The January transfer window is well known for producing surprising last ditch deals. Van der Vaart to Spurs and Robinho to Man City are just two examples. Simon Bunn predicts which could be the transfers to shock the Premiership this time around:
Alvaro Negredo – Southampton
I expect new Southampton boss Pochettino to bring in a couple of quality signings this transfer window. The Argentine manager may look to get over the disappointment of losing out to Liverpool over Philipe Coutinho by going in search of another highly thought of attacking talent. Negredo scores goals for fun in La Liga, having scored 54 times in 122 games for Sevilla. This season the Spaniard has scored 9 times, but his club are in financial strife and looking to cash in on their star players. Pochettino knows the Spanish league inside out and will be looking to please Saints fans still disappointed by the treatment of Nigel Adkins.
Mauro Icardi – Manchester City
The Premier League champion’s will be looking to strengthen their striking options after seeing the volatile Balotelli return to Italy. Many fans maybe expecting ‘Super Mario’s’ departure to pave the way for a high profile name such as Cavani or Falcao, but personally I can’t see either the Uruguayan or Colombian leaving their respective teams halfway through the season. Instead Mancini may be tempted by the latest young talent to burn bright in his homeland, a player once dubbed as the “new Lionel Messi.”
19-year-old Mauro Icardi has been turning heads in Serie A after scoring 4 goals last weekend in Sampdoria’s 6-0 thrashing of Pescara. The young striker also scored 2 goals in a shock win away at Juventus earlier in the season, contributing to the 7 goals that he has scored since November. Inter Milan are hugely interested in the player being fought over by the Argentine and Italian national teams, with Icardi’s agent opening the door for a move by saying, they must "make an excellent offer."ManchesterCity are the type of club that could do just that.
Marko Marin – Fulham
Fulham manager Martin Jol loves signing players from the German league. Marin may not be in Germany any more but it was only last season that he shone there. Fulham need more service for Berbatov, having seen the Bulgarian’s goals dry up. Marin is not getting a look in at Chelsea so may wisely choose to send him out on loan, to gain valuable Premiership experience. A loan move would be ideal for both clubs involved.
Stevan Jovetic – Arsenal
Arsene Wenger recently went on record as saying that he would like to bring another striker to the Emirates. The Frenchman has been a long-term admirer of the talented Montenegrin. Fiorentina recently announced the signing of ex Man Utd striker Giuseppe Rossi so may be willing to sell if the offer was right. Money is not a problem for Arsenal it is just a case of whether Wenger is willing to spend it.
Yoann Gourcuff – Everton
The highly rated French attacking midfielder has been looking for a way out of Lyon for a while now. Gourcuff was most recently linked with a move to Atletico Madrid, but apparently turned down the offer of a loan move, as he is looking for something more permanent. David Moyes is constantly linked with a midfielder that can play in the hole and still hasn’t really replaced Tim Cahill, despite Everton having another impressive season. Gourcuff is repeatedly linked with a move to Arsenal, but something inside me suggests that Everton might surprise many by capturing the playmaker underneath the Londoners noses.
Ricky Van Wolfswinkel – Norwich City
Chris Hughton has publicly declared an interest in several strikers over the last couple of days, most notably Danny Graham, Gary Hooper and Ricky Van Wolfswinkel. If Graham leaves Swansea I believe it will be for Sunderland, and if Celtic’s stubborn resolve over Hooper’s future caves in, then I believe Tottenham will be the successful club in that war. That leaves 23 year old Sporting Lisbon striker Ricky Van Wolfswinkel. It is not necessarily ‘surprising’ that Norwich have declared an interest in Van Wolfswinkel, what would be surprising is if they were successful in bringing a player of his calibre to the club, in what would no doubt be a record transfer fee for the Canaries.
Tom Ince – Aston Villa
A centre back and dominant central midfielder are what Aston Villa really need, but Lerner seems reluctant to part with anymore money this transfer window. However, as Villa continues to fall worryingly into the abyss, the wealthy American may panic in his sleep and wake up Thursday morning ready to invest. Lambert has long been sniffing around Ince and would surely make an offer for him if Lerner gave the go ahead. It’s not what Villa need but would certainly lift disgruntled fans… for all but 8 seconds.
Jack Butland – Southampton
Goalkeeper is a troublesome position for the Saints. Artur Boruc has already had a run-in with Southampton fans, and Paulo Gazzaniga and Kelvin Davis lack any real quality. Pocehttino will be looking to make a statement to fans early into his new role at the club and capturing a talent highly sought after by clubs such as Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea would certainly do that. Butland has already gone on record as saying that he would only move to a team that could offer him first team football. Southampton could do that and they have the money.
Kaka – Queens Park Rangers
Harry Redknapp is a master of the January ‘surprise transfer,’ with a shady eye for footballing geniuses. Tony Fernandes is an owner willing to do more than most to bring Arry’s targets to Loftus Road, no matter how “unrealistic.” Kaka is a player in need of playing time, especially with the World Cup in Brazil not far around the corner. He will also have been encouraged by Brazil boss, ‘Big Phil’ Scolari’s, recent recall of Ronaldinho into the national team set up. There is no doubt that Kaka could still play for a top European club, but no one seems able to pay his wages. QPR on the offer hand throw money at ageing “Champions League players” This isn’t as unfeasible as some may think, that is if Redknapp mentions the name ‘Kaka’ to Tony Fernandes, with the Brazilian so far failing to clinch a move he desires to AC Milan.
Will any of these come off? Let us know your predictions...
image: © Jan Solo