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Transfer Deadline: Five players likely to make a last-minute move

January 28, 2013 By Mike Goncalves
With deadline day quickly approaching, managers are preparing to make last ditch bids to secure some new signings.

Deadline day has to be one of the most interesting days in the world of football. Whether it is the August transfer deadline or January, football fans look forward to seeing if their favorite club will bring in any new faces.

For some, it is a day to celebrate some new signings, while for others, it is a day to ask questions of their clubs management.

Thursday will bring us some very interesting final hours in the transfer window, with many clubs waiting for the last minute to make some improved bids.


Mario Balotelli (AC Milan)


More often than not, when you hear about Mario Balotelli in the news, it is because he is up to no good. From his constant run-ins with manager Roberto Mancini to his occasional problems with his pre-match bib, Balotelli can not seem to get himself out of the media, although he does not really help his own cause. 

After all the issues he has had on any club he has represented, you would think most clubs would be very nervous when it comes to potentially signing the Italian International, but AC Milan seems to be prepared to take the chance. 

It has been rumored that the Italian side is very interested in signing Balotelli, which comes as a surprise to some, while some Manchester City fans may be breathing a sigh of relief.

Could they finally be getting rid of a player who although has all the needed ingredients to be a top player, just does not seem to care? 

You do not need to be a Mario Balotelli fan to admit that he possess strength, pace and he has an incredible ability to find the net. But, his problem is that he only performs at the top level when ever he feels like it, which has caused problems for his managers, teammates and fans.

Adding Super Mario to their depleted offensive line after the departure of Alexandre Pato, Balotelli could certainly help take some pressure off the shoulders of El Sharaawy. From taking the spotlight at the San Siro to who has the better hairstyle on the pitch, how would these two perform together for the Rossoneri?

Will AC Milan take the chance on a problematic player who has proved to be a handful time after time?


David Villa (Arsenal)


The Spanish international has been linked with a move to Arsenal for quite a few weeks now, and it appears that Arsenal may have stepped up their interest in Villa over the last few days. 

Arsene Wenger allowed Marouane Chamakh to move on loan to West Ham earlier in the month, so it would seem like that would be a poor business decision had he not known he could bring in a replacement. 

With limited attacking options coming off the bench, Arsene Wenger desperately needs to bring in another attacking force, and Villa would be a great fit for the Gunners.

His experience at the club and international level would be a great addition to an Arsenal side that has struggled during crunch time over the years. When Arsenal needs to put together a world class performance to get them over the hump, they almost always fail.

Villa has won titles, 12 to be exact. He has not only played for championship teams, but he knows what it is like to win titles and play in high profile matches, something Arsenal is struggling to get used to.

At the age of 31, some believe he could be too old to make his debut in the Premier League, but age does not always mean everything.

He would bring with him a resume of 557 appearances at the club level, with 276 goals and 78 assists. Knowing Barcelona's system and Arsene Wenger's obsession with playing a very similar style, Villa could fit in perfectly at the Emirates. 

Along side fellow countrymen Mikel Arteta and Santi Cazorla, David Villa could really be a significant spark for an Arsenal side who needs to win a title, in order to give their squad some much needed confidence. 


Peter Odemwingie (Queens Park Rangers)


Since arriving at West Bromwich Albion in August of 2010, the Nigerian international has made a good impression at The Hawthorns. 

Having been rumors of Arsenal potentially scouting him over the summer, Odemwingie is now in the middle of a battle between West Brom and Queens Park Rangers. Knowing of Harry Redknapp's interest, Odemwingie has expressed his desire to make the move to Loftus Road. 

QPR made an initial bid at the beginning of the month, rumored to have been around £2 million, but West Brom rejected that offer. QPR then made a second improved offer on Monday, which was also turned down by the Baggies.

Odemwingie is clearly set on making the move and he took to Twitter over the weekend to express his discontent, which appears to have earned him some internal disciplinary action.

During his time at West Brom, he has appeared on 80 occasions while scoring 30 goals for his club. Not a bad stat line for the 31 year-old.

His pace on and off the ball can still cause problems for any defense and knowing how bad QPR needs goals, Odemwingie could offer them just that. He would also get the chance to play alongside another very quick forward in Remy, who just signed for QPR from Marseille.

Is West Brom finally going to allow Odemwingie to make the jump to Loftus Road? After all, why would they want to keep a player at their club who clearly has his sights set on moving?


Gary Hooper (Norwich, Tottenham Hotspur)


The English striker who now applies his trade at Celtic Park could be on the move come deadline day. With a number of English teams interested in signing him, it seems nearly inevitable that he will make the move, but where will he end up is the better question.

It is rumored that Sunderland, Newcastle, Norwich and even Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing the 25 year old. 

His 57 goals in 82 appearances for Celtic could be just one of the reasons as to why their is so much interest in him.

Getting Hooper away from the Scottish Champions will not be easy, but Norwich Manager Chris Hughton is prepared to make the effort.

The Canaries mad an initial offer worth £4.5 million, but Celtic made them well aware that they were looking for £8 million. Since then, Norwich has prepared a second offer worth £7 million.

Norwich has struggled to find a striker to bring in during the month of January, which is their primary focus in the transfer window. They have also been linked with Sporting CP forward Ricky Van Wolfswinkel, but the Lisbon side is asking around £12 million for the Dutch striker.

Tabling an offer of £7 million makes it seem that Norwich could, or actually should go that extra million if that is exactly what Celtic is asking for. Would they really let Hooper get away because of £1 million, knowing how much they need a striker?

Will the Canaries be able to meet Celtic's requirements or will they fall short?


Lisandro Lopez (Juventus)


The Argentine striker has fallen off the radar as of late, but that is not stopping Juventus from making an attempt to sign the Lyon striker. 

He had been rated at €15 million last summer, but nearing the end of his contract, the Bianconeri could well get Lopez for much cheaper than that.

With Nicklas Bendtner set to miss the next three months, Juventus manager Antonio Conte is prepared to bring in another striker, after having confirmed a deal for Atletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente.

Lopez's agent made the media aware of the striker's intent to end his career at Racing Club, where he started his career. With that goal in his career, Lisandro is still only 29 years old, allowing him to get one more lucrative contract before returning home.

Whatever his role would be at the club, Lisandro would bring his experience and eye for goal to Juventus. 

Conte's squad finds themselves in first place in the Serie A, but the competition is tight at the moment. Lopez would be a great addition to a squad that is looking to retain their title in Italy.




Follow Mike Goncalves on Twitter 





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