World Football

Hottest January Transfer Rumours for Every EPL Club

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 5, 2014

Hottest January Transfer Rumours for Every EPL Club

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    Bleacher Report brings you the hottest English Premier League January transfer rumours for every club.

    If there is not a new transfer rumour, then the slide will talk about a relevant transfer scenario for the club or suggest a transfer target.

    Don't hesitate to comment below with a transfer rumour you feel should be included in this slideshow.

Arsenal

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    Arsenal are keeping track of Bayern Munich centre forward Mario Mandzukic, as per Sami Mokbel and Neil Ashton at The Daily Mail.

    Mandzukic's playing time will significantly diminish from next season on when Robert Lewandowski arrives from Borussia Dortmund on a free transfer.

    Lorient's Vincent Aboubakar is a cheaper alternative to Mandzukic, who may opt to stay at Bayern, the best club in Europe.

    Aboubakar, who struggled at Valenciennes, is enjoying a breakout season for Lorient, scoring 11 goals in 19 Ligue 1 games.

    He has a quick first-step, he can take on opposing defenders and makes smart angled passes for his teammates.

Aston Villa

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    Aston Villa hope £1.5 million is enough to secure the signature of Norwich City's Wes Hoolahan, as per John Cross at The Mirror.

    Hoolahan has good imagination plus he's Premier League-tried and tested.

    During the 2011-12 season, he led Norwich in assists (seven in 33 games) and goal-scoring chances created (46).

    Though, a better transfer target would be Nurnberg's pass-first Hiroshi Kiyotake.

    He has higher upside and is one of Europe's most underrated playmakers.

Cardiff City

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    Heerenveen centre midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem could be a transfer target for Cardiff City, as per Paul Abbandonato at Wales Online, the link being Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who coached Eikrem in the Manchester United reserves and then signed him at Molde.

    Eikrem has been OK for Heerenveen. 

    The reason why Heerenveen is one of the most scouted clubs in Europe this season is their free-scoring No. 9 Alfred Finnbogason.

    Then there is Bilal Basacikoglu who is an outstanding prospect on the left wing.

    Hakim Ziyech makes some outrageous passes (and also gives the ball away a lot).

    Rajiv van La Parra is a skillful player who is a handful for opposing defenders.

    Point being, Eikrem has had chances to shine but has been quiet in the Eredivisie which encourages technically proficient players to thrive.

    This is a red flag. 

    It's risky for Solskjaer just to buy Eikrem because he likes him.

Chelsea

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    Paris Saint-Germain will test the resolve of Chelsea's Juan Mata after he reacted angrily to being substituted by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, as per Jeremy Wilson at The Telegraph.

    "Mourinho said on Monday that the club had an 'open door' should Mata wish to hold talks about leaving," Wilson wrote. "It is understood that Mata's representatives have attempted to clarify the situation on Wednesday following Mourinho's remarks."

    When asked if Mata's time was up, Mourinho categorically denied he wanted Chelsea's reigning two-time Player of the Year out.

    "I keep saying that I want him to stay," Mourinho said, as per Jacob Steinberg at The Guardian. "But yes, it hurts me. He's a good kid, he works hard, not an easy situation for him not to be playing every time."

    Before you berate Mata for being insubordinate, remember that Gianfranco Zola—Chelsea's greatest ever player—abandoned the club temporarily after feeling betrayed by compatriot Gianluca Vialli, the Blues manager at the time, as per The Italian Job, A Journey to the Heart of Two Great Footballing Cultures by Gianluca Vialli and Gabriele Marcotti:

    When I was managing Chelsea, I had to take off Gianfranco Zola, who was hardly a hot-head, at Stamford Bridge.

    He was far from happy. He did not make a scene—it's not in his nature to do so—but he did walk out on the club. He walked straight into the dressing room, showered, got dressed and went home.

    As manager, I couldn't stand for this, because it showed a lack of respect for the group.

    Thankfully, Zola, a professional and a team player, was probably the first to realise it. The next day, at training, he immediately apologised to everybody.

    I'm sure he still felt that he was unfairly substituted, but he was big enough to understand that you don't walk out on your teammates.

    Vialli later accused a 'Mr Nice Guy', a possible inference to Zola, being a factor in his dismissal as Chelsea manager.

    Since Mourinho isn't going to get fired anytime soon, Mata is on borrowed time at Chelsea.

    If PSG submit £50 million, after Chelsea just announced losses of £49.4 million, the Blues will accept it especially with Mata being a role player right now rather than the star midfielder who registered 35 assists last season.

    Mourinho sees Oscar as a more all-round footballer in the No. 10 position while out wide, Willian is more diligent tracking opposing runners.

