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Skysports.com's Chris Burton picks out ten players that could be on the move before the transfer window slams shut
There are just six shopping days left until the summer transfer window closes for business, so expect a late flurry of activity.
In much the same way as most of us - by 'us' I mean men - leave it until 24th December to do our Christmas shopping, football managers up and down the country are expected to let things go to the wire before bringing fresh faces into their respective squads.
The Premier League is renowned for throwing up dramatic late transfer tales, and there is little to suggest that this year will be any different.
Harry Redknapp, a man who appears to love conducting his business on deadline day, is yet to show his hand, while Arsene Wenger has a considerable wedge burning a hole in his pocket and Manchester City and Chelsea operate in a world all of their own.
So, while there may only be a week remaining of a busy window, it would be wise to expect things to get even busier as we count down the days, hours, minutes and possibly even seconds until 11pm on 31st August.
It is never a good idea to try and second guess the plans of bosses desperate to get their hands on the fabled 'missing piece', but we at skysports.com are prepared to give it a shot and here we have picked out 10 players that we believe could be on the move before the window slams shut.
Few expected Parker to start the new season at West Ham, following their relegation out of the Premier League. He is, however, still on the books at Upton Park and has generated considerably less speculation the longer the summer has dragged on. The reigning Football Writers' Association Player of the Year would have no shortage of willing takers were the Hammers to relax their stance, but David Sullivan and David Gold have not made their millions in bowing to pressure. Manchester City are considered to be his most likely destination (2/5 with Sky Bet) were he to move on, but Arsenal (7/2) have entered the race following the loss of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Tottenham are long-term admirers of Parker, but relations between West Ham and Spurs have soured of late and an agreement seems unlikely.
Wright-Phillips could be another casualty of the Eastlands revolution, with Manchester City continuing to spend big in their pursuit of silverware. With the Blues having successfully booked their place in this season's UEFA Champions League, they are now able to entice a higher calibre of player to the Etihad Stadium. That is not to say that England international Wright-Phillips is a bad player, but it is difficult to see how he will get a game with competition for places so fierce. The experienced winger would welcome the opportunity to take in regular first-team football elsewhere and Bolton and Stoke could offer him the game time he craves. Queens Park Rangers are also understood to be keen, but Neil Warnock may find it difficult to lure former Chelsea man Wright-Phillips back to the capital.
Now that summer-long sagas regarding Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri have reached a conclusion, Modric will once again take centre stage in transfer gossip columns. The Croatian playmaker has made it clear that he wants out of Tottenham, with his head having been turned by interest from Chelsea. The Blues have already seen two sizeable bids knocked back, with Spurs adamant that they are not looking to sell. Roman Abramovich has deep pockets, though, and he could give the go-ahead for a third approach to be made should Andre Villas-Boas suggest that he wants Modric on board. Spurs would be reluctant sellers but, if they were to agree a deal in plenty of time, they would be able to pump funds back into a squad that Redknapp has suggested is still in need of some fine-tuning.
Liverpool's capture of Cole last summer was lauded from all corners, with former Reds boss Roy Hodgson credited with pulling off quite in coup in tempting the England man to Anfield. It is, however, fair to say that things have not gone according to plan for Cole during his time on Merseyside. A red card on his Premier League debut set the tone and things have gone from bad to worse since then. He does not appear to hold a prominent place in Kenny Dalglish's plans, given his summer business, and a departure from Anfield after 12 disappointing months could be on the cards. QPR (9/4) are interested, with Neil Warnock a fan of Cole's enigmatic talents, while Tottenham (1/5) could make a late swoop. Cole worked with Harry Redknapp during his early days at West Ham and the Spurs boss could be the man to bring the best out of a player who has lost his way but remains one of the most technically-gifted performers in the country.
