As deadline day draws nearer for managers across Europe's top 5 leagues speculation regarding certain players inevitably grows among the press. While rumours are often fabricated, here we look at a few individuals tipped with moves to the Premier League where interest seems concrete.
Up to now it's fair to say the transfer window has been quiet in England but there are a few clubs to have been active that seem keen to add to their squads further, be it in an attempt to stave off relegation or secure European football next season.
The players here are linked to such clubs, and we start with a centre-back strongly touted with a move to Newcastle as the Magpies look to continue their French invasion.
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Montpellier)
The fact that Fabricio Coloccini's apparent desire to return to his native Argentina has perhaps reignited Newcastle's interest in Montpellier's Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. The 23 year old has been linked with a move to the North East in the past, though suitors have also included the likes of AC Milan and, more recently, Arsenal.
Already a fully-fledged French international, Yanga-Mbiwa is seemingly on the verge of a move for less than £7m, which, in today's climate, seems somewhat of a snip. Tipped to become a regular starter for France under Didier Deschamps, the defender played a key role in Montpellier's shock Ligue 1 success last year.
While his side have had real problems in maintaining their form following the loss of marksman Olivier Giroud, Yanga-Mbiwa has made further strides in the current campaign. His WhoScored rating is the 6th best in all of Ligue 1 (7.36) and improvements in a number of key statistics would make the centre-half an extremely shrewd signing for Alan Pardew, and the latest of many from France's top flight.
The Montpellier man ranks among the top 20 in Ligue 1 for interceptions (45) and clearances (124) while his ability on the ball means that he has acted as cover both at full-back and as a defensive midfielder in the past. The most surprising statistic here has seen the Frenchman average 1.3 successful dribbles per game this season - significantly more than any other centre-back in the league and only behind fellow Magpies target Massiado Haidara of all defenders in the division.
When comparing his figures to the aforementioned Coloccini, his averages for both interceptions (2.8 to 1.9) and clearances (7.8 to 6.4) are better than the Argentine. His aerial success rate of 70.6% is far superior to the Newcastle captain's lowly 44.9% and all of said statistics are equal to or improvements on his own numbers from the previous campaign.
While the Argentina international's departure would hit the fans hard they should take solace in the fact that a more than capable replacement is being lined up.
Yann M'Vila (Rennes)
It's fair to say that Rennes midfielder Yann M'Vila's development has been a little stunted following an incident outside of football with the international team. The 22 year old picked up a two-year ban from the national set-up following a night on the town whilst on under-21 duty, and his attitude has been questioned in the past.
Having looked set to snub Premier League suitors for the riches of Rubin Kazan, a transfer embargo placed upon the Russian outfit means any move could not be completed in this window. In turn a move to QPR seems more likely once again, though links to Arsenal also persist. An apparent willingness to make the move to Russia may, however, be enough to convince the Hoops' fans that M'Vila may be another player that lacks the loyalty they desire, but his ability isn't in doubt.
While any progress has been non-existent this term, the youngsters performances in the previous campaign were enough to earn him regular call-ups with Les Bleus senior side, with M'Vila often touted as the most promising of an impressive batch of defensive midfielders to come out of France. While his pass accuracy has improved slightly this season (85.5% to 83.2%), figures in other key departments have dropped as speculation about his future has mounted, leading to his place in the Rennes side coming under threat.
In the 2011/12 campaign his WhoScored rating of 7.07 was enough to seem him rank among Ligue 1's top 10 players and his figures were extremely impressive elsewhere. His total pass count of 2730 was almost a full 500 more than any other player in the division while a tally of 3191 touches gave him almost as comprehensive a lead over second placed Eden Hazard. A total of 117 tackles saw him rank 4th, while 94 interceptions also placed him in the top 10.
Whether M'Vila were to end up in a basement battle or a Champions League challenge one feels that his ability would come in handy at either end of the table.
Philippe Coutinho (Inter)
An apparent formal offer from Liverpool for Inter trickster Coutinho may well have been rejected but it is unlikely to be the last time we hear the Brazilian's name between now and the end of January. The youngster's agent's claims of earlier links to Aston Villa look likely to have been an opportunity to make the 20 year old's potential availability aware to stronger sides and interest from the Reds is intriguing.
Primarily used as a wide forward, any such move would have seemed in keeping with Brendan Rodgers' plans, but since Daniel Sturridge's arrival it looks unlikely that Coutinho would fit into anything other than a variation of a 4-3-3 formation. In turn that would probably see the former Chelsea man forced wide were he to start, and that was something he didn’t take kindly to at the Bridge.
The Inter man's skill on the ball is frightening at times and his ability to come up with the spectacular was shown during a loan spell with Espnayol last season. Nevertheless, impressive Europa League displays in the current campaign don't seem to have caught the eye of Andrea Stramaccioni enough to convince the young coach that Coutinho must be kept, and a deal seems far from off the cards.
While he has only started 3 league games this season, his 5 Europa League appearances have brought about some stand out statistics. With confidence clearly not an issue, his solitary goal in the tournament comes having only taken fewer shots than seven other players (18), while his tally of 22 successful dribbles is a Europa League high.
When Coutinho joined Espnayol at the end of the previous January transfer window the team were in 5th place and on course for a Europa League finish. Although a dismal end to the season saw the club fall way off the pace a bright spark in the second half of their campaign was the Brazilian. With 5 goals in his 16 league appearances, including a couple of wonder strikes, he showed enough to suggest that he is not just a luxury item, though his talent on the ball will long see him labelled as such.
If Liverpool can get Inter's valuation below double figures for the 20 year old there would be few more exciting additions to the Premier League than Coutinho.