Weighing up the odds for potential top football player winter transfer business
January can be a time of year in the football calendar that can be rather telling on a team’s season and how it might end, especially for those clubs that compete in England.
They will have just had a number of fixtures to play across the festive period in quick succession, which can have an incredible impact on their standing in the league division they are playing in. At the same time, it can test a squad to its fullest capabilities, with injuries, suspensions, and fitness concerns often becoming apparent because of the period.
Many football supporters will often use this time of year as the time to start enhancing their passion for the game because of what can happen by the time we enter January.
The January transfer window can play a role in the odds that are offered, as teams are able to make the changes that they feel are necessary to reach and accomplish their goals. Clubs who have struggled or find that they need additional depth after a hectic festive period will normally go out and look to try and acquire the players they feel are needed to strengthen their squads.
Will there be big moves this January?
Given that it is halfway through the season and at a crucial juncture for clubs in England, it is hardly a surprise that the January transfer window is notoriously difficult for teams to do deals.
Teams want to keep hold of their best players as they want to be able to finish in the best position possible. They are unlikely to be willing to sell unless they have a player who is unhappy or is running down a contract. If they do not satisfy those criteria, clubs will often do as much as they can to keep hold of individuals until the summer at the very least.
Nonetheless, that does not stop the sportsbooks from offering odds for those who enjoy betting on transfers in January, as there are star players already being considered for moves this winter. However, are they realistically going to happen?
Liverpool’s star man, Mohamed Salah, is a player who has been linked with Saudi clubs in recent memory, with a £215 million bid having allegedly been made in September 2023. Teams in the region are likely going to try again, but whether the Reds will allow this to happen in January remains to be seen. The odds of it happening are 15/8, which suggests there could be a good chance of it happening, while punters can also consider Real Madrid (20/1) and Barcelona (33/1). The most likely scenario will be that the Egyptian remains at Anfield until the summer at the very least.
Could we see Lionel Messi on the move again? It is possible, although the GOAT has a deal that runs until 2025 with Inter Miami. A loan - if any move were to happen - would probably be the most likely scenario, as the MLS season will not start again until February. Still, it would be unlikely that the Florida side would let him go, or a team would be prepared to have him for just a month. Nonetheless, odds have been made available for him to move this January, with Barcelona (3/1), Inter Milan, Manchester City (both 20/1), and Arsenal (25/1) all listed as potential suitors.
The Napoli forward is perhaps one of the most-wanted strikers in world football in terms of form and prolificness in front of goal. Victor Osimhen’s relationship with his club has also been strained in recent months, too, which makes him a potential mover this January, especially as clubs want a striker with his ability. It is unsurprising Chelsea are the leaders in this market, with the Blues at 8/1 to make a deal happen this winter. Arsenal (10/1) and Saudi clubs (12/1) are also offered as potential destinations, but whether the Italian outfit wants to sell their prized asset is unlikely at this juncture.
It will be a surprise to see big moves happen
As stated, while it is not unheard of, January can be a difficult time for clubs to sign world-class players or those who have been impressing for the teams that they play for. No one wants to lose their best players halfway through a campaign, as it will only make achieving their goals harder to accomplish.
We can often see large transfer fees being splashed in the winter, and it would not be a surprise if we needed to see some very big sums of money being spent on the names above for any movement to happen.