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Odegaard to Arsenal, Dembele to Man Utd, Upamecano to Liverpool: Transfer rumours assessed

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As price tags are hastily written, managers reach for chequebooks and transfer war chests creak open, here are the deals that might actually happen this month

It’s been a relatively quiet January transfer window for Premier League clubs so far, but that could change as we head into the final week before deadline day.

With players tiring and injuries mounting thanks to the intense schedule, many managers are working with depleted squads. This is their last chance to bring in reinforcements, find solutions to problem positions and maybe even improve their chances of a standout season.

Amad Diallo’s move from Atalanta to Manchester United has probably been the biggest arrival so far, while Mesut Ozil’s move from Arsenal to Fenerbahce has been the most notable departure.


There have also been several high-profile loans, with Maty Ryan heading to Arsenal, Willian Jose to Wolves and Jean-Philippe Mateta to Crystal Palace from Brighton, Real Sociedad and Mainz 05 respectively.

The rumour mill grinds ever onwards, however, churning out new transfer links. Though time is running out, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few more big moves before the window closes on 1 February.

United, Arsenal, Tottenham, Leicester and Liverpool are among the clubs still in the market for new arrivals, according to the gossip columns.

So which deals could actually happen this month? And which seem unlikely at best?


Odegaard to Arsenal

As things stand, Odegaard to Arsenal appears to be imminent.

Odegaard looks certain to leave Real Madrid on loan this month, having made only nine appearances in all competitions this season. Though he was initially linked with a return to Real Sociedad, where he excelled on loan last term, their manager Imanol Alguacil said earlier this week: “I think at no time has there been an option for him to come.

“Of course we wanted him to come, for all he showed and for what a good player he is, and because the team would grow with him. But he’s never been an option, so there’s nothing to say about it.”

That leaves Arsenal with a clear path to his signature and, according to The Times, they have already negotiated a loan fee and come to an agreement over his wages.


While there’s always a chance of a last-minute snag, the move could be finalised as early as Monday.

Rating: *****

Edouard to Leicester
Celtic’s French forward Odsonne Edouard celebrates after he scored his team’s second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group H football match AC Milan vs Celtic on December 3, 2020 at the San Siro stadium in Milan. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP)

With Jamie Vardy set to undergo a hernia operation which could keep him out for several weeks, Leicester need cover up front as they look to maintain their left-field title challenge.

According to The Daily Record, Brendan Rodgers has a longstanding interest in signing Edouard from Celtic.


Rodgers was in charge at Parkhead when Edouard first arrived in Scotland, initially on loan from PSG, and they had a productive working relationship. While Rodgers has been noncommittal when asked about Edouard and has insisted that Leicester are navigating a difficult financial landscape, he admitted earlier this month: “I know Odsonne because I signed him for Celtic when he was there, so I know the level of player Celtic have.”

Edouard has not been in his best form this season and is heading into the last 18 months of his contract, which means he should be available for a relatively reasonable fee.

While Celtic won’t want to lose him in January, they have generally been pragmatic about selling players in the past. As such, a move seems possible if not necessarily probable.

Rating: ***

Eriksen to Spurs

After an unhappy first year at Inter Milan, there’s little doubt that Eriksen is available this month.

The question isn’t whether or not a move can be arranged, it’s whether or not anyone can afford him.

According to The Telegraph, Leicester enquired about taking him on loan only to flinch at the prospect of paying his £300,000-a-week wages.

While he has also been linked with Manchester United and a headline-grabbing return to Tottenham, his wages could be an obstacle for both clubs.

Given that his form has dipped significantly over the past 12 months, he represents quite the gamble. While, at his best, Eriksen is a creative mastermind, the risk factor seems like a major deterrent.

Rating: **

Dembele to Man Utd
CORDOBA, SPAIN – JANUARY 13: Ousmane Dembele of FC Barcelona looks on during the Supercopa de Espana Semi Final match between Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona at Estadio Nuevo Arcangel on January 13, 2021 in Cordoba, Spain. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

Hampered by injuries and indifferent form for much of his time at Barcelona, Dembele has seemed fairly settled at the Camp Nou this season and has earned regular game time under Ronald Koeman.

He is only contracted to the club until the summer of 2022, however, and according to Catalan outlet Sport that means he either has to agree new terms or move on as Barça don’t want to risk losing him on a free.

Dembele was reported to have come close to joining Manchester United on loan in the summer and Old Trafford is still a potential destination.

Chelsea, Juventus and Bayern Munich are also interested, apparently. That’s an impressive list of clubs, all told.

That said, given the money involved, the chances of a January transfer seem remote. While talk of a move is likely to resurface in the summer, it can probably be discounted in the short term.

Rating: *

Upamecano to Liverpool

Liverpool have been persistently linked with a move for Dayot Upamecano for the last few months but, again, a January transfer seems highly unlikely.

With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the sidelines for the foreseeable, Jurgen Klopp could certainly do with more options at centre-back.

German football is familiar territory for Klopp and Upamecano fits the right profile, having established himself as one of the most dynamic defenders in the Bundesliga.

The main stumbling block is that he signed a new contract with RB Leipzig in July, which should allow them to resist any unwanted approaches.

It’s been widely reported that his deal includes a release clause which becomes active in the summer. Even were Leipzig willing to let him leave this week, a move would make little financial sense from the buying club’s perspective.

Rating: * (iNews)


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