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Sky Sports looks at ten Football League talents attracting interest from the Premier League this month.
This month's transfer window has been a relatively quiet affair so far, with many Premier League managers making it clear they will not pay over the odds for a January swoop.
As high-profile clubs at home and abroad demand bloated fees for their star men the hunt is on to find quality players for a reasonable price, with bosses turning their attentions to the lower leagues.
With deadline day less than a fortnight away, Sky Sports have compiled a selection of 10 Football League players who could be plying their trade in the top-flight come February 1st.
Jordan Rhodes - Huddersfield
Goal-machine Rhodes has been in red-hot form for Huddersfield this term to plant himself firmly on the radar of a host of top-flight clubs. The 21-year-old has notched an astonishing 25 goals already for the Terriers to keep them flying high in the race for promotion from League One. Rhodes' most memorable exploits so far this season have been claiming back-to-back hat-tricks against Exeter and Preston before netting five times during Huddersfield's recent demolition of Wycombe. Those heroics have underlined his Premier League credentials and turned the heads of several reported suitors, including Tottenham, Newcastle and Everton.
Jonny Howson - Leeds United
Leeds look set to lose their talismanic captain this month after 'reluctantly' accepting a bid from top-flight newcomers Norwich for the midfielder. Howson has made no secret of the fact he is keen to ply his trade in the Premier League and has spurned offers of a new deal from the Whites, despite being their longest-serving player. A determined and skilful midfielder, who is also known for popping up to score the odd vital goal, Howson could prove a shrewd signing for the Canaries as they bid to steer clear of relegation this season.
Matt Phillips - Blackpool
A short-term loan spell at Sheffield United earlier this season saw young Seasiders winger Phillips burst into life and had manager Ian Holloway clamouring to recall him. The 20-year-old notched six goals in seven games for the Blades and has established himself as a key component in Holloway's midfield since returning to Bloomfield Road, netting two hat-tricks for the Tangerines. Liverpool are thought to be leading the chase for the youngster's signature but Holloway has declared it would take a similar bid to the Reds' £20million swoop for Jordan Henderson to prise him away from the Championship club.
James Tomkins - West Ham
Tomkins' comprehensive performances at the heart of West Ham's defence this season have made it easy to forget the stopper is still just 22 years old, having come through the youth ranks at Upton Park. Alan Pardew is thought to be targeting the England Under-21 international to bolster his backline at Newcastle, while Tottenham are another side to have been linked with the centre-back. However, the Hammers have reportedly snubbed £2.5million and £3m advances from the Magpies and co-owner David Gold has stressed Tomkins is not on the market as the East Londoners push for automatic promotion from the Championship.
Billy Sharp - Doncaster Rovers
Championship strugglers Doncaster could face a tough job keeping hold of top scorer Sharp, who is thought to have caught the eye of Fulham and Wigan. The prolific striker has 10 goals to his name this season and has made it clear he is not keen on spending the second half of the campaign embroiled in a relegation dogfight. Second-bottom Rovers are naturally desperate to keep hold of their main man, who has already snubbed a move to Leicester, and have raised the funds to offer him an improved deal.
Wilfried Zaha - Crystal Palace
Wonderkid winger Zaha stormed onto the scene for Palace last season and has not looked back, attracting plenty of interest along the way. The 19-year-old, a strong, pacey wide-man known for his attention-grabbing tricks, has alerted himself to Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and Liverpool, while Newcastle are also thought to be eyeing the teenager. Eagles boss Dougie Freedman claims to have discussed the winger with Sir Alex Ferguson and Kenny Dalglish but insists he is going nowhere as Palace close in on a spot in the Carling Cup final and push to finish in the Championship play-offs.
Nathanial Clyne - Crystal Palace
Palace are facing a fight to keep hold of another of their key players in right-back Clyne, who is thought to be wanted as the solution to Sir Alex Ferguson's defensive problems at Manchester United, while Newcastle, Fulham, Aston Villa and Everton are also thought to be monitoring him. The stopper has delivered a string of solid performances this season and Freedman will be loath to lose such a crucial player, but with Clyne's contract set to expire in the summer the Eagles could be tempted by a cut-price offer this month.
Harry Maguire - Sheffield United
Blades teenager Maguire is another centre-back thought to have caught the eye of Alan Pardew at Newcastle as he looks to strengthen the heart of his backline, while Fulham have also been linked with the stopper. The 18-year-old rose to prominence after helping United to the FA Youth Cup final last season and has since established himself as a regular feature in Danny Wilson's defence as the South Yorkshire club look to bounce straight back up from League One. Maguire has been tipped to follow former Blades ace Jordan Slew, now at Blackburn, in fast-tracking into the top-flight but the stopper signed a new long-term deal at Bramall Lane earlier in the season and could prove difficult to prise away.
Nathan Redmond - Birmingham City
At just 17, Redmond is still being used carefully by Blues boss Chris Hughton, but his exploits on the wing have not gone unnoticed by admirers in the Premier League, with high-fliers Manchester City and Liverpool believed to be looking to tempt the youngster away from St Andrew's. A fleet-footed winger, who made his debut for the Blues at the age of 16 in August 2010, Redmond is rated as highly as fellow England youth international Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and could attract a transfer fee in the region of the £12million Arsenal paid to bring him to Emirates Stadium from Southampton. Birmingham boss Chris Hughton has made it clear he feels Redmond would benefit from continuing his development in the Midlands but could struggle to keep hold of the teenager if any top-flight big guns come knocking.
Nicky Maynard - Bristol City
Several Premier League sides are believed to be lining up a swoop for Robins striker Maynard, who is out of contract at the end of the season and could prove one of the window's most valuable bargain buys. Maynard has spurned the offer of a new deal at Ashton Gate and has been linked with the likes of QPR, Swansea, West Brom and Wolves, who could all benefit from the firepower which saw him bag a 20-strike haul in the 2009-10 campaign. The striker has bounced back from an injury-plagued season last year to continue his goalscoring exploits for the Robins and despite manager Derek McInnes' protests that he could stay, the 25-year-old is a favourite to be offered a route to the top-flight.
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Sam Brooke (Huddersfield Town fan) says...
Posted 21:54 18th January 2012
Frank Grace says...
can not blame johny 4 going 2 norich be long time be 4 leeds get in 2top flight be happy in championship wile bates in charge no spend only loans and odd cheap buy surly fans deserve more than this but we making bates rich so hes happy
Posted 20:10 18th January 2012
James Flynn (Manchester United fan) says...
If Rhodes moves to a PL team now, he will never be a proper PL striker, he won't get game time, and he will get loan spell. wheras if he stays with Huddersfield or stays in the football league at least, he will get game time and will develop into a proper PL striker. whether he gets promoted to PL via his team or get snatched up by a PL team in a few years. Let the lad develop at huddersfield first
Posted 18:53 18th January 2012
David John says...
what about whittingham???
Posted 18:31 18th January 2012
Peter Smart says...
WHAT ABOUT RYAN BENNETT FROM PETERBOROUGH UNITED THE INTEREST IN HIM IS GREAT YOU HAVE MANCHESTER UNITED TOTTENHAM ARSENAL ALL LINKED WITH HIM
Posted 12:43 18th January 2012
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