Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentDecember 20, 2013

Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours

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    Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of January's 20 hottest transfer rumours.

    So, how will these 20 January transfer window rumours be ranked? The rumours will be ranked according to name recognition.

    The less identifiable the rumoured player is, the lower the rumour will be ranked and vice versa.

20. Hiroki Yamada

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    Jubilo Iwata's Japanese international Hiroki Yamada could be a Celtic player if he impresses manager Neil Lennon.

    "He [Yamada] can play left side or off the striker. He looks okay but we'll not have a real idea until we've seen him over here," Lennon said, via The Herald Scotland. "I don't think there would be any money involved—he's a free."

    Yamada can go past opposing defenders with ease, he has superb ability and is two-footed.

    Jubilo's relegation all but ensures Yamada will be moving on. 

    This is a low risk, high reward type of deal for Celtic especially if he is signed on a free transfer. 

19. Samed Yesil

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    Besiktas are looking to sign Liverpool's Samed Yesil in a deal which could be worth £2 million, according to Jamie Sanderson at The Metro.

    Yesil, the star of Steffen Freund's German squad at the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup, is an exciting prospect but can his body hold up to the rigours of senior football?

    While playing for the Liverpool reserves, Yesil ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in February this year and then suffered the same injury last week.

    This will end Besiktas' interest in him.

    Please keep Yesil in your thoughts.

18. Ji Dong-Won

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    Borussia Dortmund will provide Ji Dong-Won an exit route from Sunderland, according to The Sunderland Echo.

    Ji, if you can't get consistent game time at Sunderland, don't go to Dortmund.

    Augsburg, Freiburg or a 2. Bundesliga club vying for promotion are better footballing choices for Ji, who needs to regain his confidence.

17. Kostas Mitroglou

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    Olympiacos centre forward Kostas Mitroglou has extended his contract until 2017, according to UEFA.com.

    "I want to thank Olympiacos for embracing me and for believing in me, even during the rough patches of my career," he said, via UEFA.com. "I am very happy to extend my stay at the club of my heart."

    Mitroglou's commitment to Olympiacos ends rumours of him making a Premier League move to either Arsenal or Liverpool (per The Daily Star).

16. Alfred Finnbogason

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    Celtic are planning on submitting a £5 million bid for Heerenveen centre forward Alfred Finnbogason, according to Keith Jackson at The Daily Record.

    Finnbogason has scored 16 goals in 14 league games this season with an eight-game scoring streak from August to October.

    If he moves to the Scottish Premiership and stays there for an extended period he could become Celtic's best striker since Henrik Larsson.

    In terms of one Eredivisie season, Finnbogason has already scored more goals right now than Larsson ever did for Feyenoord.

15. John Heitinga

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    Roma are considering a bid for Everton defender John Heitinga, according to Il Messaggero via talkSPORT.

    Heitinga's issue is that he cannot get game-time at Everton, so why would he join Roma when he will be backing up Mehdi Benatia and Leandro Castan?

    Those two are the backbone of Roma having the best defence in Serie A (seven goals conceded in 16 games).

14. Georgios Samaras

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    Celtic forward Georgios Samaras was a transfer target for Lazio (per Sky Sports) but Phil Gordon at The Times (subscription required) is reporting that it is not true:

    Georgios Samaras saw a potential move to Serie A disappear in confusion yesterday as Lazio declared that the Celtic striker is not one of their transfer targets in January.

    Lazio's sporting director, Igli Tare, categorically denied that the Italian club want to sign the 28-year-old Greece front man when the window opens next month.

    Brayan Perea might be struggling in front of goals, with one goal in 10 league games, but Lazio should persist with him because he has a substantially higher upside than Samaras, who is a limited forward.

13. Rafinha

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    Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha has signed a contract extension until 2017, per Bayern Munich's official website.

    Rafinha told FCB.tv: "It's very important for me, my career and my family that I have the chance to continue working at one of the best clubs in the world. I'm very proud."

    The contract extension rules out the possibility of him signing with Corinthians (from Bild via Samba Foot).

    This season is the first time since the 2011-12 campaign that he is a consistent starter for Bayern as manager Pep Guardiola has moved Philipp Lahm from right-back to a deep-lying midfield role which gave Rafinha the opening he had been waiting for.

12. Kurt Zouma

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    Napoli are preparing for a bidding war with Chelsea and Manchester City for Saint-Etienne centre-back Kurt Zouma, according to talkSPORT.

    Zouma attracted negative press when he earned a 10-game ban for injuring Sochaux's Thomas Guerbert with an uncompromising tackle.

    Zouma did win the ball but by following through, he crashed straight through a defenceless Guerbert.

    The sad irony is that Zouma rarely goes in with such velocity, only registering 11 tackles this season.

    He has averaged 0.6 and 0.8 tackles in his last two seasons.

11. John Guidetti

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    Lazio and Inter Milan are looking at signing John Guidetti from Manchester City, according to Aftonbladet via Danny Griffiths at The Metro.

    Inter should not be an option for Guidetti because the club have an established No. 9 in Rodrigo Palacio, who has scored nine goals in 16 league games this season.

    Lazio is not much of a better option either, as Miroslav Klose scored a brace against Livorno last weekend and the club have a promising youngster in Brayan Perea.

