January Transfer Window: The 15 Teams Likely To Be Most Active on the Market

Vijay MuraliAnalyst IDecember 6, 2011

January Transfer Window: The 15 Teams Likely To Be Most Active on the Market

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    The January transfer window is an important period for many clubs in the world as they look to sign players who could help them achieve their ambitions. While there are some clubs and managers who are satisfied with the squad and its depth, there will be others who will look to be active in the transfer window. Though some of the top players may be cup-tied, the clubs still do make transfers in January in order to achieve a good position in the league and win domestic cups.

    There were a number of big money signings, especially in the Premier League in the last transfer window with Liverpool and Chelsea in particular splashing plenty of cash on players. It is also a period where some of the players who have not played much look to move and find suitable clubs.

    This January transfer window is expected to have plenty of transfer activity and here are 15 clubs who could be the most active in the transfer window.

Arsenal

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    Arsene Wenger is a manager who does not spend much money in the transfer window and though he does have a good squad, he might look to add some quality, especially in attack. They are one of the most financially stable clubs but with the departures of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, there is every chance that they might not qualify for the Champions League next season.

    However, they have managed to attain some good results since their terrible start to the season and with the injection of some quality players in January to add depth, they could qualify yet again for the Champions League.

    They could look for another quality midfielder especially as Andrei Arshavin is out of form and Yossi Benayoun is only a loan signing. Also, they could look for another striker as a backup for Robin van Persie as Marouane Chamakh has struggled for form while Park Ju-Young is still unproven in the Premiership.

Chelsea

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    Chelsea have been one of the biggest spenders in the Premier League in the last decade and were very active in the last January transfer window as they splashed the cash to sign Fernando Torres and David Luiz. However, they have not had a good first half of the season under new manager Andre Villas-Boas and could struggle to qualify for the Champions League next season without adding some quality players.

    With Alex not playing regularly and on the verge of a move and David Luiz struggling in many games, Chelsea could look to sign an experienced defender like Bolton’s Gary Cahill, who could be available in January.

    Also, with Didier Drogba past his best form and Fernando Torres struggling for goals, it will not be a surprise if Villas-Boas does look for another striker as well. Chelsea were very interested in signing Tottenham’s Luka Modric in the summer and could make an approach for him again in the January transfer window.

Paris St. Germain

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    Under new ownership, Paris St. Germain has been one of the biggest spenders in the last year and they have signed excellent players like Kevin Gameiro and Javier Pastore. Though they had an impressive start to the season, they have endured a loss in form and will look to add more players in order to win the French title this season.

    They have the money to spend on some of the world’s best players and they have shown interest in signing David Backham, who is currently a free agent. The French club looks to establish themselves as one of the European heavyweights and for that reason, they will look to add some quality players in the January transfer window.

Manchester United

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    Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most astute managers in the game and has made some very smart transfer moves during his long tenure as manager of Manchester United. The wily Scotsman will look to add quality players who could help them beat Manchester City to the league title as well as defeat City in the FA Cup third round and win the Cup competition as well.

    Since the retirement of Paul Scholes, they do look short of quality in midfield and could look to add a quality central midfielder in January. Tom Cleverley has shown that he can be of great importance to United in the future but to beat City to the title, they could require more depth and the addition of one or two excellent players.

Anzhi Makhachkala

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    Anzhi Makhachkala are one of the most ambitious clubs in Europe and the Russian club has made efforts to sign some of the best players in the world. They have some quality players like Roberto Carlos and Yuri Zhirkov and made a huge signing for Samuel Eto’o, one of the best strikers in the world.

    They are likely to be active in the January transfer window and they are always on the lookout to sign quality players. They are looking to assemble a talented club capable of leading them to a good Champions League campaign.

    It will be difficult for them to attract the best in the world but the signing of Eto’o does indicate their ambition and with high wages, it is possible to attract some big name players to Russia.

Inter Milan

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    Inter Milan reached dizzying heights under the influential Jose Mourinho, who guided them to a historic treble ending the club’s long wait for European glory. However, since that famous night in Madrid, Inter Milan have gone on a negative spiral with them not performing well in the 2010-11 season, during which AC Milan won the league title. So far, this season has been one of the worst ever starts for Inter Milan.

    Though they do have some quality players in the side, some of them are past their best and they need some fresh young talent who can at least lead them to finish in the Champions League places this season. The January transfer window could be a crunch period for the club as they will look to sign some quality players who can help the club have a strong finish to the season.

AC Milan

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    Milan won the 2010-11 season due to their smart decisions in the transfer market and the arrivals of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho. Though they did not have a great start to the season, they have managed to be consistent and have closed the gap at the top with Juventus and are serious challengers for the Serie A title this season.

