The Hard Tackle brings you a list of five transfers that should happen as clubs look to sort out their transfer market activity in the final week of the transfer window.
With less than a week remaining until the winter transfer window slams shut, European clubs will look to sort out most of their remaining business as they prepare for the second half of the campaign. Clubs like Borussia Dortmund have already fared well while others like Barcelona or Chelsea are yet to make an impact in the market.
And here, at the Hard Tackle, we present you a list of five transfers that simply have to happen, in this remaining week of the ongoing January transfer window.
Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona
Barcelona are clearly in a spot of bother. The Spanish champions haven’t fared all too well this season, and their main striker Luis Suarez has been ruled out for about four months due to a knee injury. They don’t really have an alternative, thus forcing Quique Setien to deploy Antoine Griezmann in a central role.
That’s where Lautaro Martinez should come into the fray. TNT Sports (cited via Daily Mail) reported this week that the Blaugrana are willing to splash £100 million in order to attain the services of Inter Milan this month and this is something they must get done before the transfer window slams shut.
Martinez has shown a lot of promise under Antonio Conte at Inter Milan this season. And he could be an ideal long-term replacement for Suarez as Barcelona prepare for life without the Uruguayan veteran, who, at the age of 33, is in the final phase of his career.
Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United
Manchester United are enduring yet another disappointing campaign this season. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs to address some of the pressing needs of his team if he is to enjoy a turnaround in the second half of the campaign. One of those issues is the lack of a creative force in the final third.
That is why United should really get step up their pursuit of Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese international emerged as a target for the Red Devils at the start of January and is now one of the most linked players in Europe.
Fernandes has an excellent sense of positioning while his ability to find passes in and around the final third should help pacy attackers like Marcus Rashford and Daniel James.
However, a host of media outlets, including The Sun are claiming that Fernandes’ proposed move to Old Trafford has collapsed as Sporting are being reluctant to lower their valuation of the playmaker.
Record (as cited by Express), on the other hand, claims that United are still working on a deal to sign Fernandes so it will be interesting to see how this transfer saga pans out in this final week.
Christian Eriksen to Inter Milan
Christian Eriksen to Inter Milan looks all set and done, with The Guardian reporting that the midfielder is expected to have his medical in Milan early next week while both sides have agreed a fee of €20 million.
This deal could make sense for both the teams involved as well as the player, who has been frozen out of the starting eleven for quite some time now. Indeed. Eriksen has had a terrible campaign and a move to Inter, in that regard, should give him the opportunity to revive his career under the leadership of Conte.
Tottenham, meanwhile, will be able to offload the Dane off their wage charts, allowing them to sign a new playmaker. Jose Mourinho is already impressed with the performances of Giovani Lo Celso and Erik Lamela, so it remains to be seen whether or not the Portuguese opts to sign an Eriksen replacement in this January transfer window.
Willian Jose to Tottenham
While Mourinho does have a choice as to whether or not he should sign an Eriksen replacement, the ex-Real Madrid boss simply has to sign a new striker by the end of the month.
Harry Kane has been ruled out until April with a thigh injury, and his absence has taken a toll on Tottenham’s performance this month, with the Lilywhites securing just one win in the Premier League since the turn of the year.
That is why they have been linked with a host of strikers in January, one of which is Willian Jose of Real Sociedad. It is believed that Spurs are keen to get their hands on the Brazilian forward, who is valued at £21 million.
But, the Lilywhites are only willing to spend £10 million, which is rather low for a player of his calibre. And given the circumstances, it would perhaps be wiser for Mourinho to seal a deal for Willian Jose as quickly as possible, preferably by agreeing to meet Sociedad’s valuation of their star striker.
Paco Alcacer to Valencia
Paco Alcacer has had a difficult season, filled with injuries and lack of game-time. And following the arrival of Erling Haaland, who has already notched up five goals in his first two Bundesliga matches, the Spaniard’s future at Dortmund remains uncertain.
As a result, Alcacer has been linked with a return to Valencia. A return to Mestalla could make sense in every aspect, especially with Rodrigo being heavily linked with a move to Barcelona. The Blaugrana could be willing to match his €120 million valuation, and the arrival of the Dortmund star should allow Valencia to sanction the move.
Alcacer, himself, would love to return to Valencia and finally make his mark in La Liga following a disappointing short spell at Barcelona. Hence, this is a transfer that simply has to happen as we prepare to enter the final week of the January transfer window.