Rumor: Barcelona to Manchester United/Arsenal // Likelihood: Say what? // The gossip: Injury-ravaged Vermaelen hasn’t played a single minute for Barcelona since he joined the club on a five-year deal in the summer and it doesn’t look like he’ll be playing any time soon. The Gunners, along with Manchester United, were linked with a January loan move for the Belgian defender but that has probably been put on hold after he sustained a hamstring injury. Hard times for Vermaelen but hopefully his time will come.
Getty ImagesDavid Ramos
Rumor: Borussia Dortmund to Liverpool // Likelihood: More time for Rodgers // The gossip: The knives are out for Brendan Rodgers after a dispiriting defeat at Crystal Palace left Liverpool, last season's runners-up in the Premier League, 12th in the table. Rodgers admits his job is under threat if results don’t improve and the man tipped to replace him is Jurgen Klopp, who is undergoing a crisis of his own at Borussia Dortmund. The wheels may be coming off at both clubs but we suspect both boards will give their men time to turn things around.
Bongarts/Getty ImagesMartin Rose
Rumor: Everton to Chelsea // Likelihood: Everton digging in these days // The gossip: It’s possible that the days of Everton being a selling club are at an end if the Leighton Baines to Manchester United saga from a couple of season ago is anything to go by (OK, they offloaded Maroaune Fellaini but that’s starting to look like a blessing in disguise). Astonishingly, Coleman was signed for less than $100,000 in 2009 and, at 26 years of age, is said to be worth more than $30 million. He would represent an improvement to Chelsea's back line and would allow Ivanovic to move into the center should John Terry leave. Will Everton play ball with Chelsea? Doubtful.
Getty ImagesMatthew Lewis
Rumor: Atletico Madrid to Manchester United // Likelihood: Not at that price // The gossip: Manchester United’s win at Arsenal over the weekend still did not mask their frailties in defense which was as follows: Smalling, Blackett, McNair. Frightening isn’t it? Reports in Spain say Atletico would be prepared to sell Miranda because of the emergence of Jose Gimenez, who started ahead of Miranda in the 3-1 win against Malaga at the weekend. Miranda’s release clause is $37.5 million which is a lot for a 30-year-old defender -- and would Atletico be prepared to put the responsibility on the shoulders of 19-year-old Gimenez? Sure, it’s a dog eat dog world but Atletico must be sensible -- and United would want some value.
Getty ImagesManuel Queimadelos Alonso
Rumor: Tottenham to Roma // Likelihood: We don’t buy it // The gossip: Hell’s bells, where did this come from? No sooner does Lamela get into a run of form he is immediately linked with a return to his former club. The Argentine might not have made the explosive impact we expected but he’s starting to show why Spurs splashed out $40 million for his services. The reports are the usual 'sources in Italy' so it already lacks credibility and in any case Spurs chairman Daniel Levy is not a man to accept defeat.
Getty ImagesShaun Botterill
Angel di Maria
Rumor: Manchester United to PSG // Likelihood: Still not digging this one // The gossip: We know this featured in last week’s column but new information needs to be aired. And what’s that, you ask? PSG are optimistic that Financial Fair Play sanctions will be eased in the summer which would mean almost anything goes on the transfer front and finally a move for the Argentine winger could be concluded. United would only sell if they could bring a bigger fish to Old Trafford and that means reeling in Gareth Bale. You can see where we’re going with this one. A dead end on a one-way street.
Man Utd via Getty ImagesJohn Peters
Rumor: Inter Milan to Chelsea/Liverpool // Likelihood: Give the guy a chance // The gossip: Inter Milan’s indifferent season has had one plus -- the emergence of Icardi, who, with seven goals to his name, is already only two goals shy of equaling last season’s total. His prowess has supposedly alerted the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool. The Blues would be stuck if Diego Costa broke down and Mario Balotelli is on the highway to hell in the goalscoring stakes. Apparently Icardi does not feature in Roberto Mancin’s first-team plans despite starting the Argentine in the Milan derby.
Getty ImagesValerio Pennicino
Rumor: Monaco to Arsenal // Likelihood: Good value? // The gossip: Moutinho has reportedly handed in a transfer request and the talk of the town is that Arsenal are prepared to splash out $47 million to replace 32-year-old midfielder Mikel Arteta. Moutinho is a class act and at 28 is supposed to be at his peak but there wouldn’t be a sell-on fee for the Portugal international should the Gunners launch a smash 'n' grab raid. Arsene Wenger has relaxed his insistence on value as proved by the Mesut Ozil signing so it could be a goer. United and Chesea have also been linked but surely they have enough midfielders?
AFP/Getty ImagesVALERY HACHE
Rumor: Manchester United to Bayern Munich // Likelihood: Would make sense // The gossip: Should Herrera leave United it would be a real brain shake for the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder who was signed a couple of months after Louis van Gaal after joined the club in the summer. The Dutchman approved the signing but now it appears his time is up -- that’s because Pep Guardiola is prepared to offer $11 million plus a frustrated Xherdan Shaqiri in exchange for Herrera. Considering LVG wants more wingers, that would represent a decent deal for United if they hadn’t already spent $45.5 million for him in June.
Getty ImagesLaurence Griffiths
Rumor: Barcelona to Manchester City // Likelihood: No danger // The gossip: Manuel Pellegrini was asked at this week’s Champions League press conference about speculation linking Lionel Messi with Manchester City and his answer was short and sweet. "The rumors are only rumors." Although the possibility hasn’t exactly been shot down in flames it would surely be almost impossible for City to sign Messi, who is in a spot of bother on the tax front, without decimating their squad to stay in line with Financial Fair Play rules. We’ll pass.