Schwarzer to Arsenal, Kaka To AC Milan Among 20 Possible January Transfers
It is still early in the season, and there is a lot of competitive exciting football still to be played over the year. But as the teams play more, some players do not figure in the starting eleven on a regular basis, or are dissatisfied due to a variety of reasons, as a result of which they seek a move away from their respective club during the January transfer window.
The clubs look to bolster their squad with reinforcements, who could help their team achieve their ambitions. For example, the addition of Andrei Arshavin to Arsenal in the January transfer window, two years ago, provided a much needed boost to the Gunners. Some players have rifts with their managers, which might force them to look for alternative clubs.
The January transfer window generally has a lot of activity, and already, there are a number of rumors floating in the media circles. I have compiled a list of 20 players, who could be on the move in the January transfer window.
Ryan Babel: Winger / Centre Forward
Present Club: Liverpool
Ryan Babel has shown he has the talent to play at the highest level, but has been far too inconsistent, and in Liverpool’s present scenario, it would not be a surprise if he is sold by the club in order to raise funds for signing a quality winger.
Babel was on his way out of Anfield after he endured a rough relationship with former Liverpool manager, Rafael Benitez, but Roy Hodgson has placed his trust on the Dutchman. But Babel has not been given a starting berth in most of the matches, and Hodgson might look to use his transfer fee to buy a quality replacement.
Charles Nzogbia: Winger
Present Club: Wigan Athletic
Charles Nzogbia is a very talented winger playing for Wigan Athletic, and he aims to play for a top club in the future. He was tempted by a move to Birmingham, but the deal was shelved because Nzogbia demanded wages, which were too high.
It will not be a surprise if other clubs come calling for him in January, and he might be open to a move away from Wigan. Stoke City and Bayern Munich have been linked to the Frenchman, and securing the services of Nzogbia will be a boost for the club.
Javi Martinez: Midfielder
Present Club: Athletic Bilbao
Javi Martinez was in the Spain World Cup winning squad, and the midfielder is rated highly by Vincente Del Bosque and many others. He is presently playing for Athletic Bilboa, and has contributed immensely to the club.
Manchester United have been linked to various midfielders in the last year or so, because their experienced duo of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are not getting any younger, and it is time for Sir Alex Ferguson to search for quality replacements. Javi Martinez fits the bill, and he might also be interested because he will be playing for one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Michael Owen: Striker
Present Club: Manchester United
Michael Owen was signed by Manchester United in the previous year, and has been restricted to substitute appearances for most part of his Manchester United career. However, with the emergence of talented young strikers like Federico Macheda and Javier Hernandez, Owen might look for a move away from Old Trafford.
Aston Villa’s manager Gerard Houllier, who worked with Owen during his time at Liverpool, has made no secret of his ambition to sign the England striker. Owen has also been linked with a move back to Liverpool, though it is unsure how their supporters will react to it. It might just be the right time for Owen leave United and revitalise his career.
Juan Mata: Winger
Present Club: Valencia
Juan Mata is one of the most talented young players in the world, and has been tracked by a number of big clubs including the likes of Barcelona and Liverpool. Liverpool are in desperate need of a quality winger, and Mata might be the man to resolve their problems.
Valencia had to sell the likes of David Villa and David Silva to ease their financial troubles, and a sizeable offer for Mata might just allow them to part with him. Liverpool might offer Ryan Babel to make the deal sweeter for Valencia.
Mark Schwarzer: Goalkeeper
Present Club: Fulham
Mark Schwarzer is an experienced goalkeeper, playing for Fulham. He has been a consistent performer in the past, but has not had the opportunity to play in the Champions League, throughout his career. When Arsenal tried to sign him in the summer, Schwarzer was open to the move, but Mark Hughes insisted that he stayed at Craven Cottage.
After Manuel Almunia’s latest gaffes against West Bromwich, Arsenal might be back in the hunt for the Australian. Schwarzer has also indicated that he would like to move to the Emirates in January, if there is an offer from the Gunners. His contract ends this year, and Fulham might not want to lose him for nothing.
