30 Most-Hyped Premier League January Transfers

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistOctober 12, 2013

30 Most-Hyped Premier League January Transfers

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    With boundaries broken, superstars switching and all the hundreds of millions of pounds spend that one could ever hope to see, the summer transfer window has left a hard act to follow for this winter.

    Nevertheless, the Premier League's track record of surprising makes 2014 just another year where it will look to astonish like never before.

    In the build-up to this January, there are already dozens, if not hundreds, of rumours floating around, some of which look more likely, as well as more entertaining if coming to fruition.

    With that in mind, here are 30 of the most popular rumours that one will have and is set to see more of in the coming months regarding Premier League outfits.

1. Luis Suarez

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    From: Liverpool

    To: Real Madrid

    Let's get the ball rolling with a player who has and continues to court attention in terms of just where he'll be playing his football at the end of each and every transfer window.

    Following his 10-match ban for biting, Luis Suarez has returned to magnificent form with Liverpool, scoring three goals in his first two Premier League outings this season.

    However, that doesn't change what's happened in the past and while prolific form might enamour the Uruguayan to the Anfield faithful, it won't stop the storm of speculation that's constantly swirling around his signature.

    Of course, Suarez isn't helped by the fact that Uruguay strike partner Edinson Cavani recently described a move to Real Madrid as the Reds' forward's "dream move," per the Daily Mail.

    Just how content Suarez now is with his current surroundings remains to be seen, but it's difficult to rule out a move entirely until the player signs an extension with Liverpool, something that's unfortunately become the only real sign of commitment these days.

2. Andrea Pirlo

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    From: Juventus

    To: Tottenham

    One very intriguing piece of transfer gossip to have emerged in recent weeks is the rumour that Andrea Pirlo, whose contract at the Old Lady will expire in June 2014, could be coming to the Premier League next year.

    The Italian international and 2006 World Cup winner has been something of a revelation for Juventus since signing as a free transfer from Milan in 2011, triumphing in back-to-back Serie A seasons since.

    Now it seems the veteran could look to have a similar impact in the English top flight, claims the Daily Mail's John Edwards, who alleges that Pirlo could be ready for a challenge outside his native Italy.

    If Spurs' interest didn't speak highly enough of the player's talents, the Express also suggest that Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Real Madrid are looking to spoil Andre Villas-Boas' parade.

    At 34 years of age, the Bianconeri playmaker may not hold much re-sale value but has been an extraordinary talent to observe in recent years, especially considering his array of talents rarely require him to venture outside the halfway circle.

3. Michu

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    From: Swansea City

    To: Arsenal

    Continuing with his stratospheric rise through European estimations, newly-capped Spanish international Michu will enter yet another window of rumours this winter.

    The Swansea City star may have come to the Liberty Stadium for a fee of just £2 million but is looking likely to leave for at least 10 times as much if an exit does indeed come about.

    As the Mirror have reported, Arsenal and Liverpool are looking to sign the versatile forward but have been told that a fee of £30 million will be needed in order to prise him from his current surroundings.

4. Javier Hernandez

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    From: Manchester United 

    To: Outside Old Trafford

    While some would undoubtedly argue that the Red Devils can't afford to let him slip away, Javier Hernandez may finally complete a somewhat-anticipated move away from Manchester United this January.

    The Mexican international certainly has talent but is competing with a batch of other talented forwards who need to be appeased in terms of their playing expectations, too.

    Speaking to a Mexican television station Deportes Telemundo (h/t Daily Mail) earlier this week, Chicharito said:

    I strive for that [to start more games]. I am working towards that - earning a spot as a starter. I know that my performance on the pitch will allow me to achieve that goal someday either here [in Manchester] or elsewhere for any other club.

    I am going on four years here [at Manchester United] and really, like I have always said, I am happy to be able to play for one of the best clubs in the world, doing my best every single day to earn more minutes on the pitch.

    For several seasons now, Hernandez has figured as something of a background figure, despite boasting a pretty prolific scoring rate with the reigning Premier League champions.

    In order for the striker to fulfil the potential he feels he has, it may require a move away, which could happen as early as the New Year.

