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The rumour mill continues to work overtime in the latest transfer news. It seems like January is going to be a busy month for most clubs.
Middlesbrough will be concentrating on reinforcing their strike force in the New Year and the latest suggests that Middlesbrough’s main target is Saudi Arabian Yasser Al-Qahtani, nicknamed ‘The Sniper’. The 25 year-old is the golden boy of Saudi Arabian football and has been strongly linked with a move to Europe recently. The striker boasts a very impressive record at international level netting 44 goals in 54 games. Reports claim that Middlesbrough’s Egyptian striker Mido is trying to convince the club in signing him. Other possible targets for Middlesbrough include James Beattie, Shola Ameobi and David Nugent.
Napoli have warned other clubs with a ‘hands off’ warning for their Slovakian starlet Marek Hamsik. The 20 year-old signed for the Italians last June in a five year deal and has been in impressive form since. His displays have attracted attention from Juventus, Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United.
Italian giants Juventus and Inter Milan are also leading the chase for Villarreal and Argentina playmaker Juan Roman Riquelme. The 29 year-old has still not cleared things up with boss Manuel Pellegrini. Riquelme spent last season on loan to Boca Juniors as a result of his patchy relationship with his coach and was close to joining Atletico Madrid in the summer before the move fell through. Walter Samuel, his Argentine team-mate may have a part in convincing him to join Inter Milan.
Manchester City will be looking to make an offer for Bolton striker Nicolas Anelka in January but will face stiff competition from Chelsea. Chelsea will be looking to scare off Manchester City with an offer that can’t really be refused – £30m, which if it does go ahead must surely be accepted by Bolton. Avram Grant sees Anelka not just as a short term replacement at Chelsea for Didier Drogba in January who will be playing in the African Nations Cup, but also as a possible full time replacement for the Ivory Coast striker whose future next year remains a mystery after news stated he was unsettled at Chelsea.
Tottenham have been linked with two other players today as Juande Ramos will no doubt be looking to make his impact on the side and put Tottenham’s season back on track. Speculation is always rife where Tottenham are concerned with rumours constantly linking them to new players. The players in question today are Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Xavi and ex-Arsenal reject Julio Baptista.
I have no doubt that Tottenham will be spending money in January but if there’s any truth in the rumours then they are looking into the wrong areas. I think they need to bring in one or two solid defenders who can actually defend! How many times have we seen them play attractive attacking football only for them to end up throwing away the result by conceding late on, like against Arsenal and Fulham this season?