Leicester City to Wolves via Liverpool: Potential signings and exits in January window

A look at the potential ins and outs in the Premier League this month

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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.

After Part I covered the first 10 clubs, below is Part II.

Leicester City

A shocking start to the season saw Leicester occupy bottom spot after nine games but four wins in their last seven matches of 2022 saw them gradually climb the table. All is not well at King Power Stadium, though, and a summer transfer window that saw a minimal amount spent, despite glaring weaknesses in the squad, highlighted the club's financial issues. Will they spend some money to safeguard their Premier League status?

Potential arrivals

Azzedine Ounahi (Angers): One of the stars of the 2022 World Cup as Morocco became the first African and first Arab team to reach the semi-finals, Ounahi has inevitably attracted interest from several clubs. Reports claim Leicester have made a £25 million offer for the 22-year-old midfielder as a potential replacement for Youri Tielemans, although they face competition from the likes of Napoli, Barcelona, and Marseille.

Jeremie Boga (Atalanta): The 26-year-old Ivorian winger is reportedly expected to leave Atalanta this month and Leicester are credited with an interest. Bournemouth could provide competition for his signature.

Potential departures

Youri Tielemans: The Belgian midfielder has been one of Leicester's leading players since joining from Monaco in 2019, but he is no closer to signing a new contract, which expires in June. Arsenal, Newcastle, and Juventus are all reportedly keen but a free transfer at the end of the season is more likely.

Caglar Soyuncu: A rock in central defence when he first joined the club from Freiburg in 2018, the 26-year-old Turkey international is no longer part of Brendan Rodgers' plans and is heading for the exit this month. Soyuncu is expected to join Atletico Madrid.

James Maddison: The one player Leicester really can't afford to lose this month. Maddison was the subject of a bid from Newcastle last summer and speculation has resurfaced that the St James' Park club could return with a new bid for the 26-year-old England midfielder.

James Maddison's future could be a key issue for Leicester this month. PA

Liverpool

Liverpool entered 2023 after a below-par start to the season, and began the new year with a 3-1 defeat at Brentford. Despite a squad boasting plenty of talent, there is a general sense that a refresh is in order. Marquee summer signing Darwin Nunez is yet to justify his hefty price tag and a big statement has already been made this month with the signing of Dutch forward Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven.

Potential arrivals

Matheus Nunes (Wolves): Central midfielders make up much of Liverpool's January transfer shortlist, and reports this week claim the Reds are ready to renew their interest in Portugal international Nunes. However, any potential move for the 24-year-old, who only joined Wolves last summer, is expected to be for the summer.

Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina): Another central midfielder linked with Liverpool is Fiorentina's Amrabat, who was one of the stars of the Qatar World Cup. Reports claim Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the 26-year-old Moroccan and any deal would come with a transfer fee of around £44m.

Moises Caicedo (Brighton): The 20-year-old Ecuador international is enjoying a fine debut season in the Premier League and is already attracting interest from several top clubs, including Liverpool. Chelsea and Newcastle are also rumoured to be interested.

Other names being linked: Alexis Mac Allister (Brighton), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax), Ismael Bennacer (AC Milan), Enzo Fernandez (Benfica), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Potential departures

Naby Keita: Liverpool are not expected to sell many players this month, but one linked with the exit is Guinea international Keita. Through a combination of fitness and form, the 27-year-old midfielder has struggled to hold down a regular place in the Liverpool team, and with his contract expiring in the summer, a January move is a possibility. AC Milan are reportedly interested.

Liverpool are among the clubs reportedly interested in Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat. EPA

Manchester City

City have been largely impressive this season, making light work of their Champions League campaign and scoring goals aplenty, thanks to the unstoppable form of summer arrival Erling Haaland. Yet they find themselves trailing Arsenal in the Premier League title race. City's squad remains the best in the division and the champions are not expected to make too many deals in January, unless the right option presents itself.

Potential arrivals

Maximo Perrone (Velez Sarsfield): City's focus is expected to be on youngsters this month, and 19-year-old Perrone looks set to be signed by the club imminently. The Argentine midfielder will probably remain at his club until the summer.

Potential departures

Bernardo Silva: Unlikely to leave this month but the Portuguese midfielder is a long-term Barcelona target and has made it clear he could be interested in a new challenge. Probably one to keep an eye on in the summer.

Maximo Perrone is expected to sign for Manchester City this month. EPA

Manchester United

After a stop-start beginning to the season, United are looking a much-improved team under Erik ten Hag and are firmly in contention for the top four. The biggest transfer-related news to come out of Old Trafford this season was the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese superstar mutually terminating his contract after an explosive interview in which he criticised the club and manager. Three big-money signings – Casemiro, Antony and Lisandro Martinez – joined in the summer and the focus is expected to be on a striker this month.

