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January Transfer Window: Start date, end date, biggest moves, completed deals

January is a miserable month, Christmas is done, and there is generally little to look forward to for a while... but, thankfully, we have the January transfer window to keep us occupied on the dark and cold evenings.

Your team is in the doldrums and the only glimmer of light is that there might be a new centre forward or trailblazing midfielder coming your way to brighten up the next few weeks.

The period also provides those pushing for Europe, or even silverware, with the chance to boost their options and as such, their hopes of glory.

Here is everything you need to know about the January transfer window.

January transfer window start date

The next January transfer window is due to start across Europe on 1st January, 2025, midnight UK time.

January transfer window end date 

In England and Scotland, the 2025 transfer window is expected to close on Friday, 31st January, at 23:00 UK time.


January transfer window structure

A transfer window allows football clubs to buy and sell players during set periods of time each year. 

The main one happens over the summer and usually lasts for around two-and-a-half months, normally starting on 1st June and closing just before the following campaign begins or early in it. 

Most clubs wait until this time to do their business as there is better value to be had and more time to structure deals. 

There is also a winter window, beginning at the start of January and lasting only a month. That means it can often be a frantic period with clubs looking to replace injured players or those performing below expectations. 

This often results in inflated prices and generally leads to less deals being done, particularly by the big clubs.

Biggest January deals

As mentioned above, the big clubs often steer clear of January wheeling and dealing as fees are often bumped up due to the situation. 

For example, clubs may be aware that a rival is desperate for a new goalkeeper so they hike up the price when a buyer comes knocking. 

However, deals do get done and there have been some whoppers in recent years. 

The biggest of the lot is Philippe Coutinho's £140m switch from Liverpool to Barcelona in 2018. 

Liverpool invested the windfall wisely, bringing in Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk from Southampton.

It was money well spent by Liverpool, who went on to win the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Club World Cup and EFL Cup in the following years.

Van Dijk cost Liverpool around £75m when they snatched him from St Mary's on 1st January, 2018.

That had put him second on the list of most expensive January transfers, just ahead of Dusan Vlahovic who moved to Juventus from Sampdoria in January 2022, but Chelsea's business in 2023 has changed the list.

The Blues shelled out a then club-record £106.8m to sign Enzo Fernandez from Benfica after being impressed by his performances for Argentina at the World Cup in Qatar.

It hasn't quite gone to plan for the midfielder, who struggled to adapt to the Premier League at first, but he has shown patches of good form this season and appears to be improving under Mauricio Pochettino.

Chelsea also appear fifth on the list with their signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk from Shakhtar Donetsk in the same window as Fernandez, the club agreeing a deal worth a potential £89m. 

Completed January 2024 moves

It was a pretty quiet January window in 2024, with many of Europe’s top-flight clubs keeping their powder dry as they maintain a close eye on FFP regulations. 

It was Barcelona who made the most expensive addition of the month, paying £25million to sign teenage forward Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense, with over £25m extra in potential add-ons. 

Bayern Munich also splashed out £25million on Galatasaray defender Sacha Boey, while Tottenham completed the biggest Premier League transfer of the month. 

Spurs paid £21.5m – plus add-ons – to Genoa for Romanian centre-back Radu Dragusin. 

Crystal Palace meanwhile, made Blackburn’s Adam Wharton their fifth most expensive signing, after securing the midfielder’s services for £18million. 

The other major Premier League additions were all loan deals, with Tottenham also bringing in Timo Werner from RB Leipzig, 

Kalvin Phillips made the temporary switch from Manchester City to West Ham, while Jadon Sancho headed back to Borussia Dortmund. 

Elsewhere, England international Eric Dier joined Bayern Munich until the end of the season, while Fulham secured the deadline-day loan capture of striker Armando Broja from Chelsea.

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