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January transfer window 2022: When does it open? When is deadline day? The key names to look out for

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An intriguing January transfer window is now just a month away, with a number of clubs and high-profile players expected to be in the spotlight. 

The January transfer window generally sees clubs operate with a more measured approach than in the summer, but perhaps this year will be different. 

After an extraordinary summer, in which Lionel Messi left Barcelona and joined Paris Saint-Germain, Cristiano Ronaldo returned to Manchester United and Manchester City smashed the British transfer record with the £100million acquisition of Jack Grealish, there’s a lot to look out for once more.  

Following their mega-money Saudi-led takeover, all eyes will be on Newcastle as new manager Eddie Howe gets a first opportunity to improve his squad with a relegation battle ahead. 

Manchester United are also in a fierce battle, though in the hunt for a Champions League place, and it will certainly be interesting to see what funds interim manager Ralf Rangnick is given. 

Meanwhile, Antonio Conte has openly spoken of the need to improve his Tottenham squad, with a busy month ahead for Fabio Paratici. 

With the opening of the transfer window swiftly approaching, Sportsmail takes you through everything you need to know. 

Eddie Howe's Newcastle are expected to be busy after their big-money Saudi-led takeover

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle are expected to be busy after their big-money Saudi-led takeover

Tottenham are also set for an intriguing window as Antonio Conte aims to improve his squad

Tottenham are also set for an intriguing window as Antonio Conte aims to improve his squad

When does the transfer window open? 

The Premier League transfer window officially opens on Saturday, January 1.     

That will also be the case in Scotland, as well as the majority of European leagues, including the Bundesliga and Ligue 1.   

There are a couple of exceptions, however, being La Liga and Serie A, where the windows won’t open until January 3.  

When is deadline day? 

The Premier League transfer window will come to a close on January 31 at 11pm. 

While the start date differs this year across the European leagues, January 31 will be the final day of activity throughout the continent. 

We saw a number of enticing deadline day deals take place over the summer, including Ronaldo’s return to United, Chelsea’s acquisition of Saul Niguez and Takehiro Tomiyasu’s move to Arsenal.  

Who are the big names potentially on the move? 

Premier League clubs continued to spend over the summer, despite the financial burden brought about by the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic. 

They will be boosted this season by the return of full capacity crowds, while the likes of Liverpool may look to act with the African Cup of Nations taking place over January and the start of February. 

However, perhaps it’s players coming to the end of their contracts – including the likes of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Jesse Lingard – who may dominate the impending transfer talk.  

So, who are the big names to look out for?   

Jesse Lingard

First up is Jesse Lingard, who has played just 76 minutes of Premier League football this season. 

The midfielder – who shone during a six-month spell with West Ham last season – is keen to depart on loan in January once more before his contract runs out this summer, as reported by Sportsmail in November.  

Lingard is desperate to make Gareth Southgate’s squad for next winter’s World Cup in Qatar, but with the fierce competition in midfield he will need regular playing time. 

The 28-year-old rejected United’s contract offer back in October. The proposal was worth less than his current deal, with Lingard not interested in resuming talks.  

Midfielder Jesse Lingard, 28, rejected Manchester United's contract offer back in October

Midfielder Jesse Lingard, 28, rejected Manchester United’s contract offer back in October

He is a player who could benefit from the arrival of Rangnick and the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however. 

Nevertheless, talk of a return to West Ham will certainly take place throughout the window after Lingard scored nine goals and assisted five in just 16 Premier League appearances for the Hammers last season.  

A loan move would certainly suit West Ham, who will lose Said Benrahma for most of January due to his AFCON participation. 

However, with the London club currently sat fourth in the Premier League and in a battle for the Champions League spots, it remains to be seen whether United would let him join a genuine rival.  

Donny van de Beek

Another Manchester United player to keep your eye on is Donny van de Beek, who has experienced a torrid time since making his £35m move from Ajax last summer. 

The Dutchman has featured just four times in the Premier League this season, coming off the bench in each occasion. 

Sportsmail reported in late October that Van de Beek had even changed his agent in an effort to bring an end to his nightmare spell. 

Conversations had then been held with Everton and Wolves with a view to a January move, though his newly-acquired agent, Ali Dursun, may have different ideas.  

Donny van de Beek's fortunes could change after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was finally sacked

Donny van de Beek’s fortunes could change after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was finally sacked

Like Lingard, however, the Dutchman is another player who could benefit immensely from the arrival of Rangnick. 

