Hottest January Transfer Rumours for Every EPL Club

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJanuary 12, 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 to discuss, then the slide will evaluate a recent signing, assess a relevant transfer scenario for the club or suggest a transfer target.

    Do not hesitate to comment below with a transfer rumour you feel should be included in this slideshow.

Arsenal

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    Arsenal are targeting Roma centre-forward Mattia Destro, as per Italian broadcast network Rai (h/t The Metro).

    Destro has made a successful return from a series of recurring injuries with three goals in four Serie A games this season.

    If he were to choose between being a backup at Arsenal or Roma, he would go with the latter.

    Unless he wants to get paid to only train like his compatriot Emiliano Viviano, there is no way Destro would go to Arsenal.

    Lorient's Vincent Aboubakar and Villarreal's Jeremy Perbet are two options the Gunners should explore.

Aston Villa

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    Porto defensive midfielder Steven Defour wants guaranteed playing time, and Aston Villa are in the running for his signature, according to his agent, Paul Stefani.

    Per Steve Goodman of The MirrorStefani said, "Aston Villa have let it be known that they are interested in Defour. He's not unhappy at Porto but he needs to be playing regularly with an eye on the [FIFA] World Cup."

    When he played during Porto's 1-1 UEFA Champions League draw against FC Zenit, Defour looked just as assured as teammate Fernando Reges, and he outshone compatriot Axel Witsel of Zenit.

    Though, The Birmingham Mail's Mat Kendrick tweeted: "It seems as if Aston Villa will not be pursuing a move for Porto's Belgium international midfielder Steven Defour."

Cardiff City

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    Cardiff City are aiming to sign Hannover 96 centre-forward Mame Biram Diouf, who was coached by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the Manchester United reserves, as per The Guardian.

    Cardiff manager Solskjaer has signed players who will support him in Mats Moller Daehli (Molde) and Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Heerenveen), so Diouf would follow that trend.

    "Solskjaer is now also looking to bring in Diouf after a Hannover spokesperson confirmed the Bundesliga club had received an approach from Cardiff," according to The Guardian. "The Welsh club are believed to be prepared to pay about £2.5 million."

    Nurnberg centre-back Emanuel Pogatetz found it hard to contain Diouf during Hannover's 3-3 draw.

    With five minutes plus stoppage time left in the game, Hannover were down 3-1, and while Diouf was a goal threat, he didn't produce.

    When referee Thorsten Kinhofer ended the game, it was 3-3.

    Diouf scored a quick brace (he got away with a comically offside goal) as Hannover came back from a 3-0 deficit at half-time.

    Diouf would be an alternative to the mercurial Fraizer Campbell, but it will diminish the chances of Andreas Cornelius, a substitute, living up to his £45,000 weekly salary.

Chelsea

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    Chelsea will bid £21 million to bring Benfica centre midfielder Nemanja Matic back to the club, as per Jason Burt at The Telegraph.

    "[Matic] left Stamford Bridge in January 2011 as a makeweight in the £25 million deal to acquire David Luiz," Burt wrote. "Matic, who was named player of the year in the Portuguese league last season, is understood to have a buy-out clause in his contract that is around £37 million."

    According to Burt, Chelsea valued Matic at £4.15 million at the time, and now Benfica stand to make a profit of £16.85 million by selling Chelsea a former Chelsea player.

    No way, Jose.

    Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson once called Chelsea's greatest ever player, Gianfranco Zola, a "clever little so-and-so." Well, apply that to Benfica management.

    Blues manager Jose Mourinho should continue playing Luiz in midfield, which will give him a chance to reach Matic's level.

    When Luiz becomes comfortable in midfield, then his attacking play will come naturally.

    The goal is to turn Luiz into a world-class box-to-box midfielder, so signing Matic will hinder that process.

     


     

    Kevin De Bruyne Update

    Het Laatste Nieuws writer Kristof Terreur, a Belgian football expert, tweeted: "Klaus Allofs (Wolfsburg) confirms they are close to agreeing terms with Chelsea on Kevin De Bruyne. #cfc."

    Gerry Cox at The Telegraph reported that the fee is £18 million, which would be £1 million more expensive than what Bayern Munich paid Marseille for Franck Ribery in 2007.

