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Sancho back to Dortmund, Toney to Arsenal


Despite the understandable reluctance of clubs to let their most prized assets depart midway through the season, the January transfer window has produced some mega deals in recent years.

The window’s ten most expensive moves have all occurred since 2017, while the likes of Enzo Fernandez and Philippe Coutinho have each departed Benfica and Liverpool respectively for fees in excess of £100m.

The winter window certainly has its naysayers, but it’s nonetheless a critical time for many clubs ahead of the second-half slog.

With the festive period imminent, the 2024 January transfer window is just around the corner. We’ve approached that time of year when rumour mills start to work overtime and Fabrizio Romano reaches TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year level of importance.

So, with the window upcoming, here are six transfers 90min would love to see in January.

Jadon Sancho

Sancho thrived at Dortmund before joining Man Utd / INA FASSBENDER/GettyImages

It’s fair to say that Sancho’s stock has fallen akin to Goldman Sachs’ in 2008 at Manchester United. The once precocious Englishman has failed to find any sort of groove at the Theatre of Dreams, scoring just 12 goals in 82 games for the club.

He’s since been ostracised by Erik ten Hag, and it appears as if he has no future in Manchester.

Once such an exciting and refreshing talent who tore up overseas lands, the footballing world deserves a firing Sancho once more. A return to the Bundesliga has been touted as an option, with former club Borussia Dortmund among those who could give Sancho the care and attention needed to get his career back on track. Bayer Leverkusen, Stuttgart or RB Leipzig would intrigue, but they lack the fairytale element of a Dortmund reunion.

Sancho notched 117 goal contributions in 137 games at BVB before his nightmare in Manchester began, highlighting just what he could do if he returns.

Ivan Toney

Ivan Toney could really shine at a top team / MB Media/GettyImages

There’s a fierce but friendly debate among Arsenal supporters regarding the need for a striker in January. The Gunners have the potential to do something this season, but some believe a new number nine is necessary for the club to achieve its goals.

Gabriel Jesus has been a transformative addition, but the Brazilian is not particularly prolific. More importantly, some do not trust Mikel Arteta’s alternative forward options to deliver the goods should Jesus succumb to another injury during the second half of the season.

Any move for a striker will surely depend on the future of Eddie Nketiah. Arteta is loyal to the Hale End graduate, but the Gunners could part ways with the striker should a reasonable offer come in.

Arsenal have been linked with their fair share of strikers as a result, and the most likely possibility is Brentford’s Ivan Toney. The England international has previously discussed his admiration for the Gunners, but there’s certainly some short-term risk in signing a striker off the back of an eight-month ban.

Nevertheless, Toney’s proven himself to be prolific in the Premier League, and he could propel Arsenal to the title should he hit the ground running right away.

Andre

Brazilian midfielder Andre has caught the eye of several Premier League clubs / Etsuo Hara/GettyImages

Premier League scouts would’ve undoubtedly been keeping a close eye on Andre at the Club World Cup, and they must’ve been left impressed.

The Brazilian midfielder caught the eye of many during Fluminense’s Copa Libertadores success, earning his first Brazil caps in 2023, and he’s now set for pastures new this winter.

Liverpool have been keeping tabs on Andre for the longest among the Premier League’s interested clubs, and a move for the Brazilian in January makes so much sense.

Despite their midfield overhaul in the summer, the Reds have not nailed down their long-term Fabinho successor at the base of midfield. While Andre has typically starred in a double pivot at Fluminense, he boasts the requisite profile to excel as a lone number six.

The holding midfield position is one distinct hole in a resurgent Liverpool side, and Andre has the potential to fill it all while allowing Alexis Mac Allister to thrive further upfield.

Goncalo Inacio

Inacio is one of Real Madrid’s targets after David Alaba’s injury / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Carlo Ancelotti has masterfully navigated a full-blown injury crisis during the first half of the season. Despite Real Madrid’s array of key absences, they’re right on Girona’s tail at the top of La Liga having progressed into the Champions League round of 16 as group winners.

However, David Alaba’s long-term knee injury could prove to be a bridge too far for the Italian.

While Ancelotti has so far played down the need for a new centre-back in January, it’s an idea president Florentino Perez will undoubtedly entertain.

What happens if Antonio Rudiger picks up a knock?

Madrid should welcome Eder Militao back to the fold in April, but the club could nonetheless pursue a stellar centre-back option in January to ensure Ancelotti has all the cover he needs. Elegant Sporting CP defender Goncalo Inacio is one name already linked with a move to the Spanish capital, and it’d be great to see the talented young Portuguese defender earn such a major move.

Victor Osimhen

Osimhen was crowned last season’s Capocannoniere / MB Media/GettyImages

Injuries have once again hit Osimhen in 2023/24, but the majesty he displayed during Napoli’s Serie A victory over Cagliari was a timely reminder of his quality.

The Nigerian’s goals inspired Napoli to their first Scudetto since Diego Maradona left town last season, and his time in Italy seems to be drawing to a close despite his imminent contract extension.

While the deal makes Osimhen’s summer departure more likely, interested clubs could still attempt to test Napoli’s resolve in January.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both been linked, and there’s something about Osimhen at Stamford Bridge that just makes sense. The Blues have struggled to find their long-term number nine since Diego Costa fell out with Antonio Conte, but Osimhen boasts the quality and grit of some of Chelsea’s great contemporary forwards.

There’s a stylistic harmony, that’s for sure.

Lionel Messi

One-match loan, anyone? / Rich Storry/GettyImages

The window has passed for a full-blooded Barcelona reunion, but rumours are circulating regarding a one-match loan for Lionel Messi at his old stomping ground.

Messi broke Barca hearts by opting against a reunion at the end of his Parisian adventure, with the all-time great deciding to tear MLS up with Inter Miami.

Nevertheless, president Joan Laporta is open to the idea of Messi returning for a proper Catalonian send-off via a one-game loan – potentially when the Camp Nou re-opens – even if he isn’t sure whether such a move is legal.

While any sort of deal is unlikely to occur in January, it’s something that any football fan with a heart would undoubtedly want to see.

READ THE TRANSFER RUMOURS OF THE PAST WEEK HERE



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