World Football: 8 Most Annoying Transfer Rumors for Fans
For football fans, the summer can often prove a miserable time.
While supporters of buying clubs can watch in splendor as they are linked with and purchase some of the biggest talents in world football, there are left a great majority that can only hope their clubs cling onto their most valuable assets.
As the 2012-13 season approaches, clubs are slowly running out of time to upgrade their squads for opening day and bids are coming in from everywhere to claim players like contract rebel Robin van Persie and the unstoppable Uruguayan Edinson Cavani.
Supporters everywhere are hanging on in faint hope that certain moves will not transpire and certain managers will quickly look for replacements for players surely to leave in the coming weeks.
These are the eight transfer rumors that have proven and will continue to show most frustrating for their club's fans until the day the players are either sold or the transfer window officially closes.
8. Victor Moses (Wigan Athletic) to Chelsea
Victor Moses is regarded as one of the brightest young talents in the English game.
In 2009-10 winter transfer window, he was purchased from Crystal Palace for £2.5 million after a breakout start to the season and with his club falling into administration. Soon after, Moses began to make an immediate impact on the pitch for his new side with his phenomenal speed and strength.
The following season, however, the young Nigerian suffered through injuries and found himself repeatedly behind the inspiring Charles N’Zogbia and unable to make an impression in the way that Wigan Athletic supporters had expected based on the reaction to his signing a year prior.
Nevertheless, the departure of N’Zogbia at the onset of the 2011-12 season handed Moses a regular place in the starting line-up, making 37 starts and scoring 6 times, with 6 assists, for the entire campaign.
His consistent and dominant performances for Wigan eventually resulted in a call-up to the senior Nigeria squad and have made him a fan favorite at the DW stadium, especially with the loss of once important figures like N’Zogbia and Hugo Rodallega in the past two seasons.
Moses has been linked with Chelsea several times this summer and reports claim that an initial £4 million bid was rejected by the club, who value the player at £10 million. The supporters as well as Roberto Martinez would hate to lose a player of Moses’ caliber, but with Chelsea continuing to knock on the door for the 21-year old winger it seems very unlikely that he will stay.
If the Nigerian does leave Wigan for London, it will truly be heartbreaking for the club and its fans.
7. Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) to Manchester United
Prior to Euro 2012, rumors abounded linking Polish hitman Robert Lewandowski with a move to Manchester United. However, after his lone goal and Poland’s early elimination from the tournament, it didn’t seem clear if the English giants would choose to pursue the 23-year-old.
Despite international woes, in the 2011-12 season the striker smashed in 22 goals in the league (30 in all competitions) for Borussia Dortmund en route to a second consecutive German Bundesliga title and it seems his dominant domestic performances have been enough to keep Sir Alex Ferguson’s interest alive.
Still very young and potentially one of Poland’s greatest non-goalkeeping exports, it would be a shame for Dormund supporters to lose a player of such great scoring ability and overall potential.
Lewandowski has already gone on record to say that he would love to play in the Premier League, although he is content at his current club.
Nonetheless, Manchester United is still eager to sign another player in the transfer market and find a potential long-term partner for Wayne Rooney, with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and Danny Welbeck still improving and less direct than the Pole.
His relationship with previous teammate Shinji Kagawa, one of the English clubs few new signings, would be good reason for Ferguson to splash the cash on the striker.
If the transfer does eventually happen, Dortmund fans will be devastated to see two important players leave this season, especially after dominating the Bundesliga again following last year’s loss of Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid.
6. Edinson Cavani (Napoli) to Chelsea
In the past two seasons, Edinson Cavani has taken Europe by storm.
The 25-year-old Uruguayan, originally brought over to the old continent by Palermo for around £3.5 million in 2007, has managed 33 goals in all competitions in each of the previous campaigns.
Alongside Ezequiel Lavezzi and Mark Hamsik, he has formed a deadly trio for Napoli which helped them qualify for two consecutive Champions League seasons and challenge for the Serie A title for the first time in over a decade.
Napoli is not afraid to sell big talent as they have shown by letting Lavezzi go to Paris Saint-Germain, but it would certainly be tough for them to cope without their big number 9.
Chelsea, who Cavani scored against in the European CL knockout rounds, is very interested in the striker and may be the most likely club to purchase him this summer.
However, the leadership at Napoli will leave supporters absolutely crushed if the side were to lose two of their most talented attacking players without ample replacements lined up and a grueling campaign set to start in August.
5. Clint Dempsey (Fulham) to Liverpool
Clint Dempsey is arguably the most skillful footballer that the United States has produced in several years.
Unlike his countryman and rival, Landon Donovan, the Texas native decided in 2006 to make the step up from the MLS and has developed into Fulham’s most important player of the course of the past six seasons.
Dempsey led Fulham in scoring for the 2011-12 season with 23 goals in all competitions, the most ever by an American abroad. And, he has previously scored such important and thrilling goals as the magnificent volley he produced against Juventus in a 4-3 victory that helped the humble Londoners into the 2009 Europa League Final.
Over the past week, articles regarding a possible move to Liverpool have flooded the internet—including one on the Fenway Sports Group (Liverpool’s owners) website claiming Dempsey had already joined the club. The uproar has been so massive that it caused Fulham to release a statement that no bids have been received for the 29-year-old American and that a fee for around 5 million would be “laughed out of the boardroom”.
