As we approach the midway point through the season, the January transfer window has officially opened and clubs will be looking to strengthen their squads around Europe, whether they are aiming for the title, looking to clinch a European spot or trying to avoid relegation.
Interestingly, UEFA have decided to remove the “cup-tied” rule from all European competition, meaning players who have played for one team in Europe are no longer cup tied when they move to another club participating in European competition.
So could that mean clubs are more willing to splash the cash?
I take a look at some of the most wanted players in Europe this window and look at the potential destinations and suitors for them.
Christian Eriksen (27, Midfielder, Tottenham)
Eriksen failed to secure a move away from Spurs in the summer and has not featured regularly under Maurichio Pochettino or predecessor Jose Mourinho at Spurs this season. When the Portuguese was asked about Eriksen, he said: “I know his future.”
The Dane’s contract at Spurs ends in the summer and he has shown no inclination towards signing a new deal, meaning chairman Daniel Levy may look to recoup some money in January should a reasonable offer come in.
Linked With: Real Madrid, Manchester United, Inter Milan
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (30, Forward, Arsenal)
The Gabon International has been in superb form this season for the Gunners, already scoring 15 goals so far.
The Arsenal captain’s contract is due to expire next summer, and although new head coach Mikel Arteta will be desperate to keep him at the club, he may be tempted to leave for a club who can offer Champions League football.
Real Madrid and Inter have hovered into view and are ready to swoop for the red-hot, with his perfomance catching the eye of Zinedine Zidane and Antonio Conte but the Gunners are likely to slap a £70m price tag on the 30-year-old in an attempt to keep hold of their leading marksman.
Linked With: Inter Milan, Real Madrid
Paul Pogba (26, midfielder, Manchester United)
Another transfer window, another period where Paul Pogba is being linked away with a move away from Old Trafford.
The French World Cup winner’s appearances have been limited this season because of an ankle injury but Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared the midfielder “will not be sold”.
His talent and ability is undeniable, but questions remain over his commitment and attitude and his future may lie away from the Premier League, with La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona be potential destinations. However, former club Juventus may be a tempting option if they are prepared to battle for his signature.
Linked With: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus
OLIVIER GIROUD (33, striker, Chelsea)
Recently Giroud has fallen out of favour at Chelsea under Frank Lampard due the prolific form of England international Tammy Abraham, while Belgium Michy Batshuayi is also ahead of him in the pecking order.
The former Arsenal striker’s contract at Stamford Bridge ending in the summer, the Frenchan could well be on the move this January. With almost 80 goals during his Premier League career, he would undoubtedly be an excellent addition for a club lacking a regular scorer and could prove to be a bargain.
Linked with: Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid
Wilfred Zaha (27, Winger, Crystal Palace)
Zaha almost left Selhurst Park in the summer but clubs including Arsenal and Everton failed to meet his £80m asking price, which could prove a stumbling block once more as Palace say they have no intention of lowering that figure.
The Ivory Coast international could push for a move again if a Champions League club come knocking – and with Chelsea’s transfer ban lifted, they could make an offer. Interestingly, German giants Bayern have also expressed an interest in the Palace wide man, looking to provide competition for the likes of Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman.
Linked with: Chelsea, Bayern Munich
Timo Werner (23, Forward, RB Leipzig)
With champions Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund struggling at times so far this season, RB Leipzig have taken charge of the Bundesliga title race.
Striker Timo Werner has been a key figure behind this, with his 18 goals coming at an extraordinary rate of one every 79 minutes, and the Germany international could leave if the right offer came in.
Linked with: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea
Edison Cavani ((32, Forward, Paris St-Germain)
Uruguay international Cavani has been pushed down the pecking order at Parc des Princes behind new arrival Mauro Icardi, and superstars Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
Cavani has scored just three goals this season, and his contract is up in June and he could prove to be an excellent signing for a snip this January.
Linked With: Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Napoli
Gareth Bale (30, winger, Real Madrid)
After a move to China broke down in the summer, the former Tottenham and Southampton player has continued to find himself in and out of the team under Zinedine Zidane. According to his agent, Bale is “not ecstatic” at the club.
Likely to be moved on either this window or the upcoming summer transfer window, the Welshman could return to the Premier League, with Manchester United, Chelsea and former club Tottenham potential destinations for the four-time Champions League winner.
Linked With: Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea