Rumor: Leaving the Camp Nou. // Likelihood: Where has this come from? // Talking points: We promise to try to hold it together here but the story goes that Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United are all interested in signing Busquets in summer. Oh, and so are Bayern Munich…and Paris St-Germain. Duh! Of course they are. And yet in the third paragraph of the story published by the Express it is revealed that sources in Germany claim that Barca are keen to offer the Spain midfielder a new deal before adding that Busquets is keeping his eye open for a new challenge. Clickbait. Move on.
Getty ImagesManuel Queimadelos Alonso
Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid)
Rumor: Los Blancos ready to let him leave. // Likelihood: Good chance. // Talking points: This is one of those rumors that has been kicking around for a while but could reach a head in January. The Portugal left back is out of favor at the Santiago Bernabeu and is unlikely to stay much longer. The latest speculation suggests Liverpool and Arsenal would be interested in signing him, but you can add Manchester United, AC Milan and Galatasaray to that list.
Getty ImagesJean Catuffe
Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg)
Rumor: Manchester City ready to pounce on his services. // Likelihood: Interesting but a long way to go. // Talking points: De Bruyne arrived at Chelsea less than three years ago, but was frozen out of the starting XI, and, following a loan spell with Werder Bremen, was sold to Wolfsburg where he has been an unqualified success. Vincent Kompany has supposedly told Manuel Pellegrini his Belgium teammate is good enough to play for City. One paper suggests Pellegrini will make a move in January but another says the Chilean will add De Bruyne to a list of possibles for the summer. He deserves a chance but the way Wolfsburg are playing, however, Champions League football is on the cards for the ex-Chelsea player.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesStuart Franklin
Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern Munich) and Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Rumor: Trading places. // Likelihood: Bayern don’t need Herrera. // Talking points: This rumor caught our eye over the weekend. While it would make sense for Manchester United to sign a winger with Shaqiri’s class, we wonder why Bayern would need a player like Herrera, who would just be another player sitting on the bench waiting for his chance. Sounds like a holiday rumor to us although we’re pretty sure Shaqiri is on his way out. Arsenal are said to be the favorites to sign the Switzerland international but the bookmakers reckon Liverpool lead the race, with the Gunners about eighth in the pecking order.
Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Im
Norberto Neto (Fiorentina)
Rumor: Liverpool seem interested. // Likelihood: Probably leaving. // Talking points: Like it or not, Liverpool have a goalkeeping problem. Simon Mignolet has been dropped indefinitely and Brad Jones is hardly a confidence-boosting deputy. Fiorentina president Andre Della Valle is not optimistic that Neto will sign the three-year deal he has been offered, hence the link with the Merseysiders. Roma have also been linked with the Brazilian but there are other options out there; Chelsea’s Petr Cech, Genoa’s Mattia Perin or Malaga’s Guillermo Ochoa to name a few.
Getty ImagesMarco Luzzani
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
Rumor: On the way to Liverpool. // Likelihood: Doesn’t make sense. // Talking points: Liverpool, like Manchester City, are playing without a striker -- except in their case it’s by choice. Daniel Sturridge is injured, Mario Balotelli is out-of-sorts and Rickie Lambert remains on the bench. Brendan Rodgers reportedly wants Benzema to boost his firepower. With the Champions League looking unlikely next season, there doesn’t appear to be a ray of light for the Reds -- unless Real Madrid are trying raise funds to sign Sergio Aguero and Marco Reus. Just saying.
Getty ImagesChris Brunskill Ltd
Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
Rumor: Future Real Madrid player. // Likelihood: Chances have increased. // Talking points: All the talk over the weekend was that a $31 million deal had been agreed between Dortmund and Real Madrid for the transfer of Marco Reus. But is that really the case? A few days earlier, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez said the club were not looking to sign him and that he could not see where he would fit in at the Bernabeu. We’ve been reading about Reus over and over again in recent weeks -- most recently because of his $500,000 fine for driving without a license -- and we think the Real rumor isn’t in second gear yet.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesAdam Pretty
Lucas Leiva (Liverpool)
Rumor: Anfield to Inter's San Siro. // Likelihood: Not buying this one. // Talking points: It’s all very well Roberto Mancini admitting his interest in signing Lucas, but as things stand he will be waiting a long time in bringing the Brazilian to the San Siro. The midfielder is establishing himself as a regular in Brendan Rodgers’ starting lineup and the way the Reds dominated possession against Arsenal we can’t see that situation changing any time soon.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesJohn Powell
Ron Vlaar (Aston Villa)
Rumor: Heading to Old Trafford. // Likelihood: Chances have increased. // Talking points: Vlaar did his chances of a dream move to Old Trafford no harm at all with a body-on-the-line display against Manchester United at the weekend. Villa boss Paul Lambert admits the Netherlands defender, one of the standout players at the World Cup, “holds the cards” because he is out of contract in the summer. Louis van Gaal, who coached Holland during the World Cup, is keeping his cards close to his chest just to keep everybody on their toes.
Aston Villa FC via Getty ImagesNeville Williams
Doneil Henry (Apollon Limassol)
Rumor: West Ham future. // Likelihood: Just a work permit needed. // Talking points: The Canada international is midway through a loan spell at Toronto FC, but all the signs are that the defender is heading for West Ham, whose manager Sam Allardyce was tipped off by his former captain at Blackburn -- Ryan Nelsen. Of course, Nelsen will know all about Henry from his time Toronto FC coach and his influence has persuaded Allardyce to submit a work-permit application next week. Truly an amazing change of circumstances for a player that could not get into the Cypriot side!