Wheeling and Dealing

5 players that could be on the move this month

January is a notoriously difficult time to buy but many teams still have needs to satisfy.

THE MONTH OF madness is already underway. Expect lots of rumour, gossip and inaccuracies as teams scramble to survive or battle to achieve their ambitions.

As much as some less high-profile players tend to move in January, there are also big names that get impatient and seek pastures new.

So, without further ado, here are five names we think could feature prominently over the coming weeks.

Edinson Cavani

The PSG project appears to be coming apart at the seams. Yes, the Ligue Un title race is tight but the Parisians are three points off the pace and lie in third, behind Lyon and leaders Marseille.

It’s hardly a disaster but given the level of investment, it’s nowhere near good enough. There have also been rumblings of player discontent with Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi linked with moves elsewhere. The Uruguayan has scored just seven times so far (the Argentine has contributed just two goals) and both have been overshadowed by the consistency of less high-profile players like Lucas Moura.

France Champions League Soccer Francois Mori Francois Mori

Any potential deal for the 27 year-old striker would be expensive and his current contract with PSG doesn’t expire until the summer of 2018. But, he turns 28 in February and his price will only diminish should his struggles in the French capital continue. His personal management and current employers will only be too aware and will desperately want to cash in sooner rather than later.

Potential buyers: Chelsea, Tottenham.

Moussa Sissoko

Alan Pardew desperately wanted to bring a new striker to Newcastle in the January window but, as is the way at the club, he was told that he’d have to balance the books by allowing another player leave.

Sissoko, an energetic box-to-box midfielder, is the club’s most prized asset at the moment. He’s managed just two league goals this season but he’s a consistent performer and relishes the physicality of the top-flight.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Newcastle United v Queens Park Rangers - St James' Park Steve Drew Steve Drew

With Pardew’s departure, whoever arrives as the club’s new manager will also recognize the need for a fresh attacker. Papiss Cisse has still managed nine top-flight goals so far despite having to make do with impact appearances from the bench while Ayoze Perez has enjoyed a remarkable start to his Newcastle career.

So, should the new man in charge persist with the same faces, Sissoko is likely to stay in the North East until the summertime. However, if goals are prioritised, the Frenchman could be made available and if that happens, plenty of teams will fight to secure his signature.

Potential buyers: Arsenal, West Ham.   

Fabian Schar

At 23, the centre-back has been on the radar of a number of clubs for a while. A composed defender, he’s been with Basel since 2012 and he’s already won back-to-back Swiss league titles and appeared at the World Cup.

With his club being so dominant domestically, Schar has played at the highest level of European football in recent seasons and is currently preparing for a round of 16 Champions League tie with Porto.

Soccer - UEFA Europa League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Tottenham Hotspur v FC Basel - White Hart Lane EMPICS Sport EMPICS Sport

He’s great in the air and a constant threat from set-pieces. Well-built, he’s not easily brushed off the ball and is a commanding figure at the heart of a defence. Under Paolo Sousa’s management, he’s learned to play the game in a more technical way and that only heightens the likelihood of him swapping Switzerland for a club like Arsenal or Liverpool.

As much as a player like Mats Hummels is the number one defensive target for a handful of clubs, Schar is a cut-price alternative.

Potential buyers: Arsenal, Liverpool.

Andre Ayew

The 25 year-old can play as a winger or through the middle and is out of contract with Marseille this summer.

Starting out as a trainee with the French club, he’s progressed through the ranks and has been an important ingredient over the last four years particularly.

France Soccer League One AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

There’s been speculation regarding a move elsewhere because Marseille haven’t come to an agreement with him on a new deal yet and he’s free to talk to other clubs from this month.

For any top-flight side needing a lift or a spark from somewhere, Ayew can certainly provide it. It was a weird and troublesome World Cup for Ghana but he did his reputation no harm by scoring a superb header in the group-stage clash with Germany.

The issue with a possible move this month is his unavailability until mid-February because of Africa Nations Cup duty. As a result, he may tee up a summer transfer instead but it would still represent some nice business for a certain calibre of Premier League outfit.

Potential buyers: Everton, Newcastle.

Jermain Defoe

The veteran striker’s time in North America has been disastrous. Arriving at Toronto FC last March, he scored plenty of goals in his debut season but it was overshadowed by injury problems and the club’s failure to reach the play-offs.

Throughout his time in the city, Defoe has been at the centre of intense speculation surrounding a probable return to the Premier League with well-known admirer Harry Redknapp lavishing praise on his former player recently. But, QPR may not have the money to bring Defoe back to London. Not even twelve months into a 4-year deal with Toronto, Defoe reportedly cost the franchise $10m and they’ll look to recoup a similar amount from any sale.

Jermain Defoe, Ryan Mason Darren Calabrese Darren Calabrese

The new MLS season doesn’t get underway until March so the ‘will-he/won’t he’ will probably prove a troublesome headache for Toronto over the next few weeks. Ultimately, (though it will be hugely embarrassing given the mass publicity Defoe’s signing attracted), TFC may just want to cut ties and move on.

There remains the possibility of a loan deal (similar to Robbie Keane’s brief stint at Aston Villa in 2012) that would mean Defoe staying in England until the end of February before returning to Canada.

Potential buyers: Hull City, QPR.

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