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World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32013774 The Flaming Lips The+Flaming+Lips World

The transfer window closed in Europe on Friday evening without a great deal of fanfare, despite the possibility of some high-profile deals. The winter is not usually a good time to do business, and apart from Juan Mata’s move to Manchester United, big-money transfers were few and far between. Sure, Fulham, Cardiff and Crystal Palace were the busiest of the bunch in the Premier League in a bid to beat the drop, but the big guns generally kept their hands in their pockets. What we’re looking at now is the summer and the aftermath of some of those diamond January deals that didn’t quite happen. And who do we have to help us pick through the bones? Why, none other than an experimental band that defies being categorized but is still going strong after 30 years. Oh my Gawd! We’ve managed to find ten usable song titles from the insane Flaming Lips to sprinkle stardust on the gossip.

-- Warren Barner

Zak Hussein - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32012849 Robin van Persie Robin+van+Persie World



The biggest rumor of the week surrounded the future of Robin van Persie, who has been linked with a stunning return to Arsenal. The gossip on RvP never stops. He doesn’t get on with David Moyes and his training regime; he was frustrated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement and the departure of Rene Meulensteen; his family hasn’t settled in Cheshire, etc. … Arsene Wenger doesn’t usually sign players over the age of 30, but he has been waitin’ for a superman striker to help out Olivier Giroud, and if he could get RVP for round £15 million ($24.5 million) he would be a fool to turn down the chance. Then again, is there a soccer manager more stubborn than Wenger?

World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32012853 Julian Draxler Julian+Draxler World


LIKELIHOOD: Looking unlikely

The big question is this: Which club made a January offer for Julian Draxler which was turned down? Schalke’s director of sport Horst Heldt revealed that a club “to the north of us” made a bid for the winger, but it wasn’t enough. Unless Heldt got his geography wrong, a quick look at the map of Europe shows that London and Gelsenkirchen aren’t that far apart on lines of latitude. Maybe it was Wolfsburg, but that’s immaterial. Wenger has denied the Gunners were ever in for Draxler, but there is another explanation in the race for the prize. Former Premier League striker Jan Aage Fjortoft, who works as a TV pundit in Norway and Germany, believes Bayern Munich have agreed to pay the full £37 million ($60 million) in summer.

Jason Cairnduff - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32013736 Joe Cole Joe+Cole World


LIKELIHOOD: Certainly a chance

Joe Cole is one of those guys that likes to broaden his horizons, and now that he is in his thirties there has been talk of a move to MLS in the summer when his contract with West Ham expires. The former Liverpool forward has a boot deal with adidas, the same company that has mega deal with David Beckham. Could Cole become one of the first signings to join the Miami squad? Right now, Cole is a Hammer, but we think he could nail down a place in the Florida franchise if Becks came calling.

Julian Finney - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32012855 David Silva David+Silva World


LIKELIHOOD: A perfect fit, but City rarely sell

Let’s face it, anyone looking for a player to replace Xavi would have several candidates in mind, but is there a better option than David Silva? The Spaniard’s love of one-touch football was meant to grace Camp Nou, but would City be willing to sell? City’s new regime doesn’t have a history of offloading star players. Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez spring to mind, but they only left because they were deemed trouble. Silva could turn it on at Barca, but Pellegrini will pull out all the stops to keep the midfielder at the Etihad.

Carl Recine - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32012854 Toni Kroos Toni+Kroos World


LIKELIHOOD: Impasse will eventually be sorted out

The sight of David Moyes schmoozing with Kroos’ s agent at last month’s 2-0 win at Borussia Moenchengladbach alerted many to a possible move for the Bayern schemer, who is currently in protracted negotiations over a new contract. United can stand in line with some of the admirers of Kroos which include Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool from the Premier League. His contract runs out in 2015, and clearly Bayern won’t allow one of their best players to leave the club on a free transfer. It’s now just a matter of finding a compromise over Kroos’ financial demands. Bayern’s sporting director Mathias Sammer has stressed the importance of Kroos, and has suggested that with Thiago Alcantara he could form a dynamic partnership comparable to Xavi and Andres Iniesta. In our view there’s only one outcome – he’ staying at Allianz Arena.

Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32014806 Eliaquim Mangala Eliaquim+Mangala World


LIKELIHOOD: Could face competition from rivals.

Mangala and his Porto teammate Fernando were thought to be heading for City in January, but at £40 million ($65.38 million) for the pair, the deals never happened. There’s no reason why City won’t come calling again in the summer when the prices could be cheaper, but that simply means the competition for their signatures will intensify. Clubs said to be interested in France defender Mangala are City’s arch rival United and PSG. When yer 22 and talented, everybody loves you. In a three-horse race like this our money is on City and PSG, but one thing’s for sure – Mangala is guaranteed game time at Old Trafford.

World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32012852 Frank Lampard Frank+Lampard World


LIKELIHOOD: Could get new Blues deal

Lampard has been linked with a move to MLS ever since last season’s will-he-or-won’t-he be offered a new one-year contract. Despite the omens initially looking bad for the Blues midfielder the saga eventually ended in Lampard’s favor, but just like before the speculation has started again – only this time it seems as though Jose Mourinho is amenable to keeping the veteran at Stamford Bridge for another season. Beckham and MLS may have to wait another year.

Andrew Winning - Action Images/Reuters
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32013735 Yevhen Konoplyanka Yevhen+Konoplyanka World



Clearly this isn’t a rumor, but Brendan Rodgers has dropped the merest of hints that the Reds could go back for the Ukrainian winger in the summer. The move failed to materialize because Dnipro’s owner willingly failed to sign the paperwork for the player's release, and thus scuppered the deal. On a possible summer move, Rodgers said: “If we feel he can improve us, we are a professional club. There will be a greater market to look at then but it wouldn't stop us.” We haven’t got a clue whether Konoplyanka will move to Merseyside, but there will be a lot of options at the end of the season – especially if the Reds finish in the top four.

World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32012856 Papiss Cisse Papiss+Cisse World


LIKELIHOOD: A possibility

The transfer window has closed in continental Europe but remains open in Russia, a potential destination for Papiss Cisse. The Senegalese forward has played a bit-part role at St. James’ Park this season, and all the signs are that the bad days could be over and that he is heading for Rubin Kazan, who have until the end of February to make new signings. Cisse has also been linked with both Trabzonspor and Fenerbahce, but the transfer window closed on Monday afternoon, meaning that Russia is a likelier destination for about £10 million ($16.33 million)

Serena Taylor/Newcastle United - Getty Images
World 2018 43 Top football/soccer transfer rumors - Feb. 3- 9 32014807 William Carvalho William+Carvalho World


LIKELIHOOD: Long way to go

Carvalho has been causing a stir in Portugal for his performances in the heart of Porto’s midfield. United have sent their scouts to keep a close eye on the 21-year-old midfielder, who has been compared with Patrick Vieira. However, United face stiff competition from Arsenal, who have also sent some of their observers to check out Carvalho’s displays. Porto made it clear that Carvalho would not be sold in January under any circumstances, which means it’s summertime before any business can be done. His release clause is £37 million ($60 million) - the same figure cited for Julian Draxler and we know who we’d rather have, although admittedly they are totally different players. Let’s see what happens at the end of the season.

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