9 players who could move before the window closes – Dele, Sanchez, Dzeko…

Quick Reads

When it comes to doing business, January is never as busy as the summer, but 2020-21’s mid-season transfer window has proved particularly quiet so far. 

Given the wider economic context, these are unique circumstances, but still, most major clubs across Europe appear satisfied with the buying and selling they did over the summer.

With a matter of days until the transfer window closes across Europe’s major leagues on Monday, February 1, there are still some loose ends to be tied up, unhappy players and agents earning their keep behind the scenes, with a sense some clubs need an extra boost at the halfway stage. Here are nine players that could move late on.

Joshua Zirkzee

The highly-rated Netherlands Under-21 international caught the eye at Bayern Munich last season, especially during a run of three goals in his first four Bundesliga appearances.

But he’s failed to kick on this year and has found further opportunities limited to one start in the league and 92 minutes in total, with a loan move in the latter half of the season suggested to aid his development.

Parma are leading the race ahead of Everton, according to Sky Germany.

Christian Eriksen

A year on from leaving Tottenham for the San Siro, Eriksen has never looked a natural fit at Antonio Conte’s Inter, with his favoured position not existing within the Italian’s favoured 3-5-2 formation.

That led to a difficult 2020 with hardly any minutes for the Denmark international and speculation rife of a Premier League return. Arsenal were rumoured to eye his services as they looked to add creativity before turning to Martin Odegaard, while Spurs have also been tipped to bring him back.

However, while it doesn’t look likely he’ll start week in week out anytime soon, Conte has downplayed the prospect of any departures. Meanwhile, scoring a injury-time match-winning free-kick in a Milan derby will help get back into his manager’s good books.

This one appears unlikely, but never say never.

Dele Alli

Once a mainstay of Mauricio Pochettino’s best XI at Spurs, Alli has now been reduced to a fringe role in the cup competitions. He hasn’t made a Premier League start since the opening weekend defeat to Everton, totalling less than 90 minutes in the league this year.

Inevitably, he’s been strongly linked to join his old boss at PSG but, according to The Guardian, Spurs will only allow him to leave if they can find a replacement as they continue to fight on four fronts.

Let him go, Jose. Alli’s far too fun a footballer to be reduced to Europa League and FA Cup cameos alone.

Edin Dzeko

Dzeko has been a more than dependable goalscorer since leaving Manchester City for Roma in 2015, scoring 114 goals in 242 appearances for the club in all competitions.

But for a reason we can never quite work out, the striker is perenially linked with a move away from the Italian capital, even into his mid-thirties. He never actually moves, but maybe this time will be different.

The latest reports, via the BBC, suggest that he’s fallen out with Roma boss Paolo Fonseca, and the club are in talks with Inter regarding a swap deal with…

Alexis Sanchez

The Chilean has shown more flashes of his old self at Inter than he ever did at Manchester United, who decided to just cut their losses, cancel his contract and allow him to move to the club on a permanent deal in the summer.

With the odd injury concern, Sanchez has still featured quite prominently this season, making 19 appearances in all competitions, although he’s only managed two goals and two assists. 

It would be something of a surprise to see him go, but Antonio Conte is said to be a long-time admirer of Dzeko, and it could be a swap worth making in their pursuit of the Scudetto.

Jordan Amavi

Former Aston Villa left-back Amavi has revived his career at the Stade Velodrome, becoming a mainstay of Andre Villas-Boas’ resurgent Marseille side.

He’s currently free to negotiate with clubs ahead of his contract expiring in the summer, and Leeds and Arsenal have both been linked.

Leeds don’t have a specialised left-back after Barry Douglas moved to Blackburn in the summer, although converted wingers Stuart Dallas and Ezgjan Alioski have probably played there enough now to be considered as full-backs now.

In spite of renewed investment from the San Francisco 49ers, the noises coming from Leeds are that they’re unlikely to do any January business after costly missteps in recent mid-season windows. One to revisit in the summer, potentially.

READ: 7 European transfers you might have missed: Dembele, Strootman, Capoue

DeAndre Yedlin

The USA international was strongly linked with a move away from Newcastle last summer as he enters the final year of his current deal.

Nothing materialised in the end, and he’s recently found himself moving up the pecking order and back in Steve Bruce’s plans for the first team.

Visa issues have seen him back out of the team of late, and while that has reportedly been resolved, speculation continues over his short-term future. Galatasaray are said to be chasing him.

Hamza Choudhury

In spite of Leicester having the added burden of European competition, highly-rated homegrown talent Hamza Choudhury has found opportunities difficult to come by this season, in part thanks to the form of Wilfried Ndidi and Nampalys Mendy at the base of the Foxes’ midfield.

The vast majority of this season’s minutes have come in the Europa League, and while they’re through to the knockout stages, a loan away has been touted. The Mirror have confirmed that Newcastle are interested.

Matt Ritchie

Newcastle could be one of the busiest clubs come deadline day in terms of incomings and outgoings if media reports are to be believed.

Bournemouth have been tipped to bring Ritchie back to the club, in a bid for him to help with their promotion push.

Cherries coach Jason Tindall said it wouldn’t be right to address the speculation, but didn’t deny the reports, saying: “Everyone knows what a fantastic player Matt Ritchie is and how well he did for this football club during his time here”

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