If the Christmas fixtures don’t go the way your team plans, just remember the transfer window is around the corner to provide hope.
While there won’t be many mega-deals in January, there are plenty of rumours surrounding some of the biggest clubs and names in the game. So this week we take a look at some of the tastiest storylines from the past week to assess their current situation and how likely a move is in January...

Paul Pogba - Juve want a deal but Real Madrid in the background

Ligue 1
Mbappe celebrates new contract with a hat-trick in PSG's 5-0 thumping of Metz
Juventus would love to find a way to sign Pogba in January, particularly as they know there will be more competition for him once this window passes.
His wages pose a problem though, as he earns pretty much the same as Cristiano Ronaldo. Juve also feel United probably have an unrealistic idea of what he is worth, so would prefer a swap deal unless United are willing to settle for around £50million.
It doesn’t seem particularly likely, but it’s not impossible. Anyway, agent Mino Raiola knows Real Madrid are in the background and will be keen to negotiate towards the end of the season if nothing happens soon.

Christian Eriksen - the Pochettino connection

Mauricio Pochettino is taking over in Paris and now the rumours around Eriksen moving there make even more sense.
He is definitely leaving Inter Milan in January and PSG are exploring a potential swap deal that includes Leandro Paredes.
Eriksen has interest from all the major European leagues but PSG would be a great place to recapture his form, compete for silverware and feel happy again.
He was so key to Pochettino at Spurs and there is no doubt the manager will want to bring in players who understand his mentality.
If PSG can't agree a swap deal it will take somewhere between £12-15 million to land Eriksen, sources say.

Diego Costa - ready to sign a pre-contract agreement

This one has suddenly come onto the radar with the striker unwilling to sign a new contract.

Diego Costa

Image credit: Getty Images

He has only started two games this season in La Liga and has suffered injury problems for much of the campaign, but he will now be on the radar of several clubs looking for a new goal threat.
There is a feeling he still might stay for the rest of the season, but agree a pre-contract soon so that he has a new club lined up for next season. Costa can speak to other clubs from January about a free transfer.

Declan Rice - Chelsea rumours just won’t go away

This is a rumour that just won’t go away—mainly because Frank Lampard is such a huge admirer. The Chelsea boss is convinced he has the technical traits to thrive in Chelsea's set-up but also feels the player’s personality and confidence would bring out a new side of the team.
The problem is that West Ham absolutely do not want to sell him, especially halfway through a season.
Chelsea will continue to monitor him but are also drawing up a list of other options. As we mentioned in a previous column, Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham has come onto the radar.

Ozan Kabak - an alternative to Dayot Upamecano or Kalidou Koulibaly

If Liverpool decide to buy a centre back it won’t be Dayot Upamecano or Kalidou Koulibaly - but it might be Schalke’s Ozan Kabak.
Sources around the club say it would be a big surprise to see huge money spent, but with Kabak available at around £22 million this is one that might suit them.
There is still some scepticism over whether they sign anyone at all, but Kabak, who has been scouted for the past year, is now available.
With Schalke bottom of the table they are looking to breathe new life into the squad. However, they need to raise funds and selling 20-year-old Kabak is an option being considered.

Papu Gomez - this type of talent is rarely available in January

He is leaving Atalanta after a fall out with boss Gian Piero Gasperini and there are plenty of sides contemplating how they can get his name on a contract.
Inter Milan, AC Milan and Roma are all in the mix as the player's preference is to remain in Italy, if the right terms are on the table. He currently earns around 2.5million Euros a year net and that might prove tough to replicate as he approaches his 33rd birthday.
However, this type of talent is rarely available in the January market and whoever gets him will be getting a player that will improve their chances of success in the second half of their season.

Papu Gomez - Ajax-Atalanta - Champions League 2020/2021 - Getty Images

Image credit: Getty Images

Marcos Alonso - off to Serie A despite Chilwell injury

Ben Chilwell is injured but Chelsea are still willing to let left-back Alonso leave next month.
The club are set to focus on trimming the squad in January and Alonso is one of the players they want to cash in on.
Alonso has not played since a draw at West Bromwich Albion and it is thought his most likely next destination will be Serie A.

Adama Traore - available at a bargain?

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo has been frustrated by contract talks with Traore and now the player is willing to look for a new club.
Leeds have lodged early interest but the player’s representatives are expecting plenty of further options to open up across Europe.
In the past he has been linked with Barcelona and Manchester City, with Wolves putting a price tag of £70million on his head. They realise that will not be realistic in the current market though and he could be snapped up for around half that figure.

Divock Origi - a host of clubs enquiring

It is never a good sign when a player removes his current club from their Instagram bio and that’s exactly what happened this week.
Origi is ready to leave Liverpool and there are already a host of clubs enquiring about him.
He’s currently with the Premier League champions, but it is mainly clubs in relegation battles that are interested in signing him.
Brighton, Schalke and Fiorentina all need goals to help turnaround their campaigns and are among the sides to lodge interest so far.
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