Ligue 1 Stars Most Likely to Make Premier League Move in January
Every transfer season, there are several rumors of players heading to the other side of the channel from Ligue 1. This January will be no exception, as there are several Ligue 1 players on the radar of clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, Newcastle and others.
Names like Etienne Capoue, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang and Loic Remy will be at the forefront, but which players are most likely to move and where are their likely destinations?
What will happen depends on what dominoes fall between now and January, but the following are the most likely players to leave French soil for the fertile fields of the English game.
Yoan Gouffran, Bordeaux
Gouffran has been a solid producer for Bordeaux, but his contract is up at the end of the season. The striker has refused to sign an extension, prompting interest from a host of teams.
Arsenal was thought to be keen on Gouffran late in the summer, but the odds-on favorite to land his services is Queens Park Rangers.
The Daily Mirror has reported that QPR is interested in bringing the 26-year-old into the squad to boost its currently thin attack. With Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson sidelined, the cellar dwellers need all the help they can get to try to survive for another season in the EPL.
Gouffran may hesitate to join a squad that is facing long odds to remain in the top flight. His price will be right for whoever pursues him as Bordeaux will not want to lose him for nothing.
Kurt Zouma, Saint-Etienne
There were rumors surrounding a potential move for Zouma to either of the Manchester clubs in the summer, but Saint-Etienne was able to hold on to its young star. January may prove more difficult as teams make a serious approach.
Sport Witness is running a piece on a potential move to Manchester United for the central defender. The piece is based on a report from Le 10 Sport. Manchester United had reportedly been tracking Zouma early in the season.
A move for the physical and talented defender makes sense for the Red Devils as they look for cover for their aging and injured central defence. Zouma is a future star who can anchor a defense for the next decade.
Saint-Etienne will try to keep him, but if the bidding goes above £10 million, it will be tough for the club to hold on to the budding young star.
Mathieu Debuchy, Lille
Newcastle was frustrated in its summer pursuit of Lille defender Mathieu Debuchy, but January should cure those frustrations. Alan Pardew has not given up hope after coming extremely close to securing Debuchy's signature.
The Guardian is reporting that Newcastle will look to complete the move in January. This time, Lille may finally allow the right-back to move. The move would give a boost to Newcastle's defense, and could help the club move forward in the EPL as Debuchy would be reunited with friend and former teammate Yohan Cabaye.
Loic Remy, Marseille
Loic Remy is another player who has heard his name tossed around involving multiple English clubs. Arsenal, Tottenham and others have been linked to the Marseille striker in previous transfer seasons.
While Remy seemed on the verge of a Tottenham move earlier this year, it is currently anyone's guess as to who would pony up the cash for the striker. Newcastle is thought to be interested but potentially turned off by the price tag. Tottenham may be out of the running after capturing Emmanuel Adebayor on a permanent move.
The International Business Times reported that Chelsea was interested in making a January move last month, but with the coaching change, things may have changed. Chelsea is still the odds-on favorite to make a move for Remy because of the club's finances, need for another striker and previous dealings with Marseille in player transfers.
With Marseille beginning to fade, and needing financial relief, look for the club to be happy to offload the costly Remy.