    Mata will be to another club what Zola was to Chelsea.

    That reference is Zola becoming a Chelsea player because of an error in judgement from then Parma manager Carlo Ancelotti.

    "I wanted to play 4-4-2 and I put the players in the right positions but he [Zola] wanted to stay in the centre like a striker," Ancelotti said, as per The Guardian. "I think it was a mistake. It was my first experience in Serie A and I was not able to change the system. He would probably not have gone to Chelsea if I had changed the system."

Crystal Palace

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    Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did not shoot down rumours of a potential move for Crystal Palace's Jonathan Williams, as per Sky Sports.

    Palace will never have Andres Iniesta unless he does an 'Allan Simonsen', who shocked the footballing world in 1982 by downgrading to Charlton Athletic having been a Barcelona star.

    But Palace do have Joniesta, the nickname of Williams, an indication of his superlative technique.

    It doesn't make sense for Solskjaer, who's on a rolling contract, meaning his position is based on results right now, to sign the Palace prospect.

    Williams is still working his way to full match fitness and it remains to be seen if he is Premier League quality.

    If he stays true to his word then he won't be leaving Palace anytime soon, even when he starts living up to his nickname.

    "I love playing for Palace and that is all I ever wanted to do ever since I was playing in the academy," Williams said last February, as per Tim Ashton at Your Local Guardian. "To have made more than 35 appearances in the first team is a great experience, it has been an honour."

Everton

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    Udinese midfielder Emmanuel Badu is not just a Liverpool transfer target but also one for Everton, as per talkSPORT.

    A round of applause for Badu's agent.

    Badu is a hard-working, decent, Serie A-standard midfielder but he would need to overachieve to the nth level to be one of Everton's best players, let alone a Liverpool player.

    Everton have made some great signings outside of Britain: Bryan Oviedo from Copenhagen (2012), Kevin Mirallas from Olympiacos (2012), Marouane Fellaini from Standard Liege (2008), Steven Pienaar from Borussia Dortmund (2008), et al.

    Instead of Badu, go for his teammate Allan, one of the most energetic and dominant midfielders in Serie A.

Fulham

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    Fulham will see if a bid can trigger one of Ravel Morrison's many peculiar clauses in his contract thus forcing West Ham United into selling him, as per Matt Law at The Telegraph:

    Morrison has only 18 months remaining on his West Ham deal, which is littered with clauses.

    There is a straight £18 million release clause and another that states West Ham would have to quadruple the midfielder’s wages to £60,000 a week if they receive a £10 million bid and want to keep him.

    While Fulham will not bid anywhere near those figures, it is understood West Ham may reluctantly let Morrison, 20, leave this month if they receive the right offer to raise money for new signings. But they would not be keen to sell to one of their relegation rivals.

    In another words, Fulham are going to troll West Ham just like Arsenal's pointless £40 million plus one pound bid for Liverpool's Luis Suarez in the last summer transfer window.

    In the past, Fulham have been successful in securing prospects with high potential such as 18-year-old Collins John from Twente (2004), 21-year-old Steed Malbranque from Lyon (2001), 21-year-old Louis Saha from Metz (2000), 21-year-old Jon Harley from Chelsea (2001) and 23-year-old Moussa Dembele from AZ (2010).

    Of the aforementioned names, John had the highest ceiling for success but he was plagued by attitude issues, a problem Morrison still has.

Hull City

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    Wigan Athletic manager Uwe Rosler is confident Manchester United will not recall loanee Nick Powell.

    "I have had more good dialogue with David Moyes, and I know where we are," Rosler said, as per The Wigan Evening Post. "That's all I can say for now. But look at my face—I am smiling—so that tells you it's not the worst news. That says something."

    According to Alan Nixon at The Mirror, United are planning to recall Powell to loan him to Premier League club Hull City.

    Yet Rosler's recent statements suggest Moyes is content with Powell's progress at Wigan.

    During Wigan's 2-1 defeat to Thorgan Hazard's Zulte-Waregem, Powell played as a deep-lying forward behind Jordi Gomez.

    Granted, Hazard was in a league of his own compared to the rest of the players on the field, Powell did test Zulte-Waregem goalkeeper Sammy Bossut several times.

Liverpool

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    Rumours of Liverpool sending Raheem Sterling to Brendan Rodgers' former club Swansea City on loan are false, according to Reds assistant manager Colin Pascoe, who played for the Swans.

    "We just laughed at that really [Sterling loan gossip]," Pascoe said, as per James Pearce at The Liverpool Echo. "Raheem has been brilliant this season. He won't be going anywhere."

