Transfer Storylines to Watch on the Countdown to Deadline Day

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportJanuary 28, 2019

B/R Football

The final week of any January transfer window brings the bulk of business, so another scramble for signings is in store, with clubs across Europe attempting to boost their squads and fringe players begging for an escape route.

A late flutter of loan deals is expected, as clubs often see this as a bad time to invest, but there will be a few cash deals to heighten the excitement.

I have been behind the headlines to discover what we should expect this week before the transfer window closes for another season.


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The Battle for Callum Hudson-Odoi

Chelsea have been bracing themselves for one final bid from Bayern Munich for Callum Hudson-Odoi, but are determined to stand firm.

The club have been resolute in their attempts to hold on to the exciting teenage winger and the last bid of £35 million was rejected, as they maintained hope of getting him tied up to a new £60,000-per-week contract at Stamford Bridge.

However, the 18-year-old has handed in a written transfer request, and if Bayern offer close to £40 million before Thursday's 11 p.m. GMT deadline, sources in Germany expected Chelsea to cave in. However, a twist on Monday, per Matt Law of The Telegraph, suggests the player has been told he will not be going anywhere before the end of the season.

Matt Dunham/Associated Press

The player wants Premier League games and head coach Maurizio Sarri's reluctance to give him that regularly is a source of frustration for those at the club who have been working to keep him. 

Hudson-Odoi is likely to be frustrated by the clubs stance as he believes his immediate prospects in the game will be maximised in the Bundesliga, where he has also been open to listening to an offer from RB Leipzig

There are other situations ongoing as defender Gary Cahill edges towards a move to Crystal Palace, Olivier Giroud waits for offers to head elsewhere on the continent, and Danny Drinkwater hopes someone finally shows some interest in him.

The plan to sign a midfielder is still up in the air, with the club hesitating over a Leandro Paredes deal from Zenit St Petersburg once PSG became involved.


Arsenal Try to Show Ambition

Negotiations with Inter Milan over a deal for Ivan Perisic are set to accelerate over the next 24 hours as Arsenal seek to discover whether they can finance a move that would have to see him move permanently in the summer.

The 29-year-old Croatia international's head has been turned by their interest, and he has handed in a transfer request in a bid to get a move to the Premier League.

Arsenal were hoping they could take Perisic on loan with a view to staying for the long term, but Inter's power brokers are insisting they would have to guarantee a £34 million summer transfer fee in order to make the switch happen this week. Personal terms are not expected to pose much issue, with a Libero report (h/t Tuttomercatoweb) suggesting they have already struck an agreement.

Inter Milan's Croatian midfielder Ivan Perisic (R) attempts to center past Sassuolo's Spanish defender Pol Lirola during the Italian Serie A football match Inter Milan vs Sassuolo on January 19, 2019 at the San Siro stadium in Rome. (Photo by Miguel MEDIN

There is no transfer money to spend for Gunners manager Unai Emery, but he is still urging the club to remain ambitious in their search for talent. 

Denis Suarez is on their radar, but again the club have indicated to Barcelona that any agreement would not include a guarantee to buy him in the summer. They are also looking for a resolution in defence and hope to sign a versatile full-back.


Maxi Gomez Lined Up by West Ham

Marko Arnautovic has signed a new contract with West Ham United but is unlikely to figure in the club's long-term plans.

The pay rise he has received in the wake of a transfer to China collapsing is little more than a motivational strategy to inspire him for the rest of the season. Much of his raise is incentive-based, and the club will be willing to sell him in the summer if a club meets their £50 million valuation.

It means West Ham continue to search for a new striker, and Maxi Gomez is back on their radar.

Last week, the Hammers feared his price tag and also expected bigger clubs to start making offers. Yet a chance has now opened up for them to sign the 22-year-old—if they trigger his £43 million release clause. 

It is thought they may strike a deal that would mean the Uruguayan forward does not join West Ham until the summer, allowing him to remain at Celta Vigo for the remainder of this season. 


Leicester Push for Tielemans

Youri Tielemans is part of an underachieving AS Monaco side and could be handed a path away from Ligue 1 and into the Premier League.

The 21-year-old does not see eye-to-eye with returning head coach Leonardo Jardim, and Leicester City are searching for a new midfield option who can add a touch of class to their buildup play. Consequently, the Belgium international has emerged as a possible candidate to arrive at the club.

At this stage, it is unclear what the exact terms of such a deal would be involved for him to arrive at the King Power Stadium, but his situation will also alert Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, who have held interest in the past and might be keen on a loan deal. 

Monaco's Spanish midfielder Cesc Fabregas (L) and Monaco's Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans (R) take part in a training session on January 14, 2018 in La Turbie, near Monaco. (Photo by VALERY HACHE / AFP)        (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AF


Two Out at Spurs

There is little in the reports that linked Tottenham with a move for Adrien Rabiot, but there is a small chance manager Mauricio Pochettino brings in a signing on deadline day.

The imminent return of Heung-Min Son from the Asian Cup means there is less concern than there previously had been over the position, though. Most of the focus is on finding new clubs for Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Vincent Janssen.

Intermediaries are working on finding suitable clubs for both players, with two teams in France showing interest in Nkoudou and Sevilla considering a loan move for Janssen.


Fulham Look to Tighten Up

Two new faces are expected at Fulham in the coming days, and there is a chance Crystal Palace defender Scott Dann makes a switch across London to help them in the fight against relegation.

In the next 24 hours discussions are expected to step up over the workings of a deal for the 31-year-old, with Cahill no longer an option for the Cottagers.   

They are also looking for a new striker, with Aboubakar Kamara set to move on. West Bromwich Albion are the latest club to enquire about the terms of taking him away from Craven Cottage, and they would also like to take midfielder Stefan Johansen.

Another defender who could arrive in west London is Hartlepool United's highly rated Luca Murphy. Personal terms have been agreed, but the 17-year-old is currently making his mind up over whether they are the right club for him, as other Premier League sides—including Tottenham—are also keen.

Fulham's analytics and recruitment staff are introducing new targets that must be hit—believed to include specific running and jumping capabilities.


Bundesliga Clubs Continue to Shop in England 

It has become a hot trend for German clubs to snap up young talent from Premier League clubs and two more names are likely to make the switch to the Bundesliga this week.

West Ham's 20-year-old defender Reece Oxford will be allowed to leave, and Borussia Dortmund and Eintracht Frankfurt are among those in the frame to sign him.

Meanwhile, Manchester City starlet Rabbi Matondo, 18, is at the centre of discussions that could see him make an £8 million move to Schalke 04 or even Bayern Munich.  


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