Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Fernando Torres to Inter?
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. Adam Taggart
Newcastle Jets centre-forward Adam Taggart will be moving to a European club.
"If there is a time to go, it is when you have scored 16 goals," Taggart said, per James Gardiner at the Newcastle Herald. "For me it would be a bit silly to stay for another season."
Newcastle are paying marquee money to former England international Emile Heskey, yet he is a foil to Taggart, one of Australia's most promising young footballers.
Taggart should consider signing with an Eerste Divisie club (Dutch equivalent of the Championship) or a Belgian Pro League club, which was the route Mat Ryan took when he signed with Club Brugge.
19. Santiago Arias
PSV Eindhoven right-back Santiago Arias is not a serious transfer target for Manchester United or any other club, according to PSV technical director Marcel Brands.
"We don't know anything about any interest [from Manchester United]," Brands said, per Algemeen Dagblad (h/t Liam Twomey at Goal.com). "No team has made a formal approach for Santiago."
Arias, a Colombian international, is the reason why prospect Joshua Brenet is not a regular starter at PSV.
18. Joel Robles
Everton goalkeeper Joel Robles is a summer transfer window target for Sevilla, per John Cross at the Mirror.
Joel is the long-term successor to Tim Howard.
It only takes one bad stretch of form from Howard for Joel to get a chance.
Considering Joel was patient at Atletico Madrid, which included two loan spells, it is probable that he will stay at Everton.
Manchester United's Pacos de Ferreira loanee Bebe could make a surprise move to Benfica.
"The rumours about Benfica and other clubs do not affect me," Bebe said, per Sport (h/t Francisco Acedo at Sky Sports). "At the end of the season I will talk to my agent and decide what is best for me."
As long as Bebe keeps on scoring, it will be beneficial for all parties.
Pacos have a player they can depend on. Bebe is salvaging his reputation. Meanwhile, United will be able to sell him in the summer transfer window, as opposed to keeping him on their books since no club would want him if he was not in form.
16. Jake Livermore
Hull City will compete with Stoke City and West Ham United to sign Jake Livermore from Tottenham Hotspur, per Bill Cooper at the Mirror.
Livermore was stuck in the middle at Spurs: Too good of a prospect to be thrown away, yet not a week in, week out starter.
Did Livermore want to be a squad player at Spurs? No.
He is a Premier League-standard player, who will be an invaluable player for a mid-tabled club.
15. Younes Belhanda
Montpellier president Louis Nicollin has accused Dynamo Kiev of not stumping up Younes Belhanda's full transfer fee—a claim the Ukrainian club dispute—and believes Belhanda could be back at Montpellier.
"Kiev have not yet paid the full amount of the transfer fee," Nicollin said, per Midi Libre (h/t Ian Holyman at ESPN FC). "We've informed UEFA, and it's possible Younes will come back to be sold elsewhere."
When Dynamo Kiev played in the UEFA Europa League, Belhanda struggled as he went goalless in seven games.
14. Hakan Calhanoglu
Hamburg announced that selling left attacking midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu is not on the cards.
"We've heard of nothing [clubs bidding for Calhanoglu]," Hamburg sporting director Oliver Kreuzer said, per the Hamburger Morgenpost (h/t Stephan Uersfeld at ESPN FC). "Selling Hakan is not an option."
Hamburg should keep Calhanoglu because his transfer stock will continue to increase meaning the club can sell him for a bigger fee next season.
13. Juan Bernat
Valencia sporting director Francisco Rufete hopes Juan Bernat will stay at the club "for a long time" despite rumoured interest from AC Milan and Manchester United.
"We want [Bernat] to be here for a long time, he is a player who has grown up here and is very important for us," Rufete said, per Calcionapoli24.it (h/t Dermot Corrigan at ESPN FC). "But we know that there are many teams looking at him because he is performing at a really high level."
Bernat is the undisputed left-back at Valencia with Andres Guardado sent out on loan to Bayer Leverkusen.
12. Mohamed Diame
West Ham United utility player Mohamed Diame is linking himself with a move to Liverpool.
"I can't tell you if I will be a Liverpool player next season," Diame said, per Sky Sports. "But I think my name is still on their wanted list. I don't hide it, I'm ambitious and I want to join a top-six side."
The season is not even finished and Diame is already campaigning for a move away.
It is distasteful especially when Diame's form for West Ham has been dire.
When asked to respond to Diame's comments, West Ham manager Sam Allardyce offered a snappy response.
"About going to a top six club?" Allardyce said, per Matt Harris at the Brentwood Gazette. "He'll have to perform better won't he?"
11. Mateo Kovacic
Inter Milan central attacking midfielder/central midfielder Mateo Kovacic will continue to persevere through the tough times.
"I've spoken to more experienced players and they told me it's normal I was angry when I wasn't playing," Kovacic said, per Sky Sport 24 (h/t Inter's official website). "I'm still young, I've got lots to learn but, yes, I want to become a leader for Inter."
Kovacic spoke about being "happy staying at home" and his need to "work on everything," in particular defending and his positioning.
