I remember when the January transfer window first came to football. Forgive me if I can’t remember the exact year but I remember FIFA decided that it was a good idea to help all the small clubs hold onto their top players for larger parts of a season. Nobody could have predicted the level of insanity and inflated pricing that it would have brought, but now January is a special time for football fans; almost like Christmas in the footballing world. Especially the last two days where we see all the panic buys, prompting many of us to ask why managers didn’t use the previous 30 days available to them – but that would be silly wouldn’t it? Just about every team in the Championship could arguably do with strengthening in the first month of the year and it will be interesting to see who is welcomed to the league and who we will be saying goodbye to:
Mark Robbins has done a fine job so far but his biggest desire will most likely be a striker and Billy Sharp has been one of the names thrown around. Sheffield United may well want return him from his loan at Doncaster so they can cash in, but expect Yorkshire rivals to try all they can told hold onto their top player this season. Barnsley have agreed to extend the loan deals of Stoke players Ryan Shotton and Carl Dickinson so Robbins will be delighted that have those players as options. As far as departures, no major players have been rumoured to be leaving the club so watch this space.
How much ambition does the Blackpool board have? Playoff contenders Blackpool have surprised many this season but they still have a lot of work to do. They’ve already supposedly failed to sign Roman Torres and there’s been and Holloway has admitted that players will only be coming in if they have the right character. No offers have come in for their players yet, but few would be surprised if some clubs tested the Seasider’s resolve on in form midfielder Charlie Adam; a player who has been a joy to watch all season.
Not to look too much into anyones personal life but does anyone else think there was a heated Christmas affair at the Johnson household? Lee Johnson, son of Robbins manager Gary Johnson, has left the club for the injury struck Derby, on an original one-month loan deal; guess it wasn’t a Merry Christmas for all of us. The club is currently in a defensive crisis, so City fans should expect Christian Ribeiro to return to the club from his loan spell at Stockport. Targets have been discussed this week, but Johnson will no doubt be disappointed to learn that he must fund himself this month by selling players first.
Peter Ridsdale will become the most unpopular chairman in the country for a second time if he is lying about the club’s potential administration possibility, but Cardiff do need to strengthen their team if they want to keep up with those around them. Fabian Delph is thought to be high on Dave Jones’ list, as a midfielder appears to be the priority for this month. Villa don’t seem keen on loaning out young star Delph but there is no doubt that Cardiff will enquire and if they can bag the player in on loan it could allow another player to come in at the same time as Jones has been promisd £3 million to spend. Bristol Rovers star Chris Lines has also been touted, a player who’s contract is up at the end of the season; the right bid may be too good to turn down as Rovers will not want to risk losing him for nothing. An unusually quiet window in terms of rumours for Joe Ledley may be explained by new kid on the block Adam Matthews, who is courting interest from big teams such as Manchester United and Arsenal. Let’s see if the Bluebirds can hold on.
It’s common practice for English clubs to raid the Irish leagues these days, and Coventry have moved quickly to snap up Gary Deegan. Richard Woods and Chris Hussey have made their loan moves permanent, business Chris Coleman is delighted with and their is a move in the pipe line for league one stand out Carl Baker who has impressed many this season. It certainly appears as if Coleman is doing all he can to fight off the relegation threat to the club and we may even expect more new arrivals at the Ricoh arena. Coleman will not be happy however to hear that Sunderland have an eye on goalkeeper Kieran Westwood and the club must do everything in their power to keep one of the leagues top goalkeepers.
Will any money be spent? No. Palace have struggled to find the green stuff this season and a team that was already quite inexperienced may get even more so by the end of the window. Palace are even in danger of losing their manager Neil Warnock as he eyes up the chance to manage league counterparts Sheffield Wednesday. You must have been living under a rock if you haven’t heard the name Victor Moses linked with just about every club above Palace in the country and Palace have certainly shown they aren’t going to be pushed over despite their monetary problems as they’ve set an asking price of £5 million. Expect more stories about players going out this month as opposed to players coming in.
Derby need new faces fast. They’ve been hit so badly with injuries that Nigel Clough has struggled to get a consistent team together that understands how they play. An ambitious side that would be appealing to any player really, a striker is top of their list. Michael Symes, James Vaughan and Fredrik Stoor are all on Clough’s radar as the Rams look to get someone quality up front. Danny Buijs of Ado Den Haag was keen on a move to the club but this may have fallen through due to his clubs reluctance to loan him out. Recently fit again Kris Commons is attracting interest from the Premiership, Wolves have their eye on the talented midfielder.
There’s not much coming out of Donny at the moment. Billy Sharp has recently won PFA player of the month and the Keepmoat outfit will be hoping that Sheffield United don’t exercise their option to recall the front man. A rumoured move for Daniel Cousin seems unlikely, especially considering that QPR are in advanced talks with the player. Martin Woods has been making some eye catching performances this season and the club will be trying to fend off the likes of Cardiff and Middlesbrough this month so they can hold onto him.
Roy Keane has already spent quite a lot of money as manager of Ipswich and results on the pitch have not reflected this. Giovanni Dos Santos is wanted by the tractor boys once again and may well be one of a few signings coming in this month unless players move out. Tamas Priskin has been a flop since his £1.7m move and may well be heading towards the exit door this month and could well pave the way for Derby striker Rob Hulse.
If Nigel Pearson had plans at the start season for this transfer window then he may well want to throw them out of the window and reassess. City are another admirer of Chris Lines and will be part of a bidding war for him. A bizarre move for Edgar Davids may materialise as well, chairman Milan Mandaric has spoken of his admiration of the former Dutch international recently; paying his wages may be another issue though (maybe he has another with all that tax dodging he’s been up to). Top scorer Matt Fryatt has been watched by Wigan recently and Pearson will not fancy losing him.
