Calling Fact or Fiction on La Liga's Hottest Transfer Rumors
Juan's going here, Jordi is going there and Luis is definitely not going there.
No way. Not ever.
Yes, we're well into the transfer rumours season now, which means so much nonsense is floating around that it's hard to work out what anything actually means.
La Liga is no different, and despite the fact that most players—apart from those at Real Madrid and Barcelona—have their prices, not everything is believable.
The following slides take a look at some of the stories that have hit the papers recently and attempt to break down whether there's any truth to the rumours.
Illarramendi to Arsenal
After being one of the driving forces in a season that saw Real Sociedad qualify for the Champions League, Asier Illarramendi was an integral part of the Spain squad that recently won the Under-21 European Championships.
So, it's only normal that links to other clubs have begun to formulate.
According to The Express, Arsenal are the main name in the frame so far, but the price of £10 million seems particularly low.
Illarramendi will want to play in Europe's elite competition with La Real, having helped get them there, and it will take a large offer to even tempt him and the club to think otherwise.
Negredo to Atletico
Atletico Madrid are still thought to be searching for a striker to fill the void left by Radamel Falcao, despite the signings of Pizzi and Leo Baptistao.
According to Marca, Sevilla's Alvaro Negredo is one, and maybe the best, possible option.
But with Jesus Navas already sold, Sevilla say they have no need to sell the top scorer as well, via Yahoo! Sport UK & Ireland.
Whether that will be enough to quell Los Rojiblancos' interest is another thing.
Verdict: Fact, but Sevilla won't sell easily.
Cissokho to Liverpool
Valencia's mad search for a left-back last summer, following the sale of Jordi Alba, culminated with the signing of Aly Cissokho after AC Milan's Didac Vila had failed a medical.
Having signed from Lyon for €6 million, the French fullback hasn't enjoyed an overly productive season with los Che.
TalkSport have linked him with a move to the Premier League, citing Liverpool as an interested party.
Valencia fans would be excited to recoup some of the money spent on him, but the lack of reports elsewhere suggest Anfield may not be his destination.
Bale to Madrid
Ah, this one again.
You'd be forgiven for thinking Gareth Bale was already a Real Madrid player—he isn't, though.
The Spanish club's interest is evident, according to Sky Sports. Florentino Perez will take this one down to deadline day if he has to, while Tottenham's desire to sell is obviously not very high.
Unfortunately for the Londoners, the Welshman will, sooner or later, end up at the Bernabeu—it's just a question of thrashing out the financial details.
Thiago to Manchester United
Barcelona-based journalist Graham Hunter tweeted on Thursday night that Thiago Alcantara to Manchester United was close enough for personal terms to have been agreed.
Per Marca, the midfielder is available for around €18 million—a clause was triggered when he didn't play in 60 percent of Barca's games last season.
At 22, Thiago feels he needs to move in search of more regular football ahead of the World Cup in his father's home country next year—Mazinho was a world champion with Brazil in 1994.
Barcelona's loss would certainly be Manchester United's gain.
Isco to Manchester City/Real Madrid
Isco has really caught the attention of Europe with his performances for Malaga in La Liga and the Champions League this season.
And if there were any doubts, his efforts at the Under-21 European Championships in Israel confirmed his ability.
Manchester City, managed by his old boss Manuel Pellegrini, are strongly linked with his signature, according to The Daily Mail.
Real Madrid seem set to fight them all the way for the Spanish starlet though, according to football-espana.net.
Kondogbia to Leave Sevilla
Geoffrey Kondogbia is away with France at the Under-20 World Cup, so speculation about his future may be put on the back burner.
Real Madrid, according to Marca, are one of the clubs linked with Sevilla's exciting central midfielder.
There's no doubt he has an exciting future in the game, and a move to a big club will likely come quite soon.
Possibly not as soon as this summer, though. The sensible approach would be to stay at Sevilla, where he can play a whole season as a regular starter.
That said, Los Blancos may champion a purchase with an immediate loan back to beat the competition next summer.
Thiago Silva to Barcelona
Like last summer, Barcelona once again find themselves linked with Brazilian defender Thiago Silva, via Marca.
There's no doubt the Catalan club need a new defender, and there's no doubt the 28-year-old is just about the perfect candidate—it just seems unlikely.
Sandro Rosell spoke this week about how difficult it would be to meet the player's wage demands whilst keeping the rest of the squad happy, per Goal.com: "We never say never but it would be difficult to negotiate—very difficult. We have not contacted PSG because the player's wages are very high. We can afford it [the salary] but it could upset the dressing room."
Verdict: Fact, but unlikely
Mata to Barcelona
In one of the more surprising links of the postseason so far, Chelsea's Juan Mata has been linked with a return to Spain with Barcelona, per The Guardian.
He was the London club's player of the season last year, is a fan favourite and would be far from necessary at Camp Nou.
The only possible hint that this deal could be possible is if Thiago Alcantara moves on, but even then Mata would unlikely be the first choice in Tito Vilanova's side.
There has been speculation, via The Times Chelsea (subscription required), that Jose Mourinho would cash in on the creative midfielder to fund incomings. He'd be silly to let Mata leave though.
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