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World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632220 A little cold A+little+cold World

Things are metaphorically starting to heat up in the world of transfer gossip as the season draws to a close. However, in England, where spring is just around the corner, the atmosphere is decidedly frosty judging by Rafa Benitez’s sulky reaction to Alex Ferguson’s handshake snub. Couple that with snow on the ground and sub-zero temperatures we have the perfect band to supplement the whispers that are doing the rounds. Ten tracks by Coldplay are in this week’s mix.

Peter Macdiarmid - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632213 Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid Cristiano+Ronaldo%2C+Real+Madrid World

RUMOR: Real Madrid to Manchester United
LIKELIHOOD: Not impossible

This story is starting to get interesting. How would United be able to afford re-signing a player it sold to Real Madrid for £80million four years ago when it failed to show the financial muscle to land Luka Modric and Lucas Moura last summer? Never fear, help is round the corner. Step forward Nike, who held talks with United over the renewal of their shirt sponsorship deal and also discussed ways they could ‘facilitate’ bringing Ronaldo back to Old Trafford. Those policing the Financial Fair Play regulations might have something to say about this, but this story still has a while to run.

Phil Noble - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632214 Carlos Tevez, Manchester City Carlos+Tevez%2C+Manchester+City World

RUMOR: Manchester City to AS Monaco
LIKELIHOOD: It’s possible

Has Carlos Tevez had another rush of blood to the head? A couple of papers are saying that the Argentine, who went AWOL from City for three months in 2011, is in advanced talks with the Ligue 2 club. But a quick look behind the scenes has persuaded us that this may be a goer. AS Monaco is owned by a Russian billionaire and is almost certain to be promoted to the top flight. Tevez has a year left to run on his contract and is unlikely to be offered a new deal. So what next? Well, £15million should do the trick to send him to France to challenge the PSG dictatorship.

Lee Smith - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632212 Gareth Bale, Tottenham Gareth+Bale%2C+Tottenham World

RUMOR: Tottenham to PSG
LIKELIHOOD: They’re towards the back of a short queue

Bale just gets better every week. The Wales midfielder travels at the speed of sound and has scored 11 goals in his last 10 games to make him one of the most coveted players in the world. All the talk is that Real Madrid is preparing a massive offer to prise him away from White Hart Lane, but it now seems that PSG has joined the conversation. If Bale were to leave we think it would be for the Bernabeu but staying at Tottenham is definitely an option if the club secures a top-four place at the end of the season.

John Sibley - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632215 Luka Modric, Real Madrid Luka+Modric%2C+Real+Madrid World

RUMOR: Real Madrid to Manchester United
LIKELIHOOD: Depends on a lot of things

We have heard a whisper that United wants Modric at Old Trafford, but it doesn’t seem feasible that the Premier League champions elect could afford both the Croatian and Cristiano Ronaldo. This one seems an either/or option, but if the chance arrives we’re sure United will go for it. Modric proved the difference when he came on for Real Madrid last weekend, scoring a spectacular equalizer before Ronaldo won the match later on. Modric may get the move he wanted originally if Jose Mourinho returns to Chelsea, although the former Tottenham man hasn’t been a regular starter for Los Blancos so we’ll await developments.

Jon Super - AP Images
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632216 Vincent Kompany, Manchester City Vincent+Kompany%2C+Manchester+City World

RUMOR: Manchester City to Barcelona
LIKELIHOOD: Unlikely unless Kompany throws a strop

Carles Puyol’s glittering career is coming to an end. So sad we hear you cry, but wipe your tears because Barca’s thoughts are already turning to his replacement. Chelsea defender David Luiz and Borussia Dortmund center-back Mats Hummels have both been mentioned as potential recruits but Kompany now appears to be top of the wish list. City is planning a clear-out in the summer but the Belgium international, who signed a six-year deal in the summer, isn’t one of those expected to leave.

John Sibley - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31627711 Mâ¿¿Baye Niang, AC Milan M%26acirc%3B%26iquest%3B%26iquest%3BBaye+Niang%2C+AC+Milan World

RUMOR: AC Milan to Chelsea
LIKELIHOOD: Probably not

Niang signed a five-year deal at the end of 2012 but that hasn’t put Chelsea off the young French striker, who is clearly a player of huge potential. Blues scouts have been watching the 18-year-old forward for quite a while even though he is yet to score in Serie A. Niang was reportedly the subject of a bid from Tottenham when he was at Ligue 2 club Caen, but he opted for Milan instead. Unless Chelsea offer silly money we see the Londoners’ hopes going up in flames.

World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632219 Edin Dzeko, Manchester City Edin+Dzeko%2C+Manchester+City World

RUMOR: Manchester City to Borussia Dortmund
LIKELIHOOD: This one’s a goer

It’s not just the elders of Rumor Redux that think Dzeko could leave City in the summer - we have a message from the man himself, Robert Mancini, to back up the claim. All the talk is that the Bosnia-Herzegovina international is heading for Borussia Dortmund as a replacement for Robert Lewandowski, who is expected to join Bayern Munich. Mancini said last week: “At the moment, there is nothing. In the end, maybe, I don't know. In the summer, it could be possible." Remember how many times Mancini said that Balotelli would not be leaving City? When a manager says you could leave in the summer you’re as good as gone.

Phil Noble - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31627710 Fernando Torres, Chelsea Fernando+Torres%2C+Chelsea World

RUMOR: Leaving Chelsea
LIKELIHOOD: Almost certainly, but where?

This isn’t really a rumor it’s just a hard dose of reality from a team that is by no means guaranteed a top-four place at the end of the season. A new manager will be in place at Stamford Bridge for the start of the 2013/14 campaign and it seems clear that Torres won’t be around to welcome him. We don’t have any proof of this rumor but what we do have are several videos of the Spaniard’s woeful performances this season – and that’s good enough for us. The big question is which club will take a punt on him coming good?

Ian Walton - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632218 Victor Wanyama, Celtic Victor+Wanyama%2C+Celtic World

RUMOR: Celtic to Arsenal
LIKELIHOOD: There’s a chance

Celtic boss Neil Lennon has admitted that he does not expect to keep his squad together next season and one of the players expected to broaden his horizons is Wanyama, who has impressed as a holding midfielder in the Hoops’ successful domestic and European campaigns. Wanyama became the first Kenyan to score in the Champions League when he netted against Barcelona at Parkhead (or Paradise as it is known by Celtic fans) and that feat hasn’t gone unnoticed. Arsene Wenger loves a defensive midfielder and although Alex Song is supposedly desperate to leave Barcelona and return to north London, Wenger has made Wanyama his number one priority. He should cost the sort of fee Wenger likes too.

Jeff J Mitchell - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Rumor Redux - March 11-17 31632217 Tim Krul, Newcastle United Tim+Krul%2C+Newcastle+United World

RUMOR: Newcastle to AC Milan

Krul has been causing a stir as an incredible shot-stopper at St. James’ Park, which hasn’t gone unnoticed at the San Siro. A warning sign came in January when the Dutchman was linked with a move, and despite the fact nothing materialized during the transfer window the rumor has resurfaced. We think Krul is happy at Newcastle and unless Milan make an offer the Magpies and Krul can’t refuse we expect him to be in Toon for a while.

Matthew Childs - Action Images/Reuters
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