It is a notoriously difficult window in which to do transfer business and the numbers do not lie.
There have been just 22 new signings across 12 Premier League clubs so far during the January transfer window.
But, with the final week now in full swing, we anticipate things hotting up ahead of the 11pm deadline on Friday.
There are plenty of big names that are still up for discussion as we assess the state of play regarding 10 of the most high-profile, unfinished transfer sagas of this month.
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Christian Eriksen – Tottenham to Inter Milan
The first to surely get over the line, as early as Wednesday.
Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen is close to joining Inter Milan – and arrived on Monday for a medical. The 27-year-old is expected to complete a £16.8m move to Italy which could see him earn up to £320,000 per week.
Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta said: “You all know that we are negotiating with Tottenham.
“I am optimistic and I hope everything can be concluded quickly because the market closes on Friday and we hope to conclude the negotiations in the next few days.”
The performance of Giovani Lo Celso during Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Southampton in the FA Cup on Saturday would suggest that Jose Mourinho has a ready-made replacement.
Lo Celso is currently on loan from Spanish side Real Betis but Spurs can secure a permanent deal this month for £27m or £34m at the end of the season.
“I think the boy is earning the decision [to sign him],” Mourinho told reporters at St Mary’s.
Bruno Fernandes – Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United
Sky Sports News’ Kaveh Solhekol said last Friday: “Manchester United are still after Bruno Fernandes.
“He’s a world-class attacking midfielder and we’ve been told this week that he’s the best player in Portugal having been the Portuguese Player of the Year twice in a row.
“A lot of people think he’s exactly what they’re looking for. The only problem is United aren’t offering Sporting enough. Sporting want £52m but United are offering £42m.”
This came after the player’s agent, Jorge Mendes, threw the deal into serious doubt when speaking to Sky Sports on a visit to England
“I don’t know,” he said when asked by Sky Sports if a fee was close to being agreed. “If he doesn’t leave now, he will leave for sure in the summer because Sporting have already spoken with other clubs. Something will happen but I am not sure if now or at the end of the season.”
We still await a breakthrough in negotiations.
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Boubakary Soumare – Lille to Chelsea
Another player that United have been linked without throughout the window is Lille’s Soumare, but they face competition from Chelsea.
The French U21 international, described by teammates at Lille as “Paul Pogba without the baggage”, has been earmarked to leave the Ligue 1 club this week.
Lille boss Christophe Galtier says he is unsure on the future of his player, saying last week: “I don’t know about Soumare. Nobody told me something about this situation. I don’t know if this could be his last game [against Paris Saint-Germain].”
With that game now out of the way, the moment of truth is arriving.
Islam Slimani – Leicester to Manchester United
Will Manchester United sign a striker? Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted United need “quality” signings to help his mentally fatigued young squad after the 2-0 home defeat to Burnley last week – a fifth loss since December 22.
The scramble has turned desperate – Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani are two of a number of players United have looked at as they try to bring in a striker on loan following the long-term injury to Marcus Rashford.
It would be the biggest shock of the window, but time is running out for United to get a striker over the line.
Solskjaer has insisted the club are still working on reinforcements in a “difficult” market – and signing one of the two could prove to be a fall-back option if a stellar name cannot be lured to the club on a short-term deal.
Edinson Cavani – PSG to Atletico Madrid
Edinson Cavani was left out of Paris Saint-Germain’s squad for their match against Lille on Sunday night – with manager Thomas Tuchel admitting it was due speculation surrounding the forward’s future.
The Uruguay international has been tracked by Chelsea, Manchester United and Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window, and he is said to have his heart set on joining the latter club.
Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett on United’s link with the striker: “If you look at the facts, he fits exactly their profile.
“United have done this in the past. Look at Radamel Falcao, look at Henrik Larsson and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“They go for world-class strikers with huge reputations that are coming to the latter ends of their careers, and they’ve been very successful for United, on the whole. It’s kind of in United’s DNA.
“Cavani is 32 and his contract expires at the end of the season with PSG. He hasn’t started a game for PSG since November 9 and all of that points to the fact he’s available.”
