The new year is in sight, and that means deals for January's transfer window are beginning to take shape.
The hard work is being put in across Europe as recruitment staffs draw up final shortlists for players who can transform their sides' campaigns—while there are also footballers looking to change the crest on their chests.
The rumours are already flying around, but we have been speaking to contacts at clubs, as well as agents and insiders working on potential deals, to determine the five players we think are guaranteed to create headlines in January as they transfer to new clubs.
5. Olivier Giroud
His contract is set to expire at the end of the season, but Chelsea are open to the prospect of Olivier Giroud leaving the club early.
The emergence of Tammy Abraham shifted Giroud's outlook on his role at the club, particularly with France's UEFA Euro 2020 campaign in mind, and sources told Bleacher Report that he hopes a good offer arrives to take him elsewhere.
Marseille, Montpellier and Lyon are all planning to make contact with Chelsea in December about a potential deal, while offers from Germany and Italy are also believed to have been mooted by intermediaries.
Giroud, 33, has started just two Premier League games this season for Chelsea, but the club are going to seek a fee in the region of £5 million if any permanent deal is to happen.
4. Merih Demiral
Turkey international Merih Demiral moved to Juventus last summer but has failed to find a way into coach Maurizio Sarri's line-up.
Demiral always knew it was going to be tough, yet even though Giorgio Chiellini has only been fit for one game this season, Demiral has played just one match.
The 21-year-old is now becoming frustrated, and sources close to the player have told B/R a January move is developing into a real possibility.
Arsenal and Manchester United have been tracking him closely, while Tottenham Hotspur have touched base with his representatives. AC Milan have also been linked but are not seen as a genuine option at this stage as Demiral does not want to move to another Italian club.
3. Cenk Tosun
With just one start to his name this season, Cenk Tosun has faced up to the fact that he could be on the move.
A change of manager is his only chance of a lifeline, but his record has left many other people at the club with doubts over his long-term future.
Tosun, 28, moved to Everton in January 2018 and has nine Premier League goals to his name from 43 games.
The player wants to remain in England, especially because he has a one-year-old child and is keen not to unsettle his family setup, but Crystal Palace are the only Premier League team showing any interest as it stands.
The sacking of Marco Silva could throw him a lifeline but a return to Turkey is beginning to look possible if not, with Besiktas keen to sign him on loan.
2. Wilfried Zaha
Wilfried Zaha has wanted a move away from Crystal Palace since the end of last season. Officials and management at the club are now finally ready to let him leave—but only on their terms.
They are willing to be realistic over his transfer fee, with insiders now suggesting to B/R that he is likely to leave for a figure in the region of £40-50 million.
The problem for Zaha is the top clubs might not be in for him anymore—and he ideally wants European football.
Arsenal, Spurs, Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich all pursued him in the summer window but seem to have left the table. Everton are the only Premier League club actively chasing him now, and that's not quite the move Zaha had in mind when he began to push for a transfer.
His best hope of a big switch would be Chelsea, who have shown interest, and Zaha has been keen to discover whether their transfer ban is lifted.
1. Nemanja Matic
Youth and athleticism are two of the main traits Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants from his central midfielders, and Nemanja Matic does not fit that mould.
The 31-year-old will be allowed to leave Old Trafford, and sources close to the situation insist the club would have no problem with letting him join a Premier League rival.
Tottenham—now led by Jose Mourinho, who signed him for United in 2017 and for Chelsea three years earlier—are interested in a deal. But any chances of a swap with Christian Eriksen are said to be unlikely, as the Dane would prefer to move to La Liga. Juventus are also being linked.
United are pushing £15 million as a potential fee to interested parties, but they would accept less than that to sell the Serbian midfielder.
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