10 World Football Rumours We Wish Were True
World football fans might be shocked to learn that not every transfer rumour that a paper runs is true.
Oddly enough, more often than not, newspapers publish "stories" that have absolutely no basis in fact. The articles are full of pure speculation.
Harry Harris has to be considered world class when it comes to transfer rumours. One of the more entertaining sagas of the past few years he covered has been Sergio Aguero's protracted move to the Premier League.
Fans might remember in 2009 when Harris, of ESPN Soccernet, "reported" that Aguero would be moving to Chelsea, costing a total of £100 million when combining transfer fee and salary.
Then, six months later, Harris wrote an article about Atletico Madrid and the Blues agreeing to a £40 million deal for Aguero.
It seemed to be a lock that the striker would be donning a blue shirt. The Argentine did of course move to England, only it was to Manchester City.
Staying on the topic of transfers that never happened, here's 10 moves that fans would actually be getting behind this January, if only they were to ever happen.
Neymar to Barcelona
We might as well start with one of the most speculated transfers in the world.
By virtue of being one of the best young attacking talents in the world, Neymar was going to be targeted by Barcelona. The speculation accelerated last year when Barca demolished Neymar's club, Santos, in the Club World Cup.
Earlier in the month, Goal.com reported that Santos' manager, Muricy Ramalho, said the player should move to the Camp Nou.
It's easy to see where Ramalho is coming from as a team that includes Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc Fabregas, Lionel Messi and Neymar is absolutely mouth-watering.
Football fans should not hold their breath on this one as Neymar and others have stated that he will not move before the 2014 World Cup.
Daniele De Rossi to Manchester City
Daniele De Rossi would be a great fit for Manchester City.
He's one of the best defensive midfielders in the world. He could sit in front of the back four along with Yaya Toure, allowing Toure to bomb forward as he does so well.
De Rossi also has some experience in a back three, which Roberto Mancini has implemented at times with City. Many will remember De Rossi's performance as a sweeper against Spain at Euro 2012.
However, the Daily Mail is reporting that Roma are not looking to sell the midfielder this January.
Didier Drogba to Juventus
If reigning Italian champions Juventus have a weakness, it's up top.
Last season, the leading scorer in Serie for Juve was Alessandro Matri, and he finished with only 10 the entire season. 2012/13 has been a bit of a different story. Fabio Quagliarella has scored six goals, and Sebastian Giovinco is right behind him at five.
If Juventus want to win the Champions League, though, it will likely need an upgrade at forward.
Didier Drogba would be the perfect fit. He brings plenty of European experience and helped to bring home the Champions League trophy to Chelsea.
He's also a good stopgap until Juve can find a more long-term replacement.
Unfortunately, Sky Sports reported that Juventus has downplayed any links between the club and Drogba.
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea
If past history is any indication, Radamel Falcao will end up at Manchester City. The Colombian striker is arguably the best pure finisher in the world.
As a result of his prolific scoring, he's gotten on the radar of every major club in Europe. Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich in particular seems to be smitten with Falcao.
The Daily Mail reported the Blues would be willing to offer Falcao a £200,000 a week salary.
It is unlikely, though, that Atletico Madrid would actually sell during the season. Atletico is second in the Spanish league table. Although their La Liga title hopes have been certainly dashed, the Colchoneros still look certain to lock up a spot in the Champions League.
Mario Balotelli to AC Milan
Manchester City supporters have to be fed up with Mario Balotelli. He is arguably the most confounding player in the world.
With his size and ability, Balotelli has the potential to be one of the best strikers in the world. But he's unfortunately a complete headcase.
A club can put up with his antics if he's producing on the pitch. That has not been the case this year, though, with the Italian only finding the net once in the Premier League so far.
AC Milan was thought to provide a safe haven for the mercurial striker, but Sky Sports reported that they have all but pulled out. In addition, it seems that Roberto Mancini has made it his personal goal to make Balotelli become the player that his talents show.
Christian Eriksen to England
Christian Eriksen is one of the best young playmakers in the world.
With young players, it's vital that they move at the right time. If they wait too long, they risk wasting some of their best years. A move too early would stunt their progress.
Eriksen is teetering on the former as he has arguably hit his ceiling at Ajax. La Liga or the Premier League would be the best options for his next stage. But with the logjams that Real Madrid and Barcelona present in midfield, England's probably the best option.
However, he has rubbished any move to the Prem. In an interview with the Guardian, Eriksen said regarding a possible January move:
I don't think so. If something really exciting is coming, maybe you would look at it. But my feeling now is take it easy and see when it comes.
David Villa to Arsenal
It would be nice to see David Villa get a move. He seems to have really fallen down the pecking order at Barcelona, and with a player the quality of Villa, you want to see him play more regularly.
The Spaniard has done well at the Camp Nou considering that Lionel Messi is immovable at the striker position. Villa has managed to excel as a winger, though, illustrating his overall class.
He was linked surprisingly enough to Arsenal. It would be a bit odd to see Arsene Wenger moving for a player in his 30s. On the other hand, it would be refreshing to see the Gunners spending more money after bringing Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski this past summer.
It may just be posturing, but the Daily Mirror quotes Barcelona director of football Andoni Zubizarreta as saying:
In January we will keep Villa. It is important to remember that Barcelona is a club that habitually does not accept offers for star players in January.
Fernando Torres to Atletico Madrid
The transfer would have made sense over a move ago, before Rafa Benitez took over as manager. Since then, Torres' form has picked up a bit. He's had some good runs of form as a Blue but nothing consistent.
It remains to be seen if he can play well over the span of a few months.
Still, it's probably for the better that both Chelsea and Torres part ways for good, especially in the unlikely event that Radamel Falcao moves to Stamford Bridge.
Roman Abramovich shelled out £50 million for the striker, and it appears that he has finally reached the end of the rope when it comes to giving Torres chances.
Hiring Benitez could be part of helping Torres, but what would happen if Falcao does in fact arrive? Part of that deal could be Torres moving back to Atletico Madrid.
It's the story of the local hero returning home, but Atletico would likely balk at the £175,000 Torres is earning a week. The club would have the funding to buy a much better striker at this stage.
Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United
January is completely out the window on this one.
No matter if the season is winter or summer, this would be arguably the most shocking move in football history.
When Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford he was the most expensive player in the world, leaving for £80 million. A move back to Manchester United for Ronaldo would easily smash that record.
The Sun is reporting that he is telling friends that he wants to "come home." While United couldn't pay Ronaldo's €1 billion release clause, Real Madrid and the Red Devils could be able to agree to a much more manageable fee in the £100-200 million range.
Even the most ardent United hater would have to admit that it would be a pleasure to see Ronaldo back in the Premier League.
Despite Madrid's La Liga failures and Ronaldo's sulky period earlier in the season, there are far too many barriers in the way of reuniting the winger with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Jose Mourinho to Paris Saint-Germain
If Jose Mourinho doesn't win the Champions League, there's virtually no way he stays at Real Madrid next year. The club is already 16 points behind Barcelona in La Liga table, so that competition is all but over.
Should Mourinho lose his job, he won't stay unemployed for long. According to Goal.com, Paris Saint-Germain has already stated its interest in hiring the Special One.
It would be great to see Mourinho reunited with Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In addition, PSG provides him with the possibility of conquering a new league and leading a new, emerging club to European success.
The odds have to be favoring history repeating itself, though. Mourinho would likely prefer a move to England, and with Manchester City's struggles in both the Premier and Champions Leagues, Roberto Mancini's seat gets hotter and hotter.
Mourinho of course replaced Mancini at Inter Milan and won the Champions League, the one trophy that has so far eluded the Italian.