The season is edging towards its conclusion and with the end in mind our thoughts turn to new beginnings. This week the two clubs dominating the Premier League also headline the latest installment of Rumor Redux – namely Manchester United and City. While City probably only need a few tweaks for next season (Tevez is probably on his way out but will Balotelli be following him?) Manchester United are probably in greater need of a revamp. With that in mind it’s a case of ins and outs at the Etihad this week, but a clear emphasis on arrivals at Old Trafford. Read on…
Marouane Chamakh, F, Arsenal
Rumor: Arsenal to Bordeaux Likelihood: Can he afford it? Anyone remember Chamakh? We at the splendid Rumor Redux Towers were convinced the Moroccan striker would be an unqualified success at Arsenal following his move from Bordeaux but sadly that has not proved to be the case. Although Bordeaux have opened the door for a possible return to the club where he made his name, the sticking point is the usual one – money. No doubt Chamakh moved to London on astronomical wages, way higher than anything Bordeaux could afford to pay. So does Chamakh want to play football or increase his bank balance? We’d like to see him back back to his best but that won’t happen at the Emirates. Do the decent thing Maro and find another club.
Eden Hazard, MF, Lille
Rumor: Lille to Manchester United. Likelihood: Better than 50/50. Eden, Eden, Eden. What would Rumor Redux do without you? The Lille playmaker has been linked heavily with Tottenham over the last few months, but the United bombshell dropped last week when coach Rene Meulensteen revealed that Sir Alex Ferguson himself actually paid a trip to France to watch the Belgium midfielder in action. As Meulensteen tellingly revealed: “That's a sign he thinks it's an interesting player. We talked a lot about him. For a club it’s important that you keep refreshing your squad.” Hazard is having a decent season in Ligue 1 and when it comes to a straight battle between Manchester United and Tottenham there is generally only one winner (think Berbatov). An interesting summer awaits.
Aleksandar Kolarov, LB, Manchester City
Rumor: Manchester City to Inter Milan Likelihood: Maybe When he was at Lazio he was billed as the best left-back in the world. RR is not even sure he’s in the top three left-backs in the Premier League although his fierce left foot has been noted. He tends to swap duties with Manchester City teammate Gael Clichy to keep everybody happy but an interesting element has now been thrown into the equation. Last week Inter Milan sporting director Marco Branca revealed his club is interested in the 26-year-old Serbian. It will be test of Mancini’s resolve should Inter come calling. Most would have thought it was Balotelli they wanted but that is apparently not so. If Kolarov is happy to mix it up with Clichy we think he’ll stay – and let’s not forget the Champions league element which is guaranteed at City but far from certain at Inter.
Luis Suarez, F, Manchester City
Rumor: Liverpool to PSG Likelihood: Non chance, mon ami Was it really three weeks ago when we finally nailed what would be happening to Suarez? We said that he would be staying at Anfield despite the fall-out from his race row with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra. Breathe easy Reds fans because nothing has changed no matter how much Paris Saint-Germain want him. The Uruguay international will still be on Merseyside next season judging by a few choice quotes appearing in every paper in the land. So, we just wanted to reconfirm. He’s staying. Over and out. Encore un fois.
Milos Krasic, W, Juventus
Rumor: Juventus to Chelsea Likelihood: Possibly There was a time when Milos Krasic lit up the world stage with his silky skills for CSKA Moscow, but that all seems a long time ago. The Serb may have been compared with Pavel Nedved but that is now a distant memory. His time is most certainly up in Italy and he recently revealed his regret at turning down a loan move to either Tottenham or Zenit St. Petersburg in January. Spurs might have made that particular move thinking that Luka Modric was on the brink of joining Chelsea, who are the latest club to become involved in the Krasic circus. We’re pretty sure Krasic will leave Turin in the summer and think there’s a possibility he may find England attractive. There is speculation that Chelsea will be having a clear-out at the end of the season and Florent Malouda could be one of the players to go so Krasic is a tempting proposition.
