5 transfers that could happen in this Winter Window
Well, it’s the New Year 2021 and while the world celebrates the up rise of hopefully a better year than the pandemic-hit 2020, the footballing fraternity has a totally different and important topic on their minds. The Winter Transfer Window. Let’s be honest here — after the multi-billion transactions that happened in last summer despite the market being hit by COVID, all the clubs are maintaining a low profile with not a lot of rumours surrounding the European giants lately. But there’s always something going on behind the curtains, and thanks to the insider reporters working day and night — we have some really interesting behind-the-scenes information about some transfers that could shake the scenario in the top five European leagues.
Talking about some confirmed transfers, there’s actually not been any big announcements from the big and small clubs alike, apart from two crucial arrivals and departures. Firstly, the red half of Manchester saw another teenage sensation hit their training campus as early as the first of January. 18-year-old winger Amad Diallo, who comes from Atalanta in the Italian Serie A, joined Manchester United in a permanent deal starting this January. Though the deal was agreed six months prior, the terms mentioned that the Ivorian would be landing in England only in 2021.
Another big news came from the Spanish capital of Madrid. Atletico Madrid announced the termination of contract of yesteryear legend striker Diego Costa mutually, as either party agreed on this being for the betterment of the club and the player. The Spanish striker, born in Brazil, has been linked with moves to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal, but it seems that he will be moving to China to join previous Chelsea team-mate Oscar or Spanish team-mate Andres Iniesta.
With that being said, there is absolutely no shortage of transfer rumours flying in and out every day, with some having strong linkages — especially when the managers themselves or some club insider confirming the news. Today, it’s time we take a look at the top five moves that could pan out this January which revolve around some big names and could literally end or create new chapters in world football.
Moises Caicedo — From United to Brighton
A news from some corner of Ecuador in South America shook the entire English Premier League even before the transfer market opened this winter as Independiente del Valle midfielder Moises Caicedo was heavily linked to Manchester United by really reliable sources. It was not before long that the English media started calling the Caicedo possible swoop as the ‘Plan B’ on United losing out on German Bundesliga starlet Jadon Sancho as Borussia Dortmund refused to budge on their 120 million price tag.
But how times have changed in less than a month. With Amad Diallo arriving at Old Trafford, and the current crop of personnel absolutely running riot in the English Premier League, the priorities and levels at Manchester United have changed drastically. Caicedo is off the wishlist.
But as the Caicedo-United transfer saga made rounds in England, there was another club who was actively pursuing the Ecuadorian in an attempt to miraculously sign him under the noses of their fellow English counterparts — Brighton & Hove Albion. With United changing their stance, it has put Brighton in pole position to land the South American prodigy in the most entertaining league in the world. Coincidentally, there are strong rumours that Independiente del Valle have already accepted the transfer fee offered by Brighton and only personal terms remain to be agreed between the player and the club.
Will Caicedo arrive at Brighton and give some major repenting vibes to Manchester United in this second half of the season? Or will Amad Diallo make sure that United do not even think about Caicedo ever again? The deadline day could answer a lot.
Genoa moving the market
It’s not often that we see a mid-table or a bottom half side from the top European leagues dominate the news columns when it comes to transfers. This says a lot about the small transfer budgets for these smaller clubs and also the non-traction of players’ interests in joining a team which struggles to find its place in the competition. But this winter transfer window, there is a small name making big rounds — Italian Serie A club Genoa.
The first news of this window with respect to Genoa came about the Italian side moving to sign yesteryear Dutch talent Kevin Strootman from Olympique Lyon on a permanent deal. Since having a stint with Roma, Strootman has not been favoured at Lyon for quite some time now. A move is evident sooner or later, and if Genoa really pursue him with a good offer, we might see the Lyon midfielder don the Genoa colours on this day next month.
Another huge swoop that Genoa are targeting is that of Arsenal defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos. With Mesut Ozil being exiled by Mikel Arteta in the Gunners’ camp, Sokratis is another star which has been outcast by the new Spanish boss, immediately on his arrival last year. Genoa’s interest in the Greek defender was even confirmed by their CEO Zarbano as he said, “Sokratis is an option, really good player — we still don’t know if he’ll arrive in the next few days”.
