By Arthur Virgo
The January transfer window edges ever closer and with strengths and weaknesses in Premier League squads starting to tell, the division’s managers will be keeping a close eye on targets plying their trade abroad.
Goal.com brings you brings you both the best and worst individual displays throughout the week as we track those who could be moving to Premier League clubs when the window re-opens for business.
Manchester City’s midfield target Benat led Real Betis to fifth in La Liga after his drive from the edge of the area was the only goal of the game and handed his side a memorable home win over Real Madrid.
Serie A top scorer Stephan El Shaarawy has also been linked with Manchester City and was a consistent threat on the counterattack as AC Milan held on to a narrow first-half lead over Juventus to cut the Bianconeri’s lead to just four points clear at the top.
Centre-back Andreas Granqvist has been linked with Liverpool, Newcastle and QPR and saw Genoa climb off the bottom of the table after he helped the Rossoblu shut out the Atalanta attack to record a 1-0 victory despite going down to 10 men.
Lewis Holtby set up Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for Schalke’s opening goal against Eintracht Frankfurt but the reported Arsenal and Liverpool target could not help the Konigsblauen avoid slipping to third after conceding an equaliser.
In-demand Robert Lewandowski moved level at the top of the German goalscoring charts with his ninth goal after netting the winner as Borussia Dortmund came from behind to record a 2-1 away win over Mainz and climb to second in the Bundesliga behind Bayern Munich, who thrashed Hannover 5-0 to establish a nine-point lead.
Attacker Andre Schurrle was linked with Chelsea over the summer and more recently with Arsenal, and set up fifth-placed Bayer Leverkusen’s second goal in a 2-1 away win over Hoffenheim before hitting the bar from 35 yards.
Eredivisie top scorer Wilfried Bony has reportedly caught the eye of Chelsea and Liverpool and netted his 15th goal of the season and the winning goal for Vitesse Arnhem who climbed to third place after coming from behind to record a 2-1 away win over league leaders PSV Eindhoven.
Andre Ayew has been linked with a move to West Ham and helped Marseille to a narrow 1-0 win at home over Lille as Les Phoceens stayed level at the top of Ligue 1 with a game in hand over Paris Saint-Germain who beat Troyes 4-0, while substitute Loic Remy returned from injury having attracted interest from Chelsea, Newcastle and previously Tottenham.
Manchester United target Kevin Strootman saw PSV Eindhoven’s lead at the top of the Eredivisie shrink to just two points after Dick Advocaat’s side were unable to hold their early lead against Vitesse Arnhem despite several opportunities and went on to concede from a free kick and then a late goal.
Karim Benzema has also been linked with a possible move to Manchester United in exchange for Javier Hernandez but drew a blank and saw two efforts chalked off for offside as Real Madrid went down 1-0 away at Betis, leaving Los Blancos 11 points behind leaders Barcelona in the race for La Liga, who recorded a comfortable 4-0 win over Levante.
Versatile attacker Heung-Min Son has held off signing a contract extension with Hamburg amid interest from Arsenal and Liverpool of late but could not help his side as they lost 2-0 away to Fortuna Dusseldorf to drop into the bottom half of the Bundesliga.
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