It is always a risk changing clubs midway through the season, but certain players will be angling for moves now that the window is open across Europe
Jose Mourinho has made little attempt to hide his dissatisfaction with Dele Alli and although the frostiness between the two has thawed somewhat in recent weeks, a January separation move still seems inevitable.
Indeed, if the England international is to have any chance of making Gareth Southgate’s squad for this summer’s European Championships, he will need to be playing regular football, and that is just not happening at the moment, with Alli having just one Premier League start to his name so far this term.
Mauricio Pochettino’s appointment as Paris Saint-Germain coach could, thus, prove great news for the 24-year-old, who earned a reputation as one of Europe’s most exciting young attacking talents during the Argentine’s time in charge of Tottenham.
Frank Lampard said he would not hold any “grudges” after an alleged dressing-room argument with Marcos Alonso during the interval in Chelsea‘s 3-3 draw at West Brom back in September, but the versatile left-back hasn not seen a single minute of game time since.
The Spain international was linked with a move to Inter at the time, but Antonio Conte’s interest in one of his former charges now appears to have cooled. Consequently, Alonso could well end up back in La Liga, with Atletico Madrid said to be considering a January bid.
At 30 years of age, Alonso certainly needs to leave Stamford Bridge if he is to feature this season, having not only fallen behind big summer signing Ben Chilwell in the pecking order but also Emerson Palmieri.
It is worth noting that Chelsea would also be open to selling reserve centre-half Antonio Rudiger in January and letting Fikayo Tomori leave on loan.
Diego Costa has already parted company with Atletico Madrid, who ceded to the striker’s request to be released six months before the expiration of his contract for “personal reasons”.
It is not yet known, though, which manager will be brave enough to take a gamble on a powerful but infamously volatile forward who has been beset by injury issues over the past year.
Juventus have seemingly pulled out of the running even though they are looking for a back-up for Alvaro Morata, but Jose Mourinho still needs cover for Harry Kane at Tottenham and the Portuguese manager obviously won a Premier League title with Costa during their time together at Chelsea.
However, Molineux is probably the 32-year-old’s most likely destination, given he is represented by Jorge Mendes, who has done a succession of deals with Wolves in recent seasons.
Julian Draxler openly admitted that he considered leaving Paris Saint-Germain during the summer, after what he described as “a season to forget” for him.
In the end, though, he did not find a project that he felt ticked all the boxes in terms of what he was seeking.
It now seems likely that the Germany international will wait until the summer before joining a new club on a free transfer. However, Draxler will be desperate to find out immediately whether he is a part of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans for the remainder of the season.
The versatile 27-year-old attacker, who has made just five starts in Ligue 1this season, simply cannot afford to spend the majority of his time on the bench if he wants to represent his country at Euro 2020.
Christian Eriksen‘s transfer from Tottenham to Inter appeared to make perfect sense. After all, Antonio Conte loves proven Premier League players and the Dane should have added the kind of invaluable innovation that the Italian’s industrious outfit were clearly lacking in midfield.
However, Conte had asked for Arturo Vidal; he never wanted Eriksen, who has started just four Serie A games this season. Consequently, Beppe Marotta has reluctantly admitted that it would be best for both parties if the 28-year-old finds another club this month.
“He has struggled to settle into the squad, he is not functional to the team, and that’s just an objective fact,” the Inter CEO told Sky Sport Italia. “It’s only fair to give him the chance to go where he can play more regularly.”
Eriksen has been linked with a return to the Premier League, but a move to PSG is now a distinct possibility, with former Spurs boss Pochettino having taken over from Thomas Tuchel at the Parc des Princes and Inter keen on Leandro Paredes.
A swap deal would suit everyone concerned.
With Mikel Arteta still seemingly uninterested in bringing Mesut Ozil in from the cold, Arsenal could really do with another creative attacking midfielder and Isco certainly fits the bill.
The Spain international is still only 28 and, crucially, open to a mid-season transfer because of his desperation to secure a place in Luis Enrique’s squad for this summer’s Euros.
Given Arsenal’s financial woes, do not be surprised if they try to agree a six-month loan deal with Madrid for Isco, who has been afforded just three Liga starts by Zinedine Zidane this season.
However, the Blancos, who did not spend a single player ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, would prefer a permanent transfer in order to raise funds for their summer spending, while it is also believed that Isco would prefer to remain in Spain, making a reunion with Julen Lopetegui at Sevilla the more likely outcome.
Sami Khedira has made it clear that he wants to move to the Premier Leagueduring the January transfer window, having been deemed surplus to requirements at Juventus by new coach Andrea Pirlo.
The World Cup winner, who has not played in a single game this season, has just six months left on his contract with the Bianconeri and is working hard on his match fitness to ensure that he is ready for the rigours of English football.
Manchester United last week triggered the one-year extension option in Jesse Lingard‘s contract, tying him to the club until 2022.
However, that move was merely made to ensure that the Red Devils would not lose the England international on a free transfer at the end of the current campaign.
United are looking for a fee for the 28-year-old but may first allow him to leave Old Trafford on loan for the rest of the 2020-21 campaign, in the hope of attracting buyers during the summer.
Lingard certainly needs a move. He has not seen a minute of Premier League action this season and rarely makes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s matchday squads anymore.
As is the case with both Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, United are keen to remove Lingard from their wage bill as soon as possible.
Divock Origi will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Liverpool fans because of the key role he played in the club’s 2019 Champions Leaguetriumph, but the time has surely come for the Kop’s cult hero to leave Anfield.
Diogo Jota’s arrival was only going to spell trouble for Origi, who has been granted just eight minutes of game time in the Premier League this season.
If the 25-year-old is serious about reclaiming his place in the Belgium squad for the Euros, he will need be playing regularly.
Inter are looking for an understudy for Origi’s compatriot Romelu Lukaku, while Wolves need a No.9 with first-choice centre-forward Raul Jimenez presently sidelined with a fractured skull.
Even though Ronald Koeman recommended a loan move for the 2020-21 campaign for Riqui Puig, the youngster elected to stay at Camp Nou.
However, there is no chance of the Spain Under-21 international making the senior squad in the coming months if he remains in Catalunya.
The classy midfielder has featured just five times for the Barca first team and not made one appearance as a starter, in spite of the fact that the Blaugrana are clearly struggling in midfield.
Just like another underused La Masia product Carles Alena, Puig would be well served by belatedly finding a club to take him on loan for the remainder of the season.