With just two transfer windows a year in the world of soccer, there’s always a flurry of activity in each of them. The next opportunity for clubs to sell players and alter their rosters will be this coming January. Some players are more likely to move than others as they were the subject of failed bids during the summer. Of course, as soon as one player moves in the window it can create a domino affect as that player needs to be replaced and so on.
This list deals with 10 players who could very well change clubs in January. Some of them will be free agents at the end of June and could leave for nothing if they’re not sold in the winter. Managers will assess the needs of their squads and will be looking for bargains as they attempt to strengthen them. Some of the world’s best players have found themselves on the move in a January transfer window including Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Luis Suarez.
10. Lenny Pintor
Although forward Lenny Pintor is just 17-years-old and playing in the second tier of football in his homeland of France, it appears that Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea are all interested in him. Pintor is currently with Brest and caught the eye of the Premier League big boys with his recent performances at the Under-17 World Cup in India.
He’s just a teenager so it’s highly unlikely he’ll be given much of a first-team chance at any club this year if he does move, but he has the potential to be a future star. However, the left-footer just signed his first pro contract this summer and he may not want to leave France at such a young age until he gets more league football experience under his belt.
9. Jack Wilshere
England international midfielder Jack Wilshere is back at the Emirates Stadium with Arsenal this season after spending last campaign out on loan at Bournemouth and then breaking his leg in April. The injury-prone player has his mind set on playing for his homeland at the World Cup in Russia next summer, but he’ll need to be appearing regularly in the Premier League if he has any hopes of getting selected for the squad by manager Gareth Southgate.
Wilshere’s contract expires next June, but manager Arsene Wenger says he’s willing to talk a new deal with the 25-year-old and will give him a chance in the Premier League this season. Still, rumors persist that Wilshere will join London neighbors West Ham United in January as he’s yet to start a league game so far this campaign.
8. Ross Barkley
Everton’s English international midfielder Ross Barkley was rumored to be on the way out of Goodison Park in the summer. He wasn’t fully fit though and told the press he’d rather wait until January to consider all his options. Barkley apparently refused a move to Chelsea as he was concerned about how much playing time he’d get. He’s just 23-years-old and there’s a chance he’ll stay with Everton now that manager Ronald Koeman has been sacked.
Whoever takes over the Toffees may want to keep Barkley, so we’ll just have to wait and see how things play out. In the meantime, it looks like Tottenham Hotspur are still interested in him as an eventual replacement for 30-year-old Mousa Dembele or 28-year-old Moussa Sissoko.
7. Luke Shaw
For one reason or another, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho simply doesn’t like English international left-back Luke Shaw. He rarely plays the 22-year-old and when he does, he criticizes him publicly in the press. Shaw has played just twice for United this season, both in the League Cup, and one appearance being as an 87th-minute substitute.
For his own sake, Shaw needs to move elsewhere to get on with his career and to have any chance of being recalled to the England squad. His career has stagnated since breaking a leg in 2015 and the arrival of the spiteful Mourinho definitely hasn’t helped him. Shaw is basically wasting his time at Old Trafford and needs to boost his confidence with a move to another club as soon as possible.
6. Andre Silva
Portuguese forward Andre Silva joined AC Milan in the summer from Porto for £33million, but may be on his way out of Italy by January. The 21-year-old has piqued the interest of both Arsenal and Barcelona. Silva could be an alternative for the Gunners if Alexis Sanchez and/or Mesut Ozil leaves and for Barcelona if they can’t land Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool. However, after Barcelona sold Neymar to Paris Saint Germain in the summer for a world-record transfer fee, they spent some of the windfall on winger Ousmane Dembele from Borussia Dortmund.
Silva has found the net six times in the Europa League so far this season, but as of October 25th he hadn’t scored a league goal. In addition, in-debt AC Milan has said they’ll be selling their stars if they don’t qualify for next season’s Champions League.
5. Virgil van Dijk
Liverpool tried to make a deal for Southampton’s Dutch international defender Virgil van Dijk in the summer, but the Saints refused to sell the 26-year old. Reds’ manager Jurgen Klopp will likely make another attempt for the centre-back in January though, as Liverpool’s leaky defense is stopping the team from being a title contender.
Van Dijk was injured earlier this year and missed most of the preseason, but he’s healthy now and playing regularly. Barcelona was also interested in him, but have apparently cooled their heels as they believe they can find similar skills at a cheaper price. If Southampton is close to the relegation battle in January, they’ll likely keep Van Dijk until the summer. But if they appear to be safe, they could sell him in the next window.
4. Mesut Ozil
The latest big-name Arsenal player rumored to be leaving is German international midfielder Mesut Ozil. He’s been linked with a move to Manchester United, but has publicly denied any interest in leaving the Gunners. There’s a twist to the tale though as Ozil apparently wants Jack Wilshere’s number 10 shirt, which Wilshere has worn since 2012, and Arsenal has refused to cave in to his demands.
In addition, Ozil’s contract expires in June and he’s also reportedly interested in joining Real Madrid, Barcelona or Inter Milan as the Gunners feel he’s asking for too much money. The 29-year-old playmaker has sulked at times this season, but is off to a good start. But that might just be a way to attract interest from even more potential buyers.
3. Alexis Sanchez
Chilean international forward Alexis Sanchez has already been whining about wanting to play Champions League football, and with Arsenal in the Europa League, he wants out. His contract with the Gunners is up at the end of June, but they still wouldn’t sell him to Manchester City when they bid approximately £60 million for his services in the summer.
Sanchez could move for free next summer, but Arsenal would be foolish not to get something in return for him. It’s believed Man City is still interested in him, but will only bid about £20 million during the upcoming January transfer window. If Arsenal is in the thick of the title race in January, they’ll likely keep Sanchez though. If they’re out of it, he’s almost certain to be sold to City or someone else.
2. Philippe Coutinho
Brazilian international midfielder Philippe Coutinho made it clear this summer that he wanted Liverpool to sell him to Barcelona and tried to force the move. The Reds rightfully stood firm though and refused to be dictated to by their star attacking player. Barcelona reportedly bid at least £100 million for his services, but were turned down again and again.
The Spanish giants still appear to be interested in the 25-year-old, but according to news reports will have to cough up £135 million to land him. In fact, Liverpool will be willing to sell Coutinho to anyone who forks over that amount of cash. Barcelona may decide to pass on the player due to the price, but suddenly-rich Paris Saint Germain may be willing to pay it.
1. Danny Ings
The most likely player on this list to change clubs in January is striker Danny Ings of Liverpool. He’s also the least-glamorous of the 10 and would be sold at the cheapest price. The 25-year-old has been injured during most of his stint at Anfield since 2015, but is now healthy. Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Watford, and Southampton are all interested in the proven goalscorer and he’s a good bet to join one of them in January.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp may not want to sell him outright though and will possibly want to just loan him out for the rest of the season. Ings has played only six league games for the Reds and has two goals to his name. He should approve a move as he has an outside chance of making England’s squad for next year’s World Cup. But he’ll need to play as many games as possible and score on a consistent basis to do so.