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Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 19th June: Thiago Alcanatara, Juan Mata, Cavani and more

Transfer Grades: Carvalho, Santana, Kolo Toure, Papastathopoulos and Amorebieta

Transfer Grades: Falcao, Neymar, James Rodriguez, Mario Götze and Joao Moutinho

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 28th May: Chelsea, Spurs, Barcelona and more

As we move in the off-season an unprecedented amount of managerial movement around Europe will surely see an already frantic transfer market go in to overdrive. This will give plenty of opportunities for transfer rumour and gossip. So how much of it is realistic?

Tottenham have opened talks over a £10m move for Barcelona striker David Villa, 31, and have renewed their interest in 23-year-old Leandro Damiao, a long-term target.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Spurs are most definitely on the look out for a striker and with the arrival of Neymar at Barcelona David Villa could be available at a reasonable price. He’s already slipped away from being an automatic first choice pick with the midfield carousel that Villanova operates.
Does it make sense? Yes for Spurs but I would wonder if Villa is OK with not playing in the Champions League considering that this is a World Cup year and he has an extremely competitive Spain squad to force his way in to. However, being the starting striker in a top five Premier League team with Gareth Bale supplying him could entice him nonetheless.
Is the price right? £10m for a 31 year old is a fair chunk but this is David Villa we’re talking about. It’s probably ever so slightly too much but then again, if they are serious about getting in to the Champions League then they might need to do it.
Will it happen? 7/10 – There’s no room for Villa at Barcelona and he has previously said he fancies a crack in England which would indicate he does have a willingness.

Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, 21, says he wants to remain on loan at Atletico Madrid for “one more year” before competing for the number one jersey with Petr Cech, 31, at Stamford Bridge.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story? Courtois is the best young goalkeeper in the world, but Petr Cech has had a bounceback season and is only 31 which is young for a goal keeper. Chelsea won’t want to sell Courtois and playing for Champions League Atletico Madrid isn’t exactly a hardship.
Does it make sense? Yes, for all concerned.
Is the price right? Atletico get a borderline world class goal keeper for free for a season? That’ll do nicely.
Will it happen? 10/10 – Hard to see any reason for it not to.

Fulham are lining up a loan deal for Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano, 28.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Fulham have made a quick start in the transfer market having already completed two signings. Amalfitano was good at Lorient but is a spare part at Marseille.
Does it make sense? This just looks like adding another fairly decent player to a squad full of fairly decent players. It doesn’t really achieve much.
Is the price right? I guess it’s worth a dabble with a loan but they’ve gone down this road a lot lately with little in return.
Will it happen? 8/10 – Fulham rumours have been very accurate so far, they don’t seem to be worried about secrecy.

Queens Park Rangers playmaker Adel Taarabt, 24, could be on his way out of Loftus Road – with United Arab Emirates side Al Ain plotting a move.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Taarabt was thought to be worth as much as £10m when QPR were first promoted but two seasons at Premier League level have exposed his weaknesses and he is now well off the radar of top flight clubs. However, he’s only 24 years old so a move to the UAE is premature.
Does it make sense? 50:50. Other than for money there’s no reason for him to take such a massive step down in standard. Last time he played in the Championship for QPR he was involved in 50% of the clubs goals which he go do again if he gets his tail up. However, his apparent fall out with Harry Redknapp and lackadaisical attitude could mean they’ve had enough of him and unless someone in Ligue Un fancies a gamble where else can he go?
Is the price right? I’d be surprised if they can get more than £2-3m or so for him but if Al-Ain want to go for it they can get more.
Will it happen? 6/10 – Who’d have thought Asamoah Gyan would give up on himself so early, but maybe Taarabt will do likewise.

Aston Villa will offer Andreas Weimann, 21, a bumper pay-rise this week to fend off interest from Newcastle, Sunderland and Norwich.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story?
Weimann enjoyed a really strong spell of form around new year but slowed down over the last few months. He’s a hard runner, a good defensive forward, kind of like a Dirk Kuyt type which will always intrigue Premier League clubs.
Does it make sense? I don’t really see how he’s an upgrade for any of these other clubs who all have this type. He’d be best served staying and growing at Villa.
Is the price right? He’s only got a year left on his contract which makes him cheaper than he otherwise might be. A good comparison would be Danny Graham who cost Sunderland £5.5m which was considered about £2m too much. So, £3.5m.
Will it happen? 2/10 – He moves. 9/10 – He stays at Villa. That’s the best place for him to be.

