Transfer window preview: Top 50 players who could move in January
With the January transfer window set to open on Saturday, we're teeing up the wheeling and dealing by presenting 50 high-profile players who could be on the move in the coming weeks.
Note: Estimated transfer values provided by transfermarkt.com.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal)
Age: 32 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €15M
Having been stripped of the captaincy and routinely left out of the squad for disciplinary breaches, Aubameyang's time at Arsenal appears to be nearing its end, barring a surprise revival of his relationship with manager Mikel Arteta.
Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea)
Age: 28 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €35M
One of many on this list on an expiring contract, Rudiger is in high demand amid an apparent contract standoff with Chelsea. The impending free agent, a stalwart of the Blues' backline, is drawing serious interest from Real Madrid.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
Age: 24 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €45M
Arsenal are monitoring Calvert-Lewin, who enjoyed the best year of his career last season when he scored 16 league goals. Injuries have derailed his 2021-22 campaign, but when fit, he provides a dominant aerial presence.
Paul Pogba (Manchester United)
Age: 28 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €55M
Another transfer window with Pogba in the spotlight, and at some point, something has to give. The Frenchman's contract expires in the summer, and he's given no indication yet that he'll renew with the Red Devils.
Anthony Martial (Manchester United)
Age: 26 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €32M
Navigating the murky transfer waters can be extremely tiring. Speculation is rife, and it can sometimes be difficult to track the lineage - and veracity - of certain rumors. Not this one, though. Martial has told Manchester United he wants out.
Edinson Cavani (Manchester United)
Age: 34 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €4M
Unlike the splashy signings we get in the summer window, this would represent a more typical January deal. An impending free agent who can still produce is exactly the kind of short-term solution many clubs are eyeing.
Raheem Sterling (Manchester City)
Age: 27 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €85M
Sterling's influence at Manchester City has waned somewhat in light of Jack Grealish's arrival and the irresistible form of Bernardo Silva. The departure of Ferran Torres creates space, but the Englishman is no longer untouchable.
Raphinha (Leeds United)
Age: 25 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €40M
One of the lone bright spots during an otherwise miserable season for Leeds, the electric Brazilian is again garnering attention across Europe, with the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich apparently leading the queue.
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur)
Age: 25 | Position: Attacking midfielder | Estimated value: €25M
It might be time for a change of scenery for Alli. Despite his obvious skills, the Englishman's career has stagnated badly since 2018, when he looked set for stardom. Perhaps Antonio Conte can reignite the 25-year-old?
Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid)
Age: 22 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €70M
Ever since Felix joined Atletico Madrid for €126 million in 2019, his fit there just hasn't seemed right. That still rings true; the Portuguese phenom has started four league games this season under defensive-minded boss Diego Simeone.
Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)
Age: 31 | Position: Right-back | Estimated value: €20M
A return to England could be in the cards for Trippier, who, despite retaining his place as Atletico's starting right-back, has engaged in the holy grail of transfer speculation: liking social media posts involving other clubs.
Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Age: 29 | Position: Attacking midfielder | Estimated value: €20M
Barcelona would love to rid themselves of Coutinho, who has become an albatross at the Camp Nou. Of all the questionable signings that have plunged the club into financial ruin in recent years, his is among the most glaring.
Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona)
Age: 24 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €90M
Once viewed as a cornerstone for the future, de Jong's untouchable status has deteriorated through no real fault of his own. He's yet to fully settle under Xavi, and suddenly has lots of young, Spanish competition in midfield.
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid)
Age: 32 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €10M
Your semi-annual reminder that, yes, Bale is still technically on the books at Real Madrid. At this point, it's in name only. The Welsh veteran has made only three appearances in La Liga this season.
Eden Hazard (Real Madrid)
Age: 30 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €25M
Few transfers have failed as spectacularly as Hazard's move to Real Madrid. Since arriving in Spain, the former Chelsea star has spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch and has quickly fallen down the pecking order.
Jules Kounde (Sevilla)
Age: 23 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €60M
Kounde's a perennial presence on lists just like this and has long been a target for Chelsea, who could finally make a definitive move for the French defender to insure themselves against the potential departure of Rudiger.
Franck Kessie (AC Milan)
Age: 25 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €48M
Until he puts pen to paper on a new contract with AC Milan, Kessie will continue to be a central figure in the January window. After watching Gianluigi Donnarumma leave for free last summer, the Rossoneri can't afford a repeat.
Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina)
Age: 21 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €70M
Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe probably aren't moving in January, which makes Vlahovic the prize of the upcoming window. But Fiorentina won't allow their crown jewel to leave for anything less than a small fortune, if at all.
Arturo Vidal (Inter Milan)
Age: 34 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €2.5M
Once an all-conquering midfield dynamo, Vidal's influence has understandably diminished as he approaches the twilight of his career. The Chilean seems primed for a return to South America at some point.
Arthur Melo (Juventus)
Age: 25 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €25M
Arthur has never quite established himself since arriving in Turin as part of the dubious - and potentially illegal - swap involving Miralem Pjanic. The Brazilian midfielder could seek a loan to garner more playing time.
Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus)
Age: 21 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €30M
Another player who hasn't consistently hit the heights expected since his celebrated move to Juventus, the precocious Swede is apparently a transfer candidate should a suitable offer arrive. At only 21, he still has time to grow.
Aaron Ramsey (Juventus)
Age: 31 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €5M
Whether Juventus find a buyer or ultimately have to terminate Ramsey's contract, it seems almost certain that the Welshman won't be with the club come February. Injuries have completely torpedoed his time in Italy.
Luis Alberto (Lazio)
Age: 29 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €32M
Despite Maurizio Sarri's insistence to the contrary, rumors of a disconnect between the manager and Spanish playmaker persist. The crafty midfielder continues to be one of Europe's most underrated creative forces.
Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli)
Age: 30 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €35M
Another soon-to-be free agent, Insigne wants a new contract, but the pint-sized star and Napoli are at odds over his valuation. Toronto FC are reportedly keeping tabs on the Italian, who's still more than capable of dazzling.
Andrea Belotti (Torino)
Age: 28 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €28M
Torino mismanaged this one; the club missed its big chance to cash in after Belotti's monstrous 2016-17 season. The 28-year-old is now an impending free agent who hasn't scored more than 16 league goals since that campaign.
Gianluca Scamacca (Sassuolo)
Age: 22 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €20M
One of Italy's rising young stars, the unorthodox Scamacca combines a tall, powerful frame with good ball skills and a penchant for spectacular goals. His feisty demeanor and ability to rile opposing defenders doesn't hurt, either.
Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen)
Age: 18 | Position: Attacking midfielder | Estimated value: €70M
Any move for Wirtz is likely to materialize in the summer, but Europe's heavy hitters would be wise to get an early jump on their peers. Competition for the teen sensation's signature is going to be extremely fierce.
Niklas Sule (Bayern Munich)
Age: 26 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €35M
Bayern Munich director Hasan Salihamidzic said in November that talks over Sule's new contract are "not easy." That must have been music to the ears of every club in the market for a dominant center-back in his prime.
Erling Haaland (Borussia Dortmund)
Age: 21 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €150M
The mystical €75-million release clause, which reportedly becomes valid in June, is hanging over Dortmund. Sell now for twice that amount, or fight to convince notorious agent Mino Raiola that Haaland should stay long term?
Axel Witsel (Borussia Dortmund)
Age: 32 | Position: Defensive midfielder | Estimated value: €6M
Similar to Cavani, who we mentioned above, Witsel would likely be a stopgap solution for any January suitors. Dortmund are seemingly willing to part with the veteran midfielder should an offer come in.
Denis Zakaria (Borussia Monchengladbach)
Age: 25 | Position: Defensive midfielder | Estimated value: €27M
Zakaria's name is one of the hottest in the buildup to the transfer window. If the Swiss international desires a move away from Borussia Monchengladbach in the coming weeks, he has several enticing options across Europe.
Amadou Haidara (RB Leipzig)
Age: 23 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €24M
This one is a matter of connecting the dots. Manchester United need help in midfield - the time for giving Nemanja Matic important minutes is over - and Ralf Rangnick knows Haidara from his Red Bull days. Hence, the speculation.
Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)
Age: 24 | Position: Attacking midfielder/winger | Estimated value: €55M
One of the star performers in the Champions League group stage - even if RB Leipzig were underwhelming as a whole - Nkunku catapulted himself into contention for a January move. United and Liverpool are in the mix.
Aurelien Tchouameni (AS Monaco)
Age: 21 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €40M
The next great product of AS Monaco's famed talent incubator? Tchouameni is perhaps the most desired young midfielder in Europe at the moment, with suitors throughout the continent ready to battle for his signature.
