Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Jermain Defoe to Toronto?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 9, 2014

Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Jermain Defoe to Toronto?

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    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. Tom Rogic

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    Celtic manager Neill Lennon has acknowledged that attacking midfielder Tom Rogic, a Socceroo, needs playing time. 

    "Tom Rogic obviously has the [FIFA] World Cup and we have to be mindful of that but for us we need to get him playing football," Lennon said, as per SBS The World Game. "There might be loan options there and if it’s right we'll look at it."

    Rogic should consider staying in Europe if he wants to play a main part in Australia's World Cup.

    Perhaps consider options in the Eredivisie or 2. Bundesliga.

    He could return to his former club Central Coast Mariners if he was willing to sacrifice his salary, according to Mariners manager Phil Moss.

    "The sort of money he's on at Celtic and the sort of money that Arnie [Graham Arnold] is no doubt throwing at him will probably put us out of the equation," Moss said, as per Dominic Bossi at The Sydney Morning Herald.

    "If nothing works out for Tommy and he picked up the phone and said he desperately needs some games to put him back in World Cup calculations then it becomes realistic."

    Arnold, Rogic's former manager at the Mariners, is the current manager of J. League club Vegalta Sendai and is interested in signing Rogic, as per that Bossi report from The Sydney Morning Herald.

     

     

     

19. Daniel Parejo

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    Napoli are targeting Valencia midfielder Daniel Parejo, as per Il Roma (h/t Football Italia).

    Parejo is a splendid passer, he is calm in possession and he makes smart passes.

    He can have a Borja Valero-like impact in Serie A

18. Bryan Ruiz

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    Fulham's Bryan Ruiz is expected to be loaned to Real Betis, as per Inside Spanish Football.

    Ruiz was at his imaginative best in a 4-1 win over Crystal Palace when he created two goals.

    Unfortunately, he doesn't play like that every week, which is why Fulham are willing to let him go.

    Betis, bottom of La Liga, are praying he can turn around their fortunes.

17. Ishak Belfodil

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    West Ham United are looking to secure Inter Milan's Ishak Belfodil on a loan, as per Dominic Fifield at the Guardian.

    As Fifield noted, the deal is complicated:

    West Ham United have not given up hope of persuading Internazionale's young forward Ishak Belfodil to join on loan for the remainder of the season after agreeing a deal in principle with the Italian club.

    A [West Ham] delegation has been in Milan to hold talks with Inter's hierarchy, but they must now discuss the move with the 21-year-old Algeria international and reach agreement with his former club, Parma, who own 50 percent of his economic rights.

    Belfodil, a physically gifted centre-forward with great technique, was named in the Serie A transfer flops XI of the year by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

     

16. Serge Gnabry

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    Arsenal right attacking midfielder Serge Gnabry is a transfer target for Borussia Dortmund, as per Bild (h/t The Mirror).

    After he dismantled Tottenham Hotspur's defence during a 2-0 win for Arsenal, there is no way Dortmund have a chance in signing Gnabry.

    With Theo Walcott rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament, this is Gnabry's time to step up, so it makes no sense for him to leave Arsenal either.

     

15. Mohamed Salah

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    FC Zenit will outbid Liverpool for Basle right winger Mohamed Salah, as per Ben Jefferson at The Express.

    Salah is a pacey player who came up big against Premier League opposition in Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

    But if Zenit are inflating his transfer value over what Liverpool believe is an economically efficient fee, then the Reds should abandon the deal.

    Salah shouldn't be a transfer priority for Liverpool as they need a left-back and a dominant midfielder.

     

14. Jackson Martinez

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    Arsenal have made Porto centre-forward Jackson Martinez their No. 1 transfer target, as per The Metro.

    Martinez is a world-class No. 9, but are the Gunners willing to sign him for an extravagant fee?

    This is Porto, a team famous for applying Arsene Wenger-like tactics in transfer negotiations.

    Wenger wants a "short-term" fix, meaning a loan and Martinez is not a loan option.

     

     

13. Rickie Lambert

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    Going by Southampton manager Mauricio Pochettino's recent statement, the club won't sell Rickie Lambert.

    "I've been here for a year and Rickie [Lambert] has been linked with a move many times," Pochettino said, as per Sky Sports. "I am relaxed about that situation."

    West Ham United are so desperate to stay in the Premier League that if they offer £15-20 million for Lambert, a 31-year-old, the Saints should accept the fee.

12. Michael Bradley

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    "Ready for a blockbuster?" ESPN football pundit Taylor Twellman tweeted.

    Sure, go ahead.

    "I'm hearing @torontofc on the verge of signing Michael Bradley. Would be a huge coup for @MLS and @torontofc #USMNT."

    Cathal Kelly at The Star confirmed Twellman's tweet.

    "In a far more shocking turn, they [Toronto FC] are also in final negotiations to sign U.S. and Roma midfielder Michael Bradley to join the team," Kelly wrote. "According to a highly placed team source, that deal is in its final stages."

    Oh my.

    Bradley has been part of Roma's midfield rotation, so it's not like his career is floundering. 

    He is an elite midfielder who should be playing in Europe's top leagues. 

    Toronto must be throwing him a crazy amount of cash. 

     

11. Sidney Sam

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    Bayer Leverkusen right attacking midfielder Sidney Sam will move to Schalke.

