The January transfer window is right around the corner, and plenty of clubs have big needs. Liverpool and Manchester United will be shopping defenders, Manchester City is always a major player, and Arsenal could look to boost its title chances.
But there are also plenty of other needs around the Premier League aside from the top teams.
West Brom manager Tony Pulis confirmed the club has made a bid for Manchester United’s cast-away midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin. “I don’t want to say any more other than confirm our bid [for Schneiderlin]. We have to be fair to Manchester United and the player,” Pulis said Friday morning.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho agreed that they would let Schneiderlin go, with Mourinho praising the former Southampton midfielder’s behavior this season. “If the offer is right and our board thinks so, I would not stop him. If he is playing regularly, I have a right to say ‘no way’. If he is not playing regularly, I have no right to say ‘you are not going anywhere’. He is a great professional. A fantastic boy.”
While Schneiderlin may be on his way out, likely Memphis Depay is likely to leave Old Trafford as well, with both unable to crack the matchday squad. Everton manager Ronaldo Koeman has been an admirer of his fellow Dutchman, and has been long rumored to be the leaders for Depay’s signature in January.
However, they could have competition from Italian club Roma, looking to catch Juventus at the top of the Serie A table. According to the Liverpool Echo, Everton knows it cannot compete with Champions League play, but Koeman will pin his hopes on the knowledge that Depay would likely slide right into the starting lineup at Goodison Park. The report also claims Koeman will make a play for Schneiderlin as well.
With so many top clubs needing defenders, Southampton pair Jose Fonte and Virgil Van Dijk will be in high demand. For Saints, they’ll likely be able to drive the price up, if not keep the two together at St. Mary’s. Van Dijk in particular has been linked to Liverpool, Manchester City, and others, but Saints manager Claude Puel has issued the Premier League a warning, saying it will cost them if they wish to pry away his best defender.
“For Virgil the price will be the same in two or three years and he can stay two or three years with us,” Puel said. “He is an important player for us and for the team. He has good spirit.” The Telegraph claims the price tag is as high as $73.5 million. Southampton sold Saido Mane to Liverpool this past summer for around $47 million, and has done significant business with the Reds the past few years.