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10 swap deals that would really shake things up


The January transfer window is right around the corner and teams are expected to start splashing the cash once again.

To try and save money, swap deals could be the order of business this winter, and there are plenty of intriguing proposals out there which could rock the football landscape as we know it.

Here are ten swap deals we at 90min would love to see before the January window slams shut.

Eddie Nketiah, Ivan Toney

Could Nketiah & Toney swap places? / Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency | MB Media/Getty Images

Arsenal’s continued reluctance to put any real faith in Eddie Nketiah may actually work to their advantage in 2024.

The Gunners want a new striker and are huge admirers of Brentford’s Ivan Toney, who is keen to make the move to the Emirates and spearhead an attack capable of competing for the Premier League title. While Nketiah has his own silverware aspirations, his primary goal needs to be regular minutes.

Brentford would likely be interested in Nketiah, who fits their model of underrated, young-ish players looking for a chance to prove themselves, and that may save Arsenal a hefty chunk of change as they negotiate this deal.

Trevoh Chalobah, Victor Osimhen

A swap that suits both sides / Matthew Ashton – AMA | Ivan Romano/Getty Images

Chelsea need a big-money striker and they seem hell bent on funding such a move by selling the academy graduates that survived this summer’s cull.

Centre-back Trevoh Chalobah appears to be next out the exit door. The versatile 24-year-old has undoubtedly proven himself capable of playing at a high level – Bayern Munich were sniffing around him this summer – and his pedigree should appeal to a Napoli side who have conceded over a goal per game since Kim Min-jae’s departure.

There’s an obvious difference in value between these two players, so Chelsea would have to throw some extra cash in to sweeten the deal, or they could continue to sweeten the pot with the inclusion of someone like Ian Maatsen or Armando Broja instead.

Thiago, Andreas Christensen

Liverpool & Barcelona could help each other / Malcolm Couzens | Pedro Salado/Getty Images

After Gavi’s knee injury, Barcelona are looking at landing a new midfielder in the January transfer window and they might be intrigued by the idea of re-signing Thiago Alcantara, whose status as a graduate of La Masia will undoubtedly delight those in charge at Camp Nou.

Thiago has been out injured but Liverpool have moved on from the Spaniard this season anyway, turning to a younger core that has been running rampant in the Premier League. The main point of concern for Jurgen Klopp, however, has been at the back.

Injury concerns have left Liverpool short at centre-back at times, and they could throw Thiago and some money to Barcelona to try and convince them to part with Andreas Christensen. The Dane appears to be behind Ronald Araujo and Jules Kounde in Xavi’s estimations and might jump at the chance to return to the Premier League.

Giovani Lo Celso, Clement Lenglet

Spurs already know Lenglet well / Visionhaus | Pedro Salado/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Barcelona are known admirers of Giovani Lo Celso, who is undoubtedly on the fringes of Ange Postecoglou’s Tottenham squad. Spurs could easily part ways with the Argentine, particularly if it brought them the help they desperately need at centre-back.

In a deal which could benefit everyone, Barcelona could send Clement Lenglet in the opposite direction. The French centre-back spent last season on loan with Spurs and there were talks over a permanent deal which ultimately fell through. He has since joined Aston Villa but reports suggest he could be recalled in January over a lack of play time.

Fringe player for fringe player? Not every deal can be a glamorous one, but few would be as impactful for both sides as this one.

Jadon Sancho, Sebastien Haller

Haller would be an intriguing signing for Man Utd / James Gill – Danehouse | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Jadon Sancho’s Manchester United exile needs to come to an end in January for everyone’s sake, with a return to Borussia Dortmund a real possibility.

While a loan deal seems most likely, Dortmund actually possess a fascinating bargaining chip in the form of striker Sebastien Haller, who has fallen out of favour this season. The former West Ham striker has a long history with United boss Erik ten Hag, dominating at Utrecht between 2015 and 2017 before a return of 47 goals in 66 games under the Dutchman at Ajax earned Haller his switch to Germany in the first place.

