World Football

Hottest January Transfer Rumours for Every EPL Club

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentDecember 23, 2013

Hottest January Transfer Rumours for Every EPL Club

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Bleacher Report brings you the hottest English Premier League January transfer rumours for every club.

    If there is not a new transfer rumour, then the slide will talk about a relevant transfer scenario for the club or suggest a transfer target.

    Don't hesitate to comment below with a transfer rumour you feel should be included in this slideshow.

Arsenal

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Basel centre-back Fabian Schar is an Arsenal transfer target, according to Charles Reynolds at The Independent.

    Schar has shown promise in the UEFA Champions League this season, but his lack of poise when he is in possession and his heedless tackling are red flags.

    His pass completion percentage (79.4) is substantially lower than Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny (91.8) in Champions League play.

    Don't be overawed by Schar making 20 tackles and 24 interceptions in six games.

    Keep in mind, there was a 41 percent chance he would lose out when he went to tackle, which is abnormally high for a centre-back.

    He conceded 2.8 free kicks per game, the highest average for a centre-back in the Champions League group stages.

    It would be advisable for Schar to take an intermediate step in signing with a mid-tier Bundesliga club, establish himself as one of the league's best defenders and then sign with Arsenal.

    He and Mohamed Salah have been garnering a lot of attention. Yet while they are elite prospects, their teammate Fabian Frei, a more complete footballer than Schar and Salah, could end up having the better career.

     

     

Aston Villa

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    Aside from having his pants pulled down by Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen, Aston Villa centre-forward Nicklas Helenius has not been in the news as he has not had a chance to do anything newsworthy. 

    His agent Mads Bach Lund revealed a loan in the January transfer window is a possibility.

    "A rental will not necessarily be a defeat for him [Helenius] if it comes to that," Lund said, from BT via Steve Wollaston at The Birmingham Mail. "We are in constant dialogue with Aston Villa, and I expect that we will have a word with them again when the transfer window opens."

    Eintracht Braunschweig, a team with 10 goals in 17 league games and headed for Bundesliga relegation, need a No. 9, so Helenius could be their man. 

     

Cardiff City

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    Cardiff City owner Vincent Tan will not be sacking manager Malky Mackay for now, per Rob Phillips and David Ornstein at BBC Sport:

    Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has lifted his threat to sack manager Malky Mackay and the pair will hold talks in an attempt to salvage their relationship.

    When asked if the ultimatum had been withdrawn, Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman said: "For the time being, yes."

    He added that Mackay is "in charge for the foreseeable future and will be until something else happens."

    So much for telling Mackay "resign or be sacked," so this gives the hope that Tan might change his view on "not a single penny will be made available in January."

    Since there is no new transfer rumour, here is a transfer suggestion for Tan: How about Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting from Mainz?

    Choupo-Moting will offer Cardiff a different dimension in being able to create something out of nothing.

    He can play up front, on either flank or be used as a super-sub.

     

     

Chelsea

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants Inter Milan centre-back Andrea Ranocchia to succeed David Luiz, according to Gary Jones at the Daily Star.

    You just cannot see Mourinho replacing a centre-back who defends as if he is "being controlled by a 10-year-old on a PlayStation" with Ranocchia, who is error-prone and has weak defensive positioning.

Crystal Palace

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    Crystal Palace's Marouane Chamakh is looking like a £15 million-valued centre-forward (West Ham United and Andy Carroll might object to that), so since Chamakh is the reason why Kevin Phillips cannot get regular starts in his last hurrah in the Premier League, he will leave in the January transfer window.

    "I've had a chat with the manager and I will be leaving in January," Phillips said, via talkSPORT's Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast. "I've been travelling for nearly two and a half years and I want to find a club nearer home and I want to be playing football for the last three or four months of my career."

    If Phillips cannot find a club close to his family, instead of retiring or playing nonleague football, he should consider signing for A-League club Perth Glory on a guest contract.

    While he won't be earning the big bucks like former Premier League player William Gallas, who has taken Glory's marquee slot, there are lifestyle reasons why Phillips should give Perth a shot.

    It is a nice city in Australia with a laid-back atmosphere, has great weather and beautiful scenery.

    Even at age 40, Phillips is an upgrade over Glory's current No. 9, Jamie Maclaren, who if given 100 shots in front of goals, would probably find the back of the net five times—that is how poor his shooting has been this season.

     

     

Everton

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    Hull City centre-back Curtis Davies is a transfer target for Everton, according to The Sunday People via the Hull Daily Mail.

