With the January transfer window coming to a close within the week, here is the last instalment of Sam Tabuteau’s look at each Premier League club’s potential targets.
Isco -24-year-old attacking midfielder, Real Madrid
In a team whose efforts over the past year and a half can be argued to have surpassed that of the Galactico’s side of the early 2000’s, it is somewhat unsurprising that Isco has found game time hard to come by, despite his undoubted talent.
Still regarded as one of Spain’s brightest attacking talents, the former Malaga man is on the radar of several European giants and has still managed a very respectable four goals and three assists in just nine starts for Los Blancos.
A fantastic passer of the ball, and with an ability to wriggle through tackles with his quick feet and agility, he seems to perfectly suit Pochettino’s high energy pressing and counter-attacking game. The only problem would once again be where he fits in because much like Real Madrid Tottenham have an abundance of attacking talent – with Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Heung-Min Son and Moussa Sissoko currently vying for a starting spot in behind the immovable English forward Harry Kane.
Madrid bought Isco for just under £30 million, and it will be this sort of figure that Florentino Perez will be holding out for.
Jordan Lukaku -22-year-old left-back, Lazio
The younger brother of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku has only recently joined Lazio from Anderlecht and may well be unwilling to move again, but his impressive performances at Euro 2016 last summer have nonetheless attracted the interest of Pochettino.
Standing at over 6ft tall Jordan Lukaku is an imposing figure, and his power and strength model that of brother Romelu, who’s reputation has grown dramatically since his induction to Premier League football with Chelsea, West Brom and now Everton.
The Belgium would probably serve as cover for Danny Rose, but depth is needed more than ever following the injuries to Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderwiereld. He would probably cost the Spurs boss around £6 million.
Andrea Pinamonti -17-year-old striker, Inter Milan
Young forward Pinamonti has put Tottenham on red alert after failing to be tied down to a new long-term contract with Italian giants Inter Milan. Pinamonti has only played one game this season, in a 2-1 win against Sparta Prague in the Europa League, but looks set for a big future as Mauro Icardi’s understudy, and soon his potential successor.
Pinamonti has already played for every age category in the Italian national team up to U-19 level. The 17-year-old is, however, a life-long Inter Milan fan, and as a result, it will take a fantastic offer to prise Pinamonti away from the northern Italian city.
M’Baye Niang – 22-year-old winger, AC Milan
Watford are in real need of some width and pace up top, and Senegal youngster Niang offers that in abundance. Since rising to prominence in the 2014-15 season, Niang has failed to light up Serie A, putting together distinctly average contributions of goals and assists over the past couple of seasons.
His pace and skill may, however, suit the Premier League, and for a short-term loan deal, it may well be worth it for the energy he adds to the Hornet’s side. The 22-year-old is currently negotiating a loan deal with the Hornets and we could well see him playing in the Premier League before the window shuts next week.
Max Gradel – 29-year-old winger, Bournemouth
A devastating long-term injury has prevented Gradel from making any sort of impact at Bournemouth, following his high-profile move to the club from Saint-Etienne last season, and now Watford want to resurrect his career by bringing him to Vicarage Road.
A tricky winger who would enable Watford to push forward with the pace and precision that there lumbering strike force doesn’t currently offer – allowing Roberto Perreya to utilise his superb passing range by picking out the Ivorian’s darting runs beyond the opposition back line.
Able to beat a man and cross the ball, his energy and deliveries will play right into the hands of notorious target man Deeney. Gradel would probably be allowed to leave for a fee of around £8 million.
Robin Quaison – 23-year-old attacking midfielder, Palermo
The midfielder is out of contract in the summer, and as a result, Walter Mazzarri is eyeing up a cut-price move for the Swedish international. Quaison can get goals from midfield with four already this season, whilst his long shots and dribbling are also great assets to his game.
He can also push further up the field into a striking position, possibly being deployed as a false nine behind Deeney. Quaison has also attracted interest from Birmingham, Roma and Sampdoria, and has been capped five times by the Swedish national team.
It is possible that a deal could be struck for around £5 million.
West Bromwich Albion
Odion Ighalo – 27-year-old striker, Watford
The Nigerian hasn’t hit the form that typified Watford’s season last year, scoring only once in the league. Following the sale of Saido Berahino to Stoke City, West Brom are in need of another striker to provide back up to Salomon Rondon, whose absence in the side would be sorely missed if he were to pick up an injury or suspension.
Ighalo would thrive off of Tony Pulis’ style of play – playing with width and crossing for a target man. At a price tag of around £6 million, Ighalo may be well worth a punt, as his 15 goal tally last season suggests that he is able to score proficiently in the Premier League if the service is right.
Manolo Gabbiadini – 25-year-old striker, Napoli
Another target man for the Baggies striker list, Gabbiadini is a great aerial presence, much like Rondon. He has scored five times this season, with one in the Champions League and three Serie A goals in his last three games.
The Italian is also able to operate as an attacking midfielder, cutting inside and firing off shots from distance. The 25-year-old could be a gamble to implement at this stage in the season, and West Brom may well wait until the summer before making their move for the striker who is valued at around £10-£15 million.
Leonardo Ulloa – 30-year-old striker, Leicester City
The Argentinian was the forgotten hero of both Leicester’s miraculous Premier League title win and their escape from relegation the previous season. Ulloa scored 11 Premier League goals in his first season in the top flight, and six in his second, despite playing third choice to Shinji Okazaki and Jamie Vardy – scoring a last minute winner against Norwich.
Ulloa is a striker with Premier League pedigree and is after first team Premier League football, which may mean it might not be the best signature for West From, as Rondon continues to impress up top. Ulloa would probably leave the Premier League Champions for around £10 million
West Ham United
Hélder Costa – 23-year-old winger, Wolves
The Portuguese winger is attracting interest from Everton, Crystal Palace and West Ham, having provided an impressive nine goals and five assists this season for Wolves. His defensive contribution is admirable and he has a good ability from set pieces – which is not a like for like replacement, but certainly a very good and cost-effective choice to replace Dimitri Payet whose inching closer to a move back to Marseille.
Costa will command a fee of £10 million due to his superb form and his importance to the Wolves’ side who are currently in a relegation battle in 18th position in the Championship.
Ivan Perišić – 27-year-old winger, Inter Milan
Perišić would offer West Ham a more expensive and high-profile alternative to Payet, the Croatian had a brilliant Euro 2016, scoring twice and assisting once as Croatia were unlucky to be knocked out by eventual winners Portugal – despite finishing top of a group that included Spain.
Back at Inter Perišić has continued where he left off last summer, scoring seven times and assisting once. He’s a great threat on the counter, can dribble past players and rattle off shots from range.
The Croation would cost upwards of £20 million, and so Payet’s departure may well need to take place before West Ham could make a move.
Andrea Ranocchia – 28-year-old centre-back, Inter Milan
Yet another Inter player to make the list; Italian defender Andrea Ranocchia is also on the Hammers’ radar. Whilst Winston Reid is still among one of the better centre-halves in the Premier League, a new partner at the heart of the defence is needed so Slaven Bilić may take a look at Ranocchia before the window closes.
Rannochia averages 3.2 tackles and 1.6 interceptions per game – averaging more tackles than John Stones, Joel Matip and Nicolas Otamendi who are all now established Premier League defenders.
Swansea are also said to be interested, but West Ham’s financial power should see them outbid the Welsh side should one materialise. Ranocchia would probably cost the Londoners about £12 million.