The January transfer window is one week old and already in full swing with Aston Villa completing the loan signing of Philippe Coutinho from Barcelona on Friday. Outside of the Brazil international’s sensational Birmingham switch, there has been plenty of other business done which might well have gone unnoticed.
As always, we are here to catch you up on those elusive moves.
Trippier to Newcastle
The newly minted Magpies have started their Saudi-backed assault on the winter transfer window with the $16.25 million signing of Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid. The England international has signed a two-and-a-half-year deal at St James’ Park and is excited to link up with new boss Eddie Howe: “I really enjoyed my time in Madrid, but when I became aware of interest from Newcastle United, and having worked with Eddie Howe before, I knew this was where I wanted to be.”
Watford get Kamara and Samir
Sticking with the Premier League, fellow strugglers Watford have signed two new players with Hassane Kamara arriving from OGC Nice and Samir passing from fellow Pozzo family-owned club Udinese in Serie A. Kamara, an Ivory Coast international, has signed a contract until 2025 while Samir has signed on for the same period after nearly six years in Italy.
Kamara’s replacement in Nice is Jordan Amavi who has returned to his formative club on loan from Olympique de Marseille after falling out of favor under Jorge Sampaoli.
Maitland-Niles joins Mourinho
Moving to Italy now and AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho has been boosted by the arrival of Ainsley Maitland-Niles on loan until the end of the season. The Arsenal man moves to Stadio Olimpico with no option to buy after successfully completing his medical.
The Serie A strugglers live to fight another day after Danilo Iervolino bought the club minutes before their deadline expired which could have seen them booted from the league. SS Lazio owner Claudio Lotito was forced to sell the Granata and Iervolino from Naples is now the new owner after an $11.3 million takeover was approved.
“I will do everything to try to save Salernitana in Serie A,” he said. “I have always put great enthusiasm into every project I have undertaken, and it will happen in this football project too. I am in love with Salerno, I want to build an osmotic relationship with the city. I will focus on young players and on the growth of the club.”
Bentaleb is back
To France now and Angers SCO have registered the arrival of Nabil Bentaleb until 2025 after the Algeria international spent the past few months getting in shape with the Ligue 1 club. The ex-Schalke 04, Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United man is part of a plan which could see multiple players moved this month as the club seek to improve their financial situation.
Two such players are Paul Bernardoni and Sada Thioub who have joined rock bottom AS Saint-Etienne on loan. Les Verts are now led by Pascal Dupraz as they seek to avoid relegation which could hold the key to their future with a change in ownership stalling.
Chicago calls for Czichos
In Germany, FC Koln allowed vice-captain Rafael Czichos to leave for Major League Soccer outfit Chicago Fire with the 31-year-old signing a contract until 2024: “One of our key objectives for this offseason was to acquire a talented left-footed center back and we feel confident we have achieved that with Rafael’s signing,” said Fire Sporting Director Georg Heitz. “We identified Rafael as a player who will fit our style of play and bring more quality and leadership to our roster. We are thrilled that he has agreed to join the Fire and look forward to welcoming him to Chicago.”
Bordalas blasts Barca
Finally, Valencia CF boss Jose Bordalas has hit out at Barcelona’s sudden cash influx with Ferran Torres signed but unregistered as the Catalan giants’ business amid financial struggle continues to baffle most of us in the soccer world: “They have a debt of $339 million and have signed Torres for $62 million and they are going to sign (Alvaro) Morata. And the president says they will sign more players, even (Erling) Haaland. Where is the Financial Fair Play?”