Sabtu, 07 Januari 2012

Hottest January transfer target

The time of year for stick or twist has once again arrived, with teams across Europe weighing up moves that could transform their seasons.

Whether it is a title race, a cup run or a relegation battle, the majority of clubs have something critical to play for over the next five months – and, for many, the chance to strengthen their squad will be too hard to resist.

Rumours tend to whirl relentlessly during the January transfer window, with Manchester United, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan among those thought to be opening their chequebooks. It promises to be an action-packed month, particularly in the closing days of the window. Some deals have already been completed but the bulk of action is still to come.

With so much more wheeling and dealing on the cards, World Football take a moment to assess some of the biggest talents that might be on the move this month:

Daniele De Rossi (Roma):

De Rossi is out of contract at the end of the season and Roma risk losing the midfielder for nothing. Both Manchester United and, to a lesser extent, Liverpool would benefit from another proven tackler and passer in the centre of midfield. Manchester City have also been linked, with Roberto Mancini declaring he would love to sign the Italian, especially given that he will lose Yaya Toure for the African Cup of Nations. Plus, at 28, De Rossi might feel now is the time for a fresh start.

Carlos Tevez (Manchester City):

The Tevez saga has grown old for most English Premier League football fans, with the Argentine drawing criticism from all quarters and very little sympathy. A move to another Premier League club seems highly unlikely, but Inter Milan or PSG are possible landing spots for the striker, who would probably put a return to South America at the top of his wishlist.

Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)

With Manchester United suffering back-to-back Premier League defeats, Sir Alex Ferguson must be tempted to revive his pursuit of Sneijder. Signing the Dutch playmaker will require a bid of at least £25M and United might yet have competition, with Manchester City rumoured to be dangling Tevez as part of their offer. Inter’s erratic form domestically might make it tough for the Italians to turn down a cash injection that could spark a quick rebuild.

Frank Lampard (Chelsea):

As little as six months ago, Lampard exiting Stamford Bridge would have been laughable. But the England midfielder has since seen his role diminish under Andre Villas-Boas and is no longer guaranteed a starting role. Cue interest from a host of clubs, including Anzhi Makhachkala, Manchester United and Real Madrid, where former boss Jose Mourinho is reportedly poised to bid. An offer of £10M could seal the shock deal of the season.

Ganso (Santos):

Number 10s are a priceless commodity and Ganso, just 22, is considered a big star for the future. Tottenham Hotspur have been linked, but Manchester United or one of the Serie A powerhouses would also be wise to consider a bid. It would require a gamble that the Brazilian can prosper in European football but all the signs point to him blossoming into a world class playmaker.

Javi Martinez (Athletic Bilbao):

The Spaniard, who can play in defence or midfield, is going to be a hot property

 both this month and over the summer.

A move to Barcelona or Real Madrid would seem the most logical outcome, but it remains to be seen whether Bilbao can be tempted to cash in on their young star.

Christopher Samba (Blackburn Rovers):
Any team looking to bolster their backline could do worse than bid for Blackburn’s man mountain. The centre back is a key figure in Rovers’ relegation fight, but his head might be turned by the possibility of a move to a bigger club. What you see is what you get with Samba, who is likely to attract plenty of interest. QPR have already had a bid rejected with £5M underrating the former Hertha Berlin man.

Alex (Chelsea):

The Brazilian defender submitted a transfer request and has barely been seen since.

While he may be lacking match sharpness, he remains a solid, experienced option at centre-back and a club like Arsenal might well consider swooping in, while Juventus have also been linked.

Expect to see Chelsea accept a bid in the region of £5M.

Milos Krasic (Juventus): Krasic was supposed to take Juventus to the next level, with his pace and trickery out wide providing more of a cutting edge.

 But his form has tailed off in Turin over the past 12 months and he finds himself out of favour, putting Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea on high alert.

Several Russian sides hold an interest too, but the Serbian has been cool over the prospect of returning east.

Lukas Podolski (1.FC Koln):
German striker Podolski is the name that keeps being attached to Arsenal’s transfer plans this month. He is in a rich vein of form and would be a natural fit with the Gunners free-flowing, attacking football. Other offers are expected but Arsenal appear to be the front runners. A bid of £15M might be enough with his contract due to expire in 2013 and no sign of a new one on the horizon.

Christian Eriksen (Ajax):

Eriksen is another creative talent who has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with the English champions openly admitting their interest in the 19-year-old.

 But he has spoken of his commitment to the Ajax cause and Manchester United would need to move aggressively to tie up a deal this month.

 Other suitors might well emerge, including Liverpool.

Hulk (FC Porto):

 Hulk’s combination of pace and power is among the best in Europe, making him an attractive option for the continent’s biggest clubs. The major sticking point is his £82.5M release clause.

For all the Brazilian’s ability and potential, few teams can even consider such a figure and Porto have vowed not to sell him for a penny less, leaving PSG as the likeliest bidder.

Darren Bent (Aston Villa):

 Bent arrived at Villa Park to lead the club back to relevance and fulfil his ambition of spearheading a trophy-chasing team. Instead, Aston Villa have floundered and a mid-table finish looks to be the best they can hope for. Bent’s popularity with supporters has dipped and it is no longer out of the question that he could move for the second successive January, especially as Liverpool are thought to have been pondering a bid.

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