January Transfer Rumours: Biggest Players Destined for a Move
It may only just be October, but the transfer market never stops. Players will communicate with their agents well ahead of the January transfer window, indicating that they perhaps aren't very happy at their current clubs.
Usually this relates to money, or a perceived lack of it. Sometimes the demands are dressed up with wishes for more playing time, or frustration about being wrongly utilized.
Sometimes they have fallen out of favour after the arrival of another player and are now in football limbo. But yeah, mostly it's about money
The agents are the worst secret-keepers in the world, so they will communicate with clubs via the press and the whole thing spills out into the public domain, leading to this glorious network of transfer rumours nearly four months ahead of the window.
Let's get stuck into some of the more high-profile rumours to surface so far.
Nani to Juventus
Nani is apparently less than satisfied with his wages at Manchester United and has starting shopping himself around, with Juventus being the main club vying for his services.
The Guardian reported that Nani is looking for £120,000 a week, something that United are reportedly unwilling to offer him.
The same article notes that Nani has less than two years to run on his current deal at Old Trafford, so could possibly wait it out and leave on a free transfer, something which the club will likely be unwilling to risk.
Ashley Cole to Paris St. Germain
While it's true that rich clubs like spending money, newly-rich clubs love it like nothing else.
Paris St. Germain are linked with pretty much every player in the world, almost on a daily basis, but this one comes with a quote from their head coach.
According to Goal.com, “Ashley Cole is the best left-back in the world,” was Carlo Ancelotti's response when asked about the rumours linking the Chelsea defender with a move to Paris.
Cole's current deal expires at the end of this season, with the same article suggesting that he has been unable to reach a deal to extend his stay at Chelsea beyond that time.
Cole isn't exactly known for his aversion to money, so there may yet be some truth in this. Walking out and incurring the wrath of two London clubs would be an impressive feat indeed.
Fernando Llorente to Juventus/Chelsea/Arsenal/Manchester City
Another player reaching the end of his deal this year, The Daily Mail reported that Llorente has voiced his displeasure with Athletic Bibao to the extent that he was picking fights with his coach, Marcelo Biesla.
The coach is said to have sent him from the pitch during a training session and is apparently willing to negotiate a deal that would lead to the striker's departure.
It seems to be a certainty that Llorente will leave Spain in January, but there will be many interested teams.
The Daily Mail maintains that Juventus are the front-runners here and allege that Llorente has reached a verbal agreement with the Italian side.
Arturo Vidal to Manchester United
Some people were critical of Sir Alex Ferguson when he elected to sign Robin van Persie, and instead opined that maybe he would have been better off finding a central midfielder to replace Paul Scholes. Okay, that was me.
Anyway, it was reported in The Guardian that Manchester United may in fact do that by adding Arturo Vidal, hoping to lure the Chilean away from Juventus.
The same article indicates that both Real Madrid and Manchester City are willing to shell out the £40 million it would take to acquire Vidal's services.
Seydou Doumbia to Newcastle/Lazio/Napoli
Now that he's signed his own contract, Alan Pardew can get on with the serious business of offering them to other people.
Seydou Doumbia is being touted as a possible replacement for Demba Ba, with the Senegalese forward's future suddenly up in the air again.
Currently at CSKA Moscow, Doumbia is valued at £16 million, but with The Daily Mail stating that Lazio and Napoli are also interested, that price could rise.
Ba could still stay at St James' Park, however, with this rumour possibly being thrown around to weaken Ba's bargaining position at the Tyneside club.
Regardless of Ba's eventual decision, it's safe to say that this won't be the last time Newcastle are linked with players before January.
After a quiet wait by the TV on the last few deadline days, Toon fans will be looking for Pardew to bring in some new blood in 2013.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to Liverpool
After allowing Andy Carroll to leave on loan and then not replacing him, Liverpool have few striking options this season.
Carroll is out of favour on Merseyside, so the club is being linked with all manner of strikers such as Demba Ba and Theo Walcott.
The one that seems to refuse to die down is the link to Schalke forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who has netted 65 goals in 85 games (via TalkSport.co.uk).
Liverpool need a proven goalscorer right now, despite putting five past Norwich in their last game.
Huntelaar is 29 and in the last year of his Schalke contract, so although he won’t provide Brendan Rodgers with any long-term solutions, he could be acquired in a cut-price deal that would please Fenway Sports Group after Kenny Dalglish's extravagance.
