As the January 2024 transfer window approaches, Premier League clubs are gearing up to strengthen their squads and address any weaknesses ahead of the crucial second half of the season. With rumours swirling and speculation rife, several players have emerged as the most likely targets for some of England’s most elite clubs.
Such time of year is always full of various rumours and reports, linking players from across the world to one, if not several, Premier League clubs. With so many articles and social media posts, it can be difficult to know which reports have genuine credibility and which are works of pure fiction. Here though, we have tried to filter out the rubbish and highlight moves that appear to be genuine possibilities.
Of course, not all the moves below will happen because there are so many reasons why a credible link may not result in a transfer. Whether it is a disagreement over the fee or personal terms or clubs relying on another deal to happen before sanctioning a sale/purchase, there is a lot that can scupper a move. If nothing else, this should simply serve as a reminder that no deal is ever a certainty, no matter how strong the rumours.
Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart)
With 17 goals in just 14 Bundesliga appearances, Serhou Guirassy has been one of the unexpected stars of this year’s German top flight. Although Stuttgart will be extremely reluctant to let the Guinea international leave, reports indicate he has a €17.5 million release clause that can be activated in January. Stuggart have failed in their efforts to get him to sign a new contract so it would seem he is open to a new challenge while his stock is at an all-time high.
As for possible destinations, any Premier League team seeking a bit more firepower would likely be interested, potentially Manchester United. Guirassy would not represent a big gamble although his involvement in AFCON could potentially complicate any mid-season deal.
Donyell Malen (Dortmund)
Another attacking player from the Bundesliga who seems open to a move away is Dortmund’s Donyell Malen. The 24-year-old changed his agent in November, which is often a sign that a player is trying to do what they can to facilitate a move and Dortmund seem willing to let him go. Although they will only do so at a reasonable price, likely in the region of €30m, this is hardly unaffordable for most Premier League teams.
It is not too outlandish to think Man United may be able to figure out some sort of swap deal with the banished Jadon Sancho heading in the other direction. The Red Devils may be reluctant to opt for another Dortmund winger though, especially one that has not hit the heights he enjoyed at PSV.
Ivan Toney (Brentford)
With Ivan Toney’s ban for gambling ending in mid-January, he will certainly be a player that will continue to be the focus of much transfer speculation. The most convincing rumours have been linking the forward to Arsenal and Chelsea, both of whom would benefit from some additional firepower up top.
Although it seems a sensible transfer and one that Brentford would be open to providing either meets their substantial asking price, both may need to sell before they can buy. The two London clubs spent a huge amount in the summer and are unlikely to be able to spend £80m+ on Toney without sales when considering Financial Fair Play restrictions.
Jean-Clair Tobido (Nice) / Radu Dragusin (Genoa)
We have bunched these two central defenders as they have both been strongly linked to Tottenham. A lengthy injury to Micky van de Ven and a fresh blow to Christian Romero has left Spurs with just one senior centre-back heading into the new year. Signing at least one central defender seems something of a near certainty as a result and Tobido of Nice or Dragusin of Genoa appear to be top of the running. The latter, however, is reportedly on the cusp of signing a contract extension with his current club. This would not make a transfer impossible but it is a strange move for someone keen on switching clubs.
Jorrel Hato (Ajax)
North London neighbours Arsenal are also seeking to bolster their defensive ranks and it is something seen as a priority for the January transfer window. The likes of Nico Scholtterbeck could be deemed unrealistic until the summer at least but one possible January option is young Ajax defender Jorrel Hato. Although he would largely be one for the future, his performances this season do suggest he could be a competent rotation option.
Kalvin Phillips (Man City)
It has become obvious that the future of Kalvin Phillips does not lie at Manchester City. Pep Guardiola simply does not trust the Yorkshire-born midfielder and his current club have never been reluctant dealing with English rivals. Phillips seems most keen on staying within the country and there are likely to be several suitors interested in at least a loan deal. Crystal Palace and Newcastle are two names that have tended to crop up, but they will not be the only ones.
Conor Gallagher (Chelsea)
Another possible option for Newcastle (and potentially Tottenham if Chelsea’s new owners are willing to do business with them) is Conor Gallagher. Given his performances for Chelsea this season it is strange that the club reportedly are willing to ship him off. The Blues are eyeing up other names though and having spent so much in the summer, offloading some players may need to happen to facilitate this.
Rafa Mir (Nottingham Forest)
Although he failed to score in 13 appearances for then-Championship side Nottingham Forest, Rafa Mir is a better player now than he was in 2019/20. The physical 6ft3in striker has not been favoured as Sevilla this season and the Spanish club are open to offers. For any of the Premier League’s who could do with a physical outlet up top, 26-year-old may offer some appeal.
David de Gea (Previously Man United)
One familiar face we may see back in the Premier League this January is former Man United shot-stopper David de Gea. The Spaniard has been without a club since leaving Old Trafford in the summer but still has plenty to offer at the top level. The 33-year-old’s most likely destination appears to be Newcastle with Nick Pope out long-term and the deputising Martin Dubravka having performed rather inconsistently.
Andre (Fluminense) / Joao Palhinha (Fulham)
Fluminense star Andre, who was involved in his side’s 4-0 Club World Cup loss to Man City, has been linked to a European move for months. With the Brazilian season having come to a close now, the 22-year-old seems prepared to leave the club where has spent the last decade. Having reportedly turned down Liverpool in the summer, the Reds do not seem keen to try again but there are other Premier League clubs with their eye on the midfielder.
One of those supposedly interested is Fulham, who, if willing to meet the demanded transfer fee, could be willing to let Joao Palhinha depart. If this were to happen, Palhinha, who almost joined Bayern Munich in the summer, would be high on the wishlist for much of the Premier League elite. Without a replacement though, it is very hard to see Fulham being willing to offload as this is what scuppered his move to Germany four months ago.