Rumor Mill: Final week of the window means last-minute deals
We’re approaching the end of the January transfer window with a lot of clubs failing to make any significant purchases. However, historically clubs tend to save the biggest, most eye-catching deals until the last minute. This week’s Rumor Mill is jam-packed with transfer gossip to get your mouth watering. Enjoy!
Rumor: Watford to Chelsea // Likelihood: Maybe // The Talk: Chelsea are monitoring Watford striker Odion Ighalo, according to the Daily Mirror. The Nigerian international has scored 14 goals in the Premier League so far this season and it will come as no surprise that he is attracting interest from clubs. Chelsea has a lack of strikers at the club with just Diego Costa, Loic Remy, Patrick Bamford and the unfit Radamel Falcao on their books. Ighalo says he is in no rush to leave Watford and the Blues reportedly see the goal-machine as a summer target.
Getty ImagesDan Mullan
Rumor: Real Madrid to ? // Likelihood: Staying, for now // The Talk: After Real Madrid finally confirmed Gareth Bale’s transfer from Tottenham was the most expensive of all-time, The Sun debated whether the revelations could push Cristiano Ronaldo towards a summer exit. Ronaldo is unlikely to be happy that Real paid more to bring Bale to the Bernabeu than on him in 2009, but enough to quit? We doubt it. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with moves for the 30-year-old, however it remains to be seen if any concrete offers emerge.
AFP/Getty ImagesSERGEI SUPINSKY
Rumor: Leicester to Manchester United // Likelihood: A move elsewhere is more likely // The Talk: According to The Sun, Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs is keen on Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel and wants to see him at Old Trafford if David de Gea leaves. Real Madrid, who will be under a transfer embargo over the next two windows, are thought to be willing to trigger De Gea’s release clause, which could see United looking for a quick replacement. Schmeichel has kept eight clean sheets in the Premier League this season and his form hasn’t gone unnoticed elsewhere, with Liverpool also reportedly interested.
Rumor: Juventus to Chelsea // Likelihood: Happy at Juve // The Talk: Chelsea have identified Massimiliano Allegri as their top managerial target, according to The Sun. Allegri, who replaced Antonio Conte at Juventus in 2014, was hugely successful in his maiden season in Turin, winning Serie A and guiding them to their first Champions League final since 2003. The Blues sacked Jose Mourinho late last year and will be looking for a high-profile appointment to replace interim boss Guus Hiddink in the summer. Allegri moved quickly to dismiss the speculation, saying: "My thoughts are on the championship, the Italian Cup and the Champions League. I have a contract with the club until 2017 and I feel good here."
Getty ImagesMarco Luzzani
Rumor: Juventus to Liverpool // Likelihood: Why not? // The Talk: Premier League side Liverpool have made a £45.8million ($65.2million) offer to Juventus for striker Alvaro Morata, according to reports. Morata has been one of the best strikers in world football over the last couple of years and Italian football reporter Tancredi Palmeri says the Reds have bid to bring him to Anfield. Norwich and Manchester City games aside, Liverpool have been struggling for goals this season – especially from their strikers. Daniel Sturridge, Danny Ings and Divock Origi are sidelined, while Christian Benteke has failed to live up to the hype. Spanish international Morata has only scored one goal in Serie A this season and has found himself on the bench in recent weeks.
AFP/Getty ImagesGIUSEPPE CACACE
Rumor: PSG to Manchester United // Likelihood: Good chance, but not until the summer // The Talk: Reports are again linking Manchester United with a £48million ($68.4million) bid for Paris Saint-Germain striker Edinson Cavani. It isn’t the first time the Uruguayan has been touted as a potential cure to the Red Devil’s goalscoring issues. The latest reports in the French press say that United could rethink a January transfer freeze and bid for the player this month. Cavani has scored 13 goals in all competitions so far this season for the French giants who are 21 points ahead of second-place Monaco in Ligue 1.
AFP/Getty ImagesMARTIN BUREAU
Rumor: Everton to Manchester City // Likelihood: Makes sense // The Talk: Manchester City are targeting Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to replace Yaya Toure, according to The Sun. Toure’s agent has said his client will ‘listen to every offer,’ but will be staying until the end of the season. If Toure was to find new pastures then Manuel Pellegrini will attempt to sign England international Barkley. Before this season, the 22-year-old has shown his potential in patches, but now the Liverpool-born midfielder is showing consistency. It is likely Barkley will cost City in excess of £50million ($71.3million) if they were to land their man.
Getty ImagesMike Hewitt
Rumor: Liverpool to West Ham // Likelihood: Unlikely // The Talk: West Ham are preparing a shock bid for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge, according to reports. Sturridge has only made 17 appearances over the last 18 months in the Premier League due to a series of injuries. The Brentwood Gazette claims West Ham are readying an £18 million ($25.6 million) offer for the 26-year-old. With the Hammers new Olympic Stadium home available from next season, they have aspirations of breaking into the Premier League top four. When fit, Sturridge, who has scored 44 goals in 72 games for Liverpool, is a prolific striker and the Reds would surely be keen to keep him.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesAndrew Powell
Rumor: PSG to Chelsea on loan // Likelihood: No chance // The Talk: Surely this is silly talk, right? Well, according to the Daily Star, Chelsea are lining up a loan move for Paris Saint-Germain captain Thiago Silva. Chelsea are thought to be looking to bring the Brazilian center-back in to solve their poor defensive record, having already conceded 34 goals in 23 games this season. The Blues would have no problem paying the former AC Milan player's £170,000-a-week ($242,000-a-week) wages. However, there is one huge problem with this rumor: PSG play Chelsea in the next round of the Champions League in February. It would surely be a bad idea to sell their best defender and captain to their rivals in Europe. It’s a no from us on this one.
Getty ImagesJean Catuffe
Rumor: Bayern Munich to Real Madrid // Likelihood: In the balance // The Talk: According to The Sun, Bayern Munich are ready to go to war with Real Madrid over Robert Lewandowski in the summer. Los Blancos are reportedly preparing a £75million ($106.9million) bid for the striker and it could happen after Lewy recently went on Polish TV and said: “Who could say no to Real Madrid?” This could become one of the most drawn out sagas of the summer transfer window, but Bayern are unlikely to roll over. They famously rejected a £55million ($78.4million) bid from Real in 2009 for star player Franck Ribery – thought to be the only ‘Galactico’ Florentino Perez has failed to bring to the Bernabeu. Also, Real will have to overturn their two-window FIFA transfer ban first.