January Transfer Window: 5 Biggest Deals That Can Still Happen Before It Closes
We're almost halfway through the January transfer window and have already seen plenty of action.
It only takes one deal to spark several others into life. So Liverpool buy Daniel Sturridge, which sees Chelsea make a move for Demba Ba; and now Newcastle look likely to bring in Loic Remy.
It just shows you how quickly things can move in such a short period of time, and there's still plenty of opportunity for some monster deals to be concluded before deadline day.
Here are the five biggest deals that can still happen before the January transfer window closes.
Wilfried Zaha to Manchester United
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The most coveted English player in this transfer window is Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha.
The winger has made enough of an impact this season to win an England cap, despite playing in the second-tier Championship.
Most of the top Premier League clubs have been linked with a move for Zaha, but it is Manchester United who are thought to be favourites. Graeme Yorke of the Daily Mail has reported that United are looking to make a £12m move for the youngster and could be open to the possibility of loaning Zaha back to Palace for the rest of the season.
Such a move would make sense for all parties. Crystal Palace would retain their best player as they attempt to win promotion, Zaha would continue to play regular football, and Manchester United would be able to secure a future star, giving him his opportunity at Old Trafford next season.
It looks unlikely that Nani will leave United this January, so the club have plenty of options on the wing. When the Portuguese inevitably departs in the summer, Zaha would make a perfect replacement.
Mario Balotelli to AC Milan
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We've all seen those pictures of Mario Balotelli wearing an AC Milan shirt, and it's clear that he's tested the patience of the management at Manchester City, perhaps fatally.
It's no wonder then that people are putting two and two together to link Balotelli with a move to the Rossoneri.
AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi recently described Balotelli as a "rotten apple," but according to The Telegraph's Mark Ogden, City still believe that a deal can be done with the Italian giants.
Much could rest on whether Milan are able to offload Robinho back to Brazil, after a move to Santos broke down.
It might be more likely that this deal is concluded in the summer rather than winter, but things can move fast in the January transfer window, and pretty much anything can happen where Mario Balotelli is concerned.
Moutinho to Tottenham
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Spurs came agonizingly close to buying Joao Moutinho in the summer, and despite having had a successful season under Andre Villas-Boas, you can argue that they have lived to regret not securing the services of the Portuguese international.
While Tottenham are ever-dangerous on the counterattack, they often lack the guile to break down teams that are determined to defend.
Moutinho would have been the perfect replacement for Luka Modric and it's no surprise that AVB is still determined to get hold of his former Porto lieutenant.
John Cross of The Mirror believes that Tottenham will make another bid for Moutinho this January. With Porto through to the knockout stages of the Champions League, negotiations with the Portuguese club are likely to remain challenging, especially with Spurs chairman Daniel Levy's penchant for doing his business late.
Llorente to Juventus
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With his size and strength, allied to no little skill, Fernando Llorente has always looked like a natural for the Premier League, but it seems as if the Spanish international prefers the idea of a move to Serie A.
The Guardian has reported that Llorente has begun talks with Juventus. Llorente's contract at Athletic Bilbao expires in the summer, and this represents the last chance for the Basque club to cash in on the goalscorer.
With the fee likely to be in the region of £7m, this would be a tremendous bit of business for Juve. Llorente is a top-class striker, and his signing would be a boost not just for Juventus, but also Serie A, if the club could bring him to Italy.
Wesley Sneijder to Liverpool
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Available at a bargain £8m, Wesley Sneijder is surely worth a gamble for an ambitious club, considering that a year or two ago he was valued at around four times that amount.
So far Galatasaray are the only club to bite and put in a firm offer for the Dutch international. Majid Mohamed of The Independent thinks that Sneijder is likely to turn down a move to Turkey amidst rumours that Liverpool are set to make a bid.
You can certainly imagine that Sneijder would consider the English Premier League a more suitable backdrop for his talents than the smaller-profile Turkish Super Lig.
For Liverpool's part, although Sneijder form has dipped in recent seasons, he would surely remain a quality addition to their midfield and perfectly gel with Brendan Rodger's style of play.