Ten top January transfer targets: from De Jong to Almirón and Lozano

Lucas Hernández

Current club Atlético Madrid. Estimated value £72.3m

The elegant defender was one of France’s unsung heroes at the World Cup at left-back and has been identified by Bayern Munich’s hierarchy as having the potential to become the cornerstone of the club’s next generation. Yet Atlético convinced Antoine Griezmann to stay in the face of interest from Barcelona last summer and are attempting to persuade the 22-year-old to follow suit. His €80m release clause would make Hernández the most expensive defender in history, with Bayern having reportedly indicated they are willing to pay it in January. RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner is another target for the German champions as they attempt to recover from their poor start.

Frenkie de Jong

Ajax £60m

The 21-year-old’s displays for club and country have ensured Europe’s biggest clubs are on his trail, with Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester City and Bayern Munich the frontrunners as things stand. De Jong’s agent has said that a decision on his client’s future will be made “in the coming weeks” to avoid distractions for the rest of the season, with the midfielder expected to leave Ajax in the summer after they ruled out a January departure. “It’s difficult to say what will happen,” De Jong told the Guardian this month. “I want to finish this season well with Ajax. Then we will see.” But the vultures are circling the Amsterdam Arena for him and the teenage defender Matthijs de Ligt, reportedly valued at more than £100m.

Tanguy Ndombele

Lyon £50m

The France midfielder was deemed too fat in his youth but has rapidly worked his way up through the lower leagues to become one of the most exciting prospects in his homeland. Lyon have declared he is not for sale in January, although it will probably be a different story in the summer with clubs including Barcelona and Manchester City keeping an eye on him and the emerging star Houssem Aouar. Both impressed during the Champions League group stage matches against City and should be the next big money departures from the Groupama Stadium.

Nicolas Pépé

Lille £30m

Ligue 1’s top scorer has seemingly appeared from nowhere over the last three seasons, having spent his formative years in France’s lower leagues. Usually deployed on the right flank, Pépé has 12 league goals this campaign and has attracted interest from Arsenal among others. Lille have been adamant they will not allow the Ivory Coast international purchased from Angers for around £10m to leave for any less than four times that amount and, with their Champions League qualification hopes still very much alive, it may take a sizeable bid to prise him away in January.

Hirving Lozano

PSV Eindhoven £25m

The Mexican featured on this list last year and remains highly sought after his winning goal against Germany at the World Cup. But with PSV insisting he will not leave unless they receive a bid of £40m, Lozano faces the prospect of being priced out of any transfer. Everton are long-term admirers and their sporting director, Marcel Brands, said this week he would be interested for half that valuation, so it remains to be seen whether a deal can be struck. The 23-year-old has not let the speculation worry him, with 11 goals in the Eredivisie this season.

Miguel Almirón

Atlanta United £23m

The Paraguay playmaker has enjoyed another brilliant campaign, leading Atlanta to victory in the MLS Cup and racking up 13 goals and 15 assists in the league as they finished second in the regular season. Having been linked with a move to the Premier League for the past year, Almirón’s time seems to have come, although Atlanta’s president, Darren Eales, has warned his prize asset will not be sold for “chump change”. It is thought he is valued at around £23m, with Newcastle having held talks in recent weeks. West Ham and Tottenham have also been linked with the 24-year-old, who is in contention for the MLS Most Valuable Player award.

Miguel Almirón lifts his arms to celebrate Atlanta United’s MLS Cup triumph.
Miguel Almirón lifts his arms to celebrate Atlanta United’s MLS Cup triumph.Photograph: Todd Kirkland/AP

Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal £15m

The Welshman has been in superb form since Arsenal decided to withdraw the new contract they had put on the table and will be free to discuss terms with overseas clubs in January. Juventus and Bayern Munich are rumoured to be interested, although Arsenal may be tempted to cash in should they receive a substantial offer from a Premier League rival. Unai Emery has insisted there is no prospect of reopening talks but could change his mind should Mesut Özil leave.

Victor Moses

Chelsea £12m

Moses is clearly not part of Maurizio Sarri’s plans, having featured for 28 minutes in the Premier League this season, and Chelsea are willing to let him leave. Having signed a contract until 2021 last year, the Nigeria international is valued at £12m and a return to Selhurst Park appears most likely, with Crystal Palace having registered interest in re-signing a player who came through their academy. Wolves and West Ham have also been linked but the 28-year-old should provide some much-needed support to Wilfried Zaha if he completes an emotional homecoming.

Chelsea’s Victor Moses.
Chelsea’s Victor Moses.Photograph: Michael Zemanek/BPI/Rex/Shutterstock

Nouhou Tolo

Seattle Sounders £5m

The 21-year-old Cameroon left-back has been likened to an express train because of his playing style and, after a rapid rise at Seattle Sounders, he could be on the move, with top-flight clubs in France and Italy having expressed an interest. The Premier League, however, would appear to be the natural fit. He finished his breakout season with the Sounders in 2017 by coming on as a late substitute in the MLS Cup final and progressed further in 2018, making 30 appearances. Was named by Opta in their MLS team of the year.

Adrien Rabiot

Paris Saint-Germain. Free agent in July

The elegant midfielder’s very public spat with PSG’s sporting director, Antero Henrique – the latter insisting Rabiot “will remain on the substitutes’ bench indefinitely” after refusing to sign a new deal – makes his departure inevitable. “What he is doing now is buying his freedom,” said his mother and agent Veronique. “It is firm and definitive. It is impossible to go back.” Barcelona are reported to have a pre-contract agreement in place to sign him in the summer but other suitors including Manchester City – where he spent a few months as a teenager in 2008 – may also be in the mix.