PSG celebrates goal at Parc des Princes (Paris)

The January transfer window is set to open on Saturday, January 1st, and will close on the last day of the month, although the deadlines vary by individual country.

Although not as busy as the summer period, it still represents the opportunity for clubs to strengthen their squads, to cover for injuries or absentees, with the staging of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) occurring at the same time, meaning that some teams will need reinforcements to cover absentees.

And, for some of the bigger clubs, it is a chance to arrange loan moves for young players or those out of favor, giving them valuable playing time elsewhere.

Historically, January does not see major players leave clubs because teams are usually unlikely to want to sell key members of their squads to rivals when are still challenging for league or cup success in the season.

That does not necessarily mean that there are no bargains to be had, but they may be harder to find than in the summer.

Some believe that transfers are always a matter of hit and miss anyway and are a bit like playing in an online casino such as those listed in listed here.

According to that worldview, there is no telling how a player will adapt to a new team or environment, no matter how closely he has been scouted.

Others will argue that football nowadays is a much more data-driven sport and that all major clubs have teams of analysts who have compiled a wealth of statistics on a potential transfer target before any approach is made for them.

One factor that may motivate clubs wanting to sell players is when they have players who are in the final year of their current deals. Industry practice is for all contracts to finish at the end of a season, and players whose deals end then can walk away from their present clubs for free.

To avoid this scenario, some clubs may want to sell them in January, in order to gain at least an element of value from them whilst they still can.

One fascinating element of the January window this time will be seeing what Newcastle United is able to accomplish.

In October, their controversial takeover by a consortium backed by the Saudi Private Investment Fund (PIF) was finally approved, potentially transforming them overnight into the richest clubs in the world.

It means that, within a few short years, they have the potential to be challenging for all the major honors, both domestically and in European football, but, short-term, they have a more immediate challenge.

The club is currently facing relegation and top players may not want to move to the North-East of England if that means they could be playing in the second tier of English football next season.

And that is especially true because 2022 is a World Cup year. Anybody hoping to be part of the national squads in Qatar next year will want to be playing regularly for their clubs I one of the top leagues in Europe.

It is just one of the sub-plots in what should be an interesting month.