RUMOR: Chelsea to Barcelona LIKELIHOOD: Blues should stand their ground // It’s been a bad end to the season for Ramires, whose campaign has come to an end because of a stray elbow on Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson. More worrying for Chelsea is that Barca are hovering in the background looking to bring the box-to-box midfielder to Camp Nou. They are reportedly ready to offer £20 million – the same figure Chelsea paid for him - plus a player on loan for next season. Ramires is exactly the sort of player Mourinho likes; energetic, aggressive and a team player. Don’t take Mou for a fool – he’ll tell Barca to look elsewhere.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
RUMOR: Arsenal to Barcelona // LIKELIHOOD: Unlikely // Is Ozil’s time up at Arsenal? Reports from Spain suggest that Barcelona, whose year-long transfer ban has been lifted pending an appeal, are planning to launch a £30 million bid ($50 million) for the midfielder in the summer. Really? Arsene Wenger says he expects Ozil to be one of the best players in the Premier League next season, and wouldn’t Barca potentially alienate some fans by signing a former Real Madrid player? We think there’s more chance of Australia winning the World Cup than this deal going through.
Arsenal FC via Getty ImagesStuart MacFarlane
RUMOR: Real Sociedad to Arsenal // LIKELIHOOD: Plenty of options // Arsenal have been linked with the France winger in recent days but we expect many clubs to be chasing his signature. Those to come looking for a player that made his debut for France this year include Liverpool, Manchester United and PSG. Sure, he wants European football next season, which would mean the Europa League if he stayed with Real Sociedad. He has two years left on his contract, so expect a battle in summer.
Getty ImagesJuan Manuel Serrano Arce
RUMOR: Arsenal to Cologne // LIKELIHOOD: Too good for Cologne // Podolski is one of those players that splits Arsenal fans into a weird divide. Some reckon he is just a squad player, and others think he should get more game time rather than be the first to be hauled off the pitch when it’s time for a change. We are firmly in the latter camp. Just as Juan Mata will excel in the middle at Manchester United, Podolski would excel in a more central role. The German wants to see out his contract at the Emirates and we expect him to stay.
Getty ImagesMatthew Lewis
RUMOR: Juventus to Paris Saint-Germain // LIKELIHOOD: Pie in the sky // Pogba is another of Juve’s great midfield to be linked elsewhere, but this one is more complicated than the Vidal rumor. The Old Lady apparently need to sell Pogba to fund moves for Robin van Persie and Nani, but – don’t “turn on me” – that just seems to be cutting off your nose to spite your face. With van Gaal heading to Old Trafford, we reckon van Persie will be keen to stay at Old Trafford. Move on.
Getty ImagesValerio Pennicino
RUMOR: Arsenal to Monaco // LIKELIHOOD: Don’t think so // Monaco are considering re-employing Wenger as a replacement for Claudio Ranieri, who is expected to be sacked despite leading the club to Champions League soccer. Monaco’s offer is staggeringly generous - reportedly £12.5 million ($21.5 million) after tax, but the song remains the same for AW. He’s given Arsenal his word he will sign a new deal. A simple song which will be sweet music to the ears of Gunners fans – at least the majority.
Getty ImagesMatthew Lewis
RUMOR: Juventus to Chelsea //LIKELIHOOD: Can’t see it // Vidal has been one of the driving forces behind Juventus’ march toward a third successive Scudetto and his performances have predictably led to his name being linked with a move. It’s only life, after all. But where? The Daily Mirror reckon Chelsea are monitoring the 26-year-old Chile midfielder. The paper goes on to make the point that Juve like the look of Blues midfielder Ramires. Sure, we’d rather have Vidal in our team, but why would Juve exchange?
Getty ImagesMaurizio Lagana
RUMOR: Manchester United to LA Galaxy // LIKELIHOOD: Looks the most attractive of his options // Out of contract at the end of the season after an injury-ridden campaign, Ferdinand is thought by some to be gone for good. However, the former England defender wants to continue playing and would like to stay at Old Trafford. Those chasing his services include Galatasaray, Besiktas and LA Galaxy, who we make favorites to sign Ferdinand. Will the new man in charge at United offer him a new deal? Soccer is a cruel game, and we think his time is up.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Louis van Gaal
RUMOR: Netherlands to Manchester United // LIKELIHOOD: Safe bet // Ryan Giggs may have done his chances of becoming permanent boss no harm at all with an old-style, exhilarating win against Norwich, (OK, we know the Canaries are hardly Bayern Munich) but we don’t think the Glazers will want to make another mistake with their next appointment. What makes this successful manager even more attractive is that he will be available after the World Cup. The bookmakers have Van Gaal as a short-priced favorite and so says I.
Getty ImagesXavier Laine
RUMOR: AC Milan to Premier League // LIKELIHOOD: If only // Let’s get this straight. AC Milan want to offload Balotelli because he quite reasonably argued with journalists that they praise him when AC Milan win but blame him for defeats? We’ve read the transcripts of his press conference following the 2-0 defeat by Roma and it seeks like Balo is fighting in a sack - everything he said made sense. We just don’t buy this one – seems like an excuse to get Balotelli’s name in the papers. For the record, Arsenal and Tottenham have been linked with the Italy striker.