By Seth Vertelney, Goal.com
January is nearly upon us and with its arrival, the transfer window will swing open all across Europe. With the continent's biggest sides on the hunt for new talent, several big names are likely to be moving during the month-long transfer window. Let's take a look at some players that could be headed for new destinations this January.
Wesley Sneijder, Inter
The Dutch playmaker has been frozen out of the first team at the San Siro after refusing to take a pay cut. Sneijder has publicly commented that it would be better for him to find a new team in the January window, putting several big name clubs on red alert. Early reports that he had agreed to terms with Tottenham appear to be premature, so several other Premier League teams could be in for the midfielder, including Manchester City, Liverpool and Manchester United. Russian outfit Anzhi Makhachkala has also been mooted as a possible destination.
Demba Ba, Newcastle
The Senegalese striker has been a huge hit for the Toon, scoring 29 goals in 54 league appearances. With a paltry 7.5 million pound buyout clause, Ba has attracted the interest of many top clubs, and his public flirtations with other teams has virtually assured his immanent departure. Chelsea and Arsenal are two clubs rumored to be high on the 27-year-old, whose departure could open the door for Alan Pardew to sign long-term targets Mathieu Debuchy and Loic Remy.
Theo Walcott, Arsenal
Walcott's contract situation has been monitored by many of the continent's biggest clubs for some time now, and with his deal set to expire at the end of the season, his future could be settled in January. The England attacker's dazzling hat trick against Newcastle at the weekend surely added a few extra pounds to his next deal and if the Gunners aren't convinced they can re-sign Walcott in January, they could be better off selling him, rather than risk him walking away for free in the summer. Chelsea and Manchester United are rumored domestic suitors, while Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain could also be in play.
David Villa, Barcelona
Like Sneijder, Villa is another massive name who has fallen out of favor at his club, and attracted the attention of some of the Premier League's biggest clubs. The 31-year-old has started only six of Barcelona's 17 matches in La Liga this season, and has recently been left off the game-day roster entirely. Chelsea manager Rafa Benitez is said to be keen on reuniting Villa with Spanish teammates Fernando Torres and Juan Mata, but Liverpool and Arsenal could be interested as well. It is also possible that El Guaje will stick around the Camp Nou and fight for his place this season, then reconsider his options in the summer.
Marouane Fellaini, Everton
The giant Belgian has been one of the Premier League's best this season, turning heads with his tremendous vision, size, skill, and finishing ability while anchoring the Toffee midfield. Fellaini signed a five-year contract extension last year, but is rumored to be looking for an escape route from Goodison Park, and several clubs would surely be happy to oblige. Real Madrid is just one of the big names said to be in for the 25-year-old, who could wait to see if Everton qualifies for the Champions League this season before making a decision on his future.
Mario Balotelli, Manchester City
Balotelli's long-anticipated exit from City could finally be nearing its realization. With just one league goal this season, the 22-year-old's on-field production appears to be no longer worth the numerous off-field issues that come with his presence. Depending on which reports you believe, manager Roberto Mancini has either finally soured on the striker, or is keen to give him one last chance. Either way, with a surplus of strikers, City could be forced to accept a rumored 20 million pound bid from Milan.
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace
The 20-year-old midfielder has become something of a sensation for Championship side Palace, dazzling with his skill and power on the way to a recent England call-up. Zaha has given the indication that he'd be open to a January move, and with the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea and even Real Madrid on his trail, it appears that Palace has little hope of hanging onto the 15 million pound man for much longer.
Benat Etxeberria, Real Betis
The 25-year-old Spanish playmaker has been earning rave reviews for his performances with Betis, and recently acknowledged the possibility that he could be off in January. The former Bilbao midfielder has recently broken into the Spain squad and has reportedly drawn the interest of Barcelona. Spartak Moscow and Wolfsburg have also been mentioned as possible destinations, along with a host of Premier League clubs, including Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal.
Bafetimbi Gomis, Lyon
The France international has been in fine form this campaign, with 11 goals in league play for Les Gones. The French club is known to be in financial peril, and was forced to sell star goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to Tottenham this summer. The 27-year-old Gomis could be next out the door, with Chelsea and Liverpool both monitoring the striker, who could cost around 15 million pounds.
Follow @GoalUSA on Twitter.