Premier League Transfer Preview: January 2011

With the transfer window now ready and open for business Soccerlens looks at the possible comings and goings of all twenty Premier League clubs.

Arsenal

Manager Arsene Wenger has already confirmed that The Gunners have no intention of strengthening during the winter period but in all honesty even the club’s fans can concur with one another that they are in need of a centre-back. Laurent Koscielnyi and Sebastian Squillaci have been decent additions to the squad but even the dependability on the pair of them continuing on a consistent basis is beginning to strain due to a lack of Premier League experience as well as the question marks over the fitness of colossal Thomas Vermaelen. Johan Djourou is the only other recognised centre-back but lacks real pedigree – although talented –  to continue the teams title push.

Possible Targets:

Gary Cahill has blossomed into one of the country’s most promising centre-backs since his departure from Aston Villa to Bolton in 2008 and has been heavily linked with a move to The Emirates. Arsene Wenger has been a long term admirer and his addition would be welcomed by The Gunners faithful.

Possible Departures:

Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia may seek a move to his native Spain if he fails to reclaim the number one jersey.

Aston Villa

Manger Gerard Houllier has inherited a team that is seemingly drained of self belief and confidence. Although he has been blessed with a wealth of young talent at his disposal it is impossible for them to continue to play week in and week out without any real experience around them due to the influx of injuries at Villa Park. There are a number of unhappy campers at the club and it’s likely that Houllier will undergo a rather busy clearout before bringing in any newcomers – also due to Randy Lerner’s tighter purse strings. The Villains however are crying out for a goal-scorer.

Possible Targets:

Robbie Keane of Tottenham Hotspur is believed to be one of Villa’s prime targets. Spurs boss Harry Redknapp has already confirmed that the Irish centre forward is available this month and Villa look likely to be his destination. The club have held a long term interest and it is believed that the club are Keane’s first choice. Another Spurs man linked with a switch to Birmingham is the highly talented Niko Kranjcar. The Croatian has had limited chances at Spurs this season but his technical expertise would be a much welcomed addition at Villa who lack a genuine playmaker in the middle of the park.

Possible Departures:

Steve Sidwell looks all but set for a move to Upton Park with West Ham after having successful talks with the club and question marks continue to linger over newcomer Stephen Ireland who has had a nightmare start to his Aston Villa career – Fulham and Celtic are monitoring his situation.

Birmingham City

Although The Blues are embroiled in a relegation scrap their main concern lingers at the top of the pitch rather than at the back. Manager Alex Mcleish has created a team that is extremely difficult to beat but are in dire need of goals. A striker is his main priority this January and like their bitter rivals Aston Villa they have registered an interest in Robbie Keane.

Possible Targets:

Along with Keane, Cardiff City striker Jay Bothroyd has been linked with a move to St Andrews. David Bentley of Tottenham has also been linked with a move in the last few days but would only arrive on a short-term loan deal along with Liverpool’s Ryan Babel who came ever so close to making a switch to the Midlands last summer.

Possible Departures:

It is highly unlikely that Sebastian Larsson will depart the club this month but due to the continuous saga regarding a new contract the club may opt to cash in on the Swede now rather than lose him on a free come the summer.

Blackburn Rovers

With new owners working in full swing and already wielding the axe on former boss Sam Allardyce, new manager Steve Keane will be thoroughly assessed up until the end of the season. The money is there and should be a lot more than the £5million that was previously mentioned. The Rovers are eyeing up a new striker with talk of Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega making the move across Lancashire.

Possible Targets:

Along with Rodallega, Robbie Keane at Spurs has been touted for a possible move but would only arrive on a short-term loan basis. Interestingly Barcelona youngster Oriol Romeu who has bags of potential has also been linked with a move to Lancashire but with his parent club keen to aid his development it may just be on a short term loan.

Possible Departures:

Defender Chris Samba has been linked with a host of top-flight clubs including Liverpool in recent weeks and his desire to move elsewhere may just see the new owners’ cash in on him now. Pascal Chimbonda will be allowed to leave.

Blackpool

The seaside club have pulled up trees thus far in the Premier League with their continuous rise under the stewardship of manger Ian Holloway. The club who have a temporary stand and a lack of under soil heating will be highly unlikely to splash any sort of cash this month but instead opting for bargain purchases and loan arrangements. The dependability on Charlie Adam needs to be eased and his manger will be keeping his eyes peeled for yet another bargain.

