Dusan Vlahovic, Kylian Mbappe and Joao Felix among top January transfer targets


The January transfer window is getting closer and closer and clubs are starting to give serious thought to which players they want to strengthen their squads with.

Traditionally, mid-season is not the time for big moves, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football’s finances is unpredictable and the summer window has seen a lot of spending despite the situation.

Here we break down some of the players on the radar at some of Europe’s biggest clubs.

* Transfer valuations have been estimated with assistance from Transfermarkt

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Club: Fiorentina
Age: 21 years old
Position: center forward
Valuation: 70 M €

Arguably the most coveted center-forward in the world behind Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Vlahovic is set to leave Fiorentina after negotiations break down over the extension of his contract, which expires in the summer of 2023.

The Serbian international, who is Italy’s Serie A top scorer with 15 goals, was reportedly fielded by Tottenham as a possible Harry Kane replacement in August, but chances are there is serious competition for the left-handed, 6 -foot-3 attacking when the window opens.

Based on current form, age and potential, one wonders if Manchester City might not be better off shifting their focus from Kane to the 21-year-old forward, who leads Serie A with 15 goals.

Club: Seville
Age: 23
Position: Center-back
Valuation: 60 M €

Kounde is among the few well-rated young center-backs who are still available after a summer of movement in the post. Chelsea, despite relentless efforts, failed to land the elegant, technically brilliant defender in August but could come back with another offer in January, especially given the uncertainty surrounding Antonio Rudiger’s contract renewal.

Despite Sevilla’s € 80million valuation of the France international, who clearly has the quality to give most of the top teams an immediate boost, Koundé would be a relatively low-risk signing given his talent. In addition to enjoying a great season with Sevilla, the 23-year-old also consolidated his regular status for Blues.

Club: Marseille
Age: 22 years old
Position: Defensive midfielder
Valuation: € 30m

The race for the signature of the Marseille midfielder, also a fan of the central-back, should be one of the most anticipated transfer sagas of the first half of 2022. Having not yet signed a new contract, despite several offers made speak French. club – Kamara can sign a free contract next summer.

Barcelona’s financial woes are mentioned as a possible destination, but there is a lot of competition as Bayern Munich or a Premier League giant may choose to go ahead while Marseille can still recoup transfer fees. Whatever his final destination, whatever club that brings Kamara on board, he may have landed the deal of the season.

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1:22

Julien Laurens details Karim Benzema’s enthusiasm for playing with Kylian Mbappe at Real Madrid.

Club: Paris Saint-Germain
Age: 22 years old
Position: Before
Valuation: 160 M €

Extending his time at PSG or signing for Real Madrid this summer seem to be the only two plausible options as the superstar striker enters the final six months of his contract. As evidenced by Real Madrid’s unsuccessful attempts to land him for € 200million in August, or the way the club reportedly repelled Manchester United’s attempts to secure PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino in November, both players and managers tend to leave only on PSG terms, and not the other way around.

However, in a few weeks, Mbappe’s fate will be in his hands. While there is little to suggest that the France international is in a rush to decide his future – he and the club could use the coming months to iron out some final negotiations – Real Madrid may think otherwise and the january window represents the last chance to test the determination of PSG.

Club: Monaco
Age: 21 years old
Position: Defensive midfielder
Valuation: 35 M €

Already spotted by many big clubs, there is every chance that contenders like Chelsea, Juventus or Real Madrid will return in January for a player who has continued to improve and has become a full-fledged French international. .

Initially, Tchouameni first stood out for his ballless ability – closing space, scoring runners in midfield, winning duels on the ground and in the air – but he dramatically improved both his distribution. (more creative and riskier) and its ball. transportation skills. Although young, it’s hard to see Tchouameni and his wonderfully comprehensive skills fail to become a constant and consistent presence at an even bigger club.

Club: Lille
Age: 24 years old
Position: Attacking midfielder
Valuation: € 30m

Few players can recall the same ups and downs Sanches faced in his young career: from his breakthrough with lavish status at Benfica and the Portugal national team to Euro 2016, to failure after a transfer of 35 million euros to Bayern Munich and on loan to Swansea, he is now back in excellent form at Lille and is an integral part of Fernando Santos’ Portuguese plans.

This season, Sanches has reinvented himself in a slightly more offensive role, often deployed as a support forward or “false No. 9”. The transformation hasn’t gone unnoticed and with Lille looking to balance their books, Sanches could be the first to come out next month.

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1:25

Gab Marcotti is feeling Ralf Rangnick’s advice that Man United should pursue Haaland and Bellingham is showing he is settling down.

Club: Manchester United
Age: 26
Position: Before
Valuation: 35 M €

Signing 40 million euros from Monaco in 2013, Martial was an aspiring superstar when he arrived in England, but now he is in desperate need of resuscitating his career. Partly due to injuries, part due to lack of support from various managers, and part part due to being played out of position, Martial failed to realize his potential at Old Trafford and the stage to launch his revivification seems to be found elsewhere.

At his best, Martial, whose movement and finishing abilities are top notch, is expected to be among the best forwards in the game. A January move seems the most likely option, with PSG, Lyon and Arsenal tied.

Club: FC Porto
Age: 24 years old
Position: Winger
Valuation: 35 M €

After showing a lot of promise over the past two seasons, the Colombia international has taken his game to another level this season. Diaz, who dribbles the ball with determination and intensity, is happiest when he can operate in space on the left side, either making sharp moments towards the penalty area in his right foot or looking for runs. to play on goal with a penetrating and precisely weighted ball.

His performances in the Portuguese league (10 goals in 13 games) and in the Champions League (two goals in six) alerted several big European clubs. And, while no one is likely to pay their € 80million release clause ahead of COVID, Porto are likely to recover a substantial amount if they decide to let him go.

Club: Atlético Madrid
Age: 22 years old
Position: Before
Valuation: 70 M €

While he is arguably one of the most naturally talented footballers of his generation in terms of flair and technical ability, it is fair to say that Joao Felix’s career has stalled at Atletico Madrid. After joining Benfica for an astronomical € 126million he had had positive spells but recently found himself out of favor with manager Diego Simeone and only started three La Liga appearances this season.

While Simeone has repeatedly alluded to the fact that Felix was not enough of a team player for his Atletico ‘first collective’ side, the striker brilliantly qualified, albeit at times mercurial, could easily be seen. , to settle as well as a “false n ° 9” under Pep Guardiola. orientation in Manchester City.

Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Age: 25
Position: Defensive midfielder
Valuation: 25 M €

Another midfielder closely watched by top European clubs, Zakaria may not be quite on par with the aforementioned Kamara and Tchouameni, but has garnered a lot of interest with his contract ending in the summer. next.

The imposing Swiss international has neat possession, likes to play with a few touches and is able to quickly advance with the ball thanks to a long, elegant stride. Despite his 6-foot-3 build, he moves well on the court, with technique and footwork to get out of tense situations. Juventus, Arsenal, Liverpool are among the clubs mentioned as a possible destination.


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