The first half of the 2017-18 season is approaching its end and we have witnessed some beautiful football till now. Along with that we’ve also witnessed some shocks. Many players changed clubs in the summer transfer window, the biggest highlight from it being Neymar’s big money move to Paris Saint Germain from FC Barcelona. Many transfer records were broken this past summer, and now it’s time for the winter transfers to take centre stage.
What is the Winter Transfer Window?
The Winter transfer window opens on the 1st of January every year and lasts till 31st of the same month. Its duration is way shorter than that of the main summer transfer window.
Teams are always allocated an additional budget to spend on players. It’s not necessary that a club has to spend, but if there are shortage of players in any particular department, then this window is the best for signing back ups and utility players.
Another advantage of this window is that clubs have the privilege to sign players on a pre-contract basis (whose contract is set to expire at the end of the ongoing season). This is a shrewd strategy for clubs, for example if you look at Robert Lewandowski’s free transfer to Bayern Munich which was actually finalised in the winter window of 2014. By doing this clubs can save a healthy amount of money .
Big money transfers have been a rare sight these years, the last of these being Julian Draxler’s €35 million switch from Wolfsburg to PSG. But this season’s window promises to be a very big spectacle.
What’s The Hype takes a look at the 10 most probable transfers and the done deals of the upcoming Winter Transfer Window :
1) Danny Rose
Tottenham ⇒ Manchester United
Danny Rose is a versatile player. His performances for Tottenham had impressed José Mourinho last season and he wants to acquire his services as early as next month to get rid of his left-back problems. This move can be aided by the fact that Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino has revealed his displeasure over Rose’s commitment towards the club. If the deal satisfies both parties, then the 27-year old will be lining up for the Red Devils .
2) Mesut Özil
Arsenal ⇒ Manchester United / FC Barcelona
The 29 year old Central attacking midfielder is a seasoned performer. If used properly, he can destroy any backline. Came very close to equal Thierry Henry’s highest assist record in 2014-15 . Now he is struggling with Arsenal. His inconsistent performances in big games have been a concern for Arsene Wenger. But he has excelled when deployed in his favourable position. With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, he is also far from signing a new one. Manchester United looks like the most probable destination. His experience and style of play will very much suit Mourinho’s tactics. His inclusion will give them the cutting edge they are currently lacking since Henrik Mkhitaryan’s shocking slump. They need a man of his calibre if they are to cut City’s 11 point lead at the top.
Meanwhile, Lionel Messi has given the green light over the signing of this ex- Real Madrid man. Barcelona hope to secure his signature at a cut price deal worth €30 million this January, instead of going for Phillip Coutinho. An interesting transfer tussle is on the cards. Lets see where he ends up.
3) Alexis Sanchez
Arsenal ⇒Manchester City / PSG
Perhaps the biggest name in the list, Alexis is also in a similar position as that of Ozil. He also wants a pay rise, and a demand of €300,000 a week has been fondly rejected by the Arsenal supremos. With his contract set to expire next summer, the 29 year old has no shortage of suitors. Manchester City have already had a €60 Million bid rejected in deadline day this summer, and will no doubt make a second attempt to lure him from North London.
PSG are also interested in the former Barcelona wide man. “Its no surprise that he has been in our radar . But we already have much quality in our attack.” were the words of owner Nassr al Khelaifi. Since PSG need to stump up funds to fulfill their FIFPRO fair play rules, they are far from capturing the Arsenal man. Man City looks like the club to sign him, and Pep Guardiola’s admiration for him may play a part too.
4) Ãngel Di Maria
PSG ⇒ Barcelona / CSL clubs
The 2013/14 Champions League winner finds himself on the fringes in Paris after the arrival of Neymar and teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe. The dynamic winger had expressed his desire to play for Barcelona when they came calling this summer. But the €50 million deal didn’t materialize. Barcelona won’t give up as they need an experienced winger to cover the left wing alongside the emerging Ousmane Dembele. He will be 30 in two months time, so a move to seek greener pastures might serve best for his already glittering career.
Chinese clubs have also tabled offers for the star Argentine. But he has rejected those lucrative offers to stay at PSG and wait for Barcelona to make a move.
