English football

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate ‘150m? Bayern to buy Sane? – ENGLISH FOOTBALL

by: Adam Smith

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The transfer window is almost upon us, but clubs across Europe have already been planning for their January business. Who will come in? Who wants to leave?

ESPN’s writers bring you everything you need to know about the top teams’ hopes and delve into the deals that might be on the cards.

Premier League

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

Liverpool

Budget: £100m

What does the team need in January?

Top of the league by some distance and through the Champions League knockout stages, Liverpool are flying under Jurgen Klopp and hardly in need of strengthening. But, reliable cover for left-back Andy Robertson would make Klopp’s squad even stronger.

Who are the major targets?

A ‘7.25m deal has been done for FC Salzburg forward Takumi Minamino, and the Japan international has already arrived at Anfield. Beyond that, Liverpool are interested in Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho, but a move is unlikely next month unless a deal can be agreed ahead of the summer.

Who could be leaving?

Dejan Lovren almost left for Roma in the summer, but the Croatia international rejected the move. And while he is likely to be offloaded at the end of the season, Klopp is not expected to weaken his squad by selling Lovren in January.

Any new contracts coming?

All of Liverpool’s big players are tied up to long-term deals, leaving them with no urgency to do any renewals in January. Georginio Wijnaldum has yet to be offered a new deal, despite having just 18 months to run on his current contract. — Mark Ogden

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

Leicester

Budget: £60m

What does the team need in January?

Leicester need reliable cover for top scorer Jamie Vardy and could move for reinforcements. And having failed to sign a replacement for Harry Maguire following his world record ’85m summer move to Manchester United, Leicester are keen to sign a new centre-back.

Who are the major targets?

Manager Brendan Rodgers and director of football Lee Congerton are keeping their targets close to their chest, with Hull’s Jarrod Bowen linked. Leicester have money to donate and ambitious owners, so they will be competitive in the market next month.

Who could be leaving?

Nobody. Rodgers has made it clear that none of his players will be leaving in January. While another Premier League title might be beyond them, Leicester will keep the squad together to ensure a successful challenge for Champions League qualification.

Any new contracts coming?

Left-back Ben Chilwell and midfielder James Maddison have both emerged as leading targets for Chelsea and Man United, meaning efforts will be made to tie both players down to new deals. — Mark Ogden

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 3

MAN CITY

Budget: Unlimited

What does the team need in January?

City’s biggest concern is getting Leroy Sane and Aymeric Laporte back to full fitness, but they also need reinforcements. Vincent Kompany, who left in the summer, has not been replaced, and a new centre-back is the top priority. Maguire might have arrived at the Etihad Stadium had City not been outbid by Manchester United, but now they need another option. Pep Guardiola has been adamant there will be no new players arriving in January, but there is always the caveat that if a long-term target becomes available for a reasonable price, City are prepared to move.

Who are the major targets?

City are monitoring Sancho at Borussia Dortmund, Bournemouth defender Nathan Ake and Hearts full-back Aaron Hickey, but the bulk of transfer business will be done in the summer. Sancho is wanted by a host of Europe’s top clubs, including Manchester United, while Chelsea have been linked with a move for Ake after their transfer ban was lifted.

Who could be leaving?

David Silva has already confirmed he will leave the Etihad Stadium in the summer and Nicolas Otamendi is also likely to leave at the end of the season, but City’s squad is stretched enough as it is because of injuries and it’s unlikely anyone will leave in January. Bayern Munich want Sane, but City do not want to sell him.

Any new contracts?

Fernandinho is the one to watch, while tentative talks have started with Raheem Sterling. Fernandinho is approaching his 35th birthday and is out of contract in the summer, but he’s still a key player for Guardiola and City will need to decide what to do. Guardiola says the club won’t make a decision until the end of the season, and in the past that has usually been a precursor to a player leaving; That said, there’s still a question mark over whether, even at Fernandinho’s age, they can do without him. — Rob Dawson

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 3

Chelsea

Budget: £150m

What does the team need in January?

