January Transfer Window: Predicting the Price for the 25 Most-Coveted Players

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IJanuary 1, 2012

January Transfer Window: Predicting the Price for the 25 Most-Coveted Players

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    The January transfer window is one of the most important and interesting periods in the season where the managers analyze their positions at the end of the first half of the season. They have to assess their strengths and weaknesses and identify the players who could give them the impetus to achieve their targets at the end of the season.

    Though many good players do not move in January, it is important for the manager to be able to persuade players to join their clubs in January and convince them of their ambitions for the future.

    There was plenty of transfer activity in the previous January transfer window which saw the big money signings of Fernando Torres, Edin Dzeko and some others as well. It will be difficult to predict who will be the transfer targets of each club and valuation of players by their respective clubs.

    This article attempts to predict the transfer prices of some of the most coveted players in the January transfer window and comments regarding your opinions would be welcome after reading the article.

Alexandre Pato (AC Milan)

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    Alexandre Pato is one of the best strikers in the Italian league and he has been very unfortunate to sustain a number of injuries during his time at AC Milan. Also, Milan have some of the best strikers in the world in Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho and Pato has not received enough playing time.

    The Brazilian striker can finish with aplomb and has the attributes to be a top striker, but he needs to stay fit for longer in order to find consistency.

    With Ancelotti being appointed as the new manager of Paris St. Germain, there is a possibility that they could be interested in targeting the Brazilian striker. Pato did excel for Ancelotti, when he was the manager of Milan and the Italian tactician could persuade him to join PSG especially if Milan do strike a deal to sign Carlos Tevez. Pato will not come at a cheap price but the French club have the money to sign some of the best players in the world.

    Predicted Price:  £35 million 

Lukas Podolski (FC Cologne)

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    Lukas Podolski is one of the most talented German strikers and has played several games for his country including major competitions. However, his club form has been rather inconsistent and he has not performed to his potential on many occasions. He did make a move to a big club in Bayern Munich, but it did turn out to be good and he managed to move back to FC Cologne.

    The German international can play wide on the left or in the centre as the main striker and he has been prolific for Cologne this season as the main forward. His form has attracted the attention of clubs around the world with Premiership clubs Arsenal and Tottenham linked with a move for the striker.

    Arsenal, in particular, would probably need a quality striker because of the departures of Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh to the African Cup of Nations and Podolski would also provide quality backup to striker Robin van Persie, who has been in sensational form.

    Predicted Price:  £15 million 

Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)

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    Wesley Sneijder is one of the best midfielders in the world and he was one of the main players in their treble winning 2009-10 season under Jose Mourinho. However, Inter Milan are in a period of transition and have had a bad start to the season. Claudio Ranieri has brought more stability to the club but there exists the possibility that Sneijder could leave the club in the January transfer window with Manchester United linked again with the midfielder.

    Manchester United were strongly linked with the midfielder but failed to seal a deal before the close of the transfer window. Tom Cleverley had an excellent start to the season but his injury has meant that United have limited options in attacking midfield.

    Though Sneijder is 27 years old, he is capable of being influential in Manchester United being able to topple City in the title race which is why they could target the talented Dutchman.

    Predicted Price:  £30 million 

Ricardo Kaka (Real Madrid)

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    Ricardo Kaka was one of the biggest transfers in the world when he was signed from AC Milan by Real Madrid. However, the Brazilian midfielder has struggled with injuries and fitness problems in his time at Madrid. Mesut Ozil has established himself as a regular in Madrid and Kaka has not had enough playing time.

    There is a possibility that Madrid could sell or loan the Brazil international in the January transfer window and there will be clubs like PSG who will be looking to sign the midfielder. Though he is 29 years old, he has the quality to influence games and could be an excellent signing if he can maintain his fitness.

    Predicted Price:  £25 million 

Mario Goetze (Borussia Dortmund)

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    Mario Goetze is one of the most exciting talents in the world and the Borussia Dortmund midfielder is already an integral player for his club despite being only 19 years of age. He has great technical ability on the ball and it is not surprising that he has attracted the attention of some of the biggest clubs in the world like Arsenal. Goetze is a world class talent and his next move could play a huge role in shaping up his career.

    He has an excellent manager in Jurgen Klopp and he continues to progress at his club. Though Klopp would be keen to retain the youngster at the club, he might find it difficult to resist the advances of some of the clubs. Though he will not come at a cheap price, there will be clubs who will be willing to pay quite a large transfer fee because of his quality.