Papiss Cisse, F, Newcastle
Rumor: Newcastle to Manchester City Likelihood: Needs time to prove consistency One thing is for sure, Carlos Tevez will not be at Manchester City next season no matter how many times the Argentine thanks Roberto Mancini for keeping faith with him. Mancini would love Tevez to stay, but the stocky amateur golfer is simply playing the game to keep everyone sweet and happy while the title race is still on. So who can Mancini turn to in his hour of need? Step forward Papis Cisse. He has been electrifying since signing for Newcastle in January, scoring 10 goals in nine appearances – and outshining the previous goal machine on Tyneside, Senegal team-mate Demba Ba, who is now simply a demi-god. But that’s just the problem. Some players, and they are rare, make an instant impact in the Premier League when they join from Continental Europe and then fade once defenses get used to their style. We think Cisse is a great talent but Tevez had proved himself over a long period in England before joining City so the Rumor Redux gang thinks he’ll stay at Newcastle for a while yet.
Iker Muniain, W, Athletic Bilbao
Rumor: Athletic Bilbao to Manchester United Likelihood: Not yet How many wingers does Ferguson need? Muniain has been cited as a potential target ever since he impressed during the clubs’ one-sided Europa League encounter. Talk over the weekend suggests United are ready to part with £20million for the Athletic Bilbao star. But who would make way? Valencia looks indispensable, Nani thinks he has the potential to become the world’s best player (once Messi and Ronaldo have been bumped off) and Young is starting to get back to his best form while working hard at his real job – professional diver. Muniain is good, very good, but Ferguson has a hard decision to make should he want to bring the 19-year-old winger to Old Trafford. One for the future maybe?
Edin Dzeko, F, Manchester City
Rumor: Manchester City to Bayern Munich Likelihood: Bayern will look elsewhere It’s fair to say that Edin Dzeko’s star has been waning ever since he scored four goals against Tottenham at the start of the season. True, he had a purple patch in October, netting six goals in four games and then hitting the goal trail again in a four-week period from the middle of January, but one just gets the feeling Dzeko is fourth choice behind Aguero, Tevez and Balotelli. The Bosnian has been linked with a move to Bayern Munich, who seem impressed enough by his 18 goals from 39 run-outs. We have to ask this question though. If he isn’t good enough for City why would he be good enough for Bayern Munich? Bayern may have lost to City in the group stage of the Champions League but they were already through at that point having already outplayed the Citizens on the same infamous night that Carlos Tevez refused to warm up. Let’s see what happens with the Argentine before we speculate on Dzeko’s future.
Hugo Lloris, GK, Lyon
Rumor: Lyon to Tottenham Likelihood: Unlikely This might come as a surprise to some, but Brad Friedel cannot go on forever. The American turns 41 next month but is still performing to a remarkably high level in the Premier League for Tottenham. This season he has kept 12 clean sheets from 33 appearances – impressive stuff indeed, but that hasn’t stopped Spurs’ scouts getting busy in France over recent months, with Eden Hazard and Loic Remy on their radar. Now it appears the north London club are interested in France captain Hugo Lloris, who extended his contract with Lyon by another two years until 2015 back in October. On the one hand that may show a sign of commitment from the goalkeeper, but on the other Lyon may be telling the world ‘if you want him, you’re going to have to pay’. Lyon have just as good a chance as Spurs of making the Champions League next season but are one place out at the moment. If he’s going to leave, White Hart Lane probably isn’t his destination.
Tim Krul, GK, Newcastle
Rumor: Newcastle to Chelsea Likelihood: Don’t think so No-one doubts the special talent of Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul, who has lit up the Premier League this season with some spectacular saves. He and Swansea shot-stopper Michel Vorm have been incredible and much of their respective teams’ success has been down to their heroics between the sticks. Inevitably that leads to talk of admiring glances from the bigger fish in the pond and Chelsea is certainly a big trout. Petr Cech no longer seems invincible as Chelsea’s number one now that it seems Roman Abramovic wants a revamped squad for next season. The sticking point should he wish to sign Krul is that he recently signed a five and a half year contract which means it will take a lot of dollars to prise him away from St James’ Park. We think he’ll be at Newcastle next season even if the chances of Champions League are disappearing.