World Football

Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: David Luiz Bayern Bound?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 3, 2014

Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: David Luiz Bayern Bound?

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of the 20 hottest January 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. Kelechi Iheanacho

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    FIFA U-17 World Cup star Kelechi Iheanacho has changed his mind. Instead of joining Manchester City, he will become a Sporting Lisbon player, as per talkSPORT.

    Iheanacho and his compatriot Taiwo Awoniyi were the pick of the Nigerian youngsters.

    They combined for 10 goals and 12 assists.

    They are exceptional players who should have a future in Europe's elite leagues.

     

     

19. Emmanuel Badu

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    Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

    Liverpool are targeting Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Badu, as per Jamie Sanderson at The Metro.

    "The 23-year-old is rising star in Serie A and has been personally recommended to Rodgers by his European scouts," Sanderson wrote. "Liverpool have been informed of the player's desire to play in the Premier League."

    Those European scouts would have ranked Allan as the No. 1 transfer target from Udinese.

    He is easily the best ball-winner at the club, making 70 tackles in league-play (Badu has 19).

    Allan can bolt past opposing players, he's a smooth passer and is a world-class midfielder.

    No disrespect to Badu, who's a serviceable player, but he is not in the class of Allan.

    The difference between the two players is so substantial that there is no way those scouts, who make a living evaluating players, would have recommended Badu.

     

18. Thorgan Hazard

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    PSV Eindhoven have failed in their bid for Chelsea's Thorgan Hazard, currently on loan at Zulte Waregem, as per talkSPORT.

    PSV's long-term front three are Zakaria Bakkali, Jurgen Locadia and Memphis Depay.

    Then there is Adam Maher in midfield, so where exactly will Hazard play?

     

17. Wilson Palacios

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Real Betis are trying to sign Stoke City midfielder Wilson Palacios for £500,000, as per John Cross at The Mirror.

    "Betis are hoping to get him for around £500,000, with the 29-year-old anxious about regular games in World Cup year," Cross wrote. "Honduran international Palacios joined the Potters from Tottenham for £6 million two-and-a-half years ago."

    Betis should be buying younger players with a resell value which has been their motto when you look at Nosa and Lorenzo Reyes.

     

16. John Heitinga

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Roma transfer target John Heitinga has ruled out moving to West Ham United.

    "At my age it's important to make the right decisions," Heitinga said, as per Football Italia. "Therefore I have cancelled West Ham United and we will now wait for the interest of other clubs."

    Being stuck in a relegation battle at West Ham, the second worst team in the Premier League, would not have appealed to him.

     

15. David Pizarro

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Fiorentina midfielder David Pizarro is linked with a move to Universidad de Chile, as per El Mercurio (h/t Football Italia).

    Pizarro is one of the most accurate passers in recent memory, having a pass completion percentage of 88 percent or higher since the 2009-10 season.

    While his tackling at times leaves a lot to be desired, he is still good enough to be playing in Europe's elite leagues.

    A move back to Chile would clearly be a lifestyle choice.

14. Maxime Gonalons

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    Napoli are close to signing Lyon midfielder Maxime Gonalons for £12 million, as per RMC (h/t Football Italia).

    In a 1-0 win over Real Betis, Gonalons made seven tackles.

    While he is a brutish ball-winner, he is composed in possession.

    Gonalons is talented, but he isn't a transfer necessity as Napoli already have Valon Behrami, Gokhan Inler and Blerim Dzemaili as options in midfield.

13. Ross Barkley

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    A £50 million bid from Manchester United for Everton midfielder Ross Barkley would not be enough, according to manager Roberto Martinez.

    "How much? £50 [million]? No, I'm sorry, we won't be letting him go out on loan," Martinez said, as per John Edwards at The Daily Mail. "We are in a strong position financially, so it is not an irritation or worry to see this sort of speculation."

    Martinez's job is to get results while Everton chairman Bill Kenwright's aim is to run a business.

    £50 million for Barkley, which would make him £18.5 million more expensive than Mario Gotze, should be accepted without hesitation.

12. Kevin De Bruyne

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Chelsea have demanded £25 million from Wolfsburg for Kevin De Bruyne, as per Matt Law at The Telegraph.

    "Wolfsburg officials are understood to have met Chelsea on Monday to try to thrash out a deal for De Bruyne," Law wrote. "Spanish club Atletico Madrid are willing to take De Bruyne on loan for the rest of the season, but the player is not keen on another temporary switch."

    Yes, this is the way Chelsea should be doing business.

    Do not let world-class prospects like De Bruyne go cheaply or include them in packaged deals (a la Nemanja Matic).

     

11. Sebastian Giovinco

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Claudio Pasqualin, Sebastian Giovinco's agent, has dismissed rumours of his client leaving Juventus.

    "There is nothing concrete on Giovinco's departure and there never has been," Pasqualin said, as per TuttoJuve.com (h/t Football Italia). "The lad is happy to be at Juventus and the Bianconeri are happy to have him in their ranks. He never even considered leaving Juventus."

    Juventus' preferred strike partnership this season has been the Carlos Tevez-Fernando Llorente combination hence why Giovinco has made six of his eight appearances off the bench.

     

10. Thibaut Courtois

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Chelsea loanee Thibaut Courtois, on loan at Atletico Madrid, is in talks with Barcelona, as per Roberto Gomez at Marca.

    "Chelsea stands in the way of these negotiations," Gomez wrote. "Courtois is under contract at the London club which does not want to sell him to a direct rival for the Champions League like Barcelona."

