Rumor Mill: Angel Di Maria already thinking of a move away from Man United?
Rumor: Sevilla to Arsenal. // Likelihood: Competition for his signature. // Rumor talk: The Pole has been making waves in Andalucia since his summer move from Reims and it’s a case of double jeopardy for Sevilla should they want to keep him. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who recently admitted to another high-profile layer that got away in the shape of Paul Pogba, is thought to be interested, but Borussia Dortmund are favorites. Coach Jurgen Klopp wants the midfielder to replace the retiring Sebastian Kehl.
AFP/Getty ImagesJOSE JORDAN
Rumor: Leaving Chelsea. // Likelihood: Almost certain. // Rumor talk: Salah arrived on the crest of a wave from Basel in January. Salah was snapped up on a five-and-a-half-year deal for £11 million ($17.2m), having scored in the 2013 Europa League semifinals against the Blues and then in both Champions League group games in the following season. But the Egyptian just hasn’t cut the mustard at Stamford Bridge with so many better players in front of him in the pecking order. Inter Milan were in talks to sign him on loan before Mazzarri was sacked, but we think Mancini will resurrect the deal. We’re almost waiting for this one to be announced.
AFP/Getty ImagesFRANCISCO LEONG
Rumor: Leaving Arsenal. // Likelihood: Wenger digging in. // Rumor talk: Bit-time actor Podolski is becoming frustrated by his bit-part role at Arsenal and has hinted he could be on the move in January if he doesn’t get the scripts his talents deserves. Napoli are one of the club’s interested in the World Cup winner, who has been linked with a humiliatingly low five million euro ($6.23 million) exit. Wenger says the German is not for sale and although Podolski is not one to sulk like a baby, we just wonder whether his time is finally up.
Arsenal FC via Getty ImagesStuart MacFarlane
Rumor: Chelsea to Roma. // Likelihood: Interesting. // Rumor talk: Unless it’s a cup game or Thibaut Courtois gets injured, Cech will remain in the doldrums at Chelsea. But who are the candidates to snap up the Czech goalkeeper? Over the weekend Roma were linked with a move. Why? Because Morgan De Sanctis is out of contract at the end of the season and will be 38 in March. Lukasz Skorupski is not regarded to be ready for the rigors of Serie A so Cech makes sense as an alternative. However, Neto will be a free agent in the summer so it’s likely he will be Walter Sabatini’s preference. Arsenal are also thought to want Cech, but PSG remain favorites to sign him in the close season.
Getty ImagesRichard Heathcote
Rumor: Roma to New York City. // Likelihood: Why not? // Rumor talk: Last month Cole, who has hardly set the world on fire in the Eternal City, was linked with New York Red Bulls and Orlando City, but another new franchise has also come calling by all accounts. Cole has supposedly been given the chance to reunite with his old Chelsea pal Frank Lampard at New York City. He would be so glad that there won’t be players of Arjen Robben’s caliber to torment him in MLS! If Roma want rid of him NYC would be perfect.
Getty ImagesAlex Livesey
Rumor: Liverpool to Inter Milan. // Likelihood: We think he’ll stay. // Rumor talk: Gerrard is out of contract in the summer and as things stand he is free to talk to other clubs in January. Inter Milan, who last week replaced Walter Mazzarri as coach, is looking to recruit new players – and the 34-year-old midfielder could be one of them. But put yourself in Brendan Rodgers’ shoes. The Reds are already having a bad season but would you want to be the man that tells one of the club’s greatest ever players he is no longer wanted? Sure, this is a board decision but it will be Rodgers that takes the flak. Reds fans will be crying if Gerrard leaves and that’s why we expect him to be offered a new deal.
Liverpool FC via Getty ImagesJohn Powell
Rumor: Galatasaray to AC Milan. // Likelihood: Possible. // Rumor talk: Sneijder’s relationship with Galatasaray is going through a difficult path because of problems with late salary payments. AC Milan are apparently looking to sign the Netherlands midfielder on a loan deal in January because they will lose Keisuke Honda to the Asian Cup for a month. Sneijder spent four seasons at Inter Milan but would he want to join their arch rivals? And it’s unlikely Sneijder would leave on a loan deal without some kind of arrangement for a permanent move. Could happen though.
Getty ImagesJohn Berry
Rumor: Atletico Madrid to Chelsea. // Likelihood: Pie in the sky. // Rumor talk: Koke is undoubtedly one of the stars of Atletico Madrid’s title-winning squad, but according to a couple of media outlets (Express again!) Barcelona have moved ahead of Chelsea and Manchester City in the battle for the Spain midfielder and will reportedly soon make a bid. Really? Oh, we thought Barcelona had been banned from making transfers for the next two windows. Our mistake! In any case, the chances of Koke heading to the bright lit blue skies of Chelsea or Manchester City are dim.
Getty ImagesDenis Doyle
Rumor: Real Madrid to Chelsea. // Likelihood: Pipe dream. // Rumor talk: We read a piece of nonsense in one of the more respected tabloids (Express) that Bale was no longer guaranteed a first-team spot because of the terrific performances of Isco. Well, the last time we checked Bale was in the starting line-up and Isco was, er…on the bench. When Bale wasn’t playing and Isco was, it was because the former Tottenham man was injured. Chelsea probably couldn’t afford Bale in any case because of Financial Fair Play rules so would have to offload a lot of players I get him even if Real were prepared to sell – which they aren’t. Don’t think twice about it, Jose.
Real Madrid via Getty ImagesVictor Carretero
Angel Di Maria
Rumor: Manchester United to Paris Saint-Germain. // Likelihood: Fanciful. // Rumor talk: We’ve seen this one before and we’re as guilty as anyone. A journalist asks a player about interest from another club and the story gets blown out of proportion. Di Maria admitted that he could have joined PSG instead of United in the summer and then the words “perhaps I’ll go to PSG one day” have been transformed into: DI MARIA WANTS TO JOIN PSG. Stories like this go round and round but for the time being he’s a United player.