Your average transfer headline normally features a sum of money that could make a large dent in third world debt. But in these times of so called austerity off the pitch perhaps the January transfer window will afford one or two managers the opportunity to try being a little more creative with money on it.
There will be potentially dozens of players available on a free, but which ones will get snapped up? Here’s our pick of the bunch.
Arsenal’s Tomas Rosicky has to got to be of interest to any number of sides. Price on the open market before January iro £4m he’s talented enough attacking mid with an abundance of Premiership experience. Manuel Almunia, Lukasz Fabianski and Vito Mannone make up the rest of the Emirates’ freebies and they potential suitors would be well within their rights to ask for delivery to be included with a fee of nothing.
Aston Villa have a ropey selection of players on offer but one name that will cause a response from all fans is that Emile Heskey. The England man dubbed, ‘The Wardrobe On Wheels’ by one critic probably has a part to play for someone, somewhere. Just who would ‘swoop’ for the old shire horse is beyond me.
Eight players on Blackburn’s list and if you included all their other players who would be happy to escape Ewood Park right now you could probably triple that figure. One glimmer of hope is Junior Hoilett of course and I would be staggered if Steve Keen can get him to stay.
The potential exodus at The Reebok is frightening. Bolton are looking at a thirteen players moving on. The rumours over Gary Cahill have been non stop for some time and if was tough to believe Owen Coyle being able to convince him to hang around at the start of the season it has to be impossible now. Other diamonds in the rough include Jussi Jaaskelainen, Paul Robinson and Zat Knight.
Chelsea’s list is short but packed with outstanding quality; Kalou, Drogba, Bosingwa and Anelka. Drogba and Anelka might be elderly and infirm, but given that Abramovich spent £50 on a replacement that doesn’t actually score goals, this will be an interesting window at The Bridge.
Everton could offer up the services of Marcus Hahnemann, Sylvain Distin, James McFadden and Louis Saha. None of these players will set the pulses racing but may yet find new homes if they are determined to get contracts better the ones they are likely to be offered at Goodison Park.
Fulham is an interesting bag. Mark Scwarzer would attract interest that is for sure. But Martin Jol would be mad not to offer him terms good enough to convince the big man to stay. Danny Murphy’s name is in there but it’s dificult to see him going anywhere. Andy Johnson is experiencing a resurgence in form but to be frank he’s been rubbish for so long he really shouldn’t start getting ideas above his station.
Just Sergio Aurelio at Liverpool is the only name on their list and since the arrival of the excellent Enrique he may well be weighing up his options right now.
Manchester City’s pair up for free are Owen Hargreaves (who doesn’t really count) and young Stuart Taylor.
Manchester United’s list makes for far more interesting reading. Dimitar Berbatov, Darron Gibson, Ryan Giggs, Tomasz Kuszczak and Michael Owen. The front runner to be flogged off has to be the Bulgarian yet it’s highly unlikely he’d accept a role at any other Premiership side.
Newcastle United’s list is uninspiring fare and I wouldn’t expect a queue around the block for the services of Tamas Kadar,
Danny Guthrie, Alan Smith or Peter Lovenkrands.
Tottenham have King, Gomes and Cudicini all running out of contract. Poor old Gomes has got to be pretty much guaranteed a goner.
Anything there catch your fancy?