    If Courtois wants to leave, Chelsea should push Barca, a club which recklessly spends, to submit £25 million plus.

     

     

9. Cristian Tello

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Liverpool will sign Cristian Tello from Barcelona on loan, as per Gary Jones at The Daily Star.

    Jones did not mention an option to purchase for the Reds. 

    Without having the option to sign Tello permanently, there is no incentive for the Reds to be developing another club's prospect.

    Liverpool are not Everton.

     

8. Ezequiel Lavezzi

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    Harry Engels/Getty Images

    Paris Saint-Germain left forward Ezequiel Lavezzi has denied speculation of a move to Inter Milan.

    "It is pleasing to be of interest to great clubs like Inter," Lavezzi said, as per Canal + (h/t Football Italia). "But I will remain at PSG. The day they tell me to leave, I probably will go."

    Lavezzi has been hit-and-miss for PSG, only scoring two league goals this season.

     

7. Dimitar Berbatov

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    Steve Bardens/Getty Images

    Arsenal are targeting Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov, as per Sam Adams at The Mirror.

    "Arsenal are reportedly set to make a £2 million move for Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov," Adams wrote. "Arsene Wenger is believed to want to bolster his attacking options."

    Berbatov is a prototypical Wenger striker: high football IQ, masterful technique, excellent positioning and can make an incisive pass.

    The problem here is how long is the contract going to be?

    If it is only to the end of the season, it seems unlikely the Gunners will pay £2 million plus a more lucrative salary than what he's on at Fulham.

    If Chuba Akpom, a loan transfer target for Brentford, isn't loaned out, then he should be given a run.

6. Michael Essien

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Michael Essien's agent Fabian Piveteau has revealed his client might move on from Chelsea.

    "He could leave Chelsea this winter," Piveteau said, as per RMC (h/t talkSPORT). "You should know that Michael was not on the list of players who can play in the Champions League with Chelsea, so he is free to play in the competition with another club."

    Essien has lost a yard of pace and picks up too many yellow cards (Swindon, Arsenal, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Sunderland).

    The fact that Juan Mata averages more tackles per league game (1.1) than Essien (1.0) suggests his time is up.

    Thanks for the memories, Essien.

5. David Luiz

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Bayern Munich may submit a bid for Chelsea's David Luiz, as per Bild (h/t The Mirror).

    Luiz, an error-prone defender, is not good enough to start at the back for Bayern, a club that have conceded eight goals in 16 league games, which is the best defence in the Bundesliga.

    If Bayern manager Pep Guardiola wants to sign a centre-back as insurance to cover a potential injury crisis (see Borussia Dortmund), Bayer Leverkusen's Omer Toprak would be a cheaper alternative than Luiz.

4. Juan Mata

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    Paris Saint-Germain will test Chelsea's resolve by bidding for Juan Mata, as per Simon Johnson at the London Evening Standard.

    "[Jose] Mourinho insists that he doesn't want to sell Mata, however admitted that his and the club's 'door' is open to a transfer if the 25-year-old demands it," Johnson wrote. "The Spanish international has lost his position as a first team regular since Mourinho returned to the club."

    To treat Mata with such disdain can only lead you to believe that there is something personal between him and Mourinho which has yet to be reported (that was the case initially with Iker Casillas, until the media received leaked information from a mole).

    If you're not a fan of drama, let's say there is nothing personal between Mata and Mourinho.

    It is purely tactical: Mata does not track back enough.

    Well, Cristiano Ronaldo averaged 0.4 tackles per league game last season under Mourinho.

    Why wasn't he told to run around and make tackles?

    Mata obviously is not in Ronaldo's class but the Spaniard is Chelsea's reigning two-time Player of the Year, so it is unfortunate that he is being pushed out of the club.

3. Diego Costa and Koke

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    Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

    Atletico Madrid are ready to offer a swap of either Diego Costa or Koke for Chelsea loanee Thibaut Courtois, as per Tom Hopkinson at The Mirror.

    No to Costa as it will be Romelu Lukaku's time to shine next season.

    Yes to Koke because he is an all-round midfielder, who tackles, creates goals and has high football IQ.

    Are Atleti stupid enough to offer either player, both world-class, in a straight offer for Courtois? No way.

2. Robert Lewandowski

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    Alex Grimm/Getty Images

    Borussia Dortmund centre-forward Robert Lewandowski will be undergoing a medical at Bayern Munich and his transfer to the club will be confirmed, as per Abendzeitung (h/t NBCSports.com).

    German football pundit Raphael Honigstein clarified via a tweet that if the transfer was announced, Lewandowski would officially transfer in the summer.

    Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp is probably watching copious amounts of Polish Ekstraklasa looking to unearth another hidden talent.

1. Gonzalo Higuain

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Napoli have rejected a £50 million bid from Chelsea for Gonzalo Higuain, as per Luke Edwards at The Telegraph.

    "That may not deter Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who agrees the lack of goals from strikers is the major weakness in the side," Edwards wrote. "He is willing to back Mourinho in the transfer market, even though the club posted losses of almost £50 million last season."

    If the Blues sign Higuain for £50 million after announcing losses of around £50 million and UEFA turn a blind eye, Michel Platini should just bin the Financial Fair Play rules.

    Chelsea need to wait out this season and then welcome back Romelu Lukaku, a player with world-class potential.

     

     

    Statistics via WhoScoredFFT Stats ZoneSquawka and Transfermarkt.

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