La Liga Latest: January Transfer News7 min read
It doesn’t seem five minutes since the door to the summer transfer window was slammed shut, but here we are just a few days away from the winter window opening for business.
Though some deals don’t get done until the 11th hour on the final day of the window, you can be assured that Europe’s big clubs have been working around the clock over the last few months to position themselves at the head of the queue for available talent.
Often termed as ‘tapping up,’ it’s a fact of football life that players will be courted by other teams, discreetly in the main, so that no time is wasted once deals are allowed to be rubber-stamped.
La Liga will be no different to any of the other top five European leagues, and there are already rumoured deals on the table.
Although he was only signed in the last January window, Jean-Clair Todibo looks like he might well be on the way out of the Camp Nou.
The young French centre-back has looked good when given the chance, but his first-team appearances have been few and far between. To that end, it’s believed that the player himself has asked for a move.
AC Milan are rumoured to be interested with Barca allegedly asking for €25m and a buyback option for a fixed amount built into any potential deal.
Another player that could be on the move is Ivan Rakitic. He has appeared to be back in favour with Ernesto Valverde over the last few weeks, but suggestions are that this is purely a ‘shop window’ exercise so that potential buyers can see what they’re getting for their money.
Manchester United are believed to be amongst a clutch of clubs interested, and despite his advancing years, the Croatian won’t come cheap.
His midfield colleague, Carles Alena, has virtually sealed a loan move to Real Betis, managed by former Barca assistant, Rubi. The Catalans want the youngster to get experience and then return in six months time, but the Andalusians prefer to have the option to buy him outright.
Though it’s understood that Brazilian wunderkind, Vinicius Jr., wants to fight for his place at the Santiago Bernabeu, the powers that be at Real Madrid have lost patience with the youngster.
With Kylian Mbappe a longer-term target for Los Blancos, the idea would be for Vinicius to join Paris Saint-Germain on loan initially, with a view to a permanent switch which would then sweeten the deal for Mbappe to end up at Real.
Another young player who was signed in a blaze of glory not dissimilar to Vinicius’ arrival, is Brahim Diaz.
Acquired from Manchester City for £22m last January, he hasn’t made anywhere close to the impact expected, and is as far away from making the grade in the first team as it’s possible to be.
Luka Jovic is yet another recent flop, and West Ham have already made enquiries to partner him back with his former Eintracht Frankfurt attacking colleague, Sebastien Haller.
Both Real and the Hammers would be happy with a loan deal, at least initially, whilst the player would jump at the chance to end his Bernabeu nightmare.
He still has a lot to offer, but Isco isn’t in Zinedine Zidane’s plans and appears likely to depart in January. With Real’s interest in Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen still ‘live,’ the notion of a swap deal or player-plus-cash arrangement would suit both parties.
Similar in style, the midfielders would essentially be like-for-like replacements.
There isn’t expected to be too much in the way of outgoings at the Wanda Metropolitano, with Diego Simeone needing to keep the core of his squad together for the challenges ahead. Not least a Champions League date with holders Liverpool in February.
To that end, the only potential move that appears on the cards at present is a loan deal for Nikola Kalinic to Fiorentina. The 31-year-old is out of favour at Atleti and is currently on a season-long loan at AS Roma.
However, he hasn’t impressed the Italians and is expected to return to the Rojiblancos before an immediate loan out to La Viola.
Elsewhere, there are a handful of transfers being mooted, but one that does seem likely to conclude is Chelsea’s move for Villarreal’s Samuel Chukwueze.
Unknown to many outside of the Spanish top flight, the Nigerian has been in a rich vein of form for the Yellow Submarine, and his power, pace and eye for goal will complement what the Blues already have in their front line.
His cost wouldn’t be significant, and certainly within Chelsea’s price range, particularly because Frank Lampard has been given the green light to spend after their UEFA transfer ban was overturned.