In need of a quick soccer rumor fix or two? How about five? Welcome to FOX Soccer's Rumor Redux. With the winter transfer window fast approaching, we present you the best football rumors that the world has to offer on this lovely Tuesday. We kick off this edition with Sergio Aguero's recent comments on fellow compatriot Carlos Tevez and his situation with Manchester City. Though the Tevez saga at Man City is likely to end come January, we can't help but wonder what a 'Kun-Carlitos' partnership in attack would have been like at Etihad Stadium. It could have been lethal, but we're only left to imagine... And with that, we move on to the top football rumors, a list distilled from today's Paper Chase.
Glen Johnson, D, Liverpool
Rumor: headed to Real Madrid. Likelihood: low. Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho is planning a move for the Liverpool defender after expressing his need for an additional defender to club president Florentino Perez. Having struggled with injuries this season, Johnson has returned back to the Liverpool first team and is believed to be the player that Real Madrid needs to enhance their defensive depth this season. With Ricardo Carvalho’s recent injury and Raul Albiol’s inability to escape Mourinho’s doghouse, Sergio Ramos has moved to the center of the defense and has left the right back position open. Alvaro Arbeola has platooned the position, but is not seen as long-term alternative, which is why Mourinho is trying to convince Johnson to the Bernabeu. Will the 27-year-old international make the move to La Liga in January? It’s too soon to tell. But the fact that Liverpool have the likes of Martin Kelly and Jon Flanagan to fill in for Johnson in the group makes up believe that Liverpool will consider Madrid’s proposed €18 million offer.
Didier Drogba, F, Chelsea
Rumor: headed to Al-Wasl. Likelihood: low. Despite his age and the complicated situation at Chelsea, Drogba continues to be one of the most sought after strikers in Europe. With reports that Bayern Munich, Milan, Tottenham, and Arsenal will all launch competitive bids for the Ivorian footballer, Al-Wasl’s manager Diego Maradona has hinted that his club will also enter the Drogba sweepstakes. There’s no denying that the 33-year-old wants a contract extension with the London outfit. However, the club has yet to offer an extension to Drogba which has increased speculation that the forward will leave Stamford Bridge at season’s end. As mentioned in Tribalfootball, Maradona will try to lure Drogba to the UAE Pro League so that the player can have ‘one more payday’ with the petro dollars promised for the ‘purchases that the Argentine legend will make’ in January. If Drogba is in the business of looking for one big check then the move to Al-Wasl makes complete sense; as the UAE club is willing to dish an impressive €40 million offer to Chelsea and double the player’s weekly wage. Yet with Drogba’s competitive spirit and playing ability, we doubt that he will leave the European game at this stage in his career, and will look to remain at Chelsea or seek a transfer to a significant club in Europe.
Ignazio Abate, D, AC Milan
Rumor: headed to PSG. Likelihood: low. Although the 24-year-old has recently cooled down talks of a potential move to Paris, former Milan manager and current PSG sporting director, Leonardo, has still made it a priority to land Abate to the Ligue 1 side come January. After earning his first call-up to the Italy squad this week, Abate played down the rumors by telling the Gazzetta dello Sport that his goal is to “wear the Rossoneir colors for as long as possible” despite the interest from the big-spending Parisian club. This quote should be enough to squash this rumor right? Well, we’re not quite sure. The truth is Abate has not secured a regular place in Massimiliano Allegri’s plans at Milan so far this season. Though much of this has to do with the fact that Allegri favors multiple changes to his lineup week to week, Abate should not be concerned at the moment. But if the Italian continues to see DNP’s next to his name on a regular basis, Abate might consider opening up to the idea of looking for playing time elsewhere; hint, hint, PSG.
Nicolas Anelka, W/F, Chelsea
Rumor: headed to QPR. Likelihood: low. According to reports from England, QPR is planning to launch a surprise offer for the Chelsea striker in the winter transfer window, who is scheduled to become a free agent at season’s end. Although Anelka has been linked with clubs like PSG and Anelka, QPR manager Neil Warnock wants to secure Anelka’s services right away before hits the open market in the 2012 summer. Opportunities have been clearly limited for the aging forward, who has taken a backseat to strikers Daniel Sturridge, Fernando Torres, and Didier Drogba in attack. In desperate need of offensive firepower, the Loftus Road club is willing to meet Anelka’s wage demands of £90,000 a week, while offering the 32-year-old playing time and a chance to remain in London. As history will tell us, Anelka doesn’t mind playing for a smaller club if they’re a willing to meet his salary requirements and lavish demands. AC Milan are expected to make a strong push for the former French international, but will now have a strong opponent in QPR in January. What is Anelka to do? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Dimitar Berbatov, F, Manchester United
Rumor: headed to Galatasaray. Likelihood: medium. After making only one appearance in the Premier League this season, it looks like Berbatov’s days at Manchester United are slowly coming to end. This time, Galatasaray president Unal Aysal has recently expressed interest in the Bulgarian footballer and hopes to land the out-of-favor player to his club in January. With a potential €8 million offer on the table, Sir Alex Ferguson will feel the pressure to let the disgruntled 30-year-old leave Old Trafford in the winter market. And the truth is, Sir Alex should pull the trigger soon. It doesn’t make sense to keep a player that’s not being counted on and risk an uncomfortable situation later in the season. As Spike Lee once said, ‘Do the Right Thing’ Fergie and end this depressing soap opera. Do you need more soccer rumors? Find them here.