The January transfer window officially opened at the start of the new year but the market had already been rife with activity since last month.
Some clubs wasted no time in jumping the queue and bolstering their squads ahead of what is set to be a hectic second half of the season, with those in relegation trouble scrambling for reinforcements.
It’s not just struggling clubs looking to strengthen ahead of their respective quests for survival; some of Europe’s biggest clubs have already made inroads in the market and brought in elite-level talent.
But which deals may have perhaps slipped under the radar so far this winter?
— نادي الدحيل الرياضي (@DuhailSC) December 24, 2019
Manchester United tried to lure the former Croatia international to Old Trafford over the summer but a deal failed to materialise.
Having not played a competitive match for Juventus under Maurizio Sarri this season, the seasoned striker has now left for Qatari side Al-Duhail.
“The last few months will not change the respect and love I feel for the club,” said Mandzukic.
“It has been a privilege to play for Juventus. I have always tried to do my best for the Bianconeri. I wish you the best. And for me, it’s time for a new chapter.”
From: River Plate
To: Bayer Leverkusen
Palacios rose to prominence after helping River Plate to a Copa Libertadores title last season, while he also played an instrumental part as the Argentine club reached the final this year. He has been consistently linked with a move to one of Europe’s heavyweight clubs, but Leverkusen have now won this purported tug-of-war match and thrashed out a deal for the Argentina international.
Michael Gregoritsch upset Augsburg by announcing his intentions to leave the club in the January transfer window, which led them to suspend and fine the forward. But he did eventually seal a loan move away, with Schalke acquiring his services until the end of the 2019/20 campaign.
DONE DEAL ✍️
The Addicks have added Wales international Joe Ledley to their ranks on a short-term contract
— Charlton Athletic FC (@CAFCofficial) December 6, 2019
From: Free agent
Joe Ledley had been without a club since January 2019 following his release from Derby County. He finally returned to football at the start of December, signing for Championship side Charlton Athletic and has already featured for the Addicks, playing 45 minutes in a 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough.
The 18-year-old centre-back stands at an impressive 6ft4 in and has proven a revelation in his native Serbia this past year or so, prompting Ligue 1 giants Monaco to secure his signature before bigger clubs start sniffing around. Monaco have conceded a quite alarming 26 league goals this season, which has since seen Leonardo Jardim given the boot, but Pavlovic will remain on loan with Partizan until the summer.
Now, this deal was actually done at the start of September and Michael Hector has been training with Fulham, but it was announced so long ago that many people may have forgotten. Having been a victim of Chelsea’s loan system since signing, Hector is finally set to leave the club permanently with Fulham securing his signature until the end of 2022.
Chelsea set for busy January transfer window? Four stories to look out for…
- Michy Batshuayi has found significant playing time hard to come by under Frank Lampard this season. With Aston Villa striker Wesley sidelined for the rest of the season, Batshuayi (4/6) is being heavily linked with a move to Villa Park.
- Olivier Giroud, whose contract expires next summer, could be on the move this winter. The striker’s most probable January option (6/4) is thought to be Inter Milan.
- The Blues are listed as favourites to sign left-back Ben Chilwell (6/4) from Leicester City before deadline day next month. Current, if unconvincing, options in his position at Chelsea include Marcos Alonso, Emerson and Cesar Azpilicueta.
- It is being reported by the Times that Chelsea are ready to bid for Wilfried Zaha this month. They are 2/1 second favourites to buy the Crystal Palace winger before 1st February.
And the high-profile done deals you probably saw…
— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 27, 2019
From: LA Galaxy
To: AC Milan
It was the topic of much conversation following the close of the MLS season, but we had to wait pretty much until the end of the year to learn Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s next plan. The Swedish striker, 38, has returned to AC Milan on an initial six-month deal with the option for another season and will hope to turn the Rossoneri’s campaign around.
From: Red Bull Salzburg
Despite their commanding lead of the Premier League, Liverpool wasted little time in confirming the signing of Takumi Minamino. The Reds triggered Minamino’s release clause and, with the Austrian Bundesliga on its winter break, the signing of the 24-year-old was announced pretty quickly.
Erling Braut Haaland
From: Red Bull Salzburg
To: Borussia Dortmund
He was linked with a move to the Premier League and Juventus, but Erling Braut Haaland opted to take his goals to Germany and Borussia Dortmund in particular. The teenager scored 28 goals in 22 games across all competitions in the first half of the 2019/20 campaign for Salzburg and will look to add to his Champions League tally in the new year.