With the advent of the new year 2011, the January transfer window opens. TheHardTackle will bring you LIVE! transfer updates from clubs around the world.
20th January, 2011: Milan eyeing Ziegler for a much needed LB position.
After failing to impress Genoa with their offer for Criscito, the Rossoneri have shifted their focus on Sampdoria’s full back Reto Ziegler.
THT Verdict: Ziegler was talked about as replacement transfer window target for Milan if Criscito’s transfer talks were to fail. Now with the roadblocks being put in place of Criscito’s transfer by Cagliari President, the rumors linking Ziegler with Milan have increased ten folds. What has added fuel into the fire has been the signing of Laczko by Sampdoria which may be an indication that the Swiss will be most likely be seen in Milan colors before the January transfer window closes.
20th January, 2011: Diego Forlan linked with Juventus
Tuttosport reports that Diego Forlan’s agent paid a visit to Juventus head-quarters in Turin.
THT Verdict: Forlan is a proved world class striker. However, his recent exploits will significantly increase his transfer fee. Paying more than 15 million Euros for an ageing striker is something Juventus cant afford right now. Forlan might also be past his peak form after the brilliant seson he had in 2009/10.
19th January, 2011: Chelsea FC eyeing €30million move for a Brazillain playmaker.
IMScouting reports that Chelsea are reportedly in talks with Santos with the London side making a €30million bid for their playmaker Ganso.
THT Verdict: According to reports ,talks over an improved deal have stalled with the 21-year-old Ganso and his club Santos . If the rumours are to be believed , then the Brazilian sensation feels undervalued by his club. It would be a good move for Chelsea as presently the team lacks the decisive defense piercing passes, previously sponsored by right now out of form players. The Brazil international is under contract with the Brazilian club until 2014, winning his first international cap last season. He was on radar of many European heavyweights after he won the the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol award for Breakthrough Player of the Campeonato Brasileiro in 2009. If the deal goes through , he would certainly be an asset to the Londoners as Chelsea look to come back after a derailed first half of the season.
19th January, 2011: Ramos unsure of Real Madrid future ?
Real Madrid defender Sergio Ramos is considering his future at the Bernabeu after reports emanating from Spain suggested he and star player Cristiano Ronaldo had an amazing bust-up over the Portuguese ace’s attitude. Subsequently the player’s agent is making tentative enquiries over a potential move to the Premier League with Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur all interested in the versatile Spaniard.
THT Verdict: This piece of news has been reported by the white house’s mouth piece AS also. A bust up is not entirely unlikely, although the extent may have been exaggerated. Whatever be the case, there may be some truth of Ramos being unhappy as this news comes close on the heels of Casillas also being unhappy. Ramos being a club captain and all, it difficult to see him leaving come what may, although Perez may want to cash in. Mourinho will certainly assuage tempers as Ramos is too valuable to lose. But certainly a few bids will be coming.
19th January, 2011: Reports emerge of a Van Persie transfer to Real Madrid.
Reports reckon Real Madrid are preparing a £25 million bid for Arsenal’s Robin van Persie.Jose Mourinho is suffering a striker shortage after losing Gonzalo Higuain to a back injury, and apparently sees the Dutchman as the ideal replacement.
THT Verdict: Contender for the most ridiculous transfer rumour this winter. Definitely not happening.
19th January, 2011: Fabiano agrees to Juventus move ?
Gazzetta Dello Sport reports that Luis Fabiano has agreed to move to Juventus. Juventus reportedly want the striker on loan while Sevilla want 10 million Euros for him.
THT Verdict: Fabiano is a proven goal-scorer and will add a lot of quality to the current Juventus team. However, he is 31 and investing too much money on him wont be wise. Fabiano’s style will suit Serie A and he can prove to be an inspired winter signing if the deal does get finalized.
18th January, 2011: There is an agreement reached between Milan and Genoa for Criscito.
Milan has almost reached on an agreement with Genoa for defender Criscito beating a stiff competition from Fiorentina for Italian defender.
THT Verdict: This deal is almost through and it is bound to help Milan immensely. Quality fullbacks have been the weakest point for Milan since past couple of seasons which saw them conceding far too many goals in- spite of possessing arguably the best CB’s in Serie A so far. The final papers are yet but expect some good news coming out from Milan in a week or so. In the process this further strengthens Milan-Genoa ties as the two clubs have been very actively involved with each other, first in summer and now in winter transfer window.
18th January, 2011: Milan close in on Lazzari
Il Corriere dello Sport reports Rossoneri CEO Adriano Galliani has spoken with Cagliari president Massimo Cellino over Lazzari.
THT Verdict: Milan want Lazzari and Lazzari wants Milan. The only obstacle in the way of this deal is the stubborn price being asked by Cagliari president. If Galliani is able to get this deal through, it will reunite Lazzari with his former manager Allegri which could very well act as a solution for the lack of creativity in the middle of the park for the Italian giants due to an ageing midfield. Don’t be surprised if you see him wearing the red and black stripes post January.
19th January, 2011: Royals sign two new players
Reading FC officially announced the signing of Sean Morrison and Brett Williams. Williams, 23 years old is a striker and played for non-league side Eastleigh. He signed a 18 month long deal with a 0.5 million pounds transfer fee. Morrison, 20 years old is a centre-back and played for Swindon Town previously.
THT Verdict: Morrison is young and talented and will add depth to Reading defence. He has been impressive this season and Royals will be hoping that he maintains the same form. Eome EPL clubs are reportedly interested in Reading strikers Shane Long and Simon Church – the reason why Williams was signed.
Leicester City, who have already made a couple of inquiries about the Arsenal legend’s availability, could land Henry on a six month loan spell.
THT Verdict: City have already shown their ambition by pulling of the signing of Nigeria international Yakubu on loan, only last week. Eriksson also inquired about the possible signature of Beckham and Pires. Despite failing to sign either of them, Eriksson has made an audacious inquiry regarding a probable transfer for the former Arsenal legend. It is highly unlikely that New York Red Bulls will let Henry leave any sooner as MLS season kick off again from March.
Jay Emmanuel Thomas, who was quite frustrated at Arsenal this season, having spent most of the time with the reserves, has finally moved to Cardiff on loan. He has been a fantastic player for Arsenal in the reserves, captaining the side front the front with a lot of goals to his name.
THT Verdict: JET is a player for the future for Arsenal. Like Wilshere, he should have made the cut into the team, but he has been unlucky. A loan move and possible starts in every game at Cardiff will do him a world of good. Arsene will hope that he returns back a much more polished player next season.
Liverpool striker packed his bags and headed to Germany after Bundesliga side Hoffenheim agreed a fee of 7 million for the former Ajax academy product. The 24 year old was reportedly attracting interest from the Amsterdam Arena too but it seems that Hoffenheim have leapfrogged ahead to complete the player’s signing.
THT Verdict: It would be a good move for Ryan Babel as he has found it really hard to break into the first team at Anfield since his move from Ajax in 2007. The player has shown flashes of brilliance and is still a good prospect but lack of first team football means that he would seek more opportunities elsewhere. He has not made the cut under Rafa Benitez or Roy Hodgson and now Liverpool feel this move is in the best interests of the player and club.
Darren Bent has completed a move to Aston Villa in deal worth a 24m Euro. This deal has broken Villa’s record for any transfer.
THT Verdict: This seems to be a desperate move by Villa to save their season. The England Striker has a decent scoring record in EPL. However the transfer fees looks way too high against the value he might have added. But on the other hand 24 m seems to be a great deal for Sunderland since they already have enough cover in the striking department with Gyan added this season.
18th January, 2011: Chelsea target Diego Forlan from Atletico Madrid
Chelsea are looking to strengthen their attacking force by adding the Uruguay international Diego Forlan to their ranks
THT Verdict: The 31 year old is at his twilight of his career and had made a point that he would like to end his career in the capital city of Spain, when he was chased down by former employers Manchester United last summer. The £12million target seems to be happy there and certainly Blues would be looking for much younger option when the spend that amount of money. Chelsea’s front men are struggling to find the back of the net, but still The Blue Eyed Boy donning the Chelsea jersey seems to be quite improbable.
