As we head back towards transfer season and the opening of the January window, there are discussions and decisions being made behind the scenes at every top club.
But some of the forward planning goes beyond January, too, and we have been scoping out some of the surprise deals that could cause a major stir in 2020.
Through speaking to our sources at clubs and insiders who have the lowdown on deals, it's time to look into some of the major talking points for the new year that have not yet made major headlines across the internet.
1. Chelsea to Search for a New Goalkeeper
There have been ups and downs for Kepa Arrizabalaga since moving to Stamford Bridge for £71.6 million from Athletic Bilbao in 2018. His Carabao Cup final antics in February—when he refused to be substituted—caused the biggest stir of his time in London, but changes could soon be on the way that have a major impact on him.
Sources close to Chelsea's managerial staff have told B/R that boss Frank Lampard is keen for recruitment staff to start work on finding potential new goalkeepers for the 2020/21 season.
He will not have much input himself—it's not an area of expertise—but he does want options to open up as there are some doubts over whether Kepa will remain as the club's long-term No. 1.
2. Real Madrid Let Luka Jovic Leave
A £62 million summer transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt was supposed to signal the next step in Luka Jovic's blossoming career, but he might have made the leap to a superclub too soon.
Jovic, 21, has struggled for game time at Real Madrid—largely because of the great form of Karim Benzema—and has scored only once all season. The player himself is said to be "willing to fight" to prove he is up to the level needed to succeed. But there is a growing feeling from those close to the club that he is going to be made available for a transfer.
Manager Zinedine Zidane rates his predatory instincts, but there are concerns about him needing more confidence, according to sources. There is a chance he is made available on loan in January, and in the summer he could be moved on for good.
With Paris Saint-Germain's Kylian Mbappe in Real's sights, Jovic might even end up joining the French club. But there is plenty of interest in him from Premier League outfits, including Manchester United, who will be kept informed on his situation.
3. Erling Haaland Turns Away from Big Premier League Move
Many transfer headlines surrounding Red Bull Salzburg's teenage striker have centred around whether he will choose to play for Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal or Chelsea when he leaves his Austrian club.
However, the truth is Erling Haaland is unlikely to join any of them. There is a feeling among those who advise him that he needs a stepping stone before landing in the Premier League—and the Bundesliga has been suggested as his best option.
RB Leipzig is the most obvious fit, as a related club to Salzburg, and they are said to be most likely to sign him in 2020. Transfers between the two clubs are regular—there have been more than a dozen—and Haaland would fit perfectly into their exciting setup.
Borussia Dortmund are also keen, though, and discussions have taken place over how he would fit in there.
If he is to move to the Premier League, it was suggested to B/R that the most likely landing spot might be Leeds United—who are pushing for promotion from the Championship and have huge plans to invest in the squad if they achieve their goal.
4. West Ham Beat Liverpool to Sander Berge
Norwegian star Sander Berge is being tracked by nearly half the Premier League, and that includes Liverpool and Manchester United. But West Ham United have found themselves at the head of the queue to sign him.
The 21-year-old midfielder is also being scouted by a host of European clubs, with Italian outfit Napoli long-term admirers, but it is believed Berge would prefer to play in the Premier League.
The Hammers are looking at numerous ways to bolster their squad, and Berge—who trained with West Ham as a 17-year-old—is keen. There is a feeling from power figures at the club that a deal could be done for less than £20 million.
Berge has impressed hugely in recent months with Genk, including against Liverpool in the Champions League when Jurgen Klopp even sung his praises post-match.
Sheffield United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Aston Villa have also asked about Berge, but they do not appeal in the same way as a move to London.
5. Gerard Deulofeu Could Move to China
Gerard Deulofeu could be heading for the exit door in January, with Watford ready to cash in on the Spaniard.
We understand that Watford received what sources describe as a "huge" offer from China last summer, but then-boss Javi Gracia demanded he was not sold.
Gracia got his way, and his argument over Deulofeu's importance to his side is believed to be main reason the club pulled the plug on any deal.
Now, though, at least three Chinese Super League clubs are back looking at the Spanish winger, who joined Watford in 2018. And sources at the club believe he could end up making a switch for around £40 million.
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