World Football

Power Ranking the Week's 25 Hottest Transfer Rumours

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentJuly 17, 2014

Power Ranking the Week's 25 Hottest Transfer Rumours

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    Martin Rose/Getty Images

    Instead of scouring the internet for the latest football transfer gossip, Bleacher Report makes your life easier by providing you a weekly power ranking of the 25 hottest transfer rumours in one slideshow.

    Whether it is the Bundesliga, Eredivisie, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League, Serie A, alternative European leagues or non-European leagues, this slideshow will be inclusive.

    These 25 players will be subjectively ranked via name recognition.

     

25. Matt Besler

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    Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    Sporting Kansas City centre-back Matt Besler disclosed that Fulham and Sunderland are vying for his services, per Sports Radio 810 WHB (h/t Sam McDowell at The Kansas City Star).

    Besler is a ball-playing centre-back with a unique trait of being able to complete Rory Delap-like throw-ins.

    While Besler was solid for the United States national team during the FIFA World Cup, his injury against Ghana paved the way for John Brooks to become an overnight sensation. 

     

24. Jason Davidson

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    Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

    Australian international left-back Jason Davidson refused to train with Heracles Almelo, according to club chairman Jan Smit.

    "He [Davidson] has not reported here [to training camp]. Jason has not fulfilled his obligations," Smit said, per Voetbal International (h/t FourFourTwo). "He is in England looking for a new club."

    A spitting image of his father, Alan—the Socceroos' greatest ever left-back—Davidson has locked down the left-back position in the Australian national team for the next five years. 

    Better at intercepting passes than tackling, Davidson is one of the Socceroos' best footballing prospects at 23 years of age. 

    Flashing upside getting forward, he scored a goal and registered three assists in his last five Eredivisie games for Heracles. 

    Davidson has been linked with a move to West Bromwich Albion, per Chris Lepkowski at the Birmingham Mail.

     

23. Joseph Minala

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    Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

    Lazio are working to retain Joseph Minala by offering the prospect a new contract, per David Amoyal at GianlucaDiMarzio.com.

    Going by the eye-test, you would assume Minala is closer to 42 years of age than being a teenager. 

    This forced the Italian Football Association to conduct tests on Minala, which revealed he was actually 17 years old, per the Italian FA's official website (h/t BBC Sport).

    Talk about a real life example of Benjamin Button.

    Minala certainly moved like a teenager when he came on as a substitute against Sampdoria.

    He was lively making two quick tackles in a cameo appearance. 

     

22. Antonio Rudiger

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    EuroFootball/Getty Images

    West Ham United are prepared to pay €10.1/£8 million to sign Antonio Rudiger from Stuttgart, per Darren Lewis at the Daily Mirror

    Stuttgart would be fools to sell Rudiger for £8 million.

    It would be a regrettable transaction like Hamburg underselling Vincent Kompany to Manchester City for €7.6/£6 million in 2008.

    Rudiger is rough around the edges—such as committing 49 fouls in return for 52 tackles last season—but he has the potential to develop into a top centre-back. 

     

     

     

21. Muhamed Besic

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    Jeff Curry/Getty Images

    Everton are about to announce the £4 million signing of Muhamed Besic from Ferencvaros, per Greg O'Keeffe at the Liverpool Echo

    Besic flashed eliteness as a defensive midfielder for Bosnia and Herzegovina during the FIFA World Cup. 

    Able to surge forward, Besic is also a strong tackler and a passing outlet in midfield. 

    The red flag is he failed to make an impression at Hamburg.

20. Giancarlo Gonzalez

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Giancarlo Gonzalez has brushed off rumours linking him with a move away from the Columbus Crew after an outstanding FIFA World Cup campaign for Costa Rica. 

    "Of course, it's nice to hear things," Gonzalez said, per Adam Jardy at The Columbus Dispatch. "Right now I'm part of the Crew and this club."

    Gonzalez was an efficient ball-winner at the World Cup winning back possession 4.4 times per game while conceding 0.8 fouls per game.

    He should be playing at a higher level than Major League Soccer. 

     

19. DeAndre Yedlin

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Seattle Sounders right-back DeAndre Yedlin is remaining composed despite the flurry of transfer interest in his services. 