Karim Benzema: Striker
Present Club: Real Madrid
Karim Benzema is one of the most talented strikers in the world, and was signed for a whopping 30 million by Real Madrid. However, he has not been able to establish himself in the starting eleven and has warmed the bench, while Gonzalo Higuain has emerged as the first choice striker.
Benzema was recently criticized by France manager Laurent Blanc and even his Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has said that he needs to work hard in order to find a place in the team. There are many top clubs who will be interested to acquire his services and he might move to one of them.
Manuel Almunia: Goalkeeper
Present Club: Arsenal
Manuel Almunia made it clear in the summer that he would not like to the no.2 keeper for Arsenal, if the Gunners signed a keeper. Almunia had a solid start to the season until the game against West Bromwich Albion, where his gaffes proved costly for the Gunners. De to his elbow injury, Lukasz Fabianski has been given a run of games, and he has not fared too badly.
Almunia can no longer expect to be Arsenal’s no. 1 with the emergence of young keepers, Wojciech Szczesny and Vito Mannone, and in addition to it, Arsene Wenger might also sign Mark Schwarzer to steady the ship. Almunia looks set to move away from the Emirates in the near future, and it could be as early as January.
Pedro Leon: Winger
Present Club: Real Madrid
Pedro Leon is a young winger signed from Getafe by Jose Mourinho for Real Madrid in this summer. However, he has not been able to break into the team on a regular basis. In addition to that, he had not followed instructions from the manger when he was introduced as a substitute, and was promptly dropped him from the Champions League squad against Auxerre.
Leon might look for a move away from Real Madrid, if his rough relationship with Mourinho continues. His talent is undeniable and there will be a number of clubs who will be interested to sign him if he opts to leave the Los Blancos
Shay Given: Goalkeeper
Present Club: Manchester City
Shay Given has been one of most consistent performers in the Premier League in the last decade. He was signed by Manchester City, when Mark Hughes was the manager, and had a decent season with the Citizens. However the emergence of the young Joe Hart has relegated him to the bench.
Given has too much quality to remain on the bench for long, and will look for a move away from City. Arsenal might sign Schwarzer and Fulham manager Mark Hughes might look to bring him to Craven Cottage.
Emmanuel Adebayor: Striker
Present Club: Manchester City
Emmanuel Adebayor was signed by Manchester City from Arsenal, last year, and the African has not endured a great period during his time with City. He has been lacklustre in some of the games, and has warmed the bench for long periods. Carlos Tevez is the first choice striker, and Adebayor might look for a move away so that he gets more playing time.
Juventus were interested in signing him in the summer, though they were also linked with Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko. Another possibility is that Real Madrid could offload Karim Benzema and use the funds to sign the former Arsenal striker.
Lassana Diarra: Midfielder
Present Club: Real Madrid
Lassana Diarra was signed by Real Madrid for an exorbitant fee, but has not played an important role in Jose Mourinho’s team. He has not featured in the team, regularly, and has voiced his frustration of remaining on the bench. Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso have established themselves as starters, providing very less options for Diarra.
The Former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder has been linked to a move back to the Premier League, with rumours linking him to two clubs: Tottenham and Manchester United, but he will not come at a bargain.
Roque Santa Cruz: Striker
Present Club: Manchester City
Roque Santa Cruz was all set to leave for Lazio in the summer, but his deal could not be sealed by the transfer deadline, and he was subsequently included in the list of 25 players for Manchester City in this season. He has not enjoyed a favourable period at the City of Manchester, and he is not getting many opportunities to impress Roberto Mancini.
However, he is still a quality centre forward, and there will be many clubs who will be happy to acquire his services. He might move to Lazio in January, in a bid to seek first team football. His situation at Manchester City is not looking good, which is why he will look for other options.