    Predicted Price:  £30 million 

    

Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)

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    Carlos Tevez made a very controversial move when he signed for Manchester City after playing for United but he excelled for two seasons at City helping them qualify for the Champions League as well. However, he has been involved in plenty of controversies this season after problems breaking out in Munich in the game against Bayern Munich. Tevez has also not returned to City and looks certain to move away from the club in January.

    There could be some clubs interested in the Argentina international because despite all his controversies, he remains a player who could be hugely influential for a team. He retains the ability to be decisive and score goals regularly and the likes of AC Milan and PSG have been linked with the striker for a move in January.

    Predicted Price:  £25 million 

Christian Eriksen (Ajax)

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    Christian Eriksen is one of the most talented youngsters in the world and he is one of the best players for Ajax. The young midfielder is already a regular for Denmark and could move on to a big club in the future.

    It is clear that he is a very talented player and has the quality to play at the highest level which is why he has attracted the interest of some of the top clubs in the world. Manchester United are one of the clubs linked with the midfielder and considering their problems in midfield, it could be an excellent signing for the Red Devils.

    Manchester United do need creativity in their play and the Ajax midfielder could provide that if he is signed. He could be an integral player for them in the future as well and will only continue to become a better player under Sir Alex Ferguson, who is one of the best in developing youngsters.

    It will not be easy to persuade him to move in January but it could be a great signing considering that United face a stern title challenge, this time from Manchester City.

    Predicted Price: £25 million

Hulk (FC Porto)

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    Andre Villas-Boas had an immensely successful spell at FC Porto where he won the Portuguese league and also the Europa league. Hulk was one of his main players at the club and he could again look to the striker in the January transfer window to help revive the Blues, who are currently fifth in the league title.

    Chelsea have not had a good start to the season and could do with a striker of Hulk's quality in the January transfer window.

    Hulk has been prolific for Porto and could be an excellent signing for Chelsea but Porto are unlikely to let the forward leave on a bargain. He is an integral player to the Portuguese club but their elimination from the Champions League could influence Hulk to consider a move to Chelsea.

    Though it will not be a bargain, it could be a signing which could help Chelsea finish in the Champions League places at the end of the season.

    Predicted Price: £50 million

Eden Hazard (Lille)

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    Eden Hazard was named as the best player in the French league for his performances for Lille in the previous season helping them win the league title as well. Hazard is one of the most talented young players in the world and has unsurprisingly attracted plenty of attention from many top European clubs like Arsenal and Inter Milan.

    Lille will be reluctant to lose the Belgian international especially after losing key players like Gervinho and Yohan Cabaye in the summer.

    Hazard is a player who will only continue to get better as he is approaching the peak of his career. He has the quality to play at the highest level and is likely to have the opportunity to do so in the future. Though he is more likely to move in the summer, a January transfer move cannot be ruled out especially if a team makes a big offer to sign the Belgian midfielder.

    Predicted Price: £35 million

Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund)

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    Mats Hummels is one of the best centre backs in the world and he has been an integral part of the Borussia Dortmund since he joined them. His partnership with Neven Subotic at the heart of the defence provided the base for them to win the Bundesliga title last season and he has the quality to play for a top club. He is not only an excellent defender but is also technically good and can bring out the ball from the back as well.

    Manchester United are one of the clubs which have been linked with him which is not a surprise considering that they have lost Nemanja Vidic and some other centre backs due to injury and Michael Carrick has had to fill in on some occasions.

    With both Vidic and Ferdinand on the wrong side of 30, Sir Alex Ferguson might look for a player of Hummels’ calibre to fill the void left if one of them is injured or leaves the club.

    Predicted Price: £20 million

Roberto Soldado (Valencia)

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    Valencia have always been one of the closest challengers to the dominant duo of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in the La Liga and they have had some excellent players over the years. Their main striker Roberto Soldado is another quality player who could be targeted by Chelsea and some other clubs possibly in the January transfer window. Soldado has excellent composure in front of goal and is a player capable of making a difference to the side.

    He has been prolific for Valencia this season though he was unable to help them progress to the next stages of the Champions League by beating Chelsea. The Blues are reported to be interested in the forward after signing his former team-mate Juan Mata in the summer. Soldado could be an excellent acquisition for the Blues as they look to achieve at least a Champions League place.

    Predicted Price:  £20 million

Yoann Gourcuff (Lyon)

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    Yoann Gourcuff is one of the best French midfielders but has struggled following injuries to be consistent for Lyon. He was excellent for FC Bordeaux before he signed for Lyon and he has since struggled for form and fitness.

    With the Euro Championships in the summer, it is possible that he could look for another club in the summer where he can play more regularly and recapture his form.

