5:30 p.m.: Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha is one of the Championship’s (England’s second division) hottest properties, but Manchester United isn’t treating him like one in the transfer market.
The Mail reports United will lodge a low-ball transfer bid of £6 million ($9.7 million) within the next 48 hours.
Palace originally wanted around £20 million ($32.2 million) for its prized asset, but it is thought that the club would accept a package totaling £12 million ($19.3 million).
If Zaha is sold in January, he’ll most likely be loaned back to Palace for the rest of the season. The club is hoping to secure promotion to the Premier League.
5: 15 p.m.: Shaktar Donetsk could be ready to sell Brazilian attacker Willian to Chelsea or Tottenham this month. The London Evening Standard reports the playmaker is available for around £20 million ($32.2 million).
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas likes Willian and considered buying him last year during his ill-fated tenure at Chelsea.
Shaktar signed Taison from Metalist Kharkhiv last week, so it may be willing to part ways with Willian ahead of the UEFA Champions League Round-of-16 tie against Borussia Dortmund.
4 p.m.: Ajax star Christian Eriksen is not considering a January transfer, but won’t rule one out either. Eriksen’s agent acknowledges that the player is drawing interest, but he says the Danish midfielder is focused on the task of playing for Ajax, Sky Sports reports.
“For the last couple of weeks, and also because of the holidays, the press have kept their distance, which is something [Eriksen] does not regret.
“I’m not saying that this means no-one is interested as it would be strange for a player who has been followed by the biggest clubs in football since he was 14 years old to not be on their radar anymore.
“Christian just wants to concentrate on his football, but you never know what might happen in football.”
3:30 p.m.: Martin O’Neil is not done shopping, despite adding Kader Mangane and Alfred N’Diaye to Sunderland’s squad in recent days.
Sky Sports reports the Sunderland manager is hoping a couple more new faces will help his club steer clear of relegation, according to Sky Sports.
“On February 1, whatever you’ve got left, that’s it and we’re still short here on players,” he said. “Every side has had their injuries this season so we want to make some provisions for those things happening to us. They will be inevitable over the next few months.”
Sunderland doesn’t have much money to spend, so the players it adds will not be high-profile ones. That doesn’t mean they won’t end up making a name for themselves in English soccer under O’Neil.
11:20 a.m.: Robbie Keane is training with Tottenham, but that’s the extent of the L.A. Galaxy striker’s involvement with his former club, according to Sky Sports.
Keane said he wants to let lingering injuries heal ahead of the 2013 MLS season.
“It’s been a long season, with the Euros and what have you,” he said. “I’ve a few little niggles that need to be sorted out so I don’t think at this moment in time it would be right for me to go anywhere.”
Keane excelled during a loan stint with Aston Villa last season. With no major international tournament to prepare for, Keane thought it best to use a full and lengthy offseason to recover rather than play competitive games at a high level.
10:30 a.m.: Lucas Piazon, Chelsea’s 18-year-old Brazilian forward, is heading to Malaga on loan for the rest of the season.
The talented attacker will spend some time in La Liga, developing under the watchful eye of Malaga head coach Manuel Pelligrini.
Piazon joined Chelsea last January, but he’s only appeared in three games for the Blues’ first team.
10 a.m.: Barcelona president Sandro Rosell has seemingly bolted the door as far as striker David Villa is concerned.
Rosell said that the Arsenal target will not leave the club in January, Sky Sports reports.
“Villa will not leave,” said Rosell. “But coming back from a serious injury to play in this team is not easy.”
Rosell reinforces what Barca head coach Tito Vilanova said last weekend: Spain’s all-time leading goal scorer is not for sale, regardless of what club is willing to pay £16 million ($25.7 million) for him in January.
9 a.m.: David De Gea has been quietly silencing critics with his improved performances in goal for Manchester United. The 22-year-old is earning the trust of United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and catching the attention of FC Barcelona.
The Daily Star reports Barcelona wants to sign De Gea after contract talks with current No. 1 Victor Valdes broke down recently.
There are whispers that De Gea is homesick in Manchester and wants to return to his native Spain. This could give him the chance to do so without going to Real Madrid, which would enrage his boyhood club Atletico Madrid.
De Gea himself denies the rumors of homesickness. He joined United in 2011 for £17 million ($27.4 million).
8:30 a.m.: Loic Remy sensationally turned down Newcastle on Monday, choosing to head south to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) instead.
The French striker looks set to join QPR’s relegation fight. Joey Barton, his Olympique Marseille teammate (who is also a QPR player) confirmed the move on Twitter.
Looks like I was right 2nd time about Remy going to QPR. Good signing. Good player Loic. And good lad as well. Wish him luck there…
— Joseph Barton (@Joey7Barton) January 15, 2013
8: 15 a.m.: Kader Mangane will join Sunderland on loan for the rest of the season.
The Senegalese center back was playing in Saudi Arabia for Al Hilal, but he is more famous for the 10 years he spent in Switzerland and France.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neil thinks Mangane will compete with Carlos Cuellar and John O’Shea for playing time in the center of the Sunderland defense.
8 a.m.: AC Milan president Silvio Berlusconi has apologized for calling Balotelli a “rotten apple” last week, according to FIFA.com.
“What I said was based on the fact that I feel positive people are useful in the changing room,” Berlusconi said. “I was not referring to Balotelli and I apologize if it is was taken as a slur against him.
Berlusconi, the former (and possibly future) prime minister of Italy, has pulled a classic “flip-flop” when it comes to Balotelli. But that doesn’t mean a transfer is imminent.
“Could he still come to Milan? No one from my club has held any talks with him, and neither [vice-president Adriano] Galliani or I has identified him as a transfer target,” he added.
6 a.m. ET: Rumor has it Manchester City is desperate to sell Mario Balotelli. AC Milan is Balotelli’s most likely destination, but the Italian club doesn’t want Balotelli as much as City wants to get rid of its misfit striker … for now at least.
On Jan. 14, Milan vice president Adriano Galliani said Milan would not be signing any strikers in the winter transfer window. There are already five senior strikers at the Italian club, and Milan doesn’t need another one, according to the official story.
Unofficially, Milan was hoping to sell Pato and Robinho in January to raise funds for a marquee signing. Balotelli would certainly meet that billing, but Pato departed while Robinho couldn’t seal a move to Brazil’s Santos.
Despite turning professional at Inter Milan, Balotelli was a boyhood Milan fan. Those same fans have watched star after star leave the club as Milan tightens its financial belt. Balotelli (of all people) could be the perfect tonic, but they’ll have to wait until the summer for the prodigal son to return.
Roberto Mancini, Balotelli’s biggest supporter at City, might be gone before the start of next season. Don’t expect Balotelli to remain at the club for too long if it happens.