With a New Year comes a new January Transfer Window. Tom Williams speculates upon what big moves we can expect over the course of the next month…
Wesley Sneijder – Inter Milan to PSG
Sneijder is almost certain to move on this January after falling out with Inter and publicly stating he will be looking for a new club. He hasn’t trained since December and therefore this could prove to be an early move in the window. The fate of Sneijder will likely fall to the highest bidder, despite reports suggesting a fee of as little as £8 million could acquire him. There are a number of clubs in contention for his signature, but PSG will most likely set the bar highest with Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson announcing they are not planning to spend this January. Tottenham are favourites to sign, with Liverpool also rumoured to be interested, but an irresistible offer to the French Capital may prove too great a lure.
Willian – Shakthar to Chelsea
A panel of experts recently ranked Willian at number 26 in a list of the top 100 footballers in the World right now, ahead of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Gareth Bale. This will have been helped by his instrumental impact in securing Shakthar’s Champions League last 16 place, overcoming current champions Chelsea in the process.
Willian first rose to attention last summer as a potential target for Tottenham, but nothing prevailed and since then his asking price has risen to as much as €35million. This may be out of Tottenham’s grasp, but Chelsea remain a possible destination. Should Chelsea prove saturated with attacking midfield options however (Hazard, Oscar, Moses, Marin and Mata), then Tottenham could snap him up, but given Shakthar’s recent success, this could be postponed until summer. Manchester City are a club in need of reinforcements, particularly on the wings, and despite there being no known interest yet, anything is possible with City. Roberto Mancini has declared intent to spend, and perhaps Willian could end up being property of Man City come the end of the month.
Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace to Manchester City
He has set the World alight in 2012, with an England cap rounding off a remarkable year. If reports are to be believed then the sky’s the limit in terms of talent and therefore he would prove a great asset for a big Premier League club. Arsenal, Man Utd. and Man City are rumoured to be interested in the 20-year-old winger, and whilst no one knows how he will cope with the big time, he certainly warrants a chance. That chance will most likely fall at Manchester City, who are in need of reinforcements, particularly on the wings.
Joao Moutinho – FC Porto to Tottenham
Porto agreed a fee with Tottenham in the summer for the sale of Moutinho but this came too late for personal terms to be agreed. There was a £22million fee involved, and the move collapsed. This time around, the clubs will have no shortage of time, and circumstances remain with Moutinho able to link up with former boss Andre Villas-Boas at Spurs.
Marouane Fellaini – Everton to Chelsea
Fellaini has been key to a highly successful Everton season so far, and will be vital in the run-in if they are to maintain a place in the top-six come end of the season. Everton will do everything they can to keep hold of him, but in a game in which money talks, an offer in the region of £30million from the likes of PSG and Chelsea may be too hard to neglect.
Demba Ba – Newcastle to Chelsea
One of the longest transfer tales of this window has come to a climax, with the future of Demba Ba being decided. Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham all displayed their interest in signing the Senegalese striker Ba, but it is Chelsea that have matched his sell-out clause of £7million on a three-and-a-half year deal from Newcastle.
Mathieu Debuchy – Marseille to Newcastle
A fee has already been agreed between Marseille and Newcastle for the sale of Debuchy and was the first pen to paper deals announced. Newcastle’s current first choice right-back Danny Simpson has failed to sign a new deal and could be ready to move on should the deal get the green light.
Victor Wanyama – Celtic to Arsenal
Perhaps one of the lesser-known candidates but by no means less talented. Since Alex Song’s departure Arsenal have struggled to provide sufficient defensive cover from midfield, and Wanyama could be the man to solve their problems. Mikel Arteta has adapted fantastically to a deeper role but back up wouldn’t go amiss, and since their interest in Yann M’Vila failed to materialise, Wanyama could be a genuine possibility. Celtic will be keen to hold on to the 21-year-old Kenyan, now their most prized asset, and given their progression to the last sixteen of the Champions League, a move could be tough. A significant sum of money could however be enough to tempt them.
Joe Cole – Liverpool to West Ham
Joe Cole has come home! Signed on a free transfer from Liverpool to the club at which he started his career; West Ham. Despite interest from first manager Redknapp at QPR, the former Chelsea man put pen to paper and was overjoyed at the prospect at the match time he was missing out on at Liverpool.
David Villa – Barcelona to ?
Most surprisingly of all could be the move of David Villa from Barcelona. Villa will be moving on in either this transfer window or the next and that has led to all kinds of imaginary gateways being drawn up. Before Christmas a flood of money came in suggesting he might be on the way to Swansea (even trading at 8/11 in places), but more likely destinations may be Chelsea, Arsenal Juventus, PSG or even a return to Valencia.
It has been suggested that Mario Balotelli may be heading for AC Milan in a move that may disappoint fans of character. Probably unlikely at the present time.
Astonishingly, Hulk is another prospect who could be on the move this summer, following a nightmarish first four months with Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg. He has fallen out with Head Coach Luciano Spalletti and fans have become restless given the sum of money spent on bringing him to the club. The club’s largest fan group, Landscrona, even wrote a letter, posted on their website, in which they described the absence of black players as ‘an important tradition’. I wouldn’t normally be sympathetic to a player who chases money over success in his prime, but the sooner Hulk leaves Zenit the better, and good riddance. As for Zenit, their priority must be to sort out the embarrassing situation with their fans.
Nicolas Anelka is also said to have fallen out of favour with Chinese giants Shanghai Shenhua, and could be involved in a return to the Premier League, with Harry Redknapp acknowledging interest. Redknapp has said he will not overpay for Anelka but his club may be lenient in an unsalvageable situation.
Thomas Ince looks almost certain to make Liverpool his next club, either sometime in the next month, or in the summer.
The fate of Frank Lampard continues to raise questions with uncertainty about him signing a contract extension at Chelsea. If a deal is not made, the MLS looks like a likely destination.
Radamel Falcao has announced any move will be put off until summer, with Chelsea, Barcelona and Real Madrid interested.
Fernando Llorente will move on from his time at Athletic Bilbao in 2013, with Juventus poised to snap him up. Would provide a good catch for Tottenham, with Arsenal and Chelsea also monitoring.