The five best January transfer deals
Premier League clubs have not held back in the January sales.
The winter transfer window will close at 11pm on Wednesday January 31.
Premier League clubs have been busy spending big in the market, with the record outlay of £225million in January 2011 already broken.
There could be some more late drama ahead of the deadline, and here, Press Association Sport takes a look at five of the best deals done so far:
Aymeric Laporte (Manchester City, £57million)
City may already have a commanding lead at the top of the Premier League table, but that has not stopped Pep Guardiola further strengthening the squad.
While the expected deal to bring in Alexis Sanchez never materialised, City shelled out a club-record fee to sign 23-year-old centre-back Laporte from Athletic Bilbao.
“It means a lot that the club have shown faith in me and I am excited to get started,” the Frenchman said.
Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United, Player Swap Deal)
Sanchez did, of course, end up in Manchester – just not the half everyone had thought.
It was something of a coup for Jose Mourinho to snatch the Chile forward from under the noses of the noisy neighbours, albeit an expensive one in terms of the player’s reported wages said to be in the region of some £500,000 per week.
United’s innovative announcement of the mega-deal certainly hit the right note with supporters, who will expect Sanchez to now deliver an instant return.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal, Player Swap Deal)
Mkhitaryan described his move in the opposite direction to join up with the Gunners as a “dream come true” – although probably not widely anticipated before the Sanchez swap deal snowballed.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger had, though, long been a fan of the Armenian, who was on his wanted list before instead opting to join United from Borussia Dortmund just last summer.
Mkhitaryan, whose own wage deal is suggested to be around a cool £180,000-per-week, will inject a fresh impetus into the Gunners’ stop-start campaign – and one which could yet see him reunited with former Dortmund team-mate Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the Emirates Stadium come February 1.
Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool, £75million)
The biggest domestic deal of the January transfer window so far was announced shortly after Christmas.
Dutch centre-back van Dijk became the most expensive defender in the world when he finally got his own wish granted as Southampton finally sanctioned a switch to Liverpool.
Van Dijk promptly earned himself instant cult status with the winning goal on his debut against Everton in their FA Cup tie.
Liverpool also managed to swiftly recoup their hefty transfer outlay when Philippe Coutinho was sold to Barcelona – wonder who saw that one coming?
Daniel Sturridge (West Brom, Loan)
The Baggies may just have pulled off the coup of the January window in acquiring the services of Sturridge on loan from Liverpool.
With his team embroiled in a relegation battle, head coach Alan Pardew hopes the England forward – hungry for goals in World Cup year – will prove a big hit.
“He has already done a couple of things to make you go, ‘Oooh’ in a good way,” said Pardew.