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World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615689 Hot fuss Hot+fuss World

This week’s column is dominated by European powerhouses Real Madrid and wannabe Paris Saint-Germain. Interestingly rumors surrounding the Spanish giant this week are purely about potential exits, while PSG concerns possible captures. In this day and age that could be a sign of a power shift in the European landscape or could it be just hot fuss? Those clues should give the game away about this week’s band to help us flesh out the gossip. We’ve got ten tracks by Las Vegas’s indie quartet The Killers permeating the mix.

- AP Images
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31616489 Luis Suarez, Liverpool Luis+Suarez%2C+Liverpool World

RUMOR: Liverpool to Bayern Munich
LIKELIHOOD: He’ll stay

There’s no doubt a player of Suarez’s talent deserves to grace the Champions League but the chances of that happening any time soon are remote. When he’s on top of his game there are few that can touch him. The Reds have announced their debt has increased by a third but they are 10 points away from a top-four finish and can only realistically eye a place in next season’s Europa League. His brother said last week that Luis would not automatically dismiss an offer from Bayern if they were to make one – a statement which, in our view, means: “Thanks, but no thanks”.

REUTERS/Nigel Roddis - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31616488 James Rodriguez, Porto James+Rodriguez%2C+Porto World

RUMOR: Porto to Manchester United
LIKELIHOOD: Not at that price

The 21-year-old Colombian has been dubbed the ‘South American Cristiano Ronaldo’ and the two have a passing resemblance both in looks and talent. United scouts watched him over a week ago with the understanding it would cost $36 million to buy him out of his contract but it then transpired that the figure would actually be, on reflection, er… $54 million. You can read my mind - United won’t spend that sort of cash on a player unless it’s CR7 himself.

REUTERS/Miguel Vidal - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31616490 Fabio Capello, Russia manager Fabio+Capello%2C+Russia+manager World

RUMOR: Russia to Chelsea
LIKELIHOOD: Just another Benitez

There’s a general feeling throughout the world that Chelsea is losing touch with reality judging by the number of managers it has had since Mourinho left Stamford Bridge in 2007 (the answer is seven). Benitez told us, as part of his rant against the Blues fans and the club’s hierarchy, that he would be leaving in the summer which inevitably started the speculation about his successor. Former England coach Fabio Capello, now in charge of Russia, was linked with the post at the weekend, but he has gone out of his way to say that he has not received an offer. Capello has a good relationship with Terry, but we think the Italian lacks the panache that Roman Abramovich clearly craves.

REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615685 Kaka, Real Madrid Kaka%2C+Real+Madrid World

RUMOR: Real Madrid to MLS

This story emerged at the tail end of last week and certainly has some substance to it. Kaka’s brother Digao plays for New York Red Bulls and he revealed that the Real Madrid star is interested in the MLS and the lifestyle in the United States. However, reading between the lines it sounds like Kaka isn’t ready to leave La Liga just yet. If you’re good enough to start against Barcelona you’re probably too good for MLS, but it’s only a matter of time before he goes stateside.

REUTERS/Juan Medina - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615690 Samir Nasri, Manchester City Samir+Nasri%2C+Manchester+City World

RUMOR: Manchester City to PSG
LIKELIHOOD: He just doesn’t fit at City anymore

Roberto Mancini gave an exclusive interview to the Guardian a week ago in which he claimed Samir Nasri has only been operating at 50 per cent this season. “Sometimes you get players who think it is not important to work and this is their worst mistake,” he said. “Samir can do better this year.” Ouch! Whether Paris will become Sam’s town next season we don’t know (he is French so it kind of makes sense), but unless he raises his game we can see him bidding City ‘au revoir’.

Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31616491 Alexis Sanchez, Barcelona Alexis+Sanchez%2C+Barcelona World

RUMOR: Barcelona to Manchester City
LIKELIHOOD: Sanchez is struggling to adapt to Barca’s style

The signs of desperation at Manchester City are there for all to see. Not a week goes by without City being linked with a player that seems out of reach (Neymar, Falcao etc…) We’re sure that everything will be alright at the Etihad eventually, however for the time being Mancini wants to make sure his side have a fighting chance of wresting the title from United next season. That’s why Sanchez is the latest player to be linked with City. Sanchez is only getting half a game or so at Camp Nou these days and admits himself he isn’t having the best of seasons. Barca may decide to cash in on the Chile winger if he doesn’t improve.

REUTERS/Albert Gea - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615687 Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Cristiano+Ronaldo%2C+Real+Madrid World

RUMOR: Real Madrid to Manchester United
LIKELIHOOD: We still don’t think so.

Ronaldo is apparently ready to take a pay cut to join Manchester United, although you wouldn’t think so judging by what Sir Alex Ferguson has to say. He said: “There hasn’t been much to encourage me to think that Cristiano would come back here.” What are the chances the United boss was thinking: “But if you change your mind…"

Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Carl Recine - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615686 Wayne Rooney, Manchester United Wayne+Rooney%2C+Manchester+United World

RUMOR: Manchester United to PSG
LIKELIHOOD: Non chance mon ami

This doesn’t quite rank with the Rooney-to-Manchester City story from a few years ago, but it’s not far off. In the world we live in nothing can be ruled out, but we think Rooney has learned his lesson and would not want to cross swords with Sir Alex Ferguson again. French football isn’t in the same league as the Premier League, metaphorically speaking, so the euro won’t be luring Rooney to Paris in our book.

Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Alex Morton - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615688 Jose Mourinho, Real Marid Jose+Mourinho%2C+Real+Marid World

RUMOR: Real Madrid to PSG
LIKELIHOOD: Non, non, non

PSG certainly don’t lack ambition when it comes to transfer targets. Not only do they want Mourinho, but his star player CR7 too (and let’s not forget Rooney is on the list too). Mourinho is widely expected to leave Real at the end of the season and Ronaldo's contract situation has caused many to speculate that he will be leaving the Bernabeu too, but come on! We know Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Lucas Moura made the move to Paris, but Mourinho is heading back to England. How do we know? er..somebody told me…

Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Carl Recine Livepic - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 4-10 31615684 Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid Gonzalo+Higuain%2C+Real+Madrid World

RUMOR: Real Madrid to Manchester City

Will Higuain join the supposed runaways from Real for a move to City? Mourinho, Ronaldo and Kaka have widely been linked with exits over the last few days so why not Higuain, who isn’t a regular starter at the Bernabeu – which has given some the idea that City are about to pounce. We all know that Mourinho likes to freshen up his team so he shouldn’t take it personally. City have been linked with City before and of course his Argentine team-mate and close pal Sergio Aguero is at the club. If Aguero can hack at City there’s no reason why Higuain can’t, but it’s not usual for Real to sell their best players.

REUTERS/Vincent West - Action Images/Reuters
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