It’s the January transfer window, and it’s rumor haven. With just over three days left to go, we’re seeing more and more rumors flying about, some of them bordering on the nonsensical.
Granted, not many of us thought that Manchester United were actually going to be able to pull off their huge signing of Juan Mata—so there’s room for the fanciful and farcical still.
But there are a fair few that just don’t make sense and come across as rumors just for the sake of rumors.
So we’ve compiled a list of 20 of them for your viewing pleasure.
Here are 20 January transfer rumors with absolutely no chance of happening. Maybe.
Yes, this is actually a rumor.
French giants Paris Saint-Germain don’t seem to be holding back on their spending despite the introduction of Financial Fair Play, and Lionel Messi is apparently next on their sights.
Yes, the same Messi who’s repeatedly claimed over the years that he wishes to retire at Barcelona.
According to the Independent, new Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has insisted that their star player is not for sale. Was there even a need to do that?
So Robert Lewandowski will be joining Bayern Munich from Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
Which means that Mario Mandzukic’s status as the Bavarian club’s main striker is under even more threat besides Pep Guardiola’s false-nine experiments.
What have German newspaper Bild done though? They’ve linked Mandzukic with a move to Barcelona, of all clubs.
The same club who have an Alexis Sanchez in his best-ever season for them, an impressive Neymar and the returning Lionel Messi. An ill-fit if there ever was one.
Manchester United are feeling ready to take over the world after their high-profile signing of Juan Mata from Chelsea.
Their next target is apparently Paris Saint-Germain’s free-scoring striker, Edinson Cavani, who has hit 17 goals in just 24 games for PSG after a summer move from Napoli.
Coach Laurent Blanc has refuted such suggestions, according to Sky Sports, stating that it’s “almost impossible” to take a major PSG player during the January window.
It’s not going to happen this winter—though a Wayne Rooney-Juan Mata-Adnan Januzaj-Edinson Cavani frontline looks pretty formidable.
Last weekend, David Moyes was spotted in Germany, apparently on a scouting trip to evaluate a few Bayern Munich players (via the Daily Mail).
Toni Kroos is currently undergoing talks over a contract extension at the Allianz Arena, with his current deal expiring in the summer of 2015.
Put the two together, and you get our latest fanciful rumor: ESPN’s linking Manchester United with Toni Kroos.
The same Toni Kroos who has grown into one of Pep Guardiola’s most trusted lieutenants—he’s played in all 17 of Bayern’s Bundesliga games this season—and one of the best attacking midfielders in Europe, to a team that is already stacked in that same position.
Here’s another PSG rumor. (There are plenty of them.)
Paul Pogba’s swapped the Manchester United reserves for a firm first-team place at Juventus, making a name for himself as one of the best young midfielders in Europe in the process, so naturally the guys in Paris are supposedly interested in him.
According to the Guardian, PSG are preparing a £60 million bid for him.
It could actually happen in the summer, but not when the Bianconeri are going gung-ho for their Serie A title.
Speaking of an all-conquering Juventus midfielder linked with an exit, how about the Arturo Vidal-Manchester United link?
Vidal, possibly the best all-round midfielder in Europe at the moment, is currently helping Juventus on their way to the Serie A title (much like Pogba is).
So even a reported pay rise, according to the Mirror, wouldn’t be enough to prise him away from Antonio Conte’s Juve project.
The Red Devils are all over the rumor pages these days, but Vidal is a step too far for them.
Ilkay Gundogan, currently injured at Borussia Dortmund and having played just once this season, has been linked with Real Madrid, according to the Independent.
Their potential competitors in a £25 million bidding war? None other than Manchester United, of course.
But after having let go of Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich this January, there’s no chance Jurgen Klopp will be selling yet another star player.
Plus, Gundogan’s injured—and Madrid’s last Dortmund, Turkish-German midfield experiment went badly wrong in Nuri Sahin.
Follow our transfer tracker on Gundogan’s latest rumors, just in case.
Back to Old Trafford.
For the best part of the past six months, Manchester United have been linked with a move for Real Madrid left-back Fabio Coentrao.
But according to ESPN, Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed Coentrao’s importance to his team, effectively ruling him out of a potential move away from the club.
David Moyes will need to look elsewhere for a new left-back.
But that new left-back won’t be Leighton Baines either.
When David Moyes raided his former club for Marouane Fellaini, another reported target refused to budge.
And now Baines has signed a new deal with Everton, keeping him at the club until 2018, as reported by BBC Sport.
Surely that sounds the death knell of any switch to Old Trafford.
More United news, as reports have emerged that the Old Trafford club have turned down a “significant offer” for teenage sensation Adnan Januzaj from Paris Saint-Germain. (Who else?)
