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It’s been a bit of a quiet January transfer window this year because of Financial Fair Play, it’s difficult for clubs to proceed and sign important players. It’s going to be about opportunities in the next days, this is the focus. For now, it looks like it will be nothing super big, this is the expectation. But here are some possible stories to look out for…
Manchester United are considering multiple options for a striker signing – Eric Choupo-Moting is one of the names they’ve discussed as a possible signing up front late on this January.
Still, the issue is that Bayern Munich are insisting on him staying at the club – he’s a popular player at the club, an experienced player, and they need some rotation, so he could be an important option for them over the course of the season. United are informed on the conditions but at the moment Bayern are not giving any green light for him to go.
It’s also important to clarify that United have also not activated negotiations yet – they are interested and have been kept informed on the conditions of the deal, but there are no concrete talks with Bayern.
Man Utd have also been linked previously with Lucas Bergvall, who is now being targeted by Barcelona. While all the top clubs in Europe have scouted Bergvall – I could mention 15 clubs – I’ve never been aware of negotiations with United. Barca and Eintracht Frankfurt are the two most concrete clubs in this race now, and I’m told Barcelona will push again in the next days.
And one final point on United – some fans have asked me about stories involving Antony being offered to Saudi clubs. We had similar reports about Brazil in the recent past, which were denied. Same with these ones. I’m not aware of United offering Antony to any other clubs, and don’t have concrete info on Antony leaving now. Let’s see if bids will come in the next weeks or in the summer, but it’s very quiet so far.
Keep an eye on Karim Benzema in the final days of the January transfer window – there is nothing concrete or serious with Arsenal at the moment, but if that changes I will let you now. For now, my information on his situation at Al Ittihad is that things remain tense, and new meetings have been scheduled between people close to the player and Al Ittihad to try to find a solution.
Benzema returned to training in recent days, but away from the rest of the group. He’s training alone while things remain tense. Still, it’s difficult for European clubs to sign Benzema for one obvious reason – the financial package. The only way to make it happen is if Benzema accepts an incredible reduction to his salary, otherwise it will be very difficult.
People in the Saudi Pro League really want Benzema to stay and they are ready to try to find him a solution at another Saudi club. The final say will always be with the player, so let’s see how this will go, but it looks like a big offer will be needed from European clubs, and it might be too big.
Al Shabab are looking for a new striker, so that could be an option for Benzema to stay in Saudi, but we’ll have to see how the conversations will go. As for Europe, I’m hearing there is one man doing everything to sign Benzema and that is John Textor from Lyon. He would love to bring Benzema back to the club as there is a special and historic relationship, but it’s very expensive, so it looks complicated.
It’s an open situation, and Benzema will be one of the main names to mention in the next days of the transfer market.
It’s a concrete possibility to see Emile Smith Rowe approached by clubs before the end of January. My feeling is that it is going to be complicated for him to leave because Arsenal are only open to a permanent transfer for the right price – a loan makes no sense, and also Mikel Arteta is very happy with the player and he’s happy at Arsenal.
If they receive an important proposal it could be a possibility but otherwise I see him staying at Arsenal in this transfer window. We know West Ham previously showed an interest in signing Smith Rowe on loan, but now there is nothing happening there and they’re focusing on Kalvin Phillips, with that deal progressing.
It’s gone a bit quiet recently on new contracts for Arsenal defenders Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu, but it’s normal for these things to be quieter during the transfer window. Still, these new contracts will be discussed again in the coming weeks, talks will continue, and both players remain close to accepting new deals from Arsenal.
Armando Broja – It’s going to be a busy week for Armando Broja. He’s almost never playing and Mauricio Pochettino recently said he needs to be regularly playing. It makes no sense to continue like this. There is historical interest from West Ham, and Wolves could be another possibility. There could be movement in the next days.
Kevin De Bruyne – There have been reports about Saudi interest and also a possible new contract at Manchester City, but the reality is nothing is happening now for De Bruyne. Internal discussions will take place in the next months to decide on the future, for sure it’s one of the priorities at Man City but nothing is concrete so far. It will take time.
Ousmane Diomande – Diomande is a fantastic centre back, he can be an excellent addition for any club. But, despite links with Liverpool, I’m not aware of movement around Diomande now, honestly. He’s been linked with ten clubs but there is nothing concrete on Sporting’s table so far.