January transfer window watch: Italy

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Ahead of the January transfer window, Sport360 is running a series of features across European football’s top leagues which look at the players who may be on the move this winter.

This time around it's Serie A that we are putting under the microscope, rating the likelihood of ten rumoured transfers to happen in January.

– Bundesliga: January transfer window watch

– Ligue 1: January transfer window watch
– VOTE NOW: End of Year #360Awards 2015

Keita Balde (Lazio)
Clubs interested: Monaco
Likelihood: 5/10

Lazio have struggled badly thus far in 2015/16, which means there may be some major work for them to do in the January transfer window as they seek to strengthen their squad. It has been reported that winger Keita Balde may be sacrificed in order to pay for any new signings, with AS Monaco believed to have already had one bid turned down.

Rome-based newspaper Il Tempo first noted the interest of the Ligue 1 side but, with concerns over the future of Ravel Morrison, it would take a strong offer to convince Lazio to part with the promising 20-year-old.

Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina) 
Clubs interested: Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Real Madrid, Manchester United
Likelihood: 1/10

An important part of Fiorentina’s resurgence under Paulo Sousa, Federico Bernardeschi has understandably attracted the attention of Europe’s top clubs. Able to fill a variety of roles on both flanks, Carlo Ancelotti is believed to want him at Bayern Munich next season while reports in the Italian press have listed a raft of other teams as potential destinations.

Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United have all been mentioned, but La Viola are likely to hold onto their impressive number 10 at least until the summer.

Martin Caceres (Juventus) 
Clubs interested: Liverpool, Milan
Likelihood: 7.5/10

Having continually impressed for Uruguay in recent seasons, Martin Caceres’ inability to break into Juve’s first choice XI has left him frustrated, but the player has done little to help his cause. The form of Andrea Barzagli and Stephan Lichtsteiner has seen the 28-year-old pushed into a reserve role, and two separate drink-driving incidents have only compounded the problem.

With his contract set to expire in the summer, it seems the Bianconeri are ready to move on, and both Milan and Liverpool have been touted as possible destinations.

Ashley Cole (AS Roma) 
Clubs interested: LA Galaxy
Likelihood: 9.9/10

If Bernardeschi’s career is ahead of him, it seems the best days of Ashley Cole are long since passed with the former England international unable to even earn a place on the AS Roma bench this term. MLS side LA Galaxy appear to be offering the full-back a way out, and with his contract set to expire in June 2016, the former Arsenal and Chelsea man seems to be headed towards the exit.

Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli) 
Clubs interested: Bayern Munich
Likelihood: 0.1/10

Gonzalo Higuain is arguably Serie A’s best and most in-form player right now, netting a staggering 16 goals in 17 appearances before the winter break. Adding two more strikes in limited Europa League minutes, the Argentine is understandably being discussed as a transfer target for a number of clubs, with a strong link to Bayern Munich dominating the headlines.

It is believed that the Bundesliga giants may sell Robert Lewandowski and replace him with Higuain, but those deals would only take place in the summer, making a January exit for the Napoli star all but impossible.

Juan Iturbe (AS Roma) 
Clubs interested: Bournemouth, Watford
Likelihood: 10/10

Just eighteen months ago, Juan Manuel Iturbe was one of the hottest names in football, with AS Roma and Juventus going head to head for his signature. Antonio Conte’s hasty exit in Turin prompted the winger to opt for the Giallorossi, but the player has struggled since making the €24.5m move from Hellas Verona.

No longer playing on the counter-attack, he found it difficult to match that early promise and now is all set to join AFC Bournemouth after they look to have beaten fellow Premier League club Watford to his signature. If they help him find his best form, it could prove to be an incredible coup and Iturbe is certainly a player to watch over the coming weeks.

Eddy Onazi (Lazio) 
Clubs interested: Liverpool 
Likelihood: 5/10

Lazio’s struggles have understandably led to talk of unrest, and former Liverpool target Eddy Onazi is among a number of disgruntled players within Stefano Pioli’s squad. Despite some serious injury problems throughout the side, the 22-year-old has made just five league appearances in 2015/16, and his agent has made their position abundantly clear.

“Eddy really cares about Lazio, but it’s right that he wants to play more. He isn’t happy to stay on the bench,” Stephen Makinwa told a Lazio fan website this week. He also explained that Onazi “would have no problem finding another team” and that is without question given the quality he possesses.

Alberto Paloschi (Chievo) 
Clubs interested: Swansea City 
Likelihood: 2/10

Alberto Paloschi is arguably one of Serie A’s most underrated strikers, the AC Milan youth product a major factor in Chievo’s ability to retain their top flight status. While he remains somewhat under the radar, this week saw the Veronese club’s Director of Football Luca Nember forced to deny a report that the 25-year-old was set for a January move to Swansea City.

It seems unlikely that Chievo would part with Paloschi, but they are also in no position to turn down a proposal should a significant sum arrive.

Pedro Pereira (Sampdoria)
Clubs interested: Leicester City
Likelihood: 5/10

A number of transfer targets have begun to emerge as Leicester City look to sustain their unlikely Premier League title bid, with Sampdoria’s right-back Pedro Pereira believed to be among them. The 17-year-old was excellent as he filled in during the early part of the campaign, but with Lorenzo De Silvestri now healthy the Genoa-based club may well cash in.

Local newspaper Il Secolo XIX believes a €10 million bid has been made, but also believes Leicester may send Yohan Benalouane, Gokhan Inler or Andrej Kramaric to Sampdoria as makeweights.

Giuseppe Rossi (Fiorentina) 
Clubs interested: Sampdoria, Tottenham Hotspur
Likelihood: 5/10

After an injury nightmare that seemed it would never end, Giuseppe Rossi has come back healthy and ready to play, only to find out that Fiorentina have moved on without him. He has found space in the side difficult to find, with his agent Federico Pastorello insisting it is “99% certain” the striker will leave La Viola in January.

Bologna have already ruled themselves out of being a possible destination, but a number of English and Spanish clubs are believed to be monitoring the situation.

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