18th January, 2011: Chelsea in talks with Benfica for a Defender
Chelsea are close to signing the £22m defender David Luiz from Portuguese Giants Benfica
THT Verdict: The London club are in talks with Benfica over the move for their defender David Luiz, reportedly for the third time, as the Lisbon club have completed the move of Jardel. The 22-year old has been strongly linked with many clubs since Jardel joined Benfica, and Chelsea’s recent poor show at the back has spurred the talks with even more desperation. If this move happens, it will not only add to their defending prowess , but also will enhance their goal scoring chances from set pieces. However, rather than splashing cash on the Brazilian, they should seriously consider Gary Cahill, who would be slightly cheaper and would qualify as “home-grown”.
According to The Telegraph, Suarez is ready to quit Ajax after being removed from the captaincy.
THT Verdict: Suarez is a top drawer talent ! And the strikers inclination to move towards a club with Spanish speaking team mates makes the move all the more likely. Suarez lies in the genre of Carlos Tevz and can play upfront as well as behind the striker. Certainly the kind of signing Liverpool need, to rescue their season!
18th January, 2011: Chelsea look to prise Niko Kranjcar from Spurs
Chelsea are looking closer to home in their quest to boost their midfield, and The Blues believe that want-away Spurs midfielder Niko Kranjcar is the man for them.
THT Verdict: Niko Kranjcar’s career is seemingly comatose at the Spurs with van-der-Vaart, Bale and Modric getting top billing instead. It will do his career a world of good to make a move to the defending champions. It remains to be seen if Tottenham will sell the player to their big rivals, and risk ruing it if he rediscovers his now deserted form. It seems likely to materialize, especially if the Spurs get their hands on Pienaar.
18th January, 2011: Chelsea gunning for Alexis Sanchez
Chelsea are firmly in the hunt for Udinese star Alexis Sanchez, after Inter Milan seem to have second thoughts about pursuing the winger-cum-striker. But pricing concerns may drive the link off road.
THT Verdict: This would certainly be a statement of intent from the Blues if the deal goes through this winter. Addition of a right winger who can play up the formation, will galvanize the likes of Anelka and Kalou to do better. Abramovich seems to be willing to put his money on the line, but Udinese’s reluctance to part with their player in the middle of the season will mean the Russian may have to fork out more than he intended. The deal looks more likely to occur in the summer, if Chelsea are still interested.
18th January, 2011: Sissoko on the verge of leaving Juventus
Malian Momo Sissoko is on the verge of leaving Turin. Sissoko has expressed his dissatisfaction with current Juve managmement. He has been linked to a host of clubs including Napoli and Wolfsburg. With Felipe Melo enjoying a rich vein of form Sissoko has been relegated to reserve bench this season.
THT Verdict: Juventus will make a huge mistake if they sell Sissoko to Napoli. The club from Naples is one Juve’s strongest rivals for a top-3 finish and the Bianconeri can ill-afford to strengthen them further. Juventus need to find a replacement for Sissoko before selling him. Melo is extremely card prone and youngster Giandonato still needs to mature.
Skysports.com understands Liverpool have made an approach to sign Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing.
THT Verdict: It’s a win-win situation for both clubs and the player. The funds from Downing’s sale could be used to buy Darren Bent, with Albrighton and Young available for the wings. Downing will get a chance to play in European competition and Liverpool will finally have a proper left sided winger who can deliver crosses to Torres.
Milan are reportedly ready to make a €11 million offer for Ajax youngster Christian Eriksen.
THT verdict: At this moment, Milan would be ready to take in any replacement for Seedorf, who has not even been a shadow of himself. Arsenal has also been linked with the 18 year old wonder kid. The price of 11 million pound might prove to be too much for Milan’s liking. Add to that the fact that they are trying to graduate their own Primavera players like Merkel and Rodney Strasser into the senior team this move looks unlikely to materialize.
Former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri has been linked with the Liverpool managerial post just days after Kenny ‘The King’ Dalglish was appointed at the helm. Ranieri seems to be flattered by the supposed interest but claims his head is in Roma and he is first focussed on getting the best out of the team this season. Roma are now third in the Serie A division.
THT Verdict: Liverpool are slowly looking like the Liverpool of the past with confidence, resilience and fighting spirit returning back to the squad who have taken a heavy beating this season. Kenny has certainly had a positive effect on the club so far and if the results start coming in, then John Henry & Co will find it very difficult to pinch his post. We at TheHardTackle certainly do not see Ranieri as the man replacing Dalglish.
17th January, 2011: Another Portuguese at Old Trafford?
Manchester United’s penchant for promising Portuguese talents is a cliché. The recent being Fabio Coentrao.
THT Verdict: Sir Alex Ferguson has a great eye for Portuguese talents and as of now the feisty Scot is pursuing Fabio Coentrao. The fullback has had a good world cup and has gathered a lot of attention during the World Cup with his composure, ball control and ability to surge ahead. A valuation of £20 million isn’t much of a concern for the Manchester United guardian who believes that Coentrao will fit in perfectly at Old Trafford. This also send out signals to a host of clubs who are pursuing Patrice Evra. The ageing Frenchman has almost come to an end of his tenure at Old Trafford and Coentrao is supposedly the new dawn.
17th January, 2011: French manager zeroes in on French defender – French Connection.
Arsenal are supposedly focusing on French defender Philippe Mexes.
THT Verdict: The lack of proper defenders at the heart of the Arsenal defense is apparent. The injury to Thomas Vermaelen has left the Gunners helpless. Wenger has given indication that he might splurge in the January transfer window to get a cover for the injured Belgian. The Roma centre back is currently on Wenger’s radar and looks likely to be at the Emirates by the end of the January transfer window. Mexes joined Roma from Auxerre in 20004 for €7 million. After 6 years of dedicated service to the i Giallorossi, an offer in the region of €4-€5 million should be enough for Wenger to land his target.
The Blues seem resigned to being priced out of a move for David Luiz, and will settle for Athletic Madrid central defender Godin who is currently valued at £15 million
THT Verdict: The proposed signing hardly looks like one from a defending champion with continued title ambitions. Godin could very well prove to be a medicore signing in the manner of Ramires and is not the big-name signing that will shift Chelsea’s campaign back into high gear. It will be cowardice to settle for Godin, when the Blues ought to be fighting Manchester City for David Luiz.
17th January, 2011: Ivanovic in impasse
The Chelsea defender is supposedly garnering a lot of interest from European Giants.
THT Verdict: With the London club in doldrums, it’s highly uncertain that they’d allow one of their defensive mainstays to leave, that too in the middle of the season where they hope to salvage some pride. However, the Serbian has not committed his future to the London outfit. The fact that the current deal is all set to expire by the end of the season has sent an alarm to a host of clubs who’d be only too happy to secure the Serbian’s services. Amongst others, Juventus and AC Milan are rumoured to be the most possible destination for Ivanovic, should he decide to leave.
Given the kind of free-scoring defender that he is, Ivanovic will surely be a great deal for any club that snaps him.
17th January, 2011: Royals sign young Swindon Town centre-back
Reading FC coach has announced the signing of 20 year old Swindon Town centre-back Sean Morrison. Morrison has been impressive for the Royals’ local rivals in recent games. Reading is also keeping tabs on Hereford striker Mathieu Manset. Head-scout Steve Shorey was present in the Hereford – Wycombe Wanderers match last weekend to watch the 21 year old striker.
THT Verdict: In recent seasons, Reading has led from the front in giving breakthrough to unknown and young players. Morrison can very well another addition to that list. Reading made a huge profit by selling Gylfi Sigurdssen last summer and they are pridently using that money now. They are sitting a place below play-off spots and have a realistic chance of promotion this season. New singings can boost their promotion attempts.