Possible Targets:

The brother of goalkeeper Richard Kingston, Laryea, who has negotiated his release from Dutch club Vitesse has been in talks with The Tangerines. James Vaughan of Everton has also been linked.

Possible Departures:

The performances of Charlie Adam and Luke Varney have attracted the watchful eyes of the more established Premier League clubs. If Holloway can keep his star assets beyond the winter market then they have every chance of Premier League survival

Bolton Wanderers

The Trotters have been fantastic thus far under manager Owen Coyle and have played some of the most attractive football in the league. As it stands he has a well balanced side blessed with technical attributes and muscle combined but will be looking to strengthen the squad and continue their rise.

Possible Targets:

Jaime Ayovi has been heavily linked with a move to The Reebok Stadium and the Ecuador striker is one of the most talented up-comers in South America. He currently plays his trade in Mexico with Toluca but is believed to been on a move to Europe as soon as possible. Middlesbrough’s Seb Hines has also been linked due to the expiration of his contract come the summer.

Possible Departures:

Matt Taylor may been on his way out of the club as he has failed to consolidate his place in Coyle’s first eleven and it is believed that Craven Cottage may be his destination. Gary Cahill has been linked with a move away but it’s unlikely that he will be making a move anytime soon. Goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi may be allowed to join Wigan Athletic on a permanent deal.

Chelsea

The champions may have hit a dire run of form but it’s unclear if owner Roman Abramovich is ready to hand manager Carlo Ancelotti a substantial transfer kitty this month.  Ancelotti is keen to bolster his defence and if reports are true they have had a £17million offer turned down by Benfica for highly rated centre-back David Luiz. The fitness of Alex continues to be questioned and with Ricardo Carvalho departing last summer the Italian tactician has had to construct a makeshift back four at times with right-back Paulo Ferreira having to play in the middle. Ancelotti has stated though that he may look at British alternatives to bolster his defence.

Possible Targets:

David Luiz is high on Chelsea’s wish list but look as if they will have to stump up more than the £17million that had originally offered. Everton’s Phil Jagielka who has continued to blossom since his move to Goodison Park with Everton back in 2007 is also being courted by the champions.

Possible Departures:

Highly doubtful that anyone will be leaving Stamford Bridge this winter but Marseille are keen to sign talented youngster Gael Kakuta on loan to the end of the season. However his involvement in recent weeks may have Ancelotti thinking twice about letting him go.

Everton

The Toffees will have to sell in order to buy if they are to strengthen this month. David Moye’s side have been highly inconsistent this term despite keeping hold of their prized assets such as Mikel Arteta and Steven Pienaar. Moyes will be keen to bring in another striker but will have to look at short term loans similar to his masterstroke with Landon Donovan’s arrival last year – who has already dismissed speculation of a return to Merseyside.

Possible Targets:

Roque Santa Cruz would be a welcomed addition to Everton if his current employers Manchester City would allow him to leave on loan. However the Paraguayan may already have his heart set on a move to Serie A. Interestingly Almeria goalkeeper Diego Alves has been mooted for a possible move to the club.

Possible Departures:

Steven Pienaar’s failure to sign a new contract may see him leave this month with the club opting to cash in on him now rather than lose him for nothing in the summer. Leighton Baines continues to be linked with a move to Bayern Munich but the 26-year old has pledged his allegiance to the club.

Fulham

The Cottagers are a long way off from last season heroics in the Europa League where they agonisingly missed out on glory in the final to Atletico Madrid. Roy Hodgson’s departure to Liverpool saw the arrival of Mark Hughes but he has been unable to get a consistent run from his team. In fairness to Fulham they have dearly missed their talisman up top Bobby Zamora who broke his leg at the beginning of the season. It is unclear how much the club will have to spend and may have to look at possible loan targets.

Possible Targets:

Stephen Ireland who worked with Mark Hughes during their Manchester City days is one of the clubs prime targets. Although he has failed to show any of his potential at Villa he may see his fortunes revived under the stewardship of his former coach. David Bentley has also worked with Hughes during their days at Blackburn Rovers and a move to Craven Cottage would interest the wide-man. Matt Taylor of Bolton seems a more likely arrival.

Possible Departures:

Mark Schwarzer looked as if he may eventually make a move to Arsenal but the Aussie veteran quashed all speculation as he signed a new contract at the club. Clint Dempsey is continuously linked with a move to Liverpool to be reunited with Roy Hodgson but The Lilywhites have no intention of selling one of their star men.

