[Transfer window open. Here is a list compiled of some possible
transfers this month. See if you agree with their predictions]
LONDON (Reuters) - Following is an overview of who will be buying and
who will be selling during the January transfer window in Europe's top
The top English premier league clubs are expected to make a few
long-term purchases, while the rest will be dipping into the market for
free transfers and loan deals.
Alex Ferguson should have money to burn after Manchester United sold
midfielders David Beckham and Juan Sebastian Veron pre-season for a
combined 40 million pounds ($70.6 million) and then extended their
sponsorship by mobile phone company Vodafone in a deal worth 36 million
pounds. The eight-month ban handed out to Rio Ferdinand could lead to
the search for a central defender, while United skipper Roy Keane has
called publicly for a new striker and an offer for Fulham's Louis Saha
has already been turned down.
Having spent 111 million pounds in the close season, Chelsea's new
billionaire owner Roman Abramovich is unlikely to let his check book lie
dormant next month.
Having reportedly had a bid for Arsenal striker Thierry Henry turned
down, Chelsea are expected to be in the market for a big-name striker
and a central defender.
Arsenal have been keeping a low profile, with manager Arsene Wenger
denying any imminent purchases. "At the moment I am not in the market at
all," said the Frenchman before Christmas. The cautious note reflects
Arsenal's continuing efforts to complete the financing of a planned new
stadium at Ashburton Grove.
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ITALY Parma's financial troubles threaten to dominate transfer dealings
in Serie A, with the collapse of the club's parent company Parmalat
leaving them urgently needing to offload players in an attempt to slash
their wage bill and reduce a debt of almost 40 million euros.
Japanese midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata will be the first to leave when his
transfer on loan to Bologna is made official on Tuesday.
The club's prize asset -- 22-year-old Brazilian striker Adriano -- is
expected to sign for Inter Milan later this week, though he could stay
at Parma until June as part of the deal.
Parma also own some of the most talented young players in Italy's top
flight, many of whom could be cherry-picked by Serie A's richest teams.
Italian champions Juventus have expressed an interest in the Italy
under-21 team pairing of right-back Daniele Bonera and striker Alberto
Gilardino, while Parma's Italian international defender Matteo Ferrari
has been targeted by AC Milan and Lazio.
Serie A leaders AS Roma, meanwhile, are unlikely to make major additions
to their squad, although they could release Greek defender Traianos
Dellas in exchange for Siena's Roberto Taddei.
Lazio coach Roberto Mancini is searching for a striker with Claudio
Lopez, Simone Inzaghi and Roberto Muzzi injured. Reggina's Stefano
Dall'Acqua is rumored to be Mancini's first choice.
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The winter transfer market in Spain has effectively ground to a halt as
the vast majority of the heavily indebted clubs continue to tighten
their belts in the wake of the economic downturn.
The only major signing to date is Villarreal's purchase of the highly
rated young Argentine midfielder Sebastian Battaglia from Boca Juniors
in a deal worth a reported $3 million that was concluded back in
Any further dealings are only likely to come from clubs who see the
danger of relegation as a more serious financial threat than that of
using valuable resources on new players.
Struggling Espanyol briefly flirted with the chance of signing Rivaldo
after his release from AC Milan, but the Brazilian did not appear to
relish the prospect of taking part in what is likely to be a messy
relegation dog-fight with the Catalan side.
Barcelona, who posted a deficit of some $186 million last season, are
hoping to find buyers for former first choice goalkeeper Roberto Bonano
and striker Dani, neither of whom figure in the plans of new coach Frank
Despite the club's disappointing ninth place in the league president
Joan Laporta has effectively ruled out any purchases during the winter
Arch-rivals Real Madrid may have attracted criticism for their shaky
defense, but they see little need of reinforcements for the rest of the
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The most high-profile transfer in the Bundesliga could be that of
Germany striker Miroslav Klose who has said he may leave Kaiserslautern
during the winter break.
Heading the hunt for the 25-year-old appear to be league leaders Werder
Bremen, who are set to lose Brazilian Ailton to Schalke 04 at the end of
Kaiserslautern sold the transfer rights to Klose last year to escape
financial collapse, but would pocket money if a deal over five million
euros was agreed.
Bayern Munich have made few noises about any transfers, hoping instead
that Germany midfielder Sebastian Deisler, being treated for depression,
can return in the new year.
VfB Stuttgart, the other German club still in contention in Europe, say
they need to strengthen to compete with the best.
"We need more quality to be able to compete at the top, that is in the
Champions League and the championship," said coach Felix Magath, who
could target Rapid Vienna midfielder Steffen Hofmann.
Borussia Dortmund, the 1997 European champions, have a huge injury list
but exits from the Champions League and the UEFA Cup mean their finances
may not allow them to spend.
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FRANCE Paris-St. Germain, third in the table, and Olympique Marseille,
who are having a nightmare season, have already said they will be
looking to bring in new players during the winter break.
Marseille, 15 points off the title pace, are desperate to find a
playmaker in midfield to create more chances for their strike force of
Didier Drogba and Ahmed Mido and there has been media talk of
discussions with Rivaldo.
A more likely choice would be Olympique Lyon's Eric Carriere or Vikash
Dhorasoo, one of whom is surplus to requirements at the champions who,
like leaders Monaco, are not expected to be buyers when the transfer
Marseille will definitely bring in France goalkeeper Fabien Barthez from
Manchester United but the man he replaces, Vedran Runje, appears
determined to stay at Marseille.
PSG manager Vahid Halilhodzic says he will have to have new faces,
partly because of the African Nations Cup early next year which will
leave him with just 14 outfield players.
Halilhodzic wants two midfielders and a striker, but they will have to
be on loan because of the club's financial position. One target could be
Racing Strasbourg's defensive midfielder Christian Bassila, who is also
being watched by Everton.
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