17th January, 2011: Storari staying at Juventus – Luigi Delneri
Juventus gaffer Gigi Delneri has confirmed that Marco Storari will remain at Juventus. There were question marks regarding his future after Gianluigi Buffon returned to full fitness last week.
THT Verdict: Marco Storari has enjoyed some of his best form in last 2 seasons. It will be unfair to him if he has to sit on bench at his peak. However, Buffon’s place in Juventus in untouchable and when fit, he is the first name on the team-sheet. Delneri’s man-management skills will be tested in keeping Storari happy as well as giving him some game time when required.
17th January, 2011: Juventus gunning for Swedish striker ?
Calciomercato quotes Helsingborgs president Paul Myllenberg sayong that Juve are interested in their star striker Alexander Gerndt. Gerndt played a big part in his club’s title winning campaign in 2010 – scoring 12 goals in 15 matches. The president emphasised that he wanted Gerndt to stay in the club till the end of the season but also made it clear he might change his mind should a good offer arrive.
THT Verdict: Fabio Patarici’s scouts have done some decent work in Scandinavia. Frederik Sorensen has already impressed while another young centre-back, Magnussen was signed a few days back. Gerndt has good record in his domestic league and might turn out to be a wildcard if Juve sign him for a moderate amount.
“We have accepted an offer from Chelsea. Steven has not agreed terms with Chelsea. We’ve given his representatives a chance to talk to Chelsea but they’ve not got permission to talk to Tottenham because they’ve not offered the same money.” – David Moyes
THT Verdict: Like we had said before, for £3m Pienaar would be a good bargain buy. He has the experience of playing in the Premiership, and he is a sort of player Chelsea can most definitely use. For long the West London club has played out of position players on the right wing, but if Pienaar agrees personal terms, Chelsea would have a solid option.
The Argentine defender has had one of the worst phases of his career at FC Barcelona. A 2-year long injury lay-off not only jeopardized his future at Camp Nou, but also threatened his international career.
THT Verdict: The Argentine arrived at Camp Nou from Real Zaragoza for €20.5million. Despite being a Spanish League veteran, he couldn’t make it to the first team regularly because of a career-threatening injury. After his return to the international circuit after a hiatus, Milito is again finding it difficult to break into the first team. Several clubs are in queue to snap up the talented Argentine. Malaga, under their new owner is touted to be the front runners in securing the Argentine’s signature. However, Guardiola rates the defender highly and isn’t willing to let go. Other teams interested are Napoli and Genoa.
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Diego Forlan doesn’t mind talking his mind. After a topsy-turvy start to the season for the Europa League champions, Forlan expressed his desire to try his luck elsewhere, provided the right offer comes his way.
THT Verdict: The former Manchester United striker has proved himself to be a star after being rejected by Sir Alex Ferguson. The Uruguayan is reportedly being courted by Italian giants Juventus. Albeit the Turin-based club has just signed Luca Toni, the latter succumbed to an injury which has ruled him out for at least 4 weeks. This deal looks to be a cracker for Juve. Forlan, with all his experience at the highest level, knows how to unlock the tightest of defences and with Juve’s frontmen all over the place, the World Cup Golden Ball winner will surely provide the Old Lady with the impetus that she needs to pursue the elusive Scudetto.
Reports suggest that Tottenham Hotspurs are preparing a 30 million pound bid for Andy Carroll. The Newcastle United striker has made his mark on the Premier League and is one of the most difficult strikers to play against. Harry Redknapp had always kept an eye on him since Newcastle’s arrival in the top flight.
THT Verdict: 30 million pound is way over the top. We think these reports are utter nonsense, esp. for a January transfer window. Such a transfer would be a great move for Carroll and could essentially signal the end of Crouch’s time at White Hart Lane. Let us be clear about one thing, though – Newcastle will not be able to reject such a huge bid.
“Our price will be around €30m (£25.3m). If you ask for between €20m and €30m for a footballer in Europe there are a maximum of 15 teams who can pay this amount. I think he will go to the Premier League. For him the team is in England. We have some managers who send people to inform us about the interest. It depends on the offers. We know that teams like Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool are interested in him and that they follow the player. There is some interest from Real Madrid but we know they are interested in every good young player.” – Anderlecht General manager Van Holsbeeck.
THT Verdict: Chelsea has been monitoring the player for close to three years now, and the boy is also a big Didier Drogba and Chelsea fan. However, other clubs such as Liverpool, Tottenham, and Real Madrid are also interested in him. His father had clearly indicated that the player would not leave Belgium before he turns 18, so in all likelihood Lukaku will leave in the summer. The price tag that has peen put on his head is way to much for a 17-year old talent. If either Chelsea and Madrid really want him at any cost, we could see a bidding war, which the Spanish club is more likely to win.
Reports suggest Robbie Keane is set to join the Blues from Tottenham. The 30-year old Republic of Ireland striker was not Harry Redknapp’s preferred choice even after he returned from a six-month spell at Liverpool. The striker was worth 20 million pounds in the summer of 2008.
THT Verdict: It is a good move for Birmingham City as they need some creativity at the attacking end. Robbie Keane still has enough guile and loads of premiership experience. Although this move indicates that he is well past his best, this could prolong Keane’s career in the top flight. THT predicts a successful partnership between club and player!
14th January, 2011: Floro Flores to join Juventus on a six month loan.
La Stampa claims that Udinese striker Antonio Floro-Flores is all set to don Juve’s black and white jersey for rest of the season. With Quagliarella, Iaquinta and Toni injured Juve need backup strikers. The agreement is reportedly a 6 month loan with an option to buy in the end. It is believed that Floro-Flores will cost around 4.5 million Euros should Juve choose to buy him.
THT Verdict: Juventus need a good first choice striker…if Floro-Flores does come then there will be too many back-up strikers in the squad. Juve need more quality upfront which Floro-Flores will not provide.
14th January, 2011: Barcelona and Real Madrid players at Malaga?
Malaga’s finance got a boost after they were taken over by a Qatari investor. The Andalusian club has made their intentions clear by snapping up some great players at great prices. Gabriel Milito (FC Barcelona) and Mahamadou Diarra (Real Madrid) seem to follow suit.
THT Verdict: Malaga has shown a lot of tactical acumen by snapping up the likes of Sergio Asenjo, Julio Baptista, Martin Demichelis, Enzo Maresca and Ignacio Camacho at prices that did not make headlines. They now focus on Barcelona defender Gabi Milito and Real Madrid midfielder Diarra. Milito has had a long lay-off because of injury. Despite the fact that Barcelona still rates him highly and is reluctant to leave, the lack of first team playing opportunities might just force Milito to make a move. Diarra too has been thrown down the pecking order after the arrival of Alonso and Khedira. A move from Bernabeu looks imminent.
14th January, 2011: Benitez moving to Scotland?
Celtic fans need not be scared. The individual in discussion is Christian Benitez. The Ecuadorian striker played in England last season.
THT Verdict: The striker has had a decent spell at Santos Laguna (Mexico) before being loaned out to Birmingham last year. Although it took him some time to adjust, Benitez scored 3 times for the Blues in about 30 outings. Having displayed his prowess at an English club, Benitez now has quite a few suitors who might try to jeopardize the deal. However, Celtic leads the race and chances of the South American landing at Celtic Park are quite high.
14th January, 2011: Daniel Agger considering Fiorentina offer
Liverpool centre back Daniel Agger is considering a 1.5 million euro per season offer from Fiorentina and if things work out, will make the move to the Viola.
THT Verdict: The Danish international has unequivocally stated his desire for more first team football after falling out of favour with previous manager Roy Hodgson. However, he has already made 4 starts so far in the month of January and new manager Kenny Dalglish does not seem to ostracize the player. A move to Fiorentina is still on the cards though and if the club can up their offer then it is more than likely that the Anfield favourite will cross borders into Italy.
