Danish club FC Copenhagen reportedly wish to take underused center-back Frederik Sørensen off FC Köln's hands.
As the early stages of the negotiations demonstrate, however, the issue of player pay-cuts will stall many deals this January.
Horst Heldt's challenging month is well exemplified by the issues surrounding an early bid by FC København for 28-year-old center back Frederik Sørensen. The Köln sporting director must clear his roster of wages if he hopes to acquire additional help to assist in the relegation fight.
Local newspaper Kölner express notes that, in Sørensen's case, the well-travelled player will have to "forfeit significant wages" if he's to return to Denmark. For this reason, the paper stresses that "all sides must come together" with "financial details being far from negotiated."
It's no secret that Köln wishes to shave at least six players off its active roster. When asked to comment on the possibility of Wolfsburg's Yannick Gerhardt coming to the Cathedral City, Heldt insisted that his hands were tied until he could reduce his roster.
Cases like that of Sørensen may be emblematic of what football fans can expect from this transfer window. The fact that bulk of the deals will be deferred until deadline day remains normal. The post-COVID sporting scene could nevertheless significantly reduce the number of moves.
Under more normal circumstances, players and agents would agree to short-term deals even when, like Sørensen, they shall be out of contract in six months. Wage restructuring on a post-COVID scale shifts the calculus. Certain players will prefer to test the market in the summer when the economic outlook presumably improves.
FC Copenhagen's inability to offer comparable wages may also influence their known interest in Hoffenheim's Jacob Bruun Larsen.