20 Rumoured EPL Transfers That Won't Happen in January
The January transfer window isn't as long—and therefore as active—as the summer transfer window, but it's still a crucially important time for clubs around the world.
It acts as the chance to stop and assess how their season has been so far; where they can improve, how they can get better and which players are best suited to helping them do that. It's like stopping midway through a race to get a little bit of extra training or nutrition in for the run home.
The January transfer window for the 2013-14 season won't be any different. Players, as well as clubs, will be looking to make the right move to help their season, and while it might still be over two months away from commencing, there's been no shortage of gossip and speculation so far.
To be frank, a lot of that is pure speculation.
A great deal of the "potential" rumors this summer that are being thrown around are, in reality, not going to happen, and probably won't happen over the summer either.
Here are 20 rumored Premier League transfers that won't happen in January.
Iker Casillas to Manchester City
Having been ousted from his starting spot at Real Madrid by Diego Lopez, much has been made about Iker Casillas' future (or lack of it) at the Sanitago Bernabeu.
According to reports from Bleacher Report's Guillem Balague, Casillas was close to leaving over the summer window but chose to stay and fight for his place—something that hasn't exactly gone to plan after the Spanish international sustained an injury against Galatasaray.
However, the question for Casillas is as to whether he is prepared to leave the club that he's spent his entire life at. And while the answer to that might be yes, it's hard to see that being yes midway through a season—especially one where Los Blancos are contenders in a number of competitions. He's far more likely to leave in the summer window than in January, if at all.
The prospect of not playing football in the buildup to the World Cup is an issue, but even without a stack of game time, "Saint Iker" is going to be picked (and start) for Spain. He's their captain, and they know firsthand just how important the shot-stopper is to their squad.
So I'm not convinced that his departure is quite as imminent as it seems.
But just not midway through the season.
Wayne Rooney to Paris Saint-Germain
Having been reportedly close to leaving Manchester United over the summer window, Wayne Rooney is still being linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
It certainly isn't going to happen this January.
The Englishman has shown his allegiance still remains with the Red Devils after a summer window where all indications were that he'd finished with the club. David Moyes has done very well to ensure that Rooney still feels needed and an important element of the defending champions' squad, and will surely rebuff any interest that comes in for him this summer—regardless of the proposed fee.
PSG, per ESPN, are reportedly keen on adding Rooney to their star striker duo of Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but it's hard to see that working.
It seems (for now) that Rooney is fine to stay at Manchester United but even if he wasn't, United most likely wouldn't sell him over the January window anyway.
Stephan El Shaarawy to Tottenham Hotspur
Stephan El Shaarawy isn't an unfamiliar name in the rumor mill, and is again being linked with a move away from the San Siro—this time to Tottenham Hotspur.
The Daily Mirror report that the club are keen to add in "The Pharaoh" to their squad in order to improve their Champions League credentials for next season, should they make the top four. And while that in itself is logical, the rest of this transfer rumor simply isn't.
El Shaarawy has already made it quite clear that he intends to stay at Milan. Now, even if that doesn't turn out be true to the full extent, even still, it's hard to see him reneging on his deal at the Rossoneri, where he is still under contract until the end of the 2014/15 season.
Milan—having already sold Kevin Prince-Boateng—don't want to lose another wide forward and break up the combination of El Shaarawy and Mario Balotelli.
And as far as Spurs goes, well, I can't see why they'd want him.
Having sold Bale, the club have already added in a host of world-class players to their squad and are flush with attacking options. El Shaarawy would help them to play Andre Villas-Boas' preferred 4-3-3 formation more effectively, but even still, they have the players capable of doing that.
They don't need the Italian in order to qualify for the Champions League this year; they already have the players they need having bought well post-Gareth Bale.
Andrea Pirlo to Tottenham Hotspur
Another player not coming to London is Andrea Pirlo.
The bearded genius is no doubt a world-class talent and would certainly attract plenty of interest from clubs right around the world, but there's simply no way that Juventus would be willing to let go of the Italian international. They know how important he is to their squad, and it's hard to see their fanbase being too happy, either, if they decided to let him leave in January.
