Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Didier Drogba to Chelsea?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentMarch 20, 2014

Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Didier Drogba to Chelsea?

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    Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of the 20 hottest transfer rumours, news and signings.

    So, how will these 20 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. Per Ciljan Skjelbred

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Hamburg's Hertha Berlin loanee Per Ciljan Skjelbred wants to stay in the German capital.

    "Hertha's interest is there, but that is an issue between Hertha and Hamburg, and possibly other clubs. I do not know anything," Skjelbred said, per Verwaltungsgericht (h/t Kent Hedlundh at Sky Sports). "In theory, I should return there. But it does not look like it will be like that."

    Skjelbred has been a team player for Hertha as he is willing to play in multiple positions: on the right, in midfield, or behind centre-forward Adrian Ramos.

19. Zakaria Bakkali

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    Liverpool are interested in signing PSV Eindhoven right forward Zakaria Bakkali, per Ben Jefferson at the Express

    Bakkali's claim to fame was scoring a sensational hat-trick as a 17-year-old in a 5-0 win over NEC Nijmegen.

    Several months later and now 18 years of age, Bakkali is on the outside looking in, having lost his starting position to Fulham loanee Bryan Ruiz.

    Bakkali has not even been included in PSV's last few matchday squads and previously he was left on the bench against AZ, Cambuur, Go Ahead Eagles, Utrecht and Vitesse.

    This is a red flag and Liverpool need to investigate what is going on with Bakkali before they bid for him. 


18. Calum Chambers

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    Arsenal are prepared to submit a £10 million bid for Southampton right-back Calum Chambers, per James Olley at the London Evening Standard.

    Chambers would be a replacement for Bacary Sagna, who has yet to sign a contract extension with the Gunners. 

    Nathaniel Clyne and Chambers have been pushing each other as both want to be the undisputed right-back at Southampton.

    The two have both started 15 Premier League games at right-back this season. 

17. Juan Iturbe

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    Paolo Giovannini/Associated Press

    Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has confirmed the club are looking to sign Porto right forward Juan Iturbe.

    "When it comes to Iturbe we just need to talk with [Hellas] Verona, as they have the option to buy them," Bigon said, per Sky Sports. "We [Napoli] don't need to talk with FC Porto, but it's always a pleasure to talk with them, as they know how to run football at a very high level."

    Iturbe, whose career was in decline, has enjoyed a renaissance on loan at Verona, where he has scored five goals in Serie A this season. 

16. Keita Balde Diao

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    Massimo Pinca/Associated Press

    Lazio left forward Keita Balde Diao's agent Ulisse Savini said his client is open to a Premier League move.

    "I think Keita would be fine with a future in English football," Savani said, per Radiosei (h/t David Anderson at the Mirror). "We have a contract until 2017. It is obvious in the football business around the world that it is normal to receive attention from some foreign teams every weekend."

    Keita is a dynamic and flair-orientated player, who has scored four goals in Serie A this season. 

15. Matthias Ginter

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    Arsenal continue to scout Freiburg centre-back/central midfielder Matthias Ginter, per Alan Nixon at the Mirror.

    Ginter is a passing outlet, completing 86.2 percent of his passes, and he has solid physical attributes (6'2" and 187 pounds).

    He could be available at a discounted price if Freiburg are relegated to the 2. Bundesliga.

    Freiburg are currently 16th out of 18 teams (17th and 18th are relegated, 16th is placed in a relegation play-off against the third-ranked 2. Bundesliga team). 

14. Luuk de Jong

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    Borussia Monchengladbach's Newcastle United loanee Luuk de Jong wants his loan extended into a permanent deal, per Graeme Bailey at Sky Sports: "Of course, that is what I want. I just want to play football as I didn't play for half a year before this."

    De Jong did not start a single league game at Gladbach this season, whereas he has already started four Premier League games for Newcastle.

    He sees the long-term picture because he can be the man at Newcastle if management decide not to sign Queens Park Rangers loanee Loic Remy permanently. 

13. Serge Aurier

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    Arsenal are expected to sign Toulouse centre-back/right wing-back Serge Aurier as Bacary Sagna's replacement, per Zarif Rasul at the Mirror

    Aurier, an Ivorian international, has demonstrated how potent he is in the attacking half by scoring five goals and creating another six in Ligue 1 this season. 

    The Gunners would be better off converting Aurier into a wide attacking midfielder, rather than playing him at right-back, since he has the potential to produce 15-20 goals per season. 

12. Yevhen Konoplyanka

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    Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has no intentions of signing Yevhen Konoplyanka from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, per John Percy at the Telegraph: "Not at the moment. He [Konoplyanka] showed some nice touches but there are a lot of players around with nice touches."

    While Sherwood's comments are refreshingly frank, it is derisive towards Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and it suggests their relationship is on course to crash and burn. 

    Konoplyanka, a 24-year-old Ukrainian international, scored four goals and registered two assists in seven UEFA Europa League games. 

    He was a lively presence in both games against Spurs. 

11. Jeremy Menez

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    Paris Saint-Germain wide forward Jeremy Menez is unsure of his future at the Ligue 1 club.

    "We talked about an extension, but it was not sorted out," Menez said, per Hannah Duncan at the Metro. "I have three months remaining on my contract at PSG, we will see what will happen at the end of the season."