5. Kevin De Bruyne

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    From: Chelsea

    To: Wolfsburg 

    After being omitted from Jose Mourinho's Champions League squad last month, it's currently up for debate as to how Kevin De Bruyne figures in the Portuguese's plans.

    Following revelations about the player's supposed bad attitude in training, it seems plausible that the Belgian midfielder will leave Stamford Bridge in January, with the Bundesliga beckoning.

    Last season, De Bruyne enjoyed a successful spell while farmed out to Werder Bremen, scoring 10 league goals and making nine assists.

    Now the Metro have reported that it's Wolfsburg who are prepared to invest in the former Racing Genk starlet, making their interest very clear. 

    All off-pitch matters aside, De Bruyne is a superbly talented player and one of just a number of rising Belgian powers, making him well worth the roll of the dice to some.

6. Will Hughes

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    From: Derby County

    To: Numerous

    Still just 18 years of age, Will Hughes is the latest Championship starlet to become linked with a move to just about every Premier League giant.

    According to the Mirror's Alan Wilson, Manchester United are in the lead for the teenager's signature, although there still lies a lot of time for any other side to overtake them in that regard.

    New Rams boss Steve McClaren recently admitted that, sooner or later, Hughes will be too good for his side to keep hold of, strengthening rumours that the youngster could move on from Pride Park this January.

7. Wilfried Zaha

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    Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

    From: Manchester United

    To: Numerous

    From this year's Championship flavour of the month to last year's, Wilfried Zaha hasn't made the impact that some might have thought he would at Old Trafford.

    Zaha is yet to play a Premier League minute since moving to Manchester United over the summer and the Mirror's Matt Law say that the club are prepared to let the winger leave on loan in January.

    Given the talent displayed at Crystal Palace, there are unsurprisingly a number of English top-flight sides interested in taking the starlet.

    Rumours have surfaced, per the Daily Mail, that Zaha has become intimate with David Moyes' daughter in recent months. The player himself tweeted to dissuade any such speculation, but it could offer some explanation for his lack of involvement with United thus far.

8. Shinji Kagawa

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    From: Manchester United

    To: Borussia Dortmund

    Like Zaha, Shinji Kagawa is yet to have much of an impact on Manchester United's season just yet, restricted to just 45 minutes of Premier League football.

    Seemingly a victim of the formation that Moyes is eager to play and the players currently under his command, Kagawa has ridden the Red Devils' bench for much of recent months, leading to speculation that he might complete a move back to Signal Iduna Park.

    In a Daily Mail exclusive, Juergen Klopp again reaffirmed that he would indeed like to take the Japanese playmaker back to Germany so that he could once more influence Borussia Dortmund matters.

    Given the needs of each club to have the player, a winter move seems far from impossible at this point, regardless of how eager the player might be to establish himself with the English champions.

9. Leighton Baines

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    From: Everton

    To: Manchester United

    It's not all bad news for Manchester United fans, however, as the slightest glimmer of hope seems to remain around the possible arrival of Leighton Baines, a long-term target of the club.

    Having landed Marouane Fellaini in the summer, David Moyes has already brought one of the two stars many supposed would join him at Old Trafford from former side Everton and Baines' move would seem to complete the puzzle.

    According to the Daily Mail's Rob Draper, Moyes is ready to stump up £15 million plus the services of Antonio Valencia in return for Baines' signature.

    What's more, rumours have only intensified following Toffees coach Alan Stubbs' comments that Baines wanted to make the move, per the Express.

10. Victor Valdes

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    From: Barcelona

    To: Numerous

    After 11 years of being Barcelona's first choice between the posts, Victor Valdes looks set to leave the club on a free transfer this summer.

    Speaking to Antena3 (h/t Mirror), the Spaniard himself stated that his time at the Camp Nou will come to an end along with his contract.

    However, that won't stop the hype around the possibility of Barca cashing in early on the goalkeeper's signature, with the Metro reporting of Chelsea's interest in a possible swap deal.

11. Adnan Januzaj

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    From: Manchester United

    To: Barcelona

    Yet another Belgian-born player being churned off the nation's factory line of recent stars, Adnan Januzaj's Manchester United future has been thrown into some doubt following his emergence as a player of Premier League quality.

