Rumor: Leaving Manchester City. // Likelihood: Staying put for the moment. // Talking points: Since the infamous birthday cake incident -- we all know how mad that one sounded -- Yaya Toure’s future has been the subject of much speculation and interest in the Ivorian has continued to grow. Recently, Toure revealed that he wasn’t sure which club he would be at next season which has resulted in a frenzy of interest in the midfielder and now Inter Milan have entered the race for his signature, alongside long-term suitors Paris Saint-Germain. While the Parisians can mount a credible challenge for the Manchester City star, Inter are highly unlikely to pull this one off, even with the lure of former City boss Roberto Mancini at the San Siro.
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Rumor: Leaving Liverpool to Chelsea. // Likelihood: Not going to happen. // Talking points: While we have been limited by a proper transfer saga this window, there has been enough going on elsewhere to keep us interested. Sterling’s ongoing contract negotiations have certainly held our attention and with much toing and froing, there still leaves an opening for a club to try their luck and snatch the England star. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is desperate for the 20-year-old to stay but Chelsea are starting to sniff around and anything that might give them an inkling that all is not rosy at Anfield could see the London club strike a deal. Sterling seems happy to want to stay on Merseyside with Rodgers’ future less in doubt as it was a few months earlier, but if a better offer were to come in, his head could be turned.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesAndrew Powell
Rumor: Paris Saint-Germain to Liverpool. // Likelihood: Highly unlikely. // Talking points: Liverpool’s success rate in the transfer window has certainly been a cause for concern in recent years and the Reds’ fans must be so sick seeing another disappointing window this time around. The club have been keen to snap up Lavezzi since the summer and with the similar South American flair as a former Anfield favorite, the Argentine would be a welcome addition in an attacking line that has failed to reach the same highs as last season. PSG will be unwilling to let Lavezzi leave on the cheap and this could be a problem for the Liverpool boss, Brendan Rodgers, who after being backed financially in the summer, would struggle to bring in the former Napoli man
Getty ImagesXavier Laine
Rumor: Valencia to Liverpool. // Likelihood: No chance. // Talking points: This season has seen the emergence of Alcacer as one of La Liga’s most lethal strikers and the club’s that have sent scouts to watch the Valencia hitman will not have been disappointed with his eight-goal return for club and country so far this campaign. In the modern era it’s accepted a goal-scoring striker is key to any team’s chances, and with Alcacer’s rise from the Valencia academy to first-team mainstay has resulted in Los Che reportedly eager to put an $88 million buyout clause in his contract. It’s well known that money can’t buy you goals, but at that price you’d expect to see some serious results. Liverpool top the list of suitors for the Spaniard, but there is no chance they would take that risk.
Getty ImagesManuel Queimadelos Alonso
Rumor: Real Madrid to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Will remain at Madrid… for now. // Talking points: With incoming Martin Odegaard and Lucas Silva boosting an already glowing array of talent at Real Madrid, first-team opportunities will now be at a premium. Since joining from Real Sociedad in 2013, Illaramendi’s move certainly has been a struggle for the youngster and now Real’s recent acquisitions will have the Spaniard thinking ‘because of you new guys’ I won’t get a chance to play. Arsenal could be the club that offers Illaramendi the option of game time elsewhere and with Arsene Wenger’s insistence on adding further to the Gunner’s already extensive midfield roster, the Spaniard would be welcomed at the Emirates.
Getty ImagesChris Brunskill Ltd
Rumor: Dinamo Kiev to Manchester United. // Likelihood: A summer move awaits. // Talking points: Since taking over the club in summer, Louis van Gaal has struggled to find that right balance to the team. Failing to get on the scoresheet against minnows Cambridge on Friday has added further questions to the Dutchman’s list of concerns, but one constant doubt has been the defense. Dragovic has been on the radar of some big clubs since he burst onto the scene with some impressive performances for Basel in the UEFA Champions League, but no one took the gamble. United now look closer than anyone to snap up the Austrian, and the rumored $22.5 million fee could be a real bargain.
Rumor: Leaving Barcelona. // Likelihood: Not a chance. // Talking points: Barcelona have gone through one of the most difficult periods in their long and illustrious history, but uncertainty surrounding the Barca players looks set to continue. Despite questions around the style of play since Luis Enrique took the helm at the Camp Nou, the club continue to dazzle with their exciting style of play and key to the team’s darker side is the beautiful monster, Sergio Busquets, who looks to be in high demand for his services. Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City have all been linked with the 26-year-old, but as one of the remaining key members of the all-conquering Barcelona side, it’s unlikely Enrique will let his midfield general slip through his fingers.
AFP/Getty ImagesANDER GILLENEA
Rumor: Bilbao to join Real Madrid. // Likelihood: Could be. // Talking points: Laporte is the next big thing to roll off the Bilbao production line and after coming steadily through the youth systems the Frenchman has gone on to have an outstanding season so far for the Basque club. Having been earlier rumored with a move to Manchester United, Bilbao would be hoping can we chill for the rest of the transfer window, but Real Madrid have muscled in keen to take the 20-year-old to the Spanish capital. Around a $46 million fee for the youngster has been talked about for his services, but even Real might be hesitant to stump up that amount of cash.
Getty ImagesDenis Doyle
Rumor: Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain. // Likelihood: Non-starter. // Talking points: The young Brazilian is another who is part of the list for Manchester United’s plans to build an impregnable back line. A highly-rated, ball-playing defender, Marquinhos definitely fits the bill for Louis van Gaal who is desperate to add a bit of culture to his central defense. After making a $35 million move from Roma to Paris Saint-Germain in 2013, the 20-year-old has been a mainstay in the Ligue 1 side, but since David Luiz’s arrival at the start of the season Marquinhos has had his number of opportunities limited. This hasn’t gone unnoticed by the Red Devils who are ready to pounce, but with a reported asking fee from the Parisians of $60 million, United could be put off bringing him in just yet.
Getty ImagesXavier Laine
Rumor: Leaving Burnley. // Likelihood: Deadline day possibility. // Talking points: Since making his debut in the Premier League at the start of the campaign for Burnley Ings has been a revelation, making the step up in class. Key to the Lancashire club’s survival this season, the 22-year-old has scored seven times and has taken any chance that has come his way in front of goal. However his form has brought admirers from some of the Premier League’s big names, including Chelsea, but Tottenham have been tracking the forward for much of the season. Ings’ contract is up in the summer so Burnley could say ‘let’s go and cash in’ on the player, but at the same time he could be the difference in keeping the Clarets in the Premier League.