Live January Transfer Blog: Hulk, Alex, De Bruyne, Onuoha, Dede
We are now in the final full week of the January transfer window, and there is still plenty of business to be done.
Typically, the frequency and size of deals increases as the January 31st deadline get closer, so there is still plenty of hope for managers looking to either bolster their squads or raise some much-needed funds.
Throughout the week our featured columnists will be rounding up some of the biggest news and rumours each day. You can contribute too by posting gossip and links in the comments section below.
Vive le transfer window!
Barrios is rumored to be priced at around £8 million, and has fallen out of favor somewhat at Borussia Dortmund. He has been regularly dropped in favor of Robert Lewandowski, and may be seeking greener pastures.
Though Manchester City have absolutely no use for another striker on a roster that includes Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero, and Mario Balotelli, Arsenal could certainly use a player of Barrios' stature.
The Gunners lack a proper support striker to partner Robin van Persie and take the massive striking burden off the prolific Dutchman.
Barrios has shown real flashes of quality for Jurgen Klopp's side in the past, and would be a very economically and athletically astute purchase if he really is available for his reported price of £8 million.
Unfortunately, I seriously doubt that Arsene Wenger will spend another penny during the rest of this transfer window, even though investment is seriously needed.
Have a nice weekend, everyone.
Following their failed pursuit of Carlos Tevez, Inter Milan are set to spend £25 million to bring misfiring Chelsea striker Fernando Torres to the San Siro, according to CaughtOffside.
Even though Torres came excruciatingly close to scoring against Norwich and Sunderland, hitting the post with a powerful scissor kick against the latter in the process of assisting Frank Lampard, he has not achieved any success since his high-profile move from Liverpool one year ago.
Andre Villas-Boas has not started the Spaniard regularly this season, opting instead for Didier Drogba up front, often partnering the Ivorian with Daniel Sturridge.
If Milan could acquire Torres and get him firing on all cylinders again, £25 million would be a small price to pay for a player of his talent and skill. However, for reasons as yet undetermined, Torres has not been able to regain anything approaching top form for years, and is approaching "lost cause" territory.
If CaughtOffside are actually on the mark, this could be the last chance for the Spaniard to revive his career.
After stating earlier in the week that would relish a move to the Premier League from Ukranian club Shakhtar Donetsk, the rumor mill churned at full capacity, producing multiple rumors that the 23-year-old Brazilian midfielder Willian was on the verge of a move to Chelsea.
However, Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas has moved to quell any speculation that the creative midfielder is on his way to Stamford Bridge, saying that numerous "different issues" would prevent a transfer, although he does think the player is quite interesting.
Obviously there is some interest on the part of Chelsea, as they apparently had a £16.5 million bid turned down earlier in the month because Donetsk value Willian at more than £20 million.
With Chelsea barely clinging to the fourth Champions League spot (come on Arsenal!), Chelsea could certainly use the reinforcement. However, Willian is cup-tied in the Champions League, and thus he would not be able to help his new club to a great degree until next season.
The player has seen his transfer stock rise rapidly since the summer, when Arsenal were strongly linked to be in for his services, and has starred for his club ever since. I wouldn't be surprised if this story developed into something more substantial during the summer.
Blackburn Rovers captain Christopher Samba has claimed that his club has broken promises it made to him when he signed a new contract last season, and that he cannot give 100 percent for Rovers anymore.
Apparently, Venky's the much-maligned owners of the struggling club, had promised their best player that they would invest in the team and bring in big names such as Ronaldinho. However, as we all know, those turned out to be empty promises.
It is really sad to see such an honorable player suffer during his prime years at a club that clearly has not interest whatsoever in winning or fielding a quality football team.
Teams in line to buy the Cameroonian for his self-reported price of £7 million are Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, both of which could really use a sturdy, experienced defender of Samba's stature.
While, as an Arsenal fan, I would prefer to see Samba avoid White Hart Lane, I hope that his unfortunate situation gets resolved quickly and he can move on with his career at a club whose owners actually care about winning games.
Another day, another twist in the torturous Carlos Tevez saga.
Now, the want-away Argentine misfit is set to stay at Manchester City until the end of the season, and his most likely destination will be PSG, according to his conniving agent Kia Joorabchian.
Speaking to L'Equipe, Joorabchian said:
If Carlos doesn't leave Manchester City this winter, he doesn't rule out the possibility to join PSG in the summer
To many neutral observers, it has been quite odd that City have refused to sell Tevez for anything they deem less than a satisfactory price, considering their almost unlimited monetary resources.
