This week we cover the shifting landscape that is the European Winter Transfer Market. Let the Silly Season commence!
Spain: Real Madrid were always going to look for a quality sub for Iker Casillas either in this window or in the Summer, but with a hand injury that threatens to ruin his season, the club need much more than a back-up for the Spanish international. Julio Cesar of Queen? Park Rangers has a history with Mou from his time at Inter. It makes the most sense from the merengue point of view. Not sure if QPR would say the same. Barcelona are also looking for a keeper with Victor Valdes on the outs. Former team-mate Pepe Reina is keen on returning. The club have also categorically denied that they will sell part-time starter and Spain legend David Villa in this window.
Italy: the market in Spain is depressed and has been for years. It is a seller´s market on the Iberian peninsula and there can be no greater example of the changing fortunes of the respective European Leagues than Athletic Bilbao losing a player like Fernando Llorente to Juventus.The Old Lady gets the quality target-man they needed and Athletic remove a nasty distraction that has infected their entire season. At Milan, negotiations continue for the potential signingts of want-away forwards Kaka and Mario Balotelli. Neither parent club wants to give the pair-away and cash-strapped Berlusconi wants sweet-heart deals all around, so expect no movement this window.
England: Southampton´s new manager Mauricio Pochettino has been on the job a week already already and he´s faced something that he saw few times at Espanyol: a January window where he actually bought a player or two. Inter´s midfielder Phillipe Coutinho is a possibility and the club have bid competitively but the player prefers a move to Liverpool. Either way he is an inventive player. Manchester United on the other hand have finished the signing of winger Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace. Chelsea continue to be turned down by all target (Pep Guardiola, Falcao, etc.) and Arsenal as usual will buy no one at all after dozens of false-rumors come down the pipeline.