The January transfer window has officially opened and the rumours are flying high but some are destined to remain just rumours…
1) Karim Benzema to Arsenal
Arsenal need a new striker and Real Madrid have fallen out of love with the 26-year-old France striker but, for starters, I can’t see Arsene Wenger spending upwards of £25 million after breaking the club’s transfer record in the summer to sign his former teammate Mesut Ozil.
The next reason is that it wouldn’t make much practical sense for Benzema to join the Gunners in January only to sit behind his competition at international level Olivier Giroud in the pecking order, especially ahead of the World Cup this summer.
Finally, big deals are difficult to do in January because no one wants to lose quality players with the season still in progress and I think Real Madrid will be unlikely to be able to tie up a world class replacement along the lines of Luis Suarez or Radamel Falcao in such a short space of time. I can’t see them letting Benzema go now but, of all the deals on this list, I think this one could yet go ahead after the World Cup.
2) Juan Mata to Manchester United or Liverpool
Whilst it would be the stuff of dreams for David Moyes or Brendan Rodgers, I can’t see any way that Jose Mourinho is going to let the Spanish playmaker strengthen Chelsea’s direct domestic rivals whilst the season is still ongoing.
I think Mata is highly likely to be on his way out of Stamford Bridge in January but I would expect him to move abroad to Paris Saint-Germain or perhaps back to his native Spain or even Italy – there is no chance he will move to another Premier League club at this stage in my humble opinion.
3) Javier Hernandez to Tottenham
For much the same reason as above, I don’t fancy David Moyes to let a top striker go (even if he is out of favour) to a direct domestic rival, especially with the fitness struggles of both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney of late. Hernandez’ agent has also insisted the player is happy at Old Trafford and that’s where I expect he’ll remain although I wouldn’t be surprised to see him hand in transfer request come the end of the season.
4) Leighton Baines to Manchester United
I’m going to go out on a limb and say I expect Everton to hand on to the England fullback – we saw United and former Blues boss Moyes test the Toffees resolve all summer long for Baines but to no avail and I think Everton will maintain their stance that’s he is going nowhere – at least until the summer. With his contract entering its final year in the summer, United will have a better chance then, I reckon and unless they’re prepared to pay way way way over the odds for a 29-year-old fullback, I can’t see the Blues changing their position on the matter.
5) Julian Draxler to Arsenal
This rumour has been doing the rounds for months on end and it’s easy to see why – the youngster is a top top player and Schalke may well find it hard to convince him his future resides there and with Arsene Wenger’s track record of signing top youngsters and nurturing them at the Emirates, it would have made perfect sense. Except for the fact Wenger broke the club’s transfer record this summer to bring in his Germany elder Mesut Ozil to join an already star-studded Gunners midfield that has absolutely no requirement for another winger or attacking midfielder. Arsenal need a striker and a center back and Draxler is neither of those things.