Last week’s snow in New York, which forced the second leg of the MLS playoff semifinal between the Red Bulls and D.C. United, to be postponed, had those on the east coast looking longingly at the warm climate of the west. Interestingly this week’s edition of Rumor Redux also has a team from the east making an audacious bid to sign one of the Premier League’s most outstanding players. Of course, as the Dickens character Ebenezer Scrooge said in a Christmas Carol, it could all be humbug. Snow, humbug – the clues are there for this week’s band. Ten songs by Sheffield’s finest, Arctic Monkeys, litter this week’s tittle tattle.
Andrey Arshavin, M/F, Arsenal
RUMOR: ARSENAL TO FULHAM LIKELIHOOD: No If you think Arshavin will be plying his mercurial talent at Craven Cottage in January that’s where you’re wrong. Stories about Fulham’s reported interest in the Russian surfaced at the tail end of October, but there isn’t much mileage in this one. Cottagers boss Martin Jol was asked whether he would make a move for the Arsenal forward in January. His answer begins with an ‘n’ and ends in an ‘o’. Short and sweet.
Robert Lewandowski, F, Borussia Dortmund
RUMOR: BORUSSIA DORTMUND TO MANCHESTER UNITED LIKELIHOOD: Don’t think so When it comes to rumors when a story surfaces about a player’s contract talks stalling, the media slam on the brakes and go into reverse to check the last club the player was linked with. Lewandowski’s negotiations with the Bundesliga champions are apparently not going well, so that has led to some rumor mongers linking the Pole with United, who were interested in signing him during the summer. That, of course, was before they signed Robin van Persie, who has made a smooth transition to life at OT. The only ones who know where Lewandowski’s future lies are the player and his agent, but we don’t think it will be at United.
Marouane Fellaini, M, Everton
RUMOR: EVERTON TO CHELSEA LIKELIHOOD: Will probably leave in summer David Moyes accepts that Fellaini will probably leave the club if Everton don’t cement a top-four place in the Premier League, which would guarantee Champions League football. The Belgian midfielder has been the cornerstone of the Blues’ rise up the standings and scored his sixth goal of the season in the 2-1 win against Sunderland at the weekend. Fellaini has been making noises about the club not matching his ambition and Moyes is now resigned to an unwanted exit – unless they can dine at Europe’s top table. Chelsea have been linked with a move but they have plenty of midfielders in their squad. Let’s see where the Blues finish the season, although we doubt it will be fourth.
Mario Balotelli, F, Manchester City
RUMOR: MANCHESTER CITY TO INTER MILAN LIKELIHOOD: Chances are better than a few months ago In the summer the Rumor Redux gang were pretty scathing about the possibility of Balotelli leaving City for one of the Milan clubs, but a few months is a long time in soccer and things don’t seem to be going to too well for the madcap Italian. At the weekend he wasn’t even on the bench against Tottenham, although his performance against West Ham can’t have helped his situation. There are times when the RR gang think, despite Balotelli’s undoubted talent, he can be a bit of clown. This house is a circus, we hear you say. We couldn’t agree more, but what are the chances of Balotelli returning to the San Siro where he left under a dark cloud when Jose Mourinho was in charge? Italian sources say that the clubs held transfer talks after City’s 2-2 draw with Ajax. As we all know, his Italian model girlfriend is pregnant so a move make sense. Let’s wait and see.
Edinson Cavani, F, Napoli
RUMOR: NAPOLI TO ARSENAL LIKELIHOOD: Don’t make us laugh Cavani to Arsenal? Do me a favour! The fact is that Wenger loves a bargain but he won’t be able to cut a deal for the Napoli star, who would cost about £10 million more than the £30 million the Arsenal boss would like to spend on the Uruguayan striker. Furthermore, his signature would probably result in the club having to smash its wage structure to get him to the Emirates. Imagine how Theo Walcott would react to that! No, Cavani is probably looking for a bigger pond in which to swim even though we think he’d suit Arsenal’s style.
Nicolas Anelka, F, Shanghai Shenhua
RUMOR: SHANGHAI SHENHUA TO WEST HAM LIKELIHOOD: We doubt it West Ham is one of the few English clubs that Anelka hasn’t actually played for so I suppose we shouldn’t rule anything out on this score. His tantrums during his time in the Premier League led to the media nicknaming the Frenchman ‘Le Sulk’ which equates in Arctic Monkeys circles as ‘mardy bum’. There are all sorts of rumors emanating from China about Anelka’s supposed unhappiness although we imagine his reported £250,000 would sweeten his pain. Former Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City etc…. striker Anelka played under Sam Allardyce at Bolton, so what are the chances of the two linking up again at Upton Park? Talks have supposedly already started but we think Anelka’s China crisis will be resolved.
Ashley Cole, D, Chelsea
RUMOR: CHELSEA TO PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN LIKELIHOOD: Getting closer The Cole to Paris train is moving full steam ahead, according to a source very close to the Chelsea defender. Who’s that we hear you ask? Of course when it comes to standing up pieces of gossip then it’s a case of mum’s the word. Sue Cole tweeted that her son was going somewhere “not too far on the Euro star” which rules out a move to London and the last we heard Manchester isn’t en route. Of course, his mum may just be causing a bit of mischief to ensure Chelsea re-sign the defender but we think the chances of Cole being reunited with Carlo Ancelotti is now getting serious. Ancelotti is building a fine side brick by brick and Cole could prove to be one of the foundations of the club’s future success.
Edin Dzeko, F, Manchester City
RUMOR: MANCHESTER CITY TO ARSENAL LIKELIHOOD: It all depends… D is for dangerous, but D is also for Dzeko, who proved his worth once again to Manchester City at the weekend with another super-sub display by scoring the winner against Tottenham. You would think that there is no way City would part with the Bosnia-Herzegovina striker, who has perfected the art of saving Roberto Mancini’s skin over the last couple of years. Let’s not forget that it was Dzeko who scored the equalizer against QPR to set up Sergio Aguero’s title-winning goal at the death last season. Why would Mancini let him go? There would be only one reason and that would be Falcao. Should City land the Atletico Madrid striker, someone would have to make way. Aguero is safe, which leaves Balotelli, Tevez and Dzeko as potential departees.
Frank Lampard, M, Chelsea
RUMOR: CHELSEA TO GUIZHOU RENHE LIKELIHOOD: Eastern promise won’t tempt Frank China is certainly doing its best to lure Chelsea players to the east and to be fair they have had some success with the captures of both Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka, who both play for Shanghai Shenhua. Now, Guizhou Renhe, a club that has only existed for 17 years, has revealed it has opened talks with Blues midfielder Frank Lampard. If it’s money Lampard is interested in then there’s no reason why he won’t suck it and see and go for it, but if it’s lifestyle then he surely can’t beat Los Angeles, where we think he’ll still end up.
Falcao, F, Atletico Madrid
RUMOR: ATLETICO MADRID TO MANCHESTER CITY LIKELIHOOD: Real Madrid still favorite Strikers are dangerous animals. Their bite takes a deep chunk out of a club’s budget, but they’re worth their weight in gold if they produce the goods. Falcao is one such beast and such is his reputation that he has the four richest clubs drooling over him. The Telegraph reported over the weekend that Mancini has met up with the Colombian’s agent in a bid to see off the threat posed by both Chelsea and Real Madrid. There has been more than one meeting, we are told, which suggests City is in the driving seat? But is it? If we told you that Falcao’s agent Jorge Mendes also represents Jose Mourinho would that make a difference to your opinion? We think so too, but City is certainly in with a chance.