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January Transfer Window: Everything you need to know

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, or maybe not.

Here is everything you need to know about the January transfer window 2024.

When does the January transfer window open?

There are several starting points depending on the country. They go something like this:

England, France, Germany, and Scotland – 1st January, 2024, midnight UK time.

Spain and Italy - 2nd January, 2024, midnight UK time

When does the January transfer window close? 

In England and Scotland, the transfer window will close on 1st February at 23:00 UK time, while in Germany the window shuts on the same day but at an earlier time of 17:00 UK time.

In Italy the window closes on 31st January at 19:00 UK time, while in Spain it is slightly later at 23:00 UK time.

France will also shut on 31st January although the time is not yet known.

How does the January transfer window work? 

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 normally 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. 

Because of this a premium is often added to prices set by the selling club 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. 

The Reds couldn't believe their luck when the Catalan giants opened the chequebook and promptly waved goodbye to their mercurial Brazilian. 

Liverpool invested the windfall wisely, bringing in Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson and Netherlands defender Virgil van Dijk.

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.

Barca, however, went downhill and are still staring into a financial abyss due to their reckless spending. Having flopped at Aston Villa, Coutinho recently joined Al-Duhail on a season-long loan from the Villans.

Van Dijk cost Liverpool around £75m when they snatched him from Southampton 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 last January, 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.

So what might happen this January? 

There are already plenty of transfer rumours swirling around ahead of the January window and one of those involves Arsenal, who spent big in the summer to bolster their squad.

Mikel Arteta is believed to be tracking Wolves winger Pedro Neto, who is contracted to the club until the summer of 2027 but is said to be keen on an exit.

Initial reports are suggesting Arsenal are weighing up a £50m offer for the Portugal international, who has scored nine Premier League goals since joining Wolves in 2019.

Another deal to watch out for is Manchester City's pursuit of Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze, who has become a star of the Premier League over the past season.

It is claimed the Citizens had a deadline-day offer worth around £60m rejected for the Englishman this summer, with the Eagles holding firm on their £80m valuation.

Switching over to the red side of Manchester and Jadon Sancho's future at Old Trafford remains up in the air after a late move to Saudi Arabia broke down this summer.

The England international finds himself down the pecking order for the Red Devils and, in a bid to raise cash in January, United may be willing to sanction an exit.

Another player struggling for game time is Tottenham midfielder Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, who has yet to start a league game under new manager Ange Postecoglou.

The Denmark international is willing to fight for his future at the club, although he may decide to move on should his playing time remain limited by the time we reach January.

Manchester United, Atletico Madrid and Fulham, who are expected to lose Joao Palhinha in January to Bayern Munich, are all rumoured to be interested.

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