Power Ranking the Week's 20 Hottest Transfer Rumours: Xavi to Al-Arabi?
Bleacher Report presents a power ranking of the 20 hottest transfer rumours, news and signings.
So, how will these 20 transfer 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 is poised to sign with Fulham, per Daniel Garb at Fox Sports.
Taggart is one of Australia's brightest prospects, winning the A-League Golden Boot with 16 goals last season.
He can score from distance and poach goals.
Taggart should also consider playing in the Eredivisie or the 2. Bundesliga as an alternative to England.
19. Pierre-Michel Lasogga
Newcastle United are planning to sign Hertha Berlin centre-forward Pierre-Michel Lasogga, per Lee Ryder in the Chronicle.
Lasogga was excellent on loan at Hamburg.
He scored 13 goals in the Bundesliga, and you noticed a clear gap in quality between him and backup centre-forward Jacques Zoua, who struggled throughout the season.
18. Diniyar Bilyaletdinov
Spartak Moscow left winger Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is set to complete a £1.5 million move to Crystal Palace during the summer transfer window, per the Croydon Advertiser.
If the move is finalised, it would be Bilyaletdinov's second spell in England having signed with Everton in 2009.
He never reached his full potential as he had issues with then-manager David Moyes, according to the Telegraph.
17. Stephane Mbia
Everton and Liverpool are targeting Cameroonian international Stephane Mbia, per Simon Jones at the Daily Mail.
Mbia has started both of Cameroon's FIFA World Cup games.
He played in midfield against Mexico and was an emergency right-back against Croatia.
Mbia has excellent physical tangibles, but his low football IQ is why he has never developed into an elite footballer.
16. Alexander Buttner
Manchester United left-back Alexander Buttner has no desires of playing under Louis van Gaal.
"Van Gaal never gave me the chance in the Dutch national team," Buttner said, per De Telegraaf (h/t the Guardian). "Apparently he is not very confident about me, so I think this is the right moment to leave."
Buttner is great going forward, but he leaves gaping holes at the back.
His defending is not text-book, and he is better-suited to being a wing-back in a 3-5-2 than a full-back in a conventional back four.
15. David Marshall
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman wants to improve his squad depth by adding Cardiff City goalkeeper David Marshall, as reported by Mirror Football.
Signing Marshall would be a vote of no confidence in backup goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga.
In theory, Marshall would be competing with Artur Boruc for the No. 1 position at Southampton.
14. Steven Pienaar
Steven Pienaar has no plans of quitting Everton.
"My goals are to stay fit and feature in as many games as possible," Pienaar said, per Sport24 (h/t Sky Sports).
Pienaar is on a 19-game streak without a goal in the Premier League.
13. Yann M'Vila
Rubin Kazan defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila will be moving to Inter Milan, per Corriere dello Sport (h/t FourFourTwo).
M'Vila was destined for big things at Rennes only to be hit with disciplinary problems.
At 23 years of age, he can rebuild his career, but he risks fading into mediocrity like former Rennes player Ousmane Dabo.
12. Claudio Bravo
Real Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is on the verge of a €12 million (£9.6 million) move to Barcelona this summer, per AS (h/t Tom Conn at Inside Spanish Football).
Hypothetically speaking, Bravo will be the backup to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Bravo made six saves for Chile against Spain, outplaying Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who made two saves.
11. Daley Blind
Manchester United view Ajax utility player Daley Blind as an alternative to Southampton left-back Luke Shaw in the summer transfer window, as reported by David Maddock in the Mirror.
Blind can play as a left-back or as a defensive midfielder.
He has also slotted in at centre-back and on the left wing.
He would be a more economically efficient signing than Shaw.
10. Dejan Lovren
Southampton centre-back Dejan Lovren is being targeted by Barcelona, per Simon Jones at the Daily Mail.
Yes, Lovren had an elite season at Southampton, but he was a walking liability at Lyon and Barcelona should be cognisant of Lovren's previous form.
Barcelona have made several centre-back transfer misses in recent memory.
- Dmytro Chygrynskiy
- Philippe Christanval
La Blaugrana should pick a safer transfer target than Lovren.
