In need of a quick rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer's Rumor Redux. With a busy international schedule, we offer you the best football rumors that hit the surface on Tuesday. We start today's edition by recapping Massimo Moratt's denial of having talks with Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola during the international break. Guardiola's future with Barca remains unclear at the moment and reports from Italy suggest that the Spaniard could become the successor to Claudio Ranieri next season. Just why Guardiola will turn down the chance to coach the likes of Lionel Messi, David Villa, Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi, and the rest of the Barca camp for another season doesn't make sense to us at all. On second thought, maybe money will. And with that, we move to the day's top football rumors, a list distilled from this morning's Paper Chase.
Diego Milito, F, Internazionale
Rumor: headed to PSG. Likelihood: low. Former Inter manager and current PSG sporting director Leonardo considers the Milito as the perfect addition for the Parisian club in the next transfer window. Although the 32-year-old’s contract expires in 2014, the Argentine has recently admitted that he will consider a move in January if Claudio Ranieri continues to sit him on the substitutes’ bench. Reports from II Corriere dello Sport suggest that Milito could leave the Nerazzurri for €5 million, which is really pocket change for the big-spending Ligue 1 side. All things considered, ‘El Principe’ has every reason to leave the San Siro, but will face a tough time convincing Inter to let him leave for the reported measly transfer offer.
Yoann Gourcuff, M, Olympique Lyonnais
Rumor: headed to Arsenal. Likelihood: low. Although his popularity has fallen sharply after his spell at Milan in 2006, Gourcuff resurrected his career by returning to French football and showing his qualities with Bordeaux and current club Lyon. With the transfer window just around the corner, rumors from England and France suggest that Arsenal will re-engage their efforts to land the French playmaker in January. After rejecting the Gunners’ offer this past summer, Lyon president Jean-Miche Aulas revealed that the 25-year-old midfielder still had a huge part to play with the club. Nonetheless, Arsene Wenger has insisted on Gourcuff’s services to replace the creative holes left by Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas. With ‘Les Gones’ struggling in Ligue 1 this season, it’s difficult to see Lyon approving a transfer deal for their €22 million investment. We expect Wenger to make one last effort for Gourcuff in a couple of months, but cannot see the midfielder leave Stade de Garland unless Arsenal increases their initial transfer offer of €25 million.
Ronaldinho, M/F, Flamengo
Rumor: headed to Panathinaikos. Likelihood: unknown. Ronaldinho Gaucho continues to be a hot topic of conversation in our Rumor Redux editions. This time, the tow-time FIFA World Player of the Year is linked to a sensational move with Greek giants Panathinaikos. There’s no denying that Gaucho still has major international pull, which is why Saudi prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud is trying to negotiate a deal for the Brazilian star once his deal to buy the Greek team is finalized. The Sultan’s spokesman, Vlassis Tsakas, mentioned that the Saudi will do ‘everything’ in his power to bring Ronaldinho to Greece 2012, so much so that the prince is willing to fork €30 million for the Flamengo captain. Though we’re hesitant to believe any type Ronaldinho transfer gossip that hits the fan, we can neither confirm nor deny Panathinaikos’ willingness to pursue a move for the former PSG and Barcelona star. Until the Saudi prince completes his purchase of the Greek club, we’re going to categorize this rumor as low.
Javier Saviola, F, Benfica
Rumor: headed to Villarreal. Likelihood: medium. Villarreal has a possible substitute for their injured striker Giusseppe Rossi, as talks have already surfaced of a potential move for the Benfica forward come the winter transfer window. According to the Portuguese newspaper Record, the Yellow Submarine have initiated talks with Saviola’s agent and prefer his inclusion to the club instead of high price options Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea) and Ivica Olic (Bayern Munich). With Saviola’s contract ending in June 2012 and his familiarity with the Spanish league, Villarreal should make a strong push for ‘El Conejo’ in January. With generous price tag of €3 million, the Argentine forward could make a switch to the Madrigal if other interested clubs like Espanyol and Palmeiras do not increase Benfica’s asking price.
Alex, D, Chelsea
Rumor: headed to Juventus. Likelihood: medium. It’s no secret that Juventus is in the market for an experienced defender this upcoming transfer window. Based on the reports from the Daily Express, the Bianconeri are looking to lure Alex away from Stamford Bridge. The Italians were linked to the 29-year-old defender back in the summer, but the transfer proposal apparently fell through due to it being a one-year loan deal. Now, the Serie A side is willing to offer The Blues €8 million for the out of favor Brazilian. With Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas keen on signing defender Gary Cahill in the winter transfer window, it seems as if Alex’s days at West London are numbered. If Juve’s offer is still on the table come January, expect Chelsea to pull the trigger to let the former PSV and Santos player leave to the Serie A game.