14th January, 2011: Juventus moving in for Cesare Bovo
Cesare Bovo, the Palermo centre-back is being linked to a Juventus move by Calciomercato. The 28 year old Italian has been a consistent performer for Palermo over the last few seasons. Acquisition of new centre-backs – Andjelkovic and Milanovic by the Sicilian club has further boosted the rumour that they are ready to part company with Bovo.
THT Verdict: Bovo will be a solid backup player for Juventus. He has experience and still has 3-4 good seasons left in him. However, with Andrea Barzagli increasingly looking like joining the Old Lady, it’s unlikely that Bovo’s deal will materialize.
14th January, 2011: Amauri to go back to Palermo ?
Palermo supremo Zamparini has expressed interest in Amauri. Amauri enjoyed his best form in Palermo before joining Juventus in a high profile move three seasons back. He is still adored by fans in Sicily but hasnt managed to replicate the same form in Juventus. In an interview taken yesterday the player himself stated that he would love to rejoin the Rossonero.
THT Verdict: Amauri’s form in Juventus has been nothing short of horrendous. He hasnt scored a Serie A goal since February 2010 and lacks confidence in front of goal now. A return to Palermo may reignite his career. It will be a good move for all concerned parties.
14th January, 2011: Mancini expects Santa cruz and Wright-philips to leave soon
With the arrival of Edin Dzeko, Manchester City looks to offload Santa Cruz to his former club Balckburn.
THT Verdict: Roque Santa Cruz was earlier reported to be moving out and he is most likely to do so in the coming few days. joining him out of Manchester City will be Shaun Wright-Philips, who has found it difficult to make the starting line-up on a regular basis. We at THT believe that both of them would move out so as to resurrect their stagnant careers.
14 January, 2011: Potters target Hoffenheim striker Ba.
Reports suggest that Tony Pulis has made an offer for want-away Hoffenheim striker Demba Ba. The Senegalese international has produced wonderful performances this season and wants a piece of the Premier League with Stoke willing to offer 5.9 million pounds.
THT Verdict: Even at that price, it is a gamble for Stoke City. Tony Pulis could have gone for someone who has Premiership experience but is preferring a move for a Bundesliga player. For Demba Ba, his premiership aspirations will be complete and there is no reason not to move from an eighth-placed Bundesliga side to a eleventh-place Premiership side.
14 January, 2011: Stoke City attempt a double swoop
Stoke City are lining up bids for Aston Villa midfielder Curtis Davies and Huddersfield winger Anthony Pilkington. Tony Pulis is willing to offer 2 million pounds for the Villa midfielder, who has spent three months on-loan at Leicester this season.
THT Verdict: Tony Pulis is looking to keep adding to the squad with players that fit his team’s unique style of playing. Both the above-mentioned players fit that category and would love a move to a Premiership side.
14 January, 2011: Santa Cruz set to be loaned to Blackburn Rovers
Roque Santa Cruz is on his way to his old club, Blackburn Rovers, till the end of the season. The Manchester City striker has scored only four goals since joining in 2009 and has not been a favourite of Roberto Mancini.
THT Verdict: Both, Rovers and Santa Cruz, will benefit from this move. Cruz knows all about his old club and should not take time to fit in to the scheme of things. Similarly, Blackburn will look to fully utilize their loan signing because, if on-form, he is better than any of the current strikers at Ewood Park.
14 January, 2011: Blackpool want Ramsey on Loan
One of the stories of the season, newly-promoted club Blackpool, want Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey on loan till the end of the season. Ian Holloway is ready to offer Ramsey first team football at Bloomfield Road.
THT Verdict: This is a very smart move by Blackpool. Adding Ramsey to the squad will benefit the club no end. Due to Ramsey’s lengthy lay-off, Arsene Wenger will not be using his services for top-end games and it will be good for the Welshman to start playing again in the top flight.
14 January, 2011: Another teenager comes under Reds’ scanner?
Former Arsenal academy product and now Blackburn Rovers player John Banton is the latest name to be linked with a move to the Merseyside outfit. The 18 year old youngster plays in the striker position and his tenure at Blackburn Rovers is reportedly becoming sour.
THT Verdict: Given that Liverpool’s policy change allows the club to venture into the market for young talent, the interest in Banton is understood but Comolli is a shrewd person to make business with and he will decide if the price is right. Since Blackburn are now the owners of the player, they will have no qualms in letting go of him. Besides, club owner Anuradha Desai will be looking to bring in few high profile names in the transfer window so selling Banton will not be perceived as a big loss. The question is, does the lad have the kind of talent Liverpool are looking for?
Liverpool have been heavily linked with Chris Adam and Ryan Shawcross for a pssible January move.
THT Verdict: Adam has been in terrific form lately and one of the important reasons behind Blackpool’s relatively good performance this season. The Central Midfielder could add the much needed creativity and balance to Kenny Dalglish’s 4-5-1 system. However, Ian Holloway would be reluctant to sell the skipper, but a bid in the region of $7 million should be good enough to tempt him to Anfield. Shawcross at the moment looks like a difficult deal to be cut in the remaining 15 days. Manchester United has the first right to accept or reject the transfer and Alex Ferguson might not be pleased to lose the Stroke Captain to Liverpool.
Partizan hotshot Radosav Petrovic has attracted interest of Premier League title contenders Manchester United and Totteenham Hotspur.
THT Verdict: Petrovic has impressed a host of clubs with two solid performances against Arsenal in the Champions League clashes. Manchester United are currently lacking a creative personnel in the midfield. Petrovic could be an ideal solution to their midfield woes. As for Tottenham, they already have Van Der Vaart and Modric to play in that role. So, in Petrovic’s perspective, a deal with Manchester United could be more suitable for him. Presence of Serbian star Vidic in United’s rank can urge him to join the Manchester club rather than the club from London.
Sportmediaset.it reports the Italians will revise their plans for the 22-year-old Chilean after having an offer worth €18 million plus the services of Jonathan Biabiany turned down. Massimo Moratti’s club are now hoping to increase their bid to €20million as they put on the convincers, despite Udinese standing firm over future deals. However, Chelsea are also interested in Sanchez, who was recently described by his agent as the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’. Carlo Ancelotti has not made an offer yet, but once he convinces Roman Abramovich to make allowances he will offer €22m to out-muscle Inter.
THT Verdict: For long Chelsea have played a 4-3-3 formation with strikers playing out of position on the wings. They do not have a traditional right winger within their ranks and would do well so sign Sanchez. Not only will he add the spark that has been missing from the Chelsea attack off late but will also keep the other forwards on their toes. For Sanchez, this could move could take his career into the next level.
13th January, 2011: Bastos rejects Juventus move.
Lyon can part with Michel Bastos if they get a good offer. Bastos has reportedly rejected an offer to come to Serie A. Juventus was offering a transfer deal worth around 20 million Euros.
THT Verdict: Bastos would have been an excellent addition to the current Juventus team, even if he is not used as a left-back he could solt in as a left winger. It is not clear if Juventus missed out on him because of offering less money than expected. However, anything more than 20 million Euros would have been too steep for a player like Bastos.
Chelsea are keen to buy Miralem Pjanic from Lyon as long term Lampard replacement.
THT Verdict: Ramires has not yet found his feet in the new league. Playing alongside Ramires has not helped Mikel at all. To top it all, the absence of Lampard spelled doom for Chelsea as their three-men midfield was often ran over by the oppositions. Pjanic has been a long term target of Ancelotti. This could be a very good move for the Londoners who are lacking the creative edge in the middle of the park. Pjanic can eventually replace Lampard in the future as the later is already on the wrong side of 30’s.
12th January, 2011: Manchester United preparing move for £22m rated Brazilian Bale
Man United have shown interest in signing Lyon wing back Michel Bastos.