The Guardian states that PSG refuse to drop their interest in Januzaj amid an inconsistent season for the Red Devils, and suggest that the Ligue 1 leaders may return with another offer in the summer, should United fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
They’ll face a fight from David Moyes, who was the one to grant Januzaj his chance in the first team, and has since rewarded him with a shiny first professional contract.
Januzaj will remain a key player for the remainder of the season.
It’s apparent that David Luiz is an excellent footballer, but Gary Neville’s “Playstation defender” has always been linked with a transfer away from Chelsea.
Reports earlier this month linked Barcelona with a fresh move for Luiz (c/o Express), whose rumored price tag is £29 million.
But even with the return of Nemanja Matic from Benfica, who incidentally moved there as part of the deal to bring Luiz to Stamford Bridge, Luiz still has a role to play in the midfield, where Jose Mourinho has deployed him to good effect at times this season.
Not to mention that club captain and long-time defender John Terry, according to the Independent, is resigned to leaving the club, which would leave a gap in the defence.
The Martin Montoya-to-Liverpool links have been around for a while, so it’s about time we had some conclusion on it all.
It’s not yet a confirmed agreement, but the Mirror report that Liverpool have failed to agree a deal with Montoya, who will now look to sign a new contract at Barcelona.
Brendan Rodgers will be missing out on a player who could’ve improved his side, especially given their recent injury situation, and now it looks increasingly likely that he will be working with the same squad after the January window as he did going into it.
A challenging few weeks ahead for the Reds.
What’s happened with the Alvaro Morata rumors?
Well, the player himself has only gone on to quash those very links, according to the Mirror, which might explain why it’s all gone quiet on the Morata front.
He’s reportedly stated that he is happy to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu for the season, so he’ll be fighting for the La Liga title rather than the Premier League crown.
Here’s a bizarre one: 33-year-old Tomas Rosicky to Bayern Munich (via the Mirror).
Sure, Rosicky’s contract at Arsenal is expiring this summer, but with Guardiola’s Bayern machine purring on all fronts, is an injury-prone 33-year-old a remotely realistic target for them?
We think not.
Manchester City’s track record of going for Arsenal players is frankly quite understandable: Samir Nasri and Gael Clichy in particular brought attributes that City hadn’t already had on their books.
But now the Metro have linked City with a move for right-back Bacary Sagna, in the middle of a tight battle for the Premier League trophy this season.
Not to mention that City already have Pablo Zabaleta, one of the league’s best right-backs, starting every week.
How does that add up?
It was always bound to happen at some point, wasn’t it?
Dani Osvaldo, who has a track record of off-the-pitch incidents, has gotten himself into trouble at Southampton: BBC Sport reported last week that the Saints have banned him for fighting Jose Fonte during training.
Cue the frantic rush of rumors linking Osvaldo with an exit.
Now, linking him with a return to Serie A, where he made his name with AS Roma, would make sense, but a move to West Ham, as the Mirror suggest?
How would Osvaldo react to being possibly third-choice behind Andy Carroll and new loan signing Marco Borriello?
One of the more bizarre transfer rumors this January has West Ham midfielder Ravel Morrison linked with a move to fellow relegation strugglers Fulham.
Not only that: According to the Telegraph, the Hammers have apparently slapped a £10 million price tag on Morrison, who has been one of the few positives in their tough season thus far.
To make a horizontal move with an almost equal chance of relegation at the end of the season?
The Newcastle rumor mentioned briefly in the Telegraph piece for an end-of-season switch looks infinitely more likely.
Liverpool’s protracted move for Mohamed Salah has ended in the Egyptian winger joining Chelsea instead, so an old rumor has resurfaced after having disappeared for months.
The Daily Star now allege that the Reds will revive their interest in Blackpool’s Tom Ince, who of course left Liverpool and was linked heavily with a return last summer.
With an exciting forward line already at Anfield, Liverpool will be looking at strengthening other areas of their squad, not a last-minute move for a Championship winger.
You’d think Manchester United having David de Gea and Anders Lindegaard on their books would be enough to deter rumors involving goalkeepers.
You’d be wrong.
Danny Griffith of the Metro reports that Leicester City’s Kasper Schmeichel, son of Red Devils legend Peter Schmeichel, is a £4 million target for not only United, but AC Milan as well.
Now that would be some step up for the 27-year-old.
Major League Soccer has been growing enough to attract some major European stars to enjoy a final hurrah in the US, and the latest on the rumor list is Barcelona midfielder Xavi.
Both New York-based MLS franchises, New York Red Bull and New York City FC, were linked with Xavi, but according to Goal.com, he’s gone on record to state that he won’t be moving anywhere.
A January move is definitely not on the cards, given Xavi’s continued importance at Camp Nou as they continue to lead La Liga.