Tuesday, February 20, 2024

English Premier League: January transfer window

LIVERPOOL
Budget: Probably sell to buy. Owners George Gillett and Tom Hicks are struggling to find the money to build a new stadium and they may feel they have pushed the boat out far enough.
January previous: Manager Rafael Benitez prefers to do his business in the summer but he has spent in January before. He splashed out £6.3m on Real Madrid’s Fernando Morientes in 2005 and brought in Javier Mascherano on loan two years later.
What they need: Two quality full-backs would be beneficial. Alvaro Arbeloa is unconvincing, while Andrea Dossena and Phillip Degan have failed to get to grips with the Premier League. A striker in the target-man mould would appear to be a priority. Liverpool might also like to add quality on the right side.
Who they might buy: Wigan’s Emile Heskey has been strongly linked to the club but he was hardly Anfield’s most popular figure in his first spell at the club and this may be regarded as a retrograde step. Portsmouth’s Glen Johnson might be an outside bet for the right-back slot.
Who they might sell: Liverpool would love to cash in on Jermaine Pennant – a poor purchase by Benitez and who has never fulfilled his potential. Yossi Benayoun might also be in the market if Benitez can strike the right deal, either cash or exchange. There are a variety of peripheral figures in the squad but there is hardly a queue of potential purchasers.

CHELSEA
Budget: Will be determined by whether they sell. If the right player comes along money could be made available.
January previous: Chelsea tend not to be overly active in January, although they bucked that trend last season by signing Nicolas Anelka, Branislav Ivanovic and Franco di Santo for a combined £27m.
What they need: The club want to keep activity to a minimum but if manager Luiz Felipe Scolari gets his way, he is likely to sign a forward and a defender. “Chelsea need a striker because their reliance on Anelka is becoming painful,”. “Michael Essien has a long-term injury but I can’t imagine them signing a midfield replacement as they would have done in the past.”
Who they might buy: On the striker front, Tuncay (Middlesbrough) and Amr Zaki (Wigan) could be pursued, while rumours surrounding a move for Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg) persist.
Wagner Love (CSKA Moscow) and Luis Fabiano (Sevilla) are also realistic options, while the Blues have reportedly agreed a £4m deal for 21-year-old SC Braga striker Orlando Sa. “Michael Owen would give Chelsea something different,” . “And they may be the only club who can afford his wage demands.”
Who they might sell: Alex reportedly demanded a move away from Stamford Bridge but Scolari insists the centre-back is staying. Ivanovic has been linked with Inter Milan, Manchester City are said to be tracking Wayne Bridge, Ben Sahar could join Utrecht and Scott Sinclair is set for another loan move.

MANCHESTER UNITED
Budget: £20m
January previous: Sir Alex Ferguson generally avoids doing business in January – his only significant permanent signings were Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic arriving in 2006 – and both took time to settle in. He is capable of springing a surprise, however. Remember when Henrik Larsson joined on loan in 2007?
What they need: How do you improve a squad that won the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup in 2008? Midfielder Owen Hargreaves is out for the season but United have plenty of cover in that position.
Who they might buy: The big talking point is whether on-loan striker Carlos Tevez will be signed permanently, given his struggle to get in the starting line-up on a regular basis. The club have been in talks with Partizan Belgrade winger Zoran Tosic and have also been linked with another youngster in Axel Witsel (Standard Liege).
Who they might sell: Foster needs first-team football to enhance his England prospects and, with his future still uncertain, Tevez has been linked with Arsenal and Manchester City.
ARSENAL
Budget: £20-30m
January previous: A mixed bag. In 2006 Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger signed Emmanuel Adebayor, Abou Diaby and Theo Walcott for a combined £14m. Two years previously he spent an initial £10.5m to bring in Jose Antonio Reyes from Sevilla.
What they need: A central midfielder and a domineering centre-half – particularly if William Gallas is sold.
Who they might buy: Midfielders Xabi Alonso and Yaya Toure have again been linked with the club, as has Zenit St Petersburg’s Andrei Arshavin. Former Gunners defender Matthew Upson, Brede Hangeland, Philippe Mexes, Giorgio Chiellini and Steven Mouyokolo could be options to bolster the centre of defence.
Who they might sell: Questions marks surround the futures of Gallas, Kolo Toure,Emmanuel Eboue and Nicklas Bendtner. A number of younger players such as Gavin Hoyte, Kieran Gibbs and Jay Simpson are set for loan spells in the Championship and Godwin believes midfielder Alex Song might go out on loan, while Philippe Senderos, on loan at AC Milan, could leave permanently.

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