10 Least-Plausible Big-Name Transfer Rumors
Ah, transfer rumors. Ephemeral, transient and often inaccurate, they’re always a great way to kill time between games.
Will Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich simply hand his new manager a shopping list and murmur, “Pick some”? Will Robin van Persie be swayed by Manchester City’s money, cementing Arsenal’s place as City’s academy? Where will Mario Balotelli end up next year: England, Italy or a psych ward?
Because I can’t experience football every second of my waking life, the gossip and sports talk surrounding it act as shoddy methadone for my real, incurable addiction.
Of the talk, few things please me more than reading rumors that probably won’t happen for various reasons (location, office politics, interest from better teams, etc). Consider this batch of recent transfer rumors as 10 which have little chance of being completed.
Sergio Aguero to Real Madrid
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Leave it to Diego Maradona to get his opinions in the papers, especially concerning the more prominent members of his extended family.
Recently, the Al Wasl manager suggested that Sergio Aguero, his son-in-law, should consider a move to Spanish giant Real Madrid next season.
Despite his father-in-law’s nuanced opinion, Aguero would do well to stay at Manchester City. The Sky Blues will no doubt need his scoring and creativity if they wish to make a run at the title next year, no matter who club brings in over the summer.
While Aguero certainly is talented enough to make Madrid’s starting XI, I don’t see him ending a lucrative contract or City releasing him for a loss. They paid £45 million to Atletico Madrid last year, and though Real has the money to top it, I doubt they’ll feel the need to use it.
Speaking of Real Madrid…
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City
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Well, apparently CR7 for one. Ronaldo snubbed that rumored deal, which would make football history in its enormity, in favor of continued Spanish service.
Judging by City’s previous attempts to lure Ronaldo back to Manchester, the Abu Dhabi oil magnates are lowballing the Portuguese midfielder. Last summer, the Sky Blues considered paying a stunning £150 million to Los Blancos, but even then Ronaldo turned them down.
Clearly, it’s not about the money for Ronaldo anymore. Seeing as that’s all City have to offer that Real doesn’t, I can’t see that transfer happening.
Mario Balotelli to AC Milan
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Milan’s two top-flight teams are poised to enter the Mario Balotelli Sweepstakes this summer, but of course only one of them will get him. In my mind, the Italian side on the outside will be AC Milan, with Inter sporting the better claim.
Of course, the affection of Roberto Mancini could keep the volatile Balotelli in England for another year, but it’s a long shot. The powers that be at City have already given the green light to prospective buyers, a signal that the love of one Italian to another won’t be enough.
Personally, I’m in agreement with the board. City’s money could be better spent elsewhere on more consistent, less red card-prone strikers. From Balotelli’s perspective, a few years back at a club he’s familiar with could do his mental processes well.
Still only 21 years old, Balo has a lot of football ahead of him. If he wants to continue making elite money, he had better learn to act like an elite player. A spell back in Italy for familiar Internazionale is just the ticket.
Dirk Kuyt to Feyenoord
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While the logic of returning to a former club might work with a incomprehensible youngster like Mario Balotelli, it doesn’t fit so well in veteran Dirk Kuyt’s case.
The Liverpool man’s old Dutch club Feyenoord is calling its countryman home and dangling a possible coaching role to sweeten the deal. While the 31-year-old certainly could become a coach in the future, I don’t think Kuyt would trade the visible Merseyside stage for relative obscurity in Rotterdam.
Even if Kuyt were to consider the move, De club aan de Maas probably couldn’t match offers from other suitors like Fiorentina or a retention contract from the Reds. Without money or a better spotlight, Kuyt’s move back to the Netherlands isn’t plausible.
Frank Lampard to Guizhou Renhe
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After working hard to survive Andre-Villas Boas’s reign at Stamford Bridge, Frank Lampard probably won’t be leaving West London next season, especially for China’s Guizhou Renhe.
