January transfer window: Are there still moves on the board for African players?

Ivory Coast's Sebastien Haller has been the move of the window so far, surprisingly. He moved from West Ham to Ajax, and immediately got on the scoresheet. ANP OLAF KRAAK

As we enter the final week of the January transfer window, ESPN runs through the continent's big movers so far, and explore the rumours that could still get over the line before the window slams shut at the start of next month.

Teams in Europe's major leagues will have until 11pm GMT on February 1 to get their deals done, which means time is fast running out for any of Africa's would-be movers to switch clubs in time for the second half of the campaign.

Which are the biggest deals so far?

African players have dominated the biggest moves during this window, with three of the four highest fees coming in deals involving the continent's stars.

The most expensive deal came -- perhaps surprisingly -- from Ajax, with the Dutch giants shelling out £20.25 million to sign Sebastien Haller from West Ham United.

It's an inversion of the typical flow of talent and money from these two divisions, with the Hammers crystallising a £24.75 million loss on a player they signed for £45 million from Eintracht Frankfurt only 18 months ago.

David Moyes had clearly decided that the Ivory Coast international -- who scored 10 in 48 league games for the Irons -- was not the answer, although he could yet represent a bargain for Ajax, having had a hand in five goals in his four Eredivisie outings so far.


Mortifying Fortuna own goal gifts Ajax the win

A Fortuna Sittard own goal and a Sebastien Haller strike gives Ajax a 2-1 win.

Elsewhere, Manchester United parted with £18.9 million to bring another Ivorian in wonderkid Amad Diallo to the Premier League from Atalanta, while Senegal wideman Krepin Diatta swapped Club Brugge for AS Monaco in an £18 million deal.

The latter has the potential to be a big hit in France -- he proved his quality in two title-winning teams in Belgium -- and began his Monegasques career with a cameo in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Olympique de Marseille.

Moving in the other direction, Nigeria's Henry Onyekuru ends his underwhelming spell at Monaco by rejoining Galatasaray on a six-month loan. It's a move that has the potential to reignite his flagging career.

Yet another Ivorian wonderkid, Kouadio Kone, swapped Toulouse for Borussia Monchengladbach in an £8.1 million deal, Kenya talisman Michael Olunga joined Al-Duhail for £5.4 million, and Jean-Philippe Mateta joined Crystal Palace on loan.

Among African women's stars, Osinachi Ohale (Madrid CFF), and Rasheedat Ajibade and Ajara Nchout (both Atletico de Madrid) have also made career-transforming moves this month, while Ghana captain Elizabeth Addo signed for the North Carolina Courage in the USA's pro league, the NWSL.

Who could still get over the line?

Juventus have allowed Italo-Cameroonian youngster Franco Tongya to move to Olympique de Marseille, and are primed to snare OM starlet Marley Ake, should both parties be able to agree terms.

Wideman Ake, who is eligible for the Ivory Coast [this team sure has a bright future...], has made nine substitute appearances for Marseille so far this season, and has also made his Champions League debut.

Another youngster who could be moving from France is Monaco's Aurelien Tchouameni. He netted his first Ligue 1 goal - against OM - at the weekend, and is understood to be on Chelsea's radar.

The Club of the Principality are reportedly unwilling to part ways with the France U-20 international, whose value will have soared following his €18 million move from Girondins de Bordeaux in 2020.

Reports in Italy suggest that Fulham are keen on Spezia's M'Bala Nzola, one of the breakout stars of the Serie A season so far.

The Franco-Angolan frontman has scored nine goals in the top flight so far this term -- enough to take the lowly Aquilotti four points clear of the dropzone -- and it remains to be seen whether the Cottagers' reported bid of €12 million will be enough to tempt their hand.

Potentially going the other way from West London is Anglo-Nigerian centre-back Tosin Adarabioyo, who has matured greatly at Fulham since signing from Manchester City in the summer.

