15 Swap Deals That Would Make Sense

Laura Greene@@Greene_LFeatured ColumnistJanuary 28, 2014

15 Swap Deals That Would Make Sense

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    Makeweight, incentive, cash-plus-player trade—call it what you will, the football swap deal is alive and kicking.

    In the past, we've seen some interesting two-way transfers. Think Samuel Eto'o, who was traded (along with a sackload of Euros) from Barcelona in return for Inter Milan's Zlatan Ibrahimovic. It was a canny move by Inter, who enjoyed a hefty payday and won the treble with the Cameroonian striker.

    Or Andy Cole, who was traded in by Newcastle for Manchester United's Keith Gillespie, plus £6 million, in 1995. 

    Clarence Seedorf, Fabio Cannavaro, Ashley Cole and er...Egil Ostenstad—these players have all been involved in swap deals at some point in their careers.

    But who could be involved in such a move before the January window shuts? Over the following slides, you'll find 15 examples.

    We think they could all work, no matter how unlikely the moves actually are. Ranked from 15-1, we count down to those who make the most sense. 

    Can you think of a good swap deal? Let us know below.

15. Thomas Vermaelen for Javier Hernandez

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    Player: Thomas Vermaelen

    Club: Arsenal

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Javier Hernandez

    Club: Manchester United


    It's safe to say that Arsene Wenger would not take well to the idea of selling a player to Manchester United this month, next month or anytime soon. But should he receive Javier Hernandez in return, maybe he could be convinced.

    It's a deal that doesn't look likely, but it would work. United, with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand nearing the end of their Old Trafford days and their current deputies still a little shaky, could do with another central defender. Vermaelen, despite watching from the sidelines in all but seven league games this season, can be a fantastic defender when given the chance. 

    Hernandez, or "Chicharito," could be just what the Gunners need in return. Their quest to find a new striker to take the pressure off Olivier Giroud has been well-documented, and the Mexican would be a great addition to their squad.

14. Albert Riera for Nicolas Anelka

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    Player: Albert Riera

    Club: Galatasaray

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Nicolas Anelka

    Club: West Bromwich Albion


    According to Chris Richards in the Mirror, new West Bromwich Albion boss Pepe Mel is keen on bringing former Liverpool man Albert Riera to the Hawthorns.

    The 31-year-old would offer more options on the left wing and at left-back if he made the switch to the Baggies, who currently sit in 15th in the Premier League.

    But who would go the other way? If only West Brom had a troublesome player they would like to see the back of.

    Perhaps Nicolas Anelka would fit the bill. His controversial "quenelle" gesture has seen him charged by the Football Association and, despite insisting that he's determined to play on for Mel's side—via BBC Sport—maybe a move would be best for both parties.

    In Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder, Galatasaray already have a mini stockpile of aging stars, and Anelka would fit right in.

    After helping Fenerbahce to win the Turkish Super Lig in 2005, we're sure Gala fans would welcome him with open arms.

13. Daniel Agger for Gokhan Inler

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    Player: Daniel Agger 

    Club: Liverpool

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Gokhan Inler

    Club: Napoli


    According to The Guardian's Andy Hunter, former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez is keen on bringing Daniel Agger to Serie A side Napoli.

    Agger has appeared in just 11 Premier League games for the Reds this season and has been linked with a move away from Anfield since the summer, as seen on ESPNFC.com.

    The Mirror's Liam Prenderville hinted this week that Napoli's Gokhan Inler could play the makeweight in a potential swap deal between the two clubs.

    It's an exchange that looks good on paper, as the Swiss international could be a fine replacement for Lucas Leiva, who is currently ruled out with a knee injury.

12. Nani for Geoffrey Kondogbia

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    Player: Nani

    Club: Manchester United

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Geoffrey Kondogbia

    Club: Monaco


    It looks like Nani's days could be numbered at Old Trafford. His season disrupted by both injury and an increasing feeling that he is slipping out of David Moyes' plans, he has made just five league starts this term. There are rumours, dating back to the summer, which link the Portuguese winger with a move to Juventus and Monaco, as reported by Mark Ogden in The Telegraph

    Should Nani get a move to Monaco. It would be wise if Manchester United could tempt someone into coming the other way. A target who meets the needs of the Old Trafford side would be Geoffrey Kondogbia, the 20-year-old defensive midfielder who joined Claudio Ranieri's side over the summer.

    United, who have been linked with Kondogbia in the past, are said to be monitoring his situation at Stade Louis II, by Ben Jefferson in the Express.

11. Romelu Lukaku for Edinson Cavani

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    Francisco Seco/Associated Press

    Player: Romelu Lukaku 

    Club: Chelsea

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Edinson Cavani 

    Club: Paris Saint-Germain


    A player-plus-cash deal between Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea is already on the cards for next summer, if speculation is to be believed.

    In various news sources, including this by the Mirror's Dave Kidd, it's suggested that Jose Mourinho will consider selling Romelu Lukaku to PSG in return for Edinson Cavani. 