5) Arda Turan
Barcelona ⇒ Arsenal / Juventus / Turkish Clubs
The former Atletico Madrid man was signed in 2015 amid much fanfare among the fans in Camp Nou. But since his £34 Million move, the going has been tougher than what Turan had expected. Now a starting spot is far from his reach and Ernesto Valverde refused to give assurances over his future. Now at the wrong side of the thirties, securing a move to Fenerbahce will be the last throw of the dice to revive his career.
Arsenal is a club who are interested. He may potentially replace the departing Alexis Sanchez. Juventus is another option, with his acquisition may serve as a good backup for Mario Mandzukic.
6) Daley Blind
Manchester United ⇒ Inter Milan / Fenerbahce / Barcelona
United don’t have an established starter in Left back . Louis Van Gaal brought Blind to Old Trafford after his strong showing in the 2014 World Cup. Since then he was a good performer. But since José Mourinho arrived in 2016, Blind has fallen down the pecking order. He has started just 3 matches this season and looks well set for a move away.
Barcelona are preparing a shock move for the Netherlands ace to provide backup to Jordi Alba. He is also wanted by Inter Milan, with coach Luciano Spaletti keen to bolster his defensive options. Turkey is a good option for him , which will guarantee some first team action. Lets see who gets this snap up want away man.
7) Kepa Arrizabalaga
Athletic Bilbao ⇒ Real Madrid
With age by his side and a National Team call up on the cards, the 23 year old looks like a more logical option for Real than David de Gea. A £24 million move from the Basque club is most likely to happen next month.
He came to prominence during the 2015/16 season where he served back up to Iraizoz under then coach Ernesto Valverde. But strong showings last season have secured him a starting berth . And his signing will serve as a potential long term replacement for Keylor Navas.
8) David Luiz
Chelsea⇒ Juventus / Barcelona
He had a bust up with coach Antonio Conte during half time in a league encounter. Since then , injuries and the strained relationship with Conte has robbed his starting place. Now with Andres Christensen emerging as a great defender, the former PSG man well maybe sold.
Barcelona are said to be interested , with Javier Mascherano set to depart at the end of the season and Samuel Umtiti suffering injuries of late. His signature may be regarded as the signing of the window as he never disappoints when relied upon.
His physical build is perfect for Seria A and if Juve comes calling , it would be too good an offer to decline.
9) Thomas Lemar
AS Monaco ⇒ PL clubs
Touted as the next big thing by the Monaco faithful, he is a man in demand.
Premier League looks like his preffered destination next month. Arsenal have had a €90 million bid already rejected as the french outfit failed to find his replacement. But still Arsene Wenger is keen to bring him to the Emirates to give his midfield the much required steel in the absence of Santi Cazorla.
Lemar is very sharp with the ball. He is a very good passer and can dictate the play all by his own . He is a hot prospect in today’s market and surely his Monaco days are numbered amid much speculation from PL clubs
10) Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Manchester United ⇒ Borussia Dortmund
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a revelation at the start of the season, providing 5 assists in his first 2 games. But since then his stock has fallen sharply. He was left out of the squad in the last 7 premier league games and is now considered a peripheral figure at the Theatre of Dreams. With Mourinho determined to get Ozil, he is on the way out.
Borussia Dortmund coach Peter Stoger is a fan of the Armenian International and hopes to cash in on him. It is to be seen if Mkhi earns Mourinho’s trust or if he secures an emotional return to Signal iduna Park.
Diego Costa to Atletico Madrid
Costa was told by Antonio Conte that he wasn’t needed anymore in the London club via a text message. Diego Simeone was determined to bring him back at the Metropolitano. But given the fact that Atletico were handed a transfer Ban this year, the transfer could not be completed till next month. His inclusion to the side will heavily bolster the attacking options. His link up with Antoine Griezmann may prove decisive if they prioritise the UEFA Europa league
The year starts with the window and we can’t wait to see who stays and who departs
Stay tuned to our page to get the latest updates on the transfer window, covering all rumours and done deals from the biggest leagues of the world.