Potential arrivals

Marcus Thuram (Borussia Monchengladbach): Among the forwards reported to be on United's shortlist is France international Thuram, who is available to talk to foreign clubs this month with his contract set to expire in June. Given his potential availability in a bargain deal, 25-year-old Thuram generating plenty of interest: Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Newcastle and Aston Villa are also linked.

Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt): Another France international reportedly attracting interest from United, Muani would cost considerably more, with reports claiming Frankfurt value the 24-year-old striker at around €60m.

Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid): Interest in the 23-year-old Portugal forward is high, with Atletico admitting they are expecting him to leave this month. United are among the clubs keen on Felix, although Atletico's initial demands of a €21m loan deal until the end of the season are reportedly a stumbling block.

Other names being linked: Youssoufa Moukoko (Borussia Dortmund), Emiliano Martínez (Aston Villa), Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid), Sivert Mannsverk (Molde), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax), Jude Bellingham (Dortmund), Rafael Leao (AC Milan).

Joao Felix could be on the move this month, with Manchester United among the clubs interested in the Portuguese forward. Reuters

Newcastle United

Quite simply a superb season so far for Newcastle in their first full campaign under new ownership. The Magpies are flying high in the Premier League and are in contention for a Champions League place. Newcastle weren't afraid to spend money last summer, although half of the €140m outlay was invested in Swedish striker Alexander Isak. Given the wealth of the club's owners, there will be plenty of speculation this month.

Potential arrivals

James Maddison (Leicester City): The England midfielder was a top target last summer and Newcastle are reportedly ready to try again this month. Leicester were previously able to resist their advances but with Newcastle on track for Champions League football, a new and improved bid could test the Foxes' resolve.

Hakim Ziyech (Chelsea): The Moroccan is reportedly one of the players heading for the Stamford Bridge exit as Chelsea plot another expensive overhaul to their squad. Newcastle are among the clubs understood to be interested in the 29-year-old winger.

Ivan Fresneda (Real Valladolid): One of the most in-demand youngsters in Europe, the 18-year-old Spanish fullback is attracting interest from several clubs. Newcastle are credited with an interest but will face competition from Juventus, Borussia Dortmund, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Other names being linked: Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid), Jorginho (Chelsea), Youri Tielemans (Leicester), Moises Caicedo (Brighton), Memphis Depay (Barcelona), Azzedine Ounahi (Angers), Marcus Thuram (Gladbach), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea).

Potential departures

Ryan Fraser: Newcastle's is a settled squad at present but one player who could be heading for the exit is 28-year-old midfielder Fraser. The Scotland international is not a central part of Eddie Howe's plans, and Southampton are believed to be interested.

Hakim Ziyech is being linked with the Chelsea exit this month and Newcastle are thought to be interested in the Moroccan winger. Getty

Nottingham Forest

No club had a summer transfer window quite like promoted Forest, who signed 22 players ahead of their first season back in the Premier League. It hasn't yet translated into on-field results, with Forest ending 2022 in the relegation zone. Given the upheaval in the squad last summer, expect a quieter month at the City Ground.

Potential arrivals

Abdoulaye Doucoure (Everton): The leading rumour involving Forest surrounds Everton midfielder Doucoure, who is expected to leave Goodison Park this month.

Potential departures

Emmanuel Dennis: According to reports, Forest are prepared to listen to offers for the 25-year-old striker, who only moved to the City Ground five months ago.

Abdoulaye Doucoure is set to leave Everton this month and Nottingham Forest are reportedly in contention for his signature. AP

Southampton

A very bleak season indeed for Southampton, who enter the new year bottom of the Premier League table. The Saints had a busy summer, with 10 new arrivals, but results have been poor and it will be interesting to see whether they attempt to spend their way out of trouble.

Potential arrivals

Chuba Akpom (Middlesbrough): Strikers are the priority for Southampton this month and Boro forward Akpom is reportedly on the shortlist. The 27-year-old Englishman is also thought to be on the radars of Everton and Crystal Palace.

Terem Moffi (Lorient): Southampton are also being linked with a bid for 23-year-old Nigerian striker Moffi, who has been in fine form for Lorient this season, scoring 10 goals in 16 games.

Nicolas Jackson (Villarreal): The third striker Southampton are reportedly interested in is Villarreal's 21-year-old forward. Everton, Newcastle and Bournemouth have also been linked.