    According to a tweet by Terreur, the transfer fee is slightly lower than Cox's evaluation: "Kevin De Bruyne will sign a contract until 2019, once Wolfsburg & Chelsea have agreed on some details. Initial fee around £16m-17m. #CFC."

    It is a financially inefficient deal for Wolfsburg because De Bruyne isn't going to change their fortunes by himself.

    That was Wolfsburg's mindset when they signed Andres D'Alessandro, and it didn't work out. 

    De Bruyne needs help in the form of a world-class No. 9, and if Wolfsburg don't sign one in this window or the next summer transfer window, then legitimate questions have to be asked regarding the thought process in spending big on De Bruyne.

    Should Chelsea sell De Bruyne to Wolfsburg for £18 million, you would give the Blues a grade of A+ in transfer negotiation.

    To give you an idea of how inflated the mooted £18 million valuation is, three of Wolfsburg's greatest ever players in recent times cost a combined £11.1 million: Grafite (Le Mans; £4.6 million) Edin Dzeko (Teplice; £3.3 million) and Zvjezdan Misimovic (Nurnberg; £3.2 million).

     

    Please note that by the time of publication, De Bruyne may have already been announced as a Wolfsburg player.

Crystal Palace

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    Crystal Palace manager Tony Pulis has confirmed the club's intentions to make moves in this window.

    "We need to bring a few players in and we need to strengthen certain areas to give us a chance," Pulis said, according to Sky Sports. "When we're up against it, we need different options."

    Stoke City centre-forward Peter Crouch, who previously worked under Pulis, is a rumoured Palace transfer target, per John Percy of The Telegraph. 

    But Crouch's recent comments about Stoke's change of playing style suggests he prefers Mark Hughes over Pulis.

    "It was like: 'Get on with it.' So that was frustrating at times and hard. You had to sacrifice yourself for the team [under Pulis]," Crouch said, according to Martin Spinks at the Stoke Sentinel. "Certainly now the manager [Hughes] wants to be a bit more expansive, he wants to try to go and win, away from home as well, so I'm getting a bit more joy."

Everton

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    Everton have secured the signing of Aiden McGeady from Spartak Moscow.

    "I was close to joining the manager [Roberto Martinez] a year ago when he was at Wigan," McGeady said, as per Hamish Dufton at EvertonFC.com. "Now I have a big chance at a great club, under a good manager. I couldn't be happier. It’s a dream move really."

    Premier League defenders will be telling themselves, "Watch out for the McGeady spin," but expect McGeady to pull off his trademark move.

    Going by McGeady's comments about Martinez, you would assume the Irish right attacking midfielder will be a regular Everton starter.

    But who plays in McGeady's position? Kevin Mirallas, who scored in the 2-0 win over Norwich City.

    Ross Barkley is set to be out for "six weeks" with a suspected fractured toe, according to Andy Hunter at The Guardian, so what Martinez could do is move Mirallas from the right wing into a deep-lying forward role, which opens up a starting position for McGeady.

Fulham

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    There are conflicting reports over the future of West Ham United centre attacking midfielder Ravel Morrison.

    He is eyeing a move to Fulham, according to Greg Stobart of Goal.com, an account also corroborated by Laura Williamson and Craig Hope at The Daily Mail.

    However, Graeme Bailey at Sky Sports says Morrison wants to stay at West Ham.

    Morrison's technique is excellent, he can take on players with ease, he is stylish in possession, and he has world-class potential.

    Though, he is a troubled individual prone to making impulsive decisions on and off the field.

    Moving from one relegation-threatened club in West Ham to another in Fulham would not be a smart footballing decision.

Hull City

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    Hull City's official Twitter account tweeted, "We have agreed a fee with @Everton for Nikica Jelavic, and will enter talks with the striker over the coming days. #UTT."

    Jelavic, who scored nine goals in his first 14 Premier League games, has since faded into a No. 9 devoid of confidence after losing his starting position at Everton to Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku.

    Last season, Jelavic scored seven league goals, and this season, he is nine games and counting without a league goal.

    He should be able to beat out Danny Graham and Yannick Sagbo.

Liverpool

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    Rubin Kazan defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila continues to be linked with Liverpool, according to Peter Guy at The Liverpool Echo.

    During the 2011-12 season for Rennes, he made 117 tackles and intercepted 94 passes in 38 Ligue 1 games.

