As we inch closer to the end of UEFA Champions League group stage, we see more rumors speculating what may happen should teams fail to make the knockout round. If Valencia doesn't advance, does it make it easier to justify selling Roberto Soldado to Tottenham? If Shakhtar Donetsk can't even make Europa, will Douglas Costa move on? If Porto's relegated to defending their Europa League title, will they cash in Hulk (left)? One piece of today's top gossip focuses on this scenario: What happens if a team like Borussia Dortmund can't beat out Marseille for second in Group F? First things first, here's the rest of today's Rumor Redux: the day's top five rumors, as distilled from the morning's Paper Chase.
Romelu Lukaku, F, Chelsea
Rumor: To Sevilla on loan in January Likelihood: Low At 18 years old, Romelu Lukaku has gone from making 50 appearances last season for Anderlecht to five in just under a half-season with Chelsea ... And if there's something that's great for a developing talent, it's a dramatic decrease in playing time, right? Whether that problem would be solved by moving to Sevilla is doubtful. Alvaro Negredo and Frederic Kanoute are already in the fold at the Sanchez Pizjuan, and that's before consider where Manu Moral could play. For a team that frequently plays with one up top, that's a glut of attackers, which begs the question: If Lukaku moves for playing time, does Sevilla make sense?
Marouane Chamakh, F, Arsenal
Rumor: To Sevilla Likelihood: Low Chamakh as a permanent solution may make more sense than Lukaku for Sevilla, with Kanoute now 34-years-old and of diminishing use. There are, however, other teams (specifically in France) would would be willing to pay a starter's price for Chamakh, who many still value. With recent rumblings that Chamakh may prefer a return to Ligue 1, Sevilla would need to have an unexpectedly high opinion of the Moroccan international to lure him away another destination.
Kwadwo Asamoah, M, Udinese
Rumor: To Manchester United Likelihood: Somewhat Asamoah's connection to Manchester United is nothing new, but now things are starting to lineup. United's formation's a practical doughnut with their void in central midfield, a deficiency Asamoah could address. Udinese is not only a selling club - they're a weigh station from players like Asamoah, who may be approaching that peak potential-versus-production sell by date. The big snag in this deal: Asamoah is cup-tied in Europe, so if Manchester United is look to address their doughnut in Champions League, they'll need more than this 22-year-old Ghanian. In the Premier League, however, Asamoah would help.
Klaas Jan Huntelaar, F, Schalke
Rumor: To Manchester United in a swap deal for Dimitar Berbatov. Likelihood: Very low. Let's leave aside how rare player swaps are and just concentrate on the Manchester United part of this deal. The Red Devils have been linked with Klaas Jan Huntelaar going back to the Dutch striker's days in the Eredivisie, where his prodigious goal totalks reported made him a given for Alex Ferguson. Yet Huntelaar moved to Spain. Then Italy, then Germany. All along, United stayed quiet. Numerous times Huntelaar has been on the market. Numerous times Manchester United has passed. What makes this time different?
Mario Goetze, M, Borussia Dortmund
Rumor: To Juventus for €30 million in January Likehood: Low If Borussia Dortmund finishes third in UEFA Champions League's Group F, will they start selling players because they failed to meet their UCL goals? Seems unlikely, but let's go with it. If they do start selling, who's most likely to go? Let's again assume the unlikely and say they'll compromise their core and sell their young stars rather than some valuable veterans. And let's assume Mario Goetze is in that group and ask our final, leading question: If Goetze is available, does Juventus win that race? Now the "Low" likelihood looks generous. Looking for more rumor news? Check out yesterday's Rumor Redux for Thursday's top five pieces of gossip.