Top 2012 Winter Transfer Targets
Carlos Tevez: the outcast Manchester City striker has been a huge headache for Roberto Mancini, but out of principal, the English club won’t let him go for less than market value. Good luck finding a suitor that will pay the huge fee for the controversial Argentine. Linked to AC Milan on loan, though his wages will be a huge barrier too for any interested club. 50-50 on a move away.
Giovani Dos Santos: limited to a few Europa League appearances here and there, the young Mexican attacker never really seemed to be in Tottenham’s plans. A move to Spain on loan could be in the works.
Nicholas Anelka: scoring just once for the Chelsea jersey in the past million games has seen Anelka permanently fixed to the Blues bench. Even then, youngster Romelu Lukaku and Daniel Sturridge are moving him further down the pecking order. The Blues may cash in on Anelka to an interested club in China or he may make a move to the MLS. The best of the Frenchman may be long gone.
Dimitar Berbatov: The Manchester United striker has rode the bench all year long despite bagging 20 league goals last year. A loan move out of England or a cut price-sale to Russia looks to be in the works. It’s amazing how far down he’s gone on the pecking order, with even Federico Macheda favored over the veteran Bulgarian now.
Guti: After an illustrious career at Real Madrid, the veteran has fallen off the football world’s map after Besiktas cancelled the rest of his contract after a falling out with the player. A move to the MLS could be a distinct possibility. He’s just waiting for calls now.
Yann M’Vila: a monster defensive midfielder for both club and country, the Frenchman has been linked to virtually any top club in need of a ball-winner. With comparisons to Patrick Viera and Claude Makelele plentiful, the 20-year-old will demand a big fee to be pried away.
Eden Hazard: the Belgian winger and starlet finally has had a price tag attached to him by his club. There are plenty of interested clubs, including Real Madrid and Arsenal. It’s just a matter of who wants to pay the giant fee for his massive potential at the ripe age of 21.
Christian Eriksen: a 19-year old who plays like a 28 year old center midfielder, Erisken is the darling of Ajax at the moment, as his sensational form has attracted the interest of clubs such as AC Milan, Liverpool, and Manchester United. He won’t come cheap, but you won’t find many more promising young passers in Europe outside of him.
Seydou Keita: the Malian Barcelona ball-winner has been rooted to the Spanish club’s bench for much of the year and still has a lot to give a team. Would be a bargain for a team should a team be willing to take a risk on a player on the wrong side of 30.
Mario Gotze: though his manager said Gotze will not be leaving in the winter, the interest is there and someone could be willing to pay the German starlet’s massive price tag. The winner of this inevitable transfer battle will have one of the best creators in the world for a decade.
Gary Cahill: a proven EPL defender, Cahill has been in good form and nearly left Bolton in the summer. With Chelsea having clear defensive issues, expect Abramovich to shore up his defense with a bid for the Englishman, though Bolton won’t let him go for a penny less than his market value.
Edison Cavani: the Napoli hitman has attracted the interest of free-spending Manchester City (surprise) with his excellent goal-scoring form. He won’t come cheap, but City won’t mind. The Citizens certainly don’t need another world-class striker, but the deal could certainly go through if Carlos Tevez exits the Eastlands doors.
Wayne Bridge: the Manchester City defender is collecting his hefty paychecks while doing absolutely nothing for the club. He could still provide some value for a team, as his loan deal to West Ham last campaign showed. He’d come cheap and could attract a number of suitors should anyone look for a bargain bin defender.
Antonio Valencia: seen his playing drop dramatically after the purchase of Ashley Young, the United winger has been used as a makeshift back when Ferguson feels like giving him some minutes. Still offers a ton of value to an English side and as his playing time continues to stay minimal, the exit rumors will grow louder.
Neymar: the ridiculous-haired Brazilian starlet has a new transfer confirmed each week to Barcelona or Real Madrid. One of these days, it just might happen, officially, but for now, he’ll enjoy looking outrageous and scoring goal in his home country.
Luka Modric: demanded a move away from Tottenham over the summer, but the board held firm on it’s decision to not let him go. A full month of a transfer window should spark his ambition to leave further, but Tottenham’s great form in the league may just have settled the talented playmaker.
David Beckham: amazingly still in good form, the global icon still has attracted a number of suitors, despite his old age, including PSG. Expect a short-term contract to be signed soon with Becks mainly giving a side a role model and leader for players in youth soccer jerseys to look up toward.
Jermaine Defoe: the speedy striker has been resigned to coming off the bench, in large part because of the form of Emmanuel Adebayor. He’d like to fight for his position and he has a good case to fight: 4 goals in 8 league games is a respectable return. His second stint at Tottenham may be coming to an end, though.
Roman Pauvlychenko: limited to pointless substitutions or Europa League apperances, the boyish Russian has expressed his interest in leaving White Hart Lane in search for more playing time. Anzhi are linked with him, as are other Russian clubs.
Adam Johnson: despite coming off the bench or getting a rare start and performing very well, it does not help the clever Manchester City’s winger cause when David Silva, Samir Nasri, and James Milner all are on the squad, too. His frustration is growing so he may seek a move away to another English club (perhaps Liverpool?)