So, Carlos will have to keep playing golf in Argentina until the summer, when he can take his sulking self to another country and another rich team.
According to caughtoffside.com, Manchester United are interested in signing Brazilian defender Dede.
The 23-year-old currently plays for Vasco da Gama in Brazil, where his performances have earned him international recognition. Dede made his debut for the national side in September last year.
Here's a great excerpt from the caughtoffside article to tell us a little more about him:
"In his home country of Brazil, he has earned the moniker of Dedeckenbauer – in homage to legendary Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer of course – and his average of a goal every five games is mightily impressive."
Dede has racked up over 100 appearances for Vasco da Gama, and twice been selected as a central defender in the Campeonato Carioca team of the season (2010 and 2011).
With Manchester United showing signs of defensive fallibility of late, and with Nemanja Vidic ruled out for the rest of the season, the suggestion here is that United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is looking for reinforcements.
Dede clearly looks like an investment for the future, but with his reputation soaring and his current deal running until 2014, United would surely have to pay a hefty price to get him.
Ferguson has said he'll only buy in January if a high-quality player is available at the right price. For this rumour to have any legs, United will have to have been tracking Dede for some time.
Chelsea are expected to complete a deal for Genk midfielder Kevin de Bruyne in the next couple of days, with the player likely to be loaned back to his club for the rest of the season.
"The expectation is that it will be done this week," say a Genk source quoted by the Daily Star today.
“The assumption is that Kevin de Bruyne will be transferred to Chelsea and then will finish the season (on loan) at Genk."
De Bruyne is said to have impressed Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas in the Champions League this season, with the 20-year-old coming up against the Blues twice in the group stages.
The Belgian international is a product of Genk's youth system and broke into the first team as a 17-year-old.
He was part of their title-winning side last season, and has impressed in Europe this time around, mostly operating on Genk's left.
Chelsea owner Roman Ambramovich is reportedly standing in the way of a deal to bring Porto striker Hulk to the club.
The Daily Mail say Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is very keen on being reunited with the player, who he worked with during his successful spell at Porto.
They say Chelsea have been quoted £83 million for his services, however, and that Ambramovich is simply not willing to meet such a price tag for the 25-year-old.
Chelsea did of course pay £50 million for Fernando Torres last January, which may well be factoring into Ambramovich's decision making on the issue.
Brazilian international Hulk has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea. Here's what his agent Theodoro Fonseca had to say in December.
They [Hulk and Andre Villas-Boas] had a fantastic time at Porto together. The relationship between the two cannot be better
"Working with Andre, be it in Chelsea, Porto or any other team, Hulk is going to agree to that with heart and soul. In football everything is possible.
"The player feels very good in Porto, who treat him very well. There are interested clubs in France and Brazil, but it all depends on the club and the player's wishes."
Chelsea defender Alex is closing in on a £4 million deal to join Paris Saint-Germain, according to a report at the Daily Mail website.
Alex has handed in a transfer request at Chelsea, and was previously being linked with a move to QPR, but it seems PSG are about to get their man.
The French side are of course managed by Carlo Ancelotti, who worked with the Brazilian during his time at Stamford Bridge, and is apparently keen on being reunited with the 29-year-old.
As the Daily Mail article points out, Alex's current deal at Chelsea runs out in the summer, and the club won't want to run the risk of him leaving on a free. All of which makes a move to PSG look very likely indeed.
PSG's sporting director Leonardo is quoted in the article as saying: "For Alex, there is a possibility but it's not done yet."
Alex picked up a Premier League winners medal with Chelsea in their 2009-10 Double season, and also played in their FA Cup Final win against Portsmouth.
What's that you say? A done deal? How's about that for a way to start your Thursday in transfersland.
The man in question is Nedum Onuoha, who has joined Queens Park Rangers on a four-and-a-half year deal from Manchester City.
Onouha becomes Mark Hughes' first signing at QPR, having worked under Hughes during his time in charge of Manchester City.
The 25-year-old Onuaha went out on loan to Sunderland last season, and has struggled for first-team opportunities under Roberto Mancini at City.
Here's what Hughes told the QPR official website about his capture.
Nedum is a player I know well. He is a very good addition to the squad.
"He did very well for me at Man City and played a number of games, probably more than under any other manager.
"He is very versatile. He can play centre-back or right-back and has good pace."
