Transfer Talk: Ashley Cole to Real Madrid; Mario Balotelli to AC Milan; Moussa Sissoko to Newcastle

The Independent's Jack Pitt-Brooke analyses today's January transfer window stories and separates the reality from the rumour

Player: Ashley Cole

Club: Chelsea

Possible move to: Real Madrid

Time left on deal: Six months

The story: Is known to be on his way out of Chelsea along with fellow-veteran Frank Lampard. Despite talk of a move to Manchester United, Cole is most likely to leave England to head abroad. Real Madrid already have Marcelo, though, so maybe Paris Saint-Germain is a more likely destination for Cole?

Chance of moving: Three stars

 

Player: Mario Balotelli

Club: Manchester City

Possible move to: AC Milan

Time left on deal: Two and a half years

The story: City are now willing to let Balotelli leave for the right price. This is his third season at the Etihad Stadium and he still does not look like being able to string a few good performances together. With Roberto Mancini's patience wearing thin, it is reliant on Silvio Berlusconi putting up the money.

Chance of moving: Three stars

 

Player: Frank Lampard

Club: Chelsea

Possible move to: Fiorentina

Time left on deal: Six months

The story: It is football's worst-kept secret that Frank Lampard is leaving Stamford Bridge this summer. But could he go to Serie A? This seems less likely - his partner Christine Bleakley works in television and so a move to the US, and LA Galaxy in particular, sounds more plausible.

Chance of moving: Two stars

 

Player: Moussa Sissoko

Club: Toulouse

Possible move to: Newcastle United

Time left on deal: Six months

The story: Newcastle's midfield has been poor this year, with Yohan Cabaye injured and Cheikh Tiote struggling for form. So Alan Pardew may go back to Ligue 1 for Toulouse's powerful French midfielder Moussa Sissoko, available for a bargain price with just six months left on his deal. Though there will certainly be competition.

Chance of moving: Four stars

 

Player: Gaetan Bong

Club: Valenciennes

Possible move to: Newcastle United

The story: Newcastle United need defensive reinforcements and enjoy shopping in France and so Valenciennes left-back Gaetan Bong could be the perfect man, with Mathieu Debuchy already having arrived from Lille to play on the opposite side.

Chance of moving: Four stars

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