Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Abidal, Kaka, Soldado and more - the list of La Liga stars who could be leaving their clubs in January


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As 2011 draws to a close and a new year draws ever nearer, Goal.com takes a look at some of the stars in Spain who may be changing teams in the transfer market this winter.
ANALYSIS
The countdown has begun. 2012 is just days away and the New Year means a new start for us all. And that includes footballers, with many players set to be on the move as the transfer window opens in January.

Although quieter than the summer window, January can be a make-or-break time for clubs looking to get out of trouble or boost their aspirations in mid-season. 

Ahead of all that action, we look at some of the stars from La Liga who could be moving on to pastures new this winter.

ERIC ABIDAL | Barcelona, Defender, 32

SEASON STATS
Appearances14
Goals0
Assists2
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value€5m
Interested clubsPSG, AC Milan, Man City
Chance of leaving in January10%

Eric Abidal's contract expires in the summer and, although the French full back has constantly claimed that he wishes to remain at Barcelona, he also hinted in October that he would be interested in a move to one of Europe's elite clubs if a new deal cannot be agreed. Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Manchester City are all monitoring his situation, according to the player himself, and all would be willing to pay a fee to secure the defender's services in January.

However, reports in the Spanish press claim that Abidal is now very close to agreeing a new deal at the Catalan club, where he has played since 2007, so any prospective buyers will need to get a move on.

DIEGO BUONANOTTE | Malaga, Attacking Midfielder, 23

SEASON STATS
Appearances15
Goals2
Assists0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value10m
Interested clubsRayo, Getafe, Atletico
Chance of leaving in January50%

Diego Buonanotte hasn't had the happiest of starts to his Malaga career, but things are looking up after the Argentine playmaker netted a crucial late goal for the Andalusians in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night to ensure Manuel Pellegrini's men advanced to the last 16 following a 2-2 draw at home to Getafe.

Appearances in La Liga have mainly been as a substitute, however, with the Argentine given few opportunities to shine for the Costa del Sol outfit. Getafe, Rayo Vallecano and Atletico Madrid would all like to take the talented player to the capital, but Wednesday's intervention may just boost his chances of making it in the south of Spain after all.

RICARDO COSTA | Valencia, Defender, 29

SEASON STATS
Appearances2
Goals0
Assists0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value€3m
Interested clubsBenfica, Betis, Atletico Madrid
Chance of leaving in January75%

Ricardo Costa may have played a part in the Porto side that marched to victory in the Champions League in 2004, but he is no longer in favor at Valencia and appears to have a frosty relationship with coach Unai Emery. The Portuguese defender has featured just twice in La Liga this season and could well be making a move in the January window.

The player repeatedly insisted in the summer that he wished to remain at Mestalla, but his lack of appearances in recent times has caused him to reassess and the center back has now admitted his willingness to move on in January. Portuguese giants Benfica may make a move for the defender, while Atletico Madrid could also renew its interest. At the moment, however, Betis looks to be the favorites to land the center back.

KAKA | Real Madrid, Forward, 29

SEASON STATS
Appearances12
Goals3
Assists2
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value12m
Interested clubsArsenal, Spurs, Chelsea, AC Milan, Inter
Chance of leaving in January20%

Kaka's career at Real Madrid has still never really taken off. The Brazil playmaker has shown signs this season of returning to his very best but, just when he looks to be returning to the peak of his powers, he picks up an injury.

The Brazilian has claimed that he will not leave the Santiago Bernabeu until he has become a big hit but, in his third season at the club, it still has not quite happened. With an assault on La Liga, the Champions League and the Copa del Rey ahead, Jose Mourinho will be reluctant to sell in January. But, with Angel Di Maria and Jose Callejon shining, nothing is impossible. And, should Kaka leave, there will be no shortage of interested parties.

CARLOS KAMENI | Espanyol, Goalkeeper, 27

SEASON STATS
Appearances0
Clean Sheets0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value2m
Interested clubsMalaga, Spurs, Fulham
Chance of leaving in January80%

Carlos Kameni is a fine goalkeeper and has enjoyed a successful career at Espanyol, but the Cameroonian has lost his place under coach Mauricio Pochettino and now appears to have no future at the Catalan club.

Kameni almost signed for Roma in the summer, but that move never materialized. Now, Espanyol will be keen to shift him from their wage bill in January and Malaga look in pole position to snap up the African shot-stopper. Premier League sides Tottenham and Fulham have also been linked.

NILMAR | Villarreal, Forward, 27

SEASON STATS
Appearances7
Goals2
Assists0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value10m
Interested clubsRoma, Fiorentina, Sao Paulo
Chance of leaving in January60%

As Villarreal finished fourth and reached the semifinals of the Europa League last season, Nilmar appeared happy at the Spanish side. The Brazilian forward outlined his desire to go on and win things but, instead, the Yellow Submarine have been sinking, losing all of their Champions League group games this term and sitting dangerously close to the bottom of the Primera Division.

And now, the striker looks to have had enough. The player's agent has revealed contact with Serie A club Roma, while a move to Fiorentina in part-exchange with Alberto Gilardino has also been mooted recently. Brazilian side Sao Paulo are in the frame as well, although such a switch seems less likely. With Giuseppe Rossi sidelined, however, and Villarreal in trouble, he may have to wait until the summer before moving on.

MESUT OZIL | Real Madrid, Forward, 23

SEASON STATS
Appearances15
Goals0
Assists5
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value€25m
Interested clubsLiverpool, Man. Utd
Chance of leaving in January10%

Mesut Ozil was nothing short of a revelation for Real Madrid last term, but the German playmaker has looked less impressive this season and friction with coach Jose Mourinho has led to talk of a possible move for the talented 23-year-old, who has spent much of his time on the bench in 2011-12.

On holiday in Turkey, Ozil refused to rule out a switch this winter. He did later say that he is happy at Madrid and considered Mourinho as a father figure, however, and he is unlikely to leave at this stage as the club chases honors in three competitions. Should he be allowed to move on, Manchester United would be likely to join the chase for his signature. The club, like Liverpool, is set to be disappointed, though.

ROBERTO SOLDADO | Valencia, Forward, 26

SEASON STATS
Appearances16
Goals11
Assists0
TRANSFER FILE
Transfer value30m
Interested clubsLiverpool, Spurs, PSG
Chance of leaving in January10%

Roberto Soldado finished 2010-11 in red-hot form and has picked up where he left off with some stunning showings this term. The former Real Madrid striker has been the undoubted star for a Valencia side pushing the big two at the top of the table. And, with 11 goals to his name already, the 26-year-old looks on the verge of a Spain call up as well.

Paris Saint-Germain is interested, while Premier League duo Liverpool and Spurs have also been linked. With Valencia now managing its debts, however, the former Getafe and Osasuna man should stay at Mestalla for a while longer yet.
Goal.com

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