From Mbappé to Martial – 10 players potentially on the move in January

France striker could join Real Madrid after their failed attempt to sign him last summer

 Kylian Mbappe: could be set to move to Real Madrid from  Paris Saint-Germain. Photograph:  Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Kylian Mbappe: could be set to move to Real Madrid from Paris Saint-Germain. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

 

Kylian Mbappé - Paris Saint-Germain

He may have ruled out a move in January but there remains a slim chance that the France forward could join Real Madrid this month after their failed attempts to sign him in the summer. Mbappé is entering the final six months of his contract with Paris Saint-Germain and can therefore sign a pre-contract agreement with the Spanish giants, although talks are said to be on hold until after the two clubs meet in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League on March 9th. Whether Madrid will attempt to force the issue before then remains to be seen.

Anthony Martial - Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick has made no secret of the forward’s desire to leave Old Trafford seven years after he became the most expensive teenager in history but his destination remains unclear. A loan bid from Sevilla that would have involved the Spanish club paying half of Martial’s £150,000 a week wages was rejected, with United not prepared to finance any loan move. Barcelona and Juventus have also been credited with interest in the 26-year-old, who has slipped down the pecking order following the return of Cristiano Ronaldo and played only 200 minutes in the Premier League so far.

Raphinha - Leeds United

The Leeds forward has been heavily linked with Bayern Munich and the German champions could decide to make their move should they allow Kingsley Coman to join Barcelona. Any offers would be strongly resisted, however, by Leeds, who are wary of losing their key creative player while they are battling against relegation. Liverpool have also been linked with the player signed from the French side Rennes in October 2020, whose contract expires in 2024. The Brazilian could cost around £60m.

Denis Zakaria - Borussia Mönchengladbach

The Switzerland international’s decision not to sign a new contract with Borussia Mönchengladbach has put several clubs on alert, with West Ham and Juventus among those to have been linked in recent days. A defensive midfielder who is also capable of filling in at centre-back, Zakaria – who was born in Switzerland to a South Sudanese mother and Congolese father – moved to Germany in 2017 from Young Boys and has also merited attention from Manchester United and Liverpool.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles - Arsenal

Perhaps unsurprisingly after his outburst on social media in August when he pleaded to be allowed to move to Everton on a season-long loan, Mikel Arteta has rarely turned to Maitland-Niles so far this campaign. Despite praising him after the win over Watford, the 24-year-old has not featured since in the Premier League. The England international has made only two starts in the Premier League and is expected to join Roma, linking up with the former Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and, of course, José Mourinho in what could be a permanent deal for around £12m.

Nathaniel Phillips - Liverpool

The defender described as “one of the smartest players I ever worked with” by the Liverpool manager, Jürgen Klopp, has yet to feature in the Premier League this season having filled in admirably during the club’s injury-ravaged title defence. Now it could be time for a new chapter after Phillips asked to move on in January should they receive a suitable offer, with the 24-year-old recovering from a fractured cheekbone that kept him out of the festive schedule. West Ham – in the midst of their own defensive crisis – are among those to have been linked.

Ben Brereton Diaz - Blackburn

A striker whose scoring record has been transformed since being surprisingly called up by Chile for the first time earlier this year. Brereton Diaz has been in spectacular form for Blackburn since returning from his exploits at the Copa América in the summer and a host of Premier League clubs have clearly been paying attention. Brighton and Leeds are among them, with Tony Mowbray suggesting it would take around £30m to tempt Blackburn into selling. “If somebody bids the money that we can’t turn down and it’s life-changing for Ben Brereton Diaz, then who am I to stop him from earning £100k-per-week?”

Kieran Trippier - Atlético Madrid

The England mainstay has thrived under the tutelage of Diego Simeone since joining Atlético from Tottenham in 2019 but looks likely to return to the Premier League as Newcastle’s first major signing since the Saudi takeover. Talks are said to be progressing well and the 31-year-old would bring undoubted experience and quality to a side who are struggling to survive under their new manager, Eddie Howe, with Trippier likely to earn a significant pay rise for swapping the top of La Liga for the bottom of the Premier League.

Dusan Vlahovic - Fiorentina

The 21-year-old has been turning heads around Europe all season having fired 16 goals in Serie A for Fiorentina already and is well on course to beat the 23 he managed last term. Vlahovic’s contract ends in 2023 and he has already rejected an offer to become the highest-paid player in the club’s history, with some of the Premier League’s biggest sides reportedly monitoring the situation. While it could take an offer north of £70m to tempt Fiorentina into doing business in January, they may decide to cash in if the right deal presents itself.

Lucas Digne - Everton

With Rafael Benítez preferring to field players out of position at left-back as his dispute with Digne drags on, it seems likely that Everton will allow the France international to leave Goodison Park in January. Chelsea have been mentioned as a potential destination after the injury to Ben Chilwell ruled him out for the rest of the season, with Thomas Tuchel’s side expected to aim for a loan deal that may suit both parties in the short term. Any deal for Digne could also smooth the waters for Ross Barkley to return to Goodison Park on loan.

- Guardian

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