January Transfer Rumours: Predicting 10 Shocking Moves

Kent SommerContributor IIIDecember 14, 2010

January Transfer Rumours: Predicting 10 Shocking Moves

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    WIGAN, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premiership match between Wigan Athletic and Manchester City at the DW Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Wigan, England.  (Photo b
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    The January transfer window is right around the corner.  Every team, except for maybe Barcelona, has needs for their lineup.  Some teams are already making moves and the rumors are in full force.  Let's take a look at some of the bigger moves that could take place in January that will really have an impact and change the soccer landscape.

Carlos Tevez: Manchester City

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    STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 27:  Carlos Tevez of Manchester City walks off at the end of the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Manchester City at Britannia Stadium on November 27, 2010 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Clive
    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Why it could happen: 

    Because Tevez wants out. 

    It seems like just yesterday the Argentinean was complaining about his role at Manchester United and embracing his move to Manchester City.  A short 18 months later and Tevez is unhappy again and requesting a move. 

    Possible Destinations:

    Chelsea, Inter Milan, Boca Juniors

    Likelihood of happening and Impact

    This move is almost certain at this point; The only question is the destination. Chelsea is already rumored to be putting together a bid for Tevez.  Inter Milan could use his services and would be a viable option if Tevez wants out of England altogether. 

    Tevez had mentioned recently he would like to retire soon and return to Argentina.  Maybe the return to the homeland to play for Boca will be sooner than expected.

    Any team that takes him will have to be skeptical of his commitment.  No question Tevez is talented, but he appears difficult to satisfy.  Four months ago, he appeared firmly committed to Manchester City and the quest to help them finish in the top four.  Suddenly he is unhappy and wants a move. 

    The greater issue is the impact this move alone will have on the landscape of football. With Tevez leaving, City needs a new striker.  They have the money and will likely be big players on the market because they need to replace Tevez.

Fernando Llorente: Atletico Bilbao

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    BILBAO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 25:  Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao gestures during the La Liga match between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona at the San Mames Stadium on September 25, 2010 in Bilbao, Spain. Barcelona won the match 3-1.  (Photo by Jasper Jui
    Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

    Why it could happen: 

    Because he continues to play well even after the World Cup.

    The young Spanish striker made an impressive debut this past summer in the World Cup with Spain's national team.  With or without the injury to Fernando Torres, Llorente was a fixture in the lineup. 

    Llorente's impressive play has not slowed since this summer as he is currently third in La Liga in scoring.  He was on most team's radars prior to the start of the season, but with his continued solid play, he is a desirable acquisition for many teams.

    Possible Destinations:

    Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham

    Likelihood of happening:

    Adios Llorente, this transfer will happen.

    Atletico Bilbao seems content on letting their striker leave.  They would probably like to keep him, but the offers will likely be too good to pass up.  Tottenham has already made a bid for Llorente and appears willing to meet the minimum price set by Bilbao. 

    So really the only question is whether another club will swoop in with a better offer and steal him from the Spurs. With Manchester City likely parting ways with Tevez, they are in need of a striker.  There is no end to City's pocketbooks and if they are interested, they could easily outbid Tottenham and acquire Llorente. 

Luis Suarez: Ajax

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    Why it could happen:

    Because just like Llorente, the young striker  is continuing his solid play after an impressive World Cup. Granted, he did make huge headlines for his extremely controversial handball, but he also had some impressive goals. 

    Possible Destinations:

    Liverpool, Manchester City

    Likelihood of happening and Potential Impact:

    This too will likely happen and could have a huge impact.  Liverpool has already made an offer to Ajax for Suarez.  Liverpool needs help up top and this move will greatly improve their offensive attack.  It will free up space for Torres and provide a dual threat that Liverpool hasn't really had all season.

    Manchester City only remains in the mix because of the Tevez move.  Liverpool has new owners that want to spend money but City has the endless resources.  If they feel like they need Suarez and Suarez wants to go to the highest bidder, then City could have Suarez in January. 

