Five Serie A players who could make winter window moves to Premier League clubs
Holly Thackeray | 11 January 2017
Serie A players who could make winter window PL moves
Italy’s top-flight may still be on a festive break, but the football world hasn’t stopped turning all across Europe, as the Premier League continued to enthrall across Christmas and New Year.
And now, with the January transfer window officially open, English clubs are ready to do some bargain business. It’s often difficult to do deals with elite teams half-way through the seasons, and convince top sides in Spain, Germany and within the British Isles to part ways with players at this point.
But, Serie A could prove a fruitful hunting ground, with many of the big teams having undergone management and ownership changes, and some real value on offer on the Peninsula.
So, without further ado, here are Coral writers’ five players that could make winter moves to the Premier League…
Franck Kessie (Atalanta)
All of Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City and Liverpool have been linked to this young, energetic midfielder, with the Blues reported to have already had a bid of over £21m rejected for the Ivory Coast international.
An engine room operator with real bite, but also able to contribute in attack as his six strikes in 16 league outings for Atalanta show, it’s no wonder the PL’s biggest names are said to be circling.
But where would 20-year-old Kessie best fit? City jump out as a side that could use extra legs in the middle of the park though Kessie may not be seen as an ideal fit for Pep Guardiola’s silky system.
Jurgen Klopp’s Reds could use added steel too, but Chelsea (4/7 with Coral to win the PL title) are the club which jump out most. Yes, the Blues already boast pitch-covering N’Golo Kante, but the Frenchman has featured in all but one of Antonio Conte’s PL games in charge and so could benefit from not only a dynamic partner, with Kessie already playing in a system featuring three at the back and four in midfield, but a rotation option.
Although, coveted Kessie did once reveal “Manchester United has always been my favourite team…”
Gregoire Defrel (Sassuolo)
French forward Defrel has been making waves as one of struggling Sassuolo’s standout men come rain or shine this season, as the 25-year-old has scored 10 across 25 appearances in all competitions so far, also providing four assists.
The Meudon-born marksman has proven particularly effective in Europe, notching four from eight in Europa League qualifying and group stages.
Liverpool (4/1 to lift the PL) are the club said to have sat up and taken notice as they supposedly seek a replacement for injury-prone pair Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings, especially with Sadio Mane due to leave for the African Cup of Nations.
West Ham United, however, have also been linked and would look the smarter move if Defrel, who has only just risen to prominence as somewhat of a late bloomer, if it is a long-term chance of game time he is after.
Antonio Rudiger (Roma)
Germany capped centre back Rudiger is one of Roma’s prized assets and, at still only 23, should be clung onto all costs if the Giallorossi really have Scudetto ambitions.
Money talks, though, and telling whispers are repeatedly tipping the towering defender for an arrival on English shores. Again elite outfits, Chelsea and Man Utd are supposedly poised to go head-to-head for the German, but do they really need him in January?
Both teams have reaped rewards from their current settled backlines and, though they may reevaluate rearguard options in summer, shaking their starting XIs up now could do more harm than good.
Rudiger would only likely leave the Eternal City for a trophy-challenging team, so that leaves leaky pair Liverpool and Man City as arguably better options. Jurgen Klopp has the German connection and the chance to partner the Roma man with Bochum-bron Joel Matip. While, the Sky Blues are really in need of a solid addition at the back.
Lucas Biglia (Lazio)
Across in the light blue half of Rome, Lazio may also find themselves raided for a key performer in the form of Argentina international Biglia.
Long believed to be eyeing a move to the Premier League, the classy and composed midfielder is now 30 and it could be a case of now or never.
Due to Antonio Conte’s Serie A links perhaps, Chelsea are favourites to land the Lazio skipper with the purported £21m asking price supposedly putting off the likes of Juventus and Inter Milan.
With Man Utd relying on the ongoing fitness of Ander Herrera and Paul Pogba, Old Trafford may be a better home for the South American, but no fresh links have occurred.
Geoffrey Kondogbia (Inter Milan)
Still highly-rated midfield man Kondogbia finds himself on the fringes of Inter’s new project following yet another dug-out change, with Liverpool and Chelsea in the frame for the Frenchman, who is still only 23 but seems to have been around for an age.
With his short-lived Nerazzurri career looking likely to end after stints at Sevilla and Monaco too, a move to England could refresh Kondogbia’s career.
So, rather than title chasers, perhaps a lower pressure environment such as with Everton or Leicester City could work wonders, though a mooted pricetag of around £18m could be off-putting.