    Also, they do have the chance to do well in the Champions League having qualified for the next stage of the competition. They could look to add more quality in January especially due to the illness suffered by Antonio Cassano. They have been linked with Carlos Tevez, who has fallen out-of-favor with manager Roberto Mancini and it could be a major coup for the Milan side.

Malaga

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    Malaga were acquired by rich owners recently and have splashed the cash to sign experienced quality players like Ruud van Nistelrooy and Santi Cazorla. In Manuel Pellegrini, they do have an astute manager but they have to qualify for the Champions League in order to attract the best players. They are still a long way from challenging Real Madrid and FC Barcelona for the title but they do have a realistic chance of finishing in the top four places this season.

    There are several good teams in La Liga apart from Real Madrid and Barcelona like Sevilla, Levante and Valencia and currently Malaga lie outside the top four. However, if they can find some quality players in January, then they could have a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season.

Bayern Munich

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    Bayern Munich are one of the world’s best clubs and have the financial capability to spend big in the transfer market. They have made several shrewd acquisitions in the past and will hope to win the Bundesliga title this season after their strong start to the year. However, their rivals are also quite strong, especially Borussia Dortmund, who were the champions in the 2010-11 season.

    They have so far shown no apparent weaknesses having also qualified as Group leaders for the next round in the Champions League. However, with a long season ahead of them and injuries to Schweinsteiger and Arjen Robben a concern, they could make one or two quality additions which could help them compete for both the Bundesliga title and also the Champions League.

FC Barcelona

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    FC Barcelona spent a lot of money in the summer in order to acquire two excellent players in Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez. Though they have one of the strongest teams in the world, manager Pep Guardiola could still look for additions in the January transfer window, mainly in defense. They are currently three points behind Real Madrid, having played a game extra and will face a strong challenge to overtake Madrid for the league title.

    They have had a number of problems in defense this season with both Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol missing several weeks due to injuries. Also, their left back has not been particularly convincing and Guardiola could look to add some quality in defense in the January transfer window in order to help them retain their titles.

Liverpool

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    Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish knows that he has a tough task to ensure that Liverpool finish in the Champions League places this season. They have spent considerable money in acquiring the likes of Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson since he took over at the club. Though they have considerably improved their style of play, they are yet to attain consistency and currently lie seventh in the table with Arsenal, Newcastle and Chelsea ahead of them.

    The new owners have been supportive of Dalglish and have provided the funds needed for them to sign some good young players. With the Reds in danger of losing out on Champions League qualification, Dalglish could be provided with more transfer funds in order to bring sustained success to the club.

Juventus

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    Juventus have performed well this season under manager Antonio Conte and have established themselves as one of the major challengers to the Serie A title. They have a strong team consisting of the likes of Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo and have worked extremely well as a cohesive unit in Conte’s formation.

    They did make some intelligent acquisitions in the summer like Arturo Vidal and Mirko Vucinic and do have a strong team. However, Conte could look for quality players who could be available in the January transfer window as it could give them a better chance of winning the title and at the minimum, they will at least expect to qualify for the Champions League.

Roma

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    AS Roma appointed former Barcelona player Luis Enrique as their manager and he has incorporated a new style of play at the club. They did make some signings like the talented Erik Lamela and Bojan Krkic, but have not been consistent this season. They are currently in eighth place and will look to string a set of good results to climb up the table.

    The January transfer window could be quite important to the club considering that they need to add more quality players in order to qualify for the Champions League. It has been a difficult start to the season for Roma but they do have some good quality players in their team. If they manage to sign two or three quality players, then they have a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League.

Olympique Marseille

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    Marseille had a bad start to the season and did not manage to string some good results to the dismay of manager Didier Deschamps. However, they did not do too badly in the Champions League and have a chance of progressing to the next phase of the Champions League behind Arsenal. Things have picked up for Marseille in recent weeks as they have managed to win more regularly and do have a chance of finishing in the top two places.

    There are a number of impressive teams in the Ligue1 this season with Montpellier and Lille also capable of challenging for the title. Marseille have a difficult season ahead of them which is why the signing of some quality players could give them a real boost.

Manchester City

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    Since the club was taken over by Sheikh Mansour, they have splashed huge amounts in the transfer market in order to acquire some of the best players in the world. Roberto Mancini, the manager of the club, has brought in several big name players to the club. The likes of David Silva, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero have ensured that they can beat the best in the world with their 6-1 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

    With slim chances of progressing to the Round of 16 phase in the Champions League, Mancini and his men could concentrate on the league where they are the leaders. In light of their immense financial capability, they will look out for some of the best players in the world and will also be busy offloading players who are no longer a part of the first team like Wayne Bridge and Carlos Tevez.