Soccer has become a game that's very much needs must if you're looking to compete at the sharp end of the spectrum. So at this relatively early stage of the season, if it becomes apparent that a top side needs a forward, the January window presents a fine opportunity to bolster ranks. Typically, they'll splash the cash to make that happen.
Domestic soccer makes its return this weekend, and as is often the case on the back of an international break, some intriguing results will beanticipatedwhen various teams take to the field for a host of enticing matches.
We've got two ties from the Premier League involving teams looking to settle scores from last season, one of European soccer's most iconic derby matches and another intriguing clash from Serie A to savor.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce has been left counting the cost of the international break as both striker Diafra Sakho and midfielder Stewart Downing are doubts for the Barclays Premier League trip to Everton.
Downing had just earned himself a recall to the England squad following fine form in the Hammers' promising start, but suffered a knee problem in the first half against Scotland at Celtic Park on Tuesday night.
There's nothing quite like a wonderful goal celebration especially if it's against your archenemy, Scotland.
England captain Wayne Rooney had particular reason to celebrate after scoring his 46th goal for England, helping the side win 3-1 at Celtic Park. The goal also mirrored his first goal in the Victory Shield against the same opposition, some 14 years ago.
Derby matches capture the essence of all that's wonderful about soccer, and while there are magnificent examples of these clashes across the globe, there are few more passionate, colorful and hostilethan when Boca Juniors and River Plate meet in ElSuperclasico.
And with the two sides set to add another raucous chapter in their illustrious history when they meet again in the semi-final of the Copa Sudamericana at Boca's La Bombonera stadium (live on FOX Deportes and FOX Sports GO at 6:45pm ET tonight for viewers in the USA), what better time to take a brief look at this engrossing and often unfortunate rivalry?
Liverpool's hopes of bringing striker Divock Origi back to Anfield in January rely on former club Lille being prepared to release the Belgium international from his loan spell.
The Reds beat a number of European clubs to sign the highly-rated 19-year-old in the summer but a significant part of the success of that capture was a binding agreement to allow the forward to remain in France for one further season.
Late yesterday, Spain's premier radio network Cadena SER broke news that Real Madrid would not be offering midfielder Sami Khedira a new contract. Speculation is the club was unhappy with the German international for failing to renew his contract with the Spanish giants last season.
Cadena SER also reported that officials at the La Liga side believed the midfielder has "lost importance in the Real Madrid dressing room", and the club has an agreement in place for next summer with another European clubfora replacement in its midfield.
The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders have been bitter rivals since Seattle was introduced as the leagues newest expansion team in 2007. The Sounders immediately made it known they wanted to be the biggest and most successful soccer team in North America, a designation the Galaxy had adopted when they brought in Landon Donovan and David Beckham and became a legitimate topic of discussion in sports circles around America.
Juventus will hold a press conference today where it is expected the Serie A club will announce it has signed new deals with goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defender Giorgio Chiellini. The contracts are expected to keep the players with the Italian champions until 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Various reports believe that Buffon will put pen to paper on a new deal which will keep the 36-year-old shot stopper in Turin until at least 2017, with the possibility of a further extension.