Yann M’Vila to Arsenal/Chelsea
M’Vila was linked with moves to the Premier League over the summer, but Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal all withdrew their interest, according to Metro.co.uk.
The Rennes defensive midfielder had a fine season last year but has been unable to recapture that so far, perhaps due to his eagerness to leave before the start of the new term.
Arsenal would seem to be the best fit for the 21-year-old, having offloaded Alex Song to Barcelona. M’Vila would add the sort of determined presence that Wenger likes to have in the centre of the park.
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea/Real Madrid
Falcao memorably scored a hat trick against Chelsea in the Super Cup final in August, which will no doubt have gotten the attention of Roman Abramovich.
Fernando Torres has had a successful start to the year, but the arrival of Falcao would likely set him back as a Chelsea player.
It has taken the Spaniard longer than expected to settle in at Stamford Bridge, so he would not welcome the move for another striker, especially one of Falcao’s reputation.
It remains to be seen whether this rumour holds any water, but you can’t rule anything out when it comes to Chelsea. If he wants someone, chances are that Abramovich will get him.
Sergio Ramos to Chelsea/Manchester United
Another player whose relationship with “The Special One” is reportedly on the rocks, Sergio Ramos is rumoured to be heading to England in January.
Jose Mourinho has denied this, of course, saying that there are no problems between them and that Ramos is a great player, but he gets on much better with his wife than his players. Not sure what that says about either party, but the quote is there (via Goal.com).
Ramos could feasibly be lined up to replace Rio Ferdinand as his United career draws to a close, but the price for his services is rumoured to be in the region of £40 million (via The Daily Star).
This sort of price tag will likely scare off Ferguson, especially after coughing up £24 million for Robin van Persie.
Chelsea sold Jose Bosingwa, so are reportedly keen on strengthening their defence. Ramos would be a prize acquisition for the European champions as they look to reassert their challenge this year.
Joao Moutinho to Barcelona/Zenit St. Petersburg
Moutinho’s agent is entirely to blame for this. Since a move to Tottenham reportedly fell through in August, Pini Zahavi has been drumming up interest in the Portuguese midfielder, who is believed to be leaving Porto in January.
We must take into account the player's interest. He would love to play for Barcelona and this option will remain a priority. I think Barcelona's style of play fits Moutinho and he has also long been an admirer of the Catalan side. (Via Izviesta, h/t Goal.com)
Zahavi went on to confirm the interest shown by Zenit and refused to rule that out as an option, either:
Edison Cavani to Manchester City/Chelsea
This refuses to go away, but also refuses to reach a level higher than speculation.
Cavani has been linked with Manchester City since the summer, but nothing has materialised and he also knows nothing more of the rumours than what is printed in the media:
It is always difficult to change clubs and move to another city. If a club really wanted to sign me, they should have made Napoli an offer they could not turn down. This simply did not happen.
Cavani is under contract until 2017, so the offers made for him will have to be in the region Cavani describes. The clubs rumoured by Goal.com to be chasing him have that sort of cash, but won’t appreciate being held to ransom.
Robert Lewandowski to Manchester United
It’s understood that Ferguson and assistant Mike Phelan will be in attendance as Borussia Dortmund travel to Manchester City in tonight’s Champions League clash.
The Daily Telegraph reported that Ferguson is keen to secure the signature of the Polish international in a deal that may include Nani and Javier Hernandez.
Lewandowski has turned his back on a new contract at Dortmund, so an agreement is likely to be reached in January that will see him leave. Untied would seem to be the frontrunners in this deal, having already picked up Shinji Kagawa from the German side.
Nani has yet to reach an agreement and Javier Hernandez has dropped further back in the line since the arrival of Van Persie, despite signing a new deal last year.
Alen Halilovic to Real Madrid/Manchester United
Apparently he’s the new Lionel Messi or Luka Modric, so it’s understandable that both Real and Manchester United would be interested in the 16-year-old Croatian sensation.
Since breaking into the first team, the Dinamo Zagreb midfielder is attracting a lot of attention around the world, but to his credit, he is trying to ignore it, as he told Jutarnji List:
Stories about Real Madrid and Manchester United? I don't give much thought about those kinds of stories.
Dinamo will decide what will happen to me, all I have to do is just try to develop as much as I can. Everything else doesn't matter right now. (Via SkySports.com).
Ferguson is a well-known buyer of young players to develop within his team, so this move would be typical of him.
United look to be a better fit for him right now, but there’s still plenty of football to be played before January. A continued run of good performances would see his value skyrocket before the New Year.
Keep an eye on this one.