Arsenal to Leeds: Potential signings and exits during January transfer window

A look at who could be coming and going in the Premier League this month

Enzo Fernandez, centre, could be the subject of the biggest transfer of the window, with Chelsea reportedly prepared to match his €120m release clause. AFP
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A new year brings new beginnings, and for Premier League clubs, a month-long opportunity to shape their squads for the remainder of the season.

The January transfer window opened for business on Sunday and there is expected to be a flurry of activity over the next few weeks. Here, we assess the current state of play of each Premier League club and look at a few potential arrivals and departures.

Arsenal

This season couldn't be going much better for Arsenal, who are leading the title race and look set for a return to the Champions League. The team is clicking, the goals are flying in, and optimism is coursing through the club. Expect then, a relatively quiet month from the Gunners, although speculation has increased that they could be in the market for a new striker following Gabriel Jesus' knee injury, which is expected to keep him sidelined until March.

Potential arrivals

Mykhaylo Mudryk (Shakhtar Donetsk): The one big piece of business Arsenal could conduct this month is for Ukraine international Mudryk. The 21-year-old winger has spoken openly of his desire to join the Gunners and recent reports claim a five-year contract has been agreed. Negotiations are reportedly continuing over the transfer fee, with Arsenal's latest £55 million offer rejected by Shakhtar.

Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan): The Inter Milan centre-back is attracting plenty of interest from across Europe as he enters the final six months of his contract. Inter have offered fresh terms to the 27-year-old Slovakian but until the deal is signed, he is free to talk to clubs outside Italy. Arsenal are reportedly one of those clubs who are keeping an eye on Skriniar's situation, but face competition from rivals Tottenham and French giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus): One of several forwards linked to Arsenal following Jesus's injury, the Gunners tried to sign the Serbian star last January before he opted for Juventus. However, Mikel Arteta has been glowing in his praise for Eddie Nketiah, who has scored in both games since deputising for Jesus, so a move for a big-money striker doesn't appear high on the club's priorities.

Other players being linked: Sivert Mannsverk (Molde), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus), Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid).

Potential departures

Cedric Soares: Fulham are reportedly interested in the Portuguese full-back, who has barely featured this season with Ben White being used in his position. Beyond that, it appears most of Arsenal's squad is settled and should remain in place.

Shakhtar's Mykhaylo Mudryk is being linked with a move to Arsenal. AP

Aston Villa

A poor start to the season saw manager Steven Gerrard sacked with the club in 17th place after 11 games. The arrival of Unai Emery from Villarreal has already made a big difference to Villa's fortunes and four wins in his first six games have Villa edging towards mid-table. Theirs is a squad with enough talent to finish the season strongly, although the exit could beckon for a couple of star names.

Potential arrivals

Jordan Pickford (Everton): Villa's interest in Pickford is likely to depend on the future of their World Cup winning goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who is being linked with a couple of European heavyweights. The Everton goalkeeper is yet to agree a new contract at Goodison Park and Villa are reportedly keeping an eye on any developments.

Gerard Deulofeu (Udinese): Recent reports have claimed Villa have made enquiries into the availability of Spanish forward Deulofeu, who has been playing some of his best football since moving to Italy. The former Watford and Everton player has also previously proved his worth in the Premier League.

Potential departures

Emiliano Martinez: Named goalkeeper of the tournament as Argentina won the World Cup in Qatar, even if some of his celebratory antics left a lot to be desired. Martinez has been one of Villa's most successful signings in recent years since joining from Arsenal in 2020, and is now understood to be on the radar of Manchester United and Bayern Munich.

Philippe Coutinho: A revelation during his loan spell in the second half of last season, but since the move was made permanent for £20m last summer, has struggled to provide much of anything. Now among the substitutes under Emery, Coutinho could be heading for the exit, with Corinthians Paulista in his native Brazil rumoured to be interested.

Emiliano Martinez won the Golden Glove at the 2022 World Cup and is attracting interest from Manchester United and Bayern Munich. Getty

Bournemouth

Bournemouth opted against a lavish summer on their return to the Premier League, with only Marcos Senesi and Marcus Tavernier costing the club a combined €27m in transfer fees. Three other players were signed permanently on free transfers, while Jack Stephens came in on loan from Southampton. As a result, Bournemouth have probably been fighting above expectations this season but enter 2023 perilously close to the relegation zone. With new owners now at the helm, it will be interesting to see how active the club are this month.

Potential arrivals

Weston McKennie (Juventus): The most eye-catching name Bournemouth are being linked with is Juventus midfielder McKennie. Juve are reportedly keen to offload the 24-year-old American this month, but the south coast club are expected to face stiff competition for his signature.

Jeremie Boga (Atalanta): The 25-year-old former Chelsea winger is understood to be keen to leave Atalanta this month, and reports claim Bournemouth are one of the clubs interested in his services. Another where they are likely to face competition, with Leicester City, Marseille, and Fiorentina also linked.

