You have to feel for any kid who got Edin Dzeko's Manchester City No. 10 jersey for Christmas. That kid's parents are not very well-informed.
Alex Richards of the Mirror reported over the weekend that Dzeko, City's third choice at striker behind Sergio Aguero and Alvaro Negredo, continues to be targeted by some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
Dzeko "is a £15 million target for Spanish club Valencia in January (and) new Valencia boss Juan Antonio Pizzi," Richards noted.
In that same article, Richards speculated that "with Sergio Aguero injured and question marks continuing to surround the fitness of Stevan Jovetic, Manuel Pellegrini is likely to bat away any overtures" for Dzeko.
As if on cue, Pellegrini spent the past day or so flailing at Dzeko transfer rumours like ?uestlove playing Whac-A-Mole.
"There was never any chance of Dzeko going in January," Pellegrini very recently said according to Chris McKenna of The Guardian. "He is an important player and there may be offers but he won't leave," continued Pellegrini.
Will Manchester City sell Edin Dzeko in January?
McKenna's report also included a reprise of Pellegrini's other favorite transfer window tune, i.e. that City may browse but do not feel compelled to buy in January. "Transfers are always an option...but it's not our first priority," confirmed City's manager.
Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail wrote much the same story with many of the same quotes from Pellegrini that McKenna went with, including this one about Dzeko: "Every player wants to play every game but given the games we have it is impossible for that to happen. I repeat that I think he is happy."
But Ben Burrows of the Mirror is not convinced Pellegrini is telling the truth.
City are strong, Burrows wrote, but "it would still be a surprise if the Chilean doesn't dip his toes into the market once or twice, especially with high-profile vultures circling some of his lesser-heralded players. Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko could be set for a tug of war between the Milan clubs."
So it is another week and another spate of "will he or won't he" stories about Dzeko possibly leaving the Etihad.