By 90Min
December 13, 2018

The January transfer window is fast approaching, giving European teams the chance to assess their current situation and decide if they are going to dip into the market for reinforcements.

Some managers may be afraid to alter their squads at this point in the season for fear of upsetting the balance, but the signings made now could be the difference between success and failure come the end of the season.


Ousmane Dembélé

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After a first season blighted by injuries, Ousmane Dembélé is now proving why Barcelona paid Borussia Dortmund €105m (plus up to €40m in add ons) for his services in 2017. 


The 21-year-old already has eight goals this season, with particularly memorable strikes against Sevilla, PSV Eindhoven and Espanyol showcasing his quality. But concerns over his professionalism resurfaced after he showed up late for a training session on Sunday.


It was not Dembélé's first transgression and Barcelona may decide that the Frenchman simply isn't worth the hassle and opt to cut their losses. Arsenal, whose head of recruitment Sven Mislintat helped sign Dembélé for Dortmund, would be interested in giving him a shot in the Premier League, as would Liverpool.


Toby Alderweireld

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Tottenham have tried everything to get Toby Alderweireld signed up on a new contract but the Belgian has resisted, and it appears inevitable that he will leave the club when his contract reaches its expiry date.

That date is currently set for the end of the season, although Tottenham have the option to activate an additional one-year extension. However, it is widely believed that this would also activate a £25m release clause - which would probably result in a frantic bidding war.

Even more galling for Tottenham would be if they were to lose Alderweireld to a Premier League rival, but Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly confident of getting the deal done, and Spurs may be forced to sell in January if they want to maximise their profits.


Exequiel Palacios

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For a River Plate player, it doesn't get much better than beating Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores final, so Exequiel Palacios must be tempted to quit while he is ahead and seek out a new challenge in Europe.

You can mark this one down in the 'highly likely' column, with River president Rodolfo D'Onofrio confirming that Real Madrid are in talks to sign Palacios and admitting that the Argentine side cannot block the 20-year-old's career progress.

A versatile midfielder who attacks at pace and defends with urgency, Palacios would be a great addition to any team, but it looks like the Bernabéu - scene of River's famous victory - will be his destination.


Nabil Fekir

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Nabil Fekir came within a dodgy knee of joining Liverpool last summer before the Reds pulled out of a deal, but Lyon have not ruled out the possibility that he could leave the club in January.

Bayern Munich midfielder Kingsley Coman has urged his team to consider making a move for his fellow Frenchman. With Arjen Robben leaving the club at the end of this season and Thomas Muller turning 30 next year, Fekir might be a shrewd signing for the Bundesliga champions.

An alternative destination is Chelsea, who now seem to be the most likely Premier League club to sign Fekir. Who better to help the Blues overhaul Manchester City than the man who put them to the sword at the Etihad Stadium earlier this season?


Christian Pulisic

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Having already made over a century of appearances for Borussia Dortmund, Christian Pulisic is not used to finding himself out of favour. But the sensational form of Jadon Sancho has consigned the American to a spot on the bench since September.

Sancho's winner in the recent Ruhr derby against Schalke showed that he is unlikely to relinquish his place in the team anytime soon, so Pulisic may be forced to seek a move away from Signal Iduna Park if he wants to continue the momentum of his career.

Liverpool and Chelsea are the two clubs most heavily linked with Pulisic. The Blues appear to be leading the race, but Pulisic apparently believes he would be a better fit for Jurgen Klopp's system, and Klopp has expressed an interest in signing him before.


Cristian Pavón

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Although he ended up on the losing side in the Copa Libertadores final, Cristian Pavón has achieved great success in a few short years at Boca Juniors, winning the last two Primera División titles and scoring 26 goals for the Genoese.


At the age of 22, Pavón will probably feel that now is the time to take the next step in his career and a reported release clause of $37m is lower than many of his South American compatriots who have already made the the leap into European football.

Barcelona and Arsenal have both been linked with a move for Pavón, whose versatility is one of his greatest assets. He can play on either wing or as a centre forward.


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