Transfer roundup: With Sanchez-to-United done, all eyes turn to Aubameyang and Dzeko

FC Yahoo
Roma’s <a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/players/edin-dzeko/" data-ylk="slk:Edin Dzeko">Edin Dzeko</a> could be heading back to the Premier League. (Getty)
Roma’s Edin Dzeko could be heading back to the Premier League. (Getty)

Welcome to FC Yahoo‘s daily transfer roundup, where we’ll dissect the January market, assess the credibility of gossip, and discuss the likelihood that deals come to pass. Every day, we’ll split the various links between players and clubs into four categories to sift through the BS and direct your attention to the reports that deserve it.

Here’s the transfer roundup for Monday, Jan. 22:

MONDAY’S DONE DEALS

Alexis Sanchez | Arsenal —> Manchester United
Henrikh Mkhitaryan | Manchester United —> Arsenal — It’s done. Finally. It’s a straight swap, no transfer fee. Sanchez will reportedly become the highest-paid player in Premier League history. He also could make or break the Jose Mourinho era at United.

Rafinha | Barcelona —> Inter Milan — It’s officially a loan with an option to buy for $42.9 million, potentially rising to $46.6 million based on incentives. Inter will have to decide whether to trigger the purchase clause before the end of the season.

It’s also an intriguing opportunity for a player who has been hampered by injuries, but who possesses exceptional natural ability. The 24-year-old Brazilian was – like his older brother, Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara – once one of the top prospects in Barcelona’s youth system. They’ve now both gone their separate ways, both at club and international levels. Thiago has found success with both Bayern and the Spanish national team. The Inter move is an opportunity for Rafinha to kickstart his career at club level, and also potentially with Brazil.

REPORTS

Edin Dzeko, Emerson Palmieri | Roma —> Chelsea — Several reports late Monday suggest the Blues are closing in on a double deal that would bring both the Bosnian striker and Brazilian-Italian left back to Stamford Bridge. Some reports suggest a fee of around $61.4 million has been agreed for the pair. Others suggest the two sides are still haggling over the final price and bonuses.

There are also conflicting reports about whether Michy Batshuayi would head to Roma in the deal.

We’d expect more news on this deal Tuesday or Wednesday.

CHATTER

All eyes turn to Auba — The 2018 January transfer window has not only been unusually active. It has also followed a convenient pattern. One big move happens. One saga is resolved. And its resolution allows the market to collectively move onto the next big saga. Van Dijk gave way to Coutinho. Coutinho gave way to Sanchez. And now Sanchez gives way to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Aubameyang has been intermittently at odds with Dortmund for some time now – so long that his price, despite market inflation, has held relatively steady. He’s 28 years old and pace-dependent, so with every passing transfer window, the prospect of buying him makes Europe’s biggest clubs more and more queasy.

Arsenal finally looks set to pull the trigger. CEO Ivan Gazidis and new head of recruitment Sven Mislintat were photographed in Dortmund on Monday, and they’re presumably there to negotiate an Aubameyang deal. BVB reportedly wants $73.6 million. Arsenal would prefer to pay less. A separate report, from German outlet Kicker, says a loan move for Olivier Giroud could be used as a makeweight. And the Mirror says Dortmund will only allow Aubameyang to leave if it gets Arsenal’s French striker in return.

It’s unclear how close the two clubs are to an agreement, or whether Aubameyang has agreed terms with Arsenal. This could be concluded by the end of the week. It could also go all the way to the deadline. Either way, it’s likely the situation that will feature in this column every day until it’s a done deal – or until Jan. 31, if Arsenal stays stingy.

Kepa Arrizabalaga signs new Athletic Bilbao deal — Once seemingly inches away from his dream move to Real Madrid, Kepa has now quashed uncertainty – at least for now – by putting pen to paper on a six-and-a-half-year deal with a $98.1 million release clause.

Chelsea in the hunt for a striker, but … — Eden Hazard says the club doesn’t need one. “We have two very good strikers in Alvaro [Morata] and Michy [Batshuayi]. If they are not ready to play, I can play striker, so I don’t think we need [another one]. Because we are missing chances, people are saying we need another striker, but if we are scoring goals, we are the best attack in the league and no-one can say we need a striker.”

*Whispers* He’s probably right.

RUMORS

Boubakary Soumare | Lille —> Manchester City — Lille is reportedly looking to sell its prized young midfielder for Financial Fair Play reasons. City reportedly could come in for him in January, then loan him back to the French club for the rest of the season. Sky Sports says Lille values the 18-year-old Frenchman at around $49 million

Matthijs de Ligt | Ajax —> Bayern MunichPer Dutch outlet AD, Bayern is in for the 18-year-old Dutch center back.

Leander Dendoncker | Anderlecht —> West Ham — West Ham continues to scout him. No update on any concrete offers, though.

JANUARY’S TOP DONE DEALS

(Chronological order)

Rafinha | Barcelona —> Inter Milan (loan)
Alexis Sanchez | Arsenal —> Manchester United (swap)
Henrikh Mkhitaryan | Manchester United —> Arsenal (swap)
Leon Goretzka | Schalke —> Bayern Munich (summer, free)

Jurgen Locadia | PSV Eindhoven —> Brighton (19.5 million)
Ezequiel Barco | Independiente —> Atlanta United ($15 million)
Robin van Persie | Fenerbahce —> Feyenoord (free)
Kostas Stafylidis | Augsburg —> Stoke City (loan)
Cedric Bakambu | Villarreal —> Beijing Guoan ($49 million)
Theo Walcott | Arsenal —> Everton ($27.6 million)
Martin Hongla | Grenada —> Barcelona (loan) 
Lisandro Lopez | Benfica —> Inter Milan (loan)
Manuel Akanji | FC Basel —> Borussia Dortmund ($27 million)
Alex Pritchard | Norwich City —> Huddersfield Town ($16.6 million)
Yerry Mina | Palmeiras —> Barcelona ($14.2 million)
Francis Coquelin | Arsenal —> Valencia ($14.4 million)
Fousseni Diabate | Gazélec Ajaccio —> Leicester City ($4.8 million)
Renato Steffen | FC Basel —> Wolfsburg ($2 million)
Mark Uth | Hoffenheim —> Schalke (summer, free)
Moritz Bauer | Rubin Kazan —> Stoke City ($6.8 million)
Georges-Kevin Nkoudou | Tottenham —> Burnley (loan)
Kevin Mirallas | Everton —> Olympiacos (loan)
Philippe Coutinho | Liverpool —> Barcelona ($192.5 million)
Cenk Tosun | Besiktas —> Everton ($36.5 million)
Wesley Sneijder | Nice —> Al-Gharafa (undisclosed)
Ross Barkley | Everton —> Chelsea ($20.3 million)
Marko Pjaca | Juventus —> Schalke (loan)
Konstantinos Mavropanos | PAS Giannina —> Arsenal ($2.4 million)

Terence Kongolo | Monaco —> Huddersfield Town (loan)

Virgil van Dijk | Southampton —> Liverpool ($101.4 million)
Diego Costa | Chelsea —> Atletico Madrid (€71.5 million)
Adrien Silva | Sporting CP —> Leicester City ($29.8 million)

Previous rumor roundups: Jan. 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19

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Henry Bushnell covers global soccer, and occasionally other ball games, for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Question? Comment? Email him at henrydbushnell@gmail.com or follow him on Twitter @HenryBushnell.

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