Monday, December 31, 2012
The January transfer window creaks open tomorrow and here we take a look at some of the big deals that could go through in the Premier League next month.
Walcott’s name seemed conspicuous by its absence when Arsenal announced in December that five of their young British players had signed new deals with the club. Talks between the 23-year-old England forward, whose contract runs out next summer, and the Gunners have been “ongoing” and manager Arsene Wenger maintains Walcott will not be sold in January. But the London outfit have been forced to cash in on some major stars in recent years and Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea are thought to be monitoring the situation.
With the £7million release clause in Ba’s contract becoming active again in January, the Senegal striker is once more being linked with a move away from Newcastle, with Chelsea having held initial discussions with his representatives. Magpies boss Alan Pardew is confident the player wants to stay but admits the clause leaves the possibility of his departure open. And, while it looks as if Arsenal have ruled themselves out of the race, QPR and Paris St Germain are among the clubs said to be interested in addition to Chelsea.
Although Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has denied there is any rift between him and the striker, Bent’s future would appear to lie away from the midlands club. The England international - recruited from Sunderland by Gerard Houllier two years ago in what remains a record deal for Villa - has fallen out of favour under Lambert and was being left out of the team even though fully fit before he sustained a hamstring injury in early December. Fulham, QPR and Stoke have been mentioned as potential destinations.
The completion of Sturridge’s transfer from Chelsea to Liverpool looks to be imminent, with the 23-year-old England forward having now reportedly undergone a medical.
As well as Sturridge, Liverpool are also believed to want England Under-21 international Ince, who left the Merseyside club in 2011 after coming through their youth ranks. The 20-year-old winger - son of former Reds midfielder Paul Ince - departed Anfield to join Blackpool and has risen to prominence since with a string of eye-catching performances.