The January transfer window is littered with intense speculation for many Premier League clubs.
We've already witnessed a number of interesting transfers and plenty of ridiculous rumours. Repeated reports may have the power to make people believe, but a handful of transfers are unlikely to take place this month.
Here are seven interesting suggestions that fall into this category. From star strikers to flapping goalkeepers, plenty of individuals are gaining interest without any action taking place.
It makes very little sense for Sir Alex Ferguson to offload David De Gea this season.
According to The Daily Mail, Manchester United's 22-year-old stopper is being outlined as a long-term replacement for Victor Valdes at Barcelona. At the end of 2012, The Daily Mail also reported Real Madrid's supposed interest in the former Atletico Madrid youngster.
There is more than likely nothing behind these suggestions. While De Gea may be admired by the clubs of his homeland, Ferguson would be a fool to give up his player just yet.
Signs of improvement have been there for all to see. De Gea recently played a huge part in the Manchester derby victory, winning 100 percent of his aerial battles and making a number of key saves. Two clean sheets in recent weeks will also provide limited satisfaction, as De Gea leads the way for the United defence to improve.
Wilfried Zaha is arguably the most wanted property in English football right now—or so the papers would have you believe. Crystal Palace's explosive starlet is being linked with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal.
This is one of those rumours that runs every time a transfer window appears. If neither team sign Zaha in January, you can bet he'll be linked to the same set of clubs during the summer.
Things have gotten silly, with sources reporting Zaha revealed Manchester United talks on Twitter, despite no suggestion of that happening (via The Independent).
Both Manchester United and Arsenal could use Zaha in the future. Right now, these teams can do without the player's talent. Ferguson's squad is soon to be bolstered by the return of Nani, who appears to have a final opportunity to prove himself (via The Guardian).
Arsene Wenger is also confident of luring Theo Walcott into a new deal. If the winger-turned-striker commits to an Emirates future (via BBC Sport), the manager can focus on signing more immediate reinforcements.
Mohamed Diame has been one of the Premier League steals of the season. Signed for a free in the summer, a string of powerhouse performances have seen Arsenal linked with his services (via The Daily Mirror).
There's no doubt Diame would be a useful addition to Wenger's squad. The Gunners midfield has been ravaged with injuries to Abou Diaby, Tomas Rosicky and—most recently—Mikel Arteta this season (BBC Sport).
Despite having a £3.5 million trigger clause in his contract, West Ham are working hard to secure a new deal for the 25-year-old (via The Sun).
A transfer isn't going to happen due to Diame's current stint on the injury table, which is likely to last until April (via The Daily Mail). The combative midfielder needs to prove his fitness and form upon return if he is to gain such interest in the summer.
Barcelona do not want to sell David Villa (via The Independent). When a player like Villa fails to nail down a regular place, speculation is inevitable.
Right now, we can only go with the word of Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova. He recently confirmed his complete support in Villa's extended stay at the Nou Camp and expects the player to feature more regularly as he regains full fitness (via The Daily Mirror).
Arsenal might have money to spend, but you can bet it won't be on this Spanish ace (via The Daily Mail).
Any story that involves Mario Balotelli captures attention.
Throw in a "rotten apple" insult from Silvio Berlusconi, and two of Italy's most notorious clowns form an unbeatable double act. Although Berlusconi has since apologised for the remark, don't expect to see City's forward running out at the San Siro anytime soon (via The Daily Mail).
City appear to have given him a £24 million valuation, ensuring no deal will be struck until he makes an impact on the pitch (via FOX Sports).
Mario Balotelli might not be heading to Milan, but City could use him as a makeweight in a deal to sign Edinson Cavani (via ESPN).
Reports continue to link the Napoli superstar with a move to England. Similar to Radamel Falcao's situation at Atletico Madrid, a monster sum needs to be dropped if this is ever going to happen.
Do City need to bring Cavani in at the current time? It's always difficult signing players in January; fees are inflated and expectations lofted.
Should Roberto Mancini deem Cavani a necessary addition to his team, the Italian needs to strike a deal in the summer. City don't want a striker who fails to shake off his cost and are likely to be more successful without the current squad disrupted.
The risk of big money—and feeling the wrath of FIFA's Financial Fair Play rules—indicates City will have to offload Balotelli before moving forward with this.
Alvaro Negredo has always possessed the quality and physical style to shine in the Premier League. He is a reported target for many clubs, including the likes of Spurs, Newcastle and Sunderland (via Sky Tyne and Wear).
Sevilla are currently 12th in La Liga. Coach Michel was recently sacked due to "a poor run of results" which have left the club sliding down the table.
Negredo currently represents the most potent attacking threat this side has, and his performance has been pivotal to any success this season.
New coach Unai Emery isn't going to risk the wrath of fans by selling the Spanish forward. His first significant move needs to take the club forward, not leave them struggling with a lack of offensive power.
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All statistics in this article are courtesy of Whoscored.