We’re into the final week of the January transfer window, and there are several signings to report on today. Nothing big, but the least attention-grabbing ones can have the biggest impact down the line (see Zaki, Amr).
And since I’m in such a giving mood today, there’s a big ol’ batch of spec from Rumorville to keep you satisfied until this time tomorrow.
So, where is Robbie Keane going? As was expected after he was completely left out of Liverpool’s FA Cup tie with Everton, Keane is being linked with every club that needs a striker in January. I’m looking at you, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Everton, and Newcastle.
Analysis: No link with Manchester City thus far, but there’s still more than enough time left in the day for that to happen.
Now, I don’t think Rafa has the utmost confidence in him right now, but I don’t see him flogging him after a half-season unless an irresistible offer comes in. So, let’s not make a mountain out of this one yet, but until/unless he finds his form, these rumors won’t stop.
But if he doesn’t start scoring, then what’s the point in having a £20m striker who doesn’t score?
Whether or not they’re actively pursuing Keane, Tottenham are busy adding some reinforcements. Tottenham have signed Carlo Cudicini from Chelsea on a free transfer, getting cover at keeper (Daily Mail). He is being followed by Pascal Chimbonda, who returns to Spurs from Sunderland in a £2.5m deal.
Lyon striker Fred could also be on his way, with Giovani dos Santos going the opposite direction (The Mirror).
Analysis: Cudicini is definitely a need-based signing, and Fred would also fill the need for another striker, but I’m still scratching my head about Chimbonda. New manager, different situation, I suppose.
Aston Villa are set to make a £10m double deal for Manchester City youngsters Daniel Sturridge and Michael Johnson. (The Mirror)
Analysis: Johnson does seem the likelier of the two to go, but if City do open up to letting Sturridge go, this is an opportunity that could only be good for both. Villa’s rise has been in large part to two young, English stars, and if Martin O’Neill adds Johnson and Sturridge, it could pay big dividends for Villa and England for years to come.
Gareth Southgate can’t be a happy man right now, as Wigan have stolen Ben Watson from his clutches, jumping in late to sign the Crystal Palace star in a £2m deal. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Considering that he could be back in the Championship as quickly as he’d left it if he went to Boro, you can’t fault Watson for the decision. The money can’t hurt either!
Wigan could also make a run at Cardiff’s Joe Ledley, offering £4m in cash and former Cardiff man Jason Koumas (The Mirror), and they could also be making a move for Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson (Tribalfootball). Marseille midfielder Modeste M’Bami is also a target. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Cardiff might look for more cash for Ledley, but Koumas could sweeten the deal. Johnson is one of Boro’s top prospects, but the longer that Stewart Downing stays at the Riverside, the more likely it is that Johnson’s future lies away from there.
Analysis: If Felix Magath laughed off Portsmouth’s interest in Dzeko, I’d think he might do the same with Blackburn’s, considering both are in the same relegation battle.
Portsmouth have signed midfielder Hayden Mullins from West Ham for £2m and Porto’s Pele on loan (Daily Mail), and they could be closing in on a deal for AC Milan midfielder Emerson. and Pompey are also making a £4m bid for Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton (The Mirror).
Analysis: They haven’t really spent much of the money they received from the sales of Diarra and Defoe, but it’s hard to nab all of your desired targets when you’re trying to stave off relegation.
Juventus have nipped speculation that they’re interested in West Ham striker Carlton Cole in the bud, with Juve sporting director Alessio Secco saying that the club won’t make any moves in January. (Sporting Life)
Analysis: If there’s any reason to keep scoring, Carlton has a few. His team gets good results and moves up the table, he gets in the frame for the national team, and he gets linked to some of the biggest clubs in the world.
Bundesliga leaders Hoffenheim have a serious interest in signing Carlos Tevez. (Tribalfootball)
Analysis: Doesn’t appear likely, but not because of a lack of funds.
Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta has turned down the chance to make a £7.75m move to Portsmouth. (Sporting Life)
Analysis: See above with Dzeko. This won’t be the last Premier League offer that comes in for Barnetta, but this is neither the time nor the situation for him to make such a move.
If you’ve spotted a juicy rumor that we’ve missed, post it in the comments along with a link to the source.
And if you want to keep up with all of the confirmed transfers from several of Europe’s top leagues, check out our updated January 2009 transfer lists.