With the January transfer window quickly closing, clubs are scrambling to finalize deals to fortify their second-half pushes. Here are five players whose names will likely be most discussed about switching kits.
1. Julian Draxler, Schalke 04 midfielder. Interested club: Arsenal
The 20-year-old German midfielder has been the only transfer rumor connected with Arsène Wenger’s club this winter. Wenger committed the club early to staying put, but after several injuries to his midfield and the loss of the top spot in the EPL table, the French boss recently hinted at bringing in help. According to reports, Arsenal and Schalke have reached a preliminary agreement on the swap for the young attacking midfielder, who would likely be groomed as a striker at the Emirates. However, there are also reports surfacing that Schalke isn’t planning on handing him over in this January transfer window. Nevertheless, expect to hear Draxler’s name bandied about for the next 48 hours.
2. Toni Kroos, Bayern Munich midfielder. Interested club: Manchester United
The 24-year-old Bayern Munich midfielder is one of the most complete midfielders in the game. He is superb at setting up teammates as well as finishing on his own looks. But with the depth over at Allianz Arena building up quickly, Kroos is finding himself not as essential to the club as he once appeared to be. A switch to the Premier League with Manchester United could be great for the young midfielder. How he would fit alongside newly acquired Juan Mata would be interesting to watch, but it’s clear that manager David Moyes isn’t giving up on the Red Devils premier league season. The Kroos-to-Manchester-United rumors picked up steam late in the game, but it does appear as if there is some real traction there. Keep an eye on this one.
3. Diego Perotti, Sevilla winger. Interested clubs: Monaco, Genoa and Werder Bremen
The versatile left winger, who is also capable of playing at the attacking mid, has turned down offers from Genoa and Werder Bremen with hopes of moving to French side Monaco. While currently sidelined with an injury, the 25-year-old will return to full fitness before long and is hopeful of a move. However, Sevilla aren’t desperate for a move and won’t settle on a deal. A loan may be the more likely situation here, perhaps even still to Werder Bremen, but a transfer to Monaco is what would make all parties involved happy — as long as the money is right. Perotti’s name will undoubtedly resurface in the summer if he isn’t moved by tomorrow.
4. Filip Đuričić, S.L. Benfica midfielder. Interested club: Newcastle
After failing to bring in Clement Grenier, Newcastle seems to have found mutual interest with Đuričić. The 22-year-old Serbian attacking midfielder would benefit from the change of scenery, and hopefully a change back to his natural position in the midfield. With Benfica, Đuričić has been unhappy appearing as the club’s second striker and has also only started four matches in which he has yet to score. He found success in the Champions League, scoring in a win over Anderlecht, showing he is capable of earning the praise he was given when he was brought in. A deal seems very likely to go down with both Newcastle looking and Đuričić being shopped.
5. Eliaquim Mangala, F.C. Porto center back. Interested clubs: Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain
Manchester City are on the verge of blowing past every single English club, having now officially cleared Arsenal by one point atop the EPL table. They don’t need much help, but the rumors of Manchester United closing in on a deal with the Porto defender has forced ManCity boss Manuel Pellegrini into considering a last-minute deal for the 22-year-old star. He would bring a long-term solution to City’s back line, which is decent at best, and likely fortify City’s title run this season. Mangala might be better off playing at Old Trafford, where he would step in for Rio Ferdinand and have the chance to save the club, but the way things are going this season for both Manchester clubs, it probably will work out in City’s favor. Though the reported £38 million deal could be too complex to pull off with such little time remaining.