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Transfer Talk: Man Utd prepping bid for Coutinho

Transfer Talk
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What does 2019 hold for stars like Ozil, Pogba, Pulisic and Hazard?

With Mesut Ozil reportedly missing out on Arsenal's trip to Liverpool, the FC crew assess his future at the club and the issue his wages present.
With reports Chelsea have bid for over €50 million Christian Pulisic, Craig Burley isn't sure it's the right move for the young American.

Generally, the new year brings hope and the promise of better days, but for these 11 stars, 2019 represents a crossroads of sorts. What does their future hold?

Mesut Ozil (MF, Arsenal)

Where does he stand? The year 2018 started so well for Ozil, with Arsenal surprisingly handing the German a lucrative contract extension until June 2021. But the year has ended badly, with Gunners coach Unai Emery repeatedly overlooking him. The low point was being left out of the squad for the Carabao Cup defeat against Tottenham for "tactical reasons" -- a clear sign that the 30-year-old has no future at the club.

What's next? Arsenal will listen to offers for Ozil in January, but his £300,000-a-week wages will mean there will be few takers.

Paul Pogba (MF, Manchester United)

Where does he stand? The Manchester United midfielder has the chance to resurrect his Old Trafford career under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after the breakdown of his relationship with Jose Mourinho. During his time as United's reserve-team coach, Solskjaer oversaw the teenage Pogba's development and is a big fan of the player. Juventus and Barcelona are both keen to sign the World Cup winner, but Mourinho's departure ruled out the prospect of January exit.

What next? United do not want to sell. Unless the new permanent coach wants him out, Pogba is likely to remain at Old Trafford in the long-term.

Christian Pulisic (FW, Borussia Dortmund)

Christian Pulisic looks on during Borussia Dortmund's Champions League match against Club Brugge.
Pulisic has enjoyed remarkable success since emerging at Dortmund, but a move to the Premier League could be on the cards.

Where does he stand? Borussia Dortmund are increasingly resigned to losing the U.S. international, with Chelsea considered favourites to sign the attacking midfielder. But with BVB riding high at the top of the Bundesliga and facing a Champions League round-of-16 date with Tottenham, the German club will be confident of retaining the 20-year-old until the end of the season. Ultimately, however, the money on offer from the Premier League will be too big to turn down.

What's next? Dortmund do not need to sell in January, but a move to England in the summer is the most likely outcome.

Eden Hazard (FW, Chelsea)

Where does he stand? Hazard enters the final 18 months of his contract with coach Maurizio Sarri pushing for the Belgian international to make a decision on his future. Hazard is rebuffing Chelsea's attempts to tie him to a new deal and has made no secret of his desire to play in Spain. Chelsea are already lining up Pulisic as a potential replacement.

What's next? Turning 28 in January, Hazard knows his next move is crucial and he is likely to reject a new deal at Chelsea and depart in the summer, with Real Madrid favourites to sign him.

Alexis Sanchez (FW, Manchester United)

Where does he stand? The Man United forward has endured a nightmare 2018, scoring just four goals in 30 appearances since arriving from Arsenal in January. Currently injured, Sanchez will regard the sacking of Mourinho as a positive development that could kickstart his United career. But he needs to make a quick impression under Solskjaer to avoid being offloaded at the end of the season.

What's next? The future is in Sanchez's hands. If he performs, his United future will be secure, but at 30, the club will seek to cut their losses next summer if he continues to disappoint.

Alvaro Morata (FW, Chelsea)

Where does he stand? The Chelsea striker has become a forgotten man under Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge, with the Italian coach favouring Olivier Giroud as the team's central striker (when he plays one). Morata has rarely been happy in English football and continues to struggle to justify his £60m transfer fee. With Chelsea in the hunt for a new striker, Morata's future at the club looks bleak.

What's next? If Chelsea can find a new striker in January, Morata could be loaned out or sold. But if he survives until the end of the season, a move to Spain or Italy is the most likely outcome.

Adrien Rabiot (MF, Paris Saint-Germain)

Where does he stand? Currently in dispute with PSG over his contractual situation, Rabiot has been told that he will not play for the team until he signs a new deal. The 23-year-old has insisted he will not do that, so the standoff is almost certain to result in the France midfielder's departure, with the player generating interest from a host of Europe's top clubs.

What's next? Rabiot could be available for a cut-price fee in January. Liverpool are among a pack of interested clubs, with Barcelona and Manchester United also possible escape routes.

Isco (MF, Real Madrid)

Where does he stand? The Spain international has been one of the big losers of the managerial upheaval at Real Madrid this year, falling out of favour under current coach Santi Solari. The former Malaga playmaker is making sporadic appearances and is reportedly growing frustrated by his lack of opportunities in a struggling Real team. Premier League interest is high in the 26-year-old.

What's next? Chelsea and Arsenal are both positioning themselves for a January move, and Real may favour a sale to clubs not currently in the Champions League rather than encouraging interest from Manchester City and Manchester United.

Christian Eriksen (MF, Tottenham)

Eriksen, right, hasn't yet committed to a new deal at Spurs, and while it's still likely he'll sign, now is the time for a massive move to one of Europe's top clubs.

Where does he stand? The playmaker will enter the final 18 months of his contract in January and has so far resisted attempts by the club to secure him to a new deal. The Denmark international turns 27 in January and is reaching the peak of his career in the knowledge that he could secure a move to any of Europe's top clubs in the summer, with Spurs needing to sell at the end of the season rather than risk losing him for nothing in the summer of 2020.

What's next? If Spurs fail to agree a new contract within the next six months, Eriksen will spark a major transfer scramble next summer involving all of Europe's biggest clubs.

Phil Foden (MF, Manchester City)

Where does he stand? Having signed a new five-and-a-half-year contract at City in November, Foden's long-term future is clearly destined to be at the Etihad Stadium, but 2019 promises to be a crucial year in the 18-year-old's development. Will he get the game time he needs under Pep Guardiola, or has the time come for a loan move to boost his experience and steepen his learning curve? A loan move to La Liga outfit Girona, part of the City Football Group, is one potential scenario.

What's next? Guardiola believes that the best route for Foden is to train with City's first-team squad and learn from them on a daily basis, so he will not leave in January. A loan move next season is possible, though.

Ousmane Dembele (FW, Barcelona)

Where does he stand? The young forward has struggled to acclimatise to life at the Nou Camp since his €145m transfer from Borussia Dortmund in Aug 2017 and has had ups and downs both on and off the pitch. At 21, Barca are prepared to persevere until he emerges from his difficulties, but he needs to raise his game over the next six months to avoid being considered for transfer next summer.

What's next? It will be a big year for the French forward, but Dembele and Barca know that big-money offers from England will emerge in the summer if he becomes available.

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