Transfer Rumors (5 Jan 2010): Liverpool turn down Babel bid, no Man City move for Veron, Spain return in cards for Arsenal’s Merida, and more

Even though the January transfer window sees far less action than the summer transfer window, that doesn’t mean that this month will be without plenty of headlines involving big clubs and big-name stars.

This afternoon’s roundup of transfer news tidbits includes bits from England, Spain, Italy, France, and Scotland, and though there aren’t any big done deals to speak of just yet, it’s looking like a few could be in the cards in the near future.


Liverpool Reject Babel Bid

Liverpool have rejected an 8m bid from Birmingham for forward Ryan Babel. (The Mirror)

Analysis: Though Babel might prefer to hold out for a move outside of the Premier League and to a club with a higher profile, a golden opportunity at regular first-team football in the months before a World Cup is nothing to scoff at. There is, however, the matter of Liverpool’s valuation, which might be more than what Birmingham want to/can pay.

Veron Turns Down City Move

According to reports in Argentina, Manchester City have made a 7m bid to Estudiantes La Plata for former Manchester United man Juan Sebastian Veron. (

Analysis: Strange rumor, this, but he does offer a wealth of experience and a long list of successes. However, would he want to leave a glorious situation to go back to the Premier League at this point in his career? The answer is a confirmed no.

Spurs To Beat Liverpool To Maxi?

Tottenham are set to offer David Bentley in order to sweeten their hopes to land Atletico Madrid winger Maxi Rodriguez, who is also at the top of Liverpool’s January wishlist. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: That would be more a move to get rid of the dead weight than anything, but they may have to find another place to flog Bentley off to, as Liverpool seem to be the team to beat in this race.

Fulham Close On Okaka?

Fulham got a boost in their hopes of signing Roma striker Stefano Okaka on loan with the news that the 20-year-old would be interested in a move to Craven Cottage. (The Mirror)

Analysis: Given the three goals that they allowed inside the first 37 minutes in yesterday’s defeat away to Stoke City, perhaps a new defender wouldn’t hurt either, especially with John Paintsil being a long-term injury loss.

Wigan Target Fryatt Swoop

Wigan are set to make a 3m bid for Leicester striker Matty Fryatt. (The Sun)

Analysis: With Fryatt being such an important part of Leicester’s push for back-to-back promotions and a return to the Premier League, I don’t see this one coming to fruition in January.


Atletico Ink Merida, Close On Salvio

According to reports, Arsenal midfielder Fran Merida has signed a pre-contract agreement with Atletico Madrid. (The Mirror)

Analysis: If he’d been patient and waited around a little longer, his chance might have come at Arsenal. However, at the same time, this is a great opportunity for him. He’ll get to return to his home country, and he’ll get a chance to continue his progress and earn first-team opportunities with a club known for success with producing quality young talent.

Speaking of quality young talent, Atletico have also reportedly finalized an agreement with Argentine side Lanus for highly-rated prospect Eduardo Salvio. (

Analysis: Is this a sign that Atletico are ready to look to a future without Sergio Aguero? Not really, since they’d been after Salvio for quite a while, and because Aguero’s imminent departure is as inevitable as Fernando Torres’ was, so I’m sure they’ve been preparing for quite a while.

Caicedo To Malaga?

Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo could be set to turn down the chance to move to Hull City in favor of a move to Malaga. (The Mirror)

Analysis: The loan spell at Sporting didn’t quite pan out as hoped, but he showed in the opportunities he got at City last season that he has a ton of potential, and at 21, time is still very much on his side. Malaga are currently on a seven-match unbeaten run that has them in position to jump into the safe zone soon, but they could use a real goal-getter to improve their prospects of survival, so this would be a good move for both sides.


Monaco Eye Kone

AS Monaco have contacted Sevilla about a loan deal for Ivorian striker Arouna Kone. (Transfer Market Web)

Analysis: Monaco need another quality scoring option to go with Nene and Park Chu-Young, who have combined for 16 of their 20 league goals this season. Kone hasn’t flourished in his time at Sevilla, but he did have a solid scoring record in his time in the Eredivisie and in Belgium prior to his move, so he could be just what the doctor ordered.


Celtic Move For Kitson?

Celtic are reportedly lining up a loan move for Stoke City striker Dave Kitson, and the former Reading star is openly receptive to a move after hearing many positive comments about the club from former Celtic boss Gordon Strachan during his recent loan spell at Middlesbrough. (Daily Mail)

Analysis: Things haven’t quite worked out for Kitson at Stoke, but he has the talent to succeed in the SPL. With the potential of Scott McDonald moving to the Premier League sometime in the near future, a loan deal could open up a lot of opportunities for Kitson.

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