With the January transfer window open for business, Craig Fowler picks out a team of Scottish Premiership players who are attracting interest from far and wide
STUART ARMSTRONG (CELTIC)
The midfielder hasn’t quite been at the peak of his powers ever since the lengthy wrangle over his new contract spilled into the start of this season. The fact that he only committed to a one-year extension did little to quell speculation that he was already keen on a move down south. Brighton, Southampton, Swansea and West Brom were all linked with him in 2017. It will be interesting to see, in light of his dip in form, whether those clubs will see it as an opportunity to prise him away from Celtic, or if they have decided to pursue other targets.
MOUSSA DEMBELE (CELTIC)
Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Marseille, Liverpool, Real Madrid, Everton, Milan, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, Barcelona and Manchester United. All of these clubs have been linked with Dembele in the press since he burst on to the scene with that hat-trick in the 5-1 Old Firm derby demolition at Parkhead and his double against Manchester City in the Champions League. However, the leading contenders in this January window appear to be Brighton & Hove Albion. It is quite a step down from some of those mentioned above, but reflects the striker’s form since the initial six-month burst after joining from Fulham.
GREG DOCHERTY (HAMILTON)
Rangers are monitoring the Accies ace, who is a valuable presence at the heart of the Hamilton midfield as the perennial underdogs continue to defy the doubters in the top flight. His display in the 2-0 victory at Ibrox, the club’s first in the league at the famous ground since the 1920s, was particularly impressive. Having recently negotiated a new deal with the player running until 2020, it will take a significant six-figure offer to tempt Accies into selling.
WES FODERINGHAM (RANGERS)
Nottingham Forest were said to be chasing the player in the summer, and even though they may be out of the running after former Raners boss Mark Warburton was given the sack from the County Ground, there will be a few clubs south of the border who will be keen on the goalkeeper. Rangers fans should feel confident that he will stay beyond the end of this season, as he only recently signed a new deal until 2020. However, with Graeme Murty looking to rebuild the squad and Jak Alnwick a strong keeper in reserve, they might be tempted by a generous offer which they can then use to strengthen other areas of the team.
JORDAN JONES (KILMARNOCK)
The winger took his performances up another level earlier this season when he showed he was equally effective, arguably even more so, as a No 10 playing off the main striker. With interest from Burnley and Rangers appearing in the press, Kilmarnock fans fear the player is heading out of the door sooner rather than later. However, with a top six place to consolidate and Jones still under contract for another 18 months, it will take a good offer to tempt the club into selling.
JACK HENDRY (DUNDEE)
Along with team-mate Glen Kamara, Hendry has been one of the surprise stars of the 2017-18 season so far. Excellent in the air, he is equally proficient at playing, or even dribbling, the ball out from the back and is deceptively quick for a big defender. Celtic were said to have offered £500,000 for his services, but with Southampton and Newcastle also said to be monitoring his progress, Dundee want closer to triple that amount.
JOHN McGINN (HIBS)
McGinn can completely dominate a game of football from the centre of the park. He is a terrier out of possession, constantly hounding and snapping at the heels of opponents. Once he has retrieved the ball, he can drive through the heart of a defence with his strong running ability, ping a 40-yard pass on to the foot of an attacker moving in stride, or have a go himself from anywhere inside 25 yards. It’s no surprise that Celtic and West Ham United are linked with a bid for his signature. Hibs held firm when Nottingham Forest came calling last summer. It will be interesting to see if they do so again.
JOHN SOUTTAR (HEARTS)
Thankfully for Hearts fans, the promising defender has already rejected talk of him leaving in the January window as he sees his immediate future within Craig Levein’s Gorgie clean-sheet machine. However, that is unlikely to stop potential suitors from trying to turn his head over the course of this month. Derby County are one club who have already been linked with the centre-back and there are sure to be others. Playing alongside Christophe Berra, the ex-Dundee United man has been in great form this term. He has managed to largely iron out the mistakes in his game, allowing his quality to shine.
JAMES TAVERNIER (RANGERS)
Sunderland are said to be interested in the right-back, who is in his best run of form since Rangers entered the top flight and has arguably been the most outstanding player at his position in the Ladbrokes Premiership this term. There have been rumblings the 26-year-old would be open to a return south in the near future. While the club are in a position of strength, as his contract doesn’t expire until 2019, this window represents their best chance of getting maximum value from their asset.
KIERAN TIERNEY (CELTIC)
The rumour that Manchester United are interested in the young Scottish international refuses to go away. The latest claim is that Tierney is on a shortlist of left-back signing targets as the Old Trafford club consider a more economical move than spending more than £50million on either Tottenham’s Danny Rose or Brazilian left-back Alex Sandro of Juventus. What Celtic have going in their favour is Tierney’s love of all things green, white and hooped. He has previously said he would be content to spend his entire career with the club, and at still 20 years old he may be in no rush to leave any time soon.
JOSH WINDASS (RANGERS)
His club have already had to fend off a £500,000 bid for his services. That came from Preston North End just a couple of days before the transfer window opened, and there are sure to be other clubs eyeing the midfielder. Just last Friday there were unconfirmed reports that Sheffield United had a similar bid knocked back. In the summer Rangers probably would have jumped at half a million in return for Windass, but he has really stepped up his performances this season. In terms of combined goals and assists, he is currently joint-third in the Ladbrokes Premiership with ten.
- An earlier version of this article said Jordan Jones was out of contract at the end of the season. He is, in fact, contracted until 2019.