While the likes of Wright-Phillips, Craig Bellamy, Wayne Bridge and Roque Santa Cruz have been callously left on the shelf by Manchester City, Carlos Tevez is a completely different kettle of fish. City do not want to lose the man who helped them to first underline their ambition and then start delivering results. The Argentine's arrival from Manchester United was greeted with mass hysteria at Eastlands and it is easy to see why, with Tevez's record during his time at City making for impressive reading. He is, however, a player who does not like to stand still for long and he has expressed a desire to take on a new challenge. A return to former employers Corinthians was touted, but the Brazilian outfit failed to find the necessary funds. City still want £50million for a player that no longer wants to play for them, but a Real Madrid (5/2) or an Inter Milan (4/6) may decide to splash the cash if things get desperate - especially as Inter have offloaded Samuel Eto'o.
If Arsene Wenger was not aware of the need to bring a new centre-half to Arsenal as a matter of urgency before the opening weeks of the season, he is very much aware of that need now. The Gunners currently find themselves down to the bare bones at the back, with a succession of injuries having conspired against them. Most Gunners were of the opinion that they needed to strengthen in that area anyway, so it might not be the worst thing that Wenger has been given a helpful nudge in that particular direction. Phil Jagielka has been mentioned as a possible target, with one bid having been lodged, but Cahill would appear to be a more realistic option. Bolton may be tempted to sell at the right price, while Arsenal would be getting an international performer who is more defensively-minded than a number of the so-called defenders already on the books at the Emirates. Should Wenger decide against a move, Liverpool could pounce.
Another of those Wenger could be tempted to move for is Blackburn man mountain Samba. The Congo international would appear to be everything Arsenal are looking for. They no longer need ball players, they need somebody who is prepared to get themselves dirty doing the basics of everyday defending. Samba fits that bill, with his physical presence something the Gunners have lacked in recent years. Arsenal are not the only ones keen on the Rovers man, though, with their local rivals Tottenham also believed to be in the hunt. Redknapp is another manager who remains short on reliable centre-halves and no-one would bat an eyelid were he to make a late raid on Ewood Park.
While Redknapp is expected to indulge in his customary round of deadline day deals, there could be as many outgoings at White Hart Lane as there are incomings. Among those that could be ushered to the exits is Kranjcar. The Croatian is a player rated highly by Redknapp, after working with him at both Portsmouth and Tottenham. He is, however, unable to offer him a regular starting place and the talented playmaker is growing increasingly frustrated at playing a bit-part role. He has been hinting at a move for some time and 2011 could be the year he finally gets his wish. Sunderland (1/6) boss Steve Bruce has admitted to holding an interest in Kranjcar, with a loan deal touted. A switch to foreign climes has also been mentioned, with Serie A giants Roma and Juventus ready to battle it out for the 27-year-old's signature.
Crouch could be another of those deemed surplus to requirements at White Hart Lane. He is a useful weapon to have in any attacking arsenal, with his height allowing him to pose a different kind of threat. The former Liverpool and Portsmouth frontman can also be relied upon to grab the odd goal, having broken into double figures in each of the last seven seasons. Spurs, though, may feel that they have enough firepower at their disposal, especially as they are closing on a deal for Manchester City's Emmanuel Adebayor. Crouch will have no problem finding a new club should Spurs look to sell, with most Premier League managers likely to be keen. Stoke, who have the game to play to Crouch's strengths, are considered to be the favourites if a deal is to be done (1/3), while Fulham and Sunderland would also be strong contenders in any bidding war.
Centre-halves are flavour of the month at the moment, with Arsenal's sluggish start to the season helping to highlight their value. Dann is another of those in the Parker mould, with it something of a surprise to find him still on the books of a second tier side. Birmingham slipped out of the top flight last season after seeing Dann laid low with an untimely knock, with his presence sorely missed during the run-in. The former Coventry man was held up as one of the Premier League's most consistent performers during his time at that level and most managers worth their salt would be more than happy to add him to their ranks. Stoke (12/1), again, have led the chase, but have so far been unable to strike a deal. Arsenal (2/3) remain on the lookout for a player of Dann's ilk, while Liverpool (6/4) are said to be mulling over a big-money bid.
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