Pirlo—who will likely feature heavily for Italy in the 2014 World Cup—needs constant playing time, and there's no way that he'll get it in Spurs' congested midfield.
The Daily Mail seem to be a little off the mark with this rumor.
Juan Mata to Paris Saint-Germain
It didn't happen in the end (most likely on Chelsea's end), but it was an interesting rumor to watch for. It's hardly surprising to see it emerge again for the 2014 January window, especially now with some additional fuel for the fire given Jose Mourinho's reluctancy to start Mata.
The Daily Mirror with the report this time around.
However, it's important to note here that the majority of the "information" behind a Mata-to-PSG move is surrounding his playing time. Mourinho has made no qualms about the fact he prefers Oscar as the club's starting No. 10 and that Mata—like any other player—needs to prove his worth.
That's what's led to the majority of the Mata exit talk.
The idea that Mourinho’s decision is motivated by personal pique and by non-footballing calculations is too simple. In my opinion, what’s happening to Mata at the moment will, in the long term, be of benefit to both the player and his country.
While many armchair followers of "highlights" football cite him as Chelsea’s best player, in terms of goals and assists, Mourinho is seeing a bigger picture... When a manager joins a new club does he have to adapt to the players he has, or do the players have to adapt to the style of the manager... But when he does return—and return he will—it will be to play as he has been told to, not as he would prefer to.
He will then become an even better player than he already quite clearly is.
Leighton Baines to Manchester United
At some point in his career, Leighton Baines will stop being linked with a move to Manchester United. However, that point doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon.
Baines is again touted as a target for the Red Devils, who are seemingly prepared to pay way over the odds to get him. The Daily Mail reports that United are willing to offer Everton £15 million plus winger Antonio Valencia for the England international, and while there's no doubt about Baines' talent and skill, it's hard to see Moyes wanting to raid his old club once again.
Moyes was hammered by the media and fans for his failures to land high-profile targets over the summer—one of which was Baines. His offer was labelled "derisory and insulting," and never quite recovered from that in terms of the public perception about his ability to land targets.
In January (when United will most likely be battling away in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds and the Premier League title race) he won't want that again.
Moyes needs to look in control in his next transfer window, and he'll only do that by trying to sign players he knows he has a chance at signing, which won't be Baines.
Anyway, who's to say that Everton would sell him anyway?
Romelu Lukaku to Juventus
Time to put this one to bed once and for all.
Romelu Lukaku—Chelsea player and Everton loanee—will not be joining Juventus in the summer window. It's impossible, and even if it wasn't, it's incredibly unlikely.
The Daily Mirror reported last week that Lukaku (currently on a season-long loan with the Toffees) could make the January switch to the Old Lady. However, given that his loan is, well, season-long, we know that can't happen. That much was confirmed by the Belgian international's agent Christophe Henrotay, who stated via Goal that "there is no clause... [he] will not go anywhere in January".
Just to ensure that there are no doubts about this one being false, think about it for a minute also as well. Everton don't want to let Lukaku leave them this January.
Chelsea most definitely wouldn't want him to leave them either.
End of story.
Marco Reus to Arsenal
Borussia Dortmund forward Marco Reus has been heavily linked, via The Express, with a move to Arsenal—amongst other clubs—over the January transfer window.
It's hard (make that near-impossible) to see that coming true.
Reus has been a world-class talent since making the switch to Dortmund, and has taken on added importance with the club since Mario Goetze's departure. He is fundamental to their chances of success in both the Bundesliga and Champions League, and the club will be desperate to ensure that he doesn't leave—especially knowing that Robert Lewandowski is off to Bayern Munich in the summer.
There's no way that Dortmund would be willing to sell Reus, who has quickly become one of the best wide forwards slash quasi No. 10s in world football today.
Not to Arsenal. Not to Manchester City. Not to anybody.
The only way that he'd leave is with a buyout clause. Oh, about that...