    "[Playing in Europe] has obviously been my goal since I was a little kid," Yedlin said, per Ari Liljenwall at MLSsoccer.com. "But now I think I almost have to make new goals and re-evaluate and see where I want to be in the next year."  

    While playing for a big European club will boost Yedlin's ego and income, he needs to think long-term. 

    If prospective European suitors cannot guarantee him playing time, then he should say no deal. 

    Another career path is playing in a second-tier league such as the 2. Bundesliga, the Championship or the Segunda Division rather than jumping into the deep end of top-flight European football. 

18. Victor Ibarbo

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    Enrico Locci/Getty Images

    Cagliari centre-forward Victor Ibarbo is considering offers from CSKA Moscow and Dynamo Moscow, per David Amoyal at GianlucaDiMarzio.com

    Ibarbo can steamroll his way past a horde of opposing defenders only to fluff his lines in front of goal.

    With sheer size and speed, Ibarbo has vast potential.

    But he is not productive enough as he scored four goals from 30 Serie A games last season. 

17. Panagiotis Tachtsidis

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Barring the deal collapsing at the 11th hour, Panagiotis Tachtsidis will leave Genoa for Hellas Verona, per David Amoyal at GianlucaDiMarzio.com.

    A midfielder with great physical tangibles (6'3", 190 pounds) Tachtsidis is a player to keep an eye on.

    Tachtsidis will join Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Vangelis Moras as Hellas Verona's Greek contingent.

     

     

16. Ben Davies

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    Julian Finney/Getty Images

    Liverpool are prepared to hijack Tottenham Hotspur's €12.7/£10 million bid for Swansea City left-back Ben Davies, per John Percy at The Telegraph.

    With two seasons of Premier League experience as a regular starter, Davies has potential to develop into an elite left-back. 

    He is still only 21 years old and could even transition into a centre-back down the line, according to former Swansea manager Michael Laudrup.

    "[Davies] is getting stronger in the air and physically he is getting stronger as well," Laudrup said, per the South Wales Evening Post. "Left-footed centre-backs are hard to find. In the future, my personal opinion is that Ben can be a good left-footed centre-back."

    Davies has made 168 tackles in 71 Premier League games. 

15. Paulinho

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    Dino Panato/Getty Images

    Livorno centre-forward Paulinho's breakout season has alerted several clubs. 

    "Not only Hellas Verona are looking at the player [Paulinho]. West Ham, Stoke City and Southampton are tracking him," Livorno president Aldo Spinelli said, per TuttoMercatoWeb (h/t Football Italia). "He will decide the destination then we will reach an agreement on the economic aspects."

    In the past Serie A campaign, Paulinho outscored (15) AC Milan centre-forward Mario Balotelli (14).

     

14. Coke

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    Coke's €3.5/£2.8 million transfer to Marseille collapsed after the right-back decided he wanted to stay at Sevilla, per AS (h/t Football Espana). 

    This means Coke and Diogo Figueiras will continue to duke it out for Sevilla's starting right-back spot.

    Figueiras has higher upside, but Coke is more experienced.

    The proposed move of Coke suggests Marseille manager Marcelo Bielsa has doubts over right-back Brice Dja Djedje. 

    Able to strike a ball cleanly (ask Guillermo Ochoa), Djedje is great going forward, but only averaged 1.2 tackles per game for Marseille last season. 

     

     

13. Domenico Criscito

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    Epsilon/Getty Images

    Domenico Criscito revealed he intends to return to Italy, but is happy playing under FC Zenit manager Andre Villas-Boas.

    "Sooner or later I want to come back to Italy, but now I'm only focused on Zenit," Criscito said, per CalcioMercato.it (h/t Simone Bargellini at Sky Sports). "I'm fine in Saint Petersburg and I have not asked to leave."

    Criscito's form at left-back meant Cristian Ansaldi's opportunities were limited. 

    In 18 Russian Premier League games last season, Criscito made 38 tackles and intercepted 48 passes.

    FC Zenit OnlyCristian AnsaldiDomenico Criscito
    Tackles Per Game2.62.1
    Fouls Per Game1.11.7
    Tackles Per Foul2.31.2
    Interceptions Per Game1.32.7
    Possessions Won Back Per Game3.94.8

     

12. Pablo Hernandez and 11. Michu

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    Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

    Swansea City will soon announce the departures of Pablo Hernandez and Michu, per Gareth Vincent at the South Wales Evening Post.

