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Ten hottest forwards on winter market
by Paul Kennedy, January 5th, 2010 7AM

TAGS:  england, france, germany, italy, spain


[TRANSFER TALK] Europe's winter transfer window opened Monday. Here's a look at the 10 hottest strikers on the market, from 32-year-old Italian great Luca Toni to 17-year-old Belgian Maxime Lestienne, and why deals will or won't go through ....

SERGIO AGUERO: No. Talk of the 21-year-old Argentine's move from Atletico Madrid to Chelsea has quieted.

Reason against move:  Aguero, Diego Maradona's son-in-law, says he's happy at Atletico; Chelsea has been getting production out its frontline reserves.


KRIS BOYD: Likely. The Scotsman, who recently brought the SPL career scoring record with five goals against Dundee United, could be headed to French club Sochaux.

Reason for move: Sochaux needs a striker to replace injured American Charlie Davies. Boyd becomes a free agent in the summer. (Three clubs mentioned as a possible destination: Birmingham City, Bochum and Eintracht Frankfurt.)

Reason against move: Rangers needs the 26-year-old striker's scoring punch to win the SPL title.


MAROUANE CHAMAKH: No. The Bordeaux striker, linked to Arsenal, will remain in France, at least through the end of the season.

Reason against move:  Chamakh becomes a free agent on June 30. With that in mind, the Moroccan is more valuable to Bordeaux in its league title defense -- it has opened up a nine-point lead -- and in the UEFA Champions League -- it's seeded in the round of 16 -- than as a transfer target.


EDIN DZEKO: No. AC Milan's bid for the 23-year-old Bosnian is dead after German champion Wolfsburg rejected $40 million Dutch plus Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Reason against move:  Wolfsburg is holding out for as much as $60 million. It could get close to that in the summer. Manchester United and Chelsea are both interested in the lanky forward.


EMILE HESKEY: Unlikely. The Aston Villa striker has been linked to Liverpool.

Reason for move: Heskey needs playing time to be assured of figuring in England's World Cup plans; Liverpool needs a backup for Fernando Torres.

Reason against move: Bad blood between Villa manager Martin O'Neill and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez, dating back to the Reds' approach for Aston Villa midfielder Gareth Barry 18 months ago.


MAXIME LESTIENNE: Yes. The 17-year-old Belgian from Excelsior Mouscron has been linked with Manchester United, Everton and PSV, among others. The favorite? PSV because
Lestienne wants to be close to home.

Reason for move: Simple ... Excelsior Mouscron bankrupt, making Lestienne a free agent.


VICTOR MOSES: Likely. With five goals in his past seven games for Crystal Palace, the 19-year-old Englishman's stock is rising quickly. Clubs reportedly interested include Manchester City and Barcelona.

Reason for move: See Lestienne (above). Palace needs the $10 million or so it could get for Moses in order to stave off possible bankruptcy.

Reason against move: Moses is happy at Palace.


GORAN PANDEV: Yes. The Macedonian rejoined Inter Milan from Lazio, signing a four-and-a-half-year deal.

Reason for move: Pandev won a legal battle with Lazio, making him a free agent, and his move gives Inter cover for Samuel Eto'o, who is representing Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations.


LUCA TONI: Yes. The 32-year-old Italian star joined Roma from Bayern Munich until the end of the season.

Reason for move: Toni made only four Bundesliga appearances this fall for Bayern, which gets rid of the $5 million remaining on his salary.


RUUD VAN NISTELROOY: Likely. Liverpool and Stoke say they're not interested, but Real Madrid will continue to shop him around the EPL.

Reason for move: Van Nistelrooy has only played one game for the Merengues since coming back from knee surgery, and he wants to be fit to earn a recall for the Netherlands' World Cup campaign. Real Madrid is only happy to oblige with a move to get him off its books.

Reason against move: At 33, he probably isn't worth the money.


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