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What to Expect in the Final Hours of the January Transfer Window

Dean Jones@DeanJonesBRFootball Insider at Bleacher ReportJanuary 30, 2020

Chelsea's Olivier Giroud during the English Premier League soccer match between Chelsea and West Ham at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London, England, in London, England, Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Leila Coker)
Leila Coker/Associated Press

The clock is ticking, and the tension is building—Friday's 11 p.m. GMT transfer deadline is almost here!

So many rumours crop up in the final week, so we have reached out to B/R sources to get a better idea of what to make of some major storylines before the cut-off.

At the time of writing, there are around 36 hours left of the transfer window; here is our breakdown of the names we will see making headlines...

           

Olivier Giroud

Tottenham Hotspur started considering Olivier Giroud on Tuesday afternoon when they were approached by an agent about the prospect of a deal.

Initially there was a suspicion they were being used to help other moves progress, as there was a feeling Chelsea would never deal with them over such a player.

Over the next 24 hours it appeared Chelsea might not be as opposed to the switch as was imagined.

He leapfrogged AC Milan's Krzysztof Piatek to become the club's No. 1 striker target, and there was hope on Thursday morning that negotiations could formally open. 

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Tottenham see Giroud as the perfect man to fill Harry Kane's spot and then continue to provide back-up to him next season. And there is a feeling he would love to stay in London if possible.

Lazio have also made a 6 million offer this week and hope to tempt him away from England, while PSG have an eye on him if Edinson Cavani leaves.

          

Dries Mertens

Chelsea have their own squad shortcomings to deal with, and talks are under way with Serie A side Napoli, with the club particularly interested because Dries Mertens can play in various attacking positions.

NAPLES, ITALY - DECEMBER 10: Dries Mertens of SSC Napoli celebrates after his penalty goal 4-0 during the UEFA Champions League group E match between SSC Napoli and KRC Genk at Stadio San Paolo on December 10, 2019 in Naples, Italy. (Photo by MB Media/Get
MB Media/Getty Images

Frank Lampard has had recruitment staff exploring various players who show versatility up top— and there is a feeling that Pedro might even be used in a deal to persuade Napoli to let Mertens join.

It's already proving difficult to complete in such a short space of time, but sources at Chelsea insist they do not see this pursuit as a waste of time—even if it fails—as his signing could ignite their front line. It's worth a try.

          

Edinson Cavani

Atletico Madrid are still plugging away at this one, hoping for a breakthrough in negotiations with Paris Saint-Germain.

The Madrid club are willing to pay €15 million, and sources are adamant they will not make any advance on that figure.

There is a sense of resignation from some insiders in Spain who have been covering this story. There is concern that after weeks of talks nothing will now happen.

Edinson Cavani, 32, wants a move, though, so maybe a new option will open up—with MLS franchise Inter Miami a genuine possibility. They are specifically targeting South American talent and would love him as the poster boy of their first season.

        

Richarlison

One of the most surprising rumours this week was Sky Sports reporting that Barcelona made an £85 million offer for Richarlison—and Everton rejected it.

Checks on this rumour have not made the situation clear, and there was a suggestion from one source that it might have been planted to cause a stir.

Barcelona have been looking for a forward, and throwing Richarlison's name into the frame has done no harm. What it does does show us, though, is that the Brazilian's long-term future at Everton is in doubt.

In December, Richarlison signed a new five-year contract with Everton, and one of his representatives, Kia Joorabchian, has a good relationship with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri. 

But when you take on a Joorabchian player, you have to accept that at some stage he might quickly be ushered towards a new project. That's probably the best way to read this one right now. 

           

Sander Berge

The false sighting of Sander Berge at Manchester United's Carrington training ground sent his name trending around the planet—but he could still end up in the Premier League. A tweet saying the Norwegian midfielder had arrived for a medical proved to be incorrect, but the club had shown interest in the past.

Sources close to the player informed B/R that he was offered to United the day before he was supposedly spotted—but United's transfer negotiator, head of corporate development Matt Judge, said they would not even be looking at a loan deal for Berge in this window.

His club, Genk, decided last summer that they would let him leave if a suitable offer arrived, and Sheffield United have tabled a €20 million offer. They are still haggling, but there is time to get it done. 

           

Paco Alcacer

Paco Alcacer has been waiting for a move since the day Erling Haaland walked through the entrance at Borussia Dortmund's training ground earlier in January, and he has been edging closer to a transfer to Valencia this week, with personal terms pretty much agreed.

But then Valencia striker Rodrigo failed to switch to Barcelona—and that was a major bump in the road.

He has still flown to Spain but is in the final stages of completing a move to Villarreal instead.      

             

Emre Can

Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has been twiddling his thumbs waiting for a transfer to Dortmund to fall into place.

Both clubs are happy for him to make the move, but the hold up has been caused by the fact that Juventus want to sell him outright for around 25 million, while Dortmund would prefer an initial loan agreement.

Sources close to the deal believe it will still fall into place, and that Can, 26, will probably join on a four-year deal.

         

Islam Slimani

Islam Slimani could truly end up anywhere! The reason you have seen him linked with so many clubs is because he is being touted to everyone with an ounce of pedigree.

Manchester United, Chelsea and Spurs have all been offered the player, but he will most likely land somewhere else as none have bitten.

             

Listen to Dean every Wednesday on the B/R Football Ranks podcast. New episodes every Wednesday. Subscribe here

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