West Brom are considering a move for 27-year-old Anderlecht striker Dieumerci Mbokani.


Full story: The Sun

What’s the story? We’ve seen this before, the logic seeming to be that they’ve done well with one Belgian powerhouse upfront, so they might try another. Also, they’ve signed well from the smaller European leagues lately.
Does it make sense? Mbokani is like the basic Lukaku model, rather than the top spec version they’ve got this year. He’s got a lot of goals in Belgium and is a real pest which could make him suited to life in England.
Is the price right? Norwich paid £8.5m for Ricky van Wolfswinkel who scored goals in Holland and Portugal. The Belgian league is ranked slightly lower so maybe £7m would be fair.
Will it happen? 3/10 – I’m not feeling this. I think Steve Clarke prises pace too much.

Celtic are close to signing Bulgarian winger Aleksandar Tonev, 23, from Lech Poznan in an £8m deal.


Full story: Daily Record

What’s the story? Celtic about to spend £8m? He’s only been involved in 6 goals domestically this season with a better record in internationals. I guess it’s presumed that they are selling players first.
Does it make sense? The price is ludicrous but I’ll deal with that below. Football wise, he’s clearly got some talent but Celtic have decent wide players already.
Is the price right? Name me a player that has been sold by a Bulgarian team for a fee anywhere near £8m. Berbatov was £1m when he left Sofia for example.
Will it happen? 4/10 – Maybe but not at even a quarter of the quoted sum.

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 23rd May: Ronaldo, Rooney, Chelsea and more

As we move in the off-season an unprecedented amount of managerial movement around Europe will surely see an already frantic transfer market go in to overdrive. This will give plenty of opportunities for transfer rumour and gossip. So how much of it is realistic?

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, 27, is reportedly being lined up for a £40m move to Paris St-Germain.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Rooney has asked to leave Manchester Untied and there are very few legitimate landing spots for him, PSG are one however. If they are to keep growing their reputation by signing stars they could do worse than Rooney.
Does it make sense? It’s a big statement for David Moyes to immediately sell Rooney but what better way to show that he is his own man. PSG don’t need Rooney per se but I’m sure they can have fun working out how to get the best out of him along side Ibrahimovic and Thiago Moura.
Is the price right? Man United would be delirious if PSG offered £40m, it’d be £10m more than they could have dreamed of getting.
Will it happen? 5/10 – It’s early in the process to give any definite answers but if he does go, if, then PSG will be near the front of the queue.

Former Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon claims forward Cristiano Ronaldo, 28, could be heading to Chelsea.

mourinho and ronaldo

Full story: talkSPORT

What’s the story? Well, this is something I highlighted a while ago. Under Mourinho Ronaldo has found his career best form. Chelsea seem to have the will to secure a big time striker who can score the goals to win them the league.
Does it make sense? Football wise it certainly does. With Mata, Hazard and Oscar supplying him and he them Chelsea could be rampant. However, the big hurdle is the affection that he holds Man United in. Now that Ferguson has left though, it’s possible that he may be open to sticking with Mourinho.
Is the price right? Real paid £80m for him and he hasn’t exactly lost value. If Abramovich wants to make a statement to back Mourinho though, he’s not exactly short of cash.
Will it happen? 5/10 – Hard to commit to, as with most of the really big deals, until the smoke clears a little more but with Ferguson out at United and some potential turnover at Real Madrid he might fancy something new.

Liverpool are believed to be refusing to loan 28-year-old winger Stewart Downing to Fulham but are prepared to sell him to the London club.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Fulham are moving with lightning speed to strengthen for next season having already made two signings. Downing was tolerated but by no means desired by Brendan Brent this season. He’s getting rid of Carroll, next up Downing. Fulham need someone to lay on chances for Berbatov who was largely a one man attacking unit this season.
Does it make sense? Yes, I like this move. He’s tarnished by his showing at Liverpool but there is a reason that they paid almost £20m to get him. I know I know, that’s still a fee that’s going to make Liverpool fans sick and Villa fans laugh but he’s been a solid player and still could be at a middling team such as Fulham. Presumably he will be a replacement for Damien Duff who is losing his pace.
Is the price right? It’s hard to see Liverpool turning down £4-5m. It’s hard to justify paying more for Fulham.
Will it happen? 7/10 – This is the kind of move that it’s easier to feel is more likely. Liverpool don’t want him, Fulham could do with him, he needs a new start. That could make for a good recipe.

