Hot Summer Transfer Rumors That Just Aren't Going to Happen in 2013
The summer transfer window is ripe with speculation, but the truth is that the vast majority of those rumors never quite become reality.
No matter how much media attention they might attract, sometimes—for a slew of reasons—they just don't happen. And again, no matter how much we might protest to the contrary, we cannot make transfer deals take place between two clubs.
We've already seen a myriad of big-name transfer rumors this summer, ranging from Wayne Rooney to Edinson Cavani. Some of them have become reality (like Cavani's move to PSG), while others just don't seem likely to follow suit (like Rooney's proposed move away from Old Trafford).
Let's take a look at the hottest proposed deals this summer that just aren't going to happen.
Leighton Baines to Manchester United
It's easy to see why Everton left-back Leighton Baines has attracted plenty of attention over the summer transfer window. After all, he created more goal-scoring chances than any other player in Europe last year.
He is no stranger to this. Every time his name is linked with a move, the Merseyside club have responded in the same way: Thanks, but no thanks.
However, with Manchester United now under the control of David Moyes, who always held the biggest interest in Baines (per The Sun, subscription required), it seemed that a move could finally transpire. After all, Baines has a great relationship with Moyes, and United have the lure of potential trophies and Champions League football.
Yet again, this seems unlikely to go any further.
Moyes appears happy with existing stars Patrice Evra and Alexander Buttner down the left flank—so much so that United's reported interest in Baines is cooling, according to now-Everton manager Roberto Martinez (per The Liverpool Echo, h/t The Telegraph).
Given how valuable Baines is at the moment to Everton—more than any other player, really—it's highly unlikely that they would opt to sell him. The England international hasn't expressed any real desire to leave the club, so they'll happily keep him on board—something which Moyes has probably recognized already.
If any player is to leave Everton for Manchester United, it won't be Baines. It will be Marouane Fellaini—and that's only an if.
David Luiz to Barcelona
Bayern Munich exposed Barcelona all over the field in last season's Champions League semifinal, but the Catalan club's main problem—security at the back—was also exposed in narrow escapes against AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain.
La Blaugrana have tried to fix this throughout the summer transfer window. They failed in their pursuit for PSG defender Thiago Silva, so they turned their attention to David Luiz, a man who made serious noise last year.
However, Luiz isn't going to leave Chelsea this summer. Period.
New manager Jose Mourinho has been adamant that he won't be selling the Brazilian international (per Sky Sports), and even if he were, it's hard to see him agreeing to sell to his former rivals in Barcelona.
Luiz was fundamental to the Blues' Europa League success and retention of a top-four spot in the Premier League last season, and Mourinho will not want to "rock the boat" by letting him go.
With the World Cup rapidly approaching, Luiz will be looking to shore up a starting spot in the Brazil team with some outstanding performances throughout the season.
Mourinho—and most Chelsea fans—want him to be doing that in West London.
Christian Eriksen to Tottenham Hotspur
Eriksen has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, and it seems inevitable that at some point he will leave Ajax. He's simply too good to be playing in the Eredivisie any longer than he already has; he deserves a chance to show exactly what he can do at a world-class team in one of Europe's major leagues.
And while Tottenham certainly fall into that category, it's hard to see Eriksen moving to White Hart Lane. Spurs are already reportedly competing with Juventus and other high-profile clubs for Eriksen's services (per Goal), and there's simply no way Tottenham will win that battle.
Despite Eriksen being "open" to the move (via ESPN), Spurs can't offer Champions League football (which Ajax can). The biggest killer, though, is the fact that they can't guarantee Eriksen the starting appearances he deserves.
The North London club already have Moussa Dembele, Sandro, Paulinho and—imminently—Etienne Capoue in the centre of the field.
Juventus, however, could offer him a starting spot.
Fraser Forster to Benfica
Fraser Forster's proposed move from Celtic to Benfica might not seem like the biggest deal for world football, but it is one that could have some interesting consequences.
Forster was superb in Celtic's Champions League campaign and was one of the heroes in their incredible victory over Barcelona. He made a number of brilliant saves and, for the most part, kept one of the best attacks in world football at bay.
