for the Scottish Premiership title.

Jones’ contract expires in the summer and Rangers could come back in for the player, having previously had a £350,000 offer rejected.

WES FODERINGHAM (27, goalkeeper, Rangers)

Linked with: Leeds.

Despite their long injury list, Leeds are in the mix for promotion back to the Premier League but are desperately in need of a back-up goalkeeper.

Should a move for Burnley’s Heaton not come off, Rangers number two Foderingham has reportedly been targeted as a potential signing.

Around Europe…

ISCO (26, midfielder, Real Madrid)

Linked with: Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal.

Spain international Isco has not been helped by the managerial changes at the Bernabeu and, after being a regular under Zinedine Zidane, has been a bit-part player under Santiago Solari.

Isco was booed by his own fans during the home Champions League loss by CSKA Moscow, and Chelsea are reportedly ready to make a hefty £70m offer.

ADRIEN RABIOT (23, midfielder, Paris St-Germain)

Linked with: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona.

Frenchman Rabiot’s future with Ligue 1 champions PSG is in major doubt after reportedly refusing a number of new contract offers, with his current deal set to expire in the summer.

The 23-year-old has long been linked with a move to Liverpool, but Barcelona are frontrunners at the moment in what would be a bargain £4.5m deal.

MATTHIJS DE LIGT (19, defender, Ajax)

De Ligt's stats on Football Manager (football-oranje.com)
Ball-playing defender De Ligt’s stats on Football Manager 2019 at the start of the game (football-oranje.com)

Linked with: Manchester City, Barcelona, Juventus.

Listed as a “wonderkid” on Football Manager, so he must be good? De Ligt is living up to the virtual hype by following in the footsteps of Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Paul Pogba in claiming the Golden Ball award for the most promising under-21 player in Europe.

Captain of Ajax and already with 13 Netherlands caps, De Ligt, who is valued at £63m, has a bright future and looks set for a big-money move to one of Europe’s giant clubs.

CHRISTIAN PULISIC (20, winger, Borussia Dortmund)

Linked with: Liverpool, Chelsea.

A mixture of injury and the startling form of Sancho means USA international Pulisic has had to be content with a role off the bench in Borussia Dortmund’s rise to the top of the Bundesliga.

German football expert Raphael Honigstein told BBC Radio 5 live: “Pulisic has refused to renew his contract beyond 2020 and Dortmund know the summer is the latest that he will have to be sold.

“He is not a starter in the big games so if someone wants to bring the move forward (to January) with an extra 20m euros, Dortmund may decide it is not the worst thing.”

Former Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp reportedly wants to take him to Liverpool, and there is also interest from Chelsea.

TIMOTHY WEAH (18, striker, Paris St-Germain)

Timothy Weah

Son of Liberia president and former AC Milan and Paris St-Germain striker George Weah, Timothy broke into the PSG first team last season and has continued his development this term.

But a loan move away in January is a strong possibility, with Celtic reportedly the USA international’s preferred choice. Ligue 1 strugglers Amiens have also made contact.

TANGUY NDOMBELE (22, midfielder, Lyon)

Linked with: Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham.

Energetic box-to-box midfielder Ndombele has helped Lyon into the last 16 of the Champions League and also made his France debut this season.

French football journalist Julien Laurens said Ndombele has been a “revelation” since joining from Amiens last summer, but an eye-watering £90m may be needed to secure his signature.

ANDREAS SAMARIS (29, midfielder, Benfica)

Linked with: Newcastle.

Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez enquired about Greece international Samaris in the summer but was put off by the £10m asking price.

With the midfielder’s contract expiring at the end of the season, Benitez is reportedly looking at trying to sign him for a much lower fee.

NICOLAS PEPE (23, winger, Lille)

Linked with: Arsenal, Tottenham, Barcelona.

Ivory Coast international Pepe has caught the eye of high-profile clubs after an impressive 25 goals and nine assists in 55 league games since joining Lille in 2017.

With Pepe valued at about £45m, Unai Emery’s Arsenal are said to be leading the race to sign the winger.

And one from MLS…

MIGUEL ALMIRON (24, midfielder, Atlanta United)

Linked with: Newcastle, Arsenal.

Paraguay international Almiron has made a stunning impact for Atlanta since signing from Argentine side Lanus in 2016, with 12 goals and 13 assists in the league and leading them to MLS Cup glory in their second season in the competition.

Described as “pacy, with a terrific left foot”, a big-money move – for as much as £25m – to the Premier League with Newcastle or Arsenal could happen in January.

Additional reporting by BBC Sport’s Tom Garry.


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