    Following a handful of goals both in the first team and reserves, Januzaj has been cast in the Red Devils' spotlight, but with less than a year left on his contract, the club risk losing another budding talent unless they can tie him down to a new deal.

    Barcelona have recently popped up as one of the most prestigious parties interested in the 18-year-old attacker, per the Independent, although there's a host of other options out there for one of the hottest prospects heading into January.

    Should United wish to avoid a situation similar to that of Paul Pogba leaving the club for a nominal fee back in 2012, they'll either need to agree a contract extension or cash in on his signature in the winter period.

12. Saido Berahino

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    From: West Bromwich Albion

    To: Arsenal

    Having impressed with a flood of goals in the last month or so—one being a match winner against Manchester United—Saido Berahino is deservedly courting a lot of winter attention.

    The Independent's John Percy says that Arsenal are looking at the West Brom forward as a possible investment this January, Arsene Wenger famously noted for his development of younger talents.

13. Bacary Sagna

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    From: Arsenal

    To: Numerous

    From possible Emirates Stadium arrivals to possible departures, Bacary Sagna is one Gunner that looks set to leave the club in 2014; it may just be a question of when.

    Earlier this month, a Daily Mail exclusive by Sami Mokbel perpetuated existing rumours that Sagna may leave the North London club on a free transfer next summer, with his contract set to expire at the end of the season.

    Wenger has certainly shown in recent seasons that he's not afraid to let his bigger talents leave for free if he can squeeze the best out of them prior to that.

    Having said that, a winter sale may still come about with the likes of AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain and others reportedly interested, as Mokbel states.

14. Ravel Morrison

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    From: West Ham

    To: Numerous

    Perhaps one of the more unlikely moves this winter given that no club is yet to register any concrete interest in the player, Ravel Morrison will nonetheless earn a lot of attention over the coming months.

    The former Manchester United bad boy, who moved to Upton Park in January 2012, is finally beginning to fulfil his potential, emphasised in his recent solo goal against Tottenham.

    Now a firm part of West Ham's first team, the Mirror suggests that the Hammers are striving to agree a new contract with Morrison, one without a £19 million release clause like the one the player decided upon in his current deal.

    As mentioned, no club has yet come in for the 20-year-old, but a transfer can never be ruled out when clauses such as this exist in a player's contract, especially one for a player now holding so much promise.

15. Alex Song

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    From: Barcelona

    To: Arsenal

    Yet to reach a streak of prominence at Barcelona, the door appears once again open for Alex Song to return to former club Arsenal this winter.

    The Cameroonian has made just 20 La Liga starts since moving to the Camp Nou last summer and may yet return to the club that saw him appear as a much higher priority.

    Speaking to French radio station RMC (h/t Daily Star) recently, Song stated:

    I do not know what will happen in the future. But it is true that I spent some fantastic seasons there [at Arsenal].

    We will see what happens, but for now I'm a Barcelona player.

    With that, the 26-year-old would seem far from abject to the idea of moving back to North London at some point, with the January window his next possible opportunity should it suit all parties concerned.

16. Julian Draxler

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    From: Schalke 04

    To: Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea

    After putting pen to paper over a new deal at the Veltins-Arena just this summer, Julian Draxler has dropped a bombshell on Schalke by admitting that he one day dreams of playing for "one of the big clubs."

    Speaking to German outlet Kolner Stadt-Anzeiger (h/t Express), the German international commented: 

    I owe Schalke a lot, I have always been at Schalke. I need to emphasise this. But I 'm not so rooted here that I could not tear myself away.

    I can honestly say that it is my dream to play for one of the big clubs at some point. You don't have to be playing for the very top club's in Europe to draw attention to yourself, but if you want to achieve the great goals that the world-class players have, then one of them is playing at the biggest clubs in the world.

    Asked then to detail which clubs might interest him, Draxler names Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea as England's top candidates, as well as Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    While the move may not come about as early as January, it's hard to rule anything out at this point, although the first obstacle will be getting past the player's €45 million release clause.

17. Ezequiel Garay

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    From: Benfica 

    To: Manchester United

    A rumour that's existed for going on two years now is the supposed Manchester United move for Benfica's Ezequiel Garay, an ever-present staple of the Portuguese club's rise in recent years.

