Last year, the Fernando Torres transfer came out of nowhere, surfacing in the last days of the January transfer window to define winter spending. This year, Chelsea looks to set the tables again, with rumors of their January activity seeping out two months in advance. But this is a countdown, so we can’t jump straight to one. We start at number five on today’s Rumor Redux, a piece of gossip that hits touches close to home for Major League Soccer fans.
Teal Bunbury, F, Sporting KC
Rumor: To Bolton Likelihood: Low Bolton's success with US international Stuart Holden has made the Trotters the most likely suspect when it comes to Americans moving abroad. Just finishing his second season as a pro, Bunbury is the latest to be linked with a move to the Reebok, though with Bolton's Premier League future very much in doubt, it's difficult to discern in which direct they'll go. Will they use their resources to bring in players to battle relegation? Or will they stay the course and take their opportunities where they can get them? Then there's Bunbury's point of view. There is a big difference between Premier League football and playing in the Championship, especially as it concerns moving so far from home. While Bunbury isn’' exactly a born and bread Kansas City native, hoping to Bolton would still represent a significant change, especially since it means they would control his immediate future. Until we know more about the direction Bolton's traveling, it's hard to say whether this move will happen. Bunbury may have to come to grips with some significant risk.
Robbie Rogers, W, Columbus Crew
Rumor: To Blackburn Likelihood: Somewhat Rogers' situation is very different from Bunbury's. He is approaching the end of his Major League Soccer road, and having already spent some time in Europe, he is already familiar with the issues associated with the jump. He also has the type of game that could work well in places like Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria ... Just not Blackburn. Rogers might be a nice piece for Steve Kean to have at his disposal, but given the drudgery we've become accustomed to seeing from Blackburn post-Mark Hughes, Rogers will fade into nothingness at Ewood. While it may be enticing to Rogers - a move to England - he's still young enough for his development to be his top concern. He needs to avoid Blackburn, even if he may not.
Jermain Defoe, F, Tottenham
Rumor: To Everton on loan in January Likelihood: Very low Defoe is stressed. He may fail to make England's Euro 2012 squad unless his form picks up, something that won't happen unless he's getting more time with Spurs. Without guarantees of that, Defoe wants to go someplace where playing time is assured, with the striker-thin Toffees his first choice. Why any of that should matter to Tottenham is unclear. Look at the Premier League table you see Spurs are in races for both the title and a return to Champions League. Now look at their squad, their depth chart at the striker position, and you see absolutely no incentive to let Defoe leave on loan. Perhaps Spurs will buy in January, but if they don't, Defoe will have to do what every other player at every other club's tasked with doing: winning his spot. Spurs don't exist to prepare players for Euro.
David Villa, F, Barcelona
Rumor: To Liverpool Likelihood: Very low According to The People, Villa's motivation for moving is limited chances at Barcelona. Let's fact check this. Barcelona's played 13 matches in Spain this season. Villa's appeared in each of them, racking up 792 minutes of action. Barcelona's played five matches in Champions League, with Villa appearing in four of them. Even if Villa wants to move, this rumor isn't checking out.
Luka Modric, M, Tottenham
Rumor: To Chelsea in January Likelihood: Low Spurs title hopes? Their run to another Champions League? Their sitting two spots above Chelsea in the table? Doesn't matter. Get ready for two months of this.