On Sunday morning, as party revellers were celebrating the new year, many agents were preparing to get busy as the January transfer window opens. Love it or loathe it, the system has actually been used in many European leagues before being made compulsory by FIFA during the 2002–03 season. For the past fourteen years, it has been a source of great entertainment with some memorable and forgettable buys.
This transfer window is already full of rumours. There has already been reports of Liverpool being linked with Arsenal’s Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk. Benfica owe Swedish minnows Vasteras €250,000 from purchasing Victor Lindelof back in 2012 but the Lisbon could be cashing in to the tune of more than 200 times that figure next month as Manchester United are eyeing up the Swede.
James Rodriguez was one of the stars of the 2014 World Cup. His tenure at Real Madrid has been somewhat inconsistent because of a combination of injuries and lack of form. That said, the 25-year-old is still a huge player. Inter Milan have had their eyes firmly on the Colombian international. As has Antonio Conte who is reportedly keen on bringing James to Stamford Bridge.
Because of the increasing strength of Barcelona over the past 10 years, the club always seem to buy decent players who will rarely get a look in (see Ibrahim Affelay, Martín Cáceres, Alex Hleb, Alex Song). Right-back Aleix Vidal has become one such player, with currently-in-crisis Swansea looking to see if they can snap up the Spaniard.
There’s countless other players linked with countless other clubs. On 1st February, just stay peeled to drama in the Sky Sports News studio.
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)