    The Argentine centre-back has been associated with the Old Trafford outfit for some time now, reports even going as far as to claim that a deal had been agreed earlier this summer.

    However, a move is yet to come about as of yet, but Moyes has maintained the interest first initiated under Sir Alex Ferguson, his club again becoming linked with the South American stalwart.

    According to the Metro's Jamie Sanderson, United will again look towards Garay in an attempt to strengthen their back line this January in a move that could finally escalate to fruition.

18. Fabio Coentrao

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: Manchester United

    And Garay isn't the only defender who's come close to Old Trafford in recent months.

    As the attached video suggests, Fabio Coentrao was inches away from a Manchester United loan deal this summer but could not complete the move due to complications over Alexander Buttner's situation at the club.

    That being said, the Real Madrid utility could once again become linked with United this winter, that's according to the Metro.

    With Patrice Evra ageing and Moyes supposedly looking for the Frenchman's successor, Coentrao is one of several plausible candidates for the left-back spot, with this January a possible starting point.

19. Ashley Williams

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    From: Swansea City

    To: Arsenal

    Arsenal have been linked with numerous central defenders in recent transfer windows as they look to shore things up at the back, one of whom has been Ashley Williams.

    The Welsh international captain has been a key component in Swansea City's rise over recent years, drawing as much praise as any other of the club's prominent stars.

    Over the summer, Williams stated, per the Daily Star, that he was in "no rush to leave" the Liberty Stadium, but the Gunners might finally make a sufficient offer for the centre-back's services this winter.

20. Kyriakos Papadopoulos

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    From: Schalke 04

    To: Arsenal, Liverpool

    However, Williams isn't the only defensive recruit that Wenger is eyeing up this winter, with Liverpool's Brendan Rodgers also said to be a fan of Schalke's Kyriakos Papadopoulos.

    The Greek defender has struggled massively with knee issues over the last year or so but could yet return to form upon regaining fitness, fulfilling the potential that some have lauded upon him in the past.

    Arsenal and Liverpool are just two of the clubs interested in signing Papadopoulos this winter according to the Express, although a lot will rest on the 21-year-old making a full recovery from his injury woes.

21. Ander Herrera

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    From: Athletic Bilbao

    To: Manchester United

    In football, words can often be made to look empty regardless of just how opaque they may seem at first.

    That's why Manchester United will continue on with their pursuit of Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera despite being told that he will indeed be remaining in the Basque country until the end of the season.

    This summer, the Red Devils were supposedly close to triggering the 24-year-old's £30.5 million release clause and bringing him to Old Trafford along with Marouane Fellaini but were foiled due to complications over Spain's tax system.

    That doesn't mean their interest will stagnate, though, and interest is once again mounting in the Spanish midfielder, per the Independent.

    The Daily Mail have reported Athletic as telling the Premier League giants that Herrera will remain at San Mames this January. Just how that will deter Moyes' men remains to be seen.

22. Sergi Roberto

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    From: Barcelona

    To: Manchester United

    Should a move for Herrera fail, a very viable and more financially friendly option for the English club is Barcelona's budding playmaker, Sergi Roberto.

    The Metro has alleged that United could sign the youngster for as little as £6 million in January, Roberto supposedly being looked upon as surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou.

    With Shinji Kagawa already floundering somewhat at United, it's up for debate as to what Moyes' need is for another attacking midfield presence, but there is undoubted value in a deal for Roberto at that price.

23. Luke Shaw

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    From: Southampton

    To: Manchester United

    One of the numerous targets being teed up as a candidate supposedly to replace Patrice Evra in the near future is Southampton's Luke Shaw, who recently committed to the south coast club for a further five years.

    Despite being just 18 years of age, Shaw has already emerged as one of the Saints' more consistent stars of late, Mauricio Pochettino seeing fit to place a huge amount of responsibility in the rounded full-back.

    Now, it seems, that commitment will be tested as the Daily Star report that Manchester United will raise their interest in the teenager in an attempt to recruit one of England's more promising assets.

24. Juan Mata

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    From: Chelsea

    To: Numerous

    Although the initial shock over Juan Mata's lack of involvement at Chelsea seems to have died down in recent weeks, there remains an air of doubt around the Spaniard's Stamford Bridge future.