Napoli are believed to want Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez and striker Fernando Torres.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Napoli have just lost their manager and are about to lose their star striker Edinson Cavani, possibly to Chelsea, and will be on the look out for replacements. We said yesterday that City offering Dzeko in part exchange for Cavani could tempt Napoli and the same goes for Torres from Chelsea if they are interested in the big Uruguayan. Benitez has after all, lifted yet another European trophy, one that is actually held in esteem on the continent.
Does it make sense? It does on paper but I’m not so sure. Benitez seems to want to stay in England and I’m not convinced Chelsea will give up on Torres so easily. However, Benitez might fancy managing a club with big potential in Napoli and Torres might not have a choice if, as expected, Mourinho doesn’t want to utilise him.
Is the price right? Torres would presumably ideally be in part exchange, if not, it’s quite hard to guess at his value. We’re still talking about a 22 goal striker this season who cost £50m 3 years ago. But even then, would you want to pay more than £10m for him?
Will it happen? 2/10 – I don’t see it unless Rafa gets no offers here.

Hull City look set to launch bids to sign Wigan free agent Maynor Figueroa, Burnley’s Charlie Austin and West Brom’s Peter Odemwingie.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story?
Hull have a lot of holes considering they won promotion. They have a real problem scoring goals. This would lead them to Charlie Austin. The Burnley striker grabbed 28 goals this season and only has a year left on his contract. Odemwingie is as good as gone at West Brom and could maybe offer some goal threat. Figueroa is a decent Premier League operator but I’m not sure he’s better than what they have.
Does it make sense? Austin and Odemwingie certainly do. Both should be acquirable for different reasons. Not sure about Figueroa although he’ll be free.
Is the price right? Figueroa will be free, Odemwingie won’t be much more. However, both of them may well demand high salaries which will be a stumbling block. Austin would cost about £4-5m which given his contract situation and lack of Premier League pedigree is about right. Hull will need to make some moves offensively if they are to have any hope of staying up.
Will it happen? 7/10 – Austin: Hull can afford to take the plunge on Austin although other Premier League teams might be tempted. 5/10 – Odemwingie & Figueroa. It will depend entirely on wages.

Tottenham are ready to launch a £36m double bid to sign 27-year-old Valencia striker Roberto Soldado and forward Leandro Damiao, 23, from Brazilian club Internacional.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? So Spurs who play firmly with one striker are about to blow £36m on two at one? Uh huh.
Does it make sense? They are both high class performers so signing either of them would be a good step but do they really need both? Surely investing elsewhere in the team after getting one of these would make more sense.
Is the price right? £36m seems a lot really. Damiao is valued at about £18m and Soldado more like £15m. Either way, whichever one they buy they will be well placed.
Will it happen? 9/10 – one of them needs to be delivered. They need to show SuperBale that they won’t sit tight in 5th.

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 17th May: Arsenal, Rooney & Spurs

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

Arsenal are plotting a summer move for unsettled Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, 27, who has asked to leave the Premier League champions.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Sorry, does that say Arsenal are trying to buy Wayne Rooney? It has been put in to print that Arsenal are trying to buy Wayne Rooney. Wayne Rooney? Arsenal? Wayne Rooney?
Does it make sense? Erm, no…obviously not? Wenger’s last 27 year old £30m plus purchase on £200k a week was…?
Is the price right? Not unless Arsenal are planning to abandon their cherished transfer policy. £30m is a big step given his current form. If Arsenal do truely have the money and will to go for Rooney and Fabregas then I will be delighted to be proven wrong.
Will it happen? 2/10 – It does make tactical sense, he would be a great fit on the field. But this is uncharted financial waters for Arsenal.

Both Tottenham and Chelsea have made approaches for Southampton’s 17-year-old defender Luke Shaw. The England Under-21 left-back has emerged as one of the Premier League’s brightest talents.


