Anatoliy Tymoshchuk, holding midfielder, 28, Zenit St Petersburg and Ukraine
The man whose defensive solidity gave Andriy Arshavin the freedom to make magic in the final third, Zenit’s captain could leave now the 2008 Russian Premier Leauge season is over. The Ukraine vice-captain (who has won 78 caps) was a stalwart for Shakhtar Donetsk for years before taking Gazprom’s rubles in 2007. He won the Russian Premier League and UEFA Cup last season, but Zenit finished a disappointing sixth in the RPL this year. With coach Dick Advocaat and star man Arshavin set to leave this winter, could captain Tymoshchuk follow them out of the door? Zenit have already signed an effective replacement, Russian regular Igor Semshov from Dinamo Moscow. There are not many holding midfielders of his quality and experience on the market – look at the price Real Madrid had to pay for Lassana Diarra.
Matthew Upson, central defender, 29, West Ham United and England
With West Ham in a dire financial situation, all of their players are open to offers. But England international Upson could represent their most saleable asset. Started off at Arsenal but struggled with injuries and loan moves for years before settling at Birmingham City. West Ham paid £6m for him in the January 2007 window, where he has looked (when fit) like a dominant and dependable old fashioned centre half. Available for cheap (West Ham surely couldn’t turn down £7m) and not cup tied in Europe, has been mentioned as an option for Man City or Arsenal already.
Lukas Podolski, forward, 23, Bayern Munich and Germany
With Miroslav Klose and Luca Toni keeping him out of the Bayern team, ‘Poldi’ is prepared to leave for some first team football. Stocky, quick, and with a low centre of gravity he plays like a low-key Wayne Rooney, either behind a front man or from the left wing. Already has 60 caps and 31 goals for the German national team, having decided to represent them rather than his native Poland. This should make him an attractive prospect but Bayern are yet to receive a bid matching the €10million they paid FC Koln for him in 2006. Bayern Chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge admits he’ll leave in the summer, but a strong bid could land him this year. Has been linked with Spurs, Everton and Dortmund.
Elano, attacking midfielder, 27, Manchester City and Brazil
A severe personality clash with Mark Hughes will see Elano sold in January. Bought by Sven-Goran Eriksson for £8m from Shakhtar Donetsk in 2007, he immediately settled into the Premier League playing in the hole. He lost form and fitness in the new year, but finished as City’s top scorer in 2007/08. Has not enjoyed Mark Hughes’ intense fitness training or club discipline, and has had to play central midfield in a 4-3-3. Hughes accuses him of undermining his leadership and stirring up the Brazilian players against him – and dropped him from the 18 for the trip to West Brom. Lazio and Espanyol are interested in a loan move.
Jimmy Bullard, midfielder, 29, Fulham and England
The all-action midfielder’s wage demands since his England call up – after a rise to £50,000 from £25,000 per week, apparently – have not been met by the Fulham board. Despite his high profile Fulham’s success this season as been more to do with Danny Murphy alongside him and the Brede Hangeland-Aaron Hughes defensive partnership. Roy Hodgson said that the club would listen to offers, which will surely be forthcoming. A hard working midfielder whose Premier League experience and deadly free-kicks make him a very attractive prospect, Bullard will surely attract Spurs at the least. Not cup tied for European competition, should Man City, Aston Villa or even Arsenal be looking for another body in midfield.