Reus' buyout clause doesn't start until 2015.— Borussia Dortmund FF (@BVBfansFF) May 26, 2013
Shinji Kagawa to Borussia Dortmund
Klopp tried over the recent summer window to sign Kagawa but failed.
Even if he were to try and repeat the process over the January window, it's likely get the same response from Kagawa. If not, he'd certainly get the same from United.
Moyes' tactics to begin the season might have drawn the ire of some fans surrounding the way in which Kagawa hasn't featured heavily. However, it's naive to think that this will continue the entire season. The year is long and there will be ample opportunities for the playmaker to show exactly what he can do throughout the course of the season, just like was the case in 2012.
The Red Devils boss has a tough ask on his hands trying to utilize both Kagawa, Rooney, Maraouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj (who can all play in that No. 10 role) and must be given patience. Maybe he'll shift to a 4-3-3; maybe he'll simply manage them across all competitions.
Either way, Kagawa is definitely going to get enough playing time at United, and he isn't going to be let go by the club before they're convinced he's not worth it.
Which, given his talent and attacking ability, won't be for a little while yet.
Philippe Coutinho to Atletico Madrid
The prospect of Liverpool starlet Philippe Coutinho leaving the club not long after he arrived is one that might seem ridiculous but actually isn't all that far off.
Reports from The Daily Mirror indicate that high-flying Atletico Madrid—who tried to sign Coutinho over the summer—will return for a fresh bid in the January window. Given the way they've been performing so far this year, it's safe to assume that the club will likely have Champions League football still to offer the young Brazilian and perhaps even a shot at the La Liga title.
With a strong attacking squad, the interest from Atletico is very real. However, so too is the belief that Brendan Rodgers has in Coutinho, who surely won't be sold.
Coutinho became the heart and soul of their attack in the absence of Luis Suarez to start the season and showed just how pertinent he was to their cause. He is a creative talent like few others in the Premier League and stands to be a very strong player for many years to come behind the in-form and deadly attacking duo of both Suarez and Daniel Sturridge.
Any move for Coutinho this January will surely be rebuffed by Liverpool.
Julian Draxler to Chelsea
Chelsea aren't exactly short of star attacking midfielders. This much should be clear with the entire "Juan Mata" situation that we discussed on a previous slide.
As such, it's hard to see the Blues being that desperate to sign Julian Draxler, whom the club have been linked with a move for this January via The Daily Star.
Obviously the youngster is a seriously talented player and with Champions League experience, would make for a great prospect. But in terms of Chelsea actually wanting to sign him, there's some serious question marks surrounding it, which will most likely derail this one.
Schalke 04 general manager Horst Heldt said previously via talkSPORT:
"We will retain Draxler... There will be no dramas this winter."
That also kind of throws a spanner in the works, as does the fact that the starlet only signed a new long-term deal at the club over the summer transfer window.
Extremely unlikely we'll be seeing Draxler leave.
Karim Benzema to Manchester United
There was big news coming out of the Santiago Bernabeu earlier this week with the rumor that Real Madrid will listen to offers for Karim Benzema this January.
The French international has largely underperformed for the club over the past few years, and with the club thought to be interested in making a move for Luis Suarez (which we'll get to later), the need for him at the club isn't as big as it once was. Especially with Jese Rodriguez waiting in the wings.
The Daily Star, among other media outlets, has suggested that defending Premier League champions Manchester United could make a move for Benzema.
On the surface, it's not as wild as it might seem.
United—should they sell off Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez—would potentially be somewhat thin up front given that Wayne Rooney is both a mix of a striker and a traditional No. 10. It's also worth noting that Moyes will be keen to add a high-profile target or two into the mix this January to help calm the fears of many about his tenure as manager, and Benzema could fit the bill.
Champions League experience, international experience etc.
However, I'm not convinced that Benzema actually fits the bill for what United are looking for up front. They don't need a poacher or someone to sit on the last defender like Hernandez and Van Persie do. They need someone who is capable of doing that, sure, but also someone who is capable of dropping in front of defenders and playing the ball effectively out to his wide men.
