Although it’s impossible to accurately predict which players will be joining what clubs and when, people will always have a good go at it regardless. Whether they be a whisper in the grapevine or a signed and sealed deal, here are the Top 20 Premier League transfers that could go through this January.
20. Nicolas Anelka
To officially get our Top 20 expected January transfer chart underway, we’ll start with something which is exactly that; official.
After finding himself spending an escalating amount of time on the sidelines, clubs from across Europe were being linked with a move for ex-Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City striker in the hopes of gaining his signature in the New Year.
However, it was a side from outside the continent that won the race as Shanghai Shenhua agreed a fee and personal terms with the Frenchman.
Like so many veterans before him, the 32 year-old saw the Asian switch as an ideal pension plan, despite the amount of interest from some of Europe’s biggest leagues.
Anelka is expected to join up with the rest of his newest teammates on January 1st when the journeyman begins another frontier in what has been a magnificently illustrious playing career.
19. Wayne Bridge
Another ‘oldie’ who could be on the move is Manchester City left-back and more than part-time fringe player, Wayne Bridge.
Although still far from ancient, the 31 year-old has had a difficult last two years and has failed to match the standards that he set before himself during his time at Chelsea.
The left-back returned to first-team action last year when he was loaned out to West Ham, and could be ready to return to London with Arsenal currently suffering from a full-back shortage.
Bridge is understandably out of the long-term plans of Roberto Mancini with Aleksandar Kolarov, ex-Gunner Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta to contend with.
Arsene Wenger faces a dilemma of his own but not the kind he’d appreciate. Whilst his Manchester City counterpart has too many players to choose from, the Frenchman is unable to field an experienced natural left-back with Andre Santos and Keiran Gibbs both on the injury list.
Although his wages are astronomical, one can see the logic in the short-term proposal.
While he may no longer have the speed he once possessed, Bridge is a seasoned full-back with a over 300 Premier League appearances to his name.
The ex-Chelsea defender would jump at the chance of first-team football, and the proposition of starting for 4th placed Arsenal only makes the deal all the sweeter.
18. Salomon Kalou
Shifting the focus back to Stamford bridge is another attacker who looks to be heading for the exit.
With the inspiring form of Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata to compete with, Salomon Kalou is one forward hoping to revive his career with a move away from the West London outfit.
Having only made eight appearances for the Blues this season, it doesn’t seem as if the Ivorian international is a long-term fixture in the plans of Andre Villas-Boas.
As a result, the 26 year-old feels that his talents may be more appreciated elsewhere, with several Italian sides said to be circling.
Juventus, AC Milan and Napoli are three teams apparently interest in the attacker but Arsenal may not be ready to let Kalou leave the Premier League just yet.
After losing Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri over the summer, the Gunners have certainly lost some of the attacking flair showcased over recent seasons.
Although the North Londoners signed Yossi Benayoun and Mikel Arteta in deadline day deals, the duo haven’t exactly replaced the departed maestros and Arsene Wenger looks ready to dip back into the transfer market to find some January flair.
Kalou has shown his potential for goal-scoring over the last five years but will feel that he hasn’t received ample chances to use his skill by new boss Villas-Boas.
The Ivorian has stated his readiness to leave the club if not played more regularly, and Arsenal may snap up a bargain if the Blues are as prepared to sell.
At a valuation of £10m, the striker isn’t dirt cheap but could be a valuable squad member to provide backup to the tireless efforts of captain Robin van Persie.
17. Florent Malouda
Another player who could be on his way out of the Bridge, Florent Malouda finds himself sinking in a similar boat to the aforementioned Salomon Kalou.
The French international has made only nine Premier League appearances for Chelsea this campaign and has also announced his plans to leave the club if not played more regularly by Andre Villas-Boas.
The winger’s contract runs out in six months’ time and is unlikely to sign a long-term contract extension at the age of 31.
Although he has enjoyed his time at Stamford Bridge, the Frenchman is understood to be in search of a three-year deal that will see him stay with the London club until after the 2014 World Cup, but is bound to come up empty-handed.
Instead of losing the attacker on a free in the summer, Roman Abramovich is probably likely to want a return on some of his investment and sell Malouda in the January transfer window to fund some moves of his own.
Arsenal pop up again when mentioning the sale of Malouda, who is desperate to return to Chelsea starting XI.
Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh both look set to leave the Emirates Stadium in the near future, meaning space and cash could be freed up to finance the estimated £8m purchase of Malouda.
Paris Saint-Germain is another likely destination for Malouda, who may be eager to link back up with former manager, Carlo Ancelotti.
16. Papiss Demba Cisse
In what has been a huge year of development for the striker, Papiss Demba Cisse was on the lips of many fans and managers for the majority of 2010 and 2011.
The Freiburg hitman has scored 39 goals in 65 appearances for the German outfit and was the second highest goalscorer in in the 2010-11 Bundesliga season.
As a result, a mountain of transfer speculation mounted over the summer but failed to materialize with Tottenham, Sunderland and Newcastle all being linked with the star.
However, as the club find themselves rock-bottom of the Bundesliga, Freiburg may once again open up to losing their goal machine with the same clubs reviving their interest for a January move.
Sunderland and Tottenham both have ample reason to go for another attacker. The Black Cats haven’t got a star attacker in their side and are being associated with several strikers while Tottenham are relying heavily upon Emmanuel Adebayor for their attacking efforts.
Spurs look to have the £14m necessary to purchase the star too with Harry Redknapp stating in December that the North Londoners are ready to make a ‘major signing’ in January as they look to cement their place in the Premier League’s Champions League places.
Newcastle United boss, Alan Pardew, stated last month that the club were unlikely to go for a forward in the winter transfer window following the collapse of the Modibo Maiga transfer, however stranger things than a manager going back on his word have happened.