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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32017983 Singing a different tune Singing+a+different+tune World

We have a mixed bag of gossip this week the FOX Soccer Rumor Mill. Chelsea, Manchester City and Real Madrid take center stage as clubs turn their attention to the summer months. However, the biggest rumor focuses on a player that has been linked with a return to his former club. You’ve probably guessed who we’re talking about (hint, he plays in the Premier League).


To help us pick through the bones of the latest speculation we have engaged the help of a band that has produced four diverse albums, their latest, So Long, See You Tomorrow, is inspired by India -- as is their name. Here now are the top tracks from London boys Bombay Bicycle Club are in the mix. Catch them at this summer’s Coachella festival:


--Warren Barner

Shirlaine Forrest/WireImage - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32017982 Robin van Persie, F, Manchester United Robin+van+Persie%2C+F%2C+Manchester+United World

Rumor: Heading to Arsenal from Manchester United.


Likelihood: Sounds insane.


My God, has the world gone mad? Van Persie’s move to Manchester United two seasons ago left a bitter taste in the mouths of many Arsenal fans, but the rumor that he could return to Emirates has sent shockwaves around the soccer world. Is there anything in it? Arsene Wenger supposedly met with the agent of the Dutch striker last week but when pressed about the subject the Gunners boss diplomatically said “it is best we don't talk about that at the moment.” That’s because Wenger was speaking ahead of last Wednesday’s match against United which finished goalless and did not want to fan the flames. United are unlikely to be in the Champions League next season, but his return to north London would be beyond controversial.

Matthew Peters/Man Utd - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32017978 Wayne Rooney, F, Manchester United Wayne+Rooney%2C+F%2C+Manchester+United World

Rumor: Leaving Manchester United.


Likelihood: United have caved in.


We thought the chances of Rooney staying at United depended on whether Champions League soccer would be played at Old Trafford for a 19th successive season. That possibility now looks increasingly unlikely, with United 11 points behind fourth-placed Liverpool. However, money talks and it’s been shouting very loudly from the Rooney camp by all accounts to the tune of £300,000 a week ($500,000). United look to have overdone it in their bid to keep one of their prized assets. Sure, keeping Rooney staying will help attract top-quality players but will United have the financial muscle to make those signings?

Matthew Peters/Man Utd - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32017984 Thibaut Courtois, Diego Costa Thibaut+Courtois%2C+Diego+Costa World

Rumor: Swap deal between Atletico and Chelsea.


Likelihood: Possible, depends on Edinson Cavani move.


Talk of Atletico and Chelsea swapping Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois is still kicking around. Courtois is a hugely talented goalkeeper that is now in the third year of a loan spell at Vicente Calderon, and he is expected to return to Chelsea in the summer. But his father has revealed that he wants talks with the Blues hierarchy to ensure his son isn’t permanently warming the bench and watching Petr Cech next season. Diego Costa has been in sensational form for Atletico this season and has been linked with a move to Blues. One thing’s for sure, it won’t be a straight swap. Strikers win games and, although a great goalkeeper is essential, Chelsea will have to part with some cash should a deal transpire. Let’s not forget the Cavani part of the equation, too.

David Ramos/Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32017980 Edinson Cavani, F, Paris Saint-Germain Edinson+Cavani%2C+F%2C+Paris+Saint-Germain World

Rumor: Paris Saint-Germain to Chelsea.


Likelihood: Certainly a chance.


Cavani’s agent has reportedly been tipping off the Uruguayan press that Cavani will leave PSG in the summer. It’s the same old story. Cavani is unhappy being shunted out wide to support main striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho only plays with one striker and would love to have Cavani leading his attack and would fund a move by with a shuffle in the transfer market, selling Romelu Lukaku and Demba Ba. The price would probably be in the region of £50 million ($83.5m), but would PSG want to sell? They don’t need the cash but they don’t need an unhappy player, either.

Xavier Laine - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32017979 Isco, M, Real Madrid Isco%2C+M%2C+Real+Madrid World

Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester City.


Likelihood: He can't be enjoying life the Bernabeu.


Manchester City were given the brush-off by Isco last summer when the Spaniard snubbed a move to Etihad Stadium to become Carlo Ancelotti’s first signing as Real Madrid boss but things have gone very quiet since then. Isco has played just 29 minutes in La Liga since the turn of the year and speculation has resurfaced that Manuel Pellegrini could make another bid to be reunited with his former Malaga colleague. We feel Isco has a better chance of being a regular starter at City and a player of his talent deserves to be doing more than sitting on the bench. Will he bite the bullet?

World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32016380 Sami Khedira, M, Real Madrid Sami+Khedira%2C+M%2C+Real+Madrid World

Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester City.


Likelihood: Can Mourinho work his magic?


Jose Mourinho is thought to have made a move for the Germany international when he returned to Stamford Bridge and the Real Madrid midfielder apparently remains in the thoughts of the Chelsea boss. It sounds plausible enough. Khedira was regarded as a disciple of the Portuguese and has those tough defensive midfield qualities so loved by Mourinho. But we don’t really get this one. The Blues have just spent a lot of cash buying back Nemanja Matic, and Khedira is out with a potentially season-ending injury which could jeopardize his chances of playing at the World Cup. This rumor has flaws.

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32016384 David Luiz, D/M, Chelsea David+Luiz%2C+D%2FM%2C+Chelsea World

Rumor: Chelsea to Barcelona.


Likelihood: Possibility.


David Luiz’s future has been in the subject of speculation in the last week, with both PSG and Barcelona linked with a move for the versatile Brazilian. Could Luiz be leaving Blues? The train of thought is that Luiz wants to play at centerback instead of the defensive midfield role given to him by Mourinho, who prefers Gary Cahill and John Terry in the backline. PSG are looking for someone to replace Alex, while Carles Puyol cannot go on forever at Barcelona. We’ve seen this one before of course. In the summer, Mourinho said Luiz was not for sale, and let’s not forget Terry has a limited shelf life. Sure, Kurt Zouma is on his way to Stamford Bridge next season but he’s only 19. However, many pundits are keen to highlight Luiz’s frailties at the back and Mourinho isn’t one to forgive too many mistakes.

AFP PHOTO / GLYN KIRK - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 17-23 32016383 Cristiano Ronaldo, F, Real Madrid Cristiano+Ronaldo%2C+F%2C+Real+Madrid World

Rumor: Real Madrid to Miami.


Likelihood: Would be incredible for MLS.


The Ballon d’Or winner was last week linked with a move to David Beckham’s Miami franchise which is expected to be operational in 2017. An insider told The Sun paper that “Becks understands the need for a big, big name in the team when it gets going. And none come bigger than Ronaldo -- one of the world’s greatest players. Ronaldo loves America and all that it offers. It’s not a secret he has thought about finishing his career, about living in the United States -- so a deal like this could be perfect for him.” Sure, it’s a long way off but Ronaldo will only be 32 in 2017. Would the jewel in Real Madrid’s crown be prepared to drop out of the limelight? Surely not that early!

Angel Martinez/Real Madrid - Getty Images
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