There are plenty of big names doing rounds in the transfer market and the stakes are undoubtedly getting higher. Wayne Rooney remains “angry and confused”, while Luis Suarez is simply confused about the reasons why he wants to Liverpool. The Cesc Fabregas story shows no signs of going away which all makes for a very interesting summer on the transfer front. With such powerful names on the menu we need a heavy-duty band to add a bit of spice to the mix. Kasabian, named after Charles Manson’s getaway driver, have become one of the biggest bands in the UK now that Oasis are no more. Ten tracks by the Leicester rockers pepper the best gossip around: --Warren Barner
Yohan Cabaye, Newcastle
Rumor: Newcastle to Manchester United. Likelihood: If other targets don’t materialize. Manchester United is desperately searching for midfield reinforcements and Cabaye could fit the bill if the running battle to sign Cesc Fabregas fails to come off. Cabaye played 26 times for Newcastle last season, scoring six goals in the process. The Red Devils are looking for a midfielder that can score goals, while sustaining the solid spine they had last season. Newcastle’s reluctance to sell one of their better players may be the stumbling block, as they look set to lose other star players, including striker Papiss Cisse.
Roberto Soldado, Valencia
Rumor: Valencia to Spurs. Likelihood: Need to get moving! The 28-year-old striker is in the prime of his career. Having started out at Real Madrid, he has now settled at Valencia and scored a serious amount of goals. Last season he managed 24 goals in 35 league games in La Liga. He ticks all the boxes as far as Tottenham are concerned and it is rumored they have offered £20 million ($30.6 million) after missing out on Christian Benteke, who decided to sign a new deal at Aston Villa. However, Liverpool are also thought to be interested and are prepared to pay the £25 million ($38 million) buy-out clause. Spurs had better move quickly otherwise another deal could end up in the trash can.
Pepe, Real Madrid
Rumor: Real Madrid to Manchester City. Likelihood: Certainly feasible. Pepe managed 42 appearances at Real Madrid last season, on the face of it a good effort for any player. This stat, however, doesn’t tell the whole story. The emergence of Raphael Varane, a young French defender will potentially limit the opportunities Pepe gets at Madrid this season. There are Real fans that would prefer Pepe to go, clearing the way for Varane to develop into the star everyone thinks. Varane is likely to get a lot more opportunities this season and Pepe would prefer to be playing than sitting on the bench – a role which he is probably too good for. A Pepe-type signing would bring depth and experience to Manchester City’s backline and happiness to their fans, desperate to atone for last season when they relinquished their title to rival Manchester United. Time will tell.
Daniel Agger, Liverpool
Rumor: Liverpool to Barcelona. Likelihood: New manager first. Last season was a poor one for Liverpool with lots of star players letting the team down. Some of the key inconsistencies came in defense where Agger plays alongside Martin Skrtel. The normally reliable partnership made some key errors that could have cost Liverpool league places. Barcelona always looks good going forward but they have very few recognizable defenders. Javier Mascherano, normally a central midfielder, has more often than not been deployed as a defender to fill gaps. If Barcelona has genuine interest they could sell for the right price, but the decision of Tito Vilanova to leave the club in order to concentrate on his battle against cancer has muddied the waters. It may not be a goodbye kiss for the Dane just yet.
Luis Suarez, Liverpool
Rumor: Liverpool to Arsenal. Likelihood: Depends on Real Madrid's situation. Ever since Suarez's outcry earlier this summer regarding his unhappiness with the British media -- all of his doing we might add -- reports have hit non-stop involving the Uruguayan's at Anfield. The latest nugget? A reported £30million bid from Arsene Wenger's side for the unsettled Liverpool striker. Though a move to London seems highly unlikely, one cannot underestimate Arsenal as an underdog in this feisty transfer battle against Spanish giants Real Madrid, who are currently taking care of their own transfer saga with disgruntled Gonzalo Higuain. Keep an eye on this space.
Gonzalo Higuain, Real Madrid
Rumor: Real Madrid to Arsenal. Likelihood: Tough call. Arsenal fans are getting accustomed to summers in which they are linked to every player on the planet only to be ultimately disappointed by the lack of world-class signings. Their hopes had been raised by the possibility of landing Higuain, but it seems that cash-rich Napoli have stolen a march in the fight to capture the Real Madrid striker. The money from the sale of Edinson Cavani to Paris Saint-Germain seems to have given the Italian club the edge, although a report in Monday’s press suggests the Argentinian would prefer a move to London. Carlo Ancelotto has said he wants to keep him and confirmed that no deal had been struck with Napoli. Don’t shoot the runner but we suspect Arsene Wenger will lose the race once more.
Juan Mata, Chelsea
Rumor: Chelsea to Arsenal. Likelihood: No chance. Arsenal’s summer of frustration shows no sign of abating. The Gunners have reportedly made big offers for Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain and Liverpool forward Luis Suarez without success and the same could be said about the bid to bring Mata to the Emirates. Mata was fantastic for Chelsea last season and consistently their best player. If the Gunners attempted to sign Mata, we suspect they would be rebuffed several times and told he is not for sale. Arsenal seems to have the funds but lack the pull of other clubs in Europe. Jose Mourinho has already said there is “no chance” that either Mata or David Luiz will be sold. Bang goes Arsene Wenger’s hopes.
Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Rumor: Manchester United to Chelsea. Likelihood: Stages are getting higher. Chelsea have decided to take aim and make Wayne Rooney their only target before the summer transfer window closes on Sept. 2. Rooney is apparently “angry and confused” about comments made by David Moyes which suggested he was playing second fiddle to Robin van Persie as main striker even though we all know that the United boss was saying no such thing. Chelsea has made one offer of £25 million ($38.34 million) for the England international, but speculation suggests the west London club are prepared to up their bid to £40 million ($61.35 million) to test United’s resolve. Would United sell to one of their main title rivals though? Food for thought.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid
Rumor: Real Madrid to the Premier League. Likelihood: Looks like he’ll stay. There was a time when the momentum seemed to be on the side of CR7 returning to Manchester United, but those days seem to be over. Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti is confident that the Portugal interntional will sign a new contract and now his former manager, Jose Mourinho, says he has “a feeling” the forward will stay at the Santiago Bernabeu. It’s hard to think of a scenario in which United can afford to sign him and a deal which would please Real Madrid. Remember, Ronaldo would have virtually no sell-on value if he were to go back to Old Trafford. United and Ronaldo may be as thick as thieves still, but his heart belongs in Spain.
Cesc Fabregas, Barcelona
Rumor: Barcelona to Manchester United. Likelihood: United must have been given encouragement. For many, United have been wasting their time pursuing Fabregas. Firstly, Barcelona seemed to suggest they did not want to sell the midfielder. Secondly, the Spain international wants to stay at Camp Nou so long as he is wanted by the Catalan club. Thirdly, Arsenal has first refusal on the player should he leave Barcelona. However, David Moyes revealed something interesting at his press conference in Yokohama, Japan, on Monday. The Manchester United boss said that Barca had responded to his club’s first bid and that a second offer had been lodged. Ed Woodward, United’s executive vice-chairman, also returned to the UK ahead of schedule to deal with some urgent transfer business. Moyes’ quote has added fuel to the fire and suggests that Barca did not turn down United’s offer. We await developments.