A quick look at the standings in Europe tells us that the game is almost up in three of the four top leagues. Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich virtually have the titles sewn up, while Juventus are starting to steal a march on their Serie A rivals. Some things never change! What we're talkin’ about is that clubs must already be thinking about planning for next season. We’ve got some of the biggest names from all around the world which gives you a bit of a clue about the man that will be helping us supplement the gossip. Some know him as Shawn, he calls himself Hov, we like to call him Mr. Beyonce, the rest of the world knows him as Jay-Z. Ten tracks are in the mix.
Rumor: Leaving Swansea Likelihood: Staying – get the message Some things never change. Michu is asked, almost on a daily basis, about his future and yet the Spaniard consistently gives the same answer. He loves it at the Liberty Stadium and is living the “dream” after helping the club win their first piece of major silverware at the weekend. We know things could change in the summer but let’s give the guy a break.
Gaston Ramirez, Southampton
Rumor: Leaving Southampton Likelihood: Staying for the moment The Uruguay playmaker is a man who can change the game and has played a big part in Saints’ so far successful battle to stay in the Premier League. But with impressive performances come the inevitable link with bigger clubs. So, who’s on the list? According to Monday’s papers Inter Milan, Juventus and Fiorentina are seriously interested. Of course, some of this is old hat. Saints pipped Inter and Fiorentina to his signature last summer in a record £12million deal. But last month Ramirez said he is happy in England, so that’s good enough for us – for now.
Angelo Ogbonna, Torino
Rumor: Torino to Arsenal Likelihood: No This is a rumor that has been doing the rounds for about four years but it has resurfaced again as Wenger looks to shore up a defense that is leakier than the Titanic. Apparently, the Gunners have edged ahead of Livepool in the race for the tough Italy international, but we just aren’t feelin it’ and think he’ll head to a bigger club.
Guillermo Ochoa, Ajaccio
Rumor: Ajaccio to Liverpool Likelihood: Anybody’s guess A few days ago the Mexico goalkeeper revealed that in January Liverpool had enquired about his availability. The trouble is that so did everybody else. Clubs from Spain, Italy and Germany are also interested in Ochoa, who claims he would not know which club to choose from between Liverpool, Milan, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Inter, Bayern, Dortmund. We’ll pass on this one.
Gareth Bale, Tottenham
Rumor: Tottenham to Real Madrid Likelihood: Ball is in Bale's court Real's Director of Football Zinedine Zidane was spotted scouting Bale during Tottenham’s Europa League tussle in Lyon on Thursday, and although Bale couldn't produce an encore of his double free-kick goal performance of the first leg, all signs point to Madrid turning up the heat in the chase for the Wales international come this summer.
Rumor: Schalke Likelihood: All things point to retirement Reports surfaced last week that struggling Schalke hoped to sign Jupp Heynckes to replace interim manager Jens Keller next season, and after the Bayern manager denied earlier reports of an impending retirement, it seemed like it could be a good fit, however surprising. But German newspaper Bild now claims that Heynckes has informed his closest personal friends that he will call it quits. On to the next one for Schalke
Javier Hernandez, Manchester United
Rumor: Manchester United to Real Madrid Likelihood: Outside chance Chicharito has been giving us all a timely reminder of his talent with 15 goals in 26 appearances this season, although notably they haven’t come in the really big games – a fact not lost on the talented Mexican. Real are apparently aware of the United striker’s frustration and have been keeping an eye on his progress. In our view, Hernandez will only go if Ferguson lands a big fish like Lewandowski or CR7 and he needs some cash to pay for it.
Leighton Baines, Everton
Rumor: Everton to Chelsea Likelihood: Everton won't be able to keep him forever Baines has emerged as a potential summer target for the Blues as Ryan Bertrand's struggle to hold down a place in the first team continues. Chelsea still have more than serviceable full-backs in Cesar Azpilicueta and Ashley Cole, but Chelsea will spend mo’ money in summer, no doubt, so we can definitely picture them looking to snatch up the hottest defensive talent in the Premier League, though they won't be alone in their pursuit.
Edinson Cavani, Napoli
Rumor: Napoli to Manchester City Likelihood: Unlikely It’s a hard knock life for City. Not only will they miss out on silverware this season, word has it that Radamel Falcao will choose between Real Madrid and Chelsea as his next destination. That news has freed Mancini to concentrate on bagging one of the world’s other hot properties – Edinson Cavani. City are reportedly prepared to pay the £54million release clause for the Uruguayan, but, sadly for City, Cavani has already set his heart on Spain. Never say never though.
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester United Likelihood: We don’t think so Only one paper gave this rumor the light of day and we just ain’t buyin’ it. United are apparently planning a £55million cash-plus-player deal to bring Ronaldo back to Old Trafford (which player could Real possibly want apart from Rooney and Van Persie? Possibly Hernandez). Is there some how, some way that United could pull off their greatest transfer coup? We know Ronaldo has been saying some chummy things about United recently, but Real won’t let him go – and not for that figure.