In need of a quick rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer’s Rumor Redux. We start off Monday’s edition by saying goodbye to the Carlos Tevez and Boca Juniors transfer rumor. Club president Jorge Amor Ameal reported earlier that Tevez remains too expensive for the Argentine club to sign come January. Though the idea seemed like a reasonable alternative for both Tevez and Manchester City, we can’t blame Boca for putting the brakes on a future deal. From the looks of it, Corinthians remains the top suitor, although the club also reported that they will not engage in a ‘bidding war’ for the talented striker. In other words, stay tuned. And with that, we move to the day’s top football rumors, a list distilled from today’s Paper Chase.
Alex Song, M, Arsenal
Rumor: headed to Internazionale. Likelihood: low. Even though Inter is loaded in the defensive midfield position, Inter manager Claudio Ranieri is still adamant about adding another holding midfielder to his roster. According to reports from Italy, Ranieri has locked his sights on the Cameroon international for the January transfer window. This is not the first time that Song passes through the Nerazurri agenda. Back in the summer, the 24-year-old was close to joining the Giuseppe Meazza side, but did not due to Arsenal’s fire sale of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. Fortunately for Song, the transfers of the aforementioned players have allowed the 24-year-old player to secure a regular place in Arsene Wenger’s starting lineup. With Arsenal’s recent run of late, it seems highly unlikely that Wenger will approve any deal for Song during the middle of the season. But if the reports from Italy hold true, it will be interesting to see just how long Song will remain in London until the big bucks from Milan come knocking on his doorstep.
Neymar, W/F, Santos
Rumor: headed to Barcelona. Likelihood: very, very low. What a shock, a new twist to the Neymar transfer saga.With his renewed contract at Santos coming to everyone’s surprise, it seemed likely that the Neymar transfer rumors would have settled down, right? Guess again. Reports from Spain hint that the European champions have reminded the Brazilians of their interest in the young starlet, so much so that they’re willing to fork €15 million to be the first club in line to ‘talk’ to Neymar when his contract expires in 2014. That’s right, €15 million just to ‘talk’ to Neymar. We understand why clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona are interested in the 19-year-old, but to pay millions just to chitchat for the player’s services seems a bit too much. This rumor isn’t going anywhere, so stay tuned.
Dimitar Berbatov, F, Manchester United
Rumor: headed to Napoli. Likelihood: low. According to reports from Italy, Napoli are concerned that they could lose star forward Edinson Cavani in the summer transfer window and have shortlisted the Manchester United striker as a potential replacement for the Uruguayan international. Despite being crowned as the joint-top goal scorer in the Premier League last season, Berbatov’s struggles to feature in United’s starting eleven have been well documented. Having reached the heights of Serie A football and gaining a place in European competition in 2011, Napoli would like to add an experienced forward to their ranks. The million dollar question here is if United would be willing to sell the Bulgarian footballer in January. The Red Devils are loaded at the forward position and we cannot understand why United boss Sir Alex Ferguson continues to drag this eventual ‘break-up.’ We expect Berbatov to leave Old Trafford at some point, but unfortunately for Napoli’s sake, we just don’t know when.
Cristian Chivu, D, Internazionale
Rumor: headed to Real Madrid. Likelihood: medium. The latest word from Spain suggests that the Romanian footballer will reunite with former Inter boss Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid. Chivu’s physical characteristics and impending free agent status seems to fit Madrid’s agenda, as Mourinho would like to strengthen the center and left back positions for ‘Los Merengues’ in the winter transfer window. Even the 31-year-old’s agent, Ioan Becali, went so far as to promote the possible transfer by telling Diario Sport that Mourinho contacted him about Chivu’s services and willingness to leave Inter for Real Madrid. The truth is Chivu offers a reasonable solution to what Real Madrid might be looking for in January. He’s an experienced footballer with a small price tag and is a versatile defender that can play either the center or full back positions. Add to the fact that he hasn’t played into Ranieiri’s plans at Inter this season, Chivu’s proposed move to Madrid doesn’t seem like a far-fetched idea at all.
Fabio Quagliarella, F, Juventus
Rumor: headed to Villarreal. Likelihood: medium. Villarreal continues its casting of forwards for the next transfer market and the name thrown in the rumor circle now is none other than Fabio Guagliarella. The 28-year-old striker has been linked to the Yellow Submarine in past seasons, as the Italian impressed the La Liga side during his tenure with Udinese and Napoli. With the need of a replacement for the injured Guiseppe Rossi, Villarreal seems in a strong position to finally attract the former Italian international to the Madrigal. And to be honest, Guagliarella should be thrilled to be mentioned in transfer conversations. Having only appeared in one game for Antonio Conte’s Juventus side this season, Guagliarella should push for this transfer since it doesn’t look like he’ll be in Conte’s long-term plans at Turin. Will this rumor turn into reality? We hope so, for Guagliarella’s sake.