January Transfer Window: 15 Major Clubs Who'll be buying and What they need.
As October stretches onward, the January transfer window draws ever closer.
Some players are almost guaranteed to move while others are complete toss ups and it will come down to whether or not the money is right.
Teams have had a little more than a month to assess their summer dealings, and can now decide whether further reinforcements are required.
Major clubs all across Europe are sure to be involved in the transfer market as they quest for glory and many of them need to let some players move on as much as they need bring more in and some need even more than that.
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Arsenal are in need of multiple things during January.
Their defense continues to leak like a sieve, while the attack truly is all Robin van Persie at the moment.
Given the Dutchman's unfortunate predisposition toward injury, the Gunners most certainly need another striker in the ranks apart from Marouane Chamakh, whose form has dipped precariously since his excellent start to his Arsenal career in the fall of 2010.
Per Mertesacker has been anything but impressive in central defense, as the big German has encountered problems adjusting to the pace of the English game. With Thomas Vermaelen facing yet another prolonged injury-induced spell on the sidelines, Arsene Wenger may well be forced to dip into the treasury to acquire another center back.
Most of all, the Gunners require direction. With Wenger's continuing alacrity toward signing under-18 talent, he is risking his future and that of his squad as many new players may not be attracted to the prospect of living without Champions League football in coming seasons—a very real possibility given the current predicament at the club, where the Gunners languish in 15th place in the Premier League table.
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The Reds have spent a load of cash in the last ten months since Kenny Dalglish took over from embattled skipper Roy Hodgson, but there are still areas that need reinforcement.
With defensive rock Jamie Carragher discussing retirement, Liverpool could begin searching for an additional center back, with Danny Wilson a year or two away and the health of Daniel Agger almost always suspect.
Craig Bellamy's addition this summer has already proved a shrewd decision, but the aging Welshman is no long-term solution. Dalglish and Damien Camolli, Liverpool's Director of Football, are certain to be looking for additions, namely to provide depth within the squad.
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Harry Redknapp has began to turn his club around after a dastardly start to the season thanks in large part to the form of on-loan striker Emmanuel Adebayor, who has fit in well with his new side.
One of Redknapp's main missions in January will be to find a way to convince the highly paid Togolese to agree to a cut in his wages in order to make the move from Manchester City permanent at the end of the season (ESPN Soccernet).
Bolton defender and England international Gary Cahill should also be a prime target. Other than Ledley King, the central defense could use another truly top class defender with the time to develop into his prime.
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Juventus have a strong attack, and have looked like geniuses for their offseason additions of Mirko Vucinic and Andrea Pirlo, both of whom have been in superlative form.
The next item on the docket will be dealing with the sale funds of Amauri and Luca Toni. If they want to add to their attack, out-of-favor Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez would make a fine addition as his excitement toward a(ny) move could help propel the Old Lady to a Scudetto if they maintain their current pace, which has been excellent.
Their midfield and defense could always use some strength and there are plenty of class defenders and midfielders such as Real Madrid's Raul Albiol and Sami Khedira—both failing to get consistent playing time at the moment—that could use a fresh start.
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AC Milan are still a strong side, but have just had a hard time getting out of the gates this season.
Alberto Aquilani looks like he could be a big help to them if secured permanently from Liverpool this offseason. The former Roma man (he was on loan with Juventus in 2010-11) would be a welcome addition to the midfield alignment, with many of the current players on the downturn of their careers (Seedorf, Ambrosini, Gattuso).
The attack possesses an excellent mix of generations, skill and quality, but so far it has not repeated the success of last season.
There could be a shake up on the front line come January.
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While Newcastle United will not likely break a major transfer record, they could most certainly add more fire power. Leon Best has been more than expected and Demba Ba looks to be getting underway.
Shole Ameobi is as always underrated but the rest of the front is very poor and the likes of Alan Smith in the chart are not going to help take the Magpies back to Europe.
The defense is also exceeding preseason expectations, but could still use more strength in depth as there is not much left if Stephen Taylor and Fabricio Coloccini were to go down injured for an extended tenure.
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La Liga's new-money side Malaga have made some quality additions with the summer signatures of Ruud Van Nistelrooy from Hamburg and Jeremy Toulalan from Olympique Lyonnais.
The most astute addition, however, has been Santi Cazorla from Villarreal.
However, the defense and the goal are going to need beefing up in the next transfer window if the club expects to push high up the table behind Real Madrid and Barcelona and remain there.
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Inter Milan are another club that look every bit the part of contender on paper, but have failed to get off the deck this season. Manager Claudio Ranieri, squired in after owner Massimo Moratti fired Gian Piero Gasperini weeks into the season, looks to have started to get them moving in the right direction. There is still a considerable amount for the Nerazzurri to improve upon, though.
