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With the January transfer window a month or so away, the transfer rumours are coming in thick and fast. From the likes of Raphinha to Dusan Vlahovic, a whole host of players look to be on the move for bigger and better things. Looking over these potential moves, here are some that caught my eye.
The aforementioned Vlahovic feels like an apt place to start, the 21-year-old Serbian striker lighting up Serie A. Leading the line for both club and country, Vlahovic is on the radar of a number of big clubs such as the North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham. A lofty presence at 6ft 3, the Serbian’s array of goals for Fiorentina this season do involve the odd header here or there. But, from watching footage of Vlahovic battling away in a Fiorentina top, he is much more than a big target-man for Vincenzo Italiano’s side. Holding the ball up, he’s able to drive past players and work openings for his fellow Florence teammates. Moreover, the Serbian striker has a knack of scoring all sorts of strikes – scoring a free-kick one week, before an instinctive poacher-like finish wins the contest the week after. He’ll have been on Conte’s radar since his Inter Milan days, Arteta looking for more striker options with Aubameyang and Lacazette not getting any younger. Expect more clubs to battle it out for the Belgrade born striker, ten goals in 13 for Fiorentina making him a hot property. With Italiano’s men in seventh and inconsistent, it will be a tall order to keep him at the club.
Moving on to another prospect wanted by a number of clubs from Europe, Aurelien Tchouameni looks to be on the move from Monaco in January. With Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid all throwing their hat into the ring for the Frenchman’s services, it will be interesting to see where the French midfielder moves to. Tchouameni could well be what Ancelotti’s Real desires, moving away from the old guard of Luka Modric and Toni Kroos to a new, well-rounded midfield replacement in the 21 year old. Winning Ligue 1 Young Player Of The Year last season, Tchouameni’s main assets lie in winning the ball back before shielding and skilfully advancing his Monaco side further up the field. An imposing midfielder by nature, he has also scored a few goals in his time at the Stade Louis II. Capped seven times by the main France national team, could Chelsea see the Rouen born prospect as their new N’Golo Kante? With Monaco similarly placed to that of Fiorentina – a mid-table eighth position under Niko Kovac – expect Tchouameni to move on to an elite club.
With the German’s contract running out at Chelsea come the end of the season, the battle is well and truly on for Tuchel’s side to tie Rudiger down to a new, long-term deal. With the usual stumbling block of wage demands – Rudiger wanting a big pay increase allegedly – could we see one of Chelsea’s star defenders leave for a lucrative deal in January? Rudiger would be a big loss for Tuchel’s side, a pivotal part of Chelsea’s back three that has seen them become resilient under the guidance of the former Dortmund boss. Excelling after stop-start spells at Roma and Stuttgart, Rudiger has turned into a world-class defender over his four years in West London. Rumoured with a return to his native Germany in Bayern Munich, alongside links to the Bernabeu, he could well be off so Chelsea can profit on him. With the Blues away support at The King Power begging him to stay, it will be an intriguing transfer saga to keep an eye on.
A man always occupying the headlines when transfer rumours are about, Renato Sanches looks to be on the move again. Bursting onto the scene with Benfica as this exciting central midfielder – alongside starring in Portugal’s road to winning the Euros in 2016 – the subsequent move to Bayern Munich took the wind out of the ex Benfica man’s sails. Unable to fully impress in his short cameo at The Allianz, an uneventful loan spell with Swansea only added insult to injury. In his two years at Lille to date, the Portuguese man has reignited his stuttering career up to that point. Strong and equally skilful, Sanches has become Lille’s powerhouse. An unpredictable footballer by nature, it feels as if Lille is a perfect fit for Renato. Winning Ligue 1 with Sanches a crucial component of the side, he had found a club not too big to swallow him whole. Will he able to make the big leap up more effectively this time around? With AC Milan and Arsenal rumoured, with Liverpool in the wings also, Sanches could be about to give it another go.
The final transfer rumour of note comes courtesy of Leeds’ star-man Raphinha, the main attacking intent coming from the Brazilian so far for The Whites this season. Joining Leeds after a brief spell with Rennes in France, the dazzling talent the Brazilian winger possesses has been a joy to watch. Often curling a strike in from nowhere, his goal away at Newcastle from this season sticking out, he is a player that demands a huge crowd to watch his every move and take it in. Leeds last season could well have afforded to keep him, but with Bielsa’s Whites 17th so far this campaign, the former Sporting CP attacker would well be out of the door come January or in the summer. Linked with Liverpool, presumably as another attacking option when Mane and Salah go to the AFCON, the promise of playing football for a team near the top reaches of the Premier League would be too hard to resist. Pictured with International teammates Allison and Gabriel Jesus too, he could well want the same luxuries afforded to the Liverpool and Manchester City players alike.