With Ronald Koeman seemingly ready to discard a number of his first-team squad following a recent poor run of results, some established international players could become available in January and there are a number of Premiership clubs already lining up the victims of Koeman’s cull.
Here we look at the three players confirmed to be leaving Valencia in January and three more who according to the Spanish press are also definitely on the chopping board, and assess where their futures may lie.
Canizares is reaching the end of his playing days and has indicated to the Spanish media that he will probably retire from the game following Koeman’s decision. Even if he does decide to continue playing, a move to England this late in his career seems unlikely and it is difficult to pin-point a Premiership club where he would fit in.
Editor’s Note: Perhaps Tottenham would fancy him?
As Valencia’s current captain and a fixture in the Spanish national team, there will be no shortage of suitors for Albelda in January. He has already stated that he has to be playing first team football between now and the summer as he is desperate to be involved in Spain’s Euro 2008 campaign.
At thirty years old he still has a few decent years left in him and is thought to have attracted the attention of Everton and Portsmouth. However, with Juventus also interested in obtaining his signature, English clubs may find it hard to persuade Albelda to turn down a move to the Italian giants in favour of the Premiership.
Angulo has been out injured for most of this current season; only playing in two games. He has previously been linked with Arsenal, but at thirty years of age would not really fit with Wenger’s current philosophy of quick attacking football.
If he is to move to the Premiership, his most likely destinations would either be Portsmouth or maybe even West Ham if he fancies a move to the capital.
Fernandes was close to joining Everton in the summer before he pulled out of the move at the last minute to join Valencia. The Portugese youngster has not endured the best of times at the Mestalla; only making five first team starts.
With the Everton bridge comprehensively burnt, Portsmouth may be a good bet, as many on the South Coast were impressed with his performances whilst on loan at Fratton Park in 2006.
If they are not interested then Sven Goran Erikkson could possibly make a move, as he continues to search for a long-term successor to Dimi Hamann in the centre of Manchester City’s midfield.
Vicente has fallen from grace in the last couple of years after being consistently touted as one of the best left-wingers in the world during Valencia’s success in the early millennium. He has struggled more than most since Pablo Aimar left the club and has seen his starting eleven place taken by David Silva.
He is still only 26, so should just be coming into his prime. He presents an ideal candidate for Sam Allardyce to do the sort of rejuvenation job he did on plenty of players whilst at Bolton and should be available at a price which Newcastle United can afford (assuming that Newcastle United’s new owner loosens the purse strings).
Another possible destination for Vicente is White Hart Lane, with Tottenham desperate to sign a quality left-winger and possessing a number of Spanish staff that could help him settle in London.
Zigic was signed from Racing Santander in August for 15million Euros, but has failed to recreate the form he showed in Northern Spain last season.
Blackburn Rovers were interested in signing Zigic in the summer, but with Roque Santa Cruz on top form it is unlikely they will want to sign another striker.
Manchester City were thought to be preparing a swap deal with Rolando Bianchi in January, but with Bianchi’s recent up-turn in form up front for Manchester City and interest from Werder Breman that agreement is very much up in the air.
As well as the six players already mentioned, other Valencia players such as Ruben Baraja and Carlos Marchena have also been mentioned for potential moves away from the east coast. Ronald Koeman seems determined to start afresh with a new batch of players and this could result in a frenzied January transfer window across Europe.
It is only usually when a big team is relegated that such an exodus of players is commonplace, so there will certainly be plenty of managers ready to make an unexpected dip into the January transfer market with the sudden availability of such a talented group of players.