Potential departures

Che Adams: The 26-year-old striker has been one of Southampton's standout performers this season and is reportedly attracting interest from Leeds United. The south-coast club would surely resist all but ridiculous offers for Adams as they fight for survival.

Middlesbrough's Chuba Akpom is reportedly a top January target for Southampton. PA

Tottenham Hotspur

All is not well at Tottenham. Fifth in the Premier League and in contention for the top four at the start of the year, but performances have been poor all season, and a propensity to fall behind is proving costly. Manager Antonio Conte has already said Spurs need to be "realistic" with their targets, and despite a summer outlay of €170m on five players – plus Ivan Perisic on a free transfer – the North London club are expected to make more signings this month.

Potential arrivals

Pedro Porro (Sportling Lisbon): Right-back has been a problem area all season and Tottenham are reportedly targeting the 23-year-old Spanish full-back as the solution. Porro's release clause is £39m, although Spurs will hope to negotiate a lower fee.

Franck Kessie (Barcelona): Spurs have made a of £13m to Barca for the Ivorian midfielder, according to reports in Spain. Kessie joined Barca last summer but has struggled to nail down a regular place in Xavi's side.

Adrien Rabiot (Juventus): The France international is expected to attract plenty of interest, with his contract expiring at the end of the season and after an impressive World Cup in Qatar. Media reports claim Spurs are keen to sign the 27-year-old midfielder this month, with Juve prepared to accept around £14m.

Other names being linked: Marcus Edwards (Sporting Lisbon), Darío Osorio (Universidad de Chile), Jordan Pickford (Everton), Yann Sommer (Gladbach), Sofyan Amrabat (Fiorentina), Mohammed Kudus (Ajax), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Randal Kolo Muani (Eintracht Frankfurt).

Potential departures

Emerson Royal: The Brazilian full-back has been a disappointment at Tottenham since joining from Barcelona in 2021, and according to reports in the UK, Spurs are prepared to sell him this month after a recent training ground bust-up.

Lucas Moura: A fan favourite and the player responsible for one of Tottenham's most memorable moments this century, but the Brazilian has struggled with injuries and is not part of Conte's plans. Moura's contract expires in the summer so an exit at the end of the season is probably more likely.

Tottenham are being linked with Sporting full-back Pedro Porro. EPA

West Ham United

Two seasons of significant progress under David Moyes have been undermined by a dreadful start to 2022/23. The Hammers entered 2023 one place above the drop zone after five straight defeats. On paper, the London club had a successful summer of recruitment, with the likes of Lucas Paqueta, Gianluca Scamacca, Nayef Aguerd and Thilo Kehrer all arriving, but West Ham are yet to gel as a team.

Potential arrivals

Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla): West Ham have been linked with the Morocco striker for several weeks having failed in their bid last summer. Interest in the 25-year-old En-Nesyri could increase following a strong showing at the World Cup.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United): Media reports claim the United right-back could be set for a loan switch to West Ham this month. Former club Crystal Palace and Wolves are also reportedly interested.

Josip Juranovic (Celtic): Another right-back the Hammers are linked with is Celtic's 27-year-old Croatian. Juranovic is also being linked with moves to Barcelona, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

Potential departures

Declan Rice: Speculation surrounding the England midfielder will persist until he eventually leaves West Ham. Seems incredibly unlikely the club will sanction a move mid-season, particularly given their struggles, but that hasn't stopped the rumour mill. Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are all linked.

West Ham are reportedly set to renew their interest in Youssef En-Nesyri this month. AFP

Wolverhampton Wanderers

A disastrous season received a welcome boost when Wolves, who have been in the relegation zone since October, appointed Julen Lopetegui as their new manager. The former Sevilla and Spain coach is expected to be backed in the transfer market this month.

Potential arrivals

Isco (Sevilla): A potential statement signing and an immediate reunion with Lopetegui could be on the cards if the rumours are to be believed. Isco's Sevilla contract was mutually terminated last month, meaning the 30-year-old Spanish playmaker is free to talk to any clubs. There is also speculation the former Real Madrid player could be heading to the MLS.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Manchester United): Wolves are also being linked with the United right-back, but could face competition from West Ham and Crystal Palace.

Potential departures

Matheus Nunes: The Portuguese midfielder has hardly set the Premier League alight since joining Wolves last summer but that has not stopped Liverpool from reportedly making him a transfer target. A summer deal is more likely.

Ruben Neves: Another of Wolves' Portuguese midfielders in demand, Neves is reportedly wanted by Barcelona, who had made enquiries last summer. Probably another one for the summer.

Isco is a free agent after leaving Sevilla last month, and Wolves are credited with an interest in the Spanish playmaker. PA
Updated: January 03, 2023, 11:39 AM