Full story: The Times

What’s the story? Luke Shaw is regarded as one of England’s brightest prospects and both Spurs and Chelsea are going to need a left back soon with Ashley and Benoit Assou-Ekotto on the way to their end.
Does it make sense? Yes for Spurs and Chelsea, no for Southampton. If they are truly serious about surviving and even more so, thriving, in the Premier League, they have no reason to sell. They’ve already sold Walcott, Bale and Oxlade-Chamberlain in recent years, not a bad front three if they’d kept them, so letting another go is not a good idea.
Is the price right? There isn’t an equitable price to be found here. He’s not worth more than £5-6m given his position and lack of games. If you add the ‘potential’ premium it goes up to about £9m and then the English premium and it’s up over £12m. Is that wise for a 17 year old left back?
Will it happen? 4/10 – Spurs seem to have moved away from this type of buy. If this was 5-6 years ago they’d be first in the queue. 7/10 – Chelsea: they have the money and are collecting some top young players. I quite fancy Manchester United to make a run at him if they can’t get Baines.

Spurs are close to completing a deal for Barcelona striker David Villa, 31.


Full story: talkSPORT

What’s the story? Hmm. Spurs do like a bargain but don’t like paying huge wages. Is Villa either of those things?
Does it make sense? Football wise it certainly does, he’s still a huge upgrade over what Spurs have. Financially, not so much.
Is the price right? No one really knows what Barcelona are planning. They could very well go all in with the next rich crop of young players or keep Villa knocking around for another year. £12m? Perhaps?
Will it happen? 4/10 – It’s a little early to commit to anything Barcelona wise. Perhaps even Spurs wise if Real Madrid or Man United offer something outlandish for Gareth Bale.

Manchester United face competition from Bayer Leverkusen as they target a move for £25m-rated Benfica midfielder Nicolas Gaitan, 25.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? Gaitan was the star of Benfica’s ultimately unsuccessful European campaign this year. Man United do need a bit of attacking sparkle although you would question where he quite fits. No chance of a move to Leverkusen though. They’ve just sold Schurrle, presumably the reason for this rumour, but don’t have the wherewithal to immediately shell it all out again.
Does it make sense? If Ferguson was in charge then perhaps, but Gaitan doesn’t make sense for Moyes really. He’s not exactly a hard worker which Moyes values.
Is the price right? It’s an awful lot, but Benfica have no need to sell. Compared to other players sold by them and Porto recently (Ramires, David Luiz, Hulk, Falcao, Di Maria) it’s certainly right.
Will it happen? 2/10 – Not an ideal fit for Moyes.

Manchester City have moved for Spain and Seville winger Jesus Navas, 27, as they rebuild ahead of next season.


Full story: The Times

What’s the story? Jesus Navas gets homesick playing in other parts of Spain, never mind other countries, never mind living in another country. A country which is cold and wet and where he can’t talk Spanish. This would be a major bust.
Does it make sense? No. He can’t be purchased outside of Seville which is why he’s still there at 27. Not even a great tactical fit given he’s a pure winger which City don’t have personnel to play.
Is the price right? He’s worth more to Sevilla than any one else so the £15m ish that it would take is too much for such a risk.
Will it happen? 6/10 – Having said all of that, it could very much still happen. City might think they can maximise him and Navas might want to show that he can play outside his won town.

Arsenal, Tottenham and Fulham are tracking Watford striker Matej Vydra, 21, who has yet to decide whether to return to parent club Udinese, stay at Watford or move elsewhere.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story? Yeah, he’s not making any decisions in this really. He belongs to Udinese and they will decide where he plays. He’s not even vaguely ready to play for Arsenal or Spurs.
Does it make sense? Guess. If Watford go up, it’s highly likely that he will play for them in the Premier League next year. If not, why wouldn’t Udinese want him in Serie A?
Is the price right? I know this will be familiar to regular readers, but Udinese always sell top assets at the peak of their value. They wait for them to reach that before cashing in rather than chasing the immediately available cash. See Alexis Sanchez, Isla, Kwadwo Asamoah, Inler, Jankulovski etc.
Will it happen? No.

West Brom boss Steve Clarke is offering Wigan striker Franco Di Santo, 24, a chance to stay in the Premier League.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Lukaku for Di Santo? Blimey…
Does it make sense? Clarke worked with Di Santo at Chelsea so knows what he is all about. And that is; basically no goals ever and then a hat trick of sublime goals once a season.
Is the price right? I don’t get why they would choose him of all strikers but considering the wealth of players Wigan will want to keep from their relegated squad he’d be first out the door if an offer of £2-3m came in.
Will it happen? 6/10 – He’s certainly cheap enough and West Brom shop quite tidily.

