Power Ranking January's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Wayne Rooney to Real Madrid
Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of the 20 hottest January transfer rumours.
So, how will these 20 January transfer window rumours be ranked? The rumours will be ranked according to name recognition.
The less identifiable the rumoured player is, the lower the rumour will be ranked, and vice versa.
20. Rhys Williams
Swansea City are close to signing Middlesbrough utility player Rhys Williams, as per the South Wales Evening Post.
Williams can play at centre-back, right-back and in midfield.
He is the ideal club man and will be an invaluable addition to Swansea's squad.
19. Boukary Drame
Stoke City could make a bid for Chievo Verona left-back Boukary Drame, as per L'Equipe (h/t talkSPORT).
In a 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina, Drame nullified the threat of Viola right-forward Joaquin, putting in six tackles.
Drame is a strong ball-winner, completing 49 tackles in 16 games, and while he only has two assists, he is often charging into the opposing half trying to create incisive attacking play.
18. David N'Gog
Bolton Wanderers are considering an offer from Swansea City for centre-forward David N'Gog.
Bolton manager Dougie Freedman accepts that the idea of playing Premier League football again will appeal heavily to N'Gog.
"I am in a difficult position where it is very hard to stop a young player going to the Premier League," Freedman said, as per BBC Radio Manchester. "I would like to think every player has the desire to play in the Premier League."
N'Gog showed brief moments of class at Liverpool, but his inability to convert his chances was one of the factors why he only scored 19 times in 94 games for the Reds.
17. Kasper Schmeichel
AC Milan want to sign Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, as per Sky Sports.
"Schmeichel, 27, is out of contract at the King Power Stadium at the end of the season and has reportedly attracted a lot of interest," as per Sky Sports. "[Milan] are now thought to have made an approach to the Foxes."
The interest in Schmeichel suggests either he will replace Christian Abbiati, or Milan backup Gabriel will succeed Abbiati and Schmeichel will be the Brazilian's backup.
Either way, not great news for Abbiati.
16. Rafik Djebbour
According to a tweet via Paul Taylor at the Nottingham Post, Nottingham Forest are in pole position to sign Rafik Djebbour from Olympiakos, who spent a period on loan at Sivasspor.
Djebbour scored 22 goals during the 2012-13 season for Olympiakos, so he should score goals in the Championship.
15. Thorgan Hazard
Chelsea loanee Thorgan Hazard will stay with Zulte Waregem after initially wanting to play for Anderlecht.
What had to happen was Hazard making a formal plea to Chelsea to terminate the loan with Waregem and then be loaned to Anderlecht.
It would have been a classless move from Hazard considering that Waregem played a major role in turning him into the Belgium player of the year.
"I wanted to go to Anderlecht, but the clubs couldn't find an agreement," Hazard said, as per Sky Sports. "I've talked it over with my family. They agree that it's the best decision to stay at Waregem."
14. Lacina Traore
Everton manager Roberto Martinez hopes Monaco will not cancel the proposed loan of Lacina Traore following a serious knee injury to Monaco centre-forward Radamel Falcao.
"It was shocking news around European football when a player of the quality of Radamel Falcao gets a long-term injury," Martinez said, as per Sky Sports. "We hope that is not something that should affect the decision to allow Lacina to go out on loan."
Monaco can elect to play Traore, but Falcao's injury presents an ideal situation for Emmanuel Riviere, who has scored eight goals, to become a star.
13. Filip Djuricic
Benfica attacking midfielder Filip Djuricic's agent Oliver Cabrera has denied reports of his client joining Celtic.
"I do not know whether or not Celtic are interested in him and I don't want to know," Cabrera said, as per Stephen Halliday at the Scotsman. "Djuricic is not going to Celtic because he wants to stay at Benfica and fight for a place to play more games."
That was an emphatic response from Cabrera.
When Djuricic played for Heerenveen, he was an exceptional No. 10, scoring 26 times and creating 28 goals.
12. Graziano Pelle
West Ham United are going to lodge a bid for Feyenoord centre-forward Graziano Pelle, as per talkSPORT.
The concern West Ham should have is Pelle's struggles for Parma in Serie A, scoring one goal in 12 league games, so he might not be cut out for Europe's elite leagues.
11. Steven Defour
Fulham are in discussions with Porto over signing Steven Defour, as per Matt Law at the Telegraph.
"Porto want around £6.5million for Defour, but Fulham are keen to try to take the 25-year-old on loan until the end of the season with an agreement to buy if they stay up," Law wrote. "Aston Villa have also shown an interest in Defour this month, but were put off by Porto’s asking price."
Do Fulham need Defour, a midfield orchestrator?
A goal-scorer should be the primary transfer need as no Fulham player has scored seven league goals yet.
10. Dani Osvaldo
Southampton announced centre-forward Dani Osvaldo will serve a two-week suspension "following an incident at the club's Staplewood training ground," which is considered "a breach of the conduct expected of its players," as per SaintsFC.co.uk.
Rory Smith at the Times reported that Osvaldo head-butted teammate Jose Fonte after reacting negatively to a challenge from the Portuguese centre-back.
