HomeGuimaraes, Gallagher and Benzema: The big January transfers which could still happen

Guimaraes, Gallagher and Benzema: The big January transfers which could still happen

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Followers of the Premier League are not exactly used to quiet transfer windows. However, with just over three days remaining, the January window has been defined by a lack of activity.

Premier League clubs spent an estimated £815million in 2023’s January window, but after Everton and Nottingham Forest were charged with breaching the competition’s Profit and Sustainability Rules, caution has taken hold in the English top flight.

Disclosed transfer fees paid by Premier League clubs so far this month amount to just £45.5m.

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While many clubs need to wheel and deal to avoid falling foul of financial restrictions, there is still business to be done before the window slams shut at 23:00 UK time on Thursday, February 1.

Here, we run through some of the bigger deals that could yet be done in the Premier League and elsewhere this month.

Conor Gallagher: Chelsea to Tottenham

Gallagher was strongly linked with a move to Tottenham in pre-season, though he ultimately stayed put and has captained Chelsea on numerous occasions this campaign amid injuries to Reece James and Ben Chilwell.

 

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However, Gallagher is into the last 18 months of his contract at Stamford Bridge and little progress appears to have been made concerning a new deal.

Given Chelsea have already spent over £1billion on players under the Todd Boehly regime, a big-money sale could make sense, particularly with Moises Caicedo beginning to adapt and Romeo Lavia close to returning from injury.

Jacob Ramsey: Aston Villa to Newcastle United

Newcastle United were widely expected to be active in January after an injury crisis derailed what had appeared to be a positive campaign in the Autumn. However, the Magpies are sailing close to the wind concerning the Premier League’s financial rules and must sell to buy.

Midfield is the area where the Magpies are most desperate for reinforcements. Already depleted by Sandro Tonali’s suspension and Joe Willock’s fitness woes, Newcastle have lost Joelinton to a thigh injury for the rest of the season and were priced out of a loan move for Kalvin Phillips, who joined West Ham last week.

On Monday, The Athletic reported that Newcastle had made an approach to Villa concerning 21-year-old midfielder Ramsey, who Unai Emery is keen to keep hold of.

However, every player has his price and Villa are also keen to recoup funds after spending heavily last summer. This one could be a late mover, but only if Newcastle can raise funds through sales…

Miguel Almiron: Newcastle United to Al-Shabab

Newcastle’s need to comply with financial rules has seen several first-team regulars linked with exits this month. Almiron appears to be the player they can most afford to lose at this juncture.

The Paraguayan hit 11 Premier League goals last season as Newcastle clinched a surprise top-four finish, but he has only netted three times this campaign. With Jacob Murphy back in the picture and both Callum Wilson and Harvey Barnes close to fitness, Almiron’s time on Tyneside could be up.

Newcastle’s Premier League rivals won’t like it, but Saudi Arabia appears to be his most likely destination, with Al-Shabab showing interest in a move.

Bruno Guimaraes: Newcastle United to Paris Saint-Germain

There are other players Newcastle could cash in on if they need to raise funds for incomings, however. As much as the Toon Army would be loathe to lose him, Guimaraes is the club’s most sellable asset.

Reports have suggested the Brazilian has a release clause of just over £100m in his contract, and his head could be turned with Newcastle facing the prospect of no European football next season.

Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with a move for Guimaraes, though the figures involved mean a transfer may be more likely at the end of the campaign.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: Bayern Munich to Manchester United

Indeed, given the low-key nature of this window, perhaps we shouldn’t expect many big-money moves in the coming days. For teams looking for short-term cover, the loan market could be a preferrable option.

Manchester United are another club adopting a cautious approach to avoid breaching the Premier League’s rules, but Erik ten Hag has repeatedly expressed frustration with their lack of striking options.

Ten Hag said United were unable to act after Anthony Martial was sidelined for 10 weeks by a groin injury, but if they can find some wriggle room, perhaps Bayern Munich might be their port of call.

With Harry Kane smashing Bundesliga records on an almost weekly basis and Mathys Tel emerging as an exiting option behind him, perhaps the Bavarian giants would be willing to part with Choupo-Moting, who turns 35 in March but scored 17 goals in all competitions last season.

Karim Benzema: Al-Ittihad to… anywhere

Last summer, many questioned whether Saudi Arabia’s push to become a footballing powerhouse would go the same way as that attempted by China a few years ago.

While it is far too early for any final judgement on the success – or otherwise – of the project, what is clear is that some big-name players are regretting their lucrative moves to the Gulf.

Jordan Henderson lasted less than six months at Al-Ettifaq before joining Ajax, while former Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte – now of Al-Nassr – has claimed many players are unhappy with the quality of life and working conditions in the country.

It is in this climate that Benzema – who is reportedly unsettled at Al-Ittihad – has been linked with a surprise loan move to either Chelsea or Arsenal.

While neither of those clubs appear likely to be interested in a temporary move for a 36-year-old on gigantic wages, his situation is certainly one to watch in the next few days.

Jon Fisher
Jon Fisher
Jon has over 20 years' experience in sports journalism having worked at the Press Association, Goal and Stats Perform, covering three World Cups, an Olympics and numerous other major sporting events.

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