10. Steven Taylor

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    Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is keen on bringing in Newcastle United reserve centre-back Steven Taylor, according to Alan Nixon at The Mirror.

    Throughout the season, he has predominantly been the fourth-choice centre-back behind Fabricio Coloccini, Michael Williamson and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa.

    Redknapp wheeling and dealing as usual.

9. Fredy Guarin

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    Chelsea are in pole position to sign Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin according to his agent.

    "I can confirm Chelsea's interest in Fredy and it's now up to the clubs to discuss a deal," Guarin's agent Marcelo Ferreryra said, from Caracol radio via Charles Reynolds at The Independent. "We have already been to London with Inter and met with Chelsea directors to make their interest formal."

    Guarin has played in central midfield and in a deep-lying forward role for Inter with a lack of success in either position.

    Guarin commits more fouls (38) than tackles made (28) and has scored three goals from 52 shots.

8. Aleksandar Kolarov

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    Inter Milan, Juventus and Zenit Saint Petersburg are chasing Manchester City left-back Aleksandar Kolarov, according to Zarif Rasul at The Mirror.

    Kolarov's defending might not be Paolo Maldini-like but the City left-back has scored two goals and created another two in his last four games.

    City manager Manuel Pellegrini won't let Kolarov go, who is part of the left-back rotation with Gael Clichy.

7. Kyle Walker

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    Tottenham Hotspur right-back Kyle Walker is a transfer target for Monaco, according to Matt Law at The Telegraph.

    Walker extended his contract until 2019 in October, so unless Monaco want to spend £25 million plus on an English right-back, it seems trivial for them to pursue him.

    Why not go for Bacary Sagna?

6. Daniel Agger

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    Napoli are seeking a loan for Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger in a move which will re-unite him with former manager Rafael Benitez, according to Andy Hunter at The Guardian.

    Agger has YNWA ("You'll Never Walk Alone") tattooed on his knuckles, so it is going to be awkward if he leaves.

    Assuming he has not changed his stance from the tweet he sent out on October 29, he will be staying at Liverpool.

    He tweeted that day: "Please stop all the tweets about me leaving! I'm not going anywhere! Will be back in the team soon :) Y.N.W.A."

5. Diego Costa

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    Arsenal are scouting Atletico Madrid centre forward Diego Costa but know the chances of signing him in the January transfer window are slim, according to Jeremy Wilson at The Telegraph:

    Costa's brilliant start to the season has alerted interest in his situation but he has been watched by Arsenal since last season and it is understood that there would be a reluctance to immediately stretch to a buyout clause which is reportedly in excess of £30 million.

    There have been no bids at this stage and, after the misunderstanding last summer over Luis Suarez's possible 'buyout' clause, Arsenal would want to know where they stand before formalising their interest.

    Atletico are a superior team to Arsenal as the La Liga team have scored more goals, conceded less goals and have more points than the Gunners in both league and UEFA Champions League play this season.

4. Radamel Falcao

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    Monaco centre forward Radamel Falcao has come out and stated his happiness at the club to quash speculation of his discontent with them.

    He said, via ESPN: "I just wanted to say that I'm very happy at Monaco. My wife is very happy to live here. There are no problems with the coach. There are no problems with the doctor and there are no problems with the team."

    He has been inactive for around a month due to a thigh injury but Monaco centre forwards Emmanuel Riviere and Anthony Martial have stepped up as the club is on a four-game winning streak in Ligue 1 without Falcao.

3. Chicharito

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    Chicharito's agent Eduardo Hernandez has revealed that Manchester United have no plans on selling the Mexican international, according to Medio Tiempo via ESPN FC: "I had a meeting with Manchester United's people about 10 days ago and they confirmed that there has been interest from various European clubs but it is not in their plan to transfer him."

    Chicharito could be the starting No. 9 at Valencia or the successor to Robert Lewandowski at Borussia Dortmund rather than being a bit-part option at United.

2. Luis Suarez

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    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Luis Suarez is "at the happiest point he has been" at the club and is hopeful he will sign a new deal.

    "I don't think there's any doubt he feels he's [Suarez has] progressed here as a player," Rodgers said, via Andy Hunter at The Guardian. "At this moment in time I don't think he can be any happier."

    Former Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann was apprehensive about a new deal.

    "He could sign a new contract now, take the £200,000 a week, the team finishes outside the top four and you have the same shenanigans," Hamann said, via The Telegraph. "I want him to stay but there needs to be clarity. He has got to understand what it means to commit. What must not happen is we have a situation next summer as we had last summer."

1. Andres Iniesta

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    Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has confirmed that the club have agreed to extend Andres Iniesta's contract until 2018 which ends Manchester United's interest (per The Daily Star).

    Iniesta is 21 games away from making 500 appearances for Barca (first-team only; would be over 500 if you combined his Barca B games) which has been a dominant part of his life, per Barcelona's official website:

    Iniesta will be 34 on June 30, 2018, which will mean he will have been at the club for an incredible 22 years. He first arrived at FC Barcelona in September 1996, when he was only 12.

    By the 2000/01 season he was making the switch from the U19 team to Barca B and in October 2002 he played his first game for the first team in Bruges.

    His goals at Stamford Bridge paved the way to a dream 2009, and a run of titles that has continued through to the present day.

    He has won no fewer than 16 major trophies with FC Barcelona in five-and-a-half seasons.



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