And now, with Celtic primed for another strong European campaign, Forster has drawn the interest of Portuguese giants Benfica (per the Daily Mirror), who came within a whisker of winning the Europa League final against Chelsea last season.
The difficulty for Benfica in their quest to nab Forster is Celtic's other transfers so far this year.
The club have already let the likes of Victor Wanyama (Southampton), Gary Hooper (Norwich City) and Kelvin Wilson (Nottingham Forest) leave this summer. With a Scottish Premiership title to win and a likely place in the UEFA Champions League group stage again this year, they will hardly be enthused at the prospect of another key man leaving.
Forster will likely leave Celtic at some point, but I don't see it being in 2013.
Pepe to Manchester City
Real Madrid enforcer Pepe didn't start as many games as he would have liked under Jose Mourinho last season.
Leading the chase for his signature are Premier League runners-up Manchester City, with former Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini showing interest.
Pepe is a strong defender who would thrive in the physical environment of Premier League football. He also has Champions League experience and has played against and alongside the best players in the world.
I'm not convinced that Carlo Ancelotti won't let Pepe go this summer, but it's clear that such a move will only happen at the right price for the Spanish heavyweights.
Reports from the Daily Mail suggest that Madrid want more than £20 million for Pepe, which they would use to sign another central defender.
That is a ridiculous price for a 30-year-old, and both Pellegrini and Ancelotti know it. With options at centre-back scarce at the moment, a replacement would not come cheap. Given their pursuit of Gareth Bale, which is likely to drag on much like Luka Modric's move from Spurs in 2012, Real Madrid do not want to be left with too little time and money to bring in another man at the back.
Manchester City love to throw money around, but they aren't that desperate for Pepe. Expect them to take their £15-20 million and look elsewhere this summer.
Daniele De Rossi to Real Madrid
Real Madrid are thought to have joined the slew of clubs interested in 30-year-old Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who is seemingly linked with a move away every transfer window.
Rossi told reporters this week (via Goal.com) that he will "speak on the topic once and for all" regarding his future. That could obviously be interpreted in a number of ways, but one thing is for certain: De Rossi will not be announcing that he will move to Real Madrid this summer.
Madrid have been linked with a move for De Rossi for several years now (here are reports from 2010 and 2013, per Goal.com), but the reality is that the club don't need him as much now as they did three or four years ago.
Even if Madrid were willing to stump up serious money for a 30-year-old midfielder, there's no way they can guarantee De Rossi first-team football.
Casemiro. Sami Khedira. Kaka. Mesut Ozil. Xabi Alonso. Luka Modric. Angel Di Maria. Isco. Asier Illarramendi. Cristiano Ronaldo... It's just insane how many midfielders Los Blancos have.
De Rossi would be better off moving to England—Chelsea or Manchester City—instead. Or staying at Roma, where he's guaranteed first-team football and is regarded as a star player.
Yoann Gourcuff to Arsenal
Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff is desperate to secure a move to Arsenal this summer—so much so that he's reportedly willing to reduce his wages so that he can play at the Emirates Stadium (per ESPN).
However, the reality is Arsenal might not actually want to pursue a move for the French international, instead opting to concentrate their efforts elsewhere.
To put it simply, Arsenal need another striker, and they probably need another defensive midfielder to work alongside the likes of Jack Wilshere and Mikel Arteta.
What they don't need is another attacking playmaker. Even if they did, there's no guarantee that Lyon would be willing to part ways with Gourcuff.
According to reports from Express, Lyon could lose striker Bafetimbi Gomis this summer. If such a move transpires before any move for Gourcuff, it could well make them hesitate.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was quoted by L'Equipe (via Goal.com) as saying he would not sell the Frenchman to another Ligue 1 club this summer. While Arsenal obviously don't fall into that category, this could indicate that they aren't keen to sell at all.
Arsenal have other transfer targets to chase and bigger needs to fill. Arsene Wenger is under pressure to sign someone this summer (which could mean they turn to the first player that wants them, like Gourcuff), but the veteran manager isn't going to simply make a rash transfer signing like that.
Wenger has been patient thus far and will continue to be so. Arsenal clearly have targets in mind, and as with Santi Cazorla last summer, they're usually pretty good options that fill a big need in the team.
