In need of a quick rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer's Rumor Redux. With Champions League action in full gear Wednesday, we provide you the best rumors circulating around the beautiful place we call earth. We start with our old friend Neymar and his rumored £53 million move to Santiago Bernabeu in 2012. Though a release date has not been confirmed, it is anticipated that a switch will take place next summer, leaving Neymar's current club Santos with the Brazilian starlet for the FIFA Club World Championship in December. If the deal holds true, will Neymar fit into Jose Mourinho's long-term plans? It's too early to tell, but it will offer some compelling storylines to say the least. And with, we move to the top five football rumors, a list distilled from this morning's Paper Chase.
Jefferson Farfan, W/F, Schalke 04
Rumor: headed to Arsenal in 2012. Likelihood: low. The Peruvian international has made his share of rounds in our Rumor Redux cycle in the past. This time, reports from the Daily Mail hint that the Schalke forward could head to Arsenal in the event that Theo Walcott decides to leave Emirates Stadium in 2012. As mentioned before, Farfan is likely to remain in transfer conversations because of his expiring contract at the end of the season. Schalke has expressed their desire to retain the 26-year-old’s services, but understand the interest that the ‘Foquita’ will generate in January. But as impressive and versatile that Farfan is on the pitch, we’re not exactly sure what to make of the Gunners rumored interest in him, being that he’s a plan B option for Walcott. We expect Arsene Wenger and Arsenal officials to prioritize Theo’s contract as quickly as possible, which would in effect, disrupt talks of the Peruvian coming to North London in the winter.
Nemanja Vidic, D, Manchester United
Rumor: headed to Internazionale. Likelihood: low. After yet another disappointing result in Serie A this past weekend, Inter continues to flirt with the relegation zone, remaining one point above the area that leads to Serie B. Powerless against the progress of his team, Inter president Massimo Moratti (a staple to our Rumor Redux family) clings on the only solution for the Nerazzurri side: lure talented players to the San Siro in the next transfer window. And this where the Vidic comes into the picture for Inter. The ex-Serbian international is an ‘old dream’ for Moratti and could essentially come in to help a struggling defensive unit that’s allowed 16 goals this season. So convinced of making Vidic a new Inter player, Moratti was quoted as telling the Novosti newspaper that he’s willing to “break the bank” for the United defender’s services. Regardless of the strong declarations from Italy, the last person who will decide on this potential move will be Sir Alex Ferguson. Do we really think that Fergie will accept any type of deal for Vidic? With United’s own defensive issues, we don’t think Fergie will accept any type of deal for Vidic.
Theo Walcott, W/F, Arsenal
Rumor: headed to Barcelona. Likelihood: low. One of the architects of Arsenal’s drubbing of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge over the weekend, Walcott has been featured on football tabloids in recent days as possibly taking his talents to Barcelona in the immediate future. With the 22-year-old’s contract set to expire in 2013, Barca has positioned themselves to bid for the Arsenal striker in the next transfer window, due to their glaring needs at the winger position. Injuries to Pedro, Alexis Sanchez, and Ibrahim Afellay have prioritized Josep Guardiola’s needs, which could lead to the competitive offer that many expect for Walcott in January. As much as the move makes sense for Barcelona, we doubt that Arsene Wenger will allow another starlet to leave Emirates Stadium. Walcott’s starting to reach his potential and playing at an all-time high with the Gunners, which is why we think that Arsenal will do everything in their power to retain the English international for many years to come.
Stevan Jovetic, W/F, Fiorentina
Rumor: headed to Arsenal. Likelihood: medium. Although Arsenal has straightened their form of late, Arsene Wenger is eyeing the market for players that will help the Gunners push for a top place in the Premier League standings. According to the Daily Mail, the French manager’s main objective in the winter transfer market is to land Jovetic to North London. Coming back from a serious injury last season, the 21-year-old Montenegrin footballer is considered of Europe’s brightest young prospects. Jovetic’s current team, Fiorentina, will have a tough decision to make in January, as Arsenal’s preparing a €22 million offer for the footballer. With Chelsea also in the mix for Jovetic, we expect the Serie A club to increase the asking price come transfer time. To us, the move to Emirates makes the most sense, as Jovetic will be able to enter Wenger’s plans immediately, without having to wait for an opportunity in Chelsea’s loaded depth chart. Regardless, it’s too early to declare Arsenal as Jovetic’s possible future destination, but the signs are definitely there; especially with Arsenal scouts in attendance at every Fiorentina match for the past month.
Andres Guardado, M/W, Deportivo La Coruña
Rumor: headed to Valencia. Likelihood: high. In absence of an official confirmation, which will probably arrive in January due to legal reasons, the Mexican international is scheduled to be the first reinforcement for ‘Los Che’ next season. News outlets such as Cadena Ser and Radio 9, claim that the 25-year-old will agree to terms with Valencia once his contract expires with the relegated side in 2012. Fortunately for the cash strapped Mestalla club, the potential arrival of Guardado means that they will not have to fork over a transfer fee and could use the money saved to revamp other areas of the their team. This move makes complete sense for all the parties involved. Deportivo is obviously in a tough situation and will be unable to meet the wage demands that Guardado will seek once his contract runs out. For Guardado, the move to Valencia denotes a jump to bigger and better things. Valencia receives a quality alternative to Pablo Piatti at the wing. Yes, signatures need to be signed on paper, but this rumor is as good as it gets.