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Transfer Deadline Day: The deals to watch

There are just hours left of the January transfer window and Premier League clubs are desperately scrambling to conclude their winter business.

The latter stages of the transfer period has seen an increase in deals across the division and there are still several major stories that remain unsolved in the final hours of the January window.


With the deadline fast approaching, we’ve decided to look at the deals to watch on deadline day.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s exile at Arsenal is believed to be edging closer to an end, with the forward close to agreeing a loan move to Barcelona until the end of the season.

Aubameyang has not featured since being stripped of the club captaincy in December and the Gunners have decided to move on without the 32-year-old following his disciplinary breach.

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The Gabon international’s £350,000-a-week wages have proven problematic, though there is an anticipation that a deal can be agreed with Barcelona. Aubameyang is understood to be prepared to take a wage cut in order to facilitate his exit from the Emirates.

Aubameyang’s departure will leave Arsenal short at centre-forward with Arteta having so far failed to find a replacement, interest in the likes of Alexander Isak and Dominic Calvert-Lewin unlikely to materialise in a big-money deal before the deadline.

His move to Barcelona is also set to impact Eddie Nketiah’s future. The forward is subject of interest from Crystal Palace and Newcastle but looks likely to remain at the Emirates until his contract expires this summer.

Ousmane Dembele

Aubameyang’s move to Barcelona could hinge on whether Ousmane Dembele completes a proposed move to Paris Saint-Germain, with the Spanish side having been keen to sell the winger this month after he turned down a new deal at the Camp Nou.

Dembele – who has also been linked to Chelsea and Man Utd – had been open to remaining at Barcelona but was unhappy with the terms on offer, a situation which has seen the Catalan side attempt to engineer a sale.

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PSG have reportedly agreed terms with Dembele over a deal, with Barcelona seeking a fee of €20m (£16.6m) for the 24-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer.

Dembele’s departure would free significant room in the wage bill for Barcelona as the club look to conclude a late deal for Aubameyang.

Darwin Nunez

West Ham’s hunt for a centre-forward has led to Darwin Nunez, with the Hammers having agreed a fee with Benfica for the 22-year-old.

Nunez is the leading scorer in Portugal this season and has 20 goals in 26 appearances across all competitions for Benfica, though a deal is logistically complicated given his is currently on international duty with Uruguay.

West Ham have focused on signing a forward with Michail Antonio the sole senior option in their ranks at present and Nunez’s arrival would boost the club’s hopes of a top-four finish and success in this season’s Europa League.

Moyes has also been linked with Reims’ forward Hugo Ekitike, though Newcastle have seen an offer accepted for the France u20 international.

Hugo Ekitike

Hugo Ekitike’s breakthrough season at Reims has attracted significant Premier League interest, with Newcastle and West Ham both interested in signing the talented teenager.

Ekitike has scored eight goals in just 11 league starts so far this season and Newcastle have seen an offer accepted by the Ligue 1 side for his services.

The fee is believed to be in the region of £20m-£25m and the Magpies are now hopeful of concluding a deal for the 19-year-old as Eddie Howe looks to add further firepower to his squad.

Newcastle have already secured the signings of Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood and Bruno Guimarães, whilst there is interest in both Ekitike and defensive additions before the transfer deadline.

The Magpies pursuit of a centre-back has also led to Dan Burn, with the club having seen a £13m offer accepted by Brighton. Newcastle are also understood to be closing in on a loan deal for Aston Villa left-back Matt Targett.

Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard has endured a frustrating time since returning to Manchester United last summer, failing to start a single Premier League fixture.

Lingard spent the second half of last season on loan at West Ham and the Hammers – alongside Tottenham – had been interested in his services this month, though the Red Devils are reluctant to allow the midfielder to leave for a potential top-four rival.

Newcastle had also been linked and saw an initial approach rejected, as the two teams struggled to agree on a loan fee for a player who is out of contract at the end of the season.

The Magpies could still return with Eddie Howe’s side expected to be amongst the busiest on deadline day. Lingard will be determined to seek an exit as the 29-year-old looks to secure regular first-team football and boost his chances of featuring for England at the World Cup later this year.

Everton – now under the management of Frank Lampard – could also be a potential destination for the midfielder.

Takumi Minamino

Liverpool fast-tracked a summer deal to sign Luis Diaz this month, with interest from Tottenham having seen the Reds move early to secure the signing of the winger from Porto this week.

Diaz’s arrival adds to Jurgen Klopp’s attacking options, with the Colombia international joining Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota in a talent-stacked attacking line-up.

The 25-year-old’s move to Liverpool also pushes Takumi Minamino further down the pecking order and he could be allowed to leave before the deadline.

Leeds are interested in the Japan international, who has failed to start a league fixture this season and has failed to live up to expectations since his arrival from Red Bull Salzburg.

An initial loan deal could materialise for Minamino, who has six goals from just six starts in all competitions for the Reds so far this season.

Arthur Melo

Arsenal have endured a frustrating transfer window so far, with the Gunners having so far failed to land transfer targets in midfield and at centre-forward.

Arthur Melo has been linked with a loan move to the North London side after struggling for first-team football at Juventus, but discussions between the sides have so far failed to lead to an agreement.

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Juventus are close to allowing both Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur to join Tottenham and despite the impending arrival of Denis Zakaria from Borussia Monchengladbach, could be reluctant to allow another senior member of the squad to depart.

Despite an 18-month loan deal having been described as ‘dead’ earlier in the week, it could be a transfer revisited as Arsenal seek late additions in midfield.

Wout Weghorst

Burnley fans will be fearing the worst after their transfer window so far, having seen Chris Wood leave for relegation rivals Newcastle.

Sean Dyche’s side have scored just 16 league goals this season and are in desperate need of reinforcements before the deadline, with a move for Wolfsburg forward Wout Weghorst close.

The Netherlands international is a towering presence and has enjoyed a prolific record in recent seasons, scoring 71 league goals across the past four full seasons for Wolfsburg and AZ Alkmaar.

The 29-year-old scored 20 league goals in the Bundesliga last season and a reported £12m deal could prove astute business as Burnley bid to beat the drop.

Burnley have also been linked with Mislav Orsic, but the winger is understood to have decided to remain with Dinamo Zagreb.

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