It’s not as if China’s the worst spot in the world to play—just ask for Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka, currently a player-manager at Shanghai Shenhua. The money would be good and the expectations minimal, so why not?
Well, despite a possible upcoming purge of the Chelsea old guard by its impatient owner, Lampard doesn’t seem to be on the move. He might be put out to pasture one day, but the midfielder still has some top-flight football left in him.
Gareth Bale to Barcelona
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With Tottenham staggering toward the finish line, rumor has it that one of their star players could be on his way to Spain. Barcelona and Real Madrid are thought to be in for the pacey left winger.
Sadly, I doubt Spurs will let him leave, and if they do it won’t be for anything less than a king’s ransom. Both Spanish clubs are willing to more than double his weekly wages, but he’s too valuable at White Hart Lane to be set free.
If he were to leave North London, Bale would probably find a home easier at Real Madrid, who play an attacking brand off football closer to what Bale is accustomed to. That, and Madrid will do anything to top an offer from the hated Catalans.
Christian Maggio to Chelsea
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The Chelsea players saw all they cared to of Napoli this season—barely edging out the Partenopi in the Champions League—but a handful of players caught the eye of Stamford Bridge management.
Behind to electric duo of Edinson Cavani and Ezequiel Lavezzi, Christian Maggio impressed along Napoli’s right wing.
While the Blues did express some interest in signing the 30-year-old Italian, Maggio has made it clear through his agent that he won’t accept such a move. The winger seems content to play his football alongside the inviting blue waters of Naples for the near future, and who could blame him?
The money might be an improvement, but I don’t think Maggio’s reluctance to leave has anything to do with it. It’s not the best idea for Chelsea either; they can (and should) find more effective uses for Roman Abramovich’s money.
Nemanja Vidic to Juventus
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Italian giant Juventus are reportedly aiming a bid at Manchester United’s currently injured center back Nemanja Vidic, a move that Sir Alex Ferguson probably won’t agree with.
Obviously, it’s not entirely up to the manager where his players go, and United have proved to be title material without Vidic in the back but still, this is Fergie’s old captain we’re talking about. No way he lets Vidic skip off to Italy with a year left on his contract, especially after the Serb has spent all this time rehabbing especially to get back into United’s first team.
Coming off an injury at 30 years old, we don’t know what kind of form Vidic will exhibit next year. If he fails to live up to United’s standards, maybe then I can see the club entertaining offers for him. Not a moment before.
Eden Hazard to Not Manchester United
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It wouldn’t be a transfer rumor article without mention of midfielder Eden Hazard, despite all the numbing talk concerning the soon-to-be-available Lille attacker that has saturated the Internet.
I list him here only because of a rumor indicating that Manchester United has made him their top offseason transfer target, along with every other English club with £25-30 millon lying around. Hazard is sure to make his big-money move out of Ligue 1 this summer, so why not play for the best in England?
Though Manchester City, Arsenal, Spurs and Chelsea might put in respectable bids, I don’t see United missing on a target they really want. Despite his appearance on the Blues’ shopping list, the Belgian will likely be a Red Devil next year.
Robin Van Persie to Manchester City
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Arsenal’s flying Dutchman probably won’t be heading to Manchester this coming summer, with recent report’s indicating that Robin van Persie intends to stay in London.
Currently, the Premiership’s leading goal-scorer with 27, van Persie has been without question the league’s best striker. His inspired play, especially early in the season when the Gunners were at sea, kept the North Londoners from falling entirely out of contention. Now they’ve all but locked up a top-four finish, which is absolutely the reason van Persie won’t be leaving the Emirates.
What the Dutchman wants more than almost anything is a club playing consistent Champions League football. Now that Arsenal qualify for that characterization, why leave? Sure, he could make more money at City, but apart from that what can Sheikh Mansour offer that Silent Stan Kronke can’t?
Robin van Persie will say a Gunner for at least another year, much to Gooner delight worldwide.