Transfer deals to watch in final 24 hours
There are just over 24 hours to go until the January transfer window shuts and Premier League clubs will no longer be able to buy and sell players.
It will be extremely busy for players, clubs, managers and agents across Europe. Bring. It. On.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at players who could be on the move in the next 24 hours.
Dries Mertens (Napoli to Chelsea) – The 32-year-old Belgium international is in a race against time to seal his move away from Naples but it appears the Serie A side aren’t keen to lose him. Chelsea need a striker but Mertens does seem very similar to the attacking players they already have in Pulisic, Willian, Pedro and Hudson-Odoi. Maybe Mertens could feed off of Abraham in a more central role? His clinical finishing would certainly fit the bill perfectly as Frank Lampard‘s side continue to squander big chances game after game. Mertens has scored 118 goals in 300 appearances for Napoli.
Olivier Giroud (Chelsea to Inter Milan or Tottenham) – This is very, very interesting. Giroud, 33, hasn’t played much this season at all at Chelsea as Lampard has preferred Michy Batshuayi and Abraham to the French international. With the European Championships coming up he needs to be playing and he would get some game time at Inter Milan. But he would get more at Spurs. Even though he is a former Arsenal favorite, Giroud has been linked with a move to Tottenham. But why would Chelsea strengthen a top four rival in the Premier League?
Islam Slimani (Leicester City to Man United) – Wayyyyy out of left-field but it could happen. Slimani has been scoring goals on loan at Monaco from Leicester this season and United need a short-term emergency loan with Marcus Rashford out injured. A cheap option and he will add some experience to their forward line. Why not? Ed Woodward and Co. will get plenty of stick for this move but it could end up being pretty savvy.
Edinson Cavani (PSG to Atletico Madrid or Chelsea) – It looks like his move to Atletico Madrid may have collapsed at the last minute as Inter Miami are also said to be in the mix, but what about Chelsea? Cavani, 32, won’t be a regular for PSG in the final months of the season but his quality is undoubted. Lampard needs a clinical frontman who can hold up the ball. Cavani fits the bill.
Jarrod Bowen (Hull City to West Ham or Crystal Palace) – This is a move which is very interesting. Bowen, 23, has been banging in the goals for Hull this season (17) and is a real fox in the box with a value of $26 million. He reminds me of Danny Ings. The Hammers took a punt on a Championship striker a few windows ago, Jordan Hugill, and that didn’t work out well. Hoping Bowen will adjust to the big step up right away is a risk but both Palace and West Ham will have a punt because they are two of the lowest scoring teams in the PL.
Willian Jose (Real Sociedad to Tottenham) – Another forward option for Spurs and someone they’ve been linked with all month long. Could this finally get done? Jose, 28, has scored eight goals in 20 games for Sociedad this season as they continue to push for a top four finish and although he isn’t a household name, the Brazilian striker has something about him. There could be a problem with the $34 million Sociedad were asking for and this move is in serious danger of collapsing late on.
Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar Donetsk to Arsenal) – Much like the deal for Willian Jose, a transfer fee of $40 million seems to be putting Arsenal off. Matviyenko is just 23 years old and a left-sided center back, which is exactly what Mikel Arteta wants, but after signing Pablo Mari on an initial loan deal, perhaps they will go back in for Matviyenko in the summer.
Cedric Soares (Southampton to Arsenal) – This is a bit of a bizarre deal but it is going to happen. Cedric, 28, is out of contract in the summer and will join Arsenal on a loan deal with Southampton paid $6.5 million. They are happy to get something for a player they would be losing for nothing, while Arsenal will be happy to add an experienced Portuguese international who has been solid and reliable in the Premier League in recent years. Cedric, who is expected to then negotiate a long-term contract with Arsenal which he will sign in the summer, will provide cover for Hector Bellerin and can also do a job at left back. Arsenal need reliable defenders and Cedric isn’t the most glamorous signing but makes sense at this price.
Antonee Robinson (Wigan to AC Milan) – The USMNT left back, 22, has been wanted by AC Milan but Wigan have reportedly rejected several offers from the Italian giants, with the latest over $8.5 million. Robinson has impressed in the Championship with the Latics after joining on loan and then permanently from Everton and the USMNT defender will see this possible move to Milan as a huge chance to make the next step in his young career. Watch this space.