    Who knows why, but it seems that Lukaku does not have a place in Mourinho's plans after being sent out on loan to Everton this season. However, Cavani would be guaranteed to walk right into the team.

10. Dimitar Berbatov for Ravel Morrison

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    Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

    Player: Dimitar Berbatov

    Club: Fulham

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Ravel Morrison

    Club: West Ham


    This is a swap deal that would benefit both parties. It's a simple fact—West Ham need goals and they need them quick if they want avert their slide toward the bottom of the table.

    Who knows if Marco Borriello, who scored one goal all season in Serie A before joining the Hammers this week, will find his scoring boots in England? Who knows if Andy Carroll will shake off his rustiness before the campaign is out? There are currently a lot of "ifs" with the Hammers front line.

    So, why not bring in Dimitar Berbatov. Not the most dogged of players to help you in a relegation scrap, he is a player who is at his best when he has something to prove, and he would certainly add a touch of class to Sam Allardyce's thin squad.

    Heading to Craven Cottage could be Ravel Morrison. As reported by the Mirror's Chris Richards, Fulham have already expressed their interest, much to West Ham's chagrin. One thing that Fulham so desperately lack is youth. Only six members of their first-team squad are under the age of 25, and they could do with injecting some urgency and dynamism into their attack.

9. Johnny Heitinga for Joe Cole

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    Player: Johnny Heitinga

    Club: Everton

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Joe Cole

    Club: West Ham


    Johnny Heitinga needs to play football to be in with a shot of making the Netherlands squad for the 2014 World Cup. Experienced, composed, reliable—the 30-year-old possesses many of the qualities that West Ham so desperately lack in defence.

    In his fourth year at Goodison Park, Heitinga has only made one Premier League appearance this season, and it looks like Everton will not stand in his way if he wants to make a move. The Dutchman has already turned down an offer to go to West Ham, as seen on BBC Sport. However, as January 31 looms, perhaps he will reconsider his options. 

    Perhaps Everton would be wise to look into the availability of Joe Cole, who could travel the other way. At 32, he still has a lot to offer and would provide a short-term answer as the Toffees look to ease their growing midfield injury list, which includes Bryan Oviedo, Gerard Deulofeu, Steven Pienaar and Ross Barkley.

8. Darren Bent for Steven Taylor

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    Christopher Lee/Getty Images

    Player: Darren Bent

    Club: Fulham 

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Steven Taylor

    Club: Newcastle


    It may not be the most glamorous of moves, but a swap between Newcastle's Steven Taylor and Fulham's Darren Bent would help each side.

    Fulham currently have the Premier League's worst defensive record, and they are in need of backup. Steven Taylor, who has struggled to get back into Alan Pardew's side after returning from injury has plenty of experience in the top flight and could help to plug the gap at Craven Cottage.

    Bent, who has worked with Pardew before at Charlton Athletic, could be reinvigorated by a move to St James' Park. Low on both confidence and game time, Bent would be wise to revisit the interest that Newcastle showed him over the summer, as seen on SkySports.com.

7. Mirko Vucinic for Erik Lamela

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    Player: Mirko Vucinic

    Club: Juventus

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Erik Lamela

    Club: Tottenham


    Erik Lamela is already looking for a way out of White Hart Lane if reports are to be believed. In this article by Samuel Stevens in The Independent, Lamela's father hinted that the 21-year-old was ready to leave.

    After signing from Roma over the summer, Lamela has made just three starts this season. New Spurs manager Tim Sherwood has rubbished the idea that the Argentinean will leave, as seen on SkySports.com.

    However, a temporary return to Italy could make sense. 

    Perhaps a swap deal with Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic could tempt Sherwood into making an exchange. Vucinic, who looked to be on his way out of Turin until a swap deal involving Fredy Guarin broke down, is likely to leave the club this winter.

    Spurs need more firepower, and Juve would benefit from a winger, especially one who is experienced in Serie A.

    It just makes sense, even if it's a loan deal until the end of the season.

6. Iker Casillas for Edin Dzeko

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    Player: Iker Casillas

    Club: Real Madrid

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Edin Dzeko

    Club: Manchester City


    Iker Casillas to Manchester City and Edin Dzeko to Real Madrid—it's a swap that seems to make great sense. City are in need of another goalkeeper, with Manuel Pellegrini seemingly unconvinced by Joe Hart and Costel Pantilimon. The Citizens would also benefit from having a stopper with Casillas' experience in their ranks.

    Real Madrid aren't going to sign Luis Suarez anytime soon, but it's not hard to imagine Edin Dzeko joining the La Liga side in search of regular first-team football.

    Los Blancos would benefit from having another senior striker on board, and Dzeko's quality in front of goal is without question.

5. Ryan Bertrand for Luke Shaw

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Player: Ryan Bertrand

    Club: Chelsea

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Luke Shaw

    Club: Southampton


    It looks like Ashley Cole will be leaving Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, with Chelsea very much in the market for a new left-back.