THT Verdict: Man United’s effort to lure Gareth Bale to Old Trafford has lost its steam. Attack-wise Bastos is probably as good as Bale is and could be good move if United succeeds in bringing him to Old Trafford. The wing back has been prolific for the Ligue 1 outfit and has earned admiration for his attacking display during the world cup.
Reportedly, the Bayern Munich midfielder has snubbed both Manchester City and Tottenham, clubs that were keen to secure his signature and is now close to joining AC Milan.
THT Verdict: Van Bommel, at his age, would not be an asset for the Milan, keeping in mind that they are leading the pack in Italy. Flamini and Boateng have been doing a more than decent job in the middle of the park for Massimilano Allegri’s side. With Gattuso too chipping in with good performances, we at THT believe that this transfer shouldn’t get a green signal from the AC Milan management.
12th January, 2011: Arsenal and Chelsea fighting over Italian defensive stopgap.
It is being reported this morning that both Chelsea and Arsenal are considering making an offer to the former Italian international defender Nicola Legrottaglie.The 6ft1in Juventus centre-back has been at Juventus for 8 years, but after a scintillating first couple of seasons he has mostly been loaned out or used as a back-up for the Italian giants.
THT Verdict: Both Arsenal and Chelsea could do with an addition at the Center Back department. With Vermaelen’s return looking distant Wenger has already hinted for defensive reinforcement. However the question would be whether signing Legorattaglie is an improvement on the already existing options at the club. Both London clubs could possibly look elsewhere for better options.
12th January, 2011: Gabi Milito wants a move out
Gabi Milito has reportedly requested a move out to get more playing time. This news has been acknowledged by both Guardiola and the sporting director Zubizarreta. Malaga seems to be the likely destination.
THT Verdict: Most likely to happen given both the manager and sporting director has acknowledged the transfer request. He is a really good defender but injuries had hindered a regular place in Barca’s backline. Moreover Guardiola’s confidence in Abidal as a Central defender further reduces his first team chances.
12th January, 2011: Liverpool eager to sign Southampton’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
The 17-year old highly-rated Englishman has been linked to a number of clubs, including Arsenal. The 17-year-old son of the former England international Mark Chamberlain has made only 14 starts for the League One club but is regarded by many at Southampton, and Liverpool’s scouting department, as a better prospect than Theo Walcott was at the same age.
THT Verdict: For long Liverpool’s owners have stressed on the need to build a team for the future – now is the time to act on their claims. If they can land Chamberlain by paying £10m for a 17-year old raw talent, nothing would serve as a better statement of intent. However, with Arsenal also in the running and knowing Wenger’s reputation, the kid may have a tough call to make. At Liverpool, he may get into the first team sooner, while Arsenal has a pedigree of developing youngsters into fine footballers.
12th January, 2011: Real Zaragoza interested in signing Manchester City’s Roque Santa Cruz
Zaragoza join Lazio and his former club Blackburn in the race to sign the Paraguayan forward.
THT Verdict: Santa Cruz made a wrong decision when he left Blackburn for City, as he has enduring a long spell on the sidelines. Still he remains a competent striker and do well if a club instills its faith in him. Now he has options to choose from Serie A, La Liga and the Premiership, but his most likely destination looks like Lazio, a club that is fighting it out for the Scudetto as it would appeal more to him.
12th January, 2011: Yakubu moves to Leicester on loan
The Everton striker has moved to the Sven Goran Eriksson-managed club on loan.
THT Verdict: A move to West Ham United, a club which was also interested in acquiring his services would have been better for the Nigerian, but maybe the Eriksson factor convinced him that his future lies with Leicester. It’s a masterstroke on the Swede’s part as the striker would be a potent weapon to have in the armory.
12th January, 2011: Greek starlet on his way to Turin ?
Kostas Fortounis, 18 year old sensation from Greek league is being linked with a move to Juventus. Fourtounis has been impressive for Asteras Tripolis FC – scoring a stunning goal against AEK Athens.
THT Verdict: This deal in unlikely to materialize. Juventus need proven top quality strikers right now. Greek league is not one of the top tier competitions in Europe and the young striker can struggle in Serie A.
12th January, 2011: Juventus tracking Barzagli
Former Palermo centre-back and world cup winner Andrea Barzagli is reportedly on his way to Juventus. Barzagli’s contract in Wolfsburg ends next season. After an impressive start to his Bundesliga career his form has gradually deteriorated.
THT Verdict: In Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini Juve potentially has one of the best centre-back pairings in Europea. Legrottaglie and youngster Sorensen are capable backups. A centre-back must not be Juve’s priority right now, given the teams weakness on both flanks.
11th January, 2011: West Ham want out of favor Wayne Bridge on loan The former Chelsea and England left back, 30, is expected to have a medical at Upton Park today after turning down a similar offer from Aston Villa because he wanted to return to London.
THT Verdict: It’s a good for all parties involved and Bridge has fallen down in the pecking order at Manchester City. West Ham will benefit from Bridge’s experience at the back.
Pienaar was earlier looking destined for Spurs, but Carlo Ancelotti is eager to freshen up his squad and is willing to test Everton’s resistance to a sale. His contract expires in the summer.
THT Verdict: For £3m, this will be a good bargain buy for Chelsea. The South African is a versatile player who is capable of playing on either wing. Such a player can strengthen Chelsea’s injury-ridden squad. As he is out of contract in the summer, Everton may want to cash in on him in this window itself, but may demand more for him.
Harry Redknapp is keen to have Phil Neville in his squad and has reportedly bid for the Everton captain. Beckham’s former team-mate at United has been one of the few players to have handled Gareth Bale well this season and can be a good option at right back for Spurs. It would be interesting to see if Everton are willing to sell their captain or not.
THT Verdict: Neville can be a good option for Spurs as his versatility makes him a good squad player, but Harry would be eying him mainly to be a cover to Alan Hutton at right back. His experience with Manchester United will also be helpful to the Lillywhites as they enter the knock-out stage of the Champions League for the first time.
Daniel Bolotnicoff agent of Diego Forlan has stated the Uruguyan striker can leave Spain for Juventus if he gets a good offer. However, he also stated the fact that there hasnt been any formal interest from Juve.
THT Verdict: Forlan is probably in the peak form of his life and is a proved goal-scorer. However, at his age it will be a risky move if Juve chooses to go for him.
11th January, 2011: Flamengo seals Ronaldinho deal
Ronaldinho, looking for a club outside Milan, has reportedly signed contract with his native club Flamengo. The contract is believed to be a three and a half years one which will see him earning 900,000 dollars every month.
THT Verdict: Ronnie, not signing for an English club is a loss to English football, no doubt, but football at his native land will help Ronnie get back to his national team if he performs ‘brightly’. Out-of-favor at AC Milan, Ronaldinho was heavily linked to Blackburn Rovers too. With the football world cup in Brazil three years from now, Ronaldinho may have just taken the best decision for his career right now.
10th January, 2011: Babel to spearhead Juventus?
Italian giant Juventus is reportedly interested in Ryan Babel. Giuseppe Marotta supposedly sees the Dutchman as the answer to their problems on the left.
THT Verdict: The former Ajax wideman is out of favour at Anfield. It’s doubtful if he’ll wait any further to gain first team berth under Kenny Dalglish. Juventus, the front runners, has stiff competition from other clubs like Hoffenhein and Birmingham. A move to Turin will not only help the Dutchman gain his confidence but also provide impetus to the Juventus frontline. However, whether he’s able to adjust to the more strategic Italian league is debatable. This is one move which, if goes well can do wonders for Juventus. Nonetheless, if it backfires, it can surely ruin their title ambitions.
Birmingham City is once again active. This time they are all set to bag a loan deal for David Bentley. The former Arsenal winger fell out of favour at the White Hart Lane.
