With the January transfer window officially open for business, here are the latest rumblings around Europe regarding some of the biggest names that are featuring in this winter's edition of silly season.
The January transfer window is open for business!
With the turn of the new year brings the start of a new transfer season as clubs look to reinforce their squads or find the difference-making pieces for the second half of their seasons. The landmark transfers typically happen in the summer, but winter moves can be game-changers too. One needs only to look back a year ago at Liverpool's £75 million signing of Virgil Van Dijk, which seemed pricey at the time as an example. The club went on a run to the Champions League final and a year later finds itself in the driver's seat for the Premier League title entering a showdown vs. second-place Man City on Thursday.
Other agreements can come together in the January window looking forward six months, with out-of-contract players able to negotiate pre-contracts with their next teams. Those same kind of players make for enticing transfer targets, with their current clubs perhaps looking to salvage some value before losing them for free in the summer.
Here is the latest buzz on some of the top stars in the shop window as the January silly season officially kicks off:
• There's no official movement on the Christian Pulisic front just yet. Arsenal is apparently considering getting in the mix and Liverpool remains a speculative destination for the U.S. international, who has reportedly been the subject of a bid of over €50 million from London rival Chelsea late last week. His transfer status was thrown into chaos when former U.S. international Eddie Johnson, who trained Pulisic over the summer in Florida, congratulated him on his move to Chelsea and even featured Pulisic in a split Dortmund-Chelsea uniform in an Instragram post. Dortmund's company line so far has been that Pulisic won't be sold this winter, but that doesn't preclude the club from reaching a deal with a suitor now for a move in the summer–or from flip-flopping entirely if the price is right for an immediate sale. (Bild | ESPN)
(UPDATE: Chelsea officially signed Pulisic on Wednesday, agreeing to a $73 million deal and a record transfer for an American. Pulisic will remain on loan with Dortmund for the rest of the season before departing for Chelsea in the summer)
• After losing Jadon Sancho, Man City could watch another teenage star exit the Etihad, with reports claiming 19-year-old Malaga-born midfielder Brahim Diaz is closing in on a long-expected move to Real Madrid. The agreement is reportedly worth €15 million plus add-ons for the player, who was set to be out of contract at Man City at the end of the season. Diaz understandably found playing time hard to come by at Man City but might find more of the same at Real Madrid given the club's established stars and rising core of talent. An official announcement is expected imminently. (Marca)
• Real Madrid also reportedly wants Marcus Rashford, but the Man United star apparently wants no part of leaving Old Trafford for the Bernabeu after enjoying a revival under interim boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. (The Sun)
• Kalidou Koulibaly sparked social media speculation when commenting on a Paul Pogba Instagram post that "we will see each other soon." If Man United is to land the Napoli center back star, it will cost a mint, with the Serie A side reportedly claiming it would cost €120 million to pry him from the Stadio San Paolo. (CalcioMercato | The Guardian)
• Valencia reportedly wants to bring Chicharito back to Spain. With Mexico star Javier Hernandez out of favor and form at West Ham, he could return to La Liga, where he had success with Real Madrid. The 30-year-old has scored just four league goals this season in 14 appearances–half of which have come off the bench. (Independent)
• Lille's 23-year-old talent Nicolas Pepe is open to a Premier League move–just not until the summer. That will keep the likes of reported suitors Arsenal and Man City at bay but on notice for another few months. (Sky Sports)
• Chelsea has reportedly rejected a £20 million offer for Callum Hudson-Odoi from Bayern Munich and is said to value the 18-year-old attacking standout at double that amount. (Sky Sports)
• Fiorentina has signed Colombian striker Luis Muriel on loan from Sevilla, reportedly beating fellow Serie A side AC Milan to the punch. (ACF Fiorentina)
• FC Barcelona claims it does not have a deal in place and has not breached any rules in regards to PSG's Adrien Rabiot despite accusations to the contrary. The club did not dispute its interest in the player, who is out of contract at the end of the season, but he is not yet en route to Camp Nou. Barcelona maintains that contact between the club and PSG has been registered on two occasions, once in August and once last week. (FC Barcelona)
• Aaron Ramsey appears to be the apple of Juventus's eye, with the Italian champions reportedly offering a four-year deal. The Arsenal midfielder is out of contract at the end of the season and won't return to the club next year, one way or another. He could be sold in January–though manager Unai Emery has poured cold water on that notion–or agree to a pre-contract with another club now that he is six months out from the end of his deal. (Tuttosport)
• Another out-of-contract player this summer is Man United veteran Ashley Young, and he's reportedly drawing interest from Inter Milan with an eye on a free transfer in July. Roma is also said to be interested. (The Mirror)
• Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil is ruling out a loan move this winter and is instead focused on winning back his starting position at the Emirates under Emery. (ESPN)
• Tottenham has extended Toby Alderweireld's deal through 2020, but the contract reportedly has a stipulation in that his release clause could be triggered with a £25 million bid any time this summer until two weeks prior to the closing of the transfer window. That reportedly has PSG interested in a summer move for the Belgian center back. (Telegraph)
• Atlanta United star Miguel Almiron has drawn plenty of Premier League interest, but he's reportedly a wanted man in La Liga as well, with Real Betis said to be a suitor. Newcastle, which was thought to be the frontrunner in the sweepstakes to sign Almiron, reportedly won't match Atlanta's asking price, which could throw the race wide open. (Versus | The Mirror)
• Samir Nasri is off the banned list and back in uniform after signing with West Ham on a free transfer. The veteran Frenchman had been banned for 18 months after a positive doping test. (West Ham United)
• American midfielder Emerson Hyndman has gone back to Bournemouth after his six-month loan to Scottish club Hibernian expired. There had been talks about extending the loan through the end of the season, but with Bournemouth light on midfield depth, the 22-year-old U.S. international will return to his Premier League club. (BBC)