With the new year comes a new transfer window. The 2017-18 season has been full of disappointment, and many of the big-name clubs across Europe will be opening their checkbooks this January in hopes of spending their way out of trouble.
A number of world-class players will be up for grabs this mid-season transfer window and we should once again be prepared for some eye-popping transfer fees. The folks at Ladbrokes have set the odds on some of the biggest names likely to be on the move, like Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), and Gareth Bale (Real Madrid). If you want to have a little fun with those props, let me help you out with some almost-insider wisdom. (Bold text = best value on the board.)
Alexis Sanchez Transfer Odds
- Manchester City: 1/2
- Bayern Munich: 7/1
- Barcelona: 20/1
- Manchester United: 20/1
- Real Madrid: 20/1
It’s clear that Alexis Sanchez is ready to ditch Arsenal for greener pastures. The question is: will Manchester City take him? Pep Guardiola and the Man City board are committed to bringing Sanchez to Etihad, either by trading Sergio Aguero or simply dishing out more oil money to snap up the Chilean superstar. Sanchez’s contract expires in the summer and there’s little Arsenal can do to keep their star striker. If Man City offers him a lucrative contract, and it seems they’re on the cusp of doing just that, then we should be seeing Sanchez finish the season in sky blue.
Antoine Griezmann Transfer Odds
- Barcelona: 2/3
- Manchester United: 7/4
- PSG: 4/1
If it weren’t for Atletico Madrid’s transfer ban, Antoine Griezmann would have already jumped ship by now. It’s an open secret that the French international does not intend to finish the season at Atleti, and he has three of the richest clubs looking to woo him over.
Barcelona are the natural favorite to snap him up, seeing as they’ve already made a controversial (and possibly illegal) move for the Atleti star. But once Ousmane Dembele returns from injury, the Barca front three will be back in full force. Throwing Griezmann into the mix would be a welcome addition, but Barca do not need another world-class striker.
Manchester United, on the other hand, desperately need a striker like Griezmann. Romelu Lukaku, who was brought in at the start of the season for almost €85 million, has been a huge disappointment and United have suffered tremendously because of it. The league title is already out of reach, but they still have a shot at the Champions League. Of course, without a reliable striker like Griezmann, they won’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.
If Mourinho can justify paying €100 million for Paul Pogba and €85 million for Lukaku, then he should be willing to once again break the bank for Griezmann.
Manchester United: 3/1
Manchester City: 9/2
Call me naive, but I’m predicting a Gareth Bale homecoming this January. The Real Madrid striker has had a miserable last few years, battling dips in form and an endless string of injuries. It seems Los Blancos are ready to begin 2018 with an overhaul, and the former Spurs star could be among the casualties.
A match-ready Gareth Bale would be an asset to any club, and there are a few Premier League teams that would welcome him with open arms. Yet the pacey winger is extremely injury-prone and may be too much of a gamble for clubs like Man U, Man City, and Chelsea.
Spurs have been longing to bring Bale back to North London for years, and this could finally be their chance. Having Bale, their former star striker, play alongside Harry Kane, who recently broke the Premier League record for most goals in a calendar year, would be a dream come true. It’s a move that would warm the hearts of British fans, even if it isn’t a wise long-term investment.
While I’d love to see Riyad Mahrez stay at Leicester City and continue to be the creative engine behind the Foxes, there’s a good chance the Algerian international will leave for a bigger, more established club in January.
While a number of clubs are interested in the 26-year-old, Arsenal stands out among the pack. The intelligent playmaker is pretty much tailor-made for Arsene Wenger’s style of football. His ability to hold the ball and distribute with poise and ingenuity is exactly what Arsenal needs right now. He’s the creative spark that could lift the Gunners out of their slump.
Both Roma and Arsenal have expressed interest in Mahrez in the past, only to be shut down by Leicester. It’s understandable that the Foxes are unwilling to let go of their star midfielder, but they can only hang on for so long.