Ganso: Another young Santos talented has emerged. Surprise, surprise. Ganso has drawn comparisons to Kaka at the ripe age of 21, though it’s been a while since we’ve seen either of them play in a while. The injury concerns are somewhat frightening this early on in his career but his talent is too much to ignore. The Brazilian breakthrough player of the year is primed for a fruitful career. You’ll be hearing his name all the time in a few years.
Andrey Arshavin: the tricky Gunner winger is just not the same player he used to be. His form has been uninspired off the bench and he’s too old for Arsenal. Look for Zenit and Anzhi to be on high alert if Wenger is willing to accept a fee below the Russian’s market value.
Sebastian Squillaci: An absolute disaster signing for Arsenal, he’s never really fit in the EPL at all. Valued at around $4 million, but even that is asking a lot considering how poor he’s looked in the rare times he’s played. A French side may be willing to take a risk on the error-prone defender; it’s also rumored that Espanyol are interested but don’t want to pay nearly the price Arsenal value him.
Moussa Sow: the Senegalese striker for Lille has been in electric form and attracted interest from many different European clubs, including Liverpool. The Reds may be looking to add depth at striker as Andy Carroll has mostly looked terrible thus far in his start at Anfield. Is Andy Carroll the new Emile Heskey?
Gareth Bale: has by far the best hair in all of the Premier League, the Welshman’s pacey wing play and dangerous crosses have been on full display this campaign. Real Madrid and Barcelona are tracking his progress but will have to cough up an outrageous $50 million for his services.
Fernando Llorente: The Athletic Bilbao hitman has really piqued Harry Redknapp’s interest but he’ll cost the North London club a pretty penny. It may solve Tottenham’s long-term striker plans for a while since Emmanuel Adebayor is unlikely to sign a long term deal with the club because of wage demands.
Roberto Soldado: The Valencia goal machine has been in fine form for the Spanish club and again, Liverpool has identified him as a potential prospect. With Valencia seeming to be in a perpetual state of financial trouble, a sale of their best player may be quite possible (see sale of David Silva, David Villa, and Raul Albiol).
Ricardo Montolivo: the 26-year-old Italian midfielder is out of contract in the summer so Fiorentina may be willing to accept a very cheap price to avoid losing him on a free in 6 months time. Liverpool and Arsenal are apparently interested.
Nedum Onuoha: the out of-favor Man City defender should be in the prime of his career: Instead, he rides the massive bench that is Manchester City. Smaller clubs such as QPR, Swansea, and Norwich City are all supposedly interested and it’s easy to see why: he enjoyed a successful year long loan at Sunderland last campaign and has plenty of experience in English football.
Wesley Sneijder: the impressive Dutchman has reiterated his pleasure with current club Inter Milan and has claimed several times that he wouldn’t mind staying there for a while. Sir Alex Ferguson, though, is interested more so than ever, with Tom Cleverly and Anderson both out with long term injuries. That forces him to give Michael Carrick playing time. Gross.
Ibrahim Affelay: ever since arriving at Camp Nou, it’s as if the Dutchman has disappeared from the planet. Still a great talent but tough to crack a squad which features Messi, Villa, Sanchez, Iniesta, and Pedro in the position you wouldn’t mind playing. A bargain if someone expresses interest and a possible great risk to take.
Neven Subotic: the Dortmund center back monstrosity is highly touted, young, and intelligent. It seems as if every club with any sort of defensive holes is taking a look at the 22-year-old Serbian international. Chelsea supposedly had a bid turned down for him in the summer, so look for them to possibly chase him again should the Blues not secure Cahill’s signature.
Alex: the Brazilian defender has struggled mightily to crack the starting lineup because of his floundering form. Chelsea strangely have never lost a game this season with him in the lineup, but let’s not point the finger at him for achieving this. Arsenal may make a go for the experienced premier league defender.
Ashley Cole: speaking of Chelsea defenders, Cashley has supposedly garnered interest from Barcelona. It’s a curious rumor that may hold a bit of validity, as Barcelona run a bit thin in their defensive reinforcements. Cole is on the wrong side of 30 though, so don’t expect a monster bid from anyone in an attempt to secure a signature.
Rio Ferdinand: with an emphasis on youth running through SAF’s mind, Ferdinand’s future has come into doubt at Manchester United. SAF has said that he’ll need to evolve his game to keep his starting spot, as he’s lost a step in his game. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling are both pressuring the veteran for his spot, so other English clubs may look to see if Ferdinand is available.
Stevan Jovetic: Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal all are rumored to want to the $25 million rated second striker from Montenegro. The 22-year-old Fiorentina man has impressed in Italian football and could look to make the jump abroad.
Esteban Granero: the Real Madrid center mid has had a tumultuous time since his arrival at the club. The talented Spaniard’s frustration is growing and a few English clubs are interested. Granero could be sold for real cheap and be a coup for whichever club picks him up.
Written by: Chris Behrens, contributing writer, soccerprose.com
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