    Davies is a solid pro who is strong in the air (has won 66 headers from 16 games), but he only completes 77.2 percent of his passes and dips to 45 percent on long passes.

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez wants defenders who can accurately pass the ball when being pressed (Seamus Coleman, Phil Jagielka, Sylvain Distin, Leighton Baines and Bryan Oviedo all complete 85 percent or more of their passes), so Davies is not a right fit.

     

     

Fulham

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    Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen has revealed that Seattle Sounders' Clint Dempsey will return to Craven Cottage.

    "Clint spent so many years playing in the Premier League and we all know where his strengths are," Meulensteen said, via Fulham's official website. "He can come in from the left or play as a second striker depending on who you're playing against."

    Dempsey has been playing as a deep-lying forward for the Sounders and was selected as a left winger in U.S. Soccer's all-time best XI.

    Meulensteen started Adel Taarabt in a false-nine role during the 4-2 defeat to Manchester City.

    He created a goal and was lively, so if Meulensteen persists with Taarabt in the same role, Dempsey is likely to play out wide.

     

Hull City

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    Nantes centre forward Filip Djordjevic, a transfer target for Hull City (per The Daily Mail), has signed a pre-contract with Lazio, according to Canal+ via Get French Football News.

    An alternative to Djordjevic is Real Valladolid's hard-nosed Javi Guerra, who scored against Barcelona, put three past Celta Vigo and has scored more league goals (11) than David Villa (eight).

     

Liverpool

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    Basel right winger Mohamed Salah will sign with Liverpool, according to his friend Mohamed Zika.

    "Yes, I am 99 percent sure this will happen," Zika said, via Jonathan Symcox at the Mirror. "He makes us and all of Egypt proud. Everybody talks about Mohamed Salah now—and aside from that he's my friend."

    Salah can easily accelerate past opposing defenders, which makes him a dangerous attacking player as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur found out.

    He can be a handy impact player for the Reds.

     

     

Manchester City

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    Manchester City will have to contend with Barcelona and Chelsea for the services of Villarreal centre-back. Mateo Musacchio, according to Charles Reynolds at The Independent.

    Musacchio has always been an easy player to identify because he intercepts passes for fun. During the 2011-12 season, he cut off 150 passes in 30 league games.

    A major club should have signed Musacchio when Villarreal suffered relegation.

    Now that Villarreal are back in La Liga, he is still a dominant defender and has been a major factor in the club having the third-best defence in the league.

Manchester United

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    Sevilla's president has told Manchester United and clubs interested in Ivan Rakitic to activate his release clause of £33 million.

    "Ivan Rakitic has a year and a half of his contract remaining. I have absolutely no doubts that we're going to reach an agreement with him [to extend his contract]," Sevilla president Jose Castro said, via Charles Reynolds at The Independent. "If anyone else is in a rush to have Rakitic, his clause is €40 million (£33 million) and we'll leave it at that."

    Rakitic can play No. 10, No. 8 or No. 6, which illustrates his all-round play.

    Presumably, United believe Rakitic could be the commanding midfielder they need.

    However, he is at his best creating goalscoring chances for his teammates, so starting him behind Sevilla No. 9 Carlos Bacca is where Rakitic looks the best.

    Then there is Rakitic's transfer value: Is he worth £33 million? No.

    Udinese's Allan, a combative and technically astute box-to-box midfielder, would be a better fit at United.

Newcastle United

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    Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew has confirmed the club's intent to make moves in the January transfer window.

    "We're making sure that we don't miss what might be a key signing," Pardew said, via Paul Doyle at The Guardian. "So [the chief scout] Graham Carr, Joe [Kinnear], myself and the owner [Mike Ashley] are very much on the ball for this January window."

    There have not been any new transfer rumours, but with Carr's propensity to scout Ligue 1 players, one transfer suggestion could be Lorient centre forward Vincent Aboubakar.

    With six goals in his last six Ligue 1 matches, he must be on Newcastle's radar.

Norwich City

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    No new transfer rumour means a transfer suggestion for Norwich City manager Chris Hughton.

    Submit a bid for Fiorentina's Matias Fernandez, who is part of Vincenzo Montella's midfield rotation, but does not play a substantial role.

    Fernandez would be an upgrade over Bradley Johnson and Jonny Howson.

    From a defensive perspective, Fernandez presses well, but it is his pass completion percentage, 94.5 in Serie A and 90.3 in the UEFA Europa League, which makes him special.