Having been entirely overlooked by the Norwegian, there was a certain irony as Van de Beek notched the final goal of the Solskjaer era during a glowing substitute appearance in an otherwise desperate 4-1 defeat to Watford. 

He also started in United’s crucial 2-0 win over Villarreal, which saw them clinch a place in the Champions League knockouts, before Michael Carrick opted to place him on the bench once more in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea. 

Whether Rangnick’s arrival will change things for Van de Beek remain to be seen, but he’s certainly a player who will be in the spotlight in January.  

Paul Pogba 

Completing the key United players to look out for is Paul Pogba, whose contract comes to an end this summer. 

Interestingly, Rangnick has spoken of Pogba in the past, stating he wouldn’t swap Naby Keita for the Frenchman back in 2017 during his time with RB Leipzig, insisting the midfielder wouldn’t fit the club’s style of play. 

It remains to be seen whether Rangnick will make use of Pogba’s talents, particularly with the midfielder still out with injury, after he was ruled out for up to eight weeks on November 8. 

However, according to The Athletic, Pogba – who has been rehabilitating in Dubai – is ‘enthused’ by Rangnick’s arrival. The Frenchman has reportedly heard good things about the German from fellow professionals.  

Paul Pogba is set to be a free agent this summer with his United contract due to expire

Paul Pogba is set to be a free agent this summer with his United contract due to expire 

With Pogba’s contract coming to an end this summer, the 28-year-old will be free in January to discuss a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club. 

He’s been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG in recent years, while agent Mino Raiola has also raised talk of an imminent exit of late. 

He said in November: ‘December is the month of dreams… and I can’t stop dreams, but it is better to not speak about Paul. 

‘If some former Man United players don’t speak about me and Paul, they won’t work anymore.

‘It’s too early to speak about Paul Pogba’s contract. Let’s see what happens. I can’t stop anyone from dreaming.’

Harry Kane 

Harry Kane was a prominent feature of the summer transfer window, having made it clear he wanted to leave Tottenham before the 2020/21 season had even come to an end. 

The England captain was desperate to leave for Manchester City but no deal materialsed as Tottenham insisted their talisman was not for sale. 

The forward has struggled in front of goal in the Premier League this season, scoring just once with Tottenham looking uninspired in seventh place. 

Kane has admitted his tumultuous summer took a toll ‘physically and mentally’, particularly after falling marginally short at Euro 2020 and going through a genuine transfer saga for the first time. 

There has been suggestion the saga will renew next month, with Paul Merson saying in his Sky Sports column in November: ‘I think in January, Kane to City is still alive.  

‘Man City are in danger of falling behind Chelsea at the moment. This is the problem Nuno [Espirito Santo] had, and Conte has the same issue with Kane.’  

Tottenham talisman Harry Kane is delighted to be working under new manager Antonio Conte

Tottenham talisman Harry Kane is delighted to be working under new manager Antonio Conte

Yet, while Kane’s name may crop up in January, the chances he will leave Tottenham during the window are essentially nil. 

Sportsmail reported in November that Kane is excited to be working under Conte, who recently stated he aims to win trophies with the England captain. 

Conte said: ‘Kane wants to win with this shirt and my aim is to help make his dream come true.

‘But, in general, the best thing for a coach is to be told at the end of the season, “Thanks coach, I have improved with you”.

‘Kane is already a champion but I would like to be able to add one, two or three per cent more to what he has.’

Dele Alli 

Sticking with Tottenham, Dele Alli will certainty be a player worth discussing throughout the January transfer window. 

The Englishman was given a fresh start under Nuno and initially looked as if he’d turned a corner in a deeper role, before being banished to the bench after a string of poor displays with Tottenham lacking creativity. 

Alli has started just one of four games under Conte, in their humiliating 2-1 defeat to NS Mura in the Europa Conference League. He was hauled off after a woeful 54-minute display with Spurs 1-0 down. 

Dele Alli faces an immense battle ahead with his Tottenham future looking highly uncertain

Dele Alli faces an immense battle ahead with his Tottenham future looking highly uncertain

Conte has generally opted for a 3-4-3 formation to date, with two wide forwards and two out-and-out central midfielders. Unless the Italian switches things up, it’s difficult to see where Alli fits into that system. 

It’s no surprise that Alli has already been linked with an exit in January, with Newcastle touted as a possible destination. 

Former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara even named the Englishman on a list of players who should never play for the club again after their defeat to NS Mura. 

Yet, according to a report from Eurosport, both the midfielder and Conte believe his form can be turned around. It states Conte believes he can bring Alli back to a level we’ve seen in the past, while Alli acknowledges he’s now reached his last chance in a Spurs shirt. 