Haller’s recent form hardly catches the eye but it’s clear Ten Hag knows how to maximise him, and with United crying out for a regular goalscorer, this one might just be too good to turn down.

Brahim Diaz, Giorgio Scalvini

A new centre-back is a pressing matter for Madrid / Mateo Villalba | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Brahim Diaz’s quest to make it at Real Madrid hit a Jude Bellingham-shaped speed bump this summer. The 24-year-old has struggled for minutes and could be interested in a return to Serie A, where he recently spent three years with AC Milan.

Madrid could afford to part ways with Diaz, particularly if it aided their urgent search for a new centre-back. David Alaba’s ACL injury has left Carlo Ancelotti’s side incredibly short of options at the back and this might be the time to splash out on a star of the future in Giorgio Scalvini.

Atalanta starlet Scalvini, 20, is one of Europe’s top young defenders, both in terms of current ability and potential. He could be Madrid’s next Raphael Varane.

Kylian Mbappe, Arda Guler

Could Mbappe finally join Madrid in January? / Jean Catuffe | Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Kylian Mbappe can start negotiating a move away from Paris Saint-Germain in January and yet the Ligue 1 giants continue to pretend like they don’t care about losing one of the best players on the planet for nothing.

Real Madrid won’t pay a big price for Mbappe now, considering they can land him on a free in just six months, but they might be tempted to throw one last package at PSG because of their urgent need for a reliable goalscorer.

Would Madrid part with Arda Guler without seeing him play? If it means getting Mbappe, they shouldn’t even hesitate, although they’d still have to dip into their pockets to make this deal worth PSG’s time.

Gianluigi Donnarumma, Wojciech Szczesny

A goalkeeper swap could help both teams / Rene Nijhuis/BSR Agency | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

Gianluigi Donnarumma was expected to join Juventus before his switch to PSG in 2021, and considering how things have worked out for him in France, the stopper might wish he had moved to Turin instead.

Donnarumma looks an awkward fit for Luis Enrique’s style of play and, while still a top goalkeeper, is proving to be a masive liability with the ball at his feet and it might be time to move on from the 24-year-old.

Juventus should still be interested in Donnarumma but would have to give up 33-year-old Wojciech Szczesny and a pretty decent chunk of money to get things going.

Kalvin Phillips, Douglas Luiz

Man City are keen on Luiz / Francois Nel | Visionhaus/Getty Images

Look, you obviously can’t just dump off a fringe player in exchange for one of the leaders of a surprise title challenge. Manchester City would also have to throw some serious cash Aston Villa’s way to convince them to listen to this deal, but since when has that been a problem for Pep Guardiola’s side?

Kalvin Phillips’ Etihad career may have descended into farce but those with longer memories will remember a top, Premier League-calibre midfielder who genuinely earned his move to City in 2022.

If Villa are going to part with Luiz, they could do a lot worse than pick up Phillips, whose value is at an all-time low, as part of a big-money sale.

Anthony Martial, Jean-Clair Todibo

Dealing with Nice could soon be very simple for Man Utd / Danehouse Photography Ltd | Franco Arland/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Nice would be absolutely mental to swap their top centre-back for a struggling striker on an expiring contract, but if Sir Jim Ratcliffe ends up owning both clubs as expected, Manchester United wouldn’t have to do too much persuading.

United need a new centre-back and Jean-Clair Todibo is among the world’s top youngsters. Nice value him around the £35m mark so they’re not exactly going to demand a superstar in exchange if a swap deal was to occur in January.

This deal, which would also see some cash exchanged, would help United cut ties with Anthony Martial early and may actually benefit Nice, whose success this season has come despite a woeful attacking record. They’re shining defensively but are among Ligue 1’s lowest scorers, so a new striker with experience of French football might actually intrigue them.

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