Gourcuff—as good as he is—simply doesn't fit that description.
Willian to Manchester City
Anzhi Makhachkala are keen to sell players this summer. Desperate to cut down their wage bill, some of their biggest players could be looking for new clubs as a result, with former Shakhtar Donetsk attacker Willian being one of the most high-profile players linked with a move away from Russia.
Both Manchester City and Chelsea have shown interest in the playmaker (naturally), with City thought to be interested in a £35 million move for Willian (per ESPN, h/t 101 Great Goals).
However, given the money that Manuel Pellegrini has already dished out this summer, it's hard to see the Citizens going all in on another playmaker.
They've already added Stevan Jovetic, Fernandinho, Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo to their rich attacking squad, and with bigger concerns on the defensive side of things, City will be much more likely to add players in defense than in attack.
Adding more attackers would hurt the team, rather than benefiting it. I wrote via Squawka that:
Should they add Willian into the mix, the Citizens would only reduce the effectiveness of players like David Silva, Navas and Yaya Toure, who would all struggle for playing time as a result. They would be adding another world-class attacker... but they would be doing it at the expense of several other world-class players—many of whom they have already paid good money for in the summer transfer window.
City love to spend money on attackers, but Pellegrini knows he has enough.
Expect him to focus on defense until the season begins.
Wayne Rooney to Chelsea
One thing's for certain about Wayne Rooney: He's definitely healthy enough to play football!
Starring for England in their thrilling win over Scotland, Rooney's "miraculous recovery" no doubt increased the pressure on Manchester United manager David Moyes after the Red Devils boss didn't play Rooney in the club's preseason fixtures due to apparent injuries (per The Telegraph).
That doesn't necessarily mean that Rooney is going to leave Old Trafford this summer—and while there would be some positives to the sale, I don't think it will happen in the end.
Moyes has been adamant in his rebuffing of heavy interest from Arsenal and, lately, from Jose Mourinho's Chelsea (per The Telegraph). And having come this far through the window without changing his stance from his opening press conference, it seems unlikely that he would now change his mind.
In his first season at Old Trafford, Moyes doesn't want to be known as the guy who couldn't keep Rooney at the club and subsequently potentially cost United their title defense.
United's interest in Thiago Alcantara and Cesc Fabregas this summer (per The Independent) has likely been the result of Rooney's potential exit. Having failed to sign either "replacement" (though Fabregas is still a possibility), it's doubtful they will allow him to leave.
Regardless of whether he did or didn't hand in a transfer request, Rooney is clearly still wanted at Old Trafford by his teammates and, indeed, his former manager at Everton.
That should be enough to keep him at the club for at least one more season.
Luis Suarez to Arsenal
Alongside Bale's potential switch to Real Madrid, the future of Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has been one of the hottest stories throughout the transfer window.
Each day has brought developments surrounding the future of the Uruguay international, with Arsenal thought to be the most likely landing spot for the striker (per The Telegraph).
It's difficult to see this happening. The player has said that he wants to play Champions League football (per BBC Sport)—which he'd probably get, should he go to Arsenal—and there's a definite need for a new striker at the Emirates. All the same, it's hard to picture a frugal Wenger, who wouldn't stump up big money to try and keep Robin van Persie, throwing everything at a striker with more red flags than RVP.
According to reports, a bid in excess of £40 million would be needed to land Suarez, and they'd likely have to make him their highest-paid player.
It's hard to see Arsenal doing that.
Adding more weight to the thought of him staying is, even if Arsenal did stump up that amount of money, Liverpool could very well refuse to part ways.
Liverpool will fancy their chances of qualifying for the Champions League after some smart additions this summer, and they could well persuade Suarez to give them one more year. The likes of Iago Aspas and Philippe Coutinho alongside Suarez would make the Reds very potent next year, and that prospect might just give Suarez second thoughts about leaving for Arsenal.
Given a choice between player and money this summer, he'd choose the striker. Rodgers has invested too much trying to build around Suarez to throw it away.
It could genuinely go either way, but I think Suarez stays.
What transfer rumors do you think will (and won't) happen in 2013?
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