ProSoccerTalk’s Top 50 winter transfer targets: #25 – 1

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With the January transfer window now open and in full swing, we take a look at the top targets that could potentially move in the transfer window.

This list is a rough ranking of top players that we are watching the most, and have made noise in reports recently. The rankings are determined by skill, star power, potential impact for a new team, and chance to move in the window.

So who could be on the move? Let’s find out! Remember, this is far from a “Who will move?” and more of a “Who could move and how interesting would it be?”

TOP 25 WINTER TRANSFER TARGETS (Read Nos. 50-26 here)

25. Joel Campbell (FW)
Current club:
Arsenal            Potential price: $9 million
Scoop: Looks like a loan deal for one of Costa Rica’s breakout stars, as Arsenal reportedly wants to ink the 22-year-old to a new contract. Real Sociedad and David Moyes await the decision.

24. Benedikt Howedes (DF)
Current club:
Schalke            Potential price: $19 million

23. Norberto Neto (GK)
Current club:
Fiorentina          Potential price: $9 million

22. Ron Vlaar (DF)
Current club:
Aston Villa            Potential price: $5 million
Scoop: Out of contract this summer, the Dutch defender has been linked with Manchester United (like seemingly everyone else).

21. Julian Draxler (MF)
Current club:
Schalke            Potential price: $36 million

source: Getty Images20. Wilfried Bony (FW)
Current club:
Swansea City           Potential price: $20 million
Scoop: We say $20 million, but Manchester City is apparently interested in flexing everyone else out of the market with a $45 million move.

19. Ilkay Gundogan (MF)
Current club:
Borussia Dortmund           Potential price: $24 million

18. Mario Balotelli (FW)
Current club:
Liverpool            Potential price: $29 million

17. Alexandre Lacazette (FW)
Current club:
Lyon            Potential price: $20 million

16. Yohan Cabaye (MF)
Current club:
Paris Saint-Germain            Potential price: $27 million
Scoop: The Frenchman has played as much as expected since coming to PSG from Newcastle last January, and some are saying the Parisian giants will look to double-down on Magpies with a Cabaye and money swap for Moussa Sissoko.

15. Ezequiel Lavezzi (MF)
Current club:
Paris Saint-Germain            Potential price: $24 million

14. Arturo Vidal (MF)
Current club:
Juventus           Potential price: $50 million

13. Xherdan Shaqiri (MF)
Current club:
Bayern Munich            Potential price: $18 million
Scoop: Off the market? The World Cup hat trick hero looks set for Inter Milan.

source: AP12. Moussa Sissoko (MF)
Current club:
Newcastle United            Potential price: $15-20 million
Scoop: There is no question the 25-year-old has been the Magpies’ brightest star this season, and the engine in their attack. To think that $15 million is all he’d cost is incredible.

11. Kevin Strootman (MF)
Current club:
AS Roma           Potential price: $27 million

10. Mattia Destro (FW)
Current club:
AS Roma            Potential price: $16.5 million

9. Christian Benteke (FW)
Current club:
Aston Villa            Potential price: $18 million

8. Hugo Lloris (GK)
Current club:
Tottenham Hotspur            Potential price: $20 million
Scoop: Why would Spurs sell their captain, who is on a long-term deal? Well, if speculation is true it’s because he wants to go to a UEFA Champions League power. Lloris is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and it’s crazy to think he’d be sold. But people are talking, so he makes the list.

7. Raphael Varane (DF)
Current club:
Real Madrid            Potential price: $30 million

6. Mats Hummels (DF)
Current club:
Borussia Dortmund            Potential price: $42 million

5. Marco Reus (MF)
Current club:
Borussia Dortmund          Potential price: $60 million

4. Sami Khedira (MF)
Current club:
Real Madrid            Potential price: $36 million

source: Getty Images3. Ross Barkley (MF)
Current club:
Everton            Potential price: $45-70 million
Scoop: It seems insane for the Toffees not to sell Barkley if English clubs are placing his value at $70 million. The only way it wouldn’t be a good move that could fund Everton’s hopes and dreams moving forward is if Barkley fulfills every bit of his potential. For example, if he went for his high-end price of $70 million, he’d cost $10 million more than Marco Reus. Do you honestly believe Barkley will become Reus or better? Classic English overvalue (and he’s a fine, fine player).

2. Paul Pogba (MF)
Current club:
Juventus            Potential price: $60 million

1. Lionel Messi (FW)
Current club:
Barcelona            Potential price: $250-300 million
Scoop: One of the world’s most prolific scorers seems Barcelona through and through, but there’s been plenty of hullaballoo at the Camp Nou recently and Chelsea is said to be lurking in the shadows (Not to mention Instagram “drama”). Especially since it would leave transfer-ban bound Barca in the lurch. Still, it’s a dog-eat-dog world and Roman Abramovich is always hungry.