Stories collected by the BBC Gossip Column

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 8th May: Part Two

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United could make bids in excess of £40m for Tottenham and Wales forward Gareth Bale, 23.


Full story: London Evening Standard

What’s the story? Bale is going to be a wanted man for obvious reasons. If Spurs finish 5th there will be big questions to answer.
Does it make sense? He’d be a good signing for any club in the world but selling him would sink the Spurs revival and enshrine a new top four.
Is the price right? No. Let’s get this straight. We’re talking about a 25 goal 25 assist forward who looks like he has been built by the football gods and also has a specialist line in scoring crucial goals. AND, this is his first real season of consistent goal scoring AND he’s done it with an inferior supporting cast which means that in every game he is double marked. If Cavani and Falcao and Torres (!) are worth £50m then Bale is worth £60m.
Will it happen? 5/10 – Not this season. But if Spurs don’t make moves that show enough ambition then maybe next year, a la Fabregas.

Former Arsenal midfielder Alex Song, 25, has insisted that he will not return to England despite failing to hold down a regular first-team place at La Liga giants Barcelona.


Full story: London Evening Standard

What’s the story?
In a surprise only to Alex Song, it seems Barcelona don’t rate him as highly as they do Xavi so he’s been on the bench a lot.
Does it make sense? Hard to see where he’d move to in England. Could be useful for Spurs but could he really go there?
Is the price right? They paid £16m and would do well to get over £10m
Will it happen? 3/10 – Barcelona have a miniature squad as it is so selling a versatile player isn’t a great idea.

Sporting Kansas City boss Peter Vermes has revealed a number of clubs in Europe have already declared their interest in signing Norwich City loan striker Kei Kamara, 28.


Full story: Eastern Daily Press

What’s the story? Kamara has done OK I guess and it doesn’t say what standard these clubs are.
Does it make sense? Meh. He’s had the odd moment but it’s hard to see why he’d be top of anyone’s list.
Is the price right? The more talented Brek Shea only cost £3m so probably less than that which is decent for a gamble.
Will it happen? 8/10 – He could do well in Holland perhaps.

Juventus are ahead of Tottenham in the race to sign 25-year-old Real Madrid forward Gonzalo Higuain, after opening talks with the Argentine’s representatives.


Full story: talkSPORT

What’s the story? It will depend on who is the next Real Madrid manager but Higuain seems to have fallen down the pecking order and isn’t overly popular with the fans.
Does it make sense? Yes. Both of these clubs desperately need a prolific striker to take them to the next level. Spurs need someone for SuperBale to feed and Juve have a variety of midfield schemers providing supply.
Is the price right? £20m would definitely be worth a go. It becomes trickier if it gets nearer to £30m though but he could still get 20-25 goals for either side.
Will it happen? 8/10 – about the same chance for either. Juve are in the Champions League though which could give them a significant edge if Spurs finish 5th.

Celtic are believed to be monitoring Burnley’s 28-goal striker Charlie Austin, 23.


Full story: Lancashire Telegraph

What’s the story? Austin has been a consistent Championship scorer for Burnley and has already proven himself to a greater degree than Gary Hooper had when he moved north of the border. Hooper is now valued at £8m.
Does it make sense?
Kind of. Celtic can offer the potential for Champions League football which he would never get in England.
Is the price right? This will be a problem. Blackburn paid £8m for Jordan Rhodes who only had League One experience. Austin wouldn’t be as much but Burnley would surely hold out for the £6m they got for Jay Rodriguez last summer.
Will it happen? 4/10 – He might be enticed but it’s too expensive for Celtic.

AC Milan are considering an offer for Manchester City’s 32-year-old defender Kolo Toure.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Kolo Toure will be a free agent and Milan love nothing more than an old freebie.
Does it make sense? It won’t excite the Milanistas but he’d be solid enough compared to what they have currently.
Is the price right? Assuming he doesn’t want absurd wages then it’ll be worth a Bosman.
Will it happen? 6/10 – It makes sense.

