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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021773 The Presidents of the United States of America The+Presidents+of+the+United+States+of+America World

The wheels are constantly turning when it comes to the transfer market and they are certainly traveling at full pace when it comes to Manchester United, whose desperate bid to finish in the top four is becoming increasingly unlikely. If that’s the case, United may be forced to go down the route formerly (and currently) deployed by their archrivals City, which would involve offering big bucks in exchange for the lack of Champions League soccer. Chelsea and Barcelona also feature in this week’s Rumor Mill for which we have turned to a band that is back with a new album, Kudos to You! We thought they’d spit up but it ain’t so. We have ten tracks by The Presidents of the United States of America in this week’s gossip.

-- Warren Barner

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021767 Toni Kroos Toni+Kroos World


LIKELIHOOD: Big dilemma

Put yourself in Kroos’ shoes. You have the option of playing for the best club in the world for £80,000 ($133,000) a week, but you are not guaranteed a place in the starting lineup. Or, you get the chance to be a regular starter for a club not in the Champions League but on three times the salary. Tough, isn’t it? That’s the situation facing Kroos if the papers are to be believed. If Kroos can get the terms he wants at Bayern and get more game time, he stays. If he can’t, we think he’s headin’ out – possibly for Manchester United.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021768 Ilkay Gundogan Ilkay+Gundogan World


LIKELIHOOD: Fitness concerns

Injured Gundogan last kicked a ball in anger on August 10 but his name is rarely out of the papers. The 23-year-old midfielder, on the sidelines with a persistent back injury, is out of contract in 18 months’ time. That means he is likely to be sold by Dortmund, who do not want to get into another Robert Lewndowski situation - unless the parties can agree terms on a new contract. One of the Sunday tabloids says David Moyes is confident the all-action Germany international will sign for United, although Real Madrid are also thought to be in the reckoning. Gundogan is a superstar in the making – if fit. Would United want to have another Owen Hargreaves on their hands?

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021769 Zlatan Ibrahimovic/Edinson Cavani Zlatan+Ibrahimovic%2FEdinson+Cavani World


LIKELIHOOD: Off limits

Those of us who spend our lives scouring the papers for the latest speculation will know that the futures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and, in particular, Edinson Cavani are never far away from the headlines. Chelsea have been linked with Cavani, who is thought to be unhappy at playing second fiddle to Ibra. Not so, according to Blues boss Jose Mourinho. He said: "Ibrahimovic? It's impossible. He's happy in Paris. I know because we're in contact, we're friends. With their financial potential, I don't think Paris will ever open the door for him to leave. Cavani is a very good player. But Paris paid a lot of money for him and he has an amazing contract." Don’t lump your cash on either of these players being at Stamford Bridge next season.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021776 Mathieu Valbuena Mathieu+Valbuena World


LIKELIHOOD: Willingness on one side

Valbuena is thought to be on his way out of Marseille in the summer despite having three years left on his contract. The France international has been talking about some of the clubs that have expressed an interest in the past, like Zenit and Schalke, but the one he really wants to play for is Atletico Madrid. He told bein Sport: “It is a Spanish club and I have Spanish origins, but also because they play well.” However, the way the 29-year-old attacking midfielder was talking suggests there had been interest in the past. A few more euros in the kitty could swing it for Atletico, so we’ll see how things develop.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021066 Xavi Xavi World



Xavi is no stranger to the rumor he could see out the rest of his career in the United States. David Beckham has reportedly targeted the Barcelona playmaker for his new Miami-based franchise, but what are the chances? Beckham’s team is likely to be up and running in 2017 when Xavi would be 37 years of age. Could he still pull the strings at Barca in the autumn of his career? We think so. Xavi’s game doesn’t depend on lightning bursts of speed but is all about patrolling the midfield and picking the right pass. It depends on whether Barca think the same, but MLS is certainly a possibility.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021770 Victor Valdes Victor+Valdes World


LIKELIHOOD: Long way to go

Speculation has been kicking around the rooftops of Spain for some time now about the next destination for Valdes, who will leave Barcelona at the end of the season. The 32-year-old goalkeeper was linked with Manchester City last week, but the latest gossip from is that Barca’s number one is in talks with Liverpool. Valdes has given nothing away and we think there are plenty of clubs in the running to sign one of the best keepers in the world.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021771 Bacary Sagna Bacary+Sagna World


LIKELIHOOD: Parties are not budging

Tiny explosions are starting to emanate from the Sagna camp about his contract demands. The France international supposedly wants £6million a season ($10 million) on a “three- to four-year contract,” which in weekly terms is about £100,000 ($166,000). That seems a lot of money for a right-back, and the Gunners are thought to be prepared to offer £60,000 ($100,000) for two years. Clearly the gulf between the offer and the demand is pretty wide. Unless the parties are prepared to compromise, Sagna will be on his way. Will anyone else be prepared to give Sagna what he wants? As good as he is, we don’t think so.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021774 Mathieu Debuchy Mathieu+Debuchy World


LIKELIHOOD: Interesting candidates

Debuchy produced one of those ‘loose balloon’ comments last week, which suggested he might not be at St. James’ Park for much longer. The French defender, who has a contract that runs until 2018, reportedly told reporters that he would stay at Newcastle “until the end of the season and for next season, I do not know.” Debuchy was describing the happiness of his former Magpies colleague Yohan Cabaye, which prompted speculation he could be on his way to PSG. However, the latest rumor is that Pep Guardiola wants him to replace Rafinha at Bayern Munich.

Action Images / Ed Sykes - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021772 Samuel Eto'o Samuel+Eto%27o World


LIKELIHOOD: He may not have final word

Eto’o has hit back at poke and destroy speculation that his heart is not in it at Chelsea. The Cameroon striker was said to have given up on trying to secure a new contract at Stamford Bridge, a claim he denied by saying "I just want to remind to all that I have a tremendous love for Chelsea. I have a lot of respect for my leaders and teammates. I love Chelsea fans and I will keep on giving everything I have to defend the Blues." Eto’o has done it in patches this season, but if Jose Mourinho could land one of his main targets we think Eto’o could be on his way.

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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 23-Mar. 2 32021765 Alen Halilovic Alen+Halilovic World


LIKELIHOOD: Looks likely

Stay with me on this one. One of the great European prospects could find himself at Camp Nou next season. Who says so? Why, none other than Dinamo Zagreb president Mirko Barisic, who has been quoted by Croatian daily Jutarnji as saying: "Executive chairman Zdravko Mamic is in contact with Barcelona representatives. We at Dinamo want all parties to be satisfied with this transfer. Nobody has any guarantee when it comes to the first team of Barcelona. But surely he must safely play in the second team.” Arsenal and Tottenham were both linked with the 17-year-old attacking midfielder, but when Barca come calling who can refuse?

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