We’re in the final week of the calendar year. For most people, this is when they begin planning their New Years’ celebrations.
However, this is when football clubs prepare for the January transfer window. Next month, clubs will begin frantically searching to bolster their squads for the second half of the season.
We’ve seen some cracking January signings in the past – the likes of Luis Suarez and Nemanja Vidic spring to mind.
January also tends to be the perfect time for desperate panic-bought flops, such as Andy Carroll and Fernando Torres.
Ahead of the opening of the transfer window, here are five deals that have already been agreed.
Ferran Torres (Manchester City to Barcelona)
Ferran Torres joined Manchester City back in the summer of 2020 from Valencia. Since then, he’s been in and out of the side, having struggled to nail down a regular starting spot at the Etihad Stadium.
Despite this, his record of 16 goals in 43 appearances is a respectable return.
At times, it looked like Torres could be the solution to Pep Guardiola’s problems up front.
Following the departure of Sergio Aguero, the Cityzens don’t have a natural striker. An early brace against Arsenal in August convinced many that the Spaniard was the man to fill the gap.
But it hasn’t worked out in that way. Now, the 21-year-old is set to return to La Liga, this time with Barcelona.
Torres will be one of a long list of promising youngsters at Camp Nou. This youth offers some light at the end of the tunnel following several disappointing years for the club.
As for Man City, they may be disappointed to lose a talented player. However, they have doubled their money on him in 18 months, so it’s not all bad.
Jonathan Ikone (Lille to Fiorentina)
A key part of the side that won the league last season, Jonathan Ikone is set to leave Lille after three-and-a-half years at the club.
He started 26 league games and made a further 11 appearances off the bench, scoring four and assisting five as Les Dogues toppled Paris Saint-Germain.
Ikone has played his entire career in France. He began at PSG and had a loan spell at Montpellier before signing for Lille in 2018.
His performances over the years have earned him four caps for the France national team, scoring on his debut against Albania in 2019.
The winger is poised to complete a move to Fiorentina next month. They are currently in seventh place, six points off the top four.
Vitaliy Mykolenko (Dynamo Kyiv to Everton)
Rafa Benitez’s start to life at Everton hasn’t been so encouraging. The fans were already sceptical given his links to bitter rivals Liverpool, and he has them sitting in 15th at the time of writing.
He’ll be hoping that the arrival of Vitaliy Mykolenko can boost their fortunes. The Ukrainian left-back has had a promising time at Dynamo Kyiv, winning one league title and two domestic cups.
In addition, he started four of Ukraine’s fixtures at Euro 2020 as they reached the quarter-finals of the tournament – their joint-best performance at a tournament in their history.
However, according to transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano, his arrival could pave the way for Lucas Digne’s departure.
Rafinha (Paris Saint-Germain to Real Sociedad)
Given all the superstars at PSG, it’s no surprise that Rafinha has struggled for game time this season. The Brazilian has played just 221 minutes this term and hasn’t featured since October.
The former Barcelona man is ready to return to La Liga, this time at Real Sociedad. He will join on loan until the end of the season, but there is reportedly no option to buy.
Four defeats on the spin have put Real Sociedad’s bid for European football in danger. Nonetheless, they remain in the conversation, sitting just one point behind fourth-placed Rayo Vallecano.
Brian Brobbey (RB Leipzig to Ajax)
When Brian Brobbey joined RB Leipzig, there was quite a bit of expectation around the teenager.
He had shown great promise in the youth teams of Ajax and Netherlands and had enjoyed an encouraging start to life in the senior teams, scoring six and assisting two in just 333 minutes last season.
So far, his move to the Bundesliga hasn’t paid off. The Dutch forward has made just two starts in all competitions for Die Roten Bullen and is yet to score his first goal.
Brobbey’s career at RB Leipzig is far from over – after all, he is still only 19. However, he will prefer to be playing regularly. As a result, he will return to Ajax on loan.
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