RUMOR: Manchester City to Schalke LIKELIHOOD: Good to go Nastasic has become lost in the dream at City, but it looks like Schalke are about to rescue him from his nightmare. The two clubs are thought to be in talks about arranging a deal but the sticking point seems to be whether it is a loan deal or permanent. City must work within FFP rules and favor a permanent move to free up funds in January, but Schalke hope to sign the Serbian defender on loan and then make it fixed in summer. The bad news for Schalke is that other clubs are interested as Roberto di Matteo confirmed.
Getty ImagesPete Norton
Rumor: Toronto to Leicester. // Likelihood: Looking increasingly likely. // Rumor 411: We thought the Harry Redknapp factor would draw Defoe back to his former manager at QPR but it seems finances have proved too exacting. Leicester are suffering on their return to the Premier League but the basement dwellers have a trick up their sleeve in their bid to escape the relegation zone. The Foxes are now in pole position to bring the former Tottenham striker back to the Premier League. Defoe is expected to be joined at Leicester by Chelsea’s veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer.
Toronto Star via Getty ImagesRichard Lautens
Rumor: Derby to Newcastle. // Likelihood: Plenty of candidates. // Rumor 411: We’re still struggling to understand why someone would leave a well-supported club like Newcastle for a relegation battle with Crystal Palace but Alan Pardew’s in reverse decision to return to his former team has opened the door for someone else. Derby manager and former England coach Steve McClaren remains the favorite followed by Remi Garde, who left Lyon at the end of last season . One interesting name to have attracted money with one bookmaker is Real Madrid assistant coach Paul Clement , while St Etienne’s Christophe Galtier is also in the mix.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Rumor: Fiorentina to Liverpool. // Likelihood: In the balance. // Rumor 411: The cat is out of the bag. Neto has told Fiorentina he will not renew his contract at the end of the season which begs the question: Will Viola cash in now rather than lose the Brazilian goalkeeper for nothing in summer? Neto may view a move to Anfield as desirable but his ‘red eyes will have no effect on Fiorentina, who are still chasing a Champions League place. Sometimes it’s best to leave things as they are rather than make £3million on a deal – and this one might just be paper talk.
Getty ImagesGiuseppe Bellini
Rumor: Leaving West Brom. // Likelihood: Good chance. // Rumor 411: OK, four goals against a team ranked four divisions below you doesn’t make you a world beater but his non-celebration during the FA Cup rout of Gateshead suggests the West Brom striker knows something is afoot. Will Liverpool come for it and make the £20million bid which would prompt the Baggies to do business? The bookmakers reckon it’s more likely he’ll stay at The Hawthorns but if he leaves in January it will be for Liverpool. Tottenham are second favorites. Should West Brom sell, there is talk they will use the money to sign Spurs winger Aaron Lennon.
Getty ImagesShaun Botterill
Rumor: Tottenham to Real Madrid. // Likelihood: No chance. // Rumor 411: Real Madrid were linked with a big-money move for the France goalkeeper over the weekend but the north London club are in no mood to sell. There is no urgency for Tottenham to offload one of their prize assets, who signed a new five-year deal in July. A club spokesman has even accused the tabloid that reported the story as "mischief-making."
AFP/Getty ImagesBEN STANSALL
Mats Hummels and Benedikt Howedes
Rumor: Joining Manchester United. // Likelihood: Idle gossip. // Rumor 411: It’s funny how some newspaper gossip starts with the brilliant, flashing light of a headline and then draws you in with a stunning intro, but by the time you’ve reached the bottom of the story it’s apparent that the writer hasn’t got a clue and has basically lifted the piece from somewhere in the ether of the internet under the pressure of producing clickbait. Step forward the Daily Express.
Rumor: Bayern Munich to Liverpool. // Likelihood: Possible. // Rumor 411: The race is heating up to sign the Bayern Munich winger. Liverpool apparently submitted an £11million offer ($16.8m) over the weekend in a bid to sign the Switzerland international on a permanent basis. However, Bayern are thought to prefer the loan deal proffered by Inter Milan, a destination preferred by Shaqiri. But, Juventus are also in the mix. They have been offered Wes Sneijder but have a burning desire to sign Shaqiri. Our gut feeling? Inter will get their man.
AFP/Getty ImagesFABRICE COFFRINI
Rumor: Swansea to Manchester City. // Likelihood: Interesting. // Rumor 411: Bony’s price tag rises every week and anyone who saw his last-minute equalizer at QPR on New Year’s Day will understand why. One of the big stories of the window is that City are looking to recruit a striker in January because they only have Steven Jovetic fit – and he’s coming back from injury. The asking fee seems to be between £25-30million ($38-45.67m) and the Cote d’Ivoire striker is expected to come to the City at some point. One question though. Didn’t City have to offload Alvaro Negredo in order to comply with Financial Fair Play?
Getty ImagesClive Rose
Rumor: Aston Villa to Manchester City. // Likelihood: Has learned his lesson. // Rumor 411: On the same day that Bony was linked with the Etihad, so was Aston Villa striker Christian Benteke. We’ve been here before though haven’t we? Benteke handed in a transfer request after his debut season at Villa Park in order to force through a move to Tottenham but now admits he made a mistake. We don’t see the Belgian disappearing to the Premier League champions – and the bookmakers’ have no appetite for it either.