    Do you know how many yellow cards he received in league play that season? Two.

    M'Vila was a remarkably clean tackler, showed high football IQ and was improving as a passing outlet.

    Though, his career has been halted by a lack of discipline and problems off the field, hence the detour to Rubin.

    Liverpool took a calculated gamble on the problematic Luis Suarez, and it has worked out brilliantly. 

    Maybe M'Vila can be the same case.  

Manchester City

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    Manchester City will offer Juventus cash and Stevan Jovetic in an attempt to sign Paul Pogba, as per Paul Hetherington at The Daily Star.

    Pogba returning to Manchester—the blue half, not the red half—to remind how wrong Manchester United were would be a riveting plot line.

    City would have to lodge a farcical transfer fee easily superseding what Juve received for Zinedine Zidane in 2001 from Real Madrid (£46 million).

    With Mino Raiola—who also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic—serving as Pogba's agent, the world-class 20-year-old French international could have a nomadic career like Ibrahimovic.

    United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's decision not to give into Raiola and Pogba's contractual demands, presumably projecting Tom Cleverley as the better player in the long term, is looking like a monumental mistake.

    The likelihood of City signing Pogba if he is available is slim because Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are more attractive destinations.

Manchester United

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    Manchester United and Real Madrid are in talks over Fabio Coentrao arriving at Old Trafford on loan, as per Jason Burt at The Telegraph.

    "It is understood that Jorge Mendes, the Portuguese agent who has close links with United, has told the club that Coentrao, 25, is extremely keen to revive a loan move that collapsed on transfer deadline day last summer," Burt wrote. "Real have stated that they do not want the Portuguese international, who can play as a left-back or left wing-back, to go."

    There may be a loan fee, and United will pay a portion of Coentrao's salary.

    It will be a Hail Mary for him to come into United on short notice and play like a world-class left-back.

    Coentrao hasn't even made the Real bench in the club's last seven La Liga games due to injury concerns.

    He doesn't have match fitness and has no form under his belt, and with United staging a mini-comeback in the Premier League (have won five of their last six league games), it is not a clever idea to sign Coentrao on loan.

Newcastle United

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    Newcastle United midfielder Yohan Cabaye is considering buying out his contract under the Webster rule, according to Luke Edwards at The Telegraph.

    Edwards explained:

    Under Article 17 of FIFA's transfer rules, a player can cancel a contract "without just cause" and pay his employer the remaining value of his deal, allowing them to join another club on a free transfer.

    Cabaye earns around £60,000 a week at St James' Park, which in theory would allow him to become a free agent if he pays Newcastle United roughly £5.76 million in June.

    Interested clubs may even offer to compensate the 27-year-old for that loss of income if they are able to sign him as a free agent.

    Some clubs insert additional clauses into their contracts to guard against players leaving like this, but Newcastle have refused to comment when asked whether Cabaye is able to take advantage of the Webster rule.

    If Cabaye and his agent are looking into this avenue, they better triple-check every single clause in his contract before announcing their intention to use the Webster ruling.

    In 2007, then-Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc spoke about enacting the Webster rule, only to be told he did not fulfill the criteria to activate the rule, as per BBC Sport.

Norwich City

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    Newcastle United winger Jonas Gutierrez has revealed on Twitter that he will leave the club.

    "I enjoy my five years at the club, I hope the club finish the highest this season and the best to my team-mates," he tweeted.

    He could sign with Norwich City, per Alan Oliver at The Mirrorwhere he will link up with former manager Chris Hughton.

Southampton

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    Inter Milan will offer Fredy Guarin and money in return for Dani Osvaldo, according to Simon Jones at The Daily Mail.

    "Inter need a striker as they look to claw their way back into contention to qualify for Europe after a poor Serie A campaign so far," Jones wrote.

    That assertion is simply not true.

    Rodrigo Palacio has scored (10) and created (five) a combined 15 Serie A goals this season.

    To put that statistic in context, his attacking output is one goal behind Juventus' Carlos Tevez (16; 11 goals plus five assists) and is on par with Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain (15 goals; nine goals and six assists).

    Should Palacio be out, Diego Milito and Mauro Icardi will compete for the No. 9 position. 

Stoke City

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    Stoke City are ready to sign John Guidetti from Manchester City on loan, per Simon Jones of The Daily Mail.