    "We are delighted that he has decided in favour of the Royal Blues," Schalke sports director Horst Heldt said, as per Dw.de. "He is very ambitious and wants to achieve a lot with Schalke."

    Leverkusen are nine points ahead of Schalke, so what is Sam thinking?

    He will earning more money at Schalke, but he didn't even do that process right.

    If he really wanted to cash in, he should have gone to Russia or the Middle East.

10. Alvaro Morata

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    Arsenal continue to chase Real Madrid centre-forward Alvaro Morata with the aim of signing him on loan, as per Sami Mokbel at The Daily Mail.

    "Arsenal would rather complete a short-term deal for a new forward this month," Mokbel wrote. "Real have informed the Gunners that the talented striker is not available on a permanent or temporary basis."

    From Morata's perspective, he will be filling in the same role at Arsenal (being a bit-part player), which isn't in his best interest.

     

9. Loic Remy

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    Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp is upping the pressure on Newcastle United to make a bid for QPR loanee Loic Remy or risk losing him.

    "I don't know what the deal is. You would think they would want to snap him up wouldn't you?" Redknapp said, as per Danny Griffiths at The Metro. "If they don't then someone else will."

    Remy has scored more Premier League goals (10) for Newcastle this season than Manchester United's Wayne Rooney (nine), Arsenal's Olivier Giroud and Manchester City's Alvaro Negredo (eight).

8. Ivan Rakitic

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    Liverpool are monitoring Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic, as per Simon Jones at The Daily Mail.

    Rakitic can play in the No. 6, No. 8 and No. 10 position.

    He's a fantastic passer, having created 43 scoring chances in 16 La Liga games this season.

    The issue with Rakitic is his inflated £33 million buy-out clause, not to mention his intentions of staying at Sevilla.

     

7. Iago Aspas

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    Valencia are striving to sign Liverpool forward Iago Aspas on loan, as per beIN Sports (h/t talkSPORT).

    Aspas has been disappointing for Liverpool and looks off the pace.

    His career in the Premier League could mirror that of Borja Valero: brilliant before the Premier League, average in the Premier League, brilliant after the Premier League.

6. Kyle Walker

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    Monaco and Paris Saint Germain view Kyle Walker as a potential transfer target, as per Le Parisien (h/t The Independent).

    Walker extended his contract last October until 2019, so unless Monaco and PSG want to submit £25 million plus, they can forget about Spurs chairman Daniel Levy even considering selling Walker.

5. Jermain Defoe

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    Tottenham Hotspur's Jermain Defoe will be moving to the MLS to play for Toronto FC, as per Jeremy Wilson at The Telegraph.

    "It is expected that Defoe will agree a deal worth around £90,000 a week," Wilson wrote. "Tottenham will be paid around £6 million for a 31-year-old player who has only 18 months remaining on his contract."

    It's not just Wilson, as a source has told Sports Illustrated senior writer Grant Wahl that Defoe's transfer to Toronto is in the process of being complete.

    "A January transfer that would bring Tottenham forward Jermain Defoe to Toronto FC is 'not done yet, but close,' a high-ranking Toronto source tells SI.com," Wahl wrote.

    "Toronto has been pushing hard for Defoe as the club tries to end seven years of futility and qualify for the MLS playoffs for the first time."

    Defoe would still walk into the starting XI of most mid-table or bottom-tier Premier League sides.

    He scored five times in four UEFA Europa League games and when you factor in the Premier League wages Toronto are paying him, he should be aiming to win the MLS Golden Boot.

     

     

4. Claudio Marchisio

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    Manchester United will submit a £20 million bid for Juventus centre midfielder Claudio Marchisio, as per Football Italia.

    Well, his shooting this season has been woeful (no goals from 24 shots), but he will bring more class to the midfield than Tom Cleverley, who has struggled immensely in recent weeks.

    Like the Cesc Fabregas to United rumour in the summer, Marchisio being linked to the club is unrealistic.

3. Erik Lamela

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    Tottenham Hotspur's Erik Lamela wants to quit the club, according to his father.

    "Erik is not happy and wants to go back to Italy," Jose Lamela said, as per Samuel Stevens at The Independent. "Tottenham does not want him to leave in January."

    If Spurs do not alter their current formation (a 4-4-2) to a 4-3-3, then they risk losing Lamela.

    Lamela is a wide forward with the freedom to roam in a 4-3-3, not a winger tasked with defensive duties in a 4-4-2.

2. Robinho

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    AC Milan forward Robinho has rejected a chance to join Besiktas, as per Football Italia.

    Robinho, once proclaimed as the new Pele, has failed to live up to such lofty expectations.

    Instead, Robinho has had a productive career: playing for Real Madrid, Manchester City and representing Brazil more than 90 times.

1. Andrea Pirlo

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    Andrea Pirlo is on the verge of signing a new contract with Juventus, according to club CEO Beppe Marotta.

    "We're ready to re-sign Andrea [Pirlo]," Marotta said, as per La Gazzetta dello Sport. "We'll extend his contract as soon as possible, and we'll let you know about the duration."

    Pirlo was back to his brilliant best in a 3-0 win over Roma, so it would have alleviated any doubt management had in him after suffering knee ligament damage.