The transfer window is open, so let the speculation begin. Let the money exchange hands. Let the manic month of dealings begin!
To kick us off, here are 5 players I’d expect to be at new clubs come the close of the window.
5. JOLEON LESCOTT
The 31-year-old Joleon Lescott is being eyed up by clubs both in England and abroad after Manuel Pellegrini gave the green light on a potential loan deal which could turn into a permanent transfer.
The once £22m signing has only made eight appearances in the league this season, with Tottenham Hotspur, Monaco, Besiktas and Newcastle all said to be keeping tabs on the defender.
4. STEVEN TAYLOR
Looking certain to leave Newcastle is 27-year-old Steven Taylor, who is keen to get his career back on track. The central defender hasn’t featured since his red card against Manchester City in the first league match of the season.
According to his agent, the former England Under-21 has his eye on a loan spell away from St James’ Park in a bid to regain match fitness. Willie McKay, Taylor’s agent, said he is “frustrated” at the lack of game time under Alan Pardew.
Taylor would be a good acquisition for a lower table Premier League side where he would be guaranteed a starting place, such as Crystal Palace.
3. WILFRIED ZAHA
Wilfried Zaha, the last signing of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United, has thus far failed to live up to the £15 million pound billing. However, much of this can be attributed to a lack of opportunities.
Having only made two league appearances this term for David Moyes, the winger may well be on his way out on a loan deal until the end of the season. Hopefully, this will allow him to find his feet in the Premier League.
Naturally, Crystal Palace could be an option for the youngster, but Newcastle and Cardiff City are thought to be interested. With newly-appointed Bluebirds manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, don’t be surprised to see the Manchester United link come into effect.
2. JUAN MATA
I’m pretty sure I speak for the majority of the footballing world in saying that Juan Mata deserves to be playing week-in-week-out, something that isn’t happening at Chelsea.
For one reason or another the Spaniard is finding life under new boss Jose Mourinho tough and game time hard to come by. Despite being voted the Chelsea Player of the Year for the previous two seasons, the midfielder looks set for a move away from Stamford Bridge.
Mata was left furious having been substituted in the 53rd minute of the recent 3-0 victory over Southampton, with the midfielder refusing to shake Mourinho’s hand and he was visibly annoyed when sitting on the bench.
A host of clubs will be queuing up to sign the star with Paris Saint-Germain at the front, but will David Moyes be tempted to put a bid in for Mata? Or more importantly, will the Blues sell to a rival club?
1. SHANE LONG
Shane Long looked all but certain to start the current Premier League season with Hull City, having arrived at the club’s training ground in the final hour of the window ahead of a proposed move. However, the Baggies pulled the plug on the deal at the final hurdle, leaving the striker in limbo with regards to his future.
The West Brom man has scored two goals in his 12 outings this season for the club including a superb brace against Aston Villa.
Steve Bruce and Hull remain keen on the 26-year-old, but they will no doubt face competition from other clubs. The likes of Newcastle and, if reports are to be believed, Tottenham Hotspur could be among the interested clubs. With the Irish international out of contract in the summer, a move in the January transfer window seems inevitable.