by TRAVIS CLARK
Former Arsenal standout Patrick Vieira may very well be on his way back to the Premier League. And if rumors become reality, the French International could wind up playing at Eastlands under Roberto Mancini. Manchester City is expected to spend heavily in January, with the addition of Vieira look like a real possibility.
Vieira has played his last game for Inter, according to coach Jose Mourinho, and is in need of a new club if he hopes to take part in the World Cup this summer. He's appeared sparingly for Inter this season, and the 33-year-old faces an uphill battle to make Raymond Domenech's French squad in South Africa. The latest rumors have Manchester City as his likely destination to join up with old manager Mancini.
City's newest manager was Vieira's boss when he arrived at Inter from Juventus in 2006, and is looking to bring in reinforcements to his old club. Concerns linger about Vieira's age, and his ability to cope with the speed of the Premier League — not to mention the injury problems that have recently plagued the Frenchman.
Here are a few other transfer stories from around Europe:
Vidic United future uncertain
Real Madrid are lining up another swoop for a Manchester United star. This time, it's hulking central defender Nemanja Vidic who might swap Old Trafford for the Spanish capital. However, while Vidic's agent recently ruled out a January move, there are rumors that the Serbian defender had a falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson and may be eager to move on in the summer, if not sooner.
City close in on Kazan defender
Despite recently announcing a loss of close to £100 millions pounds, Manchester City will no doubt splash money out the cash in January. Along with Vieira, Mancini's has Rubin Kazan left back Cristian Ansaldi in his sights. An Argentinian international, Ansaldi would be a welcome boost for a back line that has looked a little beleaguered this season. The 23-year-old, while solid for Kazan, is a long shot for Diego Maradona's World Cup squad, with just a single cap to his name.
Birmingham bid for Babel
Ryan Babel, Liverpool's struggling Dutch winger, could be on the move to Birmingham. The club has made a bid for the youngster in an effort to bolster their squad and secure another season in the English top flight. Babel indicated that he would prefer to stay and fight for a spot in Liverpool, but very well may be a casualty of Liverpool's debt, as Rafa Benitez tries to fund other purchases during January.
Ribery hints at Bayern stay
The future of French winger Franck Ribery in Germany became a bit clearer recently Bayern Munich star is under contract until 2011, but had failed to commit to the club, making a move this year much likelier. Reports that Ribery may sign an extension, a move that would rule out a switch in 2010. However, it remains to be seen if the Bavarian giants can convince him to sign on for a few more years.
What do you think of Vieira's possible return to England? Will Vidic stay or go? Think Ansaldi is a good buy for Mancini? Is Babel leaving Liverpool? Will Bayern keep Ribery around for longer?
Share your thoughts below.