Premier League: 6 Most Ridiculous Transfer Rumours of the Week
Silly season may be well over, but that doesn't stop the best (or "worst") of the British tabloids from making bold claims in the run-up to the January transfer window.
In truth though, following on from a week that saw Manchester United linked with a quite ludicrous swap deal with Real Madrid involving Javier Hernandez and Kaka, these last seven days have actually seen rather admirable restraint in reporting (via Daily Star).
And whilst it may be a stretch to call some of these transfer rumours "ridiculous," that doesn't mean there's much chance any will come to fruition.
But without further ado, here's a roundup of the six hardest-to-believe stories of the past week.
Oscar Cardozo to Everton
In a rumour that has picked up steam throughout the week, Benfica behemoth Oscar Cardozo has been linked with what would be a sensational move to Everton in January (via 7m).
The Paraguayan striker's talks with his current club over a potential new contract have stalled, apparently putting long-term admirer David Moyes on notice.
So why is this story so ridiculous? Two very good reasons: Nikica Jelavic and Victor Anichebe, two Everton forwards who have been tremendous in the season's early goings.
Besides, if the EPL team that lives on crumbs were to sign Cardozo, an offer of at least £5 million would have to be made. Pennies for other British clubs, a sizeable sum for the Toffees.
Chelsea to Release Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole
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Earlier this week, The Daily Mirror reported that Chelsea were set to snub club stalwarts Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole by allowing them to leave west London when their current contracts expire (h/t Yahoo).
"Roman Abramovich is so determined to stick to a policy of bringing through young players that he will happily let Lampard, 34, and Cole, 31, walk away at the end of the season," the story claims.
As ruthless as Chelsea's billionaire owner may be, it seems very doubtful that the Russian is so unsentimental that he would consider letting two of his club's greatest servants leave for nothing.
Quite apart from the fact that both have been regular fixtures in the Blues' starting lineup this season, and have been key to their team's excellent start.
Manchester City to Dump Mario Balotelli After Sunderland Sulk
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The sight of a subbed Mario Balotelli heading straight for the tunnel early in the second half of Manchester City's clash with Sunderland last weekend was hardly surprising.
It would have been more of a shock to have seen him take his place on the bench, in all honesty.
So with the Italian enigma having thrown darts at youth players, gatecrashed a women's prison and let off fireworks in his bathroon in his illustrious past, why would this most recent incident prove the breaking point for the club's suits?
But that's exactly what The Mirror are reporting, who claim that the "Abu Dhabi-based owners are fearful that Balotelli, who arrived in a £24million deal from Inter Milan two seasons ago, is damaging the City brand with his indiscipline both on and off the pitch."
Theo Walcott to Juventus
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The less-than reputable tabloid, The Metro, have reported that Theo Walcott's current contract stand-off is going to eventually take him to far-and-distant lands, namely Italy, as Juventus hover.
Admittedly, the story is derived from the Italian Tuttosport, but if there was ever a country less reliable in its reporting of transfer tittle-tattle, it's the Mediterranean nation.
It is claimed that "Juventus director Beppe Marotta is searching for bargain buys," and the flying winger is near the top of his list.
As enticing it would no doubt be to sign Theo Walcott on a free transfer for many clubs, I find it nearly impossible to believe that one of Arsenal's highest profile players would desert England's mountains green.
Mesut Ozil to Manchester United or Liverpool
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Manchester United and Liverpool fans can keep dreaming, this one isn't going to happen.
As incredible as it would be to see German attacking midfielder Mesut Ozil in a red shirt this, or next season, it is well beyond the realms of possibility.
In fact, the player himself has already confirmed as much, stating "when you play for Real Madrid you can not think of anything else. I know nothing and I have no reason to leave" (via Daily Mail).
This despite Jose Mourinho earlier telling the press that Ozil "lacks quality"—though this was perhaps more of the Portuguese boss' mind games methinks, than a genuine remark.
Chelsea (Still) Want Loic Remy
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I do not doubt the fact that Chelsea are in dire need of an additional striker, but whether or not Marseille's Loic Remy is still the man Roman Abramovich is most keen on, is another question.
But so claims the Daily Express, who believe that the Blues are to make a move for the Frenchman in January.
Whilst Chelsea's past interest in Remy has been well acknowledged, with the likes of Radamel Falcao and Neymar soon to become available, is he really the man to push Fernando Torres for the starting spot in attack?
Quite apart from the fact that Victor Moses was signed this past summer, a player very similar in style to Remy, and that Daniel Sturridge too is in dire need of playing time.
For me, this story just reeks of recycled tripe.
What have you made of some of this past week's more fantastical transfer rumours? Are any discussed here plausible?