La Liga: Real Madrid shocked by Mallorca; Messi, Suarez, Griezmann send Barca top

AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos
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A roundup of all of Saturday’s action in Spain’s top flight…

[ MORE: Lampard “pleased for Pulisic,” praises subs in Chelsea win ]

Eibar 0-3 Barcelona

Lionel Messi goal – check; Luis Suarez goal – check; Antoine Griezmann goal – check; clean sheet – check. If there exists a perfect recipe for a Barcelona victory this season, the Blaugrana put it to good use en route to a fourth straight La Liga victory and top spot in the league table on Saturday.

Griezmann opened the scoring in the 13th minute, followed by Messi in the 58th and Suarez in the 66th. Marc-Andre ter Stegen didn’t have to make a single save as Eibar managed just five shots in the game.

Mallorca 1-0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s unbeaten start to the season was snapped at eight games on Saturday, when Los Blancos went to Mallorca and suffered a hugely underwhelming 1-0 defeat. Zinedine Zidane’s side — already without the likes of Gareth Bale (calf), Luka Modric (bruise), Toni Kroos (adductor) and Marco Ascensio (knee), among others — finished the game with 10 men after Alvaro Odriozola earned his second yellow card in the 74th minute. The defeat sees Madrid fall off the top spot, now sitting second behind Barca.

Lago Junior scored the game’s only goal in the 7th minute and Mallorca held on for 83 more, allowing just four shots on target (12 in total). The early goal was Mallorca’s only shot on target over 90 minutes.

Atletico Madrid 1-1 Valencia

Atleti coughed up a late lead and settled for a 1-1 draw with Valencia, but the worst news of the day comes in the form of an injury suffered by Joao Felix. The 19-year-old’s ankle buckled underneath him late in the second half. Atleti finished with 10 men after their $140-million superstar was forced off.

Elsewhere in La Liga

Getafe 2-0 Leganes

Sunday’s La Liga schedule

Alaves v. Celta Vigo — 6 a.m. ET
Real Sociedad v. Real Betis — 8 a.m. ET
Espanyol v. Villarreal — 10 a.m. ET
Athletic Bilbao v. Real Valladolid — 12:30 p.m. ET
Sevilla v. Levante — 3 p.m. ET

Haringey Borough abandon FA Cup qualifier after racist abuse

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LONDON (AP) An FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town was abandoned Saturday when the home team walked off the field after one of its players was racially abused.

[ MORE: Analyzing a day of VAR drama in the Premier League ]

Haringey, a London-based non-league club, walked off in the 64th minute after claims its Cameroonian goalkeeper Valery Pajetat had been targeted by racial abuse by visiting fans minutes earlier, when Yeovil took a 1-0 lead from a penalty.

Haringey manager Tom Loizou told BBC Radio 5 Live that defender Coby Rowe was also racially abused, and that “there was no way I could let him continue.”

The match at Coles Park Stadium was in the fourth qualifying round for the FA Cup, with the winner advancing to the first round of the tournament.

[ MORE: Lampard “pleased for Pulisic,” praises subs in Chelsea win ]

“The abuse a few of my players got was disgusting,” Loizou said. “Yeovil’s players and manager were different class. Their team tried to calm their supporters down, they tried their best and they supported us. They said, ‘If you’re walking off, we’re walking off with you.’ I took the decision to take my team off and I don’t want Yeovil Town to get punished for it. If we get thrown out of the FA Cup and they go through, there is no hard feelings there.”

The incident comes four days after England’s European Championship qualifier in Bulgaria was stopped twice in the first half as home fans hurled racial abuse at England’s black players. However, England decided to play on and won 6-0.

In a statement on Twitter, the football anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out praised the “swift and decisive action” taken by the Haringey manager Tom Loizou and his players.

Bundesliga wrap: Dortmund beats leaders Gladbach; Bayern draws

Matthias Balk/dpa via AP
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Another Saturday in the Bundesliga, another nutty set of results allowing a side the chance to claim the top of the league on Sunday.

David Wagner, Weston McKennie and Schalke are the ones licking their lips this time, knowing that a win at Hoffenheim will boost them into first.

[ MORE: Lampard “pleased” for Pulisic ]

Wolfsburg remains unbeaten with a draw, and dropped points for Borussia Monchengladbach, RB Leipzig, and Bayern Munich means an absurd nine teams are within two points of the top of the table.

Nine!

Borussia Dortmund 1-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

Gladbach’s stay atop the league could last just one match day, as Thorgan Hazard set up Marco Reus for a 58th minute goal and a place one point back of the top.