Kris Boyd would be a huge capture for the troubled North East side and Boro are certainly considering that avenue due to Rangers current financial difficulties. Signs would suggest that Strachan is keen to utilise his knowledge of the Scottish leagues, as his former players Gary Caldwell and Scott McDonald have both been suggested as Boro arrivals. In any case expect many arrivals for the short-handed side as Didier Digard prepares to depart the Riverside.
Chris Hughton has got money available to him and Jermaine Beckford seems more and more likely to join the Geordies after recently handing in another transfer request. A defender is also a desire for the Toon, but don’t expect Matthew Killgallon to move to the North East, the defender has now committed to Sheffield United until the end of the season. Former Ballon D’or nominee (that’s right) Geremi made a little unannounced detour on his way to Angola to meet up with potential new club Ankaragucu. Although they haven’t actually agreed anything with Newcastle the Turkish side still decided to throw the confetti and a party for the player; talk about confidence!
Could anyone really play their way into this in form side? Forrest fans will be hoping that Billy Davies can make some signings as to maintain their promotion push and former England international Nicky Shorey is their first priority. It’s been highly reported for a while that the club has an interest in Tottenham’s Gareth Bale but this may be quite unlikely as it is unknown what Harry Redknapp wants to do with the player. Swindon’s Charlie Austin could be a more likely transfer although this is a light rumour as of now. There has been little interest from any clubs so far in Forrest players.
Another non-league player comes in (surprise Posh fans!) Josh Simpson. Aldershot’s Marvin Morgan has been attracting interest, although this may seem unlikely now the club has captured Reuben Reid from West Brom. Izale McLeod is the subject of interest from the Posh, but they face interest from Scottish Premier League side Hearts. The traditional round of Joe Lewis leaving rumours have begun already, particularly after Barry Fry told Harry Redknapp he had first option on the player – Redknapp later telling everyone. Good one Barry.
So far for Plymouth its been more a case of who’s leaving this month. However, the green army could be tempted to bring back out of favour Hull player Peter Halmosi. It is a bit unknown who new boss Paul Mariner is after, as the club have seen defenders Kirsztan Timar and Marcel Seip both leave already and Steven MacLean is more than likely on his way out too. Tough times on the south coast.
Preston North End:
Darren Ferguson returns to the Championship almost instantly and has taken the reigns at the famous outfit of Preston North End. If you’ve read Daniel Cragg’s post on this site then I don’t need to tell you that there isn’t a lot of money for Preston, but changes need to be made. Neil Collins has joined on a permanent deal already but due to Ferguson’s arrival being so recent its hard to tell who he wants to bring in at this time. Sorry Preston fans!
Queens Park Rangers:
Signings galore for the London outfit? You wouldn’t be wrong. The team has already apparently agreed a deal for Daniel Cousin who will join up after the African Cup Of Nations and the club also has apparently made an enquiry about the well-travelled Amdy Faye. Markus Jonsson of AIK in Sweden is also hoping for a move to England and QPR may well be his outlet to fulfil that ambition. Adel Taarabt may return to Tottenham unfortunately for QPR, but the player has his heart set on staying with Rangers.
Gunnar Thorvaldsson has become another member of the ever-growing Icelandic contingent at Reading but apart from that there are few players being linked with the club due to their lack of a manager. Reading have managed to hold onto Simon Church after he signed a new deal with the club and they also harbour an ambition that Gylfi Sigurdsson can continue his impressive displays with Reading as opposed to someone else.
Craig Dawson of Rochdale is a player Nigel Adkins would dearly love at his disposal, but Rochdale seem adamant he is going nowhere. Scunthorpe seem to see Rochdale as somewhat of a market stall this January if you believe their interest in striker Chris O’Grady. Michael Raynes seems a very likely arrival for the Irons, the Stockport defenders contract is up in the summer and his club are likely to want to make some sort of profit on him. George Friend has been recalled by Wolves, meaning the Irons only have one left back at the club, so that position is likely to be Adkins priority.
Due to Matthew Killgallons apparent commitment to the club, Kevin Blackwell is unlikely to have the money he thought he would this window. Richard Creswell has come in from Stoke already but former loanee Greg Halford will not be returning to the club as he wants to battle for his place at Wolves. As mentioned above, Marcel Seip has joined on loan for the rest of the season and it may not be the end of the dealings for a heavily injury struck squad.
The club is looking to the future, as ten Australian players are currently on trial with the club. Tom Soares has extended his loan deal but the most prominent potential transfer for Wednesday at the moment is their managerial position. As mentioned above, Neil Warnock is interested in the job and is the bookies favourite to get the job.
Could Paulo Sousa, the manager, leave Swansea this January? Burnley have an eye on the talented Portuguese gaffer but the Swans want to hold on. Lee Trundle has extended his loan deal at the club, much to the fans delight and the club may be in the market for another striker to solve their goal shyness. Kevin Phillips, Vincent Pericard and Tamas Priskin have all been linked with the club, so watch this space. The club will also be doing everything they can to hold onto Andrea Orlandi as a few scouts have been watching him over the past few weeks.
Your guess is as good as mine? Probably nothing will be happening this month as Malky Mackay wants to keep all his players, particularly Scott Roach and the threat of administration means there will be few arrivals for the hornets.
West Bromwich Albion:
Ishmael Miller is almost back from injury and will feel like a new signing upon his return and it remains to be seen whether or not the club can meet Crystal Palace’s valuation of Victor Moses. Gabriel Tamas has joined on loan from Auxerre and brings a wealth of experience with him. Marcus Haber may also be on his way in, while Robert Koren is expected to be shipped out of the Hawthorns as the Albion have a wealth of depth at their disposal.