After being forced out of the summer market because of a worldwide transfer ban, Chelsea need to add in all departments now that they’re clear to donate again. The priorities for manager Frank Lampard are a centre-forward and experienced centre-back. New full-backs are also on the shopping list.

Who are the major targets?

Leipzig forward Timo Werner and Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha are potential January recruits, with Chelsea aiming to consolidate a top-four spot and ensure Champions League qualification. They have also been linked with Leicester left-back Chilwell but will struggle to land him.

Who could be leaving?

Olivier Giroud has fallen out of favour under Lampard and will be allowed to leave if the club can find a new striker.

Any new contracts coming?

Having made a big impact this season, Chelsea’s young stars could be set for pay rises and longer deals. Mason Mount, Tammy Abraham and Fikayo Tomori have all surpassed expectations this season, with Tomori the first to pen new terms already. — Mark Ogden

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

MAN UNITED

Budget: Unlimited

What does the team need in January?

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out where the gaps are in his squad, and he’s right. United are short of numbers and quality. They need at least one midfielder and a forward, whether that’s a right winger or a central striker. After that, they could probably do with another left-back, but sources have told ESPN FC that has been put on hold because of the emergence of young Brandon Williams.

Who are the major targets?

Sources have told ESPN that FC Salzburg striker Erling Braut Haaland and Leicester midfielder James Maddison are two key targets. Haaland is a possible January addition, but it’s likely United will have to wait until the summer to bid for Maddison. Leicester are set to demand close to the ’85m they got for Maguire in the summer, and the valuation could prove to be a stumbling block. Other targets include Declan Rice and Jack Grealish for depth and grit in midfield.

Who could be leaving?

Marcos Rojo was close to leaving for Everton in the summer, and despite training well and impressing when he has been given a chance, he has found first-team opportunities limited. There was a lot of interest in the summer and there will be again in January. Phil Jones is in the same boat, having made one Premier League appearance so far this season. It is also possible some of the younger players, including Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes, could head out on loan. Paul Pogba wants to be linked with Real Madrid and Juventus throughout the window, but don’t expect any movement there.

Any new contracts?

United have tied down most of their key players with long-term contracts, including David De Gea and Marcus Rashford. The club are expected to trigger a two-year option in Eric Bailly’s contract to prevent the defender from leaving for free in the summer. Pogba and Jesse Lingard are in the next cycle of contracts United would like to extend, but at this stage there is no rush to start serious talks. — Rob Dawson

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 3

Tottenham

Budget: £50m

What does the team need in January?

Jose Mourinho has already said that he is not looking to strengthen his squad in January. However, there will be money available if he needs to add an attacking midfielder or a left-back.

Who are the major targets?

Sporting CP midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been followed by Spurs for a while and though he signed a new contract recently, only his pay went up and his release clause is still €100m. Layvin Kurzawa, out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain next June, could therefore be an option at left-back.

Who could be leaving?

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy has admitted that Christian Eriksen could leave in January, six months before the end of his contract, with sources telling ESPN that Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus are keen. Danny Rose, so free in June 2021, could also be sold, while Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama is on the transfer list, too.

Any new contracts?

A new deal for Toby Alderweireld until 2023 was announced last week while his defensive partner Jan Vertonghen is out of contract in June. Eriksen remains unlikely to pen new terms — Julien Laurens

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

Arsenal

Budget: £30m

What does the team need in January?

New manager Mikel Arteta has already identified what he needs to make his squad better in January: Sources have told ESPN that the club want a center-back and an attacking midfielder.

Who are the major targets?

Merih Demiral, who has not played much this season at Juventus, is on Arsenal’s radar. Dejan Kulusevski, the 19-year-old winger on loan at Parma from Atalanta, has also impressed the Arsenal scouts. Thomas Lemar’s name has also been mentioned as another attacking option given his struggles at Atletico Madrid, while 17-year-old Sevilla prodigy Antonio Zarzana is another target fitting the profile of a young talent in midfield.

Who could be leaving?

Mesut Ozil and Shkodran Mustafi could be placed on the transfer list this winter as the club begins the task of rebuilding.

Any new contracts?

