Oh, the surprises that are in store! No, I’m not talking about the FA Cup third round, but the January transfer window. The window’s started, and soon, a flurry of footballers will be flying in and out to new destinations.
How many of them will end up at Manchester City? Well, at least one will, as you’ll see in today’s roundup of transfer news and rumors.
Manchester City have opened their expected January spending spree with the signing of Chelsea’s Wayne Bridge for somewhere between £10-12m. Roque Santa Cruz is expected to follow soon in an £18m deal.
Analysis: Glad to see Bridge is finally leaving the Bridge. The last several seasons at Chelsea weren’t exactly a waste considering all that he was a part of, but I’m sure he’s going to like the regular starts.
City could also beat Arsenal and Tottenham for Newcastle keeper Shay Given, who could cost a cool 10m.
Analysis: From one inconsistent backline to another. But hey, £10m is £10m, right? Actually, most people’s £10m is about 10p to City’s owners, right?
City are also set to go back in for West Ham’s Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker, with the intention of offering £16m for the pair a week after having a £15m bid turned down.
Analysis: If £15m didn’t work, I’m pretty sure £16m won’t either. Just a hunch.
What will Chelsea do with the Bridge money? Part of it could go towards Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano, while Russian star Yuri Zhirkov may be on Luiz Felipe Scolari’s wish list as well (Roman’s recommendation, perhaps?).
Analysis: Sevilla have stuck to their guns about Fabiano thus far, so Chelsea may have to turn to a homegrown product in the end. As for Zhirkov, he’s primarily a left winger, but he can also provide cover at left back. Two birds, one stone.
Manchester United have confirmed their double signing of Partizan Belgrade’s Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic. And they may also be offering Rodrigo Possebon and Darron Gibson to Leeds for the much easier to pronounce Fabian Delph.
Analysis: The present’s certainly bright for United, but they’re taking all the steps to ensure that the future is as well.
With Portsmouth looking for £20m for Jermain Defoe, Tottenham are set to revive their interest in Bayern Munich striker Lukas Podolski.
Analysis: If he has the same kind of success that his current boss (Jurgen Klinsmann) did at Tottenham, I say sign him up! However, he has to get over that whole inconsistency hump first.
The cash that Newcastle receive for the sale of Given to City/Arsenal/Tottenham could go towards bringing Barry Ferguson back to the Premier League.
Analysis: I don’t know if his technical abilities are so much what Joe Kinnear is looking for, but the intangibles he provides (see this lovely piece here) are something that this Newcastle side could use a lot of.
Wigan could be making a £5m move for Reading winger Stephen Hunt, who could fill the role that could be created by Antonio Valencia’s potential move to Real Madrid.
Analysis: They may also be in the hunt (no pun intended) for another inexpensive new striker, so maybe his brother Noel could come in a package deal, no?
As it happens though, Valencia may stay at Wigan for now, as Real Madrid may be looking for a loan deal with an option to buy, instead of a permanent deal straightaway, which could cost them as much as £20m.
Analysis: I can understand the ‘try before you buy’ idea on the buyer’s end, for the sake of being cautious, but it wouldn’t do Wigan much good to do that deal right now?
Arsenal are going to have to be batting off Barcelona’s approaches for Emmanuel Adebayor again. Fortunately, it won’t be until summer, so there’s plenty of time to prepare.
Analysis: So does that mean Samuel Eto’o will be linked with a move all summer and not end up going anywhere again?
Russian champions Rubin Kazan have failed in a £4.5m bid for Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar.
Analysis: Pienaar has had his injury issues, but when he’s healthy, he’s a key player for David Moyes. So, if Pienaar’s going to be playing in the Champions League next season, then it’ll have to be through Everton finishing in the top four.
If you’ve got a juicy tidbit that we’ve missed, don’t hesitate to post it in the comments, along with the link to the source.
If you’re looking to find out about all of the latest confirmed transfers, check out our updated transfer lists.