Transfer Rumors (29 Dec 08): AC Milan to make Agger bid, Villa line up Defoe, Real end Young pursuit, and more

We’re only a few days away from the start of a new year and the opening of the winter transfer window. I know, it’s exciting, right?

A few high-profile deals have already been wrapped up, and though the window doesn’t open for another few days, several sides are busy trying to make bids and narrow down their January wish list.

Who’s in the transfer gossip pages today? Keep on reading to find out.

AC Milan Set for £8m Agger Move

AC Milan could be set to formally make a bid for Liverpool defender Daniel Agger, with an £8m offer said to be in the works, according to the Daily Mail.

Analysis: That would seem a little bit low for Agger, who’s done well since becoming a regular for Rafa Benitez in October. A summer swoop might be more realistic, especially if the uncertainty about Agger’s future remains.

Real Madrid End Young Chase

After being told by Aston Villa that Ashley Young will cost them £30m if they want to get him in January, Real Madrid have stopped their attempts to sign the Villa star.

Analysis: This might not be the last we hear of Young being linked with Real, but the next time we do, the asking price might be a lot higher. He’s key to Villa’s ambitions to being a Premier League and European contender for years to come, and he should be at Villa Park for a while yet.

Aston Villa Line Up £16m Defoe Bid

Aston Villa are looking to make a sustained challenge at the top of the Premier League, and they’re set to throw down the gauntlet in the Jermain Defoe race by making a £16m bid for the Pompey star. If that doesn’t work out, then they could pursue Tottenham’s Darren Bent.

Analysis: With that kind of bid in the cards, Defoe could be Villa’s to lose, and even if Manchester City make a superior bid, I like Villa’s chances to capture him.

Arsenal After Newcastle Trio?

Arsene Wenger may or may not have money to spend in January, but if he does, he could have Newcastle trio Shay Given, Steven Taylor, and Charles N’Zogbia in his sights.

Analysis: Of the three, Given would likely stand to be the biggest contributor, though Manuel Almunia won’t give up his spot without a serious fight.

Manchester City Turned Back in Bellamy/Parker Bids

Manchester City have a lot of money to spend in January, but does anyone want to take it? West Ham might, if City improve upon initial £7.5m bids for Craig Bellamy and Scott Parker.

Analysis: West Ham do have financial issues, but there’s no pressing need to sell Bellamy and Parker when it’d likely do more harm than good to their hopes of not only surviving, but pushing for a very respectable finish.

Wigan Close on Colombian Striker

With Emile Heskey likely set to leave Wigan either in January or in the summer, and a permanent deal for Amr Zaki out of reach, Steve Bruce is bracing for the losses by signing Colombian striker Hugo Rodallega from Mexican side Necaxa in a £4.5m deal.

Analysis: He’s already struck gold in the Americas with Antonio Valencia, Wilson Palacios, and Maynor Figueroa, so watch out for Rodallega to make an impact in the near future. He has 21 caps for Colombia, so he should be able to secure a work permit.

L'Équipe's All-Star Best XI of 2008
Arsene looking to Newcastle trio to bolster Arsenal?