Stories collected by the BBC Gossip Column

Analysing the Transfer Gossip – 8th May: Part One

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

Wayne Rooney, 27, tells his Manchester United team-mates he wants to join Bayern Munich in a deal that would cost the Germans £30m.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? If David Moyes is the next United manager it will be very interesting to see what will happen with Rooney given their history at Everton. However, there’s not even a faint chance of Bayern signing him.
Does it make sense? No. If Moyes comes in and immediately gets rid of Rooney it will create the mother of all controversies if it goes wrong. Also, he’s not an upgrade for Bayern anyway.
Is the price right? Yeah £30m is about right. It’s kind of hard to value him given the confusion over his position.
Will it happen? 0/10 – more chance of Rafa Benitez being the next United manager.

Arsenal and Liverpool will have to stump up at least £10m if they are to capture Swansea captain Ashley Williams, 28, at the end of the season.


Full story: Metro

What’s the story? Liverpool have a natural link to Williams given their central defensive frailty and Brendan Brent’s history with Williams. The Arsenal link is rank laziness. When does Wenger sign 28 year old centre backs with no Champions League pedigree?
Does it make sense? Not really. Clearly he doesn’t fit the Arsenal signing pattern and he’s really no better than what Liverpool have already.
Is the price right? £10m is about £3-4m above his ‘true’ value but in terms of his sale value it’s about there.
Will it happen? 0/10 – Arsenal 7/10 – Liverpool: It shouldn’t but that’s not to say it won’t.

Atletico Madrid are believed to be preparing a £40m bid for 26-year-old Liverpool striker Luis Suarez.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? This is get ahead of itself. For Atletico to even consider offering this they’d need to pocket the £52m for Falcao. If not this is a dead duck.
Does it make sense? Atletico are an excellent defensive side but chronically lack attacking flair since the losses of Aguero and Forlan a couple of years ago. Suarez would bring an X factor to their side. However, selling Suarez would be a massive statement from Liverpool and it’s really hard to see.
Is the price right? Yes. He doesn’t have the consistency and all around game to valued up with Falcao and Cavani.
Will it happen? 0/10 – No. I don’t see Suarez being wooed by Atletico and Liverpool won’t feel the pressure to sell that they might to Real/Barca/Bayern Munich.

Hull are planning a move for Birmingham defender Curtis Davies, 28, as they prepare for life in the Premier League.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story?
Hull might have to look to the best of the Championship given their tight budget but they have a superb defence and almost no attack so this won’t be a priority.
Does it make sense? No. Chester and Faye at centre back should be more than competent at Premier League level.
Is the price right? Possibly £3m or so but that’s a lot for a luxury buy.
Will it happen? 3/10 – Maybe but it would be a very strange use of limited resource.

West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie, 31, can leave The Hawthorns if a suitable agreement can be reached with another club as the Nigeria international still has 12 months left to run on his current deal.


Full story: Birmingham Mail

What’s the story? Odemwingie made a big fuss about not being allowed to leave stable West Brom who took a risk on him and let him prove himself in England to try to join QPR. Yep, seriously…
Does it make sense? He’s despised by the fans so needs to go.
Is the price right? They’ll probably take less than the £2m Harry Redknapp tried to pay in January.
Will it happen? 10/10 – He’s gone.

Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has revealed he expects 33-year-old goalkeeper Julio Cesar to leave Loftus Road at the end of the season.


Full story: Sky Sports

What’s the story? Cesar is expected to be one of many in the QPR fire sale this summer.
Does it make sense? You simply cannot justify paying a goal keeper £70k a week in the Championship.
Is the price right? He’d be worth £1-2m of anyone’s money.
Will it happen? 10/10 – Someone will take the risk. Perhaps Stoke/Sunderland if they lose their starter.

Barcelona are to step up their interest in Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina, 30, who has three years left on his Anfield contract.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? There is some confusion about the Barcelona keeper position as it had been reported they had agreed a deal with Borussia Monchengladbach to sign Marc-Andre Ter-Stegen.
Does it make sense? There are rumblings on Merseyside that Rodgers doesn’t like Reina and he seems a natural fit for a return to Barcelona.
Is the price right? £10m or so is about right.
Will it happen? 6/10 – It’s not as daft as it sounds. He’s not what he was but he’s still a safe pair of hands.

