The winter transfer window is generally seen as an “adjustment variable” by clubs. But the “adjustment” is more or less important depending on the ranking, as shown by the case of Saint-Etienne, ready to slam half of its budget to avoid a fall in National. 20 minutes looked at some hot spots in this transfer market that is just waiting to ignite by midnight January 31.
PSG is (still) looking for the middle ground
“No arrival” if “no departure” had thundered Christophe Galtier on Friday, two days after the first defeat of the season in Lens (3-1). A match which confirmed Parisian concerns in central defense as well as in midfield. In the first sector, the Milan Skriniar track is starting to look like an Arlesian, like Drogba’s return to OM ten years ago. And then Presnel Kimpembé will end up playing again and Galtier seems determined to give playing time to the very young El Chadaille Bitshiabu.
But we would bet on a finish in the middle, where Paris nevertheless invested the GDP of El Salvador last summer with the quartet Vitinha – Fabian Ruiz – Carlos Soler – Renato Sanches. The first adapted quickly, the second ensured a long time before being injured at the beginning of November then signing a catastrophic match in Lens, while the other two play supporting roles, infirmary option for the Portuguese. Luis Campos must have a national of the Iberian Peninsula to pull out of his box of tricks…
The tracks of 20 minutes : Seko Fofana, who again struggled in Paris this weekend with Lens; any Spanish midfielder who has at least one selection with La Roja; any Portuguese midfielder who has at least one selection with the Seleção.
OM fishing for the striker
Amine Harit? His knee is loose for many more months. Gerson? He finally found his way back to Flamengo on Tuesday, after weeks of trial and error. So Olympique de Marseille must recruit in the middle and Provence evokes an interest in the Ukrainian from Atalanta Bergamo Ruslan Malinovskyi, already courted in vain last summer. Not really the partridge of the year (29 years old) but a solid one who could be of better service to the Marseille midfield than Luis Suarez in the OM attack.
The Colombian is the umpteenth proof that you must always be wary of counterfeits. The namesake of the former Uruguayan terror of Liverpool and Barca, who arrived from Granada last summer, has already crossed the Pyrenees in the other direction, on loan at Almeria. As Alexis Sanchez feels a bit lonely up front and Bamba Dieng is not sure whether to stay, a center forward is expected from OM.
The tracks of 20 minutes : Wissam Ben Yedder, captain of Monaco pushed back on the bench by the very young Elyesse Ben Seguir; Andy Delort, who already seems tired of Nice after a year and a half on the Côte d’Azur, an eternity for the Algerian international; Anthony Martial, if Manchester United agrees to pay 95% of his salary…
OL pull out the DeLorean
After Corentin Tolisso, Alexandre Lacazette and even Rémy Riou last summer, Dejan Lovren this winter… The expression “making something new with something old” seems to have been invented for Olympique Lyonnais. For the moment, the success of the initiative is all relative, with a dismal 8th place and a “Lolo” Blanc effect which quickly and surprisingly ended at home against Clermont on Sunday (0-1).
The return of Lovren, 3rd in the recent World Cup with Croatia, is supposed to bring experience to a defense that is a bit too young. But to tell the truth, it’s all sectors that seem to need to be strengthened to try to finally get out of the anonymity in which Les Gones sink season after season.
The tracks of 20 minutes : Maxime Gonalons (Clermont), Clément Grenier (Mallorca), Bernard Lacombe (free).
Angers, the red lantern that is panicking Europe
You can be last in Ligue 1, chain nine defeats in a row – current series – and have players courted by major European clubs. This is the case of the SCO, even if the interest in question is mainly due to the formidable course of Morocco during the last World Cup.
Among the Atlas Lions, the very silky midfielder Azzedine Ounahi (22) wowed everyone in Qatar, starting with Luis Enrique, one of his victims with Spain. More experienced, the left winger Sofiane Boufal (29) has also carried his class on the side of Doha. Both attended as spectators the last Angevin defeat at home, Sunday against Lorient (1-2), and received a trophy from their president in passing. On Prime Video, Saïd Chabane also dropped, Fréro Delavega style: “We would like to keep them all, but at some point, the siren song…”
The tracks of 20 minutes : Ounahi signs for Leicester, Boufal joins CR7 at Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
The Argentinian world champions, stars of the transfer window?
Who says title of world champion says considerable increase in the value of a player. Elected best young person of the World Cup in Qatar, Enzo Fernandez (21) could leave Benfica to join Chelsea, willing to drop 120 million euros, the amount of the release clause of the midfielder of Albiceleste. The poly-tattooed midfielder already has his head at the Blues, after returning home for New Year’s Eve, against the advice of his Portuguese club, and having skipped two training sessions in the process.
Less flamboyant but just as essential, the water carrier Alexis MacAllister is enjoying happy days in Brighton on the edge of the Channel. But at 24, he can aim higher, why not at Arsenal, current Premier League leaders. As for Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa), much better goalkeeper than comedian, his name circulated on the side of Bayern Munich after the injury, ski on foot, of Manuel Neuer.
The tracks of 20 minutes : After a fight with Adrien Rabiot, Leandro Paredes was sent back by Juve to PSG who had lent him to him. In the process, El Chiringuito relaunch a countdown for the arrival of Kylian Mbappé in Real Madrid before January 31 midnight. Nicolas Tagliafico was surprised by a security guard at OL training camp, as he tried to escape by digging a tunnel with a teaspoon recovered from the canteen.