5 Spanish La Liga Stars Who Could Move to the Premier League in January
With plenty of managers turning green with envy over Michael Laudrup's £2 million purchase of Premier League joint top scorer Michu in the summer, La Liga has become a popular destination for English clubs looking for January bargains.
With many Primera Division clubs facing financial difficulty, there's never been a better time to buy Iberian.
Here's five Spanish players who could be making their way to the bright lights of the Premier League in the January window...
After helping Athletic Bilbao transition from mid-table strugglers to European contenders in the past few seasons, Fernando Llorente has been on the radar of several English clubs for a long time.
The prolific striker's contract with the Basque side expires in June, prompting the 27-year-old to this week announce his intention to move to pastures new.
Athletic Club previously refused to sell their prized asset for anything less than €36m, but a bid of around £15m should be enough to bring him to the Premier League. Interested parties have included Manchester City, Tottenham, Arsenal and Liverpool.
Having sung the praises of Swansea's Michu and Pablo Hernandez––and reaping the benefits of Santo Cazorla––Arsene Wenger has hinted that he is interested in bringing another La Liga gem to Arsenal.
Adrian Lopez, a product of the Oveido youth system like Juan Mata and Michu, often plays behind fellow Premiership transfer target Radamel Falcao.
Press reports suggest he is the Gunners number one priority, with The Daily Mail purporting a £15m.
B/R's Sam Tighe, however, argues that this deal will not come to fruition.
Labelled by some as "the New Cristiano Ronaldo," Real Betis' young winger has reportedly attracted suitors including Manchester City, Arsenal, Manchester Utd and Milan.
Despite playing mostly for Betis B and having made only one appearance this season as a substitute in the Copa del Rey (he tore a cruciate ligament in a game with Real Madrid last season), the 18-year-old is said to be a target of the club who made a star of the original Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester Utd.
Transfermarkt.co.uk lists his value as just £875,000, which sounds like a bargain in the making.
After selling Santi Cazorla to Arsenal for considerably less than they paid for him, Malaga fans are hoping attacking midfielder Isco isn't sold for a song too.
According to Goal.com, Manchester City's new director of football Txiki Begiristain is keen to activate the 20-year-old's £17.5 million release clause in January, with a view to loaning him back to Malaga for the remainder of the season.
Having paid €6m for the youngster in 2011, Los Boquerones should turn a profit on Isco. But based on his impressive Champions League performances, a deal of less than £20 million will represent good value for his new employers.
Although not strictly Spanish, Fernando Amorebieta has represented Spain's under 19s and was born in Venezuela's Basque country, qualifying him for a spot on Athletic Bilbao's squad.
The owner of one of the worst disciplinary records in the game today has attracted interest from Roma and Zenit St Petersburg, but The Metro is among the outlets reporting Liverpool would like him to deliver bone-crunching challenges to the rest of the Premier League.
In the final year of one of Athletic Club's eight-figure release clauses, transfermarkt.co.uk values Amorebieta at around £8.8m.