The January transfer window of 2021 is underway across the top European leagues right now and will close on February 1, 2021. As usual, players can be bought, sold or loaned across Europe and beyond, provided the two clubs and the players involved come to a mutual agreement.
Normally, the January transfer window is looked like an immediate problem-solving place and clubs fighting the relegation battles are more likely to make moves to make sure that they survive another year in the league. This time around it can be slightly different because we live in a post-COVID-19 world and every club around the world is in financial distress.
Don’t expect big-money moves to take place this January transfer window but still, the excitement and interest a transfer window gets are second to none. Here are some of the big names who’s future can be decided in this window and we’ve listed down their preferred destinations to play football in.
MESUT OZIL (Arsenal)
After being ostracised from the squad earlier in the season, the Gunners are desperate to move Mesut Ozil on to a different club in this January transfer window. The German is on massive wages at the club and his contract is valid till the end of the season. He wasn’t included in the Premier League squad till January and Mikel Arteta is sure that the German playmaker isn’t in his future plans.
Turkish club Fenerbahce seems like the most likely place for Ozil to move on to as both clubs have been in contact recently. However, there are certain speculations that MLS club DC United have also enquired about the German. It is to be seen if Ozil does leave the continent or wants to continue showing his prowess on the European stage.
DAVID ALABA (Bayern Munich)
Much has been talked about David Alaba’s contract situation at Bayern Munich. This is the last year in his contract and it seems certain that the Austrian is looking for a new challenge in his career and will be moving on at the end of the season. Legally, he can contact any club he wants to negotiate a contract for next season and it’ll be interesting to see where he ends up at.
He could follow the route of his former Bayern Munich teammate, Thiago Alcantara and move to the champions of England, Liverpool. It’ll be interesting to see if Liverpool push for a move in this window given the injury issues they have had at the centre back position. If reports are to be believed, Alaba fancies a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
GEORGINIO WIJNALDUM (Liverpool)
Another player whose contract runs out at the end of the season is Liverpool’s midfielder Gini Wijnaldum. The Dutch international has been a regular starter in Klopp’s Liverpool but interestingly the club isn’t able to find a mid-ground between the two parties for the new contract. Klopp has publicly stated that he wants Gini to stay but the midfielder believes that his worth in the club has been undervalued.
It was quite public that Ronald Koeman wanted Gini in his new Barcelona team ahead of the season but the deal could have never gone through due to the financial situation of the club. He can move for free next season and this is something to keep an eye out for.
CHRISTIAN ERIKSEN (Inter Milan)
Christian Eriksen very publicly wanted a move away from Spurs last season and he got his wish in the January transfer window of 2020 with a move to Serie A team Inter Milan. This move hasn’t worked out well for the creative midfielder so far as he has found it hard adjusting to life under Antonio Conte’s system at Inter.
Mauricio Pochettino has recently been announced as the new Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) manager and this makes it interesting for Eriksen’s future. He could use the Danish midfielder’s creativity at PSG and the two could be reunited it seems in this window.
DELE ALLI (Tottenham Hotspur)
Dele Alli was once a regular starter in the English team but is now failing to make it to the bench of the current Tottenham team under Jose Mourinho. He flourished early on under the Portuguese manager but this season, the story has been quite different. He doesn’t put in the work rate required to play in Mourinho’s system and it is quite evident that two aren’t getting along anymore.
Mauricio Pochettino has always been a big fan of Alli’s ability and he could be one of the major targets for the Argentine as he starts his rebuilding plans for PSG. Dele is still just 24 and his peak is yet to come in football and there’s no better manager out there than Pochettino to extract the best out of the midfielder.
PAPU GOMEZ (Atalanta)
Atalanta has been the story of the past couple of seasons in the Serie A. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side plays some riveting football and scores many goals. At the heart of the team is their captain Papu Gomez who is their most influential playmaker. Till recently, he was an indispensable member of the team but had a falling out with the Atalanta President. He hasn’t featured in the last four Serie A games and the Argentine is desperate for a move away from the club.
Even though he has made peace with the President but he is expected to move on by the end of this month. Juventus has been linked with a move for him and they face competition from Inter Milan and AC Milan for his signature.
DECLAN RICE (West Ham United)
Frank Lampard has been a huge fan of Declan Rice since his Chelsea youth days. Lampard has tried pushing for a move for the English midfield player but the price tag set by West Ham has been seen as unrealistic by some on the Chelsea board.
Still, Lampard wants this move to be done as early as possible and hopes to convert Declan back to a centre-back, a position he used to play for Chelsea Academy. If this move was to go ahead then it’ll possibly be the biggest move in monetary terms. Chelsea have already spent big ahead of this season and whether they can make his move happen will be intriguing to watch.
SAMI KHEDIRA (Juventus)
Out of favour German midfielder Sami Khedira is all set for a move away from the Turin-based club, Juventus. The club wants to reduce the wage balance in the squad and it’s imperative that they move players like Sami Khedira on in this transfer window.
A reunion with Carlo Ancelotti at Everton seems the most likely move for the German. While interestingly, Tottenham have also been linked to the midfielder.
LIONEL MESSI (FC Barcelona)
The saga of Lionel Messi’s transfer continues. This is officially his last season according to his contract at Barcelona but his future remains undecided. Messi has kept his cards very close to his chest as he has been giving mixed signals in the interviews he has been giving. He hasn’t been the same on the pitch for Barcelona this season and seems quite unhappy.
Manchester City seems the most likely destination for Lionel Messi to end up at next season but a move to PSG cannot be ruled out either.
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