January Transfer Window Speculations: An Overview
The most exciting part of any new year is the January transfer window since fans are given hope that their side would sign a quality player to turn around their campaign.
Because of its timing, midway through the major European season, many elite sides shy away from doing big business. Panic buys are rarely a good idea and even spending cash on a proven star can prove tricky if they fail to take off. Here are the most probable transfers:
1. Jadon Sancho
The Reds are at the front of the queue to sign England international Sancho but will have to pay £130m.
Liverpool are front runners to sign Jadon Sancho, with the Borussia Dortmund winger hopeful of a move in the January transfer window.
That is according to former Premier League star Jan Aage Fjortoft, who now works in the media as a football reporter and pundit.
Liverpool have been linked with a move for 19-year-old Sancho for some time, but are expected to face competition from Manchester United, Manchester City, and Real Madrid among others.
However, it was reported that the Bundesliga club will want around £130m for Sancho.
Following a stellar debut season for the Bundesliga club during which Sancho scored 12 times and provided 17 assists, the 19-year-old has started this season in a similar dazzling style with five goals and nine assists.
2. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is set to seal an incredible return to AC Milan. The 38-year-old has been heavily linked with a return to Europe following a two-year stint in America, with his contract with LA Galaxy expiring at the end of the year.
Much speculation has been made over his next move with talk of a switch to Napoli, Manchester United, and even retirement.
Ibrahimovic even trolled fans by teasing a cryptic return to Spain that ultimately proved to just be a gambling promotion.
It was recently reported that the charismatic striker is in talks to seal a return to Italy, where he notched 148 goals across spells at Milan rivals Inter and AC, as well as Serie A champions Juventus.
Ibrahimovic has spent the last 18 months in the MLS and proved to be one of the league's main attractions as he scored 52 goals in 56 appearances for LA Galaxy.
3. Mario Mandzukic
Mario Mandzukic wants to join Manchester United before the start of the January transfer window.
United had targeted the 33-year-old in the summer and he was reportedly close to joining Old Trafford as part of the deal to sign Paulo Dybala. But United pulled out of their move for Dybala due to the Argentine’s wage demands and did not renegotiate a separate deal for Mandzukic.
The Croatia international has not played for Juventus this season and was even left out of Maurizio Sarri’s 22-man Champions League squad.
Juventus and Mandzukic would need to reach an informal agreement so that the Croatian can leave the club.
It was also reported that Manchester United have closed the door on a January move for Mario Mandzukic and will turn their attention to Erling Braut Haaland.
4. Erling Braut Haaland
The 19-year-old Striker Haaland has become one of the most sought after young talents in Europe after his heroics in the Champions League this season.
Haaland is now one of five to have scored eight goals in his first five appearances in the Champions League, surpassing Harry Kane and Diego Costa.
Norwegian striker Haaland is on Man United's radar after an impressive season at RB Salzburg.
Haaland became the first player to score six goals in his first three Champions League games, and the second teenager to score in each of his first three appearances in the competition, after Karim Benzema.
The son of former Leeds United and Manchester City midfielder Alfie Inge Haaland played under Solskjaer at Norwegian club Molde.
United have been linked with a £75m deal to take the hotshot to Old Trafford in January, which would be a huge boost with the club currently ninth in the Premier League, nine points outside the top four.
5. Ivan Rakitic
Manchester United have been dealt a blow to any hopes of landing Barcelona outcast Ivan Rakitic in the January transfer window.
United have been linked with a move for midfielder Rakitic, with Barcelona reportedly having rejected a £13m bid from a Premier League club last month.
Rakitic, who joined Barcelona from Sevilla five years ago, has fallen out of favor at the Nou Camp following the summer arrival of Frenkie de Jong.
And in quotes attributed to the 31-year-old, he reeled off a couple of possible transfer destinations but without referring to United.
"I would be happy to return to Sevilla," Rakitic said to reporters.
Rakitic has previously been tipped to join Manchester United, with Serie A clubs such as Inter Milan and Juventus also believed to be keen.
But an approach from a side in England fell well short of Barcelona's £30m valuation of the 31-year-old, according to Sport last month.
Rakitic looks set to exit the club either in January or the summer as the club face the need to bring in over £100m in sales by the end of June to balance the books.
Barcelona sporting director Eric Abidal insists Rakitic's omission is a football choice and that he knew before the season he would be out of Ernesto Valverde's plans.
Rakitic has played over 200 games for Barcelona since his 2014 move from Sevilla.
He has also won over 100 caps for Croatia, including playing a key role in their World Cup semi-final win over England last summer in Russia.
Other most likely January transfer speculations are as follows:
-Habib Diallo (Metz to Newcastle United)
-Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain to Napoli)
-Pedro (Chelsea to Fenerbahce)
-Jose Gaya (Valencia to Manchester United)
-Alexander Nebel (Schalke to Bayern Munich)
-Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City to Besiktas)
-Rhian Brewster (Liverpool to Crystal Palace)
-Gareth Bale (Real Madrid to Shanghai Shenhua)
-Dejan Lovren (Liverpool to AC Milan)
-Suso (AC Milan to Wolverhampton Wanderers)
-Olivier Giroud (Chelsea to Lyon)
-Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich to Inter Milan)
-Wendell (Bayer Leverkusen to Juventus)
-Carles Alena (Barcelona to Tottenham Hotspur)
-Ben Chilwell to Manchester City)
-Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United)
-Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach to Tottenham Hotspur)
-Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham Hotspur to Juventus)
-Lawrence Shankland (Dundee United to Celtic)
-Donyell Malen (PSV Eindhoven to Barcelona)