Antonio Rudiger 

The future of Antonio Rudiger looks somewhat uncertain at the moment, despite Chelsea coming off an historic Champions League win and sat top of the Premier League after 13 games.   

Rudiger has been central to The Blues’ success, but reports now suggest that Real Madrid are growing increasingly optimistic about their chances of signing the defender this summer.

The 28-year-old has been unable to agree a new contract, with the club’s latest offer sitting at around £7million per year, according to Goal. That would put him lower than Timo Werner, Thiago Silva, Kai Havertz and Romelu Lukaku.   

Meanwhile, reports from Spain suggest Rudiger wants closer to £10m. 

Central defender Antonio Rudiger has been unable to agree a new deal with Chelsea

Central defender Antonio Rudiger has been unable to agree a new deal with Chelsea

Manager Thomas Tuchel has spoken publicly on the matter, stating: ‘We know that [he can speak to foreign clubs in January], of course.

‘It is pretty clear what we want but it is not like this in football when the coach or club wants something and things happen.

‘You have to accept that sometimes it can arrive and you end up in situations where things are in a bit of a delay and take time but I am very, very sure that Toni feels also how respected and what an important role he plays in this club.

‘I’m calm because I feel Toni is calm. I feel the situation here calm inside and from here we go.’

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano says Rudiger would love to stay at Stamford Bridge but the club’s offer is not acceptable amid interest from Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich.

Dusan Vlahovic 

Another player to keep an eye on throughout the January window is Dusan Vlahovic, who has already been linked with a number of Premier League clubs. 

Sportsmail understands the 21-year-old Fiorentina forward is refusing to sign a new contract, which comes to an end in 2023. 

The youngster has been in supreme form this season, scoring 12 goals in 15 Serie A outings, having notched 21 goals during the 2020/21 campaign. 

Fiorentina are willing to sell in January as Dusan Vlahovic is refusing to sign a new contract

Fiorentina are willing to sell in January as Dusan Vlahovic is refusing to sign a new contract

Manchester United are the latest club to register an interest, having sent scouts to watch the 6ft 3in forward. 

Fiorentina believe the time is right to cash in and would be willing to sell in January, but they £55m for the striker. 

Alongside United, Juventus have maintained a regular watching brief on the powerful youngster, as have Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle United. 

Whether United will pursue a deal depends on Rangnick’s outlook on the squad, with the likes of Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani and Marcus Rashford competing for a place.  

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe is in a similar position to his France team-mate Paul Pogba, with his contract coming to an end this summer. 

The forward has been linked heavily with a move to Real Madrid, who made bids of £137m and £154m last summer. 

PSG have remained adamant to keep hold of the 22-year-old and did not respond to either bid.   

PSG star Kylian Mbappe will be free to sign a pre-contract with another club in January

PSG star Kylian Mbappe will be free to sign a pre-contract with another club in January

However, the French side are now reportedly pessimistic over their chances of signing him to a new contract.

AS Sport have reported that Mbappe is ‘getting closer’ to the Bernabeu, with his heart set on a move to the Spanish giants. 

It comes after the World Cup winner revealed in October that he had in fact asked to leave PSG in the summer, a request the French side blocked.   

Mbappe has rejected every offer put to him since his arrival in 2017, and by next month he will be able to sign a pre-contract with another club. 

Erling Haaland  

Erling Haaland is now a regular feature in each and every transfer window, and January will be no different. 

The prolific forward has a £64m release clause in his contract which will come into effect next summer, with a number of clubs across Europe vying for his signature. 

The likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been linked with star, who has scored a typically sensational 14 goals in 11 appearances this season. 

Reports from Sky Germany in November stated that Borussia Dortmund remain desperate to keep hold of Haaland beyond 2022, however, claiming they are willing to double his current earnings – reported to be in the region of £7.5m – to around £15m. 

Erling Haaland is in demand with his £64m release clause set to come into effect next summer

Erling Haaland is in demand with his £64m release clause set to come into effect next summer

Crucially, the report states that Dortmund will insist on Haaland’s bargain £64m release clause being delayed by another season, meaning it will not come into activation until the summer of 2023.

Most recently, however, BILD have reported that Rangnick plans to bring Haaland to United as he looks to revolutionise the club’s attack. 

The German knows his father and agent, Alf-Inge, well. Rangnick was in a sporting director role at Salzburg when Haaland rose to prominence in Austria during the winter of 2019, as the Norwegian scored 28 goals in 22 games before sealing a £18million move to Dortmund at the start of 2020.

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