How do you separate transfer fact from fiction? As the January transfer window gets set to open, David Amoyal looks at some of the current rumours and predicts how likely it is that the proposed moves actually happen.
Antoine Griezmann to Man United in January: 5 percent
While there are many reasons why the French striker could arrive at Old Trafford, it’s almost impossible to happen next month. Griezmann is loyal to his manager Diego Simeone and, while Atletico Madrid have struggled in La Liga, they got a favorable draw vs. Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. A summer move is more likely for Griezmann, especially if Simeone decides to move on.
Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay to Everton: 45 percent
As we wrote last week, there’s a good chance Schneiderlin will reunite with his former coach Ronald Koeman and he could be joined by his current United teammate Depay, who would be an ideal replacement for the injured Yannick Bolasie. Everton is looking to significantly improve its squad in January and has offered 40 million pounds to sign both players.
Federico Bernardeschi to Chelsea in January: 15 percent
Bernardeschi would be an ideal replacement for Oscar and the winger has never hid his ambition to play for a top club. He is only 22 but, despite his young age, then-Italy manager Antonio Conte took him to Euro 2016. A move this winter will be difficult, though, as Fiorentina is having a difficult season and, unlike Juan Cuadrado, who left for Chelsea in 2014, Bernardeschi does not have an exit clause.
Jon Obi Mikel to Marseille: 35 percent
The Nigerian midfielder is all but certain to leave Chelsea in January, as his agent recently confirmed. Mikel’s contract expires in June and, while he could cash by moving to China, he still has suitors in Europe. Marseille is looking for a replacement for Lassana Diarra, who is expected to move to China himself. Mikel has also been linked to Inter, but the Italian club is more focused on Lucas Leiva.
Lucas Leiva to Inter: 50 percent
One reason why Inter could sign Lucas is that his agent Kia Joorabchian also consults for the club’s new ownership group Suning. Liverpool appears open to a “dry” loan deal, with no option to buy. That’s an important factor given Inter must operate within strict Financial Fair Play parameters during January. Signing Lucas would allow the Italian club to consider offers for Geoffrey Kondogbia and Felipe Melo.
Joao Cancelo to Barcelona in 2017: 65 percent
After facilitating Andre Gomes’ transfer last summer, agent Jorge Mendes is working to bring another Valencia player to Camp Nou and Cancelo could bring stability to Barcelona’s right-back position. But considering their lowly position in La Liga, Valencia is more focused on improving its squad in January than on losing a key player. As such, Barcelona will likely have to wait until the summer.
Tomas Rincon to Juventus: 55 percent
Juventus has taken the lead ahead of Roma in the race to sign the 28-year-old. The current Serie A champions pursued Rincon last summer and, according to Gianluca Di Marzio, are now very close to completing a deal that features an initial loan with a mandatory option to buy for €10 million. Rincon’s arrival will not close the door on Juventus’ efforts to bring Axel Witsel to Turin in January.
Carlos Bacca to West Ham: 30 percent
Last summer the Hammers were close to signing Bacca, who held out for interest from a Spanish team. The Colombian striker has struggled with injuries recently, so it remains to be seen if West Ham will come close to offering the €25-30m Milan is asking for him. The amount is not expected to go down significantly even if the Italian club also sell Luiz Adriano to Spartak Moscow.
Simone Zaza to Valencia: 45 percent
The Italian striker has struggled since moving to the Premier League and he will certainly leave West Ham. Juventus still owns his rights but is determined to send him to a team where he can play. The likeliest destination is Valencia but the biggest obstacle to the move is Zaza’s wages, which increased after he moved to England. Milan could be an alternative should Bacca leave.
Hatem Ben Arfa to Fenerbahce: 10 percent
Fenerbahce had been linked to the winger in previous windows and has made an offer to acquire him on loan, but odds are that Ben Arfa won’t move to Turkey in January. Julian Draxler’s arrival at Paris Saint-Germain won’t help increase his already limited playing time but Ben Arfa is determined to prove himself with the French champions for at least the remainder of the current season.
David covers transfer news for ESPN FC and works for Gianluca Di Marzio’s website.