We’ve already seen Bournemouth spend a reported £10million ($14.5million) on striker Benik Afobe from English Championship club Wolves, as the relegation-threatened EPL sides look to buy their way out of trouble. We’ve not seen any of the big boys make major transfers yet, but, as we know, a lot of the major deals aren’t done until the final days of the window. Take a look through the latest newspaper reports in this week’s Rumor Mill. Enjoy!
Rumor: West Brom to Liverpool / Likelihood: Too many strikers already at Anfield / The Talk: Liverpool are interested in West Brom striker Saido Berahino, according to the Daily Mirror. The newspaper reports that the Merseysiders will look to bid for Berahino if Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems look likely to persist. The 22-year-old has only scored four goals for West Brom this season, despite making 16 appearances this season. However, the Englishman still has many admirers in the Premier League, with Tottenham thought to be weighing up an Andros Townsend plus cash deal. Jurgen Klopp is looking for a striker that can fit into his system after Christian Benteke has come under criticism this season.
Rumor: Wolfsburg to Manchester United / Likelihood: Too expensive / The Talk: According to German publication Bild, Manchester United are preparing a £30million ($43.7million) for Wolfsburg defender Ricardo Rodriguez. The full-back is seen as the Red Devils’ top defensive target for the January transfer window. Rodriguez, who is a Swiss international, has 33 caps for his country and is regarded as one of the best full-backs in Europe. With Louis van Gaal’s future up in the air it remains to be seen if he will get the cash to improve his side in the January transfer window.
Rumor: Monaco (on loan at Chelsea) to Columbus Crew / Likelihood: Would want too much in wages / The Talk: Chelsea flop Falcao is a transfer target for Major League Soccer side Columbus Crew, according to the Daily Mirror. The Colombian international, who is on loan from French Ligue 1 club Monaco, has been disappointing for the Blues, scoring one goal in only nine league appearances since his season-long move. He is currently sidelined due to a thigh injury which could scupper any potential deal until the summer.
Rumor: Anderlecht to Liverpool / Likelihood: Save money for other areas / The Talk: According to the Daily Mirror, Liverpool are preparing a £22.3million ($32.5million) bid for Anderlecht midfielder Dennis Praet. Fiorentina have also been linked with the 21-year-old in recent weeks but baulked at the high transfer fee. However, it is thought the Premier League side wouldn’t find the price an issue. Praet's agent has previously stated the Belgian’s desire to move on from Anderlecht. "What can he gain by spending one more season at Anderlecht where he has already played for three years and has contributed to three back-to-back league titles?" he told Voetbal international. "Dennis will not just play for any club - he can join the likes of Valencia, Liverpool, Arsenal or Atletico Madrid."
Rumor: Manchester City to Swansea / Likelihood: Not unless City pay some of his wages / The Talk: Reports over the last week have suggested Premier League strugglers Swansea City could attempt to re-sign Wilfried Bony and offer him an escape route from Manchester City. Bony, who has always been a popular figure at the Liberty Stadium, has struggled for regular appearances this season. His future came under scrutiny when he criticized City boss Manuel Pellegrini for picking an unfit Sergio Aguero over him against Arsenal. However, the Swans interim manager doubts they could make a deal work. "He's playing fairly regularly at City and scoring goals and would be a fantastic addition," Curtis said. "But I'm not holding out any hopes for that one."
Rumor: Everton to Real Madrid / Likelihood: Possible. A lot of competition / The Talk: Real Madrid have joined the race to sign highly-rated Everton defender John Stones, according to the Daily Mail. It is believed former manager Rafa Benitez recommended the England international to the club before his departure. Real Madrid are unlikely to do a deal in January but it is thought they intend to carry on Benitez’s interest in the 21-year-old. With Pepe turning 33, Real are likely to look at investing in a new center-back and Stones would certainly fit the bill.
Rumor: Chelsea to PSG or Bayern Munich or Real Madrid / Likelihood: For the right price / The Talk: According to the Daily Mail, Eden Hazard has made his mind up to leave Chelsea but won’t depart in January. The news is likely to spark a bidding war between Real Madrid and moneybags Paris Saint-Germain, who are both thought to be interested in the Blues winger. Hazard -- who could also draw interest from Bayern Munich -- has been in poor form for Chelsea this season and hasn’t scored in any competition so far. The Belgium international was PFA Player of the Year last campaign and will still command a hefty price tag if he was to move in the summer.
Catherine Ivill - AMA
Rumor: Everton to Manchester United / Likelihood: A good fit / The Talk: With 18 goals to his name for Everton this season it is no surprise Romelu Lukaku is attracting interest from other clubs. And, according to De Telegraaf, Manchester United are keen on taking the Belgian to Old Trafford. The Dutch newspaper say Van Gaal, who is reportedly looking to buy a striker, has been impressed by the 22-year-old’s appearances in the league. The newspaper goes on to say Everton are willing to accept offers that reach their valuation of at least £36million ($52.5million).
Rumor: Tottenham to Real Madrid /Likelihood: Not yet / The Talk: Real Madrid are looking at Tottenham striker Harry Kane as a potential long-term replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, according to the Daily Telegraph. It is thought Ronaldo is likely to quit the Bernabeu at the end of the season, despite Zinedine Zidane’s appointment as the new manager. When Ronaldo does leave, Los Blancos will be looking to replace him with another galáctico-type signing. Spurs striker Kane is hot property after scoring more Premier League goals than any other player in 2015. The expectation is that the England international will sign a new deal before the end of the season but that is unlikely to stop Real bidding for him in the summer.
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester United / Likelihood: Maybe in the summer / The Talk: With a change of manager at Real Madrid, this rumor just won’t go away at the moment. The Daily Mail report that Manchester United are set to launch a club-record £75million ($109million) offer for Real star Gareth Bale. New Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has already said he sees Bale as a key part of his team despite the Welsh winger reportedly being unhappy at the sacking of Rafa Benitez. The Red Devils are hopeful they can use the uncertainty around the player’s future to engineer a deal.