    Even though Fernandez's name conjures up creativity, No. 10 and skill, the reality is he has only registered three assists in his last 32 league games.

    This is why he has upped his work rate and increased his defensive productivity; therefore he can slot into a central midfield role in Hughton's 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1.

    What will entice Fernandez to Norwich?

    Being made to feel more important and a bumper salary increase.

     

     

Southampton

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    As Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole considers retirement, Southampton are anticipating a bid from the Blues for left-back Luke Shaw, according to Daniel Jones at the Metro.

    It seems improbable that Cole, one of the best left-backs of his generation, who has won everything at club level, isn't going to cash in on his high-profile status to earn "easy money" in the MLS.

    David Beckham is starting a franchise in Miami, Fla., and you know what that means?

    No income tax, watching Miami Heat star LeBron James courtside, hanging out at the Story nightclub and playing in a lesser league but still earning a high salary.

    Cole is only 33 years of age, and while he might not have a future as Chelsea's starting left-back (Cesar Azpilicueta has replaced him), he stands to make millions if he elongates his career a few more years.

    Shaw extended his contract by five years in July, so Southampton should tell Chelsea management: "£30 million plus or no deal." 

     

Stoke City

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    Alex Grimm/Getty Images

    Wolfsburg centre forward Ivica Olic is a transfer target for Stoke City, according to Charles Reynolds at The Independent.

    Even though Olic leads Wolfsburg in league goals this season (seven), the club may sell him or risk losing him on a free transfer in the summer.

    Do they have a replacement? Yes.

    Bas Dost, who scored his first league goal of the season off the bench in the 2-2 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Sunderland

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    The future of Sunderland manager Gus Poyet hinges on this January transfer window, per Chris Young at The Shields Gazette:

    My aim all the time is to do things quickly in January.

    We're having meetings practically every day and we're getting close to January now.

    January 1 is a Wednesday, it's not on the weekend, so if there are not any problems with bringing them in from abroad, they could be signed that day.

    Those are the things that you need to manage.

    But it's not only in my hands. It's in the hands of the other people as well—the player, the other club, the transfer, the agreement and if there are other options.

    There are so many things involved.

    Now, as the manager, I want them in tomorrow so they could train with us for a week before the first.

    That would be perfection.

    Since there isn't a fresh rumour linking a player to Sunderland, here is a transfer suggestion.

    Nicolai Muller of Mainz can play in every attacking position, he takes players on and has scored eight goals in the Bundesliga.

    He can be the match-winner Poyet needs.

Swansea City

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    Swansea City deep-lying forward Michu is hoping Liverpool will send his compatriot Iago Aspas on loan to the Swans.

    "We [Swansea's Spanish players) are hoping he [Aspas] can come here on loan," Michu said, from The Daily Mirror via Phil Cadden at the Mirror. "It would be a pleasure to play with him."

    Despite Aspas' being at his best as a deep-lying forward, the same position as Michu, Aspas is versatile enough to be deployed out wide.

    Aspas' strong dribbling can drag opposing players away from Michu.

Tottenham Hotspur

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    Tottenham Hotspur will aim to sign Juventus' Mirko Vucinic on loan, according to Paul Hetherington at the Daily Star.

    Just when you think Vucinic's knee is fully healed, he sustains another knock to his knee, so whether or not he can be available every week is an area Spurs management need to examine.

    Vucinic has been a bit-part player at Juve and would resume the same role at Spurs, so there is nothing in it for him to come to White Hart Lane.

     

     

West Bromwich Albion

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    Hull City continue their protracted chase for West Bromwich Albion centre forward Shane Long.

    "If Shane [Long] became available I would love to try to do something," Hull manager Steve Bruce said, via Paul O'Hehir at the Mirror. "We will see what the situation is."

    Should Long leave for Hull, West Brom could give Matej Vydra, who scored against Hull, an extended run or move Saido Berahino to the No. 9 position.

     

West Ham United

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    West Ham United are looking to sign Southampton centre forward Rickie Lambert, according to Charles Reynolds at The Independent.

    Reynolds believes Lambert has slipped "down the pecking order" following Dani Osvaldo's arrival.

    But this is simply not true as Lambert has started 14 of Southampton's 17 Premier League games.

    He has scored and created a combined nine goals, the most at the club, so why would the Saints let him leave?

    Unless West Ham submit a £15-20 million bid, which is unwise as they won't recoup the fee, Lambert will be staying at Southampton.

     

     

    Statistics via WhoScoredFFT Stats ZoneSquawka and Transfermarkt.

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