The transfer window has finally closed and we at Rumor Redux can all breathe a sigh of relief and concentrate firmly on the title run-in througout Europe. What did we learn in January? Well, we certainly learned that some managers are prone to be a bit "beastie" with the press when it comes to telling the truth. Step forward Roberto Mancini, who every day claimed that Mario Balotelli would not be leaving Manchester City. Result? He left for AC Milan. Stoke manager Tony Pulis said his club would not be signing Brek Shea one day before he signed for…wait for it…Stoke City. This ill communication from managers won’t be tolerated by the Rumor Redux gang much longer so be warned. We think we’ve given you enough clues to this week’s band. They’re New York’s finest, who sadly lost one of its members to cancer in May last year. Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, we salute you. Ten songs by the Beastie Boys are in this week’s mix.
Alain Traore, F, Lorient
RUMOR: Lorient to Arsenal LIKELIHOOD: Remains to be seen We know that Arsenal are interested in the Lorient forward because scout and former Gunners midfielder Gilles Grimandi said so. They know the Lorient striker “by heart”, but Grimandi was sent to the African Cup of Nations to run the rule over potential recruits – especially Traore. The only negative in the equation is that the Burkina Faso international has struggled with injury in the past – and it can’t have been lost on Grimandi that the player missed his quarter-final victory against Togo because of an injury. He might make some noise in Ligue 1, but can he withstand the high-velocity game in the Premier League? Somehow we doubt it.
Asmir Begovic, G, Stoke City
RUMOR: Stoke to Manchester United LIKELIHOOD: It makes sense Stoke manager Tony Pulis made a smart move by signing young England goalkeeper Jack Butland and then immediately loaning him back to Birmingham. Butland wants first-team football. He’s got it. Manchester United wants to give David de Gea time to prove himself. He’s got five months. Begovic is a fine keeper. Don’t we know it? Once the papers latch on to a story there’s usually something behind it (Remember Zaha?) and Begovic is no different. Stoke apparently would want £15million for their keeper should he leave Britannia Stadium. It’s not a sure shot but Begovic has proved himself in the Premier League. De Gea is a work in progress.
Tom Ince, M, Blackpool
RUMOR: Blackpool to Liverpool LIKELIHOOD: Mad, but looks a goer. It seems like an act of insanity to make a £6million bid for a player that was given away by the same club just 18 months previously, but that’s what’s happening in the strange case of Thomas Ince, son of former England international Paul. Reading also made a bid for Ince in the transfer window but fell short of Blackpool’s valuation of £8million. Whether the Reds and Ince will get it together next summer remains to be seen, but it’s clear that Ince is ambitious and has come on leaps and bounds since his move to Bloomfield Road and his progress has not gone unnoticed by Brendan Rodgers.
Leandro Damiao, F, Internacional
RUMOR: Internacional to Tottenham LIKELIHOOD: No. Move on. The elders of Rumor Redux have made it clear they will not entertain this rumor ever again (we know this isn’t actually a rumor as Spur have been chasing Damia for two years). Despite all parties saying nothing was happening Spurs continued to make the move happen – they failed. Damiao has politely thanked Tottenham for their interest but he expects to be Internacional for quite a while.
Peter Odemwingie, F, West Brom
RUMOR: West Brom to QPR LIKELIHOOD: Possibly in summer This was one of the funniest stories of the transfer window. Odemwingie was under the impression that he had been allowed to join QPR, and when he arrived at Loftus Road he gave interviews saying that he was confident the Rs (he used the word “we” even though he hadn’t signed a contract) would avoid relegation. Unfortunately he was refused permission into the grounds because the deal never happened. The Baggies wanted cash plus Junior Hoilett, which QPR rejected, and of course West Brom decided to call the whole thing off. It was a blunder, but sometimes you have to fight for your right to join another club. Odemwingie has 18 months left on his contract which he has refused to extend so the likelihood is that he will move to west London in the summer.
Carlos Tevez, F, Manchester City
RUMOR: Leaving Manchester City LIKELIHOOD: We think so Tevez is a man of mystery. When he was at the height of his powers at City and starting nearly every match he got the hump in Munich and went on strike for five months. Now that his row with Mancini has finally been resolved he generally starts on the bench but has surprisingly never been happier. He has the skills to pay the bills but sadly we don’t seem to be seeing them as often as we used to. Mancini sees Tevez as too similar in style to Sergio Aguero so something has to give. All those staying at the Etihad next season step forward…not so fast Carlos.
David Villa, F, Barcelona
RUMOR: Barcelona to Arsenal LIKELIHOOD: Chance in summer Despite Arsene Wenger’s protestations (who ever believes the Arsenal manager when it comes to his denials about transfer targets?) we think Villa could be heading for the Emirates in the summer. The only problem to be ironed out is the Gunners’ policy of handing one year contracts to players over the age of 30. Villa is 31, but we think Arsenal will turn a blind eye to their self-imposed rules and offer the Spain international something longer. We see this body movin’ to north London.
Luis Suarez, F, Liverpool
RUMOR: Liverpool to Manchester City LIKELIHOOD: Unlikely City’s domestic and European failures this season have prompted Mancini to contemplate a clear-out at the Etihad next season. Selling Mario Balotelli without finding a replacement hasn’t helped matters. Top of the list for the summer is Suarez...and Edinson Cavani, oh and Radamel Falcao. We all know that Suarez is happy at Anfield and it seems that things are finally starting to gel under Brendan Rodgers so we believe any attempt to sabotage the Reds’ renaissance is a non-starter.
Cristiano Ronaldo, F, Real Madrid
RUMOR: Real Madrid to Manchester City LIKELIHOOD: They can always try! With Balotelli gone, Mancini has a headache on his hands trying to beef up his ‘threadbare’ squad. One paper that doesn’t have a great track record in getting transfer rumors right thinks City will use the Mario cash to make an intergalactic move for either Ronaldo or Radamel Falcao. It’s an easy rumor to start. Ronaldo is still “sad” (he hasn’t told us otherwise) and City is brimming with cash, but even they may bristle about the sums being touted. The same paper claimed that Man City turned down a £160million ($252m) last summer. There is no harm in trying to sign Ronaldo, but we have a sneaky feeling his sadness at Madrid will soon turn to smiles. Awww!
Jose Mourinho, Real Madrid coach
RUMOR: Real Madrid to Chelsea LIKELIHOOD: Anything is possible Something is not right for Mourinho at Real Madrid. To be 16 points behind Barcelona at this stage of the season does not bode well on its own. But the rumor, which was subsequently denied, that Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos threatened to leave the club if Mourinho wasn't sacked, makes his situation even worse. Marca, which published the story, stands by its claim – and who are we to argue? We think Mourinho will be gone at the end of the season and will be back in the Premier League. He supposedly keeps in touch with Blues owner Roman Abramovich and let’s not forget that Rafael Benitez seems to be doing his utmost to get the sack with a string of poor results. In a world gone mad, Mourinho returning to Stamford Bridge does have some substance.