Just as some people like to get their Christmas shopping done early clubs like to get their list drawn up pretty early ahead of the January window. However there are some names that we are all surely getting sick of seeing every day in the press. They don’t help themselves of course, with their agents doing the best to drum up interest in their respective clients.
So who are the five players whose names just will not stay out of the gossip columns?
Yeah this is the one that is really doing the rounds with a multitude of clubs from around Europe reportedly interested in bringing the ‘Lion King’ from Bilbao. Juventus are reported to be the favourites for his signature in January or at his contract end in June. But as the 1997 dance song by Olive once said ‘You’re Not Alone’. The Italian champions are battling with Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and AC Milan for the contract rebel.
Personally if there was an award for the most over-rated player in Europe I would give it to this guy hands down, so I am either wrong or this guy has a pretty good agent. If you believe the rumours the Rennes midfielder is or has been stalked by Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Everton, Zenit St Petersburg and Bayern Munich but I reckon a deal to a team such as Marseille or Lille will become much more likely in the coming months.
Atletico Madrid’s tentative financial plight has not helped this one, but Falcao’s name is suddenly popping up everywhere. Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly in for him from the Premier League while Barcelona and an ‘un-named Russian club’; presumably Zenit or Anzhi are also chasing the prolific Colombian.
Manchester City however would prefer to bring in the powerful Montenegrin from Fiorentina. Mancini is a big fan of the youngster from his time in Italy but he is not a lone admirer. Liverpool, Chelsea, Juventus and Napoli have all reportedly enquired about him. Reports that Diego Milito could go the other way as part of a swap deal with Inter have been quashed by Fiorentina’s chief executive. But that can’t stop his name being printed.
Another contract rebel that many clubs might try and nab earlier then June with a cheeky bid. Our very own Theo is possibly the guiltiest culprit of all across Europe. The list is endless; Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, Inter Milan, Paris Saint-Germain and even Southampton and Spartak Moscow have been linked with the 23-year-old.
Lewandowski, Huntelaar, Doumbia; the list goes on. It seems nobody cares if Nemanja Nikolic moves to Swedish side Helsingborgs from Hungarian outfit Videoton; these are the rumours that dominate European football at the moment. January can't come quickly enough.
What do you think will come of all of them?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald