The transfer window slammed shut this month but January is only just around the corner and there are already murmurs of unhappiness, insecurity and potential moves emerging across the continent.
Strikers are strange breed – their egos are the fuel for their success but are also their Achilles heel – they are extremely sensitive to change in their environment.
1) Radamel Falcao
Reports have emerged that the Colombian striker is already disillusioned with his move to Monaco earlier this summer and could perhaps be eyeing a quit exit from the Ligue 1 outfit. If he was suddenly available, the 26-year-old would surely have no shortage of suitors but they would have to be extremely affluent suitors to take on his sky-high wage demands, never mind his transfer fee.
2) Fernando Llorente
Another reported discontent is the 28-year-old Spaniard who only just arrived at Italian champions Juventus. With a World Cup just around the corner, Llorente will be looking for regular first-team football and he may not necessarily get what he bargained for at the Old Lady.
Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea could be interested for reasons outlined below.
3) Luis Suarez
After stamping his feet and throwing his toys out the pram at Anfield this summer, the Uruguayan remains at Liverpool who refused to sanction a move to direct English rival (Arsenal) but if a big offer came in from, for example, Real Madrid that met the Merseysiders’ valuation of him, I suspect they’d grant him his wish to abscond, despite his contract which runs until 2018.
4) Robert Lewandowski
One striker whose contract expires a little sooner – imminently in fact – is this 23-year-old Pole who, like his Uruguayan equivalent, tried to engineer a move out of Borussia Dortmund this summer.
The club refused to allow him to move to Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich, despite his tantrum-throwing but with his contract up next summer, I suspect an offer from Manchester United, Chelsea, or Manchester City might just do the trick in January – if he’d agree to go instead of signing for Bayern on a free in the summer.
5) Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Meanwhile, over at PSG, Mr Ego himself might not be all that enthused by the arrival of Edinson Cavani at the Parc des Princes this summer. The Swede is one of the most nomadic players in the world and he may go in search of pastures new if he feels even the slightest hint of insecurity over his status at the French champions.
Manchester United, Manchester City, and Chelsea would likely be interested should they get a whiff of unhappiness from his agent. A reunion with Jose Mourinho could be just the ego-boost he needs.
6) Demba Ba
Speaking of which – Chelsea almost allowed Demba Ba to go out on loan to Arsenal on deadline day but Mourinho blocked the switch due to the arrival of Mesut Ozil at the Emirates. However, should another offer from a non-rival club come in for the Senegal international, I suspect the Blues would let him go, due to the arrival of Samuel Eto’o at Stamford Bridge.
7) Fernando Torres
Much the same fate could befall this stalling Spaniard who may fear for his place in the national team. With his eyes on the World Cup, Torres may look to move on from his frustrating and unfulfilling spell with the Blues who would likely prefer to sell him that loan him, given they’ll be looking to recoup at least a small part of their £50 million outlay in January 2011.
Interested parties could be Napoli where he could reunite with Rafa Benitez or perhaps Barcelona, former club Athletico Madrid, possibly Liverpool in the event that Suarez was sold.
8) Bafetimbi Gomis
This 28-year-old France international’s contract is expiring next summer and given his fine form last season or Lyon (20 goals and 8 assists) I’m sure he’d have his fair share of suitors. The club will be reluctant to see him leave on a free transfer in the summer.
Potentially Newcastle could re-ignite their interest in him if he can agree to lower his wage demands, Arsenal could be another option and perhaps even an unexpected outsider like Fulham, Swansea or Tottenham could present themselves.
9) Hugo Almeida
The Portuguese striker’s current deal runs out next summer and, at 29, he’s still got gas left in the tank. For not too much of an outlay, current club Besiktas could let him go and, given his current form (5 goals in 5 games) he wouldn’t be a bad choice for a Premier League side.
10) Nicklas Bendtner
This Arsenal outcast has traipsed around Europe looking for a club to take him – the self-styled best striker in the world was close to a move to Crystal Palace on deadline day but Arsenal’s failure to sign Ba from Chelsea meant the Gunners blocked the switch.
I suspect he’ll be offloaded in January if and when Arsenal sign a replacement which was clearly their intention before the window closed, mostly due to their reluctance to continue playing his £52,000 a week in wages - so much so they're willing to pay him off if he would just go already.
Obviously, Crystal Palace would be the obvious suitors but I wouldn't rule out renewed interest from Hamburg, Malaga and Hull - perhaps even Celtic, given that Georgios Samaras' contract expires next summer.
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