Edin Dzeko: Striker
Present Club: Wolfsburg
Edin Dzeko is one of the most prolific strikers in the world, and has emerged as the most important player for Wolfsburg. He was linked with a number of high profile clubs in the summer, but stayed on at the Bundesliga club. His goals to games ratio is pretty impressive and he is rated very highly.
It will not be a surprise if Manchester City splash the cash to attain the services of the striker, but Juventus will not make it a one horse race. Juventus have made no secret of their ambition to sign him, and have pursued it for more than a year.
Maarten Stekelenberg: Goalkeeper
Present Club: Ajax
Maarten Skelenberg impressed in the world cup for the Netherlands, and was one of the main reasons why they reached the final of the 2010 World Championship. He has also been a very consistent performer for Ajax, but with the Dutch club in the midst of financial troubles, they might accept a sizeable offer for the Dutch goalkeeper.
Manchester United and Arsenal have been tracking the goalkeeper, and will be interested to sign him in January. United goalkeeper Van Der Sar has also recommended Sir Alex Ferguson to sign Stekelenberg to replace him after his retirement.
Yuri Zhirkov: Left Back / Winger
Present Club: Chelsea
Yuri Zhirkov is a very talented versatile player, who can play as a left winger or a left back. He was signed by Chelsea for a large transfer fee of around 20 million, but he has not been able to break in the first team squad because of the impressive array of talent that the Blues possess.
The Russian manager has also warned him that he needs to play regularly in order to stake a claim for a regular starting berth in the Russian team. His lack of playing time at Chelsea, might force him to consider other options, which may even be a return to his former club CSKA Moscow.
Sulley Muntari: Midfielder
Present Club: Inter Milan
Sulley Muntari has endured a rocky relationship with many a manager, and it does seem the case about his relationship with the new Inter Milan manager, Rafael Benitez. Muntari has not been a starter for Inter, and his not so cordial relationship with Benitez might tempt him to consider other available options.
The central midfielder has still a lot to offer, as he showed when did play for Ghana in the World Cup. Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp might look to take advantage of the situation and look to sign him for a cut-price fee.
Niko Kranjcar: Midfielder
Present Club: Tottenham
Niko Kranjcar is a central mifielder for Tottenham, who was very important for them in their previous year’s success in attaining the Champaions League spot. However, with the addition of the impressive Rafael Van Der Vaart, Kranjcar has not had a lot of playing time.
There were rumours that he looked for a move away from Tottenham, but he rubbished the reports. But, if an attractive offer does come his way, he will consider his options because currently, there are two midfielders, Rafael Van der Vaart and Luka Modric who are ahead of him in the pecking order.
Luis Fabiano: Striker
Present Club: Sevilla
Luis Fabiano was reported to be interested to leave Sevilla for either Manchester United or AC Milan in the summer, but none of the moves materialised, and he signed a contract extension with Sevilla. Fabiano is not currently happy with his chances at Sevilla in this season, and might be interested in a move away from the club.
Tottenham manager, Harry Redknapp is interested in securing the services of the Brazilian International who will undoubtedly bring in a lot of quality and experience to his side. The Brazilian’s valuation by the Spanish club, however, could discourage the EPL club from signing the striker.
Present Club: Real Madrid
Kaka was signed for a record transfer fee worth around 60 million by Real Madrid from AC Milan, and did not endure a successful season with the Los Blancos. His time with them has been beset by injuries, and he has faced criticism from a lot of the Real Madrid fans.
His manager, Jose Mourinho believes that Kaka has a lot to offer Real Madrid, but he will face competition from Mesut Ozil for a place in the starting 11. Kaka’s injury problems have sidelined him for Real Madrid, and Ozil has performed decently in his absence. Also, youngster Sergio Canales has shown great ability, and deserves his chance in the near future.
Kaka has been rumoured to be tracked by Inter Milan though their president Moratti has rejected the idea. Recent reports have linked him with a return to his former club AC Milan and a move back to Milan could just what he needs to find his golden touch.