Serie A is a league in transition. Previously rich clubs are cutting back spending and the table looks very different now than in years go past. In the league Juventus are back on top but traditional powerhouses like AC Milan and Internationazle are well off the pace.
In the Champions League somehow the woeful Milan managed to qualify for the second round whilst Napoli and Juventus crashed out. Napoli perhaps undone by their lack of adventure early on at home to Arsenal. Whilst Juventus were denied first by their failure to defeat FC Copenhagen and secondly by a snowstorm in Istanbul.
For cash rich clubs in the Premier League this transition should offer an opportunity to find some value in the transfer market. With this in mind lets take a look at five players clubs like Manchester United or Liverpool could look to buy in January.
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado
An immensely talented attacking winger who currently plays for Fiorentina. Cuadrado has pace to burn and is quick with the ball at his feet. An important player in the Columbian national side the temptation might be to sign him now before a World Cup where performances might raise his price tag. He likes to celebrate his goals with a spot of dancing the headline possibilities are nearly endless.
Another highly talented Belgian in another era he Nainggolan would almost certainly have far more than the four international caps he currently holds. Playing all his career in Italy Nainggolan has made his name as an all action central midfielder making over 100 appearances for Calgari. Strong in the tackle but still able to offer more offensively than your average defensive midfielder. Nainggolan could add steel to any number of Premier League midfields.
With Internazionale apparently needing to sell before they can buy and Guarin being heavily linked with Chelsea its seem likely that Freddy Guarin will be turning up on these shores. Able to play across the midfield this hardworking midfielder with an eye for a long range shot could be the player to get the best out of the rest of Chelsea's midfield.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Falling under the heading of a gamble signing the supremely talented but mercurial El Shaarawy would either be a massive hit or a colossal disaster.
El Shaarawy's appearances have been restricted this season and with the club working off a more restricted budget they would likely be keen to raise some money from the sale of an asset that isn't getting significant game time. Plus with the carrot of a possible World Cup selection come the end of the season El Shaarawy himself might be quite clean to start somewhere with a clean slate. Seems like the kind of player Liverpool might sign to add depth to the squad.
With the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City both showing fragility at the back and having vast amounts of cash to spend (should the respective owners be willing). A move for Benatia would not be out of the question.
The Moroccan international has forged a reputation in Serie A as one of the best centre half in the division. Playing for Roma Benatia has the bonus of being available for European competition this season.