El Centrocampista


The countdown to Christmas can mean only one thing for football fans – the January transfer window will soon be upon us!

And although mid-season spending in La Liga may not be as extravagant as the English Premier League, it does provide an opportunity for clubs to strengthen for that final title push or alternatively, that dreaded relegation battle.

With the financial fair play regulations looming ominously ahead, it is expected that many La Liga clubs will once again be looking to spend well within their means this January.

Despite this cautious approach however, history doesn’t necessarily dictate that this transfer window will be a dull affair and one that will be lacking major talking points.

Last January saw Emanuel Adebayor move on loan from Manchester City to Real Madrid in a deal which took many in both England and Spain by surprise. But after five goals in 14 games for the ‘Galaticos’ it is hard to argue that bringing the Togo striker wasn’t a masterstroke by manager Jose Mourinho.

Barcelona remained relatively quiet – with Ibrahim Affelay the sole arrival at the Nou Camp – while the biggest transfer of the window was Atletico Madrid’s seven million pound capture of Elias from Corinthians.

That deal perfectly highlighted the dangers of panic buying in January however. Six months down the line, the 26-year-old Brazilian was deemed surplus to requirements at the Vicente Calderon and moved on to Sporting Club de Portugal.

While the transfer window may have come under scrutiny from many people in the game, it does ensure a month of hectic activity and excitement, which is mainly fuelled by the media, to help dampen those post-Christmas blues.

The build-up to this year’s transfer window has been no different, with tabloids from all over Europe filling their column inches with speculation surrounding players from around the globe.

Real Madrid are reported to be interested in signing Tottenham Hotspur full back Kyle Walker in a deal that would be worth around the £20 million mark.

Walker is already an England international, and Jose Mourinho is said to have been keeping tabs on the 21-year-old’s development for a while now.

French radio station RMC claim Valencia are considering a bid for Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud. Having picked up his first international cap for France last month, Giroud is in sparkling form this season with 11 goals in 14 games for the Ligue 1 side.

It could be that Valencia coach Unai Emery is looking to the 6ft 3 inch striker as a perfect partner for Roberto Soldado. He could well be joined at the Mestalla by Gregory Van der Wiel.

The Dutchman’s agent has already spoken of Valencia’s interest.

On his way out of La Liga could be Barcelona B striker Jonathon Soriano who has a whole host of Premier League clubs queuing up for his signature.

Depending on whom you believe, Soriano could be swapping Cataluña for Wigan, QPR or Swansea this January. With all three of those clubs likely to be fighting for relegation at the end of the season, Soriano’s fine goal scoring record – albeit in the reserves – could be crucial.

Excitement has gown on Merseyside after reports emerged that David Villa could be persuaded to move to Anfield in the near future. This however, must be perhaps the most ludicrous transfer stories in recent months with the chances of the SPanish international moving to a club without Champions League football slim.

Add to this recent comments by the player that he is enjoying life at Barcelona and Liverpool fans shouldn’t be asking Santa for ‘Villa’ Liverpool shirts this Christmas.

Elsewhere, cash rich Malaga have emerged as favourites to sign QPR’s Adel Taarabt, Napoli’s Edinson Cavani has put a whole host of clubs on red alert with comments that he wants to play in La Liga one day, Roma are in talks to prise Nilmar away from Villarreal, Chelsea are believed to be looking at Malaga’s Santi Cazorla as Villas Boas tries to be rebuild his squad, and finally Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are said to be monitoring Wigan’s Hugo Rodallega.

Not bad for our first look at possible coming and goings next month – you can bet your bottom dollar (or euro) there will be a whole lot more to fill these spaces over the next few weeks…

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