Liverpool

Manger Roy Hodgson has been crying out for new investment and it will be interesting to see if he gets the backing of the new owners. In what is a sorry state of affairs for a club who is used to competing at the top of the table, it looks as if The Reds face an uphill struggle to finish in the top six. Hodgson must be shrewd with any money that he is given and spend it wisely. A striker is high on his list of priorities.

Possible Targets:

Long-term target Carlton Cole is again linked with a move to Anfield and may arrive for as little as £7million. Hodgson’s former star at Craven Cottage Clint Dempsey is believed to be a target and defenders Chris Samba and Robert Huth have also been linked with moves to Merseyside.

Possible Departures:

Danish centre-back Daniel Agger has been linked with a move away from the club as too Ryan Babel who again is continuously linked with a move to Birmingham City. Last summer’s arrival Milan Jovanovic has failed to settle in England and is contemplating a move abroad.

Manchester City

Another transfer window and another flurry of activity looks set to be embarked on by big spenders Manchester City who are looking to press their title credentials with one or two big name signings. Edin Dzeko looks set to finalise a £27milllion move to Eastlands and will provide more attacking prowess to the ever-growing talent in the club’s frontline department.  The Bosnian is one of the most sought after properties in Europe due to his heroics in The Bundesliga with Wolfsburg and it’s The Citizens who look to have won the race for his signature.  They – as always – have been linked with just about every up-and-coming and established names in the game.

Possible Targets:

Along with Dzeko, Brazilian striker Hulk has been linked with a move to the club after City’s chief scout Mike Rigg confirmed that he has been keeping tabs on the FC Porto star. Dani Alves of Barcelona is continuously linked with a multi-million pound move. Talented youngster Victor Ruiz of Espanyol and Bordeaux’s Alou Diarra have also been touted as possible arrivals.

Possible Departures:

It’s a foregone conclusion that Roque Santa Cruz will end his City nightmare as he seeks a move to Italy. Dzeko’s arrival may also spark the end for Emmanuel Adebayor. Shaun Wright-Phillips may also seek pastures new after having limited playing time this term.

Manchester United

The unbeaten league leaders will not be splashing the cash this transfer window their manager has confirmed. Sir Alex Ferguson has stated that The Red Devils will not spend unnecessary cash and is happy with his squad. However with goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar looking more and more likely to hang up his gloves come the end of the campaign the club may look to bring in a replacement sooner rather than later.

Possible Targets:

A goalkeeper is Sir Alex’s main priority but may opt to wait until the summer before making a decision. David De Gea of Atletico Madrid is being closely monitored by the club.

Possible Departures:

There may be a mass exodus of loan departures from Carrington headquarters with Federico Macheda, Gabriel Obertan, Darron Gibson and Bebe to name a few are all being linked with short term moves away from Old Trafford. Fiorentina in particular are monitoring Macheda with persistence.

Newcastle United

New manager Alan Pardew is relatively pleased with the squad he has inherited but will be keeping a beady eye out for a bargain or two due to the lack of funds at St James’s Park. In fact Pardew may have to sell in order to buy but will not be contemplating the sale of their star asset Andy Carroll who has been in scintillating form thus far for The Magpies.

Possible Targets:

Hatem Ben Arfa who arrived on an initial loan arrangement from Marseille is in talks with the club over a permanent switch. The Frenchman who had a bright start to his career in England was cut down in his tracks as he broke his leg during a game with Manchester City back in October. Alan Pardew also hinted after his sides defeat at Tottenham in the week that he may be seeking attacking based players in his recruitment.

Possible Departures:

Xisco and Peter Lovenkrands may make way in the January window but it seems highly unlikely that any names will be departing the club anytime soon.

Stoke City

Tony Pulis’s side look to be an established Premier League outfit and will now look to push on for a top 10 finish come the middle of May. The manager is keen to bolster his midfield and has already captured Jermaine Pennant on a permanent deal from Real Zaragoza.

Possible Targets:

Birmingham midfielder Sebastian Larsson has been linked with a move and Stoke may decide to test City’s resolves now during the expiration of his contract come the end of the season. Stephen Ireland has also been linked with a move to The Potters.

Possible Departures:

Fan favourite Tuncay may be on his way as he continues find himself on the fringes of the first team. The highly talented Turkish international has been linked with moves back home to the likes of Fenerbahce and Besiktas.

