11 Best Players Who Might Be Available in the January Transfer Window

John D. HalloranContributor IIOctober 2, 2012

11 Best Players Who Might Be Available in the January Transfer Window

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    The January transfer window is still more than two months away, but already reports and rumors are beginning to emerge over potential winter moves.

    There are plenty of factors that influence each club’s actions in January, such as trying to find depth to replace injured or out-of-form players, or trying to find reinforcements for clubs that are thought to be under-performing.

    With that in mind, here are eleven of the best players who might be available come January.

Marouane Fellaini

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    Everton is off to a red-hot start in the EPL this season, currently lying second in the table with 13 points from six games.

    However, few expect Everton to remain in a Champions League place, and, typical for the Toffees, they may decide to cash in on another one of their players while they can.

    Marouane Fellaini himself has admitted he is likely to leave Everton soon, saying: “I am just starting my fifth season at Everton, this will be one of my last...In January or at the end of the season I will turn to another club.”

    Among the targets for Fellaini could be Chelsea who are reportedly preparing a £25 million bid for the Belgian midfielder.

    Another likely destination could be Manchester United who could certainly use the help in the middle of the pitch this season.

Frank Lampard

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    Reports emerged this summer that Frank Lampard might be heading to America, but fresh off a Champions League title and a new manager that appeared to have Super Frank at the core of his plans, such a move never materialized.

    However, Lampard has now been benched for three consecutive games by Roberto Di Matteo and may be looking to keep his career going elsewhere.

    At 34 years of age and in the last year of his contract, Lampard is unlikely to stay where he is not wanted and is still plenty fit enough to make an impact on another squad.

    The LA Galaxy of Major League Soccer still appear to be a main target as Lampard’s manager was spotted in attendance at a Galaxy game just last weekend.

Theo Walcott

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    Arsene Wenger seems to be on the verge of pushing another one of his star players out the door as contract talks with Walcott, who is in the last year of his current deal, have stalled.

    Wenger has seemingly decided that until Walcott signs a new deal, he will be frozen out of the starting XI, instead preferring misfiring striker Olivier Giroud.

    Reports have both Manchester City and Liverpool linked with Walcott and Arsenal may decide to sell him this January rather than wait until the end of the season when he can leave on a free transfer.

Daniel Sturridge

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    Some reports prior to the summer transfer window closing had Daniel Sturridge on his way to Liverpool.

    That may still happen in January.

    With Liverpool loaning out-of-favor striker Andy Carroll to West Ham and then failing to sign a suitable replacement, Liverpool’s attack got their season off to a tepid start.

    The move would make sense for Sturridge as well, as he is unlikely to see much playing time for Chelsea if things remain as they are.

    Roberto Di Matteo has preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation with his new attacking midfield options in Eden Hazard and Oscar to compliment Juan Mata. Francisco Torres also seems to have finally hit a run of form and fitness and, with only one striker position available, appears to have won the job. Even in a substitute’s role, Di Matteo is starting to show a preference towards Victor Moses over Sturridge.

    Don’t be surprised if Liverpool, or another squad, comes calling in January.

Kaka

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    In four seasons with Real Madrid, the now-30 year old attacking midfielder, has only made 49 league appearances.

    Over the past few seasons, Kaka seems to have emerged as a transfer target for every team at one point or another, most recently being linked with Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, Brazilian club Santos and even Turkish side Galatasaray.

    With the late-summer signing of Luka Modric, Kaka has fallen even further down the pecking order at Real Madrid and has yet to start a single game for the Spanish giants this year.

    By January, he may finally decide he has had enough and move on.

Brad Friedel or Hugo Lloris

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    It would be difficult for anyone to argue that Tottenham’s goalkeeper depth isn’t the best in the EPL with Brad Friedel, Hugo Lloris, Heurelho Gomes and Carlo Cudicini on their roster.

    The biggest problem facing Tottenham—which is not a bad problem to have from the club’s point of view—is that they have two clearly world-class keepers.

    Freidel has an amazing 320 consecutive Premier League starts and, despite being 41 years of age, is still in top form.

    Lloris, on the other hand, is only 25 years old, but has established himself as a top class keeper, is the French national team captain and has been named Ligue 1’s Goalkeeper of the Year three times.

    Tottenham is not likely to depart with Lloris on a transfer because they will obviously need him when Friedel inevitably retires. But if Friedel keeps the starting position and Tottenham keeps winning games, Tottenham may consider allowing Lloris to leave on loan in January.

    A loan move, especially to another EPL team, would make sense for Lloris as well. He would get to stay in England to continue his adjustment to the country and the league and he would get games to keep him in form for the French national team.

    If Friedel’s form slips or Tottenham hit a patch of bad form in November or December, Spurs could make the switch to Lloris, leaving Friedel out in the cold.

    In that scenario, Friedel may desire a permanent transfer in the January window as a way of extending his career.

Kolo Toure

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    So far this season, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has shown a preference for a Vincent Kompany-Joleon Lescott center back pairing leaving Toure out of the mix.

    Over the past couple of weeks, it has even become apparent that Toure is not even Mancini’s third choice center back as recent starts have been given to Serbian teenager Matija Nastasic over Toure.

    The now-31-year-old Toure was linked over the transfer window to Galatasaray, but that move did not materialize.

    Because the move fell through, Toure is now also ineligible for the Champions League after being left off Manchester City’s CL roster.

    A move in January is a distinct possibility.

Mario Balotelli

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    With a plethora of attacking options and Balotelli’s never-ending stream of distracting controversies, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini may finally be willing to get rid of the troubled striker.

    After Balotelli’s exclusion from City’s recent Champions League game against Real Madrid, reports emerged of a bust-up between Balotelli and Mancini—reports that Mancini denied.

    However, in the same report, Mancini did admit that Balotelli was unhappy.

    Balotelli has only been first choice in two of City’s league matches so far and City has a roster full of players who bring far less drama to the squad.

    Reports within the last week have suggested Italian giants Juventus may make a January swoop for Balotelli.

Nani

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    Manchester United winger Nani has seemingly been tied with a January transfer move to a half-dozen clubs over the past few weeks.

    The Examiner is reporting Manchester United may attempt a swap deal with Inter Milan in January, sending Nani to Italy for Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder.

    Nani has also been reported as a January transfer target for Juventus and in the same report, allegedly turned off his phone on this most recent transfer deadline day to avoid an August move to Zenit St. Petersburg in Russia.

Neymar

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    Over the past two years, Neymar has been linked with transfers to most of the world’s biggest clubs, including Barcelona, Manchester United and Chelsea among others.

    This January transfer window is not likely to be any different as every club with the money to tempt the young Brazilian starlet will be tempted to make a bid.

    The latest club to reportedly enter the Neymar chase is new big-spenders Paris St. Germain who apparently are ready to launch an £85 million bid for the talented midfielder.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

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    Fresh reports out of England are suggesting that if Theo Walcott makes a January move to either Liverpool or Manchester City, Arsene Wenger and Arsenal may seek to replace Walcott with Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

    The 29-year-old striker is in the last year of his contract with Schalke and, according to reports, contract negotiations between Schalke and Huntelaar have stalled.

    Schalke itself admits that keeping Huntelaar is unlikely, and they may decide to offload him January so as to not lose him on a free transfer at the end of the season.

    Huntelaar has experience in the biggest leagues in the world with stints at Real Madrid and AC Milan prior to his time in Germany and could be a high value target come January.

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