    It's stupid to send Sterling away on loan after he blitzed Norwich City in a 5-1 win, scored in a 5-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur, found the back of the net in a 3-1 win over Cardiff City and created a goal in a 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.

    The probable signing of Mohamed Salah from Basel seems to be the reason why Sterling has been mooted as a loan transfer target for the Swans. 

     

     

Manchester City

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    Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini revealed the club is open to John Guidetti leaving on loan.

    "John [Guidetti] must play after being out for a long time with an injury to his knee," Pellegrini said, as per The Manchester Evening News. "We will see in the transfer window if he goes—maybe it’s a chance for him to start playing."

    Stoke City is a potential destination, as per Tom Hopkinson at The Mirror.

    The last time Guidetti went out on loan, he scored 20 times during the 2011-12 Eredivisie season for Feyenoord, only to be struck down by a freak illness.

    Once he finds his finishing touch again, he will be a top-flight No. 9.

Manchester United

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    Credit goes to Manchester United manager David Moyes for not hoodwinking fans into believing that they're going to sign players in this window.

    "I don't think so [when asked about January reinforcements]," Moyes said, as per The Manchester Evening News. "I think most of the business will be more towards the summer rather than January."

    One major problem United CEO Ed Woodward will face if he waits post-FIFA World Cup: inflation for one-hit wonders. 

    El Hadji Diouf is the perfect example.

    He had a great 2002 FIFA World Cup, became a Liverpool player for £10 million, and rode his World Cup fame for nine Premier League seasons.

    That is one case of signing a World Cup star gone wrong.

    To prevent that from happening, Woodward needs to consider doing business before the World Cup.

    This was the case when United avoided a big bidding war with Spanish clubs for Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez by signing him before the 2010 World Cup.

    Chicharito would go on to score for Mexico against France and Argentina making United look like geniuses.

    After the 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Swansea City, Moyes may want a couple of new players. One player he won't want is Fabio, who needs to be loaned out to Pacos de Ferreira, where he can be re-united with Bebe. 

    Fabio lacks positional sense, he has low football IQ and he is a hit-and-miss tackler. 

    He came on and inexplicably beat his previous best for quickest sending off (30 minutes during United's 1-0 League Cup win over Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2009). 

    This time, he took three minutes. Yes, three minutes to lunge dangerously at Swansea's Jose Canas and get red-carded. 

    10 minutes later, Wilfried Bony scored the winner for the Swans. Game over. 

Newcastle United

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    Newcastle United are set to make a bid for Montpellier deep-lying forward Remy Cabella, as per Luke Edwards at The Telegraph.

    "Newcastle United have made a move for Montpellier forward Remy Cabella raising question marks about Hatem Ben Arfa's future on Tyneside," Edwards wrote. "Cabella's arrival would provide more competition for Ben Arfa, who has been unable to hold down a regular starting berth this season."

    This season, Cabella has been using teammate, No. 9 Victor Montano as a decoy, and has been lively.

    While Cabella did play on the right flank last season when Younes Belhanda was in a central position, it is clear Cabella is at his best playing behind a centre forward.

    So assuming Newcastle are signing him based on his performances this season in a central role, Papiss Cisse, not Ben Arfa, should be the player worried.

    Cabella might also be insurance if there are complications in extending Loic Remy's loan to a permanent deal.

     

     

Norwich City

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    Norwich City are looking to strike a deal with Newcastle United for winger Jonas Gutierrez, as per Alan Oliver at The Mirror.

    Jonas' start to the season was restricted by a hamstring injury and then he returned to Argentina due to a problem off the field, as per Miles Starforth at The Shields Gazette: "The Newcastle United winger has missed the club's last five league and cup games after being allowed to return to his native Argentina because of what manager Alan Pardew described as a "personal issue'."

    In a reserve game against Norwich and was best on the field, as per Lee Ryder at Chronicle Live:

    Jonas Gutierrez made a goal-scoring return for Newcastle United today as the reserves ran out 4-1 winners against Norwich City.

    The Toon star had a hand in all four goals in the second string clash as he got 90 minutes under his belt.

    Jonas has been missing for personal reasons recently but was roared on by his brother in front of a crowd of just 125 people.

    Given Jonas' circumstances this season, Norwich should only opt for a loan.

     

     

Southampton

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    Southampton will spend £12.5 million on Cagliari's Davide Astori, as per Tuttosport (h/t The Independent).

    If the Saints buy Astori, they may as well sign fellow struggling Serie A players like Alessandro Matri, Ezequiel Schelotto and Michael Agazzi.

    Astori is infamous for tuning out during games which is why he makes errors.

    Saints executive chairman Nicola Cortese only needs to consult Wyscout, a revolutionary Italian scouting company, and they will provide him a "lowlight" reel of Astori's mistakes throughout his career.

