January is upon us, and that means transfer rumors are flying around the football world faster than Lionel Messi bearing down on goal.
As is always the case with transfer speculation, the quantity of rumored moves far outnumbers the realistic possibilities.
Here are a few transfers that we can count on not happening this January, whatever the hype behind them.
Transfer rumors never seem to stop concerning this Brazilian star, and Barcelona appears to be his preferred destination. A January move, though, seems out of the question.
Wherever Neymar goes in Europe, he likely plans to hit the ground running and be playing first team football off the plane.
A midseason move to the Camp Nou, then, doesn’t make much sense for the Brazilian considering the time it would take to integrate into the squad and adjust to a new life of stardom and expectations in the big European game.
And Barcelona won’t be looking to dole out what will eventually be a massive sum for the forward to cross the Atlantic with the league title comfortably within reach.
Neymar’s day will come another time.
With Fabregas’ recent injury and David Villa still out of favor with Vilanova, though, Sanchez has played a much larger role in the Barcelona team in recent weeks.
Many in Catalunya might not be too devastated to see him go but it seems unlikely Vilanova would let the move proceed, with Alexis featuring so heavily in his attacking plans.
The player himself has played down talks of a move, insisting on his satisfaction in his current role. And with a coveted treble in sights after a disappointing first season, would Alexis be prepared to leave now?
First team action has been difficult to come by this fall for David Villa, and as El Guaje grows frustrated with his position on the bench, a number of Premier League clubs—including Arsenal—have come asking.
It seems that no one seems to know exactly what Tito Vilanova has in store for the Spanish striker but a January transfer would be hard to rule out entirely.
Arsene Wenger has never been one to embrace a big money transfer fee of the sort David Villa is sure to require. And with the Spanish striker cup tied in any mid-year move, a boost in the league is what his various suitors are after. It seems unlikely that Villa—already 31—would want to wind down the season, and his career, fighting for next year’s fourth Champion’s League spot in the EPL.
Crazier things have happened in football, but this one seems far-fetched.
According to various sources, Chelsea are in the market for Barcelona’s prized holding midfielder.
Luckily, Sergio Busquets is sure to stay in Catalunya for the remainder of the season.
With Javier Mascherano tied down at central defense, Barca’s only real replacement for Busquets at present would be Alexandre Song.
Even the massively talented Song has found himself playing second fiddle to Busquets for most of the season, and with good reason. The Spanish midfielder has, not surprisingly, built up quite a rapport with his perennial midfield mates by the name of Iniesta, Xavi and Fabregas.
Gerard Deulofeu is billed as one of Barcelona’s most promising prospects, a potentially brilliant striker. While the youngster waits to make it into the senior squad, rumors have surfaced that he’s itching for more first team football—possibly at a new club.
Manchester City have expressed their interest, but Deulofeu will surely stay in Catalunya for the time being.
At only 18 years of age, Deulofeu could have a very promising Barca career ahead of him, and his coaches at the club won’t want to spoil that chance before now. And with only five senior appearances under his belt, Deulofeu is unlikely to garner much cash for the time being.
In case you didn’t catch the story the first time around, the King of European— indeed, world football—turned down what appears to have been an astronomical offer from Russian club Anzhi.
Though the move may have so much as doubled La Pulga’s annual salary to €30 million, Barcelona’s gem seems happier winning trophies at the Camp Nou. We can all hope things stay that way, and that Messi—like Puyol, Xavi, and other greats before him—makes his career in the Blaugrana shirt.