It’s the last few days of the January transfer window and several clubs still have much to do. Many face the likely situation of overpaying for players simply out of desperation as clubs and managers look to safe guard their futures. Historically the last three days of the window are its busiest which given the activity up until now indicates that we are in for quite a ride. Already Manchester United and Chelsea have flexed their respective financial muscles with players arriving for considerable sums. David Moyers has had a torrid time in his first season in charge at Old Trafford but he is looking to change his fortunes by investing heavily this month. Already in the door is Spanish winger Juan Mata for a record 37million. The former Chelsea player fell out of favour under Jose Mourinho despite being the clubs player of the year two years running. His departure to United was with a heavy heart but done to protect his position within Spain’s world cup squad. Mata adds creativity to a United squad that has been so far starved of it and living off if the scraps created by youngster Adnan Januzaj its unlikely that Mata will be the only arrival with targets across Europe identified. Any of Leighton Baines, Luke Shaw, Diego Costa, Toni Kroos and Marco Reus could arrive at Old Trafford before Friday’s deadline. All however will come at a hefty cost but with United in peril, the club needs to spend big to avoid slipping further down the table.
Chelsea have been quick to reinvest the money raised from Mata’s sale bringing in to new midfielders, Benfica’s Nemanja Matic for a cool £21m and Basel’s Mohamed Salah for £11m. Chelsea remain net positive this window as they have let Michael Essien join AC Milan whilst Belgian outcast Kevin De Bruyne has joined Wolfsburg for £16.7m. Mourinho knows that he needs to strengthen at the back with Luke Shaw and St Etienne powerhouse Kurt Zouma both rumoured to be high on his list. Their arrival could be the final nail in the coffin for long serving duo John Terry and Ashley Cole, who have both been unimpressive since Mourinho returned to the Bridge. Despite Samuel Eto’o finding his shooting boots in recent games, Mourinho is also on the lookout for a striker with Radamel Falcao and Diego Costa in his scopes. Both front men would give Chelsea the powerful striker that they desperately need, with Fernando Torres likely to be used in part exchange for any deal that would take place.
Across the city, Arsene Wenger is holding his cards very close to his chest. Despite being heavily linked with Schalke wonder kid Julian Draxler and Lyon star Yoann Gourcuff, Wenger has resisted temptation to go public with his admiration, insisting that he is happy with his current squad and any arrivals would be a bonus. One player he has gone public about however is Newcastle’s French maestro Yohan Cabaye. The midfielder has been in stunning form for the Geordies this season, and Pardew is keen to keep the player at the club at least until the summer. He has a tight grip round Cabaye but could be forced to let go if a suitable bid is made to Mike Ashley. The controversial owner is a businessman through and through and holds no sentimentality to the players at his club always insisting that everyone has their price. Cabaye’s would be around £25m, although an offer in the region of £21m may be enough to tempt Newcastle. A replacement has already been identified in Remy Cabella whilst Lyon’s Clement Grenier also presents an option. Pardew has his own shopping list and is actively chasing Borussia Monchengladbach striker Luuk De Jong as he tries to strength his front line. The move should be pushed through and financed by the sale of misfiring front man Papa Cisse to either Besiktas or Russian side Rubin Kazan. Another front man arriving ahead of schedule is Bafétimbi Gomis who has been on Newcastle’s radar for some time. The move was likely to go through this summer when Gomis became a free transfer but with Inter Milan now in the hunt, Pardew may have to move quickly to avoid missing out.
One club not holding back is Cardiff under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Moves for Fabio and Wilfred Zaha have been secured whilst a swap deal will see Kenwyne Jones move from Stoke with Peter Odemwingie going in the other direction. West Ham are also desperate to strength with Leeds Ross McCormick top of their list. AC Milan duo Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino have already landed at Upton Park but Big Sam needs to bring in more bodies at the back if he is to steer the club away from the relegation zone. With less than a week left, there is still plenty of time for deals to happen. With Everton, Southampton and Tottenham quiet so far in the window, expect fireworks when they make their late charge to nab the players they need for the remainder of the season.