    He is the Italian Titus Bramble.

Stoke City

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    AZ centre forward Aron Johannsson is a Stoke City transfer target, as per Paul Hetherington at The Daily Star.

    "[Johannsson] played for the Iceland Under-21s side before USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann persuaded him to pledge his international future to his country of birth," Hetherington wrote. "Johannsson is in line to make the USA squad for the Brazil World Cup."

    The concern with Johannsson is if he will struggle in the Premier League like AZ's previous No. 9 Jozy Altidore.

    The positive about Johannsson is he takes his chances (11 goals from 37 shots) whereas Feyenoord's Graziano Pelle needs several chances before he scores (13 goals from 71 shots).

Sunderland

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    Sunderland No. 9 Steven Fletcher's agent Scott Fisher revealed Celtic have yet to make a formal approach for his client.

    "There has been no contact from Celtic regarding Steven Fletcher," Fisher said, as per Jane Lewis at BBC Scotland. " [But] there is also interest from other English Premier League clubs."

    Sunderland cannot sell Fletcher when they are in a relegation battle.

    An alternative to Fletcher for Celtic could be Blackburn Rovers' Scottish international Jordan Rhodes.

    All he seems to do is score (80 goals in his last 109 games for Rovers and Huddersfield Town).

Swansea City

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    Swansea City have made a £4 million bid for Blackpool winger Tom Ince, as per Riath Al-Samarrai at The Daily Mail.

    "Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins has made an approach to Blackpool about signing Tom Ince but no move is planned for Liverpool's Raheem Sterling," Al-Samarrai wrote. "He [Jenkins] told Sportsmail: 'It's not correct that we are trying to sign Raheem Sterling.'"

    Ince's father, Paul, the Blackpool manager, wants his son to go abroad.

    Paul Ince, an England international who was a former Manchester United and Liverpool player, spent two seasons at Inter Milan in the mid-90s.

Tottenham Hotspur

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    If Jermain Defoe leaves Tottenham Hotspur, technical director Franco Baldini will look at either Fabio Quagliarella or Mirko Vucinic, both Juventus players, as replacements, as per Steve Bates at The Mirror.

    OK, why not just give Defoe's minutes to Harry Kane?

    If Kane isn't loaned out, he should be the backup striker because he is a Spurs prospect while Quagliarella and Vucinic are temporary options.

     

West Bromwich Albion

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    Malky Mackay and Jose Louis Mendilibar are in contention to be the next permanent West Bromwich Albion manager, as per Chris Lepkowski at The Birmingham Mail:

    [Pepe] Mel held talks with the Baggies today (Friday) following two previous rounds of discussions.

    The Spaniard was keen on the post but he wanted to bring in two members of backroom staff, which Albion were unwilling to do.

    The Baggies have now moved onto other targets, with Mackay emerging as a possible suitor following his dismissal by Cardiff.

    Ex-Athletic Bilbao boss Jose Luis Mendilibar remains on Albion’s radar following an eight hour Skype interview last week

    Mackay is a promising young manager who should still be the Cardiff City manager.

    While he was unceremoniously dumped, Cardiff management were wise to replace him with another up and coming manager in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the former Manchester United super-sub.

    Solskjaer won four titles as the manager of the United reserves , two successive Norwegian Tippeligaen league titles and a Norwegian Cup as Molde manager.

    Don't know enough about Mendilibar to comment.

    West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing is fine with filling in as the full-time manager but is "happy to disappear into the background." 

West Ham United

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    If West Ham United sign Lacina Traore on loan from Monaco after he just arrived at the Ligue 1 club then this would be a clear example of wheeling and dealing.

    BeIN Sports Italian correspondent Tancredi Palmeri tweeted: "West Ham will get on loan Lacina Traore, according to Sky Italy, just signed by Monaco from Anzhi. A very good acquisition."

    It isn't just Palmeri as Goal.com chief correspondent Wayne Veysey tweeted: "Lacina Traore heading to London for West Ham medical. Has work permit hearing at start of next week after agreeing loan move. Story to come."

    David Kent at The Daily Mail also believe Traore is heading to West Ham on loan.

    Do Monaco need Traore? Nope.

    They have Falcao, Emmanuel Riviere and Anthony Martial, so there is an opening for Traore to go to West Ham, where Sam Allardyce will have the team hoofing the ball to the 6'8" centre-forward.

    You'd think after conceding 15 goals in their last five games (as per OptaJoe), Allardyce would be aiming for defensive players. 

     

    Statistics via WhoScoredFFT Stats ZoneSquawka and Transfermarkt.

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