Cesc Fabregas: Arsenal

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    MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 12:  Pepe Reina (L) and Carles Puyol (R) of the Spanish national football team put a FC Barcelona shirt on Cesc Fabregas during the Spanish team's parade following their victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup on July 12, 2010 in Madrid, S
    Daniel Sastre Huertas/Getty Images

    Why it could happen: 

    Because as long as Fabregas is playing, there will always be rumors of his return to Barcelona. 

    Fabregas came up through Barcelona's youth system and has never hid from the fact that he would like to return at some point to the Camp Nou. 

    Barcelona is firing on all cylinders and doesn't appear to have any weaknesses.  They don't necessarily need Fabregas, but that doesn't mean they don't want him.

    Possible Destinations: 


    Likelihood of happening: 

    This transfer will happen...but probably not in January.  At some point Fabregas will be reunited with Barcelona.  Barcelona wants him and will eventually pay the money to get him. 

    Although Arsenal would like to keep him, they are fine keeping with their business model of giving up marquee players and developing the lesser known talent; sort of like what they did with Fabregas.

Gareth Bale: Tottenham

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    Why it could happen: 

    Because every team wants Bale. 

    Few young players have made as much of an impact on the soccer scene this year as Bale. The Tottenham left back has exploded onto the world stage with his impressive defensive skills and even more impressive offensive attack.  His speed down the sideline is unmatched and not since Roberto Carlos has there been a left back with as strong of a shot and finish. 

    With such impressive play, he is likely on every team's radar.  Any team with deep pockets or seemingly unlimited spending power could make an offer.

    Possible Destinations: 

    Real Madrid, Manchester City, Chelsea

    Likelihood of happening: 

    There is a small chance Bale will be gone this winter.  Tottenham's owner has come out and said that Bale is not for sale.  But statements like that in the past haven't stopped teams like Real from still acquiring that player. 

    Madrid was recently embarrassed in their 5-0 loss to Barcelona.  After the game Jose Mourinho told his employers that he wanted Bale.  Madrid wants to win La Liga and Mourinho and the club president will do whatever is necessary to achieve their goal. 

    If they want to beat Barcelona, they will need to fix their defense.  They know Bale is the ideal solution.  Money has never been an issue before.  Regardless of the statements coming out of White Heart Lane, don't be surprised if Real makes a strong offer come January.   

Dani Alves: Barcelona

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 12:  Dani Alves of Barcelona shoots at goal during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou Stadium on December 12, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 5-0.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Why it could happen:

    Because Alves is willing to go.

    Although it would seem foolish for any player to leave Barcelona, Alves has already indicated that he wants to leave his transfer options open. A statement like that from a world-class player like Alves just invites owners to open up their checkbooks.

    Possible Destinations:

    Manchester City, Liverpool

    Likelihood of happening:

    There is a good chance this move will happen. 

    Unless you are sitting the bench, the only reason to leave Barcelona is for a bigger paycheck. Liverpool needs help with defense, but they likely won't be able to outbid Manchester City. 

    City can produce the type of offer that even Barcelona will entertain.  Alves is a solid player, but with so many world-class players on the Barcelona roster, it's doubtful Barcelona will go to great lengths to match an offer from City. 

The Americans: Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey

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    RUSTENBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 12:  Clint Dempsey (R) and Landon Donovan of the United States celebrate at the final whistle during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group C match between England and USA at the Royal Bafokeng Stadium on June 12, 2010
    Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

    Why either could happen:

    Because either player is a great solution for teams with problems in the midfield.

    Donovan isn't currently with a team, but his services could be used by many teams.  He proved last year during his short stint with Everton that he can compete in the Premier League.  Any lingering concerns about his ability were dispelled after his impressive performance at the World Cup.

    Dempsey has continued his solid play with Fulham and many teams could be interested in using Dempsey to fill gaps in their midfield.

    Possible Destinations:

    Donovan:  Everton, Fulham

    Dempsey: Liverpool, AC Milan

    Likelihood of happening:

    It's no guarantee that Donovan will return to the Premier League, but there is no reason to believe he won't come back on loan again.  He proved last season that he can contribute and teams like Everton and Fulham are struggling and need his help.  Even if not to one of those teams, he will likely be back.