    Arsenal are one of the clubs linked with the midfielder and it could be an excellent move for both club and the player if it is at the right price as Gourcuff could provide more creativity to the Gunners. With Abou Diaby missing a number of games due to a lot of injuries and Jack Wilshere suffering a long term injury as well, Gourcuff could be a good option for the Gunners if Lyon are willing to sell.

    Predicted Price:  £15 million

Neymar (Santos)

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    Neymar is one of the best young talents in the world and he has the potential to be one of the best players in the world in the future. It is clear that he is immensely talented and that is the reason why big clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona have been linked with the Brazilian international.

    Though he can further improve, he is already one of the most talented players in the world and he has been very important for his club side Santos.

    Though Santos will be interested in keeping him at least until the summer, there exists the possibility that he could leave if a club is prepared to meet the asking price of Santos. Neymar will not come at a bargain but his immense potential means that there is a good chance that clubs will pay over the odds to sign the talented forward.

    Predicted Price:  £50 million

Edinson Cavani (Napoli)

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    Edinson Cavani has become one of the most feared strikers in the world because of his prolific goalscoring form for Napoli in the last year.

    The Uruguayan international has been ruthless in front of goal and has been one of the main reasons why Napoli have emerged as one of the best teams in the Serie A. He has also excelled in the Champions League this season where his goals were the key in eliminating Manchester City from the prestigious tournament.

    Cavani's performances are bound to attract the attentions of top clubs in the world and he has the attributes and the quality to make a difference to any side in the side. However, with Napoli facing a tough test of qualifying for the Champions League again and also meeting Chelsea in the Round of 16, they will be reluctant to sell Cavani.

    However, if a club offers a huge transfer fee, then a transfer to another European club is possible though it depends on the player's interest.

    Predicted Price:  £45 million

Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilboa)

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    Javi Martinez is one of the best midfielders in the La Liga and he has also been called up to the Spanish national side as well.

    The youngster is a player of immense potential and it is not a surprise that he has attracted the attention of top clubs such as Manchester United and rivals Manchester City as well. Athletic Bilboa will be reluctant to lose a player of his quality but it depends on whether or not the player is interested in a move in January.

    The versatile midfielder is technically excellent on the ball and has the physical attributes which could help him adjust to the Premiership. Though he will not come at a cheap price, it could be an astute move considering that he is a very talented player at the right age.

    Predicted Price:  £30 million

Luka Modric (Tottenham)

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    Luka Modric is one of the best midfielders in the Premiership and is one of the main reasons why Tottenham have had an excellent first half of the season. His partnership with Scott Parker in midfield has been excellent and Spurs' midfield have created plenty of opportunities for their forwards.

    Modric was targeted by Chelsea in the summer but in the end, Tottenham managed to retain the Croatian international.

    Modric is likely to interest some of the clubs again in January but Spurs are likely to be reluctant to lose the midfielder who is crucial to Tottenham's second half of the season as well. It depends on the player's interest, the transfer bid made in January and also on whether Tottenham will accept the midfielder moving in January.

    It is unlikely that he will be allowed to move in the window but strange things have happened in the past and one can never rule out possible transfer moves such as this one.

    Predicted Price:  £35 million

Didier Drogba (Chelsea)

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    Didier Drogba is one of the best strikers in the history of Chelsea FC and he recently reached the landmark of scoring 150 goals for the club.

    Despite being 33 years old, he remains the most potent striker at Stamford Bridge currently and manager Andre Villas-Boas has trusted him to score the goals this season. Though he did have a lackluster start, he has proved that he still has the quality to trouble the best defenders in the Premiership.

    Drogba has been linked with an exit from Chelsea with his contract situation not sorted yet with China a possible destination as well. According to the Daily Mail, he could be offered very high wages and could leave along with Nicolas Anelka to China. Tottenham and AC Milan have also been linked with the striker, whose contract runs out in the summer.

    Predicted Price:  £7 million

Cheick Tiote (Newcastle United)

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    Newcastle United have had an excellent start to the season but injuries have hampered them as the season has progressed. However, they have still had one of their best starts in recent years and could yet finish in European places. One of the main reasons for their good performances is the solid performances of Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote at the heart of midfield.

    Tiote was one of the best signings in the last season and has been excellent for the club since his arrival. He has shown that he has the quality to play for a top club and does enjoy the physicality of the Premiership which suits his style of play.

    Though he is unlikely to move in January, no one can be sure of what decisions Newcastle make if they do receive a ridiculous transfer offer like the one they received for Andy Carroll in the previous transfer window.

    Predicted Price:  £20 million 

Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid)

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    Gonzalo Higuain is one of the best strikers in the world and has been prolific for both Real Madrid and Argentina in the recent past. However, he has had to spend time on the bench because of the superb form of Frenchman Karim Benzema. Higuain has been dropped for some important games and Benzema has continued to progress immensely under Jose Mourinho.