    Jose Mourinho has been resolute in his defence of not utilising the midfielder as often as others might, leading to the Express' suggestion that the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool will look to take advantage.

    Mata may yet resolve the differences he has with his manager, but tensions remain high and a winter move on the cards as a result.

25. Wayne Rooney

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    From: Manchester United

    To: Arsenal

    One that just won't seem to go away, Wayne Rooney's situation at Manchester United remains questionable despite the player's resurgence in form of late.

    Earlier in September, it was claimed by the Mirror's Simon Mullock that Arsenal, firmly linked with the striker over the summer period, would come back in for his services this January.

    After having a fallout with the club at the end of last season, Rooney appears to have mended some bridges at United in the months since, but it's difficult to know when the simplest change of heart could yet again throw his future into doubt.

26. Yohan Cabaye

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    From: Newcastle United

    To: Arsenal

    After becoming linked with the North London giants over the summer, Yohan Cabaye was as pleased as anyone with a prospective move to Arsenal on the cards.

    However, after refusing to play for the Magpies briefly, the Frenchman was persuaded to resume business as usual at St. James' Park, since going on once again to feature prominently in their Premier League trials.

    Speaking on the matter at a press conference earlier this week, Cabaye noted, per Sky Sports, that Joe Kinnear is the man to ask about the collapsed transfer: 

    Was my failed transfer to Arsenal difficult to swallow? At first, yes. But you have to quickly get focused again, because if you go on thinking about it you have a grudge against a lot of people and that is useless.

    I quickly forget about it and go back to work. The only person who can explain what happened is Joe Kinnear. If he is honest, he will tell it. Otherwise it will not get out of my mouth.

    Clearly not satisfied by the way things were carried out, a winter move for the Newcastle talisman can't quite be ruled out, with Cabaye yet to realise the switch he was evidently hoping for.

27. Fernando Llorente

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    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    From: Juventus

    To: Arsenal

    Leaving Athletic Bilbao as a free transfer this past summer, Fernando Llorente was hoping a move to Juventus would allow him to compete for more silverware and feature on Europe's biggest stages.

    However, competition for places has so far proven difficult for the Spaniard to handle and after making just two Serie A starts this season, it seems he could be on the move again in January.

    With a 2014 World Cup place on the line, Llorente is eager to emerge as the primary striking option of a side, the Mirror's John Cross saying that a loan to Arsenal could be the option best suiting all parties involved.

28. Demba Ba

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    Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images

    From: Chelsea 

    To: Galatasaray

    Having failed to make the desired impact during his first nine months as a Chelsea player, Demba Ba could be on the move for the second time consecutive January window, it seems.

    The Senegalese striker has made just four appearances under Mourinho this term and the Express insist that he could be used as a makeweight in order to bring Galatasaray's prolific Burak Yilmaz to West London.

    Upon his Chelsea arrival, Ba was tipped as the man Stamford Bridge fans wanted to replace the void vacated by Didier Drogba last summer, but he could yet go on to join the Ivorian forward as his strike partner in Turkey.

29. Keisuke Honda

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    Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images

    From: CSKA Moscow

    To: Tottenham

    Although a move to Milan seemed most likely for the Japanese international, Tottenham will look to erase any edge that the Rossoneri may have had in the race for CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda this winter.

    With some Russian Premier League contracts still working differently to the rest of Europe, the Japanese international's deal in the capital comes to an end in the new year.

    As the Metro say, Honda will be available for free come January 1 and Spurs will seek to add to their already bulging creative ranks with a cheap swoop on one of Asia's finest talents.

30. Ross Barkley

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    From: Everton

    To: Manchester United

    As if raiding his former club for Fellaini wasn't enough, David Moyes seems intent on taking another Everton midfield star this winter in the shape of the emerging Ross Barkley.

    The teenager has been a revelation for the Toffees so far this campaign, becoming one of their most impressive assets in the early outings.

    However, the Mirror suggests that Manchester United will seek to tie up a £20 million deal for the 19-year-old in the January transfer window, although Roberto Martinez is likely to be equally as stern as Moyes proved himself to be when it comes to keeping hold of his star assets.