    Although Fulham has said they do not want to sell Dempsey, there is still a decent chance he will leave.  There were rumors that AC Milan was targeting Dempsey this past summer.  Liverpool has also recently claimed interest. 

    Fulham is struggling this season and barely out of the relegation zone.  If a team presents a decent offer, especially one like Liverpool, where he would be able to reunite with his former coach, Dempsey will likely be on the move. 

Fernando Torres: Liverpool

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    Why it could happen:

    Because Torres and Liverpool are struggling. 

    Both Torres and Liverpool have had their moments of brilliance this season, but they have also been dismal at times.  Plenty of teams could use the services of Torres, and if the struggles continue, he may just decide it's time to part ways and try another team.

    Possible Destinations:

    Chelsea, Manchester City

    Likelihood of happening:

    Slim.  There was a better chance of this happening this past summer. 

    A team like Chelsea could still swoop in and make an offer in January.  They were interested this past summer and I'm sure were especially upset it didn't happen after Torres' impressive performance against Chelsea a few weeks ago.

    Manchester City is always an option, but it's doubtful Torres would leave Liverpool for a team that isn't in the Champions League.

    This will be a bigger storyline this summer if Liverpool continues to struggle.  The new owners have committed to spending and acquiring players and it will be interesting to see if any new faces are brought in. 

    However, if Liverpool finishes outside the top four again and there doesn't appear to be any immediate moves made to fix the situation, don't be surprised to see him leave so that he doesn't waste any more of his prime on a non-Champions League club. 

Didier Drogba: Chelsea

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14:  (L-R) John Obi Mikel, Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka of Chelsea look dejected during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Sunderland at Stamford Bridge on November 14, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by
    Scott Heavey/Getty Images

    Why it could happen:

    Because Chelsea needs to make some changes. 

    They were off to a dominant start but have been struggling ever since.  Many would likely argue that the struggles aren't the fault of Drogba (although he did miss the penalty last week), but if Chelsea goes out and gets some younger forwards or talent, or even Tevez, then it's completely possible that they would sell Drogba.

    Possible Destinations:

    Real Madrid, Manchester City

    Likelihood of happening:

    Slim, although not completely out of the question.  A lot will depend on if Chelsea acquires another striker in January.  If they do, expect Manchester City to make an offer, especially if they lose Tevez. 

    Real Madrid is also an option.  Drogba played under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and would probably be open to the possibility of reuniting with his former coach. 

Kaka: Real Madrid

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    MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 21: Kaka of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring Real's second goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Villarreal at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on February 21, 2010 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Image
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Why it could happen:

    Because Kaka and Real Madrid don't fit. 

    Although he just recently came to Madrid, he has never looked comfortable.  He had a sub-par season last year and appeared timid and lost most of the time.  Madrid fans hoped he would make sweet music with Cristiano Ronaldo, but instead, they never looked like they were on the same page. 

    Additionally, Mesut Ozil has been brilliant for Madrid.  Kaka has been injured for much of the season, but Madrid has still been dominant thanks in large part to Ozil stepping in and playing well at midfield.  Ozil seems more comfortable than Kaka ever was. 

    Possible Destinations:

    Chelsea, Liverpool, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Barcelona

    Likelihood of happening:

    There is a good chance Kaka's time in Madrid has already come to a close.  His personality doesn't really fit with Mourinho and he doesn't appear happy.

    Madrid had high hopes with Kaka and Ronaldo guiding the team into the future.  Ronaldo's personality is just too strong and Kaka has shrunk on the big stage.  Might not happen in January, but I'd hold off on buying that Kaka Real Madrid jersey.

    Liverpool could use him in the midfield, but he is likely out of their price range.

    Kaka was comfortable at AC Milan so don't rule out a return to Italy.

    Chelsea could use Kaka and he would likely be a great addition to their midfield.

    The Barcelona move is a stretch.  Barcelona doesn't need Kaka, but don't rule out Barcelona making the move just to upset Madrid fans.