Stories collected by the BBC Gossip Column

Analysing the Transfer Gossip 17/04

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

Tottenham manager Andre-Villas Boas is interested in signing 20-year-old Porto winger Christian Atsu, to whom he gave a debut during his time in charge of the Portuguese club. Everton and Sunderland are also keen on the winger, who will have just a year left on his contract by the summer and has an £8m buy-out clause.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Three Premier League clubs, two of which are looking towards Champions League Qualification want to pay a truly ludicrous amount of money for someone who has made 7 starts, 6 of which he has been substituted off in…?
Does it make sense? See above. This is so bizarre.
Is the price right? Would you want to pay £8m for someone who hardly ever sees the field…in Portugal?
Will it happen? 0/10 – Not a cat’s chance

Paris Saint-Germain director of football Leonardo insists the club have not made an offer for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney but admitted that Manchester City’s Samir Nasri and Yohan Cabaye of Newcastle are on their radar.


Full story: the Independent

What’s the story? Hmmm. Where does Nasri fit? Cabaye is clearly a good option as he ran riot in France before moving to England and PSG do have a whole deep in midfield next to Verrati which I imagine, considering Cabaye is French, they would like him to fill. Nasri though?
Does it make sense? Cabaye makes perfect sense. Nasri is an odd one because PSG don’t really need him. They play a rapid tempo attacking style with three quick players behind the focal point of Ibrahimovic.
Is the price right? PSG can afford anything really so £20m a piece.
Will it happen? 7/10 – Cabaye: Newcastle are hard to buy from, see Andy Carroll. 5/10 – Nasri: I don’t see how he fits what PSG need.

Newcastle could be interested in re-signing Andy Carroll when his loan deal at West Ham expires at the end of the season. However, the Magpies are only willing to pay £10m for the 24-year-old – £25m less than Liverpool bought him for two years ago.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Carroll is finding form at West Ham who can’t afford him, perhaps he can re-light the flame at Newcastle.
Does it make sense? I’m not sold that he fits Newcastle’s system. They’ve moved towards a more fluid, passing system than the one he thrived in.
Is the price right? £10m would be great value. He should reach nearer £12-17m given his nationality, age, position and potential.
Will it happen? 7/10 – Carroll is as good as gone and Toon would be a good home.

Chelsea are close to sealing a £20m deal for Brazil defender Dede, who the Blues believe can be John Terry’s long-term successor. The Vasco Da Gama centre-back, 24, has also been watched by Liverpool and Manchester United.


Full story: Daily Express

What’s the story?
Chelsea desperately need centre backs as profiled here. Dede is the elite defender in South Ameria right now with a physique for England. Chelsea have recently bought Piazon, Oscar and Wallace from Brazil.
Does it make sense? Yes. Dede is tough and good on the ball, exactly what Chelsea need.
Is the price right? £20m is too high but Brazil is becoming ever harder to buy from.
Will it happen? 7/10 – Chelsea could sign him regardless of who is manager

Manchester United midfielder Anderson, 25, could return to former club Porto in the summer, with Sir Alex Ferguson attempting to bring Colombia star James Rodriguez, 21, the other way.


Full story: the Daily Telegraph

What’s the story?
Interesting. Anderson has shown glimpses of potential but never really strung it together like he did when starring at Porto. Rodriguez is a fabulously talented, goal scoring and most importantly, consistent winger.
Does it make sense? Yes, plenty. Port need something extra in midfield which Anderson could offer and United are aching for consistent wide play.
Is the price right? £10m and Anderson would make the notoriously tough negotiating Porto sit up and think.
Will it happen? 8/10 – It makes so much sense.

Southampton have launched a bid to sign 24-year-old Belgium winger Radja Nainggolan from Cagliari.

Radja Nainggolan

Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Nainggolan is not a winger. How can this have not been researched? He’s a box to box action central midfielder. There is nothing about him that suggests winger. Nothing that a Wikipedia search, never mind actually, you know, watching him, wouldn’t immediately correct. However, for what he actually is, he would make a lot of sense for Southampton.
Does it make sense? Yes. If Saints move towards a 433 shape then the grit and drive of Nainggolan would nicely compliment Cork and Schneiderlin.
Is the price right? He’d be expensive, somewhere in the £10m range. But you’re getting a player who could take the league by storm like his fellow Belgians.
Will it happen? 7/10 – I like this fit.

Arsenal will make a formal offer to Sunderland at the end of the season to sign their Belgian goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, 25.


Full story: the Independent

What’s the story? Mignolet was top of my shortlist to solve the Arsenal keeper crisis. I’m glad people take notice.
Does it make sense? It makes perfect sense. No more worrying about the keeper position for the next 10 years.
Is the price right? It depends if Sunderland stay up. £12-15m if they do, half if they don’t.
Will it happen? 6/10 – Arsenal fans would love it. It make sense. But since when does that make a difference to Arsenal policy?