Surely the Cottagers would be unwilling to countenance any sale at this stage, although, with Juventus reportedly interested, they appear set to make a major profit on the £2 million they spent on the defender if they do eventually give in.

Who needs a move?

Sticking with the Fulham theme, Jean Michael Seri is desperately in need of a change of scene.

Destined to become the finest African playmaker of his generation when he swapped OGC Nice for West London in 2018, the move has turned into a disaster, with Seri relegated in his first season, loaned to Galatasaray in his second, and frozen out of the team in his third.

A return to Gala has been mooted, but a more likely destination appears to be Bordeaux, who have held initial talks over a potential switch.

A change of management at Chelsea is unlike to mean an upturn in fortunes for Ghana left-back Abdul Rahman Baba.

Also once destined for great things, his career has unravelled spectacularly following a serious injury sustained on international duty on a risible pitch in Port-Gentil during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations, and Baba has never regained his momentum.

While the attention will focus on the players Thomas Tuchel may look to bring into the club, Baba will be desperate for a fresh start - and some playing time - elsewhere.

PAOK Salonika are understood to be close to a loan agreement to take the full-back to Greece.

German-Nigerian youngster Joshua Zirkzee is at a different stage of his career to Baba, but is also in need of playing time, having played just 92 minutes in the Bundesliga last season.

Having burst onto the scene with four league goals for Bayern Munich last term -- and a minor role in their Champions League success -- it's a poor second act, and he's being tipped for either Everton or Parma.

Juventus are also reportedly keen on the lad, who had been tipped for a move to Koln earlier in the campaign.

Zirkzee's compatriot and fellow Bayern teammate Jamal Musiala has also been named in the rumour mill during the January window, as negotiations on a new contract with the Bavarians continue to drag.

According to the Express, both Manchester United and Liverpool are monitoring the situation closely, with his contract currently set to run until summer 2022.

Any hopes Bayern have of signing Brighton & Hove Albion right-back Tariq Lamptey appear slim; with Talksport reporting the ex-Chelsea wideman is close to agreeing a new deal with the Seagulls.

Currently without a club, Nigeria skipper Ahmed Musa clearly needs to find new employers imminently. He's currently on trial with Sam Allardyce's West Bromwich Albion as he looks to secure a return to the Premier League.

Having previously failed to impress in the top flight with Leicester City, the former Al Nassr man may feel he has unfinished business in England... at 28, he should still have much to offer.

Any outside bets?

The aforementioned exit of Haller to Ajax leaves West Ham with a gaping hole in their forward line, even though they've been faring fairly well without him -- as demonstrated by their convincing 3-2 victory against Crystal Palace on Tuesday.

The likes of Odsonne Edouard, Gaetan Laborde and Boulaye Dia have been linked with the London Stadium, with Youssef En-Nesyri also named as a potential solution.

Morocco striker En-Nesyri has been in excellent form at Sevilla this season -- he's currently La Liga's top scorer this term (joint with Luis Suarez) -- and has begun the year in sensational form.

His physique, aerial presence and poaching instincts make him a natural fit for the Hammers, although the North African's comments after his hat-trick against Cadiz at the weekend look to have extinguished any prospects of a move.

Senegal's Dia, the second highest scorer in Ligue 1 so far this term, could have been an ideal alternative to En-Nesyri, but France Football have reported that the Stade de Reims' frontman's €15 million price tag represents a deterrent for the Hammers.

Odion Ighalo's dream move to Manchester United is coming to something of a low-key end, with the former international struggling to truly build on his pre-lockdown promise with the Red Devils since football resumed with Project Restart.

He demonstrated during the early portion of his time with United that he remains a capable finisher and his track record in the Premier League may catch the eye of bottom-half clubs short of a goal threat.

At the moment, he looks primed to return to China and Shanghai Shenhua, but, with rumours of a move to Major League Soccer swirling, could that situation change over the coming week?