In need of a quick rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer's Rumor Redux. With Champions League action on the menu for today, we present you the juiciest rumors that Tuesday has to offer. We begin today's edition by reminding everyone that exerpts from Sepp Blatter's exclusive interview with FOX Soccer's Eric Wynalda can be watched on the FOX Soccer Report (10 p.m. EST) all this week on FOX Soccer channel. Yesterday, the FIFA president expressed his concern over Major League Soccer's game schedule and hinted that the American league should line up with the European calendar. Though his answers seem a bit out of place to us, we'll let you formulate your own opinion on the matter. And with that, we move to the day's top football rumors, a list distilled from this morning's Paper Chase.
Alexandre Pato, F, AC Milan
Rumor: headed to Manchester City. Likelihood: low. Aware that Carlos Tevez will not return to the squad, Premier League leaders Manchester City are tracking the market for a player that can take his place. According to Footylatest, Pato is the player that City will make a run for come the next transfer window. Obviously, the site acknowledges that the move will not cheap. The reported move has Tevez and €45 million headed to San Siro for the talented Brazilian, which could potentially end the Argentine’s stormy relationship with the Etihad Stadium club. It’s interesting to note that in this reported move, City would be the one’s handing over a player and money for the 22-year-old player. As talented as Pato is, we doubt that City will fork over the bill or think that Milan will accept a bid for their young starlet. The rumor just seems too ambitious for us; especially when it involves a player (Tevez) who hasn’t suited up for over a month and half.
Wayne Rooney, F, Manchester United
Rumor: headed to Real Madrid. Likelihood: very, very low. Ok, take a quick look at Real Madrid’s current squad and imagine the offensive potential the ‘Merengues’ will have if they were to land the English forward to their ranks. Well, Madrid’s president Florentino Perez has done exactly that, as is prepared to spend a considerable amount of money for the 26-year-old come 2012. Caught Offside reports that La Liga giants are weighing this option should one of their strikers (i.e. Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema) decide to bolt from the Santiago Bernabeu. Should that happen, Rooney will be the player shortlisted for the position, as manager Jose Mourinho publically stated that he would like to see the English footballer in a Real Madrid uniform one day. Even if the reported €60 million bid is true, we just don’t see Sir Alex Ferguson accepting a bid for his talented striker. Yes, Fergie has a habit of selling Man United stars at the prime of their careers, but will Rooney be another one on the list? Call us pessimistic for not believing this one bit.
Thiago Alcantara, M, Barcelona
Rumor: headed to Chelsea. Likelihood: low. Although he recently renewed his contract with the Spanish champions, Thiago is still one of the hottest young talents to circle the rumor mills in European football. According to reports from England, Chelsea is looking to recruit the talented midfielder to Stamford Bridge in 2012. To achieve this, the Blues seek to tap the small gap in Thiago’s contract by offering Barcelona a massive €30 million bid this winter, which would enable the 20-year-old to leave Camp Nou before the expiration of his deal in 2015. Of course this seems all good and dandy from Chelsea’s point of view, but the truth is that Barcelona hold the keys to Thiago’s playing future. If manager Josep Guardiola plans to use the midfielder heavily this season, as he reiterated earlier this month, then all bets seem to be off.
Nicolas Anelka, F, Chelsea/France
Nicolas Anelka has been linked with Major League Soccer for the last two years, with his brother Claude's coaching tenure in the States fueling the connection. With the former French international losing time at Stamford Bridge, a move is becoming more likely.
David Beckham, M, Los Angeles Galaxy
Rumor: headed to PSG in 2012. Likelihood: medium. Our old Rumor Redux friend has been quite busy over the past couple days. After securing the MLS title on Sunday night, the former England captain has answered questions about his playing future non-stop, and with good reason. In a recent interview with BBC Radio One, Beckham disclosed that he has several ‘options’ from ‘big European clubs’ but has yet to make a decision on what he’ll do next year. After admitting that he hasn’t spoken to PSG sporting director Leonardo in days, reports from France and England heavily point Beckham to the big-spending Ligue 1 club, as soon as January. What’s it going to be Becks? London, Los Angeles, or Paris? Nothing is set in stone yet, but we can see the writing on the wall. It’s only a matter of time before PSG poach Beckham from Major League Soccer’s ‘beautiful game.’