In need of a quick rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer's Rumor Redux. With our football heroes in action across the world, we present you the best rumors that Sunday has to offer. We start off by showing Major League Soccer’s most coveted prize: the Philip F. Anschutz trophy. Today, two MLS teams will punch their tickets to the MLS Cup Final on November 20, with the first conference final scheduled to start at 2:30 P.M. EST. Follow all the exciting MLS coverage here at FOX Soccer. And with that, we move to today’s top rumors, a list distilled from this morning’s Paper Chase.
Hugo Rodallega, F, Wigan Athletic
Rumor: headed to Juventus in January. Likelihood: low. In a recent interview with Colombian newspaper El Pais, Rodallega has stated that Juventus contacted his representatives about a possible move to Turin in January. The striker did bite his tongue about the conversation with the Italian outfit and admitted that he hopes to call Juventus ‘home’ someday. With the possible exits of Fabio Quagliarella, Amauri, and Milos Krasic in the winter, it‘s understandable to see why the Bianconeri would pursue the 26-year-old Colombian to supplement their options at the forward position. Unfortunately for Juventus, Wigan sits dead last in the English Premier League standings and will likely face a relegation zone battles all season. Wigan manager Roberto Martinez is a huge fan of Rodallega and we doubt that the Spanish coach will approve any such deal for his talisman before the important stretch in the second half of the season. Based on this nugget alone, we’re confident that Rodallega will remain in Wigan colors for the next seven months. After that, it’s open season for the player.
Luca Antonelli, D, Genoa
Rumor: headed to Internazionale. Likelihood: low. With Cristian Chivu and Yuto Nagatomo deputing the left flank role from the start of the season, Inter’s looking for a natural left back who could cement full-time ownership of the position for years to come. According to CalcioMercato.com, Inter president Massimo Moratti has set his eyes on Antonelli, who has impressed many scouts at Genoa this season. Interestingly enough, the 24-year-old was on the agenda of the Giuseppe Meazza outfit when Antonelli was a Parma player a season ago. The former AC Milan youth standout is a versatile and experienced player who can play various positions in defense, which is what manager Claudio Ranieri needs in his threadbare defensive line. The big question surrounding a move for Antonelli is Inter’s willingness to pull the trigger for the Italian international or preserving their financial resources for a big splash move for Gareth Bale in January. Both players are similar in playing style, but obviously have different price tags. For a team of Inter’s stature, we are more likely to see a flashier signing than one that makes sense, which is what Antonelli’s is at the moment.
Jose Antonio Reyes, W, Atletico Madrid
Rumor: headed to AC Milan. Likelihood: low. Reports from Spain suggest that the Spanish winger and Atletico Madrid manager Gregorio Manzano maintain a cold and distant relationship at the Vicente Calderon. Reyes, who missed the last Europa League tilt due to a mysterious ‘fever’ against Udinese, has completed three games for Madrid this season and could leave the Spanish club in pursuit of more minutes come January. And this is where Milan comes into the picture. As revealed by Cadena Ser, Reyes could be the player elected to fill the shoes that Antonio Cassano regrettably left at the San Siro. Having played with Arsenal and Benfica in the past, the 28-year looks like a viable option for the Rossoneri, as a possible Reyes transfer could mean a smaller fee than players like Maxi Lopez or Mario Gotze might demand in the winter. Still, it’s too early to tell if Milan’s truly serious about landing the well-traveled, but experienced winger to their ranks. One this is for certain though: if Reyes continues to be overlooked by Manzano in the next few weeks, expect the ‘Milan-Reyes’ rumors to stay high.
Mario Gotze, M, Borussia Dortmund
Rumor: headed to Arsenal in 2012. Likelihood: low. Every day, new information surfaces about the future of the 19-year-old Dortmund midfielder, who is one of the most promising prospects of world football. According to the Daily Mail, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made it very clear that Arsenal will offer Borussia Dortmund ‘big’ bucks for Gotze come transfer season. Highly convinced that Gotze will help the Gunners regain the competitive edge in European football, Wenger wants to provide the German international the playing freedom at the midfield position and have Gotze be Arsenal’s franchise player for the future. With Arsenal reportedly willing to match Dortmund’s price tag of €58 million, Gotze could be the Gunners most expensive signing in history. However, with giants like Manchester United, Chelsea, Inter, and Real Madrid also in the mix, the transfer fee might increase to astronomical heights, which could impede Arsenal’s ability to compete for the highly prized jewel.
Ronaldinho, M/F, Flamengo
Rumor: headed to LA Galaxy. Likelihood: low. Yes, we know, we’ve heard this one before too. With his sudden renaissance at Flamengo, the former World Player of the Year has been linked to several clubs over the two months, which now includes Major League Soccer’s LA Galaxy. As sensational as this rumor might sound, the fact that David Beckham might leave to Paris in January, gives this story an ounce of credibility that it once never had. If Becks decides to bolt Los Angeles after this season, the Galaxy will be left with one designated player spot in their roster, which could be used to lure the former Barcelona star to the glitz and riches of Hollywood. Of course, this move is predicated on Beckham’s decision and the Galaxy’s willingness to attract a global icon to replace Beck’s absence at the club. Will this happen? We don’t know, but it will surely be an interesting story to follow as 2012 approaches.