For Fulham supporters, as well as U.S. football fans looking to see one of their greatest products starting every game in the world’s biggest league, it would be a terrible disappointment to see the Texan move to Liverpool.
If the club look to improve on a season where they finished ninth, it will be essential that Dempsey keeps smashing them in for the Londoners, especially with new arrivals arriving to continue improving the club.
4. Theo Walcott (Arsenal) to Liverpool
The possible transfer of Theo Walcott was not something that any fan of English football seemed to be thinking about in May.
However, almost out of nowhere, it looks like the pacy winger is scheduled to leave Arsenal, as he has enters the final year of his contract without talks of an immediate renewal taking place at the club. In fact, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is already rumored to have inquired about the player.
An established England international since 2010, the 23-year-old Walcott has managed 42 goals and 40 assists in six seasons at Arsenal and could represent a massive loss for Arsenal whether he is sold for profit this year or allowed to leave next season after his contract expires.
The draw of more ambitious clubs has already seen Emmanuel Adebayor, Gaël Clichy, Kolo Touré, and Samir Nasri all leave the Londoners for Manchester City in the previous three seasons, followed by Cesc Fabregas last season to Barcelona.
Walcott is not the last Arsenal player on the list and that should serve as both a bad sign and tremendous disappointment to supporters who have seen their club frequently in the Premier League’s top places and in the Champion’s League, but with no successes to show for it in several years.
3. Luka Modric (Tottenham Hotspur) to Real Madrid
The Luka Modric transfer saga has been playing out for at least two summers now.
Purchased by Tottenham Hotspur from Dinamo Zagreb following Euro 2008 for £16.5 million, Modric has shone as a playmaker and passer in the club’s midfield and has proved absolutely fundamental to their march up the table in the past three seasons.
Despite the Croatian’s small stature and physical weakness, his phenomenal control on the ball and precise delivery has Europe’s top clubs desperate to sign him up.
Last season, Chelsea had three bids of from 22 million all the way up to 40 million rejected as Tottenham sought to put themselves back into the Champions League and keep hold of their brightest stars. This season they have failed again to make Europe’s biggest competition and it will be even harder to convince Modric to stay.
Real Madrid has already shown interest and would be more than willing to pay the £40 million that would now be deemed suitable for the Croatian. In England, Chelsea and Manchester United are also rumored to be interested, but it is unlikely that Andres Villas-Boas, now at the helm at Tottenham, would be willing to sell to his old club or a direct rival.
The arrival of the Portuguese coach may tempt Modric to stay, but could also bring new hope to supporters if the midfielder is moved on for profit and replaced by another talent such as Joao Moutinho, who is now linked with the London club.
Nevertheless, following four successful campaigns at Tottenham, and with a blossoming relationship alongside Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart, it will hit fans hard when and if Modric leaves, especially if an equal replacement is not immediately purchased.
2. Leighton Baines (Everton) to Manchester United
It is not a coincidence that Leighton Baines has been consistently linked with Manchester United this summer.
England’s premier attacking left-back following the decline of Ashley Cole has consistently ranked among the top defenders in Europe and his dead-ball ability and crosses have at times single-handedly kept Everton in big games.
Since the 2010-11 season, in which Baines ended with 11 assists in the league and 7 goals in all competitions, the Merseyside-born star been coveted by England’s top clubs.
After he was named to the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year in 2012, the rumors that he would be purchased by Manchester United have been incessant. Already, claims of a paltry £10 million bid from the club that took Wayne Rooney from David Moyes in 2004 seem to illustrate both an intention and a serious undervaluing of the player for Everton supporters.
Aside from the fact that Everton’s financial inability has limited them to trying to keep star players in recent campaigns, the club’s fans have had a connection with the local Everton-supporting since he was purchased from Wigan for £5 million in 2007. The devastation if he were to leave, especially with no reliable left-back cover currently in the squad, would be too much for already long-suffering Evertonians.
Everton is known for selling big if they do decide to move a player on, but in this case it would seem that no amount of money would suffice if Baines were to leave for the Manchester United side they will begin their season against in only a few weeks.
1. Robin Van Persie (Arsenal) to Manchester City/Real Madrid/AC Milan and Others
There have already been numerous articles on the internet relating to Robin van Persie’s eventual move away from Arsenal.
After he made clear a few weeks ago that he is unwilling to resign with the club that has brought him fame and fortune, the sharks have begun to circle with a host of major clubs all over Europe claiming interest.
Up until now, Manchester United have already had a bid fail and the Dutchman has been linked with everyone from Juventus and AC Milan in Italy to Barcelona and Manchester City.
Although 29-years-old in two weeks, it is implausible that Arsene Wenger would let his captain be sold on the cheap, especially following the devastating moves of Samir Nasri and former captain Cesc Fabregas, among others, last season.
There is not much else to be said in the Van Persie transfer story, but that he will certainly not be at the club when the season starts in August.
As rumors persist until the day he does leave, supporters are both heartbroken and raging that another massive star who has been polished at their club abandon ship in search of more glory elsewhere.
It is a terrible reminder that constant trophy-less seasons since the 2005 FA Cup and an unwillingness to spend big on players is turning one of England’s top four clubs into a place no ambitious player wants to go to or stay at if they are seeking medals in their cabinets.