Rumor Mill: Clubs maneuver into position ahead of transfer window
Rumor: Leicester to Manchester City. // Likelihood: Staying put. // The Talk: Chelsea face competition from Manchester City for Leicester goal-machine Jamie Vardy, according to the Daily Star. Vardy, who is the Premier League’s top scorer with 15 goals so far this season, has been linked with several clubs ahead of the January transfer window. City are the latest side to be linked with the Sheffield-born striker -- with Manuel Pellegrini looking to strengthen his depleted strikeforce. The Premier League giants only have Wilfried Bony and Kelechi Iheanacho as backup for star striker Sergio Aguero.
Rumor: Newcastle United to Manchester United or Tottenham. // Likelihood: Needs to prove himself first. // The Talk: Ayoze Perez has claimed that Manchester United and Tottenham are interested in signing him from Newcastle. "There is truth in the talk about interest in me. It's rewarding for me," Perez told Radio Club Tenerife. “There is much truth in the interest from Tottenham and Man United, but my place is at Newcastle." Perez has scored 11 goals in 55 games since his move from Tenerife in the summer of 2014 and has only impressed in short spells. As the Spanish striker says, maybe his place is at Newcastle for now.
Rumor: Basle to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Nailed on. // The Talk: According to the Daily Mirror, Arsenal have agreed a £5million ($7.45million) fee with Basle for midfielder Mohamed Elneny. Talks with the player are understood to be at an advanced stage and the Gunners could complete a move soon after the transfer window opens in January. Elneny, 23, is at a good age for Arsene Wenger to develop his game and the Egyptian’s energy will help him settle into the Premier League. Arsenal are likely to go for a bigger deal -- such as Southampton’s Victor Wanyama -- in the summer but Elneny could still be an asset to the Gunners in the long-term.
Rumor: Sevilla to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Too expensive. // The Talk: Arsenal are set to launch a £33million ($49.2million) bid for Sevilla midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, according to The Sun. The 25-year-old chose to stay in Spain last summer following apparent interest from the Gunners and the north London side look set to try again. Arsenal have been left short in midfield with injuries to star performers Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla.
Rumor: Chelsea to Atletico Madrid. // Likelihood: Maybe. // The Talk: Atletico Madrid president Enrique Cerezo has refused to rule out a return to Spain for Chelsea striker Diego Costa. He told RTVE: “Right now, Diego is a Chelsea player and he has to focus on Chelsea. But you never know what will happen in football and sometimes players do return to their former clubs.” The Spanish international has three-and-a-half years left on his contract at Stamford Bridge, but his future has come under serious doubt after Chelsea’s awful first half of the season. Costa is a fans favourite in Madrid after helping the team to a La Liga title during his six-year spell at the club.
Rumor: Mainz to Manchester United. // Likelihood: Not right now. // The Talk: The Daily Star claims Manchester United are preparing a £15million ($22.3million) bid for Mainz forward Yoshinori Muto in an effort to bolster their blunt attack. The Red Devils have only scored 22 goals in 18 Premier League games this season and will no doubt be looking to bring a striker in to support Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial. Muto possesses the right ingredients to succeed at Premier League level, with pace and a keen eye for goal. However, after only 6 months in Europe, it may be a bit too soon for the Japanese international.
Rumor: Atletico Madrid to Chelsea or Tottenham. // Likelihood: For the right price or on loan. // The Talk: Premier League sides Chelsea and Tottenham are eyeing a move for Atletico Madrid striker Jackson Martinez, according to the Daily Mirror. Martinez joined Atletico in the summer for £29million ($43.2million) from Porto, however his start at the Vicente Calderon hasn’t been successful. Diego Simeone is thought to be willing to let the 29-year-old -- who has only scored three goals in 12 appearances this season -- move out on loan in January. Before his transfer to Spain, the Colombian international scored 92 goals in 132 matches for Porto and, with Chelsea and Spurs looking to add to their firepower, he could be the perfect signing.
Rumor: Free agent to Manchester United. // Likelihood: If the job becomes available. // The Talk: Jose Mourinho will reject all managerial offers in order to take over at Old Trafford if Louis van Gaal is sacked, according to the Telegraph. The Portuguese boss has been out of work since being fired by Chelsea earlier this month and is thought to be keen on succeeding Van Gaal at Manchester United. LvG is under increasing pressure to turn United’s fortunes around and another bad result could cost him his job. Mourinho, who guided Chelsea to just four wins out of their opening 16 league matches, is still highly-regarded in the game and would no doubt be a leading contender to take over.
Antoine Griezmann / Paul Pogba
Rumor: Atletico Madrid & Juventus to Chelsea. // Likelihood: One or the other. // The Talk: According to BuzzSport, Chelsea are looking to pull off an audacious swoop for Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba. The Blues are aiming to revamp their squad after a disappointing season in the Premier League and they would have to spend £110million ($163.9million) to land the French duo. Griezmann -- who plays for Atletico Madrid -- has been linked with a move to London in the past, while Juve midfielder Paul Pogba would command a hefty fee. Deals of this magnitude are rarely done in January, meaning Chelsea could wait until the summer window to tie anything up.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez
Rumor: Bayer Leverkusen to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Too soon. // The Talk: Arsene Wenger is considering a move for former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, according to reports. If the shock move is true, then it sees a Premier League return for Chicharito just 6 months after he left the Red Devils. Since leaving, the Bayer Leverkusen star has been in prolific form, scoring 19 times in 21 appearances so far this season. Sources close to the 27-year-old Mexican claim that he is keen to return to the Premier League.