THT Verdict: David Bentley is surely an above average player and would be a good prospect for Birmingham City. Bought from Blackburn for £15million, the winger failed to justify the hefty price tag. With the emergence of Lennon he further moved into obscurity. Birmingham will be losing star midfielder Sebastian Larsson and this seems to be a perfect opportunity for Bentley to resurrect his career.
It seems Damien Comolli has taken a U-turn and gone back to Belgian outfit Anderlecht with an initial 15 million pound offer for the teenage sensation Romelu Lukaku.
THT Verdict: There is no doubt that the acquisition of the Belgian starlet is going to strengthen Liverpool’s firepower manifold but with the player’s agent not really favouring a January move, it is unlikely that any bid will be successful enough to materialize. Lukaku has become a highly coveted player across Europe and has already bagged eight caps for Belgium. The likes of Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are also reported to be hot on the heels of the young Anderlecht striker, with Chelsea tracking the player for good 2-3 years now. The player’s dad is adamant that Lukaku moves from Belgium only after completing his school in the summer.
10th January 2011: Coentrao enters Reds’ radar?
Liverpool’s transfer truck might park in Benfica soon as Fabio Coentrao has reportedly interested Comolli and Dalglish. The young Portuguese full back is a versatile player as he can also move up the pitch to play as a winger. Following a successful World Cup campaign, Coentrao’s stocks have risen in the market with Chelsea being the first to show interest.
THT Verdict: Paul Konchesky’s days at Anfield are surely numbered and bringing a new left back into the roster has become more of a necessity than a whim. Fabio is again one of those players who fits well into Comolli’s model of building success around young talent and hence a move for the player seems likely. However, with the dearth of quality, young full backs in the market, Liverpool need to act quickly if they are to bag a deal for Coentrao.
West Brom have been in talks with the Norwegian. Carew will be a out of contract in summer.
THT Verdict: The Norwegian will be available to clubs for free at the end of the season. Having arrived to Aston Villa as an exchange deal with Lyon for Milan Baroš, Villa won’t be too keen to leave the striker for free. However, Heskey’s unavailability is one of the reasons as to why the club cannot go ahead with the deal. West Brom on the other hand would look up to Carew as an ideal partner for Peter Odemwingie.
Real Madrid reportedly looking to Klose as a stop solution for their striking woes. Even Klose has not entirely ruled out a switch to the Spanish giants. There are further rumours that Real have finally stepped in the market for striker after Mourinho’s repeated requests.
THT Verdict: Although the pedigree of Klose is unquestionable, there is a very big stumbling block to this move: Klose is cup tied for UCL. The move is highly unlikely, as Real would want a striker who can play in UCL for them.
Churchill Brothers’ Iranian defender Rouhollah Saivash Samieinia decided to switch loyalty and signed for their arch-rivals Dempo Sports Club on loan today. The fee and terms of the agreement remains undisclosed.
THT Verdict: It’s a good buy for the depleted Dempo defense. Although Dempo is set to welcome Anwar Ali and Mahesh Gawli at the end of this month when they returns from National duty, the duo might be fully exhausted after the year-long training camp and the Asian Cup campaign. With the other national team defender Samir Naik being ruled out for at-least a couple of months, Samienia’s inclusion will certainly boost Dempo’s back line.
Insidefutbol.com says that TSG Hoffenheim right-back Andreas Beck can join Juventus. Beck has impressed in Germany in last few seasons. He will be a free agent new summer but Juve are reprtedly in ahurry to sign him up.THT Verdict: 23 year old Beck will be an excellent signing for Juventus. He is fast, agile and can track back in defence in time. If Juventus do sign him, his combination with Milos Krasic on right wing can be lethal.
Tuttosport reports that Juventus are trying to sign Adrian Mutu from Fiorentina. The 32 year old Romanian has been plagued with problems on and off the the field in last 2 seasons. Mutu has played for Juventus before, moving to Turin from Chelsea in mid 2000s. Rossi is about to sign a new contract at Villarreal, to kim him in Spain till 2013. Should he choose not to renew his contract Juve are prepared to swoop in for him.
THT Verdict: Bringing an ageing Mutu after Luca Toni would be disastrous for Juventus. Mutu has a terrible history of disciplinary problems and can cause unrest in dressing room. Mutu us not a type of player the current Juventus squad needs. Rossi on the other hand would be a brilliant purchase. He is young, skilled and has experience of playing in England, Spain and Italy already.
Harry Redknapp has accepted defeat in his quest to sign David Beckham on loan from LA Galaxy. “I don’t think it’s going to happen, I spoke with the chairman and I think there are big problems with insurance issues and everything.“, said Redknapp.
THT Verdict: Beckham’s move was always questionable given he is certainly past his best playing days, but the move was off on strange grounds as LA Galaxy was keen to insure the player given his injury at Milan when he was there last season on loan. However, Beckham will train with Spurs for a month in order to prepare for the start of the MLS season.
It is not the kind of news Liverpool supporters want to hear but it is rumoured that Real Madrid are interested in signing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard. It is believed that a offer of about 20 million pounds should be enough to price away Stevie from Anfield to the Bernabeu.
THT Verdict: A bid is most likely to come in but it is hard to see one of Liverpool’s most loyal servants walk out to another team. There is no doubt that Jose Mourinho is a big fan of Gerrard and also tried to sign him while he was the manager of Chelsea. The sight of Gerrard and Alonso linking up in midfield is a fearful one and Jose knows better than anybody, the fruits of such a partnership. Moreover, with Kenny Dalglish returning to manage Liverpool, it is preposterous to even think that now of all times, Gerrard would decide to move away.
Chelsea and Spurs are both in the race to sign South African International Steven Pienaar. The South African’s contract expires at the end of the season and Everton is yet to sit with their star player for contract negotiations. Meanwhile, Chelsea, who are in a poor run of form as far as the goals are concerned, needs to bring in a player who can help them at that front.
THT Verdict: It would be a good move for Chelsea and Pienaar, who is looking for one last move before he can settle down in his last 6 years of football. The London giants already have Malouda in that position, so they can use Pienaar as a backup or even replace Ramirez with the African.
Chelsea is interested in a loan move for Ezequiel Garay, the Argentine, who is back to full fitness at The Bernabeu. The West Londoners have a very thin defensive squad as of now, due to a lot of injuries. Garay, who joined Madrid from Santander a year back hasn’t made an impression yet, mostly due to injuries.
THT Verdict: A half season loan move for a 24 year old defender as a backup for Alex and Terry would be an excellent move for Ancelotti. He can play in the cup matches and give the top Chelsea defenders some breather.
Liverpool and Spurs are in a bidding war to attain the services of Uruguayan International Luis Suarez. For Liverpool, it would be a great transfer, a striker who can support Fernando Torres up front and relieve some pressure from Gerrard and Torres as far as goal-scoring duties go.
THT Verdict: It would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool’s new man in charge, Dalgish. Though the signing might be a costly one, it would certainly be worth it, to make sure Liverpool get some European Action in the next season.
Victor Obinna, the Nigerian striker who came on loan to the Hammers, is struggling in the English League. Though Grant would have liked to keep the striker at West Ham, it might not be possible. Italian club, Bologna are planning to make a bid for the striker keeping in mind the possibility of West Ham going down this season.
THT Verdict: If West Ham do get relegated, then it would be a perfect move back to Italy for the Nigerian striker. Even otherwise, the strong frontman, quite aware of football in Italy, would find life easier at Bologna.
West Ham, who are clearly struggling in the league, having failed to score too many goals off-late needs to get a good hitman if they want to stay up this season. If reports are to be believed, they are waiting to steal Jay Bothroyd from Cardiff City. The former Arsenal man is also under the radars of Stoke City and Fulham.
THT Verdict: It would be a great move for the striker as well as for Avram Grant’s team. If Bothroyd wants to play consistently for the England national team, he needs to play at the top division. As for West Ham, they need a good striker and Jay can be their man. A win-win deal!