Josh Brownhill (Burnley): Starring for Championship leaders Burnley, the 27-year-old midfielder is thought to be a top target for Bournemouth manager Gary O'Neil. The pair were teammates at Bristol City between 2016 and 2018.

Potential departures

The rumour mill is quiet regarding any Bournemouth exits at present. We'll keep an eye out and update accordingly.

Weston McKennie is reportedly heading for the Juventus exit, and Bournemouth are keen on the American midfielder. AP

Brentford

No second-season syndrome for Thomas Frank's side, who enter the new year in mid-table. Despite losing Christian Eriksen last summer – the Dane was sensational during his six-month spell – Brentford have gone from strength to strength. Some shrewd summer recruitment and retaining other key players, most notably Ivan Toney, means the club can now focus on establishing itself in the Premier League.

Potential arrivals

Ross Stewart (Sunderland): Reports linking Brentford with the Sunderland striker claim any potential deal would depend on the future of Toney. The 26-year-old Scot has scored eight goals in 10 games since returning from injury but is yet to agree an improved contract with Sunderland.

Potential departures

Yoane Wissa: All relatively quiet on the departure front at Brentford, although there have been murmurs striker Wissa could seek an exit in search of more regular football having been mainly used as an impact sub. For his part, the Congo international said he is happy at Brentford for now.

Sunderland's Ross Stewart is attracting interest from Brentford if Ivan Toney is prised away. PA

Brighton & Hove Albion

Looked like they could have become victims of their own success when their high-flying start to the season saw manager Graham Potter leave for Chelsea. But his replacement, Roberto De Zerbi, has done a good job so far to keep the club in the top half. How Brighton navigate the January transfer window might go a long way to determining the success of their season, with two key players in high demand.

Potential arrivals

Mykola Matviyenko (Shakhtar Donetsk): De Zerbi has said he has "ambitious" plans for his first transfer window as Brighton manager, and a move for the Shaktar defender would fall under that. Matviyenko, 26, and De Zerbi worked together for one year at Shakhtar, and the manager is reportedly keen to reunite.

Christian Kouame (Fiorentina): Brighton attempted to sign the Ivorian striker last August after his successful loan spell at Anderlecht, and even after a change of manager, the club reportedly retains its interest.

Potential departures

Alexis Mac Allister: No surprise that Mac Allister is attracting interest from several clubs following an exemplary World Cup, where he played a key role in Argentina's triumph. Clubs including Juventus, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal have all been linked with the 24-year-old midfielder.

Moises Caicedo: Another central midfielder understood to be in high demand, the 20-year-old Ecuadorean has been in fine form since joining Brighton last summer. Liverpool and Newcastle United have both been linked, but it's Chelsea and a reunion with Potter that is reportedly most likely.

Brighton's World Cup winning Argentina midfielder, Alexis Mac Allister, is in high demand from clubs across Europe. AFP

Chelsea

A summer of upheaval involving new owners, plenty of new players, and before long a new manager, it's been a turbulent season so far for Chelsea, both on and off the pitch. The Blues enter 2023 off the top-four pace, with Potter's encouraging start making way for a run of underwhelming displays. Few of the signings from a record £252m summer can be considered undisputed successes, and the chequebook is expected to be opened again this month.

Potential arrivals

Benoit Badiashile (Monaco): Chelsea are in the market for at least one central defender, and it appears as though Monaco centre-back Badiashile is close to completing a move to Stamford Bridge. Reports claim a transfer fee will be in the region of €35m and the 21-year-old France international has already agreed personal terms.

Enzo Fernandez (Benfica): This has the potential to be the biggest deal of the month. Chelsea are reportedly prepared to meet the Argentine midfielder's release clause of €120m, although the club are hoping to agree a deal with Benfica with a different payment structure. Fernandez, 21, was one of the stars of the World Cup and is regarded as one of the most exciting young talents in world football.

Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid): Viewed as the player to lead Atletico into a new era when he was signed for €127m in the summer of 2019, it has all turned sour for the Portuguese forward in Madrid. Atletico's chief executive Miguel Angel Gil Marin admitted recently that Felix wants to leave the club, but while there are many potential suitors, the reported €21m loan fee to sign the 24-year-old until the end of the season is proving a stumbling block. Chelsea are one of several clubs reported to be interested.

Other players being linked: Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Mykhaylo Mudryk (Shakhtar), Josip Juranovic (Celtic), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund), Milan Skriniar (Inter Milan), Moisés Caicedo (Brighton), Josko Gvardiol (RB Leipzig), Denzel Dumfries (Inter Milan).

Potential departures

Hakim Ziyech: A player of undoubted talent and ability, it just hasn't really worked out for Ziyech at Chelsea. The Moroccan winger doesn't seem to fit into Potter's system, and there is reportedly interest from AC Milan and Newcastle. Ziyech had an excellent World Cup, so he should be able to use that to find a new club.

Jorginho: A Chelsea stalwart and the club's vice-captain, the 31-year-old Italian midfielder is yet to agree an extension to the contract that expires in the summer. Newcastle have been credited with an interest if Jorginho fails to sign a new deal.

