It may seem as if the summer transfer window has only just shut but with the European campaigns underway across Europe, scouts are already looking at potential purchases at the start of 2015. Italian based players will always attract their fair share of interest and here are five men who could be heading for the Premiership before the end of January.
Arturo Vidal – Juventus
The Chilean midfielder looks set to follow the path trodden by his International teammate Alexis Sanchez and join one of the top teams in the English Premier League. Manchester United is his likely destination, as their pursuit of the Juventus winger was the worst kept secret over the summer, and it seems just a matter of time before Vidal is on English shores.
The 27 year-old combative midfielder made his name at Bayer Leverkusen before securing a move to Turin in 2011 where he won three consecutive scudetto’s. Vidal was arguably in the best midfielder in Europe during the 2012-13 season, his infectious energy and powerful performances for Juventus in the centre of the park were unrivalled and his potential arrival at Old Trafford could shorten United’s title odds with Betfair.
Premier League clubs beware though as Real Madrid are also rumoured to be sniffing around the Chilean after losing Xabi Alonso to Bayern and with Sami Khedira edging closer to the exit door.
Stephan El Shaarawy – AC Milan
The 21 year-old Italian wonder-kid made a remarkable start to last season, scoring 14 goals in 17 matches on the left hand side of an attacking trident for AC Milan. His form, perhaps predictably for a young player, tailed off towards the end of the year but it was an incredible campaign for El Shaarawy nevertheless.
His explosive playing style and technical ability has drawn inevitable comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo but injuries and a highly competitive set of striking options at the Rossoneri has given the player limited playing time this season.
While the young AC Milan winger looks relatively content with life in Serie A at the moment, a possible switch to the Premier League could well be on the cards in the near future.
Juan Cuadrado – Fiorentina
Having starred for Colombia in the World Cup over the summer it was a surprise to see Juan Cuadrado stay put at Fiorentina. However, Manchester United and Chelsea appear to be vying for the tricky winger’s signature and a deal could be tied up in the January window – with a switch to Stamford Bridge more likely.
Cuadrado has made 72 appearances for Fiorentina and scored 17 goals in the process. His electric pace and staggering close control has put him in the top bracket of wingers in world football so La Viola fans must be hoping the 26 year-old signs a contract extension rather than a one way ticket to West London.
Kevin Strootman – AS Roma
Kevin Strootman made the transition from the Eredivise to Serie A with consummate ease. The 24 year-old Dutch international left PSV for Roma in a €17m deal in 2013 and was the standout performer in the club’s midfield last term.
Strootman, however, was struck down with a knee injury against Napoli in March earlier this year, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the season and the 2014 World Cup.
Despite having played just 25 games in Serie A, speculation is rife that Roma may sell the Dutch midfielder for a hefty fee with Louis Van Gaal and Manchester at the top of the interested parties. His brilliance on the ball and eye for a tackle seem the perfect fit for a Premier League club and with comparisons drawn against Roy Keane perhaps United will be his next destination?
Stefan Savic – Fiorentina
Italian football has been blessed with some of the greatest defenders the game has seen and Fiorentina could have another gem on their hands in the shape of Stefan Savic.
The 23 year-old totem pole of a centre back is growing in stature in Florence after somewhat losing his way at Manchester City during the 2011-12 season.
Roberto Mancini signed the player for £6m as a 20 year-old but his inexperience and bit-part role saw him switch City for Fiorentina as a makeweight in the Matija Nastasic deal just 12 months later.
Savic, however, is proving the doubters wrong with a string of commanding displays at the heart of defence for club and country. His is without doubt a top class defender in the making and looks primed to return to the hustle and bustle of the Premier League in the very near future.