Genoa are fighting for a top-half or a mid-table spot this season in the Serie A. Strootman and Sokratis could be two huge signings for the club as they will bring with them top-flight and top club experience which will surely boost the overall squad.
The Dembele-Slimani-Atleti-Lyon Quadrangle
There’s a very evident circle of transactions going on in Spain and France alike as Atletico Madrid and Lyon seem to have found their targets and replacements too in just the first half of the winter transfer window. Atleti midfielder Thomas Partey left for greener pastures in London in summer, leaving the Rojiblancos in a tough spot with loss of squad depth in the centre of the park. It seems though that the La Liga leaders have found their man in Lyon midfielder Moussa Dembele.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has even confirmed their interest in landing the Frenchman, and is expecting to have him in the squad by the end of the month.
But that’s not all. Lyon are even a few paces ahead of Atletico in terms of their transfer negotiations. The Ligue 1 club is apparently not going to wait for even the next 6 months to sign Dembele’s replacement. Lyon have already made contact with Leicester midfielder Islam Slimani, who has been the club’s long term transfer target. Moreover, with Slimani not being favoured by Brendan Rodgers — there is no doubt that the personal terms will be hassle-free between the two parties.
What a quadrangle of transfers!
Mesut Ozil finally to anywhere away from Arsenal
If anyone has been following football for more than a decade now, Mesut Ozil is a name which has been on the lips of that very person for sure. The German playmaker was once the most wanted and one of the best players on the planet — both at Real Madrid and later at Arsenal. He even went on to win the World Cup with Germany in 2014, where he ran riot in Brazil to single-handedly win it for the European giants.
But for the past two years or so, Ozil’s world has changed upside down. After his controversial comments over a religious matter in 2018, the German midfielder’s relationship with his club Arsenal has worsened to a position where he has been restricted from playing. It all started in the Unai Emery era, but even Mikel Arteta seems to have been ordered the same way by the London-based club. This has hurt a lot of fans of Arsenal and even rival clubs alike.
With his contract ending this year, Ozil has been very vocal about leaving the club in this very winter window. The ex-Galactico at Madrid has expressed his wishes of playing either in Turkey or USA, with Fenerbahce in the Turkish Super Lig being his most preferred destination. Apparently, he has been a Fenerbahce supporter since his childhood days.
Wherever the World Champion goes, he surely has some of his paces left in his boots — and it will be really exciting to see him weave his magic one more time elsewhere.
Will Liverpool finally sign a defender?
This season’s Merseyside derby at Goodison Park can be called as something more than a derby for sure. As Everton locked horns with English Champions Liverpool, a very controversial moment during the game shook the Reds and the entire Premier League — the waves of which are still being observed in January.
A very brutal tackle by Everton goal-keeper Jordan Pickford left Liverpool centre-back Virgil Van Dijk crying in pain on the sidelines. The initial scans reported that the World class defender was about to be out for almost the entire season. Anybody who knows football is aware that Van Dijk is Liverpool’s most important player at the moment. So it was obvious that the injury hit the red half of Merseyside really hard.
Liverpool started dropping points, losing games and even drawing against smaller oppositions. The impact has been such that they are just about at the top of the league with historical rivals Manchester United breathing down their neck with a game in hand. This is definitely not how Jurgen Klopp and his men imagined this season to be.
But January brings a lot of freshness to the Liverpool camp. Not only has Van Dijk recovered to about 80% of his usual level, the transfer window is now open for the Champions to ply their trade and bring in a defender. In fact, signing a defender seems a necessity for a squad which played two of their midfielders as centre-backs two weeks ago because they are lacking players due to fitness issues — shambles!
Nevertheless, RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano has been the biggest and first name on the transfer list for the Reds. The French defender has already expressed his wish of playing in the Premier League next and Liverpool or United seem to be his next destination. Imagine a pair of Van Dijk and Upamecano standing in front of the goal later this month — Scary!
It’s just the beginning of the transfer window and while all these transfer moves mentioned come from reliable sources waiting for their official announcements, there might be more news coming up every now and then. But irrespective of new transfer stories popping up, it all boils down to the onfield action every day in various parts of Europe. If you love watching football and take the passion even higher with betting on the sport, Mighty Tips is the perfect destination for you to get expert tips and important facts ’n’ figures to help you make informed decisions. Gamble Responsibly.