Picking a Wantaway January Transfers XI from the Premier League
The January transfer window is about to open and offers every Premier League team a chance to solve the problems they've been struggling with all season.
It's also a chance for certain players who can't get a regular starting spot to find a new club. There's some serious talent that's either wasting away on the sidelines or busting for a move to fulfill their ambitions.
Here's our wantaway January transfer XI from the Premier League.
Goalkeeper: Rob Green/Julio Cesar
The decision for QPR to sign Rob Green on a free transfer and no doubt a healthy contract, only to then sign Julio Cesar from Inter Milan only weeks later, was a bizarre one from Mark Hughes. Green suddenly found himself on the bench and Hughes admitted to The Daily Mail in September that Green could leave in January.
Now the new QPR manager Harry Redknapp is left with two goalkeepers who want first-team football and only one available slot. A few weeks ago you would have said that it was Green who would have been desperate to leave, but since Cesar recently picked up an injury, the England keeper has found his way back into the first team.
You sense that if Redknapp could get rid of one this January, he would, and as he likes his English players, it could be Cesar who goes if they could find someone to take him off their hands.
Right-Back: Bacary Sagna
What is it with Arsenal and contracts? They seem to continually to find themselves in a position where they are fighting to persuade talented senior players to sign a new contract, as the old one reaches the last few months of the deal.
Bacary Sagna has just 18 months left on his contract and has only been offered a one-year extension. John Cross of The Mirror claims that Sagna is set to be sold, with Inter Milan a likely destination for the defender.
With the young Arsenal right-back Carl Jenkinson having impressed this season it seems likely that they might take the opportunity to move Sagna on.
Left-Back: Stephen Warnock
Things change quickly in football. It was only in 2010 that Stephen Warnock was preferred to Leighton Baines in England's World Cup squad. Now Baines is probably the most in-form full-back in the Premier League, while Warnock finds himself unable to get a game at Aston VIlla.
Warnock went on loan to the Championship outfit Bolton earlier this season and Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman has told the BBC that he would like to take the former Liverpool player back to the club in January.
To drop down a division is a bitter pill for any footballer to swallow, but it's one that might be necessary if Warnock wants to get some regular playing time.
Centre-Back: Michael Dawson
In the summer Michael Dawson was named as the Tottenham captain for the upcoming season. Just days later the club tried to sell him to QPR and after the deal broke down, he has been largely overlooked by Andre Villas-Boas.
With Younes Kaboul set to return for Spurs in the new year, Dawson could find himself as fifth-choice centre-back. Dave Kidd of The Sunday People has reported that Sunderland plan to make a £5m bid for Dawson in January, although one would think that his former boss, Harry Redknapp, will also be keen to take him to QPR.
Dawson is another player who was in England contention not so long ago, and at this stage of his career he may jump at the chance to become a regular starter again.
Centre-Back: Joleon Lescott
Manchester City’s title win last season was built upon the solid foundation that was the defensive partnership between Joleon Lescott and Vincent Kompany. This season Lescott has found himself out of favour with Roberto Mancini, and if he wants to keep his name in the England reckoning, then a move could be the best option.
Jamie Jackson of The Guardian believes that Lescott could be open to a January move and a possible return to his former club Everton. If Manchester City don't want Lescott any more, then it will certainly be to Everton's gain.
Central Midfield: Frank Lampard
With Chelsea unwilling to extend Frank Lampard’s contract, a move looks inevitable for the Stamford Bridge legend. Shaun Custis of The Sun broke the news Wednesday that Lampard has been told by Chelsea to find himself another club.
At 34 years old Lampard would not command a big transfer fee and might even be made available on a free. That will surely alert a number of interested parties that would include Lampard's uncle, Harry Redknapp at QPR, and Major League Soccer's LA Galaxy, who will be looking to find a big-name replacement for David Beckham.
Central Midfield: Esteban Granero
The Mirror have claimed that QPR's Esteban Granero has a £5.6m exit clause in his contract should the West London club be relegated, so he may be sold in January. Having spent some £9m on Granero in the summer and with relegation a real possibility, QPR could sell to a club like Fiorentina, who are thought to be readying a bid to test the club's resolve.
Granero has only started three out of six games since Harry Redknapp took charge of the club and has found himself substituted twice. Redknapp might well be tempted to get rid of Granero to fund some January spending, especially with the club looking short on attackers and with plenty of midfielders on their books.
The player would surely also prefer to be playing in the upper echelons of Serie A than embroiled in a relegation battle with QPR. This could be a move that suits everyone.
Central Midfield: Jake Livermore
With Granero possibly on his way, Jake Livermore could be the perfect replacement for the relegation dogfight that looms at QPR. Livermore is the type of tough competitor who might shine in such a battle and he has found first-team starts hard to come by at Spurs this season.
Having started the season being picked regularly by Andre Villas-Boas, Livermore has found starts harder to come by since the club signed Moussa Dembele. With Scott Parker having just returned from injury, Livermore looks like he's even further down the pecking list.
The Evening Standard has claimed that Spurs are willing to let Livermore join QPR on loan in January. It's another move that seems to make sense for all parties. QPR get a hungry young England international to help them out, Livermore gets regular games, and the Spurs management will be able to judge if the player has a future at White Hart Lane.
For a long while now it has been apparent that the Portuguese winger Nani has lost the confidence of Sir Alex Ferguson. There were strong rumours last summer that Nani would join Zenit St. Petersburg, only for the deal to allegedly collapse over the player's wage demands.
Now Simon Rice of The Independent thinks that Arsenal will make a January move for Nani. With the Gunners looking set to lose Theo Walcott if the England star doesn't sign a new contract, it might be prudent for Arsenal to get a replacement lined up.
It would be fascinating to see how Nani would fare in a new environment. He is clearly one of the more talented players in the Premier League and may flourish if given more responsibility at a club with fewer star names than at Old Trafford.
Forward: Darren Bent
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has preferred the all-around talents of Christian Benteke than the goal-scoring ability of Darren Bent. You can see where Lambert is coming from, but that doesn’t mean that there won’t be a queue of clubs lining up to sign a player with Bent’s pedigree come January.
Bent is virtually guaranteed to score goals in the Premier League, making him a very valuable commodity. The Metro has reported that he could be reunited with his former Tottenham manager Martin Jol at Fulham.
Another of his former Spurs managers, Harry Redknapp, is also likely to be interested. Villa might not think Bent up to the task, but the player's signature is likely to be extremely sought after in the transfer window.
Forward: Demba Ba
As one of the Premier League's top scorers and with a £7m exit clause in his contract, it's little wonder that there's so much speculation around the future of Newcastle's Demba Ba.
Newcastle will be aggrieved to have to sell the player so cheaply, but it needn't be a disaster for them. Ba's insistence that he must play centrally has seen Papiss Cisse marginalised this season. With Ba gone, then it's likely that Cisse will once again flourish in the lone striker role.