Ben Brereton Diaz and a £50m Liverpool target - Six EFL players on Premier League January wishlists

The EFL has proven a happy hunting ground for Premier League clubs in recent years, and January looks no different.

With the likes of Jarrod Bowen, James Maddison and Che Adams starring in the Premier League this season, it's no surprise to see clubs looking to the EFL again for talent in January.

For those who are, there is no shortage of options either. The prices are still generally high, but the Championship, especially, is rich in talent.

So, looking ahead to January, we explore which EFL players are most likely to be on the move to the Premier League this winter.

Ben Brereton Diaz (Blackburn)

How do you go from being a one-in-eight striker to being a goal-per-game striker? Just by adding a cool-sounding South American name at the end of your own, apparently.

In fairness, I tried this at school and it didn't work for me, but it's certainly worked for Ben Brereton Diaz.

Since finding out he was eligible for Chile and becoming a key part of their team at international level, he has found a couple of extra levels to his game for Blackburn too.

The big question will be whether anyone can persuade Blackburn to part with their biggest asset. Rovers are in serious contention for a return to the Premier League, and if they are to push ahead and achieve that then Brereton Diaz would, you'd imagine, be a big part of it.

West Ham are believed to have made him a top target for January and Leeds are reportedly hovering too.

Lloyd Kelly (Bournemouth)

Lloyd Kelly - Liverpool target

Bournemouth are looking good for promotion back to the Premier League, so it is unlikely they will be wanting to lose Kelly right now.

However, the 23-year-old is establishing a big reputation for himself as a ball-playing centre-back, and that has attracted the kind of attention it may be tough to resist.

Liverpool are known to be big admirers of Kelly and they are a club who can turn a player's head.

Newcastle have also been linked, and they have the kind of money that can turn a chairman's head.

Bournemouth have reportedly placed a £50million price tag on Kelly in the hope it will deter suitors, but he certainly looks ready to make the step up.

Steve Cook (Bournemouth)

Steve Cook and Eddie Howe in Bournemouth days

Oddly, another Bournemouth centre-back is also being linked with a Premier League move, although this one is a lot less glamorous.

Cherries captain Steve Cook has just six months left on his contract and Bournemouth don't appear all that interested in renewing his deal.

His former boss Eddie Howe has been linked, and it's easy to see that deal happening. Newcastle badly need defenders and their position may not entice many with genuine aspirations to still be a Premier League player come the end of May.

Cook is a dependable defender and solid character, so his contract situation may just make him attractive to managers looking for cut-price solutions in January.

John Swift (Reading)

John Swift attracting Leeds interest

Swift is another player with a contract expiring in the summer, and that is putting the likes of Leeds on alert.

The attacker is a product of Chelsea's highly impressive academy and has really matured since dropping into the EFL to aid his development.

The 26-year-old has had a dazzling season for Reading, scoring eight goals and assisting nine in just 21 games, and he has turned down a new deal with the Championship club.

He is the kind of player who can open up defences and they are in short supply no matter what level you are at, so expect the demand to be suitably high from the Premier League in January.

Brennan Johnson (Nottingham Forest)

Brennan Johnson - reported West Ham target

Nottingham Forest have produced some real gems in the past and Brennan Johnson looks like being the latest one off the conveyor belt at the City Ground.

The midfielder is the son of former Forest and Ipswich striker David Johnson and has been a standout performer this season after maturing during a loan spell at Lincoln last year.

West Ham and Everton have been linked with £20million moves for the 20-year-old, although Forest will be reluctant to let him go while their play-off hopes are alive.

Dan Neil (Sunderland)

Dan Neil celebrates for Sunderland

One look at the England squad tells you that despite messing up just about everything else they have touched in recent years, Sunderland's academy churns out some impressive talent.

Both Jordan Pickford and Jordan Henderson are testament to that, and Neil is the latest to emerge with a real chance of making it.

Neil is a central midfielder in the Michael Carrick mould, and no player has more assists in League One this season.

It would be a huge step up to Premier League level, but Leeds have held a strong interest in Neil for a while and others have taken note too. 

Burnley reportedly sent their chief scout to watch the midfielder in the recent EFL Cup defeat at Arsenal and they are said to be keen to make a £3million bid in January.

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