Transfer windows remain open in other countries, but Turkey looks the most appealing option to Sancho, Thiago and other big names looking for a way out.
Here are five for starters…
Sancho chose a really bad time to p*ss off Erik ten Hag. The Manchester United winger was dropped and called out by his manager less than 48 hours after the transfer window closed across Europe’s biggest leagues.
Despite his inconsistent work ethic, if the manager is to be believed, there would doubtless have been interest from abroad. Borussia Dortmund were said to be keen, and given they know him better than most, it’s something of an endorsement amid lots of conjecture over Sancho’s attitude.
But here we are, a week and a half on from Sancho calling his manager a liar, and still the winger is going through the motions at Carrington. Ten Hag hoped a public rebuke – a very mild one at that – might inspire the player to pull his finger out. That theory was debunked inside an hour.
If there is no way back, which seems the most likely outcome in the short-term, then Sancho might as well get away – and United ought to be keen to park him elsewhere. Often in the past the Red Devils have retained players who don’t want to be there and who aren’t wanted because they’re weird like that. But Sancho’s agent really should be tapping up his Turkey contacts to get his client playing and, hopefully, help him rediscover his mojo away from the Old Trafford pressure cooker.
There doesn’t seem to have been a bust-up between Dier and Ange Postecoglou. But the manager has made it very clear, through his actions more than his words, that he doesn’t want the defender.
Dier has yet to feature in a matchday squad under Postecoglou, yet he remained at Tottenham beyond the end of the Premier League window. There was talk of interest from Burnley but a loan served no use for Spurs.
The difference between Dier and Sergio Reguilon, who was lent to Manchester United fee-free, is that the Spanish defender has a couple of years remaining on his deal. Dier’s contract expires at the end of the season.
Still, it would seem to make more sense to get Dier out of the door now to at least drum up some possible interest in January, albeit for a nominal fee.
The Spaniard remains the only senior midfielder left from last season at Liverpool after Jurgen Klopp’s engine room refit. But Thiago still looks set to be squeezed out.
Unsurprisingly, Thiago is currently injured. He’s on the road to a return but that seems to be where he has spent most of his time since arriving from Bayern Munich in 2020. During his three-year career at Anfield, he’s been ruled out of 66 games.
When he does get himself fit, Thiago will find the path to the first team similarly tough to navigate. Klopp has signed four new midfielders and the manager clearly trusts Curtis Jones and Stefan Bajcetic to deputise.
Which leaves Thiago at a crossroads. With a year remaining on his contract, is he happy to watch from the sidelines with the odd cameo? Or would he rather go elsewhere and search for some rhythm before possibly having his pick of clubs next summer?
Donny van de Beek
Only the coldest of hearts wouldn’t feel for Donny. After making the big move to Manchester United in 2020, he has encountered three managers who evidently don’t rate him, including the one who sold him to the Red Devils.
Just as he might have been making some progress in Ten Hag’s eyes last season, his body let him down. Van de Beek missed the second half of the campaign with a knee injury, which he has now overcome. But still he can’t get in Ten Hag’s squad.
Donny needs to get away, that much we know. He had a move agreed with Real Sociedad in the summer before United scuppered that with their self-sabotaging demands, and that was the switch the midfielder wanted since it offered the chance to play Champions League football.
Van de Beek, perhaps, ought to lower his sights and focus on playing any kind of football. There was interest in the summer from Galatasaray but nothing came of it. Van de Beek also turned his nose up at Lorient early in the window, and when he shifted that stance in the last hours before the deadline, the French side told him him to stick it. It is surely time now to try and charm whichever Turkish sides might take him.
As a sign of how much Gomes perhaps needs a move to Turkey, we had forgotten he was still at Everton before trawling for subjects for this feature.
Gomes was away from Goodison last season at Lille. The French side fancied a more permanent arrangement with the Portuguese midfielder but Everton didn’t like the terms. So, instead, they are stuck with a £110,000-a-week player kicking his heels.
Mercifully for the Toffees and Gomes, Fenerbahce might be willing to offer both a way out and Trabzonspor are also said to be sniffing.
Even if it is only a loan, during which only part of the 30-year-old’s salary is covered, surely it makes sense for all parties to get a deal done?