This week’s edition is positively crammed full of the world’s best players with the transfer window just over six weeks away. Despite international week once again interrupting the season it hasn’t prevented some very interesting rumors from flying around, some of which have substance and others which have very little. On the subject of speculation the band we have helping us out this week have been tipped to bring out a new album 20 years after their first. We have ten tracks from one of the greatest hip-hop acts of all time. They are New York’s Wu-Tang Clan: --Warren Barner
Nicklas Bendtner, F, Arsenal
Rumor: Arsenal to La Liga. Likelihood: Flat joke. We’re pretty sure this was said tongue-in-cheek by the Denmark international but who knows? The Gunners striker insists he is tired of sitting on the bench and loves to play “lots of games.” So, how does he anticipate his career developing in the future if he can’t get into the Arsenal team? “Real Madrid or Barcelona”, was his reply. We know he’s not short of confidence but would you care to take it back Nicklas?
Edin Dzeko, F, Manchester City
Rumor: Manchester City to Arsenal. Likelihood: Would you sell to a league rival? Word has it that Arsene Wenger has added Edin Dzeko to his wish list should the deal to sign Karim Benzema from Real Madrid fail to materialize. Dzeko is unhappy with the amount of game time he is getting at the Etihad and wants to be in peak physical fitness for Bosnia & Herzegovina’s World Cup debut next year. City boss Manuel Pellegrini remains happy with the striker but one of these days something will have to give. Should City decide to sell Inter Milan would be a better destination as the 2012 champions would not want to help the Gunners’ title ambitions.
Julio Cesar, GK, Queens Park Rangers
Rumor: QPR to Manchester City. Likelihood: Short-term panic measure. Joe Hart’s future at the Etihad is looking hazy at the moment. Although his place in the England team look secure he is currently behind Costel Pantilimon in the pecking order and there is no sign of an immediate return. To make matters worse City have been linked with a move for Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, who has been frozen out at QPR. Is the former Inter Milan shot-stopper heading for the City? For one thing Cesar is 34, so signing a player close to the end of his career and has not played a game since the Confederations Cup at the end of June. Hart will come good again. This one’s a non-starter in our view.
Tim Cahill, M, New York Red Bulls
Rumor: NY Red Bulls to the Premier League. Likelihood: Cetainly looks like it. Cahill could be poised for a second coming to the Premier League, according to one national UK newspaper. Now that the MLS season is finally over the former Everton forward could be set for a short-term loan in England which would help with his fitness for Australia’s 2014 World Cup campaign. When asked about the possibility, the 33-year-old attacker said: “The move depends on getting my body right. But the plan is for the World Cup.” Sunderland, Fulham, Everton and QPR have all been mentioned but we think there could be others in the market too.
John Terry, D, Chelsea
Rumor: Chelsea to Galatasaray. Likelihood: Seems dead in the water. It would look very strange to see Terry in a shirt any other color than blue but could he join his former Chelsea teammate Didier Drogba at Galatasaray? Stranger things have happened. Who would have expected to see Wes Sneijder or Drogba at the Turkish champions? Even former City boss Roberto Mancini has a three-year contract to help transform Gala into one of Europe’s powerhouses. Last week the signs looked good that the Turks could persuade the defender to join them on a two-year deal worth £3.2million a year after tax. However, that dream now looks impossible as it appears Terry wants to stay at Stamford Bridge, even if it means a pay cut and a shorter contract.
Sergio Aguero, F, Manchester City
Rumor: Manchester City to Barcelona. Likelihood: Highly doubtful. Aguero has once again been linked with a move to Barcelona and it seems that Messi has also been urging the club’s board to sign his fellow Argentine. We accept that Aguero’s exceptional movement would fit perfectly into Barca’s side, but it would take a lot of cash to prise the striker away from the Etihad, especially as he recently signed a five-year contract. One Barcelona-based sports daily says Aguero is desperate to move but neither his behavior nor his words suggest that he wants a transfer. Barca would be like the cat that got the C.R.E.A.M. if the deal comes off but they’re going to have to pull out all the stops.
Sergio Ramos, D, Real Madrid
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester City. Likelihood: Compromise likely. All is not well at the Bernabeu. Sergio Ramos is said to be negotiating a new pay deal so that his salary is close to or equivalent to that of Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. For heaven’s sake, Sergio, of course you’re as good as those two -- here’s the cash. We don’t know for sure whether there is friction between the two parties but Manchester City are looking to capitalize with a £32.5 million offer (Ramos’ buy-out clause is £41million). One thing in City’s favor is that Ramos wants to play in central defense and not right back or as a holding midfielder as prescribed by Carlo Ancelotti. Real don’t want to lose Ramos, especially now that they’re without Sami Khedira so we get the feeling Real will give in to some of his demands.
Alexandre Pato, F, Corinthians
Rumor: Corinthians to Arsenal. Likelihood: We don't see it. Everything seems to be going well for Pato, at least on the surface, but one UK newspaper which believes the former AC Milan striker is unhappy at Corinthians despite scoring 14 goals already for the Brazilian club. The Express believes Pato has become increasingly disgruntled in his homeland and that Corinthians would be willing to part with the striker for £10 million. However, because Pato is reportedly entitled to 40 percent of any transfer fee as part of the deal that secured his move that would mean only an offer of £14.5 million would suffice. Unless, of course, Pato is happy to waive the fee. If he wants a better tomorrow he may have to. Until pat starts making noises we’re just not convinced by the story.
Radamel Falcao, F, Monaco
Rumor: Monaco to Chelsea. Likelihood: Interesting. Normally we would give a story like this some severe punishment but the fact a respected newspaper like the Sunday Express bills this as an exclusive gets our attention. The story is that Jose Mourinho is ready to offload Fernando Torres in an audacious bid to bring Falcao to Stamford Bridge. So what’s the deal? Apparently, Mourinho has had word that Falcao is unhappy in the principality and checked out the Colombian in action against Belgium in midweek. Contact has apparently been made with Falcao’s advisers and although it may come to nothing for the moment there is an air of uncertainty surrounding Falcao.
Lionel Messi, F, Barcelona
Rumor: Barcelona to Manchester City. Likelihood: Say what? We have to mention this story if only to put it to bed. The Mail on Sunday ran the story on Saturday but the fact it was placed below a rumor about John Terry and a potential move to Galatasaray just about says it all. The theory is based solely that Messi is unhappy with the pressure he is under to play at Camp Nou when not fully fit. Messi has been ruled out for up to two months with a hamstring injury although whether his problems are caused by Barca’s insistence he plays or his own eagerness to get back on the pitch is open to question. And let’s not forget a deal would depend on complying with Financial Fair Play rules. Signing Messi would represent more than a triumph for City, it would be a miracle -- and we don’t believe in those.