Ah, the New Year. A chance to get a fresh start on the world, unless you’re in the middle of the season, like most of the European-based leagues. Teams do have a chance to shore up some of their weaknesses, as the transfer window opened at the beginning of 2015. Some clubs have already struck deals early, simply waiting for the window to open to announce their new additions. Others are currently in talks, with players set to make moves all over Europe. We are going to highlight a few of the major announcements that have hit the headlines.
Basically Done Deals
Gerrard made the somewhat unsurprising announcement that he would be leaving Liverpool at the end of the season to eliminate the distraction of rumors for the club. After a little speculation, it has been announced that Gerrard will be heading to the USA and the MLS. While no team is officially set yet, it seems the LA Galaxy will position themselves to snag the English midfielder. Since he will be a Designated Player, the Galaxy will most likely have to trade up in the allocation rankings to lay claim to Gerrard. Other teams with Designated Player spots opening up to land Gerrard might be the NY Red Bulls or Toronto FC.
Frank Lampard – sort of
The curious case of Frank Lampard came to a head on New Years Day. We all know that Lampard was heading to the US to play in the MLS and was only at Manchester City to help his fitness right? Wrong. Lampard has helped lift City into a tie for first in the Premier League, leading the ownership group to keep him in England until the end of the Premier League season. Lampard’s contract with the MLS has been brought into question, and certainly will muddy the picture of what was supposed to be a shining reveal of the new NYCFC club.
Fernando Torres/Alessio Cerci
Atletico Madrid and AC Milan will be swapping these players on loan deals. Both players had struggled to fit in with their new clubs, and it seems both players are happy to return to familiar surroundings. Each player only had 1 goal with their previous club, playing 10 and 9 matches, respectively. All in all, this seems like a win-win for all parties involved.
It has been known for some time that Podolski was not happy with with his current status at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. The 29-year old German international has publicly announced his displeasure with lack of playing time, stating a move might be best for him. Along came Inter Milan, and all signs point to Podolski heading for Italy on a loan deal at least until the end of the season. His future may be in question, but for this season at least, he is set to feature for Roberto Mancini and the Nerazurri.
Most Likely Gone, but Where?
Brazilian goalkeeper Neto has announced that he will not extend his contract with Serie A club Fiorentina, opening the door for plenty of clubs who are looking for a first-rate shot stopper. We have no clue where he will end up, but the floodgates have been opened with this announcement.
Oh Mario, where are you headed now? Balotelli has failed to impress in his first season at Liverpool, and manager Brendan Rogers has said that the “Balotelli experiment” was done. It seems the club is willing to take a hit when it comes to money to offload the Italian striker off of their roster. Considering that he has been successful in Serie A, we are predicting the Italian league as the likely destination for the controversial goalscorer.
We don’t know where it went wrong between Defoe and the MLS, but we do know that it is indeed wrong. The English striker never seemed settled in Toronto and will likely be making a move back across the pond. Multiple lower tier Premier League sides have expressed interest, along with former club Tottenham. We really don’t expect him to be in the MLS when the season begins.
A Matter of Numbers
The Tottenham goalkeeper has not publicly announced that he is ready to leave the club, but rumours suggest he would like to go to a consistent Champions League team. He has helped revive a Spurs side who recently upended Chelsea, so he may change his mind. Either way, reports indicate that the club are open to listening to offers of 25 million pounds or more. We find it unlikely that he moves, but there have been bigger surprises in the past.
The Galastaray midfielder has had plenty of interest in him, and it seems that a price has been set by the club. Sneijder’s agent has said that it would take a 20 million euro bid to gain the services of the midfielder, with Juventus showing major interest. He is cup tied to Galastaray for the Champions League, which might limit his potential suitors.
Certainly Interest, but Nothing Yet
Kevin De Bruyne
The Belgian winger has had a lot of interest since joining VfL Wolfsburg, and we may see the player headed elsewhere. He is part of Belgium’s new golden generation and is only 23, giving clubs plenty of potential. Considering he was at Chelsea already, De Bruyne may be hesitant to head to another big club.
The young Swiss international has expressed his discontent at Bayern Munich and is actively seeking a transfer. Plenty of clubs have expressed interest in Shaqiri, but Liverpool and Inter Milan seem to stand out as the leaders. We are not sure which club Shaqiri will end up at, but it is likely that it is not Bayern Munich.
This has been in the works for some time. Reus has a 25 million euro release clause that can be activated this year. Unfortunately, it will not kick in until the summer, so a January move for the Dortmund man is improbable. It seems he is likely to move in the summer, but the question is where?
The Crazy Longshot
Gareth Bale/Angel Di Maria
We call this a crazy longshot because, well, that’s what it is. Manchester United have reportedly offered more than what Real Madrid paid for the winger, but that is what allegedly happened last time. The only wrinkle is the fact that Manchester United have Di Maria, a player who Cristiano Ronaldo has specifically mentioned he would like to play with. A crazy swap is possible for the two players, but not likely.