Many Italian clubs have shown interest in the clearly out-of-favor Mexican at White Hart Lane. Dos Santos, since his move from Barcelona, has hardly settled at North London. Fiorentina, Sampdoria, Lazio and Udinese have expressed interest in the Mexican attacking midfielder. Harry rates him highly and he is probably going to take a call before the end of this window.
THT Verdict: At this age, it is shameful for Dos Santos to play such less football, especially because of the remarkable form he showed in the World Cup, easily the best player for his country. The move to Italy may give him first team action but it might not be the best move for the lad. A move to another mid-table English club or a travel back to Spain would be an ideal choice for Giovani.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp claims he is happy to loan Jonathan Woodgate out to the Championship for the rest of the season. The injury-ravaged centre-half hasn’t played a match for Tottenham in fourteen months and is unlikely to be handed an opportunity this season at the London club. The two likely candidates for Woody’s loan destination are QPR and Leeds.
THT Verdict: This is a good move for all parties concerned. Jonathan Woodgate was considered to be one of the best English centre-backs before injuries dominated his career. He may not be Premiership material right now, but is certainly worth a shot for a lower division team. Woodgate will get more games at either of the two clubs and if his injury luck allows him to, the 30-year old could still resurrect his career.
“Manchester City are playing for first place in the Premier League and that is what I want. Everybody speaks about City having lots of money but it is not about that. It is about ambition. I have spoken to the manager [Roberto] Mancini and he told me: ‘This is the best club for you.’ They have been playing well this season. I have watched them a lot on television. Now the speculation is over and I just want to do my best.” The Bosnian has signed a four and a half year deal and will debut against Wolves next weekend.
THT Verdict: This is a very good move for all the parties involved. Wolfsburg gets the money which they can use to strengthen their squad, Dzeko gets the chance to play in a league which will suit his style of play, and with his addition, City has become more stronger.
The Cottagers have snapped up the former Chelsea midfielder for an undisclosed fee, on a deal which initially runs for six months but extends to 2014 based on these six months.
THT Verdict: Though the midfielder was out of favour at Aston Villa, Sidwell possesses enough talent to make a difference at a struggling Fulham. He is a tireless midfielder who pops up with crucial goals and could turn out to be a wonderful move by Mark Hughes.
Under-fire manager Gerard Houllier continues his attempts to strengthen Aston Villa’s midfield. Cameroon International and Lyon midfielder Jean Makoun is one of Houllier’s leading targets this January and is reportedly evaluated at £7 million. A bidding war with Fenerbahce may up that price.
THT Verdict: Aston Villa were seen as a dynamic club with British talent. Houllier is gradually shifting the core of the club by offloading Steve Sidwell to Fulham and possibly letting Stephen Ireland go as well. THT reckons the strategy will backfire on the Frenchman whose time at Villa will heavily depend on the success of the 27-year old Makoun, especially after a move for Robert Pires was seen as a curious move.
The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder shall join the Blues till the end of the season. The 26-year-old has not been used often by Harry Redknapp this season and suffered a major blow in confidence with the possibility of David Beckham being loaned in.
THT Verdict: Birmingham have made a very smart move in going for Bentley. The move combines a club desperate for creativity in midfield and a player equally desperate to show his employers his forgotten ability. With more reinforcements on the way, the Blues are expected to sort out their scoring problems.
Ligue 1 side Saint Etienne has issued interest to sign Arsenal starlet Gilles Sunu on a six months loan spell.
THT Verdict: As it stands, despite recovering from a serious cartilage injury Sunu has failed to live up to the expectations. Sunu has already spent six months on loan in Derby County in the last term. He needs more playing time to find his confidence level back. This loan deal could present him with the opportunity.
Alvaro Negredo is rumoured to be the next striker on the list of Liverpool’s targets. The Sevilla striker has had an exceptional season so far and has climbed up the pecking order over Brazilian Luis Fabiano. However, one road block that Liverpool could face is the 70 million pound release clause in his contract.
THT Verdict: The Spaniard had also once stated this – “It is logical that I am interested in playing in the Premier League and especially Liverpool.” Hence it is not very surprising that the club have made an enquiry about the player. Negredo is a quality player and will not come cheap. A bid of about 18 million pounds is good enough but Sevilla would surely want to hold out for more for their star striker. His is the kind of addition that the players and fans want to see and if such is the talent coming in, then club, manager, players and even FSG, will be delighted.
Liverpool seem to be taking this January transfer window seriously and as a result, are being linked with a number of players on the table. The latest is 19 year old Davide Santon of Internazionale. Talks have reportedly begun between the two clubs, although Arsenal are also reportedly in the frame. The price of the youngster is expected to be about 10 million pounds.
THT Verdict: The necessity for a full back at the club couldn’t be more evident. Damien’s eyes are now circling all around Europe and Davide Santon coming under the scanner could only be a good thing for Liverpool. At 19, the youngster can play either on the left or right end of defense and this will surely protract the options for the manager.
Despite the player’s interest to return to Spain, Almunia could be offloaded to Turkish giant Galatasaray who have reportedly made an enquiry for the Spaniard and are willing to match the Londoners’ £1.5 million valuation of the out-of-favour goalkeeper and his £50,000-a-week wages.
THT Verdict: Recurring injuries and inconsistent performances have already ensured that Almunia falls behind Fabianski and Szczesny in the pecking order. Fabianski has started in all but one game since Almunia got injured and has done quite well. Almunia’s career at Arsenal has hit the rocks and it would be a good deal for him to get first team football.
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has reportedly made approaches to sign midfielders Sulley Muntari and Stephane Sessegnon on loan for the rest of the season. Bruce has been left short of options in midfield with injuries to Lee Cattermole, Danny Welbeck and David Meyler.
THT Verdict: It will be a really good deal for Sunderland if they are able to get one of these players especially Muntari who has played and done well for Portsmouth in the past. Muntari would also find it easier to settle in the team with compatriots Gyan and Mensah already at the club. PSG’s Sessegnon is also believed to be available despite signing a new contract and could also be a good addition to the squad.
Columbian striker Radamel Falcao has reportedly attracted the interest of Arsene Wenger. The player has already scored 18 goals in 24 matches in this campaign.
THT Verdict: Porto may command a fee in the region of £18 million for their prized asset, and considering Wenger’s austerity and philosophy, he would not spend that much money. Anyway, Arsenal have Chamakh, Van Persie and Bendtner withing their ranks, and unless they have plans of offloading one of them, the move looks highly unlikely.
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp is confident of closing the deal in the near future.
“The clubs are talking and there’s a good chance it will happen, It’s just sorting out the length of the loan and one or two other bits and pieces. It will probably get done.“, Harry said.
THT Verdict: Tottenham’s glamour quotient’s surely going to rise if the iconic Englishman joins them. Spurs have had talks with LA Galaxy and the deal looks impending . During his tenure with the MLS outfit, Becks has had loan spells at AC Milan. After a fabulous start to their UEFA Champions League campaign, if Spurs capture the talismanic Englishman, they will have the almost-perfect amalgamation of youth, talent and experience.
7th January, 2011: Newcastle United to go for Sebastian Larsson.Birmingham has been in the thick of transfer speculations. The most recent being a move by Newcastle for their Swedish midfielder.
THT Verdict: The former Arsenal midfielder signed for Birmingham in 2007 and has been a regular. With almost 150 caps for the Blues, Larsson has made himself an important figure at St.Andrew’s. However, the 25-year old Swede will be out of contract in summer and Birmingham would loathe to allow their star midfielder leave for free. A few top-tier Spanish clubs are supposedly interested in Larsson. Apart from Spain, English clubs like Liverpool, Everton and Blackburn too are interested in acquiring the Swede’s signature. A transfer looks imminent and signed for just £1 million, Larsson will only help the Blues earn a few millions more.
7th January, 2011: Leeds United Confirm Interest In Signing Tottenham’s Jonathan Woodgate On Loan
Simon Grayson has confirmed Leeds United will be interested in the loan signing of Tottenham Hotspur’s Jonathan Woodgate, if the player becomes available.
