United Move For Canales
Manchester United are looking to swoop in and land highly-rated Racing Santander prospect Sergio Canales. The 18-year-old attacker is wanted by the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester City, but Sir Alex Ferguson is set to fly to Spain this week to try to persuade Canales and family to choose United. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: It’d be an impressive capture by United if they can manage to land Canales, considering that they haven’t had nearly as much success with luring Spanish talent as have a couple of their Premier League rivals.
Sunderland Keen On Keane
It looks like Robbie Keane is on his way out of White Hart Lane once again, as Sunderland have had a £9m bid for the Ireland star accepted by Tottenham, according to the News of the World.
Analysis: Last May, Keane and Darren Bent started up front for Tottenham at the Stadium of Light. Oh what a difference seven-plus months make. Things are as crowded as ever up front for Tottenham, so it isn’t a bad move for Keane. Perhaps now Roman Pavlyuchenko will start getting some chances, because it sure doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere anytime soon.
Liverpool Jonesin’ For Jones
There’s no telling who Keane’s move opens up the door up for at Spurs, but according to the Daily Mail, Keane’s move to Sunderland will free up the opportunity for either Liverpool or Birmingham to sign Sunderland’s Kenwyne Jones.
Analysis: Or perhaps Tottenham, because we all know that Harry Redknapp can never have enough strikers. On a more serious note, Jones has been linked with the exit door all month long, and given that Liverpool were reportedly in talks over a move just this past week, it would appear that they’re the likeliest destination.
Though the news that Keane is off to Sunderland could put a spark in Birmingham’s hopes to land Jones, that same Daily Mail report says that if Jones chooses Liverpool, then Liverpool’s Ryan Babel will be off to Birmingham.
Analysis: Well, if anyone needs to move for the sake of regular football, it’s Babel, so he has to be hoping the first couple of dominoes fall favorably. Annnnd breathe.
City Target Double Swoop
Meanwhile, elsewhere in the Premier League, Manchester City are looking to make a couple of signings before the window shuts.
One of their prime targets is Parma midfielder McDonald Mariga, who is also at the top of Inter Milan’s wishlist. City have already agreed terms with Parma, and they’re hurrying to get a work permit in time to land the £7m Kenya star before the window shuts. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: I’m sure City fans will be hoping that his name shows up on the January transfer lists between now and tomorrow evening, and not just because of all of the inevitable burger chain-related headlines and jokes that will stem from signing someone with his first name.
City are also set to step up their efforts to outbid Chelsea and land Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson. Not only would a sweetened cash offer help City’s hopes to land Johnson, but so would the offer to loan Johnson back to Boro for the remainder of the season (The People)
Analysis: They’re likely not going to stump up the full amount that Boro want for Johnson, which could prevent this one from getting done in the January window. But it is only a matter of time before he leaves, and City would be a good place for him to land.
Spurs Splash Out For Kaboul
While Keane is set to end his second stint at Tottenham, Younes Kaboul is just returning for his second go-round at the club, as the French defender has sealed a £5m switch from Portsmouth. (The People)
Analysis: The second time hasn’t been nearly as sweet for Keane, but Kaboul returns to Tottenham a much better player than he left, and that’s good news for a squad that needs some steadiness and durability in the center of defense as they try to fight off Liverpool, Aston Villa, and Manchester City for a Champions League place.
Everton Eye Permanent Donovan Deal
Landon Donovan could be set to make a permanent switch across the Atlantic, as Everton are already eying a permanent move for the American attacker after an impressive start to his loan stint. However, any such deal could have to wait until after the World Cup, according to The People’s reports.
Analysis: This looks like the right opportunity at the right time. This was Donovan’s best (and perhaps last) opportunity to make a real splash in a top European league, and he’s doing it so far. Keep it up, and whatever Everton have to pay will be a bargain.
Begovic Leaves Spurs Begging
For answers, that is, after the promising Portsmouth keeper backed out on a move to Tottenham after having a medical and instead decided to sign with Stoke City in a £3m deal. (The People)
Analysis: Taste of their own medicine? That sure didn’t take long. When it comes down to it though, Stoke is the better option, since he’ll get more opportunities than he likely would at Tottenham. Thomas Sorensen could be off soon enough, and the door for Begovic to be Stoke’s long-term #1 could be wide open sooner rather than later.
Moses Moseys On Down To Wigan
Crystal Palace attacker Victor Moses will be taking his act to the Premier League, and it will be with Wigan, who are snapping up the sought-after starlet in a £2.5m deal. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: This is likely the best move for him, as he’s going somewhere he’ll have the chance to earn regular first-team football sooner than he might elsewhere. For what it’s worth, if you check out his Wikipedia page, not everyone’s as happy about the move as he might be.
Duo Duel For Nagy
Fulham and Wolves are battling it out for African Cup of Nations top scorer Mohamed Nagy, who capped a breakout performance by netting an 85th-minute winner in today’s final triumph over Ghana. (The Mirror)
Analysis: This time last month, ‘Gedo’ had just made his debut with the national team. Now he’s their hero, and considering that Egypt won’t be at the World Cup this summer, now may be as good a time as he’ll ever have to seize the opportunity to move to a top league.
Boro Come Knocking For Nakamura
Gordon Strachan is pressing forward with his attempts to turn his Middlesbrough side into a clone of his former Celtic squad, as he’s now eying up a move for Shunsuke Nakamura, who’s now at Espanyol. (Tribal Football)
Analysis: Nakamura hasn’t exactly had a successful start to life at Espanyol, but as much as he might love Gordon Strachan, I don’t think he loves him enough to drop La Liga for the Championship just yet.
Fiorentina Capture Keirrison
Fiorentina have signed Barcelona striker Keirrison on a two-year loan deal. The option includes a option for a permanent deal for the 21-year-old Brazilian, who is coming off of an unsuccessful loan stint at Benfica. (Goal.com)
Analysis: It would also do them some good to bring in an experienced striker in the wake of the whole Mutu mess, but they were unsuccessful in their attempts to land Sampdoria’s Antonio Cassano. Roman Pavlyuchenko, perhaps? The News of the World says so, but we know he’s not going anywhere.
Lazio ‘Hit’ It Big
Lazio have signed former Aston Villa midfielder Thomas Hitzlsperger from Vfb Suttgart. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Not only does Cristian Ledesma’s impending move to Inter leave a big hole in midfield, but Lazio need reinforcements to help them in their battle to stay in Serie A. Bringing in a player who’s been involved in a survival battle before (with Aston Villa in the 2002/03 season) and has the kind of experience he does will only help their cause.