Predicting the Most Annoying January Transfer Window Sagas
The January transfer window is still almost two months away, but already plenty of rumours are circulating about players who will be on the move from one club to another during that time.
While the general circus surrounding mid-season moves makes for frustrating viewing at times, there are always a few would-be deals which seem to get dragged out beyond exciting, then repetitive, boring and finally into outright annoying-dom.
Here are the five potential moves most likely to fall into that category over the winter months.
Luis Suarez to Real Madrid
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez is as on fire as they come right now, being the Premier League's joint top scorer—despite missing the first five games through suspension.
All this, just a few months after it was expected he would be heading off to a new team.
The rumours won't go away though, and only recently Metro were reporting how Suarez was asked about Real's supposed interest—and that he didn't know anything about it.
The stories will keep coming over the winter, though, especially with Suarez in this form.
Karim Benzema to Arsenal
Another potential summer deal, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema was thought to be a target of Arsenal's before the recent window closed—and now, once again, for January.
Daily Mirror reports that Arsene Wenger wants to spend £22 million on the French striker, with former Real midfielder Mesut Ozil having given a "glowing recommendation" of the forward—as if that is going to tip the balance after Arsenal's scouts had watched the striker dozens of times already.
A possible Benzema deal supposedly hinges on the improbable Suarez-to-Madrid move.
Xabi Alonso to Chelsea
Another move involving Real Madrid, where midfielder Xabi Alonso is coming into the final months of his contract.
Not that this would necessarily preclude a January move away, but it seems improbable that the Spanish playmaker would leave for a new challenge midway through a campaign when he remains an important player when fit—and just before the World Cup.
Simon Johnson of the Independent recently reported that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wished to link up with his former player once more and would try to bring him to Stamford Bridge in January.
With pre-contracts, new contracts and cut-price deals all favourites of the media in the new year, this is rumour which could run and run—until Xabi actually does one or the other.
Paul Pogba to Chelsea
Alternatively, Chelsea want a big-money midfielder from Italy; namely Juventus' star youngster Paul Pogba.
The French midfielder has been imperious at Juve of late, and Metro's Daniel Jones reports that the Blues want to pay around £25 million to bring him back to the Premier League, where he briefly featured for Manchester United before leaving for Italy.
Arsenal are also said to be keen.
The Pogba move story is likely to run on all winter after his club allegedly suggested they would let him leave—if the fee was big enough.
Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich
We finish up with a striker who says he has "decided" his next move, as per Sky Sports' Thomas Zocher, with Robert Lewandowski fancied by many to complete a Bosman transfer to Bayern Munich in the summer.
Even so, stories continue to surface about a January move, either to the same club or to Chelsea or Arsenal.
Until Lewandowski confirms which team he has decided to play for, rumours will continue to link the Borussia Dortmund striker with anybody who needs a new frontman—and probably a few who don't.