The attacking pair of the Dual Diego's (Milito, Forlan) is far too talented not to come good, but the forward lines seem a little thin in the long run. Ranieri is an excellent and proven Serie A tactician, and loves a reclamation job, but he may want to add more options in January to see his side truly prosper.
Defense has also been a weak point for the club as sale of Davide Santon to Newcastle is still being questioned after he has built upon the promise that once saw him tipped as a future starlet.
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Former AC Milan manager Leonardo is the mastermind behind the revitalization of once-mighty Paris Saint-Germain, having taken over the role of sporting director within the French capital side this past offseason. So far his efforts have seen them occupy the top spot of Ligue 1 in France.
There is still much to be done, however, if he wants to build a club that can withstand a rigorous Champions League campaign (the side is currently in the Europa League). One of the acquisitions I see him going after is a major money striker to pair with current leading front man Kevin Gameiro, especially with out-of-favor Guillaume Hoarau looking likely to move on.
Summer signing Javier Pastore has blossomed in the French league, taking full advantage of the freedom to roam in his attacking midfield position, but the Argentine will need more support from the midfield and the defense in order to continue playing such a high line.
The clubs beating at the hands of Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League proves how much work they still have to do on the whole to add quality. The defense needs to be one of the next major target areas for the club, although the acquisition of Uruguayan international mainstay Diego Lugano looks a solid move.
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Olympique Marseille have had a tough start to their domestic campaign so far. They showed they still have loads of talent by blanking the defending Bundesliga champion Borussia Dortmund at home (3-0), but that success has yet to cross over into Ligue 1 play.
The biggest problem looks to be the defense, where the 2009-10 French champions have a negative goal differential and cannot seem to hold a lead to win a game.
Their matches against Lille and AJ Auxerre both saw them 2-0 and then 2-1 up respectably before they gave up two goals to each side in the second half and drop five points. The match against Valenciennes saw them take an early lead and then the defense gave up a goal in stoppage time.
For the South port city's club to move up the table they have to find a way or a player to solidify the back.
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Borussia Dortmund look to be having a slow start as the sale of midfielder Nuri Sahin has visibly changed the way Die Schwarzgelben build their attack .
Mario Goetze has been sensational in the attacking third, and 2010-11 Bundesliga champions will have to make sure to hold onto him in January to keep pushing back toward the top of the league.
Lucas Barrios needs to get back to full force in the lineup as he has only been involved three times so far this season.
All in all, Dortmund only need reinforcement in their defense as their attack is solid but they have been loosing games against mid level teams they should be beating in the league.
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In-form Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has been on fire so far this season, notching seven goals. He's been joined by veteran front man Raul, who has added another four.
However, the loss of keeper Manuel Neuer may eventually show just where the weakness lies for the club that managed to get to the final four of the UEFA Champions League last season despite a dismal league campaign.
They could be definite contenders for the Europa League this season, but their offense is carrying a major load that may be unsustainable without some January additions at the back or between the sticks.
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The Romans have started to turn it around with two straight wins in Serie A, but far more work is required if they are to continue moving forward.
Daniele De Rossi, the calming force in midfield, must be retained. His departure in January could severely hurt the club in the middle of the park even if his sale would bring in additional funds.
Other than their draw with Inter (who have been a shadow of themselves but could snap out under former Roma boss Ranieri) there has yet to be a major challenge from a top half Italian club to define the Romans' real ability.
The club's new owners need to invest more into all areas to keep rebuilding the squad that was subject to a major clear out.
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The news of superb striker Alvaro Negrado signing a contract extension was some of the best news Sevilla FC have had recently.
While they remain unbeaten in La Liga on three wins and three draws, they still could use more bolstering in the attacking third as Negrado and Frederic Kanoute will need some additional support to shoulder the load before the season is over.
The lack of European action will allow them to focus on getting back to continental action in 2012-13, but they need more ability in the side from top to bottom. Luckily their biggest obstacle of keeping the primary weapon in Negrado looks to have been achieved.
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Joe Cole, brought in on loan from Liverpool in August, must be permanently added to the squad after the season as he has provided a key component to the defending Ligue 1 champions this season.
The loss of both Gervinho and Yohan Cabaye is definitely showing at times this season. So far Eden Hazard and Moussa Sow have been carrying the load but they will not be able to do it forever. Cole has shored up the opposite wing in the wake of Gervinho's departure, and has looked lively when combining and interchanging with Hazard.
Lille are still not a side built for success on multiple fronts as they lack the depth, but if they continue to make strong loan moves such as Cole's they have a chance of building a solid foundation for future success.
The biggest threat to Lille's future is keeping a hold of Eden Hazard for at least another full season, but the deep pockets for Real Madrid or another top European club could prove irresistible.
If they can add several more players with quality and talent in January, such as out of favor Tottenham Hotspur Giovani Dos Santos who could be a great player in France, they might have a chance to challenge for a repeat of their title.