The first of January is a day greeted with mixed emotion by Premier League football managers. Whether it is Newcastle boss Alan Pardew trying to hang on to Demba Ba or Brendan Rodgers bringing in Daniel Sturridge the transfer market is already in full swing.
The big move being touted at the moment is Senegalese International Demba Ba moving to Stamford Bridge from Newcastle. The striker has a seven million pound release clause in his current contract which most clubs would conceivably pay - but it is Chelsea who have shown their hand first currently going through negotiations with the player after they activated the clause.
Chelsea are hoping Ba can take the place of Daniel Sturridge who has officially completed his move to Liverpool. The Englishman was unhappy about his wide role at Stamford Bridge and both parties will be hoping he can shine as the out-and-out forward Liverpool desperately need.
Liverpool meanwhile will be hoping to offload flop Joe Cole at least on-loan to either West Ham or struggling Queens Park Rangers. Rangers' manager Harry Redknapp has already declared an interest in the player - who he worked with at West Ham.
Southampton host Arsenal in the Premier League for the first time since 2005 on New Years Day. Arsenal have found form following the embarassing defeat they suffered at League Two Bradford in the Captial One Cup - winning four Premier League games in a row against Reading, Wigan, West Brom and Newcastle.
Southampton meanwhile have began to find their feet a little bit and a draw against high-flying Stoke last time out shows they can compete in the division. However they find themselves in the bottom three having thrown away a 3-1 lead against the Potters' ten-men.
Nigel Adkins' side have been poor on the road with only one victory at bottom of the table QPR but they have an impressive home record having won three of their games - owing much to Rickie Lambert's efforts and the emergence of Luke Shaw.
Arsene Wenger will be hoping to lead Arsenal to their third away victory in a row following wins at the Madjeski and DW stadiums respectively. The pressure on the manager has begun to lift following his decision to put Englishman Theo Walcott up front along with Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski.
La Liga is top of the UEFA Coeffcient and Spain are the current World and European Champions. Yet La Liga seems to be going through a stage of transition in terms of strength and depth. European giants and so-called 'best team in the world' Barcelona are leading the division by an almost unassailable amount - and being Barcelona, you have to say it is impossible to catch.
Nine points clear of nearest rivals Athletico Madrid and surprisingly 16 points clear of defending champions Real Madrid, the La Liga crown appears to be going to the Nou Camp. But what are the reasons behind the sudden drop of Madrid and the ability of Barcelona to keep improving despite the loss of already legendary manager Pep Guardiola, the aging of Xavi and Puyol, the illness of current manager Tito Vilanova and limited summer spending.
Barcelona have won 16 of their 17 games in the league drawing the other to give them 49 points from a possible 52. They also have a goal difference which is already fourteen goals better off than any of their rivals.
Swedish International striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on of the best goals of all time in the 4-2 win against England at the newly opened Friends Arena.
The Swedish side had gone two-one down but following a phenomenal display in which the talismanic striker scored four, Sweden won the game.
The decesive goal was a thing of beauty. A stunning bicycle kick over the head of the hopeless Joe Hart who had strayed from his penalty area to head away a long ball.
Ibrahimovic managed to turn his body into a position which seemed impossible to score but he somehow managed to score arguably a perfect goal.
Brazilian legend Ronaldo described the goal as 'fantastic' whilst English newspaper The Daily Telegraph called it 'The Goal of the Century'.
Another footballing legend Zinadine Zidane called Ibrahimovic 'an extraordinary player' saying his performance was 'magnificiant'.
The highest praise of the goal came from Swedish National Team coach Erik Hamren who described it as simply 'The Best Goal Ever'
Manchester United have been an impressive force up front this season with the addition of Robin Van Persie in the Summer appearing to pay-off for the Red Devils.
However, one issue that United seem to face season after season is defensively. With Rio Ferdinand looking slightly below par and Johnny Evans error prone, United's central defence appears to be leaking.
One noticiable absentee is Vidic - one of the best defenders in the world. The Serbian has struggled with injury in recent seasons and has missed almost all of this season.
With the news that the defender could miss at least the next month, this could greatly effect United's chances of a league title or european trophy.
In the 2011/12 Champions League Sir Alex opted to rest a lot of players including defenders with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones used as they crashed out at the group stage - in embarassing fashion.
With Jones and Smalling both injured along with Vidic, United have been resigned to having Michael Carrick as a back-up defender.