Seven of the weirdest January transfer rumours: Mustafi, Eriksen, Sanches…

Quick Reads

The rumour mill is as busy as ever ahead of the January transfer window as clubs look to try and bolster their squads. 

While Kylian Mbappe to Liverpool and Jadon Sancho to Manchester United dominate the gossip columns, we’re drawn to some of the more surprising rumours.

We’ve rounded up seven weird transfer rumours we’ve really enjoyed in recent weeks.

Shkodran Mustafi

Having made his fair share of calamitous mistakes since signing for Arsenal in 2016, Mustafi* has become a much-maligned figure at the Emirates.

Despite making just two Premier League appearances for the Gunners in 2020-21, the defender has seemingly done enough to impress Barcelona. Yes, you did read that correctly.

The Spanish side need a new centre-back following Gerard Pique’s injury and Mustafi is being considered as a possible target, according to Mundo Deportivo.

This might seem absurd but let’s not forget that this is the same Barcelona that signed former Middlesbrough striker Martin Braithwaite earlier this year. No wonder Lionel Messi wants to leave.

READ: Ranking Barcelona’s 16 weirdest signings so far this millennium

Ezequiel Garay

Barcelona aren’t the only side that are after a new defender in January.

Liverpool’s resources at centre-back have been stretched this season after Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both suffered long-term injuries.

The Reds had been linked with the likes of Ben White, Dayot Upamecano, David Alaba and Milan Skriniar.

But Klopp is going to take the risk on 34-year-old Garay, who is a free agent after suffering a serious knee injury at Valencia in February, according to, erm, Todofichajes.

Given Klopp once used a January window to sign Steven Caulker, perhaps this isn’t that weird after all.

Christian Eriksen

After failing to live up to expectations during his first year at Inter Milan, Eriksen has now been deemed surplus to requirements.

“Is Eriksen on the market? I would say so, yes. [Inter sporting director] Piero Ausilio said it in his comments last week and I can reiterate it,” Inter chief executive Beppe Marotta told Sky Sports. 

“But it’s not a punishment. Simply, he’s a player who had a few issues in adjusting to life here at Inter. Let’s say he’s not functional to the team, but this is an objective fact, which does not take anything away from his professionalism.”

While Eriksen has been heavily linked to Arsenal, The Sun suggest Manchester United want to add another attacking midfielder to their squad and are ready to make their move in January.

That seems unlikely as the club are well-stocked in that position, with Bruno Fernandes instrumental to the Red Devils’ fortunes and Donny van de Beek patiently kicking his heels.

Renato Sanches

Once considered the best young player in Europe, Sanches joined Bayern Munich in a big-money move in 2016, where his most notable contribution was getting relegated on loan at Swansea City.

The midfielder has rediscovered his best form since joining Lille in 2019 and could be set for a return to the Premier League in 2021.

According to TuttoMercatoWeb, Liverpool have reached an agreement to sign the Portugal international in an £18million deal in January.

Aside from the fact we’re unsure why an Italian publication has the inside track on an English club wanting a Portuguese player in France, Liverpool already have a stockpile of options in the middle of the park.

We’d love to see Sanches show his true self in the Premier League, though.

READ: Where are they now? The last 13 Golden Boy winners: Anderson, Balotelli…

Tariq Lamptey

After struggling for first-team opportunities at Chelsea, Lamptey joined Brighton earlier this year and has made a significant impression on the south coast.

While the right-back undoubtedly has a promising future ahead of him, we didn’t expect him to be linked with a move to Bayern Munich.

According to the Daily Mail, the reigning European champions are keeping tabs on the 20-year-old, along with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla.

READ: An excellent XI of academy graduates Chelsea let go: Nketiah, Brewster…

Yves Bissouma 

Sorry Brighton fans.

Bissouma has gone from strength to strength since joining the Seagulls from Lille in 2018, becoming one of their most consistent performers.

However, eyebrows were raised when Spanish outlet Defensa Central claimed that Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane sees the midfielder as a cheaper alternative to Paul Pogba and Eduardo Camavinga.

The fact that Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are reportedly targeting Brighton players is possibly the best indication of just how weird 2020 has been.

Adama Traore

Having previously been linked with the likes of Juventus, Barcelona and Liverpool, Traore to Leeds rumours certainly took us by surprise.

90min report that Leeds could make a move in January, with chief Victor Orta a big fan of the winger, having signed him at Middlesbrough four years ago.

We doubt Marcelo Bielsa’s side would be willing to pay the huge asking price and our resident Leeds fans also points out that they already have thousands of wingers at Elland Road.

*Buy Shkodran Mustafi and thousands of other players on Football Index. 18+, UK and Ireland customers only, T&Cs apply.

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