Manchester United and Liverpool could both delve into the transfer market in January as they look to bolster their squads for the second half of the season. The Premier League giants, who played out a goalless draw at Anfield earlier this month, have both been prolific in the January transfer window in years gone by. And Express Sport takes a look at five of the best January transfers in history, including Liverpool’s capture of Virgil van Dijk and United’s signing of Bruno Fernandes.
Virgil van Dijk
Perhaps the greatest piece of January transfer business came in 2018 when Liverpool snapped up Van Dijk from Southampton in a £75million deal. The fee was the biggest in history for a defender at the time but ended up being an absolute bargain as the Netherlands international proved to be a catalyst for the Reds’ success under Jurgen Klopp.
Van Dijk starred after moving to Anfield as he kept opposition strikers at bay. And the centre-back helped Liverpool win the Champions League and Club World Cup in 2019 ahead of their first Premier League title in 2020. The 32-year-old was also instrumental as his side won the League Cup and FA Cup double in 2022.
Liverpool have form when it comes to picking gems in the winter. And their acquisition of Luis Suarez under Sir Kenny Daglish in January 2011 for less than £23m proved to be another stroke of genius, with the Uruguayan going on to bang in 82 goals in 133 appearances for the Merseysiders.
During the 2013/14 campaign, Suarez was virtually unplayable as he bagged 31 goals and 17 assists in the Premier League as the Reds came within two points of clinching the title. The striker then went on to win the Champions League after signing for Barcelona.
Sir Alex Ferguson got his hands on the perfect defensive enforcer at the start of 2006 when he prised Nemanja Vidic away from Spartak Moscow for around £7m. The Serbian took to the Premier League like duck to water as he went toe-to-toe with a string of top strikers and came out on top more often than not.
Vidic is one of the greatest centre-backs to ever grace English football and won five Premier League titles, the Champions League, the Club World Cup and three League Cups during his time at Old Trafford.
Bruno Fernades was another player who joined United during the January transfer window after the club stumped up an initial £47m to land him. The Portugal international moved to the north west from Sporting at the start of 2020 when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was at the helm and proceeded to rack up 12 goals and eight assists in 22 games before the season had ended. He has won the League Cup during his time at Old Trafford and now captains the side. And he has contributed 69 goals and 59 assists in 208 appearances for the team.
Chelsea should also receive huge credit for their capture of Branislav Ivanovic from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008 for around £10.5m. The former right-back had all the traits to succeed in England and was outstanding for the Blues. He went on to play an influential role as the west Londoners won three Premier League titles, the Champions League, the Europa League, three FA Cups and one League Cup.