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The January transfer window is just around the corner and teams are already working hard to identify potential signings.
One player who could be on the move is Manchester City winger-turned-defender Oleksandr Zinchenko. Has been confirmed 90min that City is open to offers for the Ukraine international, who has fallen into the hierarchical order of Pep Guardiola.
Let’s take a look at who’s in the running to sign Zinchenko.
Finding a new left-back is high on the to-do list of West Ham manager David Moyes, who recently lost Arthur Masuaku to a knee injury.
However, any new signing will likely have to play a supporting role against Aaron Cresswell, who has quietly been one of the Hammers’ best players this year. His place on the team is not threatened, and West Ham will not want to pay a high price for someone to come in and act as a cover.
A loan would make more sense, but City might not be as interested, while Zinchenko himself might not enjoy the opportunity to sit on a different bench for the rest of the season.
Probability index: 2/10
Like West Ham, Southampton is more concerned with finding additional coverage as a left back in January, but the Saints will be a little more open to a permanent deal.
Ryan Bertrand, 31, is Ralph Hasenhuttl’s undisputed starter, but there are concerns about the lack of depth behind him and the lack of plans for the future.
A move for Zinchenko, who is seven years younger than Bertrand, would make some sense, but the Saints are likely to find short-term cover elsewhere for much cheaper.
Probability index: 4/10
Leicester’s move for Zinchenko would likely hinge on whether Brendan Rodgers really sees a future for Luke Thomas, 20, at King Power Stadium.
Thomas signed a new long-term contract in the summer as a sign of the club’s commitment to the youngster, but he still has a little learning to do and has found himself on the sidelines for most of this season.
Christian Fuchs is still doing well, but he’s 34 and clearly nearing the end of his career, so a new long-term option must be found soon. If the feeling is that Thomas needs more time, a move for Zinchenko might make sense.
Probability index: 6/10
Napoli’s search for a new left-back has not been subtle. They have been linked with a host of names since the summer, and Zinchenko is one of the options under consideration.
Both Mario Rui and Faouzi Ghoulam are out of favor with Gennaro Gattuso, who has often preferred playing Elseid Hsyaj out of position rather than playing as a natural left back.
However, after spending cash on Victor Osimhen over the summer, Napoli would also prefer a loan from Zinchenko. It’s not out of the question, but there are better options.
Probability index: 7/10
Wolves and Zinchenko almost feel like a match made in heaven.
Nuno Espirito Santo prefers to operate with attack-minded wingers, and that describes Zinchenko perfectly. He’s not the best defender, but in the Wolves’ system, he shouldn’t be.
An advanced role would bring out the best in Zinchenko, who was shattered in Ukraine and Russia as an attacking midfielder.
With Jonny Otto injured, Marcal nearly 32 and Rayan Ait-Nouri alone at Molineux on loan, it’s not hard to see Nuno splash out on a new left back.
Probability index: 9/10
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