With Christmas now firmly in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for the festive season that is the January transfer window.
Managers will soon be looking to spend their Christmas money on some new toys, but there are rarely any January bargains in the world of football.
Here are six rumours for you to watch out for when January hits.
6. West Ham Face Uphill Battle to Sign Former Cardiff Toughman
West Ham United spent heavily during the summer, and it looks like that spending is set to roll over into January. Despite serious improvement, the Hammers have kept just three clean sheets all season, and manager Manuel Pellegrini wants that to change.
Combative midfielder Carlos Sanchez has missed most of the season with a knee injury and, according to The Sun, Pellegrini is looking to replace him with former Cardiff City midfielder Gary Medel.
However, whether they will be able to finalise a deal is uncertain. They have seen a £6.5m bid turned down by Medel’s current club, Besiktas, and have been told to shell out more money if they really want the 31-year-old.
5. Tottenham to Raid Championship for 18-year-old Breakout Star
Is there anything more 2018 than an 18-year-old English youngster with less than six months of professional experience costing £15m?
The Sun claim that Norwich City starlet Max Aarons is attracting interest from several of the Premier League’s elite, as well as RB Leipzig, and Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be leading the race for his signature after scouting Aarons in all of his 21 senior appearances.
A £15m offer is said to be enough to sign the youngster, although Norwich would demand that Aarons returns to the club on loan as they fight for promotion to the Premier League.
4. Gladbach Issue Hazard Warning to Europe’s Biggest Clubs
Does having the surname ‘Hazard’ automatically make you a good player? It certainly seems that way. Eden is currently tearing up the Premier League with Chelsea, and brother Thorgan is enjoying a similar season with Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.
He has 12 goals and seven assists already this season and, according to Bild, Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich are tracking the younger Hazard. However, manager Dieter Hecking has insisted that Hazard will not be leaving the club in January.
If the clubs can wait until next summer, it seems Hazard will then become available. Chelsea are thought to retain a buy-back clause which becomes active next summer, but the Belgian is also refusing to extend his contract, which expires in 2020, meaning Gladbach may be forced to sell him at the end of the season.
3. Real Madrid Set to Break Transfer Policy & Finally Get Their €15m Man
When Real Madrid want something, they tend to get it. They have been battling with Manchester City over the future of 19-year-old Brahim Diaz, and it appears as though they have won.
Marca claim that Diaz, who has just six months remaining on his deal at the Etihad Stadium, will move to Real in January for around €15m, and will instantly join up with the first-team.
Real don’t usually like doing business in January, but they did not want to miss out on Diaz’s signature. The signing of Lucas Silva in 2015 was their last January deal, but Real are thought to be infatuated with Diaz and felt they could make an exception to their transfer policy.
2. Aaron Ramsey ‘Increasingly Keen’ on Juventus Move Despite PSG Links
Across his eight years with Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey has established himself as a fan-favourite. The Welshman has been one of the Gunners’ most reliable options, but finds himself approaching the end of his contract after talks stalled over a new deal.
Juventus have been heavily linked with a free transfer for Ramsey next summer, and Tuttosport claim that Ramsey is becoming increasingly keen on the move.
Paris Saint-Germain are also preparing to throw their hat into the ring, but Tuttosport suggest that Ramsey and Juventus “will be wed” next summer. How romantic.
1. United Set to Reignite Interest in Seemingly-Eternal Transfer Target
There are three constants in the world: Death, taxes and Manchester United’s interest in Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
United have been linked with the Serbian midfielder for what seems like an eternity, but as yet they have failed to sign him. However, Sky Sports (via Calciomercato) claim that Lazio would now consider an offer of €100m for Milinkovic-Savic, prompting United to reignite their interest.
The 23-year-old is widely regarded as one of the most promising midfielders in the world, and Calciomercato state that United are “desperate” to sign him and improve their quality in the midfield.
However, if they fail to convince the Serbian to make the switch to Old Trafford, at least United have Marouane Fellaini to fall back on.