This type of positive attitude will put Kovacic in a good position to succeed.
It also means he will not be moving away permanently in the summer transfer window.
10. Simon Kjaer
Lille centre-back Simon Kjaer is unperturbed by rumours of AC Milan and Manchester United preparing a summer transfer bid for him.
"I am not wasting my thoughts on rumours about other clubs," Kjaer said, per BT (h/t Sky Sports). "I am spending all my efforts and keeping my focus entirely on reaching my goal that we will qualify for the Champions League next season."
PR statement or the truth?
While Kjaer's answer is politically correct as it would be disrespectful to Lille if he invited the speculation, he is speaking from the heart.
When he arrived at Lille, he had bottomed out after unpleasant spells at Wolfsburg and Roma.
His career turnaround is remarkable.
9. Joleon Lescott
West Ham United are planning on signing Joleon Lescott when he leaves Manchester City in the summer transfer window, per David Anderson at the Mirror.
Lescott never justified his £22 million transfer fee and was often caught out against world-class players in do-or-die situations.
If Lescott can get near his form for Everton, he will be a solid defender for West Ham.
8. Damien Duff
Fulham right attacking midfielder Damien Duff believes his Premier League career is over and wants to experience playing football in a new country before he retires.
"I'll be leaving Fulham," Duff said, per Emmet Malone at the Irish Times. "I've looked at the Australia or America thing for a bit, it would be a different way of life, a different league—I think life's too short just to be stuck in the rat race."
The rat race being a reference to Premier League footballers playing for teams that are making up the numbers.
7. Julian Draxler
Schalke left attacking midfielder Julian Draxler's agent, Roger Wittmann, revealed it is unlikely that his client would join Arsenal in the summer transfer window.
"Should nothing extraordinary happen, Julian will stay," Wittmann said, per Bild (h/t Stephan Uersfeld at ESPN FC). "I am convinced that he will be here for even longer than just that one season."
Wittmann's latest revelation coincides with Draxler's dire form.
Draxler has registered more yellow cards (four) than goals scored (zero) in his last 10 Bundesliga games.
6. Nuri Sahin
Borussia Dortmund have activated their option to extend Nuri Sahin's loan into a permanent deal from Real Madrid.
"We met with Real Madrid officials when the two clubs played in the Champions League quarter-finals," Borussia Dortmund chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke said, per Ruhr Nachrichten (h/t Dortmund's official website). "We have informed them that we intend to make use of the option to buy."
Sahin never got a real chance at Real.
He has since rebuilt his career after a failed loan spell at Liverpool and warming the Dortmund bench.
This season, he has started 27 of 30 Bundesliga games.
5. Nicolas Anelka
Nicolas Anelka announced that news of him joining Atletico Mineiro is untrue.
"It's false," Anelka said, per his Facebook (h/t Mark Rodden at ESPN FC). "I said recently that I was going to stay at home a bit, take some holidays and to look after my children."
Anelka is a free agent as his tenure with West Bromwich Albion ended prematurely after he made a gesture with anti-Semitic links, per Laurie Whitwell at the Daily Mail.
Anelka scored two goals in 12 Premier League games for West Brom.
4. Micah Richards
Manchester City right-back Micah Richards is seeking a summer transfer window move away from the club.
A source told Sky Sports: "It is with a heavy heart that Micah has told City that he will not be signing his new deal and they have now accepted he will be leaving."
It is admirable from Richards to maximise his talent and look for a new club, as opposed to being OK with being a benchwarmer at City.
He knows it will take a long-term injury to Pablo Zabaleta in order to be the starting right-back at City again.
3. Diego Costa
Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone is bracing himself for the departure of centre-forward Diego Costa.
"It's natural that Chelsea are interested in him [Costa]," Simeone said, per Onda Cero (h/t Sky Sports). "It will depend on him and what he thinks is best for his future."
Two seasons ago, Costa was on loan at Rayo Vallecano scoring goals alongside Michu.
Now Costa is one of the best players in Europe.
He has scored 26 goals from 31 La Liga games this season.
2. Fernando Torres
Inter Milan have confirmed that Chelsea centre-forward Fernando Torres is a summer transfer window target, according to Nerazzurri managing director Marco Fassone.
"He [Torres] is one of the names that interests us," Fassone said, per Dominic Fifield the Guardian. "Who will be the right candidate in the end has yet to be defined."
Torres has been in and out of Chelsea's starting XI this season.
He has scored four goals and created another four in 24 Premier League games which is an inefficient return.
Inter would be making a big mistake in signing Torres.
1. Toni Kroos
Bayern Munich central midfielder Toni Kroos will not leave in the summer, according to his agent Volker Struth.
"Toni's at Bayern until at least 2015," Struth said, per Bild (h/t BBC Sport). "There's no official contract offer and there's no need for United to submit one."
Kroos is a pivotal part of Pep Guardiola's team, so it is imperative that Bayern extend Kroos' contract.
Statistics via WhoScored.com