Rumor: Liverpool to Fiorentina. // Likelihood: Possible. // Talking points: The world’s media claimed Balotelli’s future at Liverpool is over because he was left out of the squad for the preseason tour, shamelessly forgetting about the death of his adoptive father. However, Italian publication Mindset believe Balotelli could return to Serie A with Fiorentina in a swap deal with Mario Gomez. Neither player is having a great time at the moment so it looks like swapping trouble for slightly less trouble is on the horizon.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesJohn Powell
Rumor: Manchester United to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Uh? // Talking points: Manchester United players rarely join Arsenal. Danny Welbeck is a rare exception and Mikael Silvestre also made the move seven years ago, but generally it’s a no-goer. Although we think Louis van Gaal would ditch Evans like a shot if someone like Nicolas Otamendi was made available we just wonder if Evans is good enough to break up the Koscielny-Mertesacker partnership. Dream on.
Getty ImagesClive Brunskill
Rumor: Inter Milan to Schalke. // Likelihood: Certainly a chance. // Talking points: There was a time when the world seemed to be at Shaqiri’s feet. A high-profile move to Bayern Munich from FC Basel promised much but delivered little. The Switzerland international was unlucky that his appearance in Bavaria coincided with a time when the Bayern side was pretty much invincible. A move to Inter Milan proved less engaging which prompted an inquiry from Stoke City about his availability. If talks with Schalke go well, however, we think he’ll go back to the Bundesliga.
Getty ImagesClaudio Villa - Inter
Rumor: Napoli to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Not at that price. // Talking points: Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis says he is desperate to offload star striker Higuain. Pourquoi? Because his buy-out clause is an eye-watering $100 million. Sure, Arsenal are splashing the cash these days but Arsene Wenger will be saying "non" to that price.
Getty ImagesGabriele Maltinti
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Looks dead. // Talking points: United were getting pretty serious about signing Ramos, who had reportedly demanded a move to Old Trafford. Now, all seems well with the world, so much so that the Spain defender has reportedly been appointed club captain as replacement for Iker Casillas, and is now willing to stay. We don’t think this one will he happening.
Getty ImagesSteve Bardens
David de Gea
Rumor: Manchester United to Real Madrid. // Likelihood: Looking less likely. // Talking points: It seems that United may not have to surrender their player of the season after all. Why? Firstly, de Gea has been included in the United squad to tour the USA -- something that wouldn’t have happened if he were to leave Old Trafford. OK, Raheem Sterling was included in Liverpool’s squad but most pundits thought the City move would happen. Secondly, Espanyol have rejected a bid from Real Madrid for their goalkeeper Kiko Casilla. Digging deep sometimes pays dividends.
AFP/Getty ImagesBEN STANSALL
Rumor: Paris Saint-Germain to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Hot air. // Talking points: Cavani is now apparently the main target to fill the No 9 shirt at Old Trafford following Robin van Persie’s move to Fenerbahce. However, the story goes that PSG are only willing to do business unless Angel Di Maria is thrown into the equation. Where do I begin? Surely, United are prepared to give Di Maria another season to prove himself in the Premier League.
AFP/Getty ImagesFRANCK FIFE
Rumor: Aston Villa to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Make sense. // Talking points: Liverpool have been linked with the Belgium striker but reports at the weekend suggest Benteke is Louis van Gaal’s number one target -- a day or so before Cavani took that honor! It doesn’t matter that Cavani has a bigger reputation, Benteke has proved himself in the Premier League at an average club. At $50 million, he comes risk free on the scoring front, less so on the injury side.
Aston Villa FC via Getty ImagesNeville Williams
Rumor: Barcelona to Chelsea. // Likelihood: Barca would be mad. // Talking points: This is genuinely funny. Pedro signed a new contract in June and his buy-out clause was declared to be $170 million. Now the winger can be purchased for a fifth of that price, according to reports in Spain. Chelsea are interested, and Pedro himself admits he is in “a difficult situation.” Would Barca really sell though bearing in mind they cannot register players until January? Hold tight London, this could get bumpy.
Getty ImagesJean Catuffe
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Becoming plausible. // Talking points: Real Madrid have rejected a world-record $155 million bid from United for Bale, according to Spanish radio station Cope. Whether Bale makes the big jump or not there are reasons to think things aren’t as they should be at the Santiago Bernabeu. Casillas’ emotional departure, the fiasco surrounding Sergio Ramos and the cult of Cristiano Ronaldo suggest Real could give in, but the David de Gea transfer saga remains a sticking point.