Rumor: Toronto to QPR // Likelihood: A chance but they face competition // The Talk: The wheels are in motion for Defoe's return to the Premier League. QPR boss Harry Redknapp is prepared to sell out-of-favor winger Junior Hoilett in order to be reunited with the former England striker, who is almost certain to leave Toronto for London -- not quite 5,500 miles (how did we squeeze that one in?) However, there are six other Premier League clubs interested including Everton and Southampton.
Toronto Star via Getty ImagesRichard Lautens
Rumor: Borussia Dortmund to Manchester City // Likelihood: Big battle looms // The Talk: City, Manchester United and Arsenal are all struggling defensively. Michael Carrick and Mathieu Debuchy have been called up for center-back duties at United and Arsenal respectively, while Vincent Kompany is out once again for City with a hamstring injury. Inevitably talk has turned to Mats Hummels, no stranger to transfer speculation, whose Dortmund side are facing a relegation battle. City are said to be ready to make a bid in January, but we think he’ll still be in the Bundesliga until the end of the season.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesLars Baron
Rumor: Chelsea to Liverpool // Likelihood: Next to no chance // The Talk: Chelsea striker Torres is a quarter of the way through a two-year loan spell with AC Milan and things aren’t going too well. Just one goal in his 10 appearances and he has been left out of the starting lineup in the last three games. Last week, the Reds were linked with a move for the former Atletico forward and although his scoring record at Anfield was superb, Torres is a shadow of the player he was during those halcyon days. In any case, Adriano Galliano says he doesn’t think the Spaniard will leave Milan. Delete those transfer thoughts.
Getty ImagesValerio Pennicino
Rumor: Liverpool to New York Red Bulls // Likelihood: Why not? // The Talk: No-one doubts Gerrard’s legendary status at Liverpool but could he see out the rest of his career in the MLS? The Liverpool skipper is in the final year of his contract and is believed to have been offered a new two-year deal on a significantly reduced salary. If Gerrard rejects that offer it is thought that Gerard Houllier, the former Reds boss and current sporting director at Red Bulls, could make a move. Gerrard has his pride and could be headin’ out which would be a big blow for Liverpool.
Getty ImagesShaun Botterill
Rumor: Leaving Liverpool // Likelihood: Not going well // The Talk: Lovren is back in the side after he apparently had a furious row with Steven Gerrard about who was responsible for one of the goals Liverpool conceded against Crystal Palace last month. That led to the Croatian being dropped for four games and Brendan Rodgers has since admitted that the ‘team ethos’ has gone. Lovren’s return has not brought success – a 1-1 draw with Basel which ended the Reds’ Champions League hopes which they followed with a 3-0 defeat at Manchester United. The fact he’s back in the team though suggests there is nearly zero friction between the players, so we expect Lovren to stay.
Getty ImagesShaun Botterill
Rumor: Liverpool to Inter Milan // Likelihood: Ha ha! // The Talk: So, despite having a training-ground bust-up with loose balloon Balotelli during their time together at Manchester City, Roberto Mancini wants to be reunited with the misfiring Liverpool striker. Really? Oh, and PSG have also been linked with the Italy striker. Really? Although Balotelli, currently injured, isn’t scoring, his relationship with Liverpool is going well and that’s where we expect him to be in January. The bookmakers have Napoli, Fiorentina and Galatasaray as joint favorites to be one of his next destinations though.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesAndrew Powell
Rumor: Galatasaray to Manchester United // Likelihood: Possible // The Talk: The Turkish giants have been forced to wake up to their debts which means offloading some of their big earners. Sneijder has not been paid on time on a couple of occasions and he is thought to be keen on a move in January. The talk is that Gala want $14 million for the Dutch midfielder, who earns $3.9 million a year. That sounds quite cheap to us although United would probably never recoup the money.
Getty ImagesBurak Kara
Rumor: Roma to Chelsea // Likelihood: United still favorites // The Talk: Roma are angry. Very angry. Club president James Pallotta is like a volcano when he hears rumors of Strootman joining Manchester United, according to general director Mauro Baldissoni. Well how will he feel when he sees that Chelsea have tabled a $50 million bid for the Dutch midfielder? We dread to think. Interestingly, Baldissoni says Roma did not budget for reaching the knockout stage of the Champions League so their books are balanced. Strootman could stay although we feel the Van Gaal factor could lead to a move to Old Trafford.
Getty ImagesClaudio Villa
Rumor: Swansea to Manchester City // Likelihood: Interesting prospect // The Talk: We are not going to make it sound like we are sorry for Manchester City but it seems incredible that a club so rich are without any first-choice strikers going into the weekend. Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic are all injured, and Alvaro Negredo remains on loan at Valencia. Manuel Pellegrini refused to answer questions specifically about Bony at a press conference last week but he is 2014’s most prolific striker so it makes sense that City would be interested.
Getty ImagesStu Forster
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester United // Likelihood: Stop it // The Talk: There are some papers that will print anything but, without naming names, we want to put to bed the rumor linking Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale with a move to Manchester United. The story goes like this: Real Madrid are prepared to sell Gareth Bale to United for $140 million so that they can, in turn, buy Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard and Liverpool forward Raheem Sterling. And the Blues would sell Hazard because…? The same paper produced the same rumor a month ago. Expect it to resurface in January.