Will he or won’t he? Expect to hear these questions ad nauseam over the next five days as the January transfer window enters its home stretch, leading to proverbial and predictable scramble of clubs desperate to either add another face to their squad or to part ways with some of their current employees.
However, as we all know, wanting a player and signing one are very different things and while some transfers that look just a signature away at the moment might still go up into a puff of smoke, there might be some unexpected arrivals and departures between now and Friday.
1) Dani Osvaldo to Inter Milan or Juventus
Failing to live up to a hefty price tag is hardly going to win the fans over, headbutting a team-mate in training, on the other hand, is guaranteed to earn you a ticket away from the club and, possibly, the league.
The fiery Italian looks poised to join one between Inter Milan – who desperately need a striker – or Juventus – who seem determined to disrupt a perfectly functional squad by securing the former Roma player – but West Ham have emerged as a late contender for Osvaldo’s services.
Sam Allardyce needs a striker, but the Italian’s record of three goals in 13 Premier League appearances is hardly the insurance policy West Ham need to drag themselves towards safety, not to mention that Southampton will be keen to recoup part of the £13m fee they shelled out earlier this season.
2) Tom Ince to Swansea
Ince junior has been linked with a host of different clubs from the Premier League and Europe, but now seems to have finally made his mind up and should swap Blackpool’s tangerine kit for Swansea’s white before Friday.
The hype around Ince is largely reminiscent of the expectations that surrounded Wilfried Zaha ahead of his move to Manchester United last season and one can only hope that if Ince does indeed move to Wales he’ll enjoy better luck than the former Palace man.
With the Swans dangerously close to the relegation zone and Michael Laudrup rumoured to be heading for the exit door, however, the Liberty Stadium might not be the perfect environment for Ince to find his feet in the Premier League.
3) Ross McCormack to West Ham
Ross McCormack has been Leeds only shining light this season, netting 17 in 26 Championship games which have attracted much interest from Premier League clubs, with West Ham’s £5m bid already rebuffed by the Elland Road outfit.
Big Sam, however, is likely to come calling again, for while the arrivals of Marco Borriello Antonio Nocerino on loan will add quality and experience to a beleaguered squad, West Ham could do with another addition or two.
Leeds are expected to play hardball with West Ham, while McCormack himself could probably set his sights higher than Upton Park, but don’t be surprised to see the Scot in claret and blue by the end of Friday night.
4) Kurt Zouma to Chelsea
Having pipped Liverpool to Mohamed Salah’s signature, Chelsea are closing in on the Saint Etienne’s centre-back, who’s widely considered to be one of European football’s most promising defenders.
The 19-year-old, who’s been suspended for 10 games for breaking an opponent’s leg, was thought to sign for Chelsea in the summer, but with a few clubs reported to be sniffing around, Jose Mourinho might want to seal the deal over the next five days.
Zouma isn’t a player Chelsea need immediately, but they could get the deal wrapped up before Friday and potentially allow him to remain in France for the rest of the season.
5) Yohan Cabaye to Manchester United
The Frenchman has been instrumental for Newcastle this season and with PSG’s £14m offer setting the ball rolling, it could be a busy couple of days at St. James’ Park.
Last week Alan Pardew admitted that he was worried about losing his playmaker and with PSG capable to offer Cabaye Champions League football as well as the opportunity to win the domestic title, the Frenchman’s departure from the North East seems a matter of when rather than if.
However, Manchester United could scupper PSG’s plans as David Moyes seeks to continue his spending spree after spending £37m on Juan Mata and bolstering United’s midfield is Moyes’ utmost priority.
Joining United would perhaps cap Cabaye’s chances of silverware for the immediate future, but the Frenchman appears determined to remain in the Premier League so expect this to go down to the wire.