When he has the time, Arteta will sit down with Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to discuss their futures at the Emirates. They have only 18 months left on their respective contracts and despite links to Chelsea. Sources said they are keen to stay. — Julien Laurens

Europe

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

Barcelona

Budget: Nothing, unless in exceptional circumstances. Sources have told ESPN that Barcelona need to bring in €124m before the end of June to balance the books.

What does the team need in January?

Barca feel their squad is well balanced and that no new signings are needed this winter except in the event of any unexpected injuries or departures. Their bad experiences with Jeison Murillo and Kevin-Prince Boateng last January turned them off to seeking stopgap solutions. Instead, they hope that summer signings Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann and Junior Firpo, as well as youngsters Ansu Fati and Carles Perez, will keep improving. Ivan Rakitic’s return to the team has been seen as a positive, too.

Who are the major targets?

Barca’s main priority at the moment is finding a long-term replacement for Luis Suarez. Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez is one option, but sources have told ESPN that his €100m-plus price tag is a problem at the moment. But, there are no January targets as things stand.

Who could be leaving?

Two players who will almost certainly leave are Carles Alena and Jean-Clair Todibo. Sources said that Alena is likely to go out on loan, with Real Betis leading Getafe in the battle for his signature. Defender Todibo is drawing interest from Bayer Leverkusen, AC Milan, Southampton and Watford. Rakitic and Arturo Vidal are also wanted men. Inter are among the clubs keen on the two midfielders, but a source at the Catalan club insists they won’t leave in midseason unless a cash offer that “is too good to turn down” arrives.

Any new contracts coming?

Lionel Messi is in the final 18 months of his deal and president Josep Maria Bartomeu wants to offer him new terms. That’s a priority at the moment. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is then next in line after the Argentine. Vidal and Rakitic are both in the final 18 months of their deals, too, but neither is expected to be offered a new contract. — Sam Marsden and Moises Llorens

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 3

REAL MADRID

Budget: The club’s most recent accounts, published in June this year, showed them had €156m in the bank.

What does the team need in January?

Madrid are well-covered in most departments, with last summer’s arrivals largely meant to provide competition to established first-team players — Luka Jovic for Karim Benzema, Ferland Mendy for Marcelo and Eder Militao for Raphael Varane, etc. The one truly irreplaceable player is Casemiro in defensive midfield, a fact demonstrated by just how much the Brazilian has featured already this season. The explosion of 21-year-old Fede Valverde, while more of a box-to-box player, has gone some way to mitigating that.

Who are the major targets?

Pogba and Eriksen. While next summer might see moves for Napoli’s Fabian Ruiz and even long-term target Kylian Mbappe from PSG, these are the two possible January arrivals — and neither is likely. Pogba is a player ESPN has been told Zinedine Zidane is desperate to sign, but club president Florentino Perez believes he is overpriced. Eriksen is available on the cheap with his Spurs contract running out, but Zidane is not entirely convinced and it’s hard to see where there’s room for another creative player in the squad.

Who could be leaving?

Two players will depart: striker Mariano and playmaker Brahim Diaz. Both have barely featured; Mariano not playing a single minute and Brahim has been restricted to substitute appearances. Both refused offers to leave on loan in the summer, but loan deals are likely in January. James Rodriguez has not been as involved as he would have liked since returning from his Bayern Munich loan spell, although injuries have played their part. Gareth Bale is “not ecstatic” at Real Madrid, according to agent Jonathan Barnett, but a January exit would be complicated given his wage demands and the club’s reluctance to let him go without a significant transfer fee.

Any new contracts coming?

Captain Sergio Ramos is one to keep an eye on as his contract expires in 2021; Luka Modric extended his terms to the same year recently. Valverde is understood to have already agreed a new long-term deal earlier this season before its emergence as a first-team regular, but it is yet to be announced by the club. — Alex Kirkland and Rodrigo Faez

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 3

Juventus

Budget: N/A

What does the team need in January?

