The January transfer window opens on the 3rd of January and teams are making moves already
The winter transfer window officially opens in one week, the 3rd of January, and there is strong speculation linking several of the most promising players we have seen since August in the back pages.
While movement in January is sometimes considered a last resort, there are cases where reinforcements need to be brought in to continue a title challenge, when a clearout is necessary and especially during a relegation battle. We will take a look at some of the speculation on both ESPNFC and Sky Sports.
Arsenal are said to have made a "firm enquiry" for Leicester's Riyah Mahrez. The attacking midfielder has scored 14 times this season and assisted his Leicester teammates on six occasions. The 24 year old Alrgerian has said he wants to remain with Claudio Ranieri at Leicester until, at least, the end of the season but a winter move could be on the cards. Arsenal are not short on attacking central and wide men and it seems unlikely they would unsettle their squad with a big move signing. It would, however, weaken Leicester who are the only team between them and the top of the Premier League.
Wenger reportedly wants to bring Javier Hernandez back to the Premier League and the Mexican is said to be keen on a return. His harsh treatment at Old Trafford might be a reason for this as the diminutive striker has let his football do the talking during his spell in Germany. 19 goals in 22 performances is the kind of strike rate that some of the best can't even boast and Wenger understands he needs a consistent goal threat if he is to end Arsenal's 12 year hiatus from the pinnacle of the Premier League on the last day of the season.
The Mail also suggest that a defensive midfielder remains high on Arsene Wenger's list of priorities. Between Sevilla's Grzegorz Krychowiak and Borussia Monchengladbach's Granit Xhaka, Wenger has two players he will try to sign in the summer. Until then, however, Basle's Mohamed Elneny is likely to fill the void. It is being reported that a deal will be completed this week for the defensive midfielder for £7 million.
Manchester City are reportedly keeping an eye on Jamie Vardy and could make a move for the Leicester hitman in January. He would likely cost £30 million given his excellent start to the season. Sergio Aguero has missed 12 games with various injuries during the first half of the season and, while he remains the best striker in the league, his injuries appear to be a constant talking point at the Etihad. Wilfried Bony has struggled with the chances he has been given and Vardy's presence would take less manouvering when Aguero can't start.
Dani Carvajal is not playing regularly for Real Madrid since the arrival of Danilo and he is apparently not short of admirers from the big clubs around Europe. Manchester United have been linked but it is unlikely that United's main concern will be transfers when their current winless streak is so pertinent this January.
Didier Drogba is pleading with his former club to bring Romelu Lukaku back to Stamford Bridge following the young Belgian's incredible season so far. Diego Costa has been linked with a move back to Atletico Madrid and Jackson Martinez has been linked to Tottenham and Chelsea so this could happen but Roberto Martinez and Everton would be crazy to let their talisman go in the January window.