Sven Botman (Lille)
Age: 21 | Position: Center-back | Estimated value: €30M
It's just a matter of when, not if, Botman departs Lille at this point. In the wake of Simon Kjaer's knee injury, AC Milan are being heavily tipped with a January move for the impressive Dutch defender, who is also of interest to Newcastle United.
Jonathan Ikone (Lille)
Age: 23 | Position: Winger | Estimated value: €22M
Fiorentina are reportedly on the verge of closing a deal for Ikone that will net Lille an initial €15 million. If finalized, the Frenchman would provide another exciting attacking piece in support of Vlahovic - should the latter stick around.
Renato Sanches (Lille)
Age: 24 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €30M
Sanches has done well to revitalize his career after a tough spell at Bayern Munich temporarily derailed his rise. In a hilarious twist, the Bavarian giants are apparently considering re-signing the energetic Portuguese midfielder.
Boubacar Kamara (Marseille)
Age: 22 | Position: Defensive midfielder/center-back | Estimated value: €25M
Versatility within your squad, especially in the COVID-19 world of congested schedules and overworked players, is crucial. That's partly why Kamara, who can play both in midfield and at center-back, is so enticing.
Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain)
Age: 23 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €160M
Should it get to that point this summer, Mbappe would arguably be the most exciting free agent in the history of the sport. Real Madrid appear to be the inevitable landing spot, so it's just a matter of when and for how much.
Mauro Icardi (Paris Saint-Germain)
Age: 28 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €28M
Paris Saint-Germain look destined to take a significant loss on Icardi eventually, but the uber-rich club is one of the few that can likely withstand the financial hit - even if the pandemic has lightened the coffers.
Georginio Wijnaldum (Paris Saint-Germain)
Age: 31 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: €25M
Wijnaldum has made 16 appearances in Ligue 1, but he's only started nine of those matches. He also went public earlier in the season with his disappointment over a lack of action since joining the club from Liverpool as a free agent.
Elsewhere in Europe (and beyond)
Noussair Mazraoui (Ajax)
Age: 24 | Position: Right-back | Estimated value: €18M
Mazraoui is in an interesting position going into January. A free agent this summer, he needs to weigh a potential move now against the prospect of finishing the season with an Ajax side capable of winning multiple titles.
Darwin Nunez (Benfica)
Age: 22 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €32M
All the usual suspects are being linked to Nunez, a combative Uruguayan striker who has an alluring combination of top-line speed and strength that can cause all kinds of problems for defenders.
Ben Brereton Diaz (Blackburn Rovers)
Age: 22 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €10M
Mid-table Premier League clubs are on high alert right now watching Blackburn. The blossoming Chilean striker has been on fire in the Championship this season, registering 19 goals in 23 matches.
Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kyiv)
Age: 22 | Position: Left-back | Estimated value: €17M
With Lucas Digne seemingly falling out of favor with manager Rafa Benitez, Everton have been on the hunt for a new left-back. They appear to be closing in on Mykolenko, who profiles as a better defensive fit than the Frenchman.
Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)
Age: 18 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €8M
After a breakthrough year for club and country, Pepi and FC Dallas are reportedly in talks with Wolfsburg over a transfer. If it materializes, the teenager would be the latest young American to make the leap to Germany.
Luis Diaz (FC Porto)
Age: 24 | Position: Winger/wide midfielder | Estimated value: €40M
Watching the dynamic Colombian wreak havoc on opposing defenders, it's no wonder the likes of Liverpool are intrigued at the prospect of signing the Porto winger. If he does move, rival full-backs will be in danger of getting posterized.
Karim Adeyemi (Red Bull Salzburg)
Age: 19 | Position: Forward | Estimated value: €35M
A breakout showing in the Champions League rocketed Adeyemi to the top of many wishlists across Europe. The latest explosive German teenager to come through Red Bull's vaunted pipeline will soon generate a bidding war.
Julian Alvarez (River Plate)
Age: 21 | Position: Striker | Estimated value: €20M
Billed as the next star to come out of Argentina, Alvarez has already made waves at home; Europe is next. He could wait until the summer, though, to avoid sitting on the bench and putting his place in Argentina's squad at risk.
Christian Eriksen (free agent)
Age: 29 | Position: Central midfielder | Estimated value: N/A
Unable to play in Italy due to the implantable cardioverter defibrillator placed in his chest after Euro 2020, Eriksen was released by Inter Milan. It was a mutual move that allows him to hopefully continue his career elsewhere.