Edouard Mendy: The Senegalese stopper seemed to be the solution to Chelsea's goalkeeping problems when he first arrived from Rennes, helping the club win the Champions League and Club World Cup. But his form has nosedived and Mendy has been replaced as No 1 by Kepa Arrizabalaga. With young American 'keeper Gabriel Slonina arriving this month, Mendy could be heading for the exit, with AC Milan reportedly keen.

France international Benoit Badiashile is expected to join Chelsea this month. AFP

Crystal Palace

It's been a strange season so far for Crystal Palace, whose results at the start of the campaign didn't reflect their performances, but a few wins at the end of the year have pushed them towards the middle of the table. Palace had a relatively quiet summer transfer window and are expected to have a similarly inactive month.

Potential arrivals

Aaron Wan Bissaka (Manchester United): Peripheral to Erik ten Hag's plans for most of the season, the full-back has played just three Premier League games this season and a return to Crystal Palace is the leading transfer rumour involving the Selhurst Park club.

Potential departures

Wilfried Zaha: It wouldn't be a transfer window if there weren't rumours swirling around Palace star man Zaha. This time, though, the latest speculation claims Barcelona are interested in the Ivory Coast forward, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Tottenham are also reportedly keen.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be set for a return to Crystal Palace this month. AFP

Everton

It's turning into another season of struggle for Everton. After back-to-back wins early in the season moved the Toffees towards mid-table, one win in nine at the end of 2022 has put them firmly in danger. Everton had a busy summer, recruiting eight new players, and while January is expected to be quieter, a striker is thought to be a priority for manager Frank Lampard.

Potential arrivals

Anthony Elanga (Manchester United): Recent reports have claimed the Sweden international is a priority target for Lampard, who is determined to solve Everton's goalscoring issues. Elanga, 21, is understood to be available for around £18m and is prepared to leave United for regular football.

Elye Wahi (Montpellier): Another forward linked with Everton is Montpellier's Wahi, with reports in France suggesting he could be available for £22m. Lyon are also thought to be interested.

Potential departures

Jordan Pickford: It would be a massive setback to Everton's survival hopes if Pickford were to leave this month and there is plenty of interest in England's No 1. Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea, and Tottenham are all monitoring Pickford's contract situation.

Mason Holgate: The English defender is not part of Lampard's plans and a January exit could beckon, with Leeds and Lyon both linked with the 26-year-old centre-back.

Abdoulaye Doucoure: Signed from Watford in 2020 and quickly established as a first-choice midfielder, Doucoure's time at Everton looks to be coming to an end. Juventus, Nottingham Forest and Fulham are the clubs reportedly interested in the 30-year-old Mali international, whose contract expires this summer.

Resolving Jordan Pickford's contract situation should be a priority for Everton this month. Reuters

Fulham

A perennial yo-yo club, Fulham are well on course to stay in the Premier League for another season after a superb end to the year ensured they start 2023 well inside the top half and even in contention for a European place. Marco Silva will be keen for continuity, so Fulham are expected to have a quiet month.

Potential arrivals

Cedric Soares (Arsenal): Arsenal's Portuguese full-back is expected to leave the club this month, and Fulham appear to be front-runners for his signature.

Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton): Likewise Everton's Malian midfielder, who is reportedly available for around €15m, although he will be available on a free transfer at the end of the season. Fulham could face competition from Juventus and Nottingham Forest.

Potential departures

Josh Onomah: The 25-year-old English midfielder has struggled for games and is thought to be a transfer target for Scottish club Rangers.

Nathaniel Chalobah: Another whose opportunities have been limited this season and could be headed for the exit.

Arsenal full-back Cedric Soares is heavily linked with a move to Fulham. Getty

Leeds United

A hit-and-miss season so far from Leeds as good performances and results are too often mixed with spells of poor form. As a result, Jesse Marsch's side enter 2023 only a few points above the relegation zone. Leeds are expected to make some moves this month.

Potential arrivals

Alfonso Pedraza (Villarreal): The winger/full-back is reportedly a top target for Marsch and Leeds, and despite interest from Inter Milan, the Elland Road club are favourites to sign the Spaniard. Pedraza, 26, spent time on loan at Leeds in 2017 and could return in a deal reported to be worth around €20m.

Maximilian Wober (RB Salzburg): Salzburg's Austrian captain is being strongly linked with a move to Leeds and a reunion with Marsch, even if the American manager refused to comment on the speculation. The 24-year-old defender is valued at around €12m.

Mason Holgate (Everton): Leeds are focusing their efforts on strengthening their defence, and Everton's Holgate is reportedly on the shortlist. The English centre-back is not part of Lampard's plans and could be available this month.

Potential departures

Mateusz Klich: The 32-year-old Polish midfielder is a fan favourite and has been a loyal servant for Leeds, aside from a six-month loan spell at Utrecht, since joining in 2017. However, Klich has been primarily used as a substitute this season and is reportedly attracting interest from MLS side DC United.

Maximilian Wober is thought to be a top target for Leeds. AP
Updated: January 17, 2023, 1:03 PM