Summer Transfer Rumours: 10 Most Ridiculous Gossip Stories so Far
With leagues across Europe winding down and the continental cup competitions reaching the semifinal stages, attention is turning to the summer transfer window.
There will be some huge deals done as clubs across Europe look to improve their squads, giving the tabloids a feast of gossip to feed to the ever-hungry fans. Now is as good a time as any to take a look at some of the more ridiculous rumours, so here are 10 of the best.
Robert Lewandowski Is "definitely" Going to 3 Clubs
"He's here/ he's there/ he's really everywhere/ Lewandowski/ Lewandowski."
It doesn't have the right ring to it does it? Although if the rumours are true, that is exactly what the Polish star will be next season.
Currently preparing for Borussia Dortmund's Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid, Lewandowski has been linked with a move away from the Bundesliga, with the Premier League holding much of the interest. Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea are all interested in signing the striker, who would apparently prefer a move to Manchester.
Bayern Munich are also in the running for his signature, so expect Lewandowski to stay in Germany next season.
Gareth Bale Leaving Tottenham for 37, 70 and 100 Million
Gareth Bale has been the first name on the Tottenham Hotspur team sheet for the past two seasons and his performances on the wing have garnered attention from the biggest clubs in Europe. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United are all possible destinations for the Welshman if Spurs decide to cash in on their star.
Fees ranging from £37 million to £100 million are being bandied about, but the decision to sell will hinge on Spurs securing a decent replacement. To attract another player in Bale's talent bracket, they will need to qualify for the 2013-14 Champions League, so expect talk to intensify after the crucial EPL clash with Chelsea on May 8.
Aaron Ramsey Is Going Home
There will be two Welsh teams in the Premier League next season as Cardiff City have secured automatic promotion from the Championship. They will join high-flying Swansea City, and there are plans afoot for an audacious buy-back of one of their academy products.
Aaron Ramsey moved to Arsenal in the summer of 2008 and looked to be a future star for the club. An horrific double-fracture of his right leg in 2010 left him on the sidelines for nine months, and although he has found his form again this season, a move back home could tempt the 22-year-old.
Of course, this switch will only happen if Arsenal are willing to sell one of their best players. Expect a deadline-day deal to be done.
Wayne Rooney Is Going to Paris
Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United at the tender age of 18. The Liverpool-born boy commanded a fee of £25.6 million in 2004 and has been a core member of the United team ever since.
However he has fallen down the pecking order with the arrival of Robin Van Persie and his performances this season have lacked the consistent quality of old. PSG are sniffing around as Rooney has struggled through the season in midfield, and could offer over £100 million for the striker.
Cristiano Ronaldo Will Go to Chelsea, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain
According to FIFA, Cristiano Ronaldo is the second-best footballer in the world right now. His skills leave many defenders baffled as to where he went, but even a player of his standard would struggle to play for three clubs simultaneously.
However, if you ignore the adage of "don't believe everything you read in the papers," that's exactly what he will be doing next season. Ronaldo will follow Jose Mourinho to Stamford Bridge, take a huge wage cut to move back to Manchester United and move to the city of love to join Paris Saint-Germain. He could also move to Aldershot Town and single-handedly take them up through the leagues.
That last one might be pushing the realms of possibility, but don't be too surprised to see Ronaldo remain at Real Madrid for the 2013-14 season.
The Radamel Falcao Show
The Columbian striker has continued his incredible form from 2011-12 by scoring 31 goals in all competitions for Atletico Madrid. His future will almost certainly lie away from the cash-strapped La Liga outfit, so expect him to remain a hot transfer topic until a deal is done and dusted.
Edinson Cavani Is Leaving Naples
Edison Cavani has told his mum that he's not happy at Napoli. His house was robbed whilst he was on international duty and his wife was mugged in the street for a £14,500 watch. As the same fate has befallen many of his teammates, the striker is apparently looking to leave the city that is home to the Mafia.
Manchester City, Chelsea, PSG and Real Madrid are all set to sign him, for a fee in the region of £53 million. With Financial Fair Play set to come into force, all transfers will have to be carefully balanced to avoid falling foul of the new regulations. Considering all of the other signings that these clubs are "certainly" making, it would make sense for Cavani to sign up for some self-defence classes.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Is Going Back to Italy
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been a goal machine for PSG this season, finding the net 33 times in all competitions. Despite this, and the millions of euros that PSG have in the bank, rumours persist that the striker will return to Italy in the summer. This time he would be heading back to Juventus as the Old Lady looks to revitalise the fortunes of the club.
The likelihood of the Swede leaving PSG while their roster boasts players like David Beckham and Thiago Silva, with the money to back more star signings, is slim to none.
Salomon Kalou Is Returning to London
Kalou's career never really took off at Chelsea, where he scored 36 goals in 156 appearances, and a move to Lille last summer looked like it was best for all parties. However, Kalou misses London, as any rational person would, and is tipped to return to the capital this summer. Chelsea are busy signing every other striker on the market, so the Ivorian is looking north to Arsenal.
On the surface it seems like a crazy deal, but Arsenal aren't known for their astute transfer tactics. Transfermarkt.co.uk value him at £5.7 million, and although he could provide an equally inept backup to Gervinho, breaking his contract at Lille would cost the Gunners far more than he's worth.
Expect to see Kalou wearing an Arsenal shirt in August.
Iker Casillas to Replace Victor Valdes at Barcelona
The El Clasico rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid is one of the fiercest in football. The campaign for Catalan sovereignty centres around the Blaugrana, adding a heavy political weight to the battle between Spain's top sides.
Transfers between the clubs are rare, with the likes of Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldo (not Cristiano) using a third club as a buffer before turning out for their former rivals.
However, Barca are set to lose their goalkeeper Victor Valdes at the end of the season. Valdes has grown tired of the pressure surrounding his role at Barcelona after 11 years between the sticks at Camp Nou. The search for a replacement is well and truly on, with Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas among the rumoured candidates.
Having been dropped by Jose Mourinho following a behind-the-scenes bust-up, Casillas is tired of the circus surrounding the Bernebau, and the perceived lack of support from club president Florentino Perez. Joining Barcelona would be the perfect rebuttal from a world-class 'keeper who currently feels undervalued.
Xavi has said that this deal won't go through, so we should probably expect fireworks in Spain this summer.