10 Ligue 1 players who could move in January
Ligue 1 is known as a breeding ground for talent, with many of Europe’s biggest clubs scouring France’s elite sides for the next big things.
Although French football has been hit by financial turbulence caused by the collapse of a major television deal last season plus the Covid-19 pandemic, that well of talent remains and is ripe to be exploited.
Furthermore, Paris Saint-Germain have a bloated squad and will seek to offload some notable stars, making the January window a potentially interesting one around the country.
Here are 10 of the highest profile players who could depart:
One of the principle victims of the arrival of Lionel Messi on a free transfer in August, Mauro Icardi has not taken his chances when presented to him this season. Signed from Inter for around €60 million little over a year ago, the Argentine could soon be on his way to a new club – although PSG would likely have to accept a cut-price deal.
Another one of PSG’s Argentine clan who could be on his way. Paredes has blown hot and cold during his time at Parc des Princes but has largely been disappointing. There would be few tears shed among the supporters if he were to depart.
Reborn in Lille after wretched spells with Swansea and Bayern Munich seemed to have absolutely derailed his career. Sanches appreciates what the Ligue 1 club has done for him to rebuild, but he is seeking a new challenge and there are no shortage of attractive links. Liverpool, Barcelona and Arsenal have all been mentioned in dispatches.
When Botman arrived from Ajax little over a year ago, few would have expected him to have had the impact he has managed in France. He has excelled in Ligue 1 and it is a thing of wonder that he has yet to earn a Netherlands cap. Newcastle and Liverpool have been linked with the young centre-back, whose future could be tied to Lille’s Champions League fortunes.
The other major Lille star who could fly the nest in January is the red-hot Canadian. His stock his high after an exceptional start to the Ligue 1 season, in which he has already found the net 11 times – more than anyone else. Clubs in need of firepower, most notably Arsenal, are examining the prospect of signing him.
Marseille’s 22-year-old defensive midfielder Boubacar Kamara is out of contract in June and, with talks to re-sign him having hit a decisive impasse, it could well be time for OM to sell up in January. A large fee would be surprising given the situation, but interest from big clubs would not. Manchester United have been linked with him in the past.
The breakthrough star in Ligue 1 this season has been 19-year-old Reims striker Hugo Ekitike, who has netted seven goals in 16 matches. He has shown tremendous promise and a strong all-around game, which may tempt a club to gamble on his services, possibly sweetened by an immediate loan deal back to the Champagne club.
Cultured midfielder Romain Faivre appeared set to join Milan in the summer only for the move to break down at the last moment, much to the player’s upset. Made a sticky start to the season after that but has responded well and has led Brest to a club-record six successive top flight victories.
Angers playmaker Angelo Fulgini is a player who has caught the eye this season with his creativity and his execution. The 25-year-old has been part of an exciting start to the season for Angers, and unless they were offered a hefty fee, they are unlikely to part with one of their keystone players.
Randal Kolo Muani
Former France U21 forward Randal Kolo Muani has gradually built up his reputation over the course of the last yea and, having just turned 23, will no doubt be eager to push his career to the next level. With four goals and three assists in 16 Ligue 1 games, his progress has not gone unnoticed by middle- and lower-ranking Premier League clubs.