It’s time for some January window shopping
As we edge ever closer to the opening of the January transfer window, rumours of who’s going where and for how much are circulating more furiously than ever.
It seems fitting begin with league-leaders Liverpool, and whilst the Reds can have little complaints about their season thus far, according to recent reports and with Martin Skrtel injured, Rafa Benitez may look to bring in some full-backs and other defensive options next month. They have been linked with Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson and Fulham’s Brede Hangeland. A seemingly unlikely rumour is also circulating about the possible return of Emile Heskey whilst Jermaine Pennant appears to be on his way out of Anfield.
If there is to be one ground where the cameras are likely to be pointed at for most of January, it surely has to be the City of Manchester Stadium. They have what seems to be unlimited resources at their disposal and have been linked with a plethora of huge names such as KakÃƒÂ¡, Lionel Messi, Thierry Henry, David Villa, Franck Ribery and John Terry to name but a few.
Arsenal’s all-too-apparent lack of experience may have finally convinced Arsene Wenger to get his chequebook out. With the Gunners currently sitting 5th in the league, 3 points adrift of the relentless Aston Villa, the Arsenal manager is looking to add defensive experience to his squad whilst possibly exploring a few more-attacking options. The most mentioned names so far are Liverpool’s Xabi Alonso, David Villa from Valencia, Andrei Arshavin from Zenit and Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini.
Blackburn Rovers are expected to part company with Roque Santa Cruz in the window, and potential signings at Ewood park include El-Hadji Diou, James Beattie, Jimmy Bullard and even Manchester United legend, Gary Neville.
For a club with European ambitions, Everton don’t appear to have the budget to match their targets, however David Moyes may be looking to bring in some extra attacking options with the potential signing of Henrik Larsson on loan from Swedish club, Helsingborgs.
After having recently been crowned ‘World Club Champions’, on paper it would appear that the Red Devils have no need to boost their squad. However Sir Alex may attempt to bring in Barcelona’s Xavi to further bolster his Manchester United team.
Tranfer window regulars Chelsea are rumoured as not having a great deal to spend this year, but that hasn’t stopped the Blues being linked with Wigan’s Emile Heskey and Amr Zaki, Luis Fabiano from Sevilla and Andrei Arshavin.
Champions League hopefuls Aston Villa have been linked with a number of attacking names such as Jermain Defoe, Emile Heskey (who has now officially been linked with every team on the planet), Craig Bellamy and Kevin Doyle.
Newcastle are set to try and coax John Arne Riise away from Roma and back to the Premiership, and Joe Kinnear is also eyeing up Chelsea left-back Wayne Bridge.
Despite Tottenham being linked with vast numbers of players, Harry Rednapp is not expected to make any signings in January, although a move for Stewart Downing may still be on the cards.
Portsmouth’s owners have been struggling with the global economic crisis and are expected to sell any number of squad members in January to ease the financial woes. With Lassana Diarra having already made his £20 million move to Real Madrid, who stays and who goes appears to depend on what offers come in.
Elsewhere, West Brom have been linked with Reading’s Leeroy Lita; Wigan with Nicky Butt, Michael Owen and Jimmy Bullard; Bolton with Gelson Fernandes and Kieran Richardson; and whilst desperately trying to hang on to Jimmy Bullard, Roy Hodgson and Fulham may try to snap up Ben Watson from Crystal Palace.