    If true, this would be a superb move for Stoke because their manager, Mark Hughes, an elite striker during his playing days, can help Guidetti rebuild his career.

    When Guidetti was on loan at Feyenoord, he scored 20 goals before a debilitating illness threatened his career.

    Guidetti and Peter Crouch could turn out to be a prolific partnership for Stoke. 

Sunderland

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    Sunderland will secure the signing of Ignacio Scocco from Internacional, according to his father.

    "The most likely today is that [Scocco] joins Sunderland," Scocco Sr. said, according to Diario Ole (h/t Paulo Freitas at Sky Sports). "River [Plate] and Newell's [Old Boys have] asked for him but Internacional's demands are too high and they don't want to loan him out."

    South American football expert Tim Vickery confirmed reports of Sunderland's interest in Scocco, according to talkSPORT's Hawksbee and Jacobs (starts at 8:45 mark): "It has been revealed here [Brazil] that apparently Sunderland are in the market for an Argentine striker who has been in Brazil for the last few months called Ignacio Scocco, who did very well for Newell's Old Boys, hadn't done particularly well for Internacional in Brazil."

    A few years ago, when Scocco was playing for AEK Athens, he and Nikos Liberopoulos toyed with Sydney FC's defence during AEK's 5-3 pre-season friendly win.

    Sunderland fans will be hoping Scocco does not become their answer to Denis Stracqualursi, who scored one goal from 21 league goals for Everton (coincidentally, he took 21 shots) during the 2011-12 season.

Swansea City

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    Swansea City could sign Blackpool winger Tom Ince for £4 million, per Dominic Fifield at The Guardian.

    "The club's [Blackpool's] manager, his father Paul Ince, has confirmed that talks are ongoing with Swansea," Fifield wrote. "The 21-year-old is out of contract in the summer."

    Is Ince needed?

    Alex Pozuelo's statistics (no goals and one assist in 19 league games) might be underwhelming, but he has world-class technique.

    The ball sticks to his foot like a magnet, he has vision, he can go past opposing players, and he has wonderful balance.

    What Swansea should do is persist with Pozuelo.

    Also, with Pablo Hernandez returning from injury, why spend £4 million on Ince?

    If he desperately wants a move to Swansea, he can run down his contract at Blackpool and sign as a free agent in the summer transfer window. 

Tottenham Hotspur

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    Tottenham Hotspur are monitoring Sunderland centre-forward Steven Fletcher as a replacement for Jermain Defoe, who is Toronto FC's "bloody big deal," according to Fraser Mackie at The Daily Mail.

    Though, Spurs aren't the only team vying for Fletcher's signature.

    "The player's [Fletcher's] agent, Scott Fisher, told the Mail On Sunday last night: 'I'm sure Celtic would appeal to most players, as would Champions League football'," Mackie wrote. "The Scottish champions [Celtic] have been left to weigh up the merits of committing to an expensive package for the forward."

    If Harry Kane isn't loaned out in January, he should take up Defoe's minutes instead of Fletcher.

West Bromwich Albion

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    West Bromwich Albion centre-forward Shane Long is trying his best to ignore the constant transfer rumours of him being sold.

    "All I know is that there are plenty of rumours," Long said, according to The Guardian. "But no one has said anything to me and, unless something happens in the next couple of weeks, I am just concentrating on giving everything to West Brom."

    If West Brom manager Pepe Mel deems Long surplus to requirements and the club cannot arrange a permanent transfer, then he may be loaned out.

    This was what happened while managing Real Betis last January when Mel loaned out unsettled pair Jonathan Pereira (Villarreal) and Salvador Agra (Siena).

West Ham United

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    West Ham United are going all in to sign Manchester City centre-back Joleon Lescott, as per Jamie Jackson of The Guardian.

    "It is understood [West Ham] would pay him [Lescott] £90,000 a week until the close of the season," Jackson wrote. "They have also offered him £70,000 a week if they do drop into the Championship."

    Paying £90,000 a week for Lescott, who has completed 53 percent of his tackles in league play this season, is foolhardy.

    West Ham should not forget about Lescott's mistake against Everton.

    Then again, if you put the situation in this context of an overpaid but average Lescott or a walking liability in Roger Johnson, you can understand West Ham's desperation.

     

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