Osvaldo's detrimental behaviour could give Southampton a reason to sell him.
Osvaldo, who has played for five Italian clubs (Atalanta, Bologna, Fiorentina, Lecce, Roma), has been linked with a move to Inter Milan, as per Alex Crook at the Mirror.
9. Fabio da Silva
Freiburg have yet to confirm a loan deal for Manchester United full-back Fabio da Silva, but were complimentary of him.
"Of course. I am aware of the quality of Manchester United's Fabio," Freiburg director Klemens Hartenbach said, as per Kicker (h/t Sky Sports). "Still it's all I would like to say on that transfer speculation."
Hartenbach was responding to reports suggesting Freiburg and United had agreed upon a loan deal for Fabio, as per Jamie Jackson at the Guardian.
Would Fabio play in defence for Freiburg?
Both their full-backs, Oliver Sorg and Christian Gunter, are German youth internationals.
Freiburg are headed for a relegation play-off, but defence is not their primary concern, as they have conceded one fewer goal (10) than Borussia Dortmund (11) in the last six Bundesliga games.
8. Ravel Morrison
West Ham United are refusing to sell Ravel Morrison to Fulham unless a £10 million bid is submitted, as per Matt Law at the Telegraph:
There is a clause in Morrison's contract that states West Ham must increase his earnings to £60,000 a week if the club receive a £10 million bid and Sullivan and Gold are using that as a price guide for the England Under-21 international.
However, West Ham accept they will have little option but to sell Morrison for a reduced fee if the club are relegated to the Championship at the end of the season.
You know what will be awkward? If Morrison joins Fulham and gets relegated while West Ham miraculously avoid the drop.
Currently, Fulham are 17th and West Ham are 18th.
7. Jackson Martinez
With Radamel Falcao suffering a serious knee injury, as per the Telegraph, it is in Martinez's best interest to stay at Porto, where he can continue scoring goals, which puts him in pole position to lead Colombia at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
If he scores several goals at the World Cup, he will then earn the big-money move he has wanted.
6. Fredy Guarin and Mirko Vucinic
Inter Milan president Erick Thohir commented on cutting the proposed trade of Fredy Guarin to Juventus in return for Mirko Vucinic, as per Inter.it:
I felt it was not possible to reach an agreement on a deal in which the opinions of the two parties differed and which did not offer a clear financial or technical benefit to the club.
As was said in the recent club statement, I have already asked our sporting directors to evaluate other transfer opportunities that will enable us to strengthen the team in line with the financial parameters imposed by Financial Fair Play.
Yep, just another PR response as there is not one mention of Guarin or Vucinic. It still does not offer an insight into why Thohir cut the deal at the 11th hour.
Thohir should have spoken from the heart and explained what happened.
Calcio News (h/t Football Italia) reported that Guarin is "furious with the club [Inter] for blocking his switch."
5. Michael Essien
Chelsea reserve midfielder Michael Essien will be loaned to AC Milan, as per Sky Sports.
"Now new Milan coach Clarence Seedorf is looking to add him [Essien] to his squad, with one eye also on the Champions League," as per Sky Sports. "Galatasary have also expressed an interest in signing Essien."
Essien is no longer the £24.4 million-valued dominant midfielder he used to be.
Nowadays, he averages 0.8 tackles per game and went through a period where he received five yellow cards in six games.
4. Tomas Rosicky
Arsenal attacking midfielder Tomas Rosicky is a Bayern Munich transfer target, as per James Dickenson at the Express.
Were Bayern interested in Rosicky a decade ago? Of course.
But Bayern should forget about Rosicky.
It makes no sense to sign a 33-year-old Rosicky when Bayern have 18-year-old Julian Green, who has scored 15 times and registered six assists for Bayern II, aiming to break into the first team.
Bayern Munich centre-back Dante has revealed he is a Manchester United transfer target.
"I'm thankful for the Manchester United interest. It will all be sorted out by the end of the month," Dante said, as per Fox Sports Brazil (h/t Jamie Jackson at the Guardian). "At the moment Bayern are the only people we have spoken to anyway because we are talking over a new contract."
Dante would be downgrading from Bayern, European champions, to United, a team in disarray under manager David Moyes.
United are currently seventh and risk missing out on UEFA Champions League football next season should Moyes fail to turn it around.
2. Juan Mata
If Mata wants to continue playing on the wings, then he will get that if he moves to United because Wayne Rooney has scored and created a combined 18 league goals this season in a deep-lying forward position.
Mata's situation right now: being a role player at Chelsea or starting out wide for United.
Understandably, Mata has chosen the latter option.
1. Wayne Rooney
Real Madrid are not in the running to sign Manchester United deep-lying forward Wayne Rooney, as per Sid Lowe at the Guardian.
"[Real] Madrid have made no bid for Rooney and nor, at this stage, do they plan to," Lowe wrote. "Presented with the idea, the word that best defines the response is: 'dismissive'."
A week ago, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said United were planning to sell Rooney to a foreign club, rather than let him leave to a Premier League rival, as per Dominic Fifield at the Guardian.