    Both Benzema and Higuain have scored plenty of goals when given the opportunity which is why the Argentine striker might not be happy with a place on the bench. However, Mourinho has rotated both strikers so that both do get decent playing time and will not be interested in selling one of his best strikers in January even though he does attract the attention of some top clubs.

    The only way that situation could change is if Madrid do sign another forward though that cannot be completely ruled out.

    Predicted Price:  £25 million 

Darren Bent (Aston Villa)

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    Darren Bent has one of the best goalscoring records currently in the Premiership as he has been consistently prolific for his club sides. Though he continues to score important goals for Aston Villa, he has failed to be as consistent as he was at Sunderland mainly because of the lack of clear-cut opportunities created at Villa since the departures of Stewart Downing and Ashley Young in the summer.

    However, he could have the opportunity to link up with Downing again as Liverpool could target the England international in the January transfer window.

    With Luis Suarez facing a lengthy ban and Andy Carroll failing to hit form since his move from Newcastle, Kenny Dalglish could look to sign an established goalscorer in January. Liverpool have created many opportunities this season but their conversion rate has been below par which is why the addition of a striker like Bent could provide them a huge boost as they look to clinch a Champions League place at the end of the season.

    Predicted Price:  £20 million 

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke)

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    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has long been considered as one of the most talented Dutch strikers since his prolific form in the Dutch league. However, his lack of consistent success at AC Milan and Real Madrid meant that he was not at his best for a couple of seasons. His move to Schalke has been a success though as he has recaptured his prolific form and has been excellent in the Bundesliga this season.

    He has been linked with a move to Manchester United but there is a good chance that Huntelaar could stay with Schalke at least until the Euro Championships so that he remains in good form ahead of the major tournament. Huntelaar is a player who has excellent attacking instincts and he has the attributes to play at the highest level as well.

    Predicted Price:  £15 million 

Jan Vertonghen (Ajax)

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    There are a number of Belgian players currently playing for top clubs in the world such as Thomas Vermaelen and Vincent Kompany, currently playing for Arsenal and Manchester City respectively.

    Jan Vertonghen is another Belgian defender who could make the move to the Premiership in the January transfer window. He is a very versatile defender with plenty of potential and also has immense experience despite being only 24 years old.

    His style of play is quite similar to Arsenal's Vermaelen but he could fit in another position as well if Arsenal do target him in January considering their defensive injury problems. Tottenham, Newcastle and the Gunners have all been linked with the tall Belgian and the Ajax centre back could be an intelligent acquisition.

    Predicted Price:  £12 million 

Leandro Damiao (Internacional)

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    Brazil have produced some of the world's best strikers in the past and many top European clubs are targeting the South American leagues for top talents. There are a number of successful South American players in Europe and their success has contributed to more intense scouting from the European clubs. Leandro Damiao is another Brazilian striker who has the ability to be a huge success in Europe in the future.

    He has been linked with some top clubs like Arsenal in the past and it could be an astute signing if it is the right price. He has been very prolific for his club which is why he has also been selected for Brazil and in the future, the 22-year-old striker is bound to get more opportunities and could move to a top European club as well.

    Predicted Price:  £25 million

Xherdan Shaqiri

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    Xherdan Shaqiri is another youngster who could be targeted by some of the top clubs in the January transfer window. It is evident that he is very talented and he has the quality to play at the highest level as he showed in his performance against Manchester United in the Champions League. He is a dynamic midfielder who has good vision and can also score excellent goals.

    It is no surprise that he has been linked with big clubs such as Liverpool and Manchester United but the prospect of playing in the Champions League with Basel could persuade him to stay at least until the summer. However, nothing can be ruled out in the January transfer window and it will be an astute signing if a club manages to sign the 20-year-old midfielder.

    Predicted Price:  £15 million

Marco Reus (Borussia Moenchengladbach)

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    Germany have some of the best young talents in the world and youngster Marco Reus is another German youngster who has been excellent so far for his club. His form for Borussia Moenchengladbach has helped him get selected by Joachim Loew for the Germany national side.

    His performances has attracted the interest of some of the top clubs around the world as he is a player who could further develop and become a world class player in the future.

    At only 22 years of age, he can become an integral part of a top club in the future but his next transfer move is important for his career as well and he needs to play regularly at his club. Arsenal and Bayern Munich have shown an interest in the winger and though his club will be reluctant to sell him, there exists a possibility of him moving in the January transfer window.

    Predicted Price:  £15 million