The Oscars may be over, but in keeping with the theme we have come up with some actors of our own that are in line for press coverage galore over the next few months. Some ‘Artists’ are the silent type, light on their feet, capable of dancing their way past defenders but maybe past their prime. Can they find a new role in changing times at a different club? Then there are those who have strong characters, capable or ruling the pitch with an iron fist and there are those who simply have huge egos. It’s obvious that some clubs are going to need some help next season, and sadly there are those who will be going through a separation with some of their unwanted players. Will some of them be spending Midnight in Paris? Read on.
Matias Suarez, F, Anderlecht
Rumor: Anderlecht to Arsenal. Likelihood: Maybe. Three clubs have been mentioned a s possible destination for this talented Argentine (i.e. Arsenal, Barcelona, and Everton). If Everton have to spend more than 73 bucks for a player, they simply aren’t really interested. As a result, that cuts down potential destinations to two. What we do know is that Arsenal have been in touch with Suarez’s agent, who scores bags of goals and provides plenty of assists. With Alexis Sanchez starting to nail down a spot in the Barcelona first team after an injury-plagued start, we feel that the Gunners have a chance as long as they have the cash.
Seydou Keita, M, Barcelona
Rumor: Barcelona to Liverpool. Likelihood: A possibility. The Malian is unlikely to be given the assurances he needs from Pep Guardiola about playing more regularly this season. Barcelona is thought to be looking to recruit a new, younger generation in the summer, so that can only mean one thing for the 32-year-old midfielder, who has attracted admiring glances from Liverpool in the past. It should take only about €6million to snatch Keita from the Camp Nou. He was strongly linked with the Reds in January, so don’t expect the rumors to go away over the next couple of months.
Javi Martinez, M, Athletic Bilbao
Rumor: Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City. Likelihood: A chance, but more likely heading to Barcelona. Whether Martinez ends up at City, United or Barcelona, it is looking increasingly likely that the box-to-box midfielder will be leaving Athletic Bilbao in the summer. It is thought Martinez will cost around €29 million, but his Spanish club are going to hold out for the 40 million in his release clause. City have the cash, which Barca also has, but the Catalans also have the trophies, the glamor, the stadium, Messi and everything else in between. They may not be Basque club but that won’t be a problem for City, The Citizens are clearly watching a lot of players at the moment, so until someone comes out and says something definite the jury is still out.
Robin van Persie, F, Arsenal
Rumor: Arsenal to Juventus. Likelihood: A new challenge could be what RVP needs. It’s no secret that RVP wants to win trophies and it’s becoming increasingly unlikely that he won’t be doing that any time soon at Arsenal. Contract talks are on hold until the summer, which sometimes means a deal has already been arranged with another club. What it means in this case is this: are Arsenal going to be playing Champions League football next season? There are five clubs fighting it out for three spots, so as the Oasis album title goes ‘Definitely Maybe.’ Look no further than Juvenuts if it’s UCL football that you want. They could face a challenge from AC Milan, but RVP’s future is certainly up in the air with only another a year left to run on his contract at the end of the season. Watch this space.
Stephane Sessegnon, M, Sunderland
Rumor: Sunderland to Arsenal or Tottenham. Likelihood: A possibility. There is no doubt that Sessegnon could probably play for a bigger club than Sunderland, but no sooner had the dust settled on a rip-roaring north London derby has emerged that both Arsenal and Tottenham are queuing up for the services of the Benin attacker. There is no doubting that Sessegnon is a versatile player and according to former Black Cats’ Steve Bruce he possesses a “low center of gravity.” Lionel Messi has made such qualities a very trendy commodity in this height obsessed world. We think Sessegnon would fit in pretty well at either club, but has three years left on his contract. As in most cases, cash will decide these matters.
Olivier Giroud, F, Montpellier
Rumor: Montpellier to Arsenal. Likelihood: Faces stiff competition from Bayern. It’s a second successive appearance for Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud, whom we mentioned as a possible target for Bayern last week. But Rumor Redux, in the same piece, was not shy in mentioning the merits of Arsenal as a potential destination for the France international. Gunners scout Gilles Grimandi said the club was interested in the in-form marksman, so what’s changed? Well, Giroud has now come forward to say that he likes “the Frenchy feel at Arsenal." Sacre bleu! Obviously, Bayern are still a factor. But when a player starts to make nice comments about a club, we stand up and take notice. Arsenal reportedly have €65million to spend in the summer and Giroud should cost about a quarter of that.
Toni Kroos, M, Bayern Munich
Rumor: Bayern Munich to Manchester City. Likelihood: Germans at their peak rarely move to the UK. One of the UK’s Sunday newspapers ran the story at the weekend that Robert Mancini had personally checked out the Bayern midfielder. Kroos has certainly caught the eye over the last couple of seasons and even at the tender age of 22, has established himself as a regular starter in the German national team. The playmaker has years on his side, but City have midfielders aplenty so any move would probably depend on one of the bigger name players leaving the Etihad. Now just where is Carlos Tevez?
David Beckham, M, Los Angeles Galaxy
Rumor: Los Angeles Galaxy to PSG. Likelihood: Fat chance. The rumor that PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti wants Beckham in the French capital just won’t go away. Let’s do our best to put this one to bed. Beckham is a man of his word and having signed a two-year deal with the Galaxy, it’s more than likely that this will be his last club unless something seismic happens. The former England captain will be 38 by the time he is free to move on and although the world possesses a few athletic freaks of nature like Ryan Giggs, we think the legs will have gone come 2014. Who’s to say Ancelotti will still be there in two years’ time? Surely, not us.
Ashley Cole, LB, Chelsea
Rumor: Chelsea to Barcelona. Likelihood: Unlikely. Cole was the most vociferous member in the Chelsea squad that dared to challenge AVB. It’s been widely reported that Cole, like the rest of the squad encouraged to give their thoughts on why the team weren’t winning said, “I came here to win medals and trophies, but I'm never going to do that with your tactics.” Ouch! Eric Abidal is the current left back at the Camp Nou and though Cole is a better player at 31, he’s hardly one for the future. We're going to pass for now.
Frank Lampard, M, Chelsea
Rumor: Chelsea to PSG. Likelihood: Certainly a chance. The Blues midfielder is in a state of flux after admitting his relationship with Andre Villas-Boas is “not ideal.” Lampard, along with Ashley Cole and Michael Essien, were dropped to the bench for the 3-1 defeat by Napoli after criticizing AVB’s tactics in a clear-the-air meeting which was anything but. Although Lampard has been spending time on the bench recently, he was made captain against Bolton at the weekend and was moved by Blues fans chanting his name in the 3-0 victory. Former Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti enjoyed a good relationship with Lamps at Stamford Bridge and could make a bid to bring him to PSG in the summer. AVB says he hopes Lampard stays at the club, but admits the decision isn’t his. Lampard is Mr. Chelsea (John Terry is also Mr. Chelsea) but something has to give as the tension cranks up a few notches.