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6 panic buys that clubs could make before transfer window closes

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani

WITH just five days left in this January transfer window, Premier League managers are about to be ushered towards a dark and dangerous abyss.

The lack of major signings over the first three weeks of the latest transfer circus suggests the final week of trading is set to be hectic, with #panicbuy likely to be trending on Twitter in the next few days.

Even the most experienced managers in the game have been guilty of making rash transfer decisions in the final hours of the transfer window, with the cash wasted in the next week likely to haunt them for years to come.

With transfers for major stars rarely negotiable at this point in a season, a familiar cast of second-rate performers are lining up to steal the headlines ahead of the February 1 deadline.

“The biggest winners in a transfer window are the agents,” claims former Sunderland chairman and Ireland striker Niall Quinn.

“If they all got together and tried to come up with a way to get the most out of clubs for a player, they would come up with the idea of having a deadline for signings twice a year.

“I have never had a problem with agents as they are just looking after their players, but we have situations that come up at this time of the year that are crazy.

“You have to play the game. You cannot show you hand too quickly and you need to let a transfer play out before you get to the end of it.

“Then you get to deadline day and you need to move players out if you are going to get players in. It can get very difficult.”

Here is your Sunday World guide to the men in the mix as we edge ever close to another transfer deadline day.

EDINSON CAVANI – PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

Status: An expensive option for any Premier League club.

Linked with: Manchester United, Arsenal.

Panic buy rating: 8/10

Cavani (28) was once viewed as the more potent member of a Uruguay national team strike force that is completed by Luis Suarez, but no-one would make those claims now.

He is on huge wages at PSG and while he is scoring goals in a one-sided French top flight, the £50million outlay that would need to be paid for United or Arsenal to sign Cavani would make it a huge risk for a star who is viewed as a fading force.

SHANE LONG - SOUTHAMPTON

Status: Finally getting a run in the Southampton team.

Linked with: Liverpool, Tottenham.

Panic buy rating: 5/10

While Long’s links with Liverpool came as something of a surprise, the energy and drive provided by this Irishman means he could be a good fit for the high-octane brand of football Reds boss Jurgen Klopp promotes.

He may not be a regular starter if he moves to Anfield, but Southampton remain adamant that they will not consider selling Long (29), this month.

MAROUANE FELLAINI – MANCHESTER UNITED

Status: Somehow managing to still get into the Man United team.

Linked with: AC Milan, Inter Milan, Juventus.

Panic buy rating: 8/10

This fuzzy-haired midfielder fell neatly into the panic buy category when United paid Everton around £28million to sign him in the final hours of the 2013 summer transfer window and he has been a predictable flop at Old Trafford.

Louis van Gaal continues to pick him despite his consistently dreadful displays and it can only be assumed that the Italian clubs linked with this Belgian do not spend their time watching Fellaini (28), in action.

SAIDO BERAHINO – WEST BROMWICH ALBION

Status: Still convinced he is one of the world’s top strikers as he warms the West Brom bench.

Linked with: Chelsea, Tottenham, Newcastle.

Panic buy rating: 8/10

This confident 22-year-old frontman has struggled to prove he is as good as he claims to be in the last year at West Brom, but he is still being touted as a £30million player.

His agent must licking his lips, yet you wonder why top clubs would want to invest in a player who has scored just three Premier League goals this season.

ODION IGHALO - WATFORD

Status: A rising star or a one-season wonder?

Linked with: Manchester United, Arsenal.

Panic buy rating: 6/10

This Nigerian forward has been one of the stand-out performers in this Premier League season, but do 14 goals in Watford colours confirm that he is fit to play for a club with Champions League ambitions?

Ighalo is a handful for any defender, but the jury remains out on whether this 26-year-old has the ability to produce the goods consistently over the next few years.

JACKSON MARTINEZ – ATLETICO MADRID

Status: Long-time target for a host of Premier League clubs.

Linked with: Tottenham.

Panic buy rating: 6/10

Martinez has been on the radar of England’s elite clubs for many a year, but his failure to make an impact at Atletico Madrid following a £25million move from Porto last summer does not inspire confidence that he would take the Premier League by storm.

At the age of 29, he is hardly a long-term investment, but reports suggest Spurs are keen to recruit Martinez as they look to safeguard against an injury to lead striker Harry Kane.