They need players who are as creative as they are effective in front of goal, and Benzema doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Not given the money that Real Madrid will likely ask for the Frenchman, and not in light of the other names that could be available this coming January.
Diego Costa to Liverpool
Diego Costa was heavily linked with a move to Liverpool over the summer window. He chose to stay at Atletico in the end, but that didn't stop the transfer rumors.
And it hasn't stopped them continuing into the summer window.
But think about it: Costa has started sensationally for Atletico this season and is currently the leading goal-scorer in La Liga. He's in an undefeated team who will most likely move through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League and is rapidly rising in his valuation.
Why would he move to Liverpool?
There's no Champions League football this season, and he'd be suddenly fighting for a place alongside Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez in the starting team.
This rumor made sense six months ago, but definitely not now.
Ilkay Gundogan to Manchester United
There's no doubt that Manchester United's midfield—even with the additions of Marouane Fellaini and Adnan Januzaj—isn't as strong as what it needs to be.
The Red Devils still desperately need another central midfielder.
Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan is reportedly again a target for United over the January window according to The Daily Star, and while the 22-year-old would no doubt be a strong addition for the Red Devils, it's hard to see Jurgen Klopp being willing to part with him in January.
Gundogan is a world-class player who—when healthy—is an instant starter in Dortmund's midfield. He is fundamental to the way they operate in both attack and defense, and his centrality to the squad means that he is extremely unlikely to be let go. Especially given that his current injury status means the Germans won't have been able to use him all that much this year.
Dortmund will want to keep Gundogan, and with no reports that the midfielder is even thinking about leaving the Bundesliga, this one seems pretty straightforward.
Michu to Arsenal
Arsenal are thought to be the front-runners among a number of Premier League clubs for Swansea City star Michu. The Daily Mail reports that the Gunners are keen to secure the services of the free-running forward, but there's some obstacles that appear to be standing in the way.
The first is the valuation of the Spaniard—£30 million.
Arsenal and Swansea know this is well over the odds for Michu, but that's seemingly the price that's required to sign a big-name player during the season.
Arsene Wenger doesn't play those games, though. He won't be drawn into a bidding war and he's unlikely to splash cash simply because many feel that he needs to. Never has, and likely never will. The Gunners are firing with Mesut Ozil for now, and will likely need to add someone over the January window to keep them rolling along, but £30 million seems simply far too steep.
Especially given that Michu doesn't really fill a need for them.
Michu isn't a striker, regardless of what position he might play for Swansea. His best skills aren't as a target man and Michu would not be capable of all at providing cover for Olivier Giroud, like many think he would at Arsenal. He'd be much better served playing as a No. 10 in the 4-2-3-1 formation or even as a central midfielder in the 4-3-3, but simply not as the target man.
Michu in May: "My biggest strength is bombing into the box as a second line of attack that nobody notices."— James McManus (@JamesMcManus1) October 6, 2013
@JamesMcManus1 Played at Valladolid as in an actual CM, as in flat CM, behind a 10. Manager moved him forward, he's kept going— Sam Tighe (@stighefootball) October 6, 2013
Arsenal don't need a No. 10; they already have two in Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. To spend £30 million trying to land another just doesn't make sense.
Bruno Martins Indi to Everton
Bruno Martins Indi was close to joining Everton over the summer transfer window. It never eventuated, and the reports have continued about a January switch.
The Daily Mail reports that both Everton and Arsenal are interested in the Feyenoord centre-back, and I'd be highly surprised if clubs like Manchester United aren't also interested. Without wanting to speculate, you could probably also throw teams who need a central defender like Real Madrid and Barcelona into the mix for Martins Indi—such is his talent and ball-playing ability.
Now no disrespect to Everton, but there's no way they win that battle.
Regardless of how close he might have been to joining the Toffees this summer and regardless of how good a fit he might be in Roberto Martinez's possession-based system, there's no way that they'll be able to beat out the aforementioned clubs for his services this January.