9. Cristian Tello
Everton are ready to sign Barcelona super-sub Cristian Tello, per David Maddock at the Mirror.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez is a believer in acquiring talented youngsters on loan.
It is cost-effective for Everton: The loanee receives more playing time, and his parent club do not need to worry about his development for a season.
Tello played 22 La Liga games last season, 20 of which were substitute appearances.
8. Adam Lallana
Southampton executive director Les Reed says the club will hold out for a premium transfer fee in an attempt to keep star midfielder Adam Lallana.
"Anybody seriously considering coming for our players is going to have to think very significantly about the size of the fee," Reed told BBC South (h/t Sky Sports). "Lallana's been here long enough, we've brought him to this level and we feel that perhaps he should give it a little bit longer."
Several weeks ago, Liverpool submitted a £25 million bid for Lallana, per Andy Hunter at the Guardian, and Southampton did not bite.
Liverpool should start seeking out alternatives to Lallana.
7. Guillermo Ochoa
Arsenal and Liverpool are targeting free agent Guillermo Ochoa, per Anthony Chapman at the Express.
Ochoa is famous for making unbelievable saves as evidenced by his Man of the Match display for Mexico against Brazil at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
In the last two seasons for Ajaccio, he denied Toulouse centre-back Jonathan Zebina and Lyon centre-forward Bafetimbi Gomis from the penalty spot.
Ochoa's decision to run down his contract at Ajaccio will net him a career pay-day because every major club wants to recruit him as a luxury backup.
6. Santi Cazorla
Arsenal left attacking midfielder Santi Cazorla has not made a decision over his long-term future amid interest from Atletico Madrid.
"I don't want to be thinking about it right now and I've told my agents not to tell me anything if an offer comes in," Cazorla said, per AS (h/t Sky Sports). "But I know a few of the Atletico players."
Cazorla was a creative outlet for Arsenal in the Premier League last season, registering eight assists and creating 67 scoring chances.
5. John O'Shea
Tottenham Hotspur are planning a £3 million bid for Sunderland central defender John O'Shea, per Matt Law at the Telegraph.
O'Shea would provide experience to Spurs' back line.
He is a five-time Premier League winner at Manchester United and can play multiple positions.
He has started 29 Premier League games or more in the past three seasons, so he is more reliable than injury-prone Spurs centre-back Younes Kaboul.
4. Thomas Vermaelen
Arsenal left-back/centre-back Thomas Vermaelen is poised to complete a move to Manchester United in the summer, per Matt Law at the Telegraph.
Vermaelen only started 50 percent of Premier League games he was involved in last season.
He was the third-choice centre-back behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
3. Alexis Sanchez
Barcelona right-forward Alexis Sanchez is set to move to Juventus, per Nick Lustig at the Daily Star.
Alexis scored 19 goals and created 10 goals in La Liga for Barcelona last season.
The sale of Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea suggests Barcelona will sell their assets if the price is right.
2. Mario Balotelli
AC Milan centre-forward Mario Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, is linking his client with a move to Arsenal.
"Only eight or 10 clubs in the world can afford Mario Balotelli," Raiola said, per Sky Sports (h/t Toby Moses in the Guardian). "Arsenal are a fantastic club."
Every transfer window, Raiola puts himself in the headlines by making provocative statements.
Raiola is a cunning individual.
Not only is he reinforcing his power over his client's club, he becomes a big-name himself and keeps the media happy by creating drama, which generates articles.
That is why he is a well-renowned agent.
Raiola has also represented Paris Saint-Germain centre-forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Juventus central midfielder Paul Pogba and Borussia Dortmund central attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
Al-Arabi manager Dan Petrescu revealed the club has agreed a pre-contract with Barcelona central midfielder Xavi.
"Xavi has signed a pre-contract agreement," Petrescu said, per Digi Sport (h/t Edwin Chong at Sky Sports). "Xavi is who I really want and Al-Arabi are ready to pay him €8/£6.4 million a year."
While Father Time is catching up to Xavi, he completed 93 percent of his 86.2 passes per game for Barca in La Liga.
Statistics via WhoScored.com
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