football

Money, Money, Money: The Best of the Transfer Rumours So Far

December 16, 2016

- Grant Whittington

The summer saw a hysterical transfer deadline day as Premier League clubs spent more than £155m on transfer deadline day leading to a record-breaking outlay of £1.165bn. Many top-flight managers will be dipping their toes back into the negotiation pool when the transfer window reopens in January.

A number of strong transfer rumours are already circulating across the internet and dominating the tabloids as clubs look to strengthen their squad after the gruelling festive period. Let’s take a look at the possible movers and shakers as January fast approaches and assess how this activity could impact on the title race.

Manchester City

Title Odds: 9/2

Their defensive fragility needs to be reinforced if they are to keep pace with leaders Chelsea who have shown no signs of letting up after notching up their ninth consecutive Premier League victory last Sunday.

Southampton centre-back Virgil Van Dijk is reportedly a target for both City and Chelsea, but the Dutchman has stated his desire would be to work under the former Barcelona boss. The 25-year-old has been a model of consistency in Claude Puel’s line-up and his composure on the ball alongside his physical attributes would be an attractive asset for Guardiola’s beautiful football philosophy.

Manchester United

Title Odds: 28/1

After breaking the world-record transfer fee in the summer to accrue the services of all-action midfielder Paul Pogba, the Red Devils are once intent on bolstering their squad when the window is ajar.

Ten other teams have outgunned United in the goals for column and even though their main deficiency appears to be a lack of firepower, they are reportedly eyeing up a move for 23-year-old right-back Nelson Semedo from Benfica.

Makeshift right-back Antonio Valencia has performed his duty admirably so far this season, but Jose Mourinho declared in his very first press conference that he prefers a team of “specialists”.

Semedo has played all but eight minutes of the season to date with his attacking intent, tireless energy and dogged determination making him one the most sought-after defenders in Europe.

Arsenal

Title Odds: 6/1

Arsenal are blessed with an embarrassment of riches in the centre of the park, but Arsene Wenger is reportedly interested in bringing Ajax starlet Riechedly Bazoer to the Emirates. The 20-year-old is a fantastic athlete with electrifying potential – capable of striding through tackles as well as being able to dictate the game from deep through his awareness and growing maturity.

Despite his tender age, Bazoer has already made his bow for the Dutch national team and Ajax boss Peter Bosz admits his prized midfielder will likely leave next month.

Liverpool

Title Odds: 6/1

Jurgen Klopp’s heavy metal football has been rocking the red half of Merseyside this season and the German could elevate the decibel levels at Anfield further if he pulls off the unlikely coup of landing striker Moussa Dembele from Celtic.

The 20-year-old has impressed for the Scottish champions, scoring 17 goals in all competitions and proving himself on the big stage with a number of impressive performances in the Champions League.

Liverpool’s plethora of attacking options is ominous, but there is still no reliable out-and-out striker at the club. Recruiting Dembele could improve Liverpool’s title odds significantly.

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