Transfer Rumors (30 Dec 08): Ben Arfa for Chelsea, Ivanovic and Malouda for Juve, Defoe prefers Spurs, and more

There’s a great deal of transfer news and rumors to report on as we move one day closer to the opening of the January transfer window.

Chelsea to Make Ben Arfa Move?

Chelsea are looking for a little attacking inspiration to help reinvigorate their Premier League title challenge after ending 2008 behind Liverpool and with Manchester United nipping at their heels. Could Marseille’s Hatem Ben Arfa make a move to Stamford Bridge?

Analysis: Maybe it could happen in the summer, at the least, or in another season or two to be more realistic, but I don’t think anything will come of this one. Marseille would demand a sizable fee for him, and I don’t think they’re too interested in selling him right now as is.

Juventus Target Chelsea’s Ivanovic and Malouda?

Juventus may or may not be looking to make any signings in January, but if they do, they could be looking towards London for Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic, with teammate Florent Malouda following him to Turin in the summer.

Analysis: Ivanovic looks to have a place in Luiz Felipe Scolari’s plans, so I don’t see him leaving in January. But as for Malouda, Chelsea likely won’t be opposed to selling him in the summer if it’s for the right price.

Wigan Star Valencia Close to Dream Real Move?

Could Antonio Valencia soon be on his way from Wigan to Madrid? According to his agent, we best be watching the news over the next few days.

Analysis: An almost £17m offer could be tough to resist. I don’t see Liverpool, Aston Villa, or Manchester United matching it right now, so he’s certainly Real’s for the picking.

Defoe Wants Tottenham Return

Aston Villa may be flying high in the table and able to offer Portsmouth more money than Tottenham for Jermain Defoe, but Defoe only has eyes for Tottenham.

Analysis: Defoe’s wish is Portsmouth’s command? There’s a chance that he could be walking right back into the same situation that he left less than a year ago where he didn’t start as regularly as he wanted, so why would he go back? I’m just saying…

No Bellamy for Tottenham

It looks like Tottenham are going to strike out with Craig Bellamy, but their hopes of signing Shay Given could be a little better.

Analysis: Well that’s that on Bellamy, eh? Good on West Ham for staying firm. As for the Given deal, Bale could prosper at Newcastle, but a straight cash offer from Arsenal could be more tempting for the Magpies.

Lescott and Arteta Staying at Everton

Mikel Arteta and Joleon Lescott are on Manchester City’s wish list, but they can keep on dreaming.

Analysis: Mark Hughes is looking for plenty of Premier League talent, and he’s got some good names on his list. However, many of them are already being crossed off, so hopefully he has a long list.

Update: It looks like Arsenal might be looking to make a £12m bid for Arteta, according to the Guardian. Everton could very well consider such an offer, and he’d certainly be a cheaper alternative to Andrei Arshavin.

And here’s a run through some of the many rumors from today’s transfer gossip.

Lazio Favorites for Elano (Daily Mail): I bet he’s already got his bags packed and his plane ticket to Rome ready.

Upson and Baines to Newcastle (The Guardian): Anytime you allow five goals in one match, you know you could use some defensive reinforcements. Upson might be well out of Newcastle’s budget, and as is the case with Bellamy, West Ham may not be looking to sell.

Newcastle Join Race for Cardiff’s Joe Ledley (Daily Mail): Ledley’s got a great deal of promise, and I expect to see in the Premier League next season, whether it’s with Cardiff or with Newcastle, Everton, Tottenham, or another club.

Deportivo to Make Nacho Novo Bid? (Daily Mail): Novo’s got plenty of goals left in him, but he’s stuck behind Kris Boyd and Kenny Miller at Rangers, and he’s also out of contract at the end of the season.

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