Manchester United's Raphael Varane runs on the pitch during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at the Old Trafford stadium stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.

Raphael Varane and four other transfer targets Bayern Munich have been tipped to sign in January

Bayern Munich manager Thomas Tuchel has reiterated his desire for the club to make reinforcements in January.

Harry Kane has made an exceptional start to life in Germany after joining for a club record €100million fee in the summer, but their squad still looks a little light in other areas – and with Xabi Alonso’s Bayer Leverkusen looking more than capable of challenging them, they can’t afford to be complacent.

“We’re working on it. We’re going to lose many players for several weeks in January because of international tournaments [AFCON and Asia Cup]. We have our eyes and ears open. We’ll try to strengthen our team in January, even though it’s not easy,” Tuchel told reporters earlier this month.

We’ve identified five players that Bayern have been tipped to sign in January.

Raphael Varane

One out of the blue, this. But Erik ten Hag’s recent decision to keep the World Cup winner on the bench while opting for Leicester City’s old Harry Maguire and Jonny Evans central defensive axis of 2018 has raised eyebrows, although to suggest that means Varane is on his way out of Old Trafford would be a touch premature.

However, Bayern are said to be monitoring the situation and might test Manchester United’s resolve with a cheeky January bid. Reputable German journalist Florian Plettenberg says Bayern have discussed moving for the defender, who could be available for somewhere between €20million and €30million.

“Interesting but currently unrealistic because of his salary,” tweeted Plettenberg. “It’s not a hot topic yet, but he remains under observation in the next weeks.”

Joao Palhinha

The Portugal international’s aborted move to the Allianz Arena kept us glued to Sky Sports News on this summer’s deadline day. Since returning to Fulham with his tail between his legs, he’s signed a new long-term contract at Craven Cottage. But that doesn’t mean this transfer saga doesn’t still have legs.

There’s more than just paper talk to this one – the Bavarian giants refuse to give up on signing Palhinha, and you can take that straight from the horse’s mouth.

“Of course he is still on our radar,” Bayern sporting director Christoph Freund told SportBild in October.

“The club worked intensively with Palhinha in the summer. I was there for the bit on the last, strange day of the transfer window, but you can’t say yet what will happen. We are generally exploring the market.”

READ: 7 transfer targets Bayern Munich missed out on in the summer & how they’ve fared this season

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Another exclusive revealed by Plettenberg in recent days, the Sky reporter revealed that Bayern pushed hard to sign Tomiyasu from Arsenal in the summer.

It’s said that the Bundesliga champions are bowled over by Tomiyasu’s versatility and ability to play across the backline.

Arsenal held their resolve in the summer and “don’t want to let him go”; they’ve informed Bayern he’s not for sale for the winter. The Japan international doesn’t necessarily make it into Mikel Arteta’s favoured XI but he’s a useful and important squad player for the title-chasing Gunners.

Plettenberg talked up “a potential move next summer” but it will be interesting to see whether they make a push in January.

Trevoh Chalobah

Mauricio Pochettino hasn’t been afraid to lean on youth in his attempts to rebuild Chelsea in his own image, but Chalobah is one academy graduate struggling to get a look in – although that’s largely due to injuries.

He’s yet to play a minute this season and football.london report that Chelsea are open to a sale.

Tuchel was the manager who gave Chalobah his breakthrough at Stamford Bridge and pushed hard to sign the defender in the closing stages of the summer window. They remain light in defence, so it would make some degree of sense for him to revisit the potential deal, although Fabrizio Romano recently told CaughtOffside “Chalobah is no longer a priority”

Eric Dier

Having seen Kane light up the Bundesliga, Bayern continue to look to the Premier League for their next reinforcements – as evidenced by the names they’ve been linked with.

Experienced Tottenham defender Dier continues that trend. His stock has fallen somewhat in recent times, having fallen out of England contention and down the pecking order at Spurs, but Bild report that Bayern are interested in giving him a fresh start.

The 29-year-old is out of contract next summer and could be available for a cut-price fee in January, although the recent injury sustained by Micky van de Ven has given him an opportunity for regular minutes under Ange Postecoglou.

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