    Menez has primarily been an impact sub/squad player for PSG this season. 

    To think he was headed for super-stardom in 2005 when he scored a hat-trick as a 17-year-old for Sochaux, per UEFA.com

    Instead of being a squad-filler at a major club, Menez should be playing week in, week out because he can be a star at a lesser club. 

10. Jack Rodwell

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    Manchester City defensive midfielder Jack Rodwell still has a future at the club, according to manager Manuel Pellegrini.

    "No, Jack will continue here," Pellegrini said, per Rob Dawson at the Manchester Evening News. "Unfortunately for him, he has a lot of injuries during the year but he will continue here."

    Rodwell has only played three Premier League games this season. 

9. Luke Shaw

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Manchester City are set to offer £30 million to sign Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, per Paul Clennam at Goal.com

    Shaw, who could be England's starting left-back at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, is one of the most promising talents in European football. 

    But £30 million for a defender is excessive. 

    The only way Shaw can live up to that transfer fee is if he becomes a City legend and in that case, his transfer fee would only be a footnote. 

8. Joe Cole

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    West Ham United right attacking midfielder Joe Cole is leaning towards moving to Championship club Brighton and Hove Albion rather than going abroad and moving to a Major League Soccer franchise, per Dave Kidd at the Mirror

    Considering Cole spent a season on loan at Lille, it is odd that he would not want to try something different like playing in the United States.  

    Cole has played sporadically for West Ham this season as his campaign has been adversely affected by injuries. 

7. Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez

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    Inter Milan and Manchester United are in advanced negotiations over Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez joining the Serie A club, per Sport Mediaset (h/t Football Italia). 

    Chicharito has only started four of 16 Premier League games he has been involved in this season. 

    United manager David Moyes clearly does not want to build the team around Chicharito, who deserves better. 

    Centre-forward Rodrigo Palacio just signed a contract extension at Inter, per Sky Sports, so Chicharito to the Nerazzurri is an odd link. 

    Palacio is Inter's top scorer in Serie A this season (13 goals in 28 league games).

6. David Villa

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    Atletico Madrid centre-forward David Villa is keeping his options open and he could join a Major League Soccer franchise post-Atleti, per Marca (h/t Football Espana).

    Villa has scored 13 goals and created another four in La Liga for Atleti, which is a good return, but his efforts have been overshadowed by team-mate Diego Costa, who has netted 22 goals in league play. 

    Villa can still perform at the highest level, so he should consider signing a short-term contract and playing in the Premier League. 

    If it does not work out, the MLS option will still be on the table. 

5. Ashley Cole

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    Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole will be offered a two-year deal at Real Madrid, where he will be reunited with former manager Carlo Ancelotti, per Tom Hopkinson at the Sunday People (h/t the Mirror). 

    Cole has been mainly an observer in recent memory after being usurped by Cesar Azpilicueta, who was signed to play right-back. 

    If Cole does move to Real, it would only happen if Fabio Coentrao left, meaning Cole would be the back-up to Marcelo.

4. Didier Drogba

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    Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes Galatasaray centre-forward Didier Drogba will return to Chelsea.

    "As a player, as a coach, as an ambassador—next year, in four or five years, in 10 years—I don't know," Mourinho said, per Sky Sports. "I think it has to happen one day."

    The "next year" part implies that Mourinho is willing to sign Drogba on a short-term contract next season. 


3. Samuel Eto'o

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    Chelsea centre-forward Samuel Eto'o would not hesitate if asked to return to Inter Milan.

    "I know that Inter has a new president [Erick Thohir] but [Massimo] Moratti is still there," Eto'o said, per Sky Sport Italia (h/t Simone Bargellini at Sky Sports). "If Moratti calls me, why not?"

    Eto'o has contributed to Chelsea's season with seven Premier League goals and three UEFA Champions League goals.

    Should he join Inter, he would primarily be an impact sub, backing up Inter's top scorer Rodrigo Palacio. 

2. Alessandro Del Piero

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    Sydney FC manager Frank Farina has dismissed reports of Alessandro Del Piero leaving the A-League club.

    "Discussions haven't been held with Alessandro out of respect for what he wants to do," Farina said, per Angela Habashy at the Sydney Morning Herald. "But no, there's no decision been made what so ever."

    Del Piero is not only a class act on the field, but he brings publicity to football, a minority sport in Australia. 

    He was inconclusive in his answer when asked in February if he was set to retire. 

    "Yes it is possible this maybe will be the final one but maybe not," Del Piero said, per the Guardian. "Now is not the moment for me to answer that."

1. Barcelona Transfer Targets

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    ESPN (h/t Marca) have leaked the eight transfer targets Barcelona manager Tata Martino gave to former Barca president Sandro Rosell. 

    The eight players are: 

    1. Arda Turan (Atletico Madrid)
    2. Doria (Botafogo)
    3. Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid)
    4. Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund)
    5. Miroslav Klose (Lazio)
    6. Neven Subotic (Borussia Dortmund)
    7. Santiago Vergini (Sunderland; on loan from Estudiantes)
    8. Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)

    One positive takeaway: Barca are finally targeting defenders. 

    Since Rosell resigned on January 24, per Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC, and considering there are doubts surrounding the long-term future of Martino, per Sky Sports, the list is irrelevant. 

    But it does give you an insight into Barca management. 



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