Werder Bremen 1-1 Hertha Berlin

Josh Sargent’s 7th minute goal didn’t stand up, thanks to Hertha’s electric Dodi Lukebakio scoring with 20 minutes to play. Watch the American striker’s goal, here.

Augsburg 2-2 Bayern Munich

The champions’ stumbles continued, with first minute concession providing a test. Bayern’s red hot pair delivered a lead, with Robert Lewandowski answering in the 14th minute, and Serge Gnabry supplying a 49th minute lead.

Stoppage time was the downfall, though, as Alfred Finnbogason helped himself to the equalizer with all kinds of questions for the Bayern defense.

Elsewhere

Eintracht Frankfurt 3-0 Bayer Leverkusen — Friday
Union Berlin 2-0 Freiburg
Fortuna Dusseldorf 1-0 Mainz
RB Leipzig 1-1 Wolfsburg
Koln v. Paderborn — 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday
Hoffenheim v. Schalke — Noon ET Sunday

STANDINGS

Team GP W D L GF GA GD Home Away PTS
 Mönchengladbach 8 5 1 2 15 7 8 2-1-1 3-0-1 16
 VfL Wolfsburg 8 4 4 0 11 5 6 2-2-0 2-2-0 16
 Bayern Munich 8 4 3 1 22 10 12 2-1-1 2-2-0 15
 Borussia Dortmund 8 4 3 1 20 11 9 3-1-0 1-2-1 15
 RB Leipzig 8 4 3 1 16 8 8 1-2-1 3-1-0 15
 FC Schalke 04 7 4 2 1 14 7 7 2-1-1 2-1-0 14
 SC Freiburg 8 4 2 2 15 9 6 1-2-1 3-0-1 14
 Eintracht Frankfurt 8 4 2 2 14 10 4 3-2-0 1-0-2 14
 Bayer Leverkusen 8 4 2 2 12 11 1 2-2-0 2-0-2 14
 Hertha BSC Berlin 8 3 2 3 13 13 0 2-0-1 1-2-2 11
 Werder Bremen 8 2 3 3 13 17 -4 1-1-2 1-2-1 9
 1899 Hoffenheim 7 2 2 3 6 11 -5 1-0-2 1-2-1 8
 Fortuna Düsseldorf 8 2 1 5 10 14 -4 1-1-2 1-0-3 7
 1. FC Union Berlin 8 2 1 5 8 13 -5 2-0-3 0-1-2 7
 FC Augsburg 8 1 3 4 10 21 -11 1-2-1 0-1-3 6
 FSV Mainz 05 8 2 0 6 7 18 -11 1-0-2 1-0-4 6
 1. FC Köln 7 1 1 5 5 16 -11 0-0-3 1-1-2 4
 SC Paderborn 7 0 1 6 9 19 -10 0-0-4 0-1-2 1

Brilliant Barco assist helps Atlanta outlast New England

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The game in 200 words (or less): Highly-favored at home, the reigning champions needed their goalkeeper to keep them alive against a New England Revolution side that only made the postseason via MLS’ decision to let almost everyone make it. Yes, Atlanta United dodged a bullet as Brad Guzan made six saves and Ezequiel Barco’s slick pass set up Franco Escobar for a brilliant winner with about 20 minutes to play. New England fought to the very death, but couldn’t take advantage of the absence of Miles Robinson.

[ MORE: Lampard “pleased” for Pulisic ]

Soon-to-retire Michael Parkhurst appeared to dislocate his shoulder late in a challenge with Cristian Penilla, and needed a lot of help to get off the field. Hopefully that wasn’t the last we see of him.

Atlanta will host either Philadelphia or the New York Red Bulls on Thursday evening.

Three things we learned

1. Guzan overcomes blip to stand tall: The longtime USMNT backup made a major error and nearly allowed New England in front but was otherwise sensational over 90 minutes in Georgia.

2. Martinez off, and Martinez off: While Frank De Boer opted to keep Gonzalo “Pity” Martinez out of the Starting XI, it was his star striker who nearly made him pay for the decision. Josef Martinez was not on his game, and lashed a should-be winner from his office over the goal in the first half before being stopped on by Turner on a 1v1 as the match neared stoppage time.

3. Barco makes the difference: Who knows if the 20-year-old Argentine will ever fully deliver on his promise, but the plays he made to set up Escobar’s goal was sensational. After dancing around a pair of defenders, he cut a shot pass between two defenders for the on-running Escobar to blast past Matt Turner.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverageStandings | Stats | Schedule ]

Man of the match: Barco

Goalscorers: Escobar (70′)