THT Verdict: Spurs have plenty of cover at the back and when Ledley King comes back they will have even more options. A loan move for the half fit, struggling defender seems likely, though to a certian extent the move depends on the player himself.
7th January, 2011:Chelsea rekindle aspirations for Sergio AgueroThe West London side, currently in its worst run of form in over a decade, are desperately looking to bolster their ageing strike force. Sergio Aguero, who has flirted with a move to the Blues in the past, once again find himself in the spotlight.
THT Verdict: Quite Possible. With the Athletico Madrid striker’s buyout clause dropping from the earlier prohibitive £50 million, Roman Abramovich might be inclined to see even a £38 million purchase of Sergio Aguero as a bargain. That the Argentinian has long held Chelsea’s fancy is common knowledge, but Chelsea have often been priced out of a move thanks to the player’s wage demands. Should it materialize, it will be ironic that it was Aguero’s new contract with his current club that eventually enabled the Blues to snare him.
7th January, 2011:Leicester City interested in Yakubu.Yakubu has had a beleaguered season for Everton. Scoring just once in 14 appearances for the Toffees. The future looks bleak for the Nigerian at Goodison Park.
THT Verdict: The striker is surely an English League veteran. His spells at Portsmouth, Middlesbrough and Everton bear testimony to the fact that the striker has it in him to score in England. West Ham United was interested in securing the striker’s services in summer and Leicester City has now joined the queue. Yakubu signed for Everton in 2007, reportedly for a sum of £11.25 million. Everton surely would’nt want him to sell him at a cheap price. And this might just be the concern for City.
7th January, 2011: Birmingham close in on Robbie Keane.
The Irishman is expected to have a medical in sometime. The out-of-favour striker is expected to bolster Alex McLeish’s teams chances of a decent finish. There were a few potential suitors, however they wanted him on loan and his price tag of £7million proved to be the detractor.
THT Verdict: The Republic of Ireland skipper should be a decent buy for Birmingham. An English League veteran, Keane can still be a handful for many defenses. If Birmingham captures Hleb next season, then the Hleb-Keane partnership is something to be looked up to. However, at an age of 30, a price tag of £7million a bit too much.
7th January, 2011: Toni close to Juventus move
Luca Toni is all set to join Juventus from Genoa, according to Calciomercato.
THT Verdict: Juve are in a striker crisis currently. Iaquinta is out for 3 weeks, Quagliarella got injured in the match against Parma. There are still no updates about his injury but it looked like a bad one and he might miss out for a few months. Amauri’s form has been terrible and Del Piero is not an young man anymore. Juve do need reinforcements but Toni isnt the best option. His goal scoring abilities have dropped considerably in last 2 seasons and he is no longer prolific as he was in 2004-2007 period.
Manchester United have reportedly shown interest in Real Madrid’s out of favour midfielder Lassana Diarra. The Red Devils are considering to make a £14m offer and the former Arsenal & Chelsea man is believed to be keen to make the switch to Old Trafford.
THT Verdict: With the uncertainty surrounding Owen Hargreaves’ possible return to full fitness, Sir Alex may like to add an experienced midfielder to his squad. In that case it makes perfect sense to go for a player like Diarra who has previous experience of playing in the Premiership for two big clubs. However the deal seems to be unlikely at this January transfer window. TheHardTackle reckons, Diarra may have to wait until the summer transfers to make this dream switch.
Nicky Ajose has signed a new contract which will keep him at Manchester United until 2013. Ajose has impressed during the first half of the season at Gigg Lane and has scored six goals in 18 games in all competitions for the Shakers. He has agreed for a loan extension with Bury FC until the end of this campaign and has now been rewarded with a new deal by his parent club Manchester United.
THT Verdict: United boss Sir Alex Ferguson rates this striker very highly and even though there were many offers from several clubs for the services of this young striker, Fergie wants the youngster to continue his development at Old Trafford. It is an excellent decision as far as the player’s development is concerned and the deal is expected to be a profitable long term investment for United.
The Roy Hodgson enigma might still be unsolved but the Reds cannot afford to pause in January and it is rumoured that Damien Commoli is now looking at Athletic Bilbao’s 22 year midfielder Javi Martinez. The young Spanish international has been come under the Liverpool radar before when Rafa Benitez was at the managerial helm and now that interest seems to have been renewed with Commoli’s appointment.
THT Verdict: Recruiting Martinez will be a step taken in the right direction for the club whose midfield lacks depth severly. Christian Poulsen has not really been a value add for the club and the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing to be qualified as back-ups will still take a little more time. Martinez is 22 years old but has earned a great reputation at the Basque club and can possibly bring days reminiscent of the time when Xabi Alonso was at the club.
West Brom have expressed their interest in out of favour Aston Villa striker John Carew. Di Matteo has already failed to get Federicho Macheda on loan and would be keen to get the striker to boost his attack.THT Verdict: It would be a good move for the Baggies as Carew is out of contract in the summer and will be available at a cut-down price. The lanky Norwegian will also provide able support to striker Odemwingie who has been in good form this season.
6th January, 2011: Bolton confirm Carlos Vela Loan Move
Carlos Vela would join Owen Coyle’s men on loan and add the much needed depth to the thread-bare Bolton squad who have plenty of players missing through injury.
THT Verdict: It is an excellent move for the Mexican and a win-win situation as the player and the club goes. Arsene had earlier wanted Vela to move to another Premier League which can promise him maximum playing time. Coyle took Wilshere on loan at the same time last season and matured him into a top premier league player. Wenger would be hoping for a similar outcome with his prized Mexican.
6th January, 2011: Wigan want Liverpool target Eljiro Elia on loan
“There has been an offer from Wigan Athletic, which wanted to hire him for half the season. But will not rush to agree to such things. Apart from that, there have been no offers.” – Hamburg Sporting Director Bastian Reinhardt.
THT Verdict: Elia is very highly rated, and will not be sold for less than £15m. If no team comes up with a good enough offer, Hamburg can send the player out on loan so that he continues to grow. A 5 month stint in England can help the young Dutchman tremendously.
6th January, 2011: Aston Villa sign Kyle Walker on loan from Tottenham Hotspur
After spending the first half of the campaign on loan at Queens Park Rangers, the younger has now moved to Villa Park.
THT Verdict: With Aston Villa’s first choice right-back Luke Young injured, they needed some cover in that position. Moreover, Alan Hutton’s decent performances had restricted Walker’s role at White Hart lane, and playing for Villa in the premiership could prove to be beneficial for him.
6th January, 2011: Malaga want Adebayor on loan
As per reports, Malaga have made an audacious bid to sign Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adabayor on loan after Real Madrid cooled their interest in the striker.
THT Verdict: With Dzeko on his way to the City of Manchester, whatever little chance Adebayor had of first team action is gone. It would be better for him to move to a different club, but whether he can put his ego aside and sign for a relatively smaller club remains to be seen. City would be looking to reclaim some of their money, so a loan move would not be ideal for them. However, for Malaga, if the Spaniards can pull it off, it would be a good move.
6th January, 2011: Stoke and Blackburn in for James Collins
Skysports.com has reported that Blackburn and Stoke City are leading contenders to land Villa’s defender James Collins. Rovers can also give Samba as a part of an exchange deal.
THT Verdict: James Collins would be a good addition to either team especially Blackburn having lost the highly rated youngster Phil Jones to a long term injury.
6th January, 2011: Chelsea in hunt for Christopher Samba
Blues allegedly join Spurs and Fulham in quest for disgruntled Blackburn defender.
THT Verdict: Unlikely to materialize. Christopher Samba would consider himself very lucky to get into the depleted Blues side, but is more likely to end up in Fulham if he does indeed follow through with his threat to leave. Chelsea’s run of bad luck with its recent purchases of bit-players m