In need of a quick rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer’s Rumor Redux. Before you venture off to the ever so popular Cyber Monday shopping deals, we present you the best rumors that Monday has to offer. We start today’s edition by expressing our deepest sympathies to the entire football community, as Wales legend Gary Speed unexpectedly passed away Sunday. Speed was truly one of the best footballers ever to suit up and we here at the Rumor Redux were extremely saddened about the news. Our condolences go out to his friends and family. You’ll be truly missed. And with that somber note, we move to the day’s top rumors, a list distilled from today’s Paper Chase.
Adriano, D/M, Barcelona
Rumor: headed to Manchester City. Likelihood: low. Adriano’s signing during the summer market of 2010 was one of the most surprising and unexpected in recent Barcelona history. Though he’s not a regular starter at the Camp Nou, reports from Mundo Deportivo suggest that EPL leaders Manchester City could make a move for the former Sevilla player in January. Capable of playing various positions on the pitch due to his ambidextrous ability, the Brazilian footballer is without questions one of Josep Guardioa’s reliable assets. Filling in for Eric Abidal, Daniel Alves and Pedro this season has proven how valuable a player like Adriano can be during a long and arduous season. With that being said, it’s understandable why Man City would make a move for the 27-year-old. The €20 million offer to Barcelona is definitely a competitive bid, but just don’t feel that the Spanish champions will be willing to let Adriano leave; especially with Abidal’s ongoing contract negotiation and injuries to Barca wingers (i.e. Pedro, Alexis Sanchez) this season.
Ricky van Wolfswinkel, F, Sporting CP
Rumor: headed to Real Madrid. Likelihood: low. The result of his remarkable start this season has the talented young Dutchman in rumor circles, as La Liga giants Real Madrid are ready to battle for the forward’s signature in the January transfer window. Since his move to Sporting Lisbon from Eredivisie club Utrech this past summer, van Wolfswinkel has netted 7 goals in 9 games and has been touted as the ‘next big thing’ in Dutch football. Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has sent scouts to Portugal in recent weeks, for which Portuguese newspaper Record, dares to ensure that the 22-year-old could go to the Santiago Bernabeu should Gonzalo Higuain decide to leave in 2012. Nonetheless, the prospect of moving to a new club after just six months with Sporting seems tough for van Wolfswinkel. Top that with the fact that Real Madrid will face competition from EPL clubs Manchester United and Chelsea makes it that much more unrealistic that a move will take place for the Dutch international.
Nilmar, F, Villarreal
Rumor: headed to Roma. Likelihood: low. The 27-year-old striker has had a disappointing campaign with Villarreal, having only made eight appearances and scoring twice this season. Reports from Globesporte indicate that the Serie A outfit could make an offer for the Brazilian forward in January. Roma’s coach Luis Enrique is looking to add depth to his razor thing forward line, as Pablo Osvaldo and Bojan Krkic make up the only healthy options in attack. Nilmar’s agent confirmed talks with Roma officials, going so far as suggesting that a €15 million offer could finalize the transaction. Though the Yellow Submarines’ have had a miserable start in La Liga and crashed out of the Champions League, we don’t expect a fire sale of players like Nilmar or Giuseppe Rossi anytime soon. However, if Villarreal continues to struggle and dip in the league standings, then all bets may be off.
Wesley Sneijder, M, Internazionale
Rumor: headed to Manchester United. Likelihood: low. Despite claiming that Manchester United will not plunge into the transfer market pool in January, Man United manager Sir Alex Ferguson could rekindle his interest in the Dutch playmaker yet again. The 27-year-old was the subject of much discussion this past summer, as a deal to Old Trafford was discussed by Inter and United officials until the eleventh hour. At the end, Sneijder’s wage demands purportedly nixed the deal and stopped the rumor at its tracks. Now, with injuries to United’s Anderson and Tom Cleverly in the midfield position, a move for the former Real Madrid footballer would undoubtedly go a long way to strengthen the Red Devils chances in acquiring silverware this season. Of course, this all depends on whether or not we believe Fergie’s winter transfer claims, which we don’t here at the Rumor Redux family.
Carlos Tevez, F, Manchester City
Rumor: headed to AC Milan. Likelihood: medium. The Tevez-Man City saga is almost coming to end, which is certainly good news for all the involved parties. Reports from England and Italy suggest that preliminary talks have started between the Serie A giants and Tevez’s representatives. In a recent interview with Sky Sport Italia, Tevez’s adviser Kia Joorabchia, indicated that the 27-year-old would relish an opportunity to play in Italy and is only interested in playing for a ‘big club’ in Serie A. Joorabchian’s comments to the Italian media outlet came after discussions with Milan vice president Adriano Galliani on Thursday. Tevez’s move to the San Siro would most likely be for a loan for the rest of the season, with the option of a permanent move thereafter. The main question for all of us here is the following: will Milan have the guts to pull the trigger for the pariah in January? So far, no one else is in the ‘true’ running for the Argentine striker, so for now, we have to believe so.