Just seven days into the New Year, football fans are excited about the prospect of bringing in reinforcements to help them for the remainder of the season. In the Premier League, clubs at either end of the table are hoping to hold onto their key players while finding new faces who can add a much-needed extra dimension to get them over the line. What does the transfer window have in store and could a number of Irish players be on the move?
In a World Cup year, the necessity for some players to move clubs is more pressing than usual, whether it’s because of a lack of first-team football or due to the need for a club where they can showcase their talents. One player who falls into the former category is Juan Mata, who is seemingly surplus to requirements at Chelsea. The Spain playmaker has been linked to all manner of big clubs.
One in, one out
Should Mata go, possibly to Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea will look to spend whatever they receive and more on a much-needed striker. Radamel Falcao, currently with Monaco, could find that any changes to taxation in the principality may help to persuade him to move to Stamford Bridge, where he will be the main man up front.
Current league leaders Arsenal are apparently in the market for Newcastle United’s France playmaker Yohan Cabaye, who may want to move to a Champions League team. PSG and Manchester United are also rumoured to be interested in his signature this month. It’s unlikely Cabaye will leave Tyneside though, as his current club are in European contention themselves.
Irish gems on big clubs’ radars
One more surprising target for the major players in the title race this month could be Everton and Republic of Ireland wingback Seamus Coleman. This season, Coleman has had a starring role with the Toffees, helping them to fifth place. With six goals to his name, his talents have allegedly caught the eye of Arsenal and Manchester United; at the Gunners, he could replace unsettled Bacary Sagna.
At the other end of the league, Coleman’s international teammate Shane Long has endured a frustrating first half of the season with West Bromwich Albion. The striker saw a move to Hull City collapse in the summer and faces stiff competition for a starting place at the Hawthorns. Hull are apparently still interested, although they aren’t alone in wanting the former Reading ace.
Championship promotion challengers Nottingham Forest and Queens Park Rangers, both of whom need reinforcements up front to help them get back into the top flight, are also keen. They may have to stump up in excess of £6m to get their man though, putting Hull at an advantage.
Someone who could cost considerably less is tricky winger Aiden McGeady, who is apparently not wanted by current employers Spartak Moscow. His relationship with manager Valery Karpin is strained to say the least, while his contract is due to expire this summer. The likes of Everton may look to take on the ex-Celtic star, who has said he would love to play in England.