One of the interesting things about the January transfer window is that it usually includes a lot of big names, but hardly any major transfers. Out of the big names that will be rumored to join new clubs, like Juan Mata, Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa and Mario Balotelli, it won’t be much of a surprise to see that everyone stays put.
Why does that happen? Well, first there’s the Champions League and other European competition restrictions that sometimes stop a team from signing this player or the others. Clubs that are doing well aren’t that much in a hurry to make an expensive change they might not feel too happy about come summer, and in general teams takes less of a risk in the middle of the season unless they’re really desperate.
However, it won’t stop the rumors from swirling, and at least some of these players will find themselves a new team, so it’s good to do your homework.
Juan Mata, Chelsea: The Spanish attacking midfielder has went from being the best player on the team to a member on the bench who hardly has place in Mourinho’s system. Mata isn’t happy and will try to push his way out of the club this coming month, with Barcelona, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid, PSG, Napoli, Juventus and Inter all showing varied levels of interest in him.
Nemanja Matic, Benfica: The fantastic Serbian defensive midfielder with a cannon for his left foot has been mostly mentioned with Chelsea for the last six months, but Liverpool, Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund have also been mentioned as suitors for the 25-year old.
Kevin de Bruyne, Chelsea: When the season began, it seemed like the young Belgian player was going to have himself a breakthrough season under Mourinho. However, the Portuguse manager hasn’t refrained from criticizing the 22-year old in public, which has sparked an interest in him among teams in the Bundesliga like Wolfsburg, Werder Bremen and Dortmund, while also Ajax and Anderlecht seem keen on getting him, at least on a short term loan if not for longer.
Mario Balotelli, AC Milan: The terrible form of his club and his continuing behavior problems keep Balotelli as someone who might find himself a new place to play at any day, with Milan thinking about trying to make money off of him before things get any worse. The only club that’s been mentioned as slightly interested have been Chelsea.
Koke, Atletico Madrid: Atletico Madrid are joint leaders of the Spanish La Liga, and Koke’s play has been a very big part in it. The young winger has 3 goals and 10 assists this season, which obviously attracts the bigger sharks in the water. Bayern Munich, Manchester United, Chelsea and even Liverpool have all shown certain levels of interest.
Bafetimbi Gomis, Lyon: Gomis isn’t getting any younger (28), and the French striker isn’t leading Lyon back to where they used to be, despite scoring 9 goals in all competitions so far this season. Crystal Palace seem to be the only Premier League team interested in him, while Wolfsburg, Shakhtar Donetsk and Fiorentina have also been sniffing around.
Shinji Kagawa, Manchester United: Kagawa is either misused or not good enough to star for Manchester United. In any case, his standing at the club isn’t great, and there’s a chance that a big offer will convince David Moyes to sell him, with Kagawa eager for some more consistent playing time. Dortmund would love to have him back, while Wolfsburg, Galatasaray and Fenerbahce have also shown some interest.
Antoine Griezmann, Real Sociedad: Since coming back from injury the young French forward hasn’t stopped scoring, currently at 11 goals in 15 league matches. Manchester United, Arsenal and Schalke seem to be quite keen on signing him.
Javier Hernandez, Manchester United: Into his fourth season with the club, Chichartio has only one league goal this season in 11 matches, getting to start only four times and usually coming on for less than 10 minutes. He’d love to find himself a team that plays him regularly, and Valencia, Galatasaray, Inter, AS Roma and Tottenham are willing to add him.
Demba Ba, Chelsea: With Chelsea quite likely to add another striker, someone of their trio will have to make room. The likeliest option is Demba Ba, scoring only one league goal in 8 appearances so far this season. Newcastle are interested in bringing him back, but Inter, Roma and Besiktas have all put themselves in line to sign him.
Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund: Lewandowski wants to play only for one team: Bayern Munich. However, instead of leaving for free this summer, Dortmund drifting away from their championship dream might cause them to sell the Polish player, who is now having another fallout with the club.