Bold Predictions for the Premier League January Transfer Window
It seems like only yesterday that the summer transfer window was slammed shut, but the rumour mills have continued to whir as the winter window approaches.
After splurging on attacking talent in the summer, many clubs attempt to become more conservative in the winter by strengthening their defensive line. In the forthcoming transfer period, however, we are boldly predicting that there will be more movement in the midfield and forward positions.
Here are some of the moves that could materialise in the coming months...
Luke Shaw to Manchester Utd
After failing to secure the services of Leighton Baines in the summer window, David Moyes may turn to 18-year-old Southampton left-back Luke Shaw as a successor to Patrice Evra.
The Daily Star are among those who believe that Utd could beat Chelsea and Tottenham to the England Under-21 star's signature, and that he would cost around £25 million.
It's an extraordinary amount for a young defender, but Utd may need to flex their financial muscle with one or two confidence-building investments by January.
Stamford Bridge is also a possible destination, particularly as Shaw has admitted he is a Chelsea fan.
Fernando Llorente to Chelsea
Since his free transfer from Athletic Club in the summer, Fernando Llorente has failed to make an impact.
The Express are among those reporting the Spanish striker's unhappiness and also linking him with a move to Real Madrid, Tottenham, Arsenal, Tottenham or Chelsea.
Llorente could make an impact at any of those clubs, but he could truly shine as a replacement for Samuel Eto'o, who has admitted that he is struggling with the physicality of the Premier League.
Juan Mata to Paris Saint-Germain
Juan Mata was Chelsea's best player last season—and possibly the entire league's best player—so it is baffling that he continues to struggle to find his place in Jose Mourinho's line-up.
Many are suggesting that the 25-year-old attacking midfielder will bid adieu to Stamford Bridge this winter, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester Utd all thought to be interested, per The Express.
The Mirror recently suggested Mata may rejoin Valencia, but they have also touted a big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain. The Ligue 1 side were sniffing around him in the summer, and their resources and ambition would surely put them as front-runners for his signature.
Neven Subotic to Manchester Utd; Shinji Kagawa Back to Borussia Dortmund
Since his move to Manchester Utd in June 2012, Shinji Kagawa has become a crowd favourite at Old Trafford.
David Moyes, however, appears immune to his talents, and his old club Borussia Dortmund are keen to welcome him back to the Bundesliga. BvB fans are so keen to see him again that they even started a "Free Kagawa" Twitter campaign in the summer.
The Daily Mail are among the numerous sources claiming the two clubs may agree a swap for for Kagawa and centre-back Neven Subotic.
Ilkay Gundogan to Arsenal
Manchester Utd may have strengthened their midfield with Marouane Fellaini in the last window, but they could still use a No. 8 in the middle of the park. This has led some—including The Daily Star—to believe that David Moyes will make a January bid for Borussia Dortmund's Ilkay Gundogan.
However, the German would be an excellent addition at Arsenal. Not only would he gel with the German contingent at the Emirates, but he would receive plenty of support from the league's best midfield.
Kevin De Bruyne to Werder Bremen Permanently
Yet another player who is not getting enough reps under Jose Mourinho is Kevin De Bruyne. With an upcoming World Cup in which Belgium are expected to shine, the 22-year-old desperately needs more minutes on the field.
A number of Bundesliga clubs have offered to take De Bruyne off Chelsea's hands with the promise of more game time, but the leading contender is surely Werder Bremen, who enjoyed his company on loan last season. The IB Times are among those claiming Bremen will offer a lifeline.
Keisuke Honda to Liverpool
Attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda has scored 20 goals in 87 appearances for CSKA Moscow in the past three-and-a-half seasons and has helped his native Japan qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
British tabloid headline writers look set for a field day of automotive puns (Honda drives home penalty? Honda fulfils civic duty?) as the 27-year-old looks set to join the Premier League when his current contract runs out during the winter window.
Honda admitted to the press that AC Milan are an option, but Everton were also reported to have submitted a £5 million bid in the summer (per The Express).
He may not fit Brendan Rodgers' edict for young British talent, but it would certainly be in Liverpool's interest to pursue a free transfer for the Japanese star.
Andrea Pirlo to Tottenham
Andrea Pirlo will be 35 when his contract runs out at the end of this season, but which team wouldn't want the chance to have the Italian legend spraying pinpoint passes around the field?
Reports from The Express say that former Chelsea star Gianluca Vialli believes the bearded genius may move to White Hart Lane.
If Andre Villas-Boas wants to beat the Premier League's elite for his signature, however, he may have to swoop in during the winter and stump up some cash, rather than letting the midfielder go for a free a few months later.