Transfers Focus across Europe
The is the time struggling clubs across Europe go out on the radar as the January window opens with the turn of the year and some players have already made it clear that they are keen to move on from their current clubs as soon as they can in this month of activity.
Here, Sierra Express Media UK Correspondent Alie Bittar looks at some likely movers from Europe and the Premier League, safe in the knowledge that Carlos Tevez could appear on the list at any moment. (Photo: Edin Dzeko)
Edin Dzeko – Wolfsburg.
Dzeko’s performances in the Bundesliga has made him one of the most coveted strikers in the game. Still only 24, the Bosnian has shown his ability to score from any position and his aerial prowess allows him to play as the archetypal lone striker. Roberto Mancini has confirmed Manchester City have agreed a fee with Wolfsburg for Bosnia striker Edin Dzeko.
Romelu Lukaku – Anderlecht.
The 17-year-old is the most coveted teenager in the European game as his powerful performances for club and country have seen him labelled ‘the new Didier Drogba’.
Certainly, the Belgian shares similar traits with Chelsea’s Ivorian and the Blues have certainly considered a move for Lukaku, with one eye on the future. However, a price tag of at least £15 million is a lot for a young, raw talent and there are only a few clubs he would consider moving to.
He has described playing at the Bernabeu as ‘a dream’ and Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his strike force, so Real Madrid seems an obvious destination – although they may have to wait until the summer.
David Luiz – Benfica.
The Brazilian defender is starting to make his mark on the European game and is attracting the attention of both AC Milan and Chelsea with his commanding performances.
The player himself has admitted that he is unsure of his immediate future and Benfica have slapped a price tag of £35 million on the centre-back to anyone who is willing to pay it. Carlo Ancelotti is a known admirer and, with Alex struggling to overcome injury, could be tempted into a move.
Eden Hazard – Lille
Another Belgian youngster to have taken Europe by storm this season, Hazard has been lined up by a number of top sides, although has previously indicated that he would prefer a move to either Real Madrid or Arsenal.
Also of interest to Manchester United and Liverpool, the winger has been given the seal of approval by French legend Zinedine Zidane and is eager to make the step up to the highest level.
With a contract that has him tied down until 2014 though, he will not come cheap, although clubs are fighting to get to the head of the queue already.
Luis Fabiano – Sevilla.
A few months ago, Fabiano insisted that he would wait until January to consider his future and, with the club sitting in 11th place in the La Liga table; it may be that he decides to seek a new challenge.
A move to Italy seems most likely with both Milan clubs credited with interest – especially with fellow Brazilian Leonardo now in charge of Inter – but a real coup could be in the offing if Internacional, with a Copa Libertadores crown to defend next year, are able to tempt him to return to Brazil.
Steven Pienaar – Everton
With his contract up at the end of the season, the South African winger could be sold in January in order to recoup some cash for the struggling Toffees.
Tottenham head the queue for one of the Premier League’s most improved players, with Liverpool also casting an eye in his direction and boss David Moyes admits he could be forced into a sale if he wants to invest in new players.
Stephen Ireland – Aston Villa.
After falling out with boss Gerard Houllier, Ireland’s time at Villa Park seems up. A temperamental, but talented, playmaker, his stock was highest over 18 months ago when he lost out to Ashley Young for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.
But a move to Villa has stalled his career and Ireland needs first-team football to regain his form. Bolton, Stoke and Fulham would all do well to bring the Irishman on board.
Emmanuel Adebayor – Man City.
Worth around £25 million when he left Arsenal, the Togo striker’s price tag has fallen dramatically as he has failed to settle at Eastland’s.
A classy performer on his day, Adebayor will interest some of Europe’s elite – such as Bayern Munich and Juventus – but City may want too much money to make a permanent deal.
If the player himself is to be believed, it seems Turin is his likely loan destination in January, although the club denied that a move has already been agreed.
Christopher Samba – Blackburn.
The Rovers captain has made it clear that he would like to leave Ewood Park because of the treatment of former boss Sam Allaryce by the new Venky’s regime. A giant defender, Samba has impressed during his time in the Premier League and could attract interest from a side like Newcastle or possibly even Arsenal.
However, it may be that he chooses to leave England altogether and a move to France or Germany could be in the offing. Rovers will also be keen to get as much cash as possible for him in order to finance their move for unwanted Man City striker Roque Santa Cruz.
Robbie Keane – Tottenham.
Not the only Spurs player to leave White Hart Lane this winter, Keane has been unlucky to have seen such a small amount of action as Harry Redknapp constantly opts for his rivals.
A loan move back to Celtic could be an option, but there will be a host of Premier League clubs like Aston Villa, Everton and Fulham keen to take him on board.
Spurs also look set to lose Niko Kranjcar and David Bentley to a side that are ready to offer them first-team football, while Jonathan Woodgate will seek a loan move in order to get himself back to full fitness.
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