Sunderland

The Wearside club have been fantastic thus far and look well suited for a top six finish come the end of the season. Manager Steve Bruce will be keen to bring in one or two faces to continue their march on a Europa League spot and will be hoping to tie down Nedum Onuoha and Danny Welbeck on permanent contracts as both have impressed on loan. If Sunderland are to spend money it looks likely it will be on the two loanees.

Possible targets:

Manchester United seem reluctant to let Welbeck move on a permanent deal and looks likely to return to Manchester next season. Nedum Onuoha’s permanent switch from Manchester CIty is high on Steve Bruce’s list of priorities.

Possible Departures:

A host of fringe players including Andy Reid, Anton Ferdinand and George McCartney will all be allowed to leave if substantial offers are made.

Tottenham Hotspur

Manager Harry Redknapp is as sceptical as ever over his transfer dealings and insists he will only wheel and deal if he can entice the right player. Harry struck gold dust with the signing of Rafael van der Vaart on deadline day last summer and would love to bring in a similar calibre of player. The club is continuously linked with West Ham’s Scott Parker but a move looks unlikely due to the recent renewal of his contract at Upton Park. The club are getting ready to embark on an exciting 2011 with a sincere title challenge and a last-sixteen Champions League clash with Italian giants AC Milan on the horizon. Harry Redknapp may be one of the least busy top flight managers this month but then again how many times have we thought that?

Possible Targets:

Scott Parker’s name again has cropped up in recent weeks and it would take a large amount of money for West Ham to even flicker an interest in selling. David Beckham has also been linked after the former England captain admitted that he is seeking a short term loan move to a European club during the MLS off-season.

Possible Departures:

Robbie Keane is set to leave with a host of clubs hoping to capture his signature. David Bentley and Niko Kranjcar are also rumoured to be on their way out of White Hart Lane.

West Bromwich Albion

The Premier League’s yoyo team looks to have its best ever chance of top flight survival this term and their manager will be hoping to bring in one or two new faces to ensure its possibility. Roberto Di Matteo may be given a substantial transfer kitty to entice talent to the Hawthornes with Sean St Ledger of Preston and Cardiff’s Jay Bothroyd being mentioned.

Possible Targets:

Di Matteo is being cautious with his comments regarding transfers but would love to add one or two more faces. St Ledger remains one of his prime targets but Bothroyd arriving looks unlikely due to the money Cardiff City would expect to be coughed up – around £6million.

Possible Departures:

A host of names including Roman Bednar, Simon Cox, Luke Moore and Abdoulaye Meite are all available.

West Ham United

Owners David Gold and David Sullivan are keen for the club to drag itself out from the bottom three and bring in a number of additions. Money is available to manager Avram Grant and with Steve Sidwell being the first in from Aston Villa The Hammers are hoping to bring in a few more names.

Possible Targets:

Robbie Keane again linked with yet another club and The Hammers are believed to be preparing a loan move for the Tottenham man. Jaime O’Hara who worked with Grant at Portsmouth last season is another target. Manchester City left-back Wayne Bridge may arrive on a short-term loan deal if he is allowed to by City manager Roberto Mancini.

Possible Departures:

Carlton Cole may be on his way to Liverpool and the club may decide to cash in on their striker and use the money to utilise the squad.

Wigan Athletic

The club is embroiled in a real relegation dogfight and the lack of funds available to manager Roberto Martinez will concern the Wigan fans.

Possible Targets:

Martinez may have to make do with arranging loan deals and is eyeing Arsenal’s Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. The club are also keen to tie down on-loan goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi to a permanent deal and have been in talks with his parent club Bolton.

Possible Departures:

Star man Chalres N’Zogbia is being linked with a host of top European clubs including Juventus. The Frenchman has never hidden his desire to move to a bigger club and if the right offer came in then Wigan may have no choice but to sell.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Manager Mick McCarthy will be cautious with his spending as he plots the clubs survival plan. Their win at Anfield has injected much needed belief into the Wolves camp and an addition of one or two into the squad may be just what the club needs.

Possible Targets:

McCarthey has revealed that the club failed in an attempt to sign Aston Villa’s Steve Sidwell but are monitoring another of their players in Curtis Davies who is currently on loan at Leicester City. Former fan favourite Robbie Keane has also been touted for a return back to the club.

Possible Departures:

Matt Jarvis has been linked with a move away from the club but McCarthey is keen to keep hold onto one of his star men. Steven Fletcher however may be allowed to leave after failing to live up to his billing.

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3 Comments

  1. akika 5 January, 2011
  2. redick 23 January, 2011
  3. redick 23 January, 2011