Onuoha arrives at Loftus Road for an undisclosed fee, and may well make his debut in Saturday's FA Cup against west London rivals Chelsea.
Thiago Motta's agent has claimed that his client will soon be on the move to Paris Saint-Germain.
"The player's representative, Dario Canovi, has now revealed that his client has agreed personal terms with the Ligue 1 leaders and admitted that Wednesday night's Coppa Italia clash could be his final outing for the Nerazzurri.
"Tonight could be his last game in the Inter jersey," the agent told Radio Crc. "The boy has given his blessing to the transfer to PSG."
A deal has yet to be brokered between Inter and the French outfit but, according to Canovi, the player is keen to make the move."
Having played for both Barcelona and Inter, Motta has proven himself as a solid player even with his history of injuries.
Motta would definitely add some depth to the PSG squad as well as give them an experienced player to help the team achieve its goals.
Alexis Sanchez wasn't the only Chilean making his name at Udinese in the past few seasons. His compatriot Mauricio Isla has been at the club since 2007 and has proven to be a very capable and versatile players.
According to the Daily Star, Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish has already made a bid for Isla. Dalglish was extremely dissapointed with his team after the 3-1 loss to Bolton over the weekend and could be looking to shake things up with a signing.
So far most of Dalglish's signings at the club have been British but one South American, Luis Suarez, has had a major impact and Dalglish may hope that Isla could do the same.
Isla is a part of an exciting Chilean team and has been a constant selection for Udinese for a few years now. He should be able to fit into the Premier League style of play as he has both pace and stamina and his versatility could be very important to Liverpool.
Blackburn midfielder, Mauro Formica, is looking to make a move to Olympiakos in Greece says a report from SkySports reports.
Mauro Formica joined Blackburn at the beginning of the season and has seemingly attracted a good amount of interest. With the clubs currently precarious position in the league, the Argentinian youngster looks keen to move on to greener pastures.
The deal may be slow in coming though as an article from the Lancashire Telegraph states.
"BLACKBURN Rovers are asking for at least £3.5million for Argentine playmaker Mauro Formica – with Olympiakos’ attempts to get the 23-year-old on the cheap set for failure.
The Greek giants are understood to be ready to pay Rovers £2.5million for him in the summer, first taking him on loan until the end of the season.
Brazilian outfit Flamengo also yesterday joined the race for the in-demand Formica and are ready to attempt to sign him permanently now.
It is believed that Olympiakos want to pay Rovers £400,000 now as a loan fee for Formica.
It is also understood that Rovers wanted it in writing that Olympiakos would make it a permanent switch in the summer should the club suffer Premier League relegation."
Goal.com reports that Giovani dos Santos may be returning to La Liga soon. Dos Santos, a former Barcelona player, has had torrid time in England.
Dos Santos was unwilling to wait behind Lionel Messi to get his chance and moved to Tottenham and what he thought would be a path to stardom.
That has never been the case as the Mexican attacker has rarely featured for his parent club and has been loaned out three different times.
Dos Santos has been able to keep his career alive with impressive displays at major International tournaments and can thank his bosses in the Mexican national team for keeping faith in him.
Villarreal is need of a lot of attacking help as they have been without the injured Guisseppe Rossi and with Nilmar set to leave the club.
The Yellow Submarines are just one spot outside of the relegation zone and that is thanks to goal difference so they will be hoping a full-time return to Spain will bring the best out of Dos Santos.
According to Tribalfootball.com, Catania Star Maxi Lopez is nearing a move to AC Milan.
AC Milan have been trying to sign Manchester City misfit Carlos Tevez during the whole window but upon having failed to reach an agreement, they recently turned their attention to the Argentinian.
Milan has a knack for loan-to-buy deals and it is apparent that the deal will Lopez will be just that.
"Sky Italia says Lopez will move to San Siro until the end of the season for a cost of €500,000, with the option in place for the Rossoneri to buy the forward outright in the summer for €8.5m."
Maxi Lopez has played for a big club once before in his career having failed to make the grade at Barcelona. Lopez has gone on to make a career for himself in Italy with Catania.
Lopez will have to battle with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alexandre Pato for a spot in the lineup and it remains to be seen just how productive he will be when he is not the top man.
The deal is not fully complete at the moment as Milan have yet to make a final decision.
However, where the terms are said to be agreed and finalised, the player has reportedly yet to complete his medical examinations or sign anything as he waits for Il Diavolo to reach a final decision on the move.