Manager Maurizio Sarri claims he is bored by the transfer window and says he’ll either work on new solutions — such as Juan Cuadrado covering at right-back and in midfield — or just settle for getting Douglas Costa and Aaron Ramsey back from injury. Juventus have a huge squad and missed out on some sales last summer. They definitely don’t need to buy.

Who are the major targets?

Juventus are unlikely to move for anyone in January. They tend to use this period to beat the competition for summer targets, and are following Sandro Tonali and Federico Chiesa instead.

Who could be leaving?

Mario Mandzukic has been frozen out this season. Emre Can’t take left out of Juve’s Champions League squad well. One of Demiral and Daniele Rugani could leave on loan with a view to regular game time ahead of Euro 2020. Then there’s the less-spotted Marko Pjaca, too.

Any new contracts coming?

Juventus have already locked down Leonardo Bonucci (2024) and Juan Cuadrado (2022) to new deals; Next up is goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. So on the agenda are talks with Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, the latter of whom is entering the final 18 months of his current deal. — James Horncastle

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

Psg

Budget: Unlimited. But PSG want to sell before they buy.

What does the team need in January?

Although the Ligue 1 giants are not short of cash, there will be no lavish spending in January, nor is it needed. PSG’s main areas of improvement are at full-back (with the right side being of higher priority than the left) and central midfield. While depth would be useful in those areas, the starting right-back role would be up for grabs with any potential arrival.

Who are the major targets?

With Leonardo back at the helm, PSG are mostly targeting Italian business this January. Juventus pair Mattia De Sciglio and Emre Can are both of interest, while the Brazilian transfer guru also remains keen on Brescia’s in-demand Tonali. De Sciglio’s versatility makes him particularly appealing as he can play on either side at full-back.

Who could be leaving?

Numerous contracts, including captain Thiago Silva and Edinson Cavani, are entering their final six months. However, the likes of Thomas Meunier, Kurzawa and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting could find themselves moved on first. The unconvincing midfielder Leandro Paredes could be sacrificed just one year after joining to help PSG land a target, with Milan keen, as could Germany winger Julian Draxler.

Any new contracts?

Silva will probably earn an extension, but Cavani looks unlikely to get one. PSG have hesitated over Meunier’s future, while Kurzawa will not be retained past his current deal. Marquinhos and Mbappe are PSG’s priorities, as is a permanent deal for Mauro Icardi following his remarkable form on loan from Inter. — Jonathan Johnson

Transfer window preview: Man United to land Haaland? Chelsea to donate '150m? Bayern to buy Sane? - ENGLISH FOOTBALL 1

BAYERN MUNICH

Budget: €100m or so available for a big transfer.

What does the team need in January?

Bayern are a bit slim at the back. Germany international Niklas Sule will not return before the run-in following his second ACL tear, but record signing Lucas Hernandez is set to be ready for the winter training camp. Young Canadian Alphonso Davies’ rise at left-back has allowed Bayern to play David Alaba in central defence. Right now, Bayern feel they don’t need to add to their team but rather make use of their current quality.

Who are the major targets?

Manchester City and Germany winger Sane remains top of the list. Close to a move to the Allianz Arena in the summer, the 23-year-old suffered a knee injury days before what looked to be the Bundesliga’s biggest transfer ever. Having not committed to a new deal at the Etihad, Sane could return to Germany this winter or after Euro 2020 at the latest, with Bayern hoping to pay no more than €100m.

Who could be leaving?

Following Sule’s knee injury, which has all but ended his season, Bayern won’t let Javi Martinez or Jerome Boateng leave. Both had been candidates to depart the Allianz Arena but, as things stand, the German champions will not offload any player. However, things could change if Bayern decide against finishing the season with interim coach Hansi Flick.

Any new contracts coming?

Manuel Neuer, Thomas Muller, Thiago Alcantara, Alaba, Martinez and Boateng are all set to enter the final 18 months of their contracts. While Martinez and Boateng are coming to the end of their Bayern careers, and Thiago might return to Spain in the near future, Muller’s future hinges on the new manager. Alaba has flirted with leaving Bayern for a long time, so it will be interesting to see how negotiations go for him, while Neuer seems set for a new deal even at age 33. — Stephan Uersfeld