Not long now until another transfer window, and the big clubs will already be jostling for position to ensure they’re at the front of the queue when their targets become available.
We take a look at the potential January signings for five of the Premier League’s biggest teams…
1 Leroy Sane (Manchester City)
Despite being named PFA Young Player of the Year for his performances at Man City last season, Sane has found it difficult to dislodge Riyad Mahrez, and will jump at the chance to cross the Manchester divide.
Jose Mourinho would love nothing better than poaching a player from his arch rivals, and this transfer could well come to fruition if City lower their asking price for a player who clearly has no intention of staying at the club for longer than is absokutely necessary.
2 Mehdi Benatia (Juventus)
With Paul Pogba known to want to leave Old Trafford, United need to get the best possible deal for a player who still has much to offer, but, is clearly no longer part of Jose Mourinho’s plans.
Juventus have played down the chance to get him in public, but their offer of cash + Mehdi Benatia in exchange for Pogba shows this how willing they are to bring the Frenchman back to Italy.
More likely in the summer than mid-season.
3 Joachim Andersen (Sampdoria)
Just 22 years of age, Sampdoria centre-back, Joachim Andersen, is attracting a lot of attention around Europe.
Mourinho is desperate for a central defender of quality, with Eric Bailly unlikely to don the red shirt again.
Inter have an ace up their sleeve in a player plus cash deal, so the likelihood is that Andersen will do there.
1 Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)
Almost released by Crystal Palace, Wan-Bissaka has thrived under Roy Hodgson’s tutelage and it’s little wonder City are interested.
At 20 years of age, he’s a long career ahead of him, and he’s just the sort of player that Pep Guardiola likes to mould. Quick, fearless, takes on instructions first time…
He has it all, and the real surprise would be if City don’t lodge a bid in January.
2 Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon)
A man mountain of a midfielder, the comparisons to Yaya Toure are not without foundation
The latter hasn’t really been replaced and those midfielders in situ for the position are either too old or too young.
Lyon have suggested that their player could leave, but next summer rather than mid-season.
City will want to do business before then to keep him away from the competition. A €40m bid should get this one over the line.
3 Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund)
Having only recently left City, the chances of Jadon Sancho wanting to return are minimal, however, money talks and Dortmund simply can’t compete with the cash-rich EPL champions.
Pep remains an admirer and it will be interesting to see if he’s willing to rock the boat.
A transfer on the face of it that’s more likely to happen once Guardiola has left.
1 Nabil Fekir (Lyon)
No doubting Sarri’s top target, and he has, apparently, already spoken with Fekir personally, telling him that he will be a key player in the Chelsea starting XI.
With one failed move to England already behind him, it seems clear that Fekir still wants to try his luck in the EPL, and with money no object for Chelsea either, the Lyon man should be a ‘Blue’ before the end of January.
2 Denis Suarez (Barcelona)
There’s no doubt whatsoever that Denis Suarez will leave Barcelona in January. So far in 2018/19 he has played the last amount of minutes in Ernesto Valverde’s entire squad – none.
At 24, he needs to move on to resurrect his career, and with Sarri keen to sign him whilst at Napoli, and Barcelona in need of funds, one would expect that only a fee needs to be agreed for this to be given the green light.
3 Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen)
He’s been told to reject the Blues whilst Eden Hazard is still there, but Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey is still interesting Chelsea, who may well see him as the long-term replacement for the Belgian.
Having spurned their advances already, and professed a willingness to stay in Germany, it’s difficult to see this one completing.
1 Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain)
News in France that Liverpool are the latest to be interested in PSG’s Adrien Rabiot is gaining traction.
The midfielder is a wanted man with Barcelona having tracked him for months, and Manchester City also allegedly interested.
Jurgen Klopp has ruled out big-money signings in January but that’s likely to just be a smokescreen. However, this one will make more sense in the summer when he’s available on a free, rather than a fee having to be paid now.
2 Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal)
After 10 years in north London, this season will be Aaron Ramsey’s last as the Gunners have rescinded their contract offer to him.
It’s been expected that he would bow out at the end of the season, but there are reasons to believe that a January move is on the cards, particularly if Liverpool are still on course to be challenging for the title.
The player isn’t averse to the move, and as long as Klopp picks up the phone, he will still be wearing red in the new year, but not Arsenal’s.
3 Vilius Piliukaitis (Blackburn Rovers)
The 17-year-old has been playing wonderfully well for Blackburn, and recent earned the man of the match award for his display against Manchester City’s U18 squad.
Although Blackburn do have the option to sign him permanently, as he’s still on a loan deal from the Lithuanian National Football Academy, that will mean nothing if Liverpool come in and put their money where their mouth is.
For now, it’s more likely that the Reds will retain a watching brief and if he continues to improve, they’ll make an offer at a later date.
1 Juan Mata (Manchester United)
Out of contract in the summer, it’s believed that Juan Mata has already agreed to move to Arsenal at that point, joining up again with former Valencia coach, Unai Emery.
However, with Aaron Ramsey potentially moving in January, a switch to north London six months earlier than planned, and for a small fee, isn’t beyond the realms of possibility.
If the dominos begin to fall, Mata will be back in London by January 31.
2 Nicolas Pepe (Lille)
Danny Welbeck’s injury has significantly changed Arsenal’s January transfer plans.
His contract was up in the summer in any event, so things will have to be sped up and Pepe, at £26m, represents decent business.
Eight goals and five assists in 14 appearances is fine form, and the player has admitted he is flattered by the Gunners’ interest. Of the three rumours detailed here, this one is the most likely to happen.
3 Malcom (Barcelona)
Another bizarre transfer by Barcelona who, after snatching Malcom from under the noses of Roma at the 11th hour, then proceeded to barely play him until the last couple of weeks.
Understandably, the Brazilian wants out, and even if Barca don’t recoup what they paid for him, a move may be better for all parties.
Emery wants pace and power up front, both of which Malcom provides. Watch this space.