It’s the final day of the winter transfer window, and many clubs are thanking the calendar for January 31 falling on a Sunday, as it will allow a number of last-minute deals to be ironed out that might not otherwise be.
At this point, don’t expect to see many, or perhaps even any, notable names added to the January transfer lists, but who knows what surprises the rest of the day could bring. But whether big names or small, rest assured we’ll bring all the latest to you, and along with updates on all of the latest confirmed signings, I’ll be back later with another roundup to recap the deadline day action and say goodbye to another transfer window.
City Ga-Ga Over Gago Over Johnson
Manchester City are set to make a £20m bid for Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago, according to The Mirror.
Analysis: If you can fetch £20m for someone who’s warming the bench for you, I’d call that good business. Real might see fit to keep him with a need for quality depth over the long haul in mind, but a £20m offer might be hard to turn down when it’d represent a profit for a player whose present and future don’t seem to be in Madrid.
The same report says that City are working hard to do a £6m deal for Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson.
Analysis: Overpaying for Gago, underpaying for Johnson? Sounds about right. Of course, Johnson’s value is hurt by his club’s current status, but that’s another argument for another time.
Spurs Or Stoke For James?
By this time tomorrow, the chances are high that David James will somewhere other than Fratton Park, but will he be in Stoke or in London?
According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham could be in for him after missing out on another Portsmouth keeper in Stoke-bound Asmir Begovic.
However, according to The Mirror, Stoke’s Begovic deal is anything but a foregone conclusion, and it could be set to fall through. And if that does indeed happen, then Stoke could be back in for James, who they were trying to land before turning their attention to Begovic.
Analysis: Well, whatever happens, it looks like both Stoke and Tottenham could have a Portsmouth keeper on their books come tomorrow.
Birmingham Jump On Janko
After missing out on most of the Premier League’s available forwards, Alex McLeish could be set for a last-minute swoop for a previous target in Red Bull Salzburg striker Marc Janko. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Perhaps some good fortune could come Birmingham’s way today, even if they can’t land Janko, if Roman Pavlyuchenko’s begging doesn’t fall on deaf ears at White Hart Lane. Jesus, put the man out of his misery already!
Sunderland Set Sights On Beattie
It looked like Tottenham’s Robbie Keane was bound for Sunderland, but neither Keane (too expensive) nor Manchester City’s Benjani (contract stalemate) will be making the switch to the Stadium of Light.
Instead, Sunderland could settle on Stoke City’s James Beattie, as talks are currently ongoing over a £3m deal for the former Southampton star. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Beattie’s not a bad backup option. He’s experienced, he’s proven his worth in the top flight, and he’s also cheap, which doesn’t hurt.
Along with the front line, the back line is a priority for Sunderland, and that same piece says that the Black Cats are trying to push through a £3.5m deal for Tottenham’s Alan Hutton.
They have already completed one deal to strengthen the defense, landing a long-time target in Egyptian star Ahmed Al-Muhammadi for a fee of around £2m. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Sunderland are a-hurtin’ at the back right now, having shipped in 18 goals in their last six league matches and 11 in their last three overall matches, so perhaps it would be worth it to play both Hutton and Al-Muhammadi at right back at the same time. Can’t hurt to try, especially when what you’re trying isn’t working.
Hammers Still Searching For Strikers
West Ham have landed Blackburn’s Benni McCarthy for £2.2m, but they’re still in the hunt for more firepower. St. Etienne striker Ilan could be set to arrive before the window closes, and the Hammers are also hoping to persuade Tottenham to let Keane go on loan. (Daily Mail)
However, money could get in the way of the Keane deal getting done. As per The Mirror, West Ham will have to fork over £1m and pay Keane’s £70k per week salary for the deal to get done.
Analysis: Even though West Ham’s financial situation is improved thanks to the recent takeover, it might not be in their best interests right now to add that sizable salary to the wage bill. On the other hand, the goals that he’d get to keep them up and keep that Premier League money flowing in would make it worth it. That might be a moot point though, if Birmingham can land Pavlyuchenko, because it’s hard to see Harry Redknapp letting both go (even if he doesn’t really intend on playing Pavlyuchenko much if he stayed).
Will Persistence Pay Off For Wolves?
Wolves aren’t giving up on Hull City’s Stephen Hunt without a fight, as they’re set to make a £5m bid for the winger before the window closes. Wolves are also looking to land Everton striker James Vaughan on loan. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: £5m isn’t enough to sell away your best performer to a survival rival. Even £10m might not be, especially with so little time to find reinforcements.
Celtic Close On Braafheid
Celtic are leading the race to land Bayern Munich left back Edson Braafheid on loan. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Braafheid has made all of one appearance for Bayern since November, and he needs the regular football in order to assure his place in Holland’s World Cup squad. Perfect opportunity at the perfect time, with Celtic selling Danny Fox to Burnley a few days ago.