Sergio Aguero to Real Madrid
Real Madrid have reportedly made Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero their top transfer priority this January according to reports from The Guardian.
With Madrid having sold Gonzalo Higuain over the summer and Karim Benzema struggling to produce consistent, attacking form, there's no doubt that Los Blancos would love to add another striker. Carlo Ancelotti will know that once his squad starts to hit full stride, they're capable of not only challenging in La Liga but also the Champions League but will need depth to do that.
They'd need to add another striker. At least.
However, the issue here is not with Madrid's need for a striker, or even their interest in Aguero. It all comes down to the player, and Manchester City's interest.
Currently billed as the Premier League favorites, Manuel Pellegrini won't want to sell his star striker this January. He most likely won't want him to leave for several years, and that may very well be the case given that Aguero agreed to a long-term contract just last May.
City do have the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Stevan Jovetic in their ranks, but Aguero is clearly the club's No. 1 option up front, and will be for a long while still.
No way he leaves the club this summer, when the EPL and UCL are on the line.
David Luiz to FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona are keen on adding some further depth to their defensive ranks. Even with the emergence of Marc Bartra, they still seemingly need that depth.
But Chelsea's David Luiz is the wrong option for them to be looking at.
The Brazilian international—who was mightily impressive for the Blues over the back half of last season—was subject to strong interest from La Blaugrana over the summer window but opted to stay at Stamford Bridge. Nothing has changed since that date, either, so there's no reason to suggest he or the club will suddenly change their minds and accept it in the January window.
Luiz is a regular in the Blues lineup when fully fit, and will no doubt have an important impact throughout both the European and English competitions this year.
He simply brings so much to the club that they won't want to let him go. And unless Luiz himself is suddenly keen on a change of scenery, he'll stay in London.
Hiroshi Kiyotake to Aston Villa
If you haven't heard the name of Nurnberg playmaker Hiroshi Kiyotake, it's definitely worth becoming familiar with it. He's going to be a star in a few years.
Kiyotake was very impressive last year for the German club. And while they will obviously want to hang on to him for as long as possible, I definitely think he'll make a move this January. The club are struggling domestically and the interest in Kiyotake has grown exponentially over the past few months—meaning that Nurnberg may be tempted to sell him and make as much money as they can while the hype is high, even if that means selling off one of their better attacking players.
The Daily Mail reported strong interest from Aston Villa in the summer window, with Paul Lambert expected to try and sign the 23-year-old again over the January window.
Only that by then, the hype and attraction of Kiyotake will be too high.
Few clubs in world football have a world-class No. 10 at their disposal. That includes teams that have had far more success in recent times than Villa, and if that's the case, it's hard to see Lambert's men finishing as the favored destination in a queue of potential landing spots.
Kiyotake's agent will no doubt use the strong interest in his client to drive the best possible deal, and there's just no way that Villa will end up winning that battle.
Luis Suarez to Real Madrid
I thought we'd finish with an appropriate one given that Luis Suarez to Real Madrid is a transfer rumor that is unequivocally, most definitely, not happening this January. Again, just think about it for a minute
Luis Suarez was certainly on the outer this past summer. He was not in a good place as a footballer courtesy of his long suspension for biting, was being touted as second string compared to Daniel Sturridge and was definitely being considered by Liverpool as a possible sale.
However, Brendan Rodgers opted to stand by his man so to speak, and not sell Suarez—denying Arsenal the chance to secure a deal with the Uruguayan forward.
Why, then, would they go to all of that trouble only to sell him in January? Especially when, as we saw last weekend, he's rekindling his partnership with Sturridge again and seemingly has Liverpool on course for a return to Champions League football in the 2014/15 season.
There's nothing to suggest that Liverpool want to sell Suarez now (if at all in the near future), and there's not all that much to suggest Madrid are that keen anymore. Los Blancos' president Florentino Perez was quoted via The Daily Mail as saying that, "We will not be signing anyone in January," and even if he's just trying to sell a smokescreen, there's no way Liverpool will go for it.
Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness: Follow @dantalintyre
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!