5 Transfer Rumours That Could Shake Up the Champions League
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The January transfer window has the potential to change the future of the Champions League and usher in a new level of dominance for teams that had previously underachieved.
The bigger the club, the bigger the deal. This year is no exception, and the rumours circulating the Internet vary from the astute to the ridiculous.
Of course, it’s the ridiculous ones we’re interested in, as they are the ones most likely to affect the game on a larger scale.
Five such deals are outlined over the following pages.
Fernando Torres to Atletico Madrid
Could this be a familiar sight in Madrid once more?
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Atleti aren’t a club with a lot of money, but there is a lot of sense to be made from a loan deal until the end of the season.
It’s no secret that Torres will always have the Spanish club in his heart, and the fans in Madrid return the favour.
There are plenty of rumours flying around about the future of Radamel Falcao, but if Atleti could hold onto Falcao and acquire Torres, they would have a strike force to dominate any game—including those in the Champions League
It’s in Chelsea’s interest to get Torres back into form, and his miserable time at Stamford Bridge isn’t getting any easier. The Sunday Express reported that Atleti are keen to rescue Torres from England and bring him home on loan, with a view to raising the funds for a permanent deal.
The same article states that a potential road block for the deal comes in the shape of Chelsea’s schedule. The Blues have a Premier League, FA Cup and Europa League campaign to balance out, so Torres figures to feature in at least part of that.
The Spaniard will understandably want to start, but with the arrival of Demba Ba he seems likely to slip further down the roster to the less important games. If he returns to Atletico permanently, he could be worshiped once more.
Aside from the obvious drop in wages, it’s not really a difficult choice.
Radamel Falcao to Bayern Munich
Bayern Munich are said to be keen on acquiring Falcao's services.
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Pep Guardiola is the subject of much speculation, and his arrival in Munich will no doubt bring about changes to the Bayern squad.
The Daily Mirror reports that Guardiola is keen on adding Atletico’s star striker, and the bid is likely to match the £46 million release clause in Falcao’s contract.
Adding Falcao to the Bayern lineup would automatically make them a team to be feared by any opposition. If Falcao was to continue his hot streak in Germany, Bayern would go into every Champions League contest with the expectation of winning it.
Speculation on Falcao’s departure from Madrid has seemingly been rife in every recent transfer window, but Guardiola committing to Bayern makes them a very tempting proposition.
If Falcao was to move in this window, the Bundesliga would seem the likeliest destination.
Mario Balotelli to AC Milan
Balotelli's role at Manchester City has been dramatically reduced.
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Balotelli’s relationship with the EPL is best described as “volatile.”
One minute, he can produce a sublime piece of skill on the field and seduce the crowd, but in the next moment he will display an aggressive, out-of-control side that results in screams for his departure.
The truth of the matter is that he isn’t a necessary piece of the Manchester City puzzle anymore. The team has enough attacking talent to win games without Balotelli’s presence, and his off-field antics are now more newsworthy than his football.
Returning to Serie A is the most sensible solution for Balotelli, with The Guardian reporting that a move to Milan would set the club back £24 million. This is what it took to bring Balotelli to England in the first place, so City appear keen to simply get their money back and move on.
The Guardian Nigeria is reporting that Milan are looking to acquire Balotelli for a reduced price, however. It quotes Vice-President Adriano Galliani as saying “If Balotelli’s price comes down, then I’ll get over to Manchester immediately,” via the Gazzetta dello Sport.
Balotelli’s talent has never been in question, and he could make a huge impact for Milan on the world stage. His temperament is a huge question mark, though, which could force his price down.
Luis Suarez to Bayern Munich
Suarez has been Liverpool's best player since his arrival.
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As much as Suarez may love Liverpool, he will want to play Champions League football. Steven Gerrard admitted recently that Europe is the key to keeping the Uruguayan at Anfield.
Daniel Sturridge’s arrival has so far proved beneficial both for himself and Suarez, with Sturridge sending his strike partner through with a classy dummy against Norwich, as well as getting his own name on the score sheet.
This partnership is an encouraging one, and Suarez should be able to see that the club is heading in the right direction.
However, The Daily Mirror points out a fact that will be of concern to manager Brendan Rodgers. Suarez’s agent is Pep Guardiola’s brother, and his return to management automatically makes Suarez a target.
Bayern won’t make a move for both Falcao and Suarez, so Guardiola needs to focus on the player he thinks can contribute most to the team. Both men have been the best players on their respective teams for a while, so it could come to down to who is likely to sell.
Liverpool will be incredibly reluctant to let Suarez go, especially in the infancy of his partnership with Sturridge. Atletico will be equally reluctant, but are financially constrained in a way Liverpool are not.
Either player would be a scary proposition to an already talented Bayern lineup, and the German giants seem set to assert their dominance over Europe.
Jose Mourinho to Chelsea
Chelsea fans would dearly love to see Mourinho return to Stamford Bridge.
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Mourinho’s return to Chelsea has been alluded to more and more as Real Madrid slide further behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga. His exit from the Bernabeu now seems inevitable, and his return to Chelsea seems to be edging the same way.
The Daily Star published a piece detailing the extent of Mourinho’s continuing involvement with Chelsea.
The paper stated that “Abramovich has been using him as an unofficial consultant when it comes to footballing matters,” and that “the Real Madrid boss has also been messaging players from his time at Stamford Bridge, including John Terry, Frank Lampard, Ashley Cole and Petr Cech.”
With his teenage daughter enrolled in a course in Camberwell, Mourhino has bought a house nearby and set himself up for a move back to Chelsea.
With Guardiola snubbing the Blues for Bayern, the road is clear for Mourinho to reunite with the London club after Rafa Benitez’s short tenure ends in May.
Mourinho’s presence automatically makes Chelsea a better team, as he has proven he can win anywhere in the world—and has done so with Chelsea in the past.