Mykola Matviyenko – Shakhtar Donetsk to Arsenal
Flamengo defender Pablo Mari arrived at Heathrow over the weekend alongside Arsenal’s technical director Edu, but Mikel Arteta does not look like he is finished with his January transfer business.
With Arsenal set to complete the first signing of the Arteta era, might a second defensive reinforcement follow suit?
The Gunners look to be finally adding some solidity to a leaky backline – having been frustrated in their pursuit this month of Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake and Bayern Munich defender Jerome Boateng.
They will have to pay £30m if they are to buy Ukrainian defender Mykola Matviyenko from Shakhtar Donetsk.
The player’s agent, Yuriy Danchenko, says the clubs are in talks about a deal for the 23-year-old, who has 18 months left on his contract. Watch this space.
Moussa Dembele – Lyon to Chelsea
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard made his priorities for the final week of this January transfer window very clear ahead of his side’s FA Cup fourth-round tie with Hull.
He said: “The impetus to bring in a striker or players who can get on the end of the chances we’re creating is there.
“I think we have to be really honest about that. We had more than 20 shots in both games against Arsenal and Newcastle so we have to find solutions. We’ve lost points because of these situations.”
Lyon striker Moussa Dembele was watched by scouts this week but the French club are desperate to hold onto him.
The 23-year-old has made no secret of his desire to one day return to England to play in the Premier League, where he has previously made just three appearances as a youngster with Fulham.
A switch back to the capital may be more appealing for the former Celtic striker than a move to United, given the lure of Champions League football.
Krzysztof Piatek – AC Milan to Tottenham
Tottenham head coach Jose Mourinho says the club need a striker and are “doing everything possible” to sign one during the January transfer window – but time is running out.
Spurs laboured to victory over Norwich having fired blanks at Watford, underlining the need to ease the burden on Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son in the absence of Harry Kane.
Piatek is struggling for game time with AC Milan, and the Poland striker’s father said last week that his son was “too good to be left on the bench”, stirring up speculation that he could be about to leave the San Siro.
With the European Championships this summer, the 24-year-old is desperate for regular first-team football, and while several Premier League clubs including Everton, West Ham and Newcastle have expressed an interest, it would cost £25m to prise him away from Milan.
Olivier Giroud – Chelsea to Inter Milan
World Cup winner Giroud is not part of Chelsea’s plans and has one foot out of the door at Stamford Bridge.
Lampard has said: “There’s been contact with other clubs, and if and when that’s agreed, I’ll let you know, but it’s not yet so he’s still our player.”
It would be remarkable if the striker were to remain at the club beyond this window, given his importance to the French national team ahead of next summer’s championships.
At 33, he will want to head into that tournament match fit, and it appeared earlier this month that a move to Inter Milan was a done deal. Antonio Conte was said to be desperate to get Giroud to the San Siro having been the man who signed him from Arsenal for Chelsea in January 2018.
A fee hasn’t been agreed between the two clubs, which led Inter to turn their attentions to former Tottenham striker Fernando Llorente as part of a swap deal with Roma involving Matteo Politano.
But a twist emerged at the end of last week with Sky in Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that the Llorente loan to Inter is off, which will lead to the resumption of negotiations between Inter and Chelsea over Giroud.
Paul Pogba – Manchester United to Real Madrid
One transfer saga that will rumble onto next summer surrounds the future of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.
Speaking to Sky Sports News last week, the player’s agent Mino Raiola said the player will make a decision on whether he will leave Old Trafford at the end of the campaign.
“I don’t say anything for sure,” he said. “Today he is not happy because he is not playing. He is recovering. Paul if he does not play he is not happy.
“But I saw him go back to United when people did not think he would go back. People tend to forget that. People tend to imagine that United was the only club that he could have signed for. He chose United.
“Everybody knows the ambition from both parts is not being met the last years. Let’s be honest, let’s talk about the elephant in the room. So we need to see in the summer if Paul is still in the plans of United and if United is still in the plans of Paul.”
This story originally appeared on Sky Sports and was reproduced with permission.