    Southampton's Luke Shaw currently appears to be the object of a tussle between Manchester United and Chelsea, as reported by Ben Curtis in the Mirror, who could both do with reinforcements in the position.

    Shaw, a Chelsea fan, could be on his way to Stamford Bridge in the summer. And perhaps Ryan Bertrand could provide the incentive for the Saints to part ways with the 18-year-old.

    Bertrand, who went on loan to Aston Villa this month, as seen on SkySports.com, has made just two Premier League appearances this term. 

    On the books at Stamford Bridge since 2005, Bertrand has consistently been farmed out on loan but could be looking for a move this summer. It could be the perfect straight swap for the two clubs.

4. Lewis Holtby for Sead Kolasinac

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Player: Lewis Holtby

    Club: Tottenham

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Sead Kolasinac

    Club: Schalke


    If rumours are to be believed, Lewis Holtby is ready to return to Schalke. As seen on SkySports.com, the club are considering making a bid to bring him back to the Bundesliga just one year after selling him to Tottenham.

    Holtby appears to have fallen down the pecking order at White Hart Lane, where he has started just six games all season. 

    If the 23-year-old returned to the Veltins-Arena as part of a player swap deal, it would make sense for Spurs to investigate Schalke left-back Sead Kolasinac.

    The Bosnian defender has made nine appearances for Jens Keller's team this season, where he has good competition from Dennis Aogo and Christian Fuchs. Just 20, he's already appeared in the Champions League and has represented Germany at various youth levels before opting to play for Bosnia.

    It's a well-known fact that Spurs are in dire need of a new left-back, and receiving a promising talent like Kolasinac in exchange for Holtby would be worth a try.

3. Joleon Lescott for Ravel Morrison

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    Jan Kruger/Getty Images

    Player: Joleon Lescott

    Club: Manchester City

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Ravel Morrison 

    Club: West Ham


    Joleon Lescott to West Ham, that's the easy part. Sam Allardyce's team have been woeful in defence this season, and they desperately need confidence and stability at the back.

    Out of favour at the Etihad, Lescott is an experienced Premier League defender who has only turned out eight times in the top flight this term despite his own side's lack of options in defence.

    The 31-year-old would walk right into the Hammers' starting XI and would drastically improve his chances of playing for England at this summer's World Cup.

    Finding a player to go the other way, however, isn't so easy.

    The only move that would make sense would be Ravel Morrison. The former Manchester United player appears twice in this slideshow, which indicates how few players the club have to trade with.

    As one of West Ham's most promising players and highly rated by Sir Alex Ferguson when at Old Trafford, Morrison was linked with a move to City over the summer, as seen in this article by the Mirror's John Cross.

2. Diego Costa for Thibaut Courtois

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Player: Diego Costa

    Club: Atletico Madrid

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Thibaut Courtois

    Club: Chelsea


    It's a deal that would involve two players and a truck full of cash, but it could just work. Chelsea are in need of a new striker—the Blues have made no secret of that.

    Diego Costa is currently one of the most coveted forwards in Europe, where his 19 goals in 21 La Liga games, not to mention four in the Champions League, are making him a very attractive prospect.

    Atletico Madrid have a very rich history of acquiring star strikers. They also aren't averse to selling them on for sizable chunks of money—see Radamel Falcao, Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero as examples.

    Thibaut Courtois is a Chelsea keeper and a well-regarded one at that. The 21-year-old has spent the past three seasons on loan at the Vicente Calderon, where he has made over 100 appearances.

    It may not happen until the summer, but this is one swap deal that would make a lot of sense. In The Independent this week, Charles Reynolds reported that a verbal agreement has already been made between the two clubs.

1. Tom Ince for Neil Taylor

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    Player: Tom Ince

    Club: Blackpool 

    Swap Deal for:

    Player: Neil Taylor

    Club: Swansea City


    Now here's a deal that makes perfect sense. Swansea's season is stuttering. Hit by injury, it seems that participation in the Europa League has taken its toll on Michael Laudrup's squad.

    The Swans are in need of bodies to get them through the rest of the campaign. After bringing in striker David N'Gog from Bolton Wanderers this week, reinforcements are still needed in midfield and on both wings.

    The answer could lie in Blackpool's Tom Ince. Already in the final six months of his contract at Bloomfield Road, he is not without his admirers. His father, Paul Ince, was sacked as manager just last week, as seen on BBC Sport, and it looks like Ince junior will be leaving soon.

    Best on the left wing, Ince can also play on the right and as an attacking midfielder. He would provide a welcome respite to Swansea's current injury situation.

    Going the other way would be Neil Taylor. The 24-year-old left-back has struggled to reclaim his place in Laudrup's starting XI after breaking his ankle last season. Blackpool have shipped 34 goals this term, are winless in 10 and have only one recognised left-back in Jack Robinson. Robinson is on loan from Liverpool, has been suspended for five Championship games this season and would benefit from some serious competition.