Stories collected by the BBC Gossip Column

Analysing the Transfer Gossip 16/04

There’s always plenty of transfer talk throughout the season. So how much of it makes sense, and how much of it is just rumour?

PSG are convinced they will land Wayne Rooney and the Qatari-backed club are ready to make it a £40m double deal by also taking his United team-mate Nani, the 26-year-old Portugal winger.


Full story: the Sun

What’s the story? Rooney’s future is being questioned after an on and off season and PSG are one of the few clubs who could afford him. United seem to have lost patience with Nani.
Does it make sense? No. The last thing PSG need is more attackers as they already have enough of a task fitting them all in to the team. Nani is no better than what they have. The only possibility would be if they want Rooney to play in midfield.
Is the price right? Not really. Surely Rooney is worth about that on his own.
Will it happen? 0/10 – Both 1/10 – Rooney

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has put his scouts on alert to find a new left-back – raising doubts over the long-term future of Benoit Assou-Ekotto. The 29-year-old Cameroon international is already trying to line up a move and is hoping to set up a deal in France.


Full story: Daily Mirror

What’s the story? Assou-Ekotto hasn’t found the form of a couple of years ago and could be upgraded.
Does it make sense? Yes. As good as he has been he hasn’t been the same after injury.
Is the price right? They’d be doing well to get £3m
Will it happen? 4/10 – he likes living in London

Napoli striker Edinson Cavani, 26, says he is ready to leave the club this summer and that a move to England could be on the cards with Manchester City leading the chase.


Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? Cavani is playing as well as anyone right now and has the ideal game to thrive in the Premier League. City want a proper striker.
Does it make sense? Yep. I’m convinced that City is the best spot for him and he is City’s best option.
Is the price right? £52m, pay up or walk on.
Will it happen? 9/10 – It’s a perfect fit.

If Manchester City do not sign Cavani, they could opt to sign Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez, with Bayern willing to listen to offers for the 27-year-old.

mario gomez

Full story: Daily Mail

What’s the story? It’s hard to see Guardiola wanting Gomez for his system so he could be up for sale.
Does it make sense? He’s not an ideal fit for City but what he does offer is a penalty box presence which City have lacked at times with all of their strikers liking to wonder out in to general play.
Is the price right? £20m would be a good price to pay for a goal machine
Will it happen? 4/10 – As they say, only if they can’t get Cavani or Falcao

Borussia Dortmund’s 20-year-old German midfielder Mario Gotze is set to stay at the club for another season, despite interest from clubs including Arsenal and Manchester City.


Full story: Inside Futbol

What’s the story? Despite interest from Arsenal and Man City? And you’d leave a Champions League semi-finalist for Arsenal?
Does it make sense? It would make Arsenal’s dreams come true. But, why would he leave Dortmund for anyone other than Real/Barcelona?
Is the price right? I would think Dortmund would only put up more of a fight to keep Reus so it’d be very expensive.
Will it happen? 0/10 – Arsenal 3/10 – City: only if Dortmnd win the Champions League.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes any attempts to sign 24-year-old striker Andy Carroll on a permanent deal from Liverpool might be scuppered following the implementation of next season’s Premier League Financial Fair Play regulations.


Full story: Daily Telegraph

What’s the story? Allardyce is unhappy that, in his words, he can’t ‘spend over budget’ to get Carroll.
Does it make sense? Boo hoo, poor West Ham. They’ve just been given the Olympic Stadium and now they’re unhappy they can’t spend themselves in to oblivion again too.
Is the price right? Carroll is an expensive package. £12-15m to buy and £80,000 a week to maintain.
Will it happen? 2/10 – I wouldn’t be surprised if this was bluster.

Swansea have denied goalkeeper Michel Vorm, 29, is set to join Barcelona after reports in Spain said the Dutchman travelled to the Spanish city with his family at the weekend.


Full story: the Sun

What’s the story? I went to Tesco at the weekend but I’m not planning on living there. Also, Spanish press have reported that Barcelona have already agreed a deal to sign Marc Ter-Stegen.
Does it make sense? Vorm would make sense for Barcelona if not for the above.
Is the price right? No reason for Swansea not to hold out for £10m or so.
Will it happen? 4/10 – only if their other deal falls through.

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