Neymar’s transfer from Barcelona to PSG shattered the record for the highest transfer fee ever paid. The €222 million deal brought with it a sudden inflation in the market. In the aftermath of such a deal, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho accurately described the problem managers faced.
“I think he’s expensive in the fact that now you are going to have more players at 100 million pounds, you are going to have more players at 80 million and more players at 60 million. I think that’s the problem,” he said
Good players suddenly found their market value soar like never before. This raised many questions about the future of the transfer market.
The recent transfer of Van Dijk from Southampton to Liverpool was worth a preposterous £75 million. Van Dijk definitely needs to thank PSG and Neymar for that. Liverpool’s latest acquisition just gave us a hint of what one can expect in this transfer window.
Here are the list 5 players for whom clubs will be willing to pay a ridiculous amount this January:
Since his arrival in the summer of 2014 from Barcelona, Sanchez has been a huge influence at the Emirates. His stay at Arsenal will soon come to an end as his contract is set to expire in the next few months. He has scored 80 goals in 163 appearances for the Gunners. Predominantly a left winger, he brought with him the much-needed pace and creative spark that Arsenal needed. His ability to dribble past defenders was a treat to watch. His recent dip in form raised some concerns but he silenced his critics by scoring twice in the game against Crystal Palace.
In recent weeks, he has been the centre of a dressing room controversy. Most players in the team have requested the management to sell him this January. Many have labelled him a divisive influence. In his last game against Crystal Palace, 5 outfield players refused to celebrate his goal. Arsene Wenger will have his hands tied up as his best players are all set on leaving the club. His inability to keep players will definitely cost the Gunners this season.
Manchester City and Barcelona are willing to spend huge bucks to get the star player. With a market value of £60 million, there is no doubt that this transfer will raise eyebrows.
2. Mesut Ozil
On his arrival to Arsenal from Madrid, huge expectations were placed on Mesut Ozil. Ozil has done everything right at the Emirates but still failed to win the League for Arsenal. He is often blamed by fans for not justifying his price tag, perhaps unfairly. He is not a striker; Ozil’s job is not scoring goals – his job is to find the striker. Ozil’s ability to find players in the final third sets him apart from all the others. His passing skills are second to none.
Just like his teammate Sánchez, his contract to is set to expire by the end of this season. With a market value of £50 million, his transfer will be closely watched. Barcelona has made the attacking midfielder their first priority for this January’s transfer window but Real Madrid has the upper hand in this deal.
Reports suggest that within his contract, a clause exists that gives Real Madrid the first right to buy him. It is believed that Madrid defender Ramos had called his former teammate over telephone requesting him to come to Madrid. This could make things difficult for the Catalans. PSG and Juventus have shown interest but this could only mean that the bidding would be fierce.
3. Philippe Coutinho
The attacking midfielder has caught the attention of teams such as Barcelona and PSG. He has been a major influence at Anfield. This season in the Premier League, he has scored 7 goals in 14 appearances and has managed 6 assists. Jurgen Klopp is determined to keep the Brazillian at Anfield but Liverpool might be tempted to sell him especially after spending £75 million on Dutch defender Van Dijk.
Coutinho has played a crucial role in Klopp’s plans. His technique combined with his natural talent has made him unstoppable. Klopp on multiple occasions has asked the midfielder to stay back at Anfield.
In a recent conversation with his Coutinho, he told him,“Stay here, and they will end up building a statue in your honour, Go somewhere else, to Barcelona, to Bayern Munich, to Real Madrid, and you will be just another player. Here you can be something more.”
Rumour has it that Coutinho is all set for a Barcelona transfer this January. Although Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has refused to confirm this, Spanish sports daily Mundo Deportivo has reported that he has started searching for a house in Barcelona. It is believed that Barcelona are willing to pay £124 million for him.
4. Antoine Griezmann
The French forward has played a major role at Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone often looked towards the striker to bail the team out in some tough fixtures. Griezmann has won the hearts of fans with his stunning performances for both France and Atletico Madrid. Last summer Atletico Madrid had raised his buyout clause to a staggering £182 million to prevent any possible transfers.
His goal poaching ability has rewarded him well. Last season he scored 36 goals in 36 games in the La Liga and also steered the French national team into the Euro Finals. Although a recent injury has caused a dip in form for the striker, his recent games show signs of improvement.
Antoine Griezmann found himself caught between a conflict when Atletico Madrid reported Barcelona to FIFA for improper contact with their star player. FIFA rules state that if a team is interested in signing a player they must contact the club first before negotiating with the player. Barcelona have been accused of contacting the player and his people without informing the club.
Clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester United have a keen interest in him. Manchester United might be tempted to enter the bidding war with hopes that the French striker could change their fortunes.
5. Thomas Lemar
The versatile French footballer along with Kylian Mbappe was a key performer in the Ligue 1 side AS Monaco. His ability to play on both wings and also the centre, combined with his remarkable dribbling skills have made him a destructive force. At just 22 years old, he has caught the attention of major European clubs. He is often seen as a long-term investment.
Arsene Wenger targeted Lemar at the beginning of this season. The Gunners couldn’t sign him as the deal failed to materialize, although Monaco accepted the £92 million offer last summer. Arsenal will once again pursue the forward and hope they will be successful in signing him. With stars such as Sanchez and Ozil ready to leave, Wenger will hope that signing him would fill the void left by them at Anfield.
Liverpool and Chelsea have shown renewed interest in signing the forward. Although Monaco chief Vadim Vasilyev has stated that they wouldn’t be selling their star player until the summer. The ‘Neymar-PSG’ effect this season, will definitely increase his value. Bids are expected to reach the £120 million mark.