    Pablo will be earning easy money at Al-Arabi while Michu is joining Rafa Benitez's Spanish clique at Napoli.

    After posting back-to-back seasons of 15 league goals or more for Rayo Vallecano (15) and Swansea (18), Michu capitulated last season. 

    He only scored twice in a campaign riddled with frustration and injuries. 

    Meanwhile his compatriot Pablo was class on the ball, but drifted in and out of games.

    That said, Pablo still created more goals (seven) than Liverpool's €31.7/£25 million-valued Adam Lallana did for Southampton in the Premier League last season (six). 

10. Jay Rodriguez

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Southampton have tabled a five-year contract with increased wages to Jay Rodriguez, per Gordon Simpson at the Southern Daily Echo.

    This act has two purposes:

    • Locks Rodriguez down to Southampton.
    • Maximises Rodriguez's transfer stock should Southampton choose to then immediately sell him in this summer transfer window. 

    Rodriguez can play on the left, right and centrally. 

    Southampton have a valuable asset in Rodriguez, an Englishman who scored 15 goals in the Premier League last season, meaning his future transfer fee is likely to be inflated due to his nationality. 

     

     

9. Jeremy Mathieu

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has confirmed a transfer bid for Valencia centre-back/left-back Jeremy Mathieu.

    "Valencia already know our offer and we want to maintain privacy in the negotiations," Zubizarreta said, per Sky Sports. "We want someone who can put in top performances for many years and that's what we're working on."

    Mathieu, 30, is not a prime candidate to "put in top performances for many years." 

    Then again Barcelona are betting on him replicating Amedeo Carboni in extending his professional footballing life past the expiry date.

     

8. Bojan Krkic

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Barcelona right-forward/centre-forward Bojan Krkic is being chased by Deportivo La Coruna and Stoke City, per The Sentinel.

    Bojan was a big disappointment on loan at Ajax last season. 

    In an attack-driven and open Eredivisie, Bojan scored four goals and registered three assists in 24 league games. 

    To put that statistic in perspective, Heerenveen centre-back Kenny Otigba scored more goals (five) than Bojan.

    Once compared to Lionel Messi, Bojan's fall is tragic. 

7. Nicklas Bendtner

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Nicklas Bendtner spurned the chance to play for Eintracht Frankfurt, according to manager Thomas Schaaf.

    "We are not getting anywhere [with pursuing Bendtner]," Schaaf said, per Kicker (h/t ESPN). "Thus we have to focus on other things."

    Bendtner is a free agent after being released by Arsenal.

    Once one of the best players in his age group, Bendtner has ambled through his footballing career without much effort. 

6. Antoine Griezmann

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arrasate reacted placidly when asked about left attacking midfielder Antoine Griezmann's future.

    "When he [Griezmann] gets back, we'll talk with him," Arrasate said, per Heath Chesters at Inside Spanish Football. "I won't rule out him staying, but in the end if he leaves, we'll have to look at what we do from there."

    Major European clubs like Chelsea and Liverpool, per Jamie Sanderson at the Metro, want to sign Griezmann now, instead of paying a premium if he scores 25-plus goals in the upcoming season.  

    Griezmann has scored 40 goals in his last four La Liga seasons. 

    At 23 years of age, he is primed to take his game to the next level. 

     

     

     

5. Roberto Soldado

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Inter Milan are prepared to offer Roberto Soldado an exit route from Tottenham Hotspur, per talkSPORT.

    Rodrigo Palacio is Inter's main No. 9 and Mauro Icardi, 21, is the young gun.

    Therefore, it seems odd that Inter would target Soldado. 

    Despite having a tough debut season in the Premier League with six goals from 28 games, Soldado has the quality to rebound. 

     

4. Alvaro Negredo

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Manchester City centre-forward Alvaro Negredo has addressed rumours of his exit. 

    "I don't want to leave City," Negredo said, per BBC Sport. "I've been very happy here from the first day I arrived."

    In hindsight, hat-tricks against CSKA Moscow and West Ham United were fool's gold.

    Negredo failed to score a goal in the Premier League or the UEFA Champions League from February to May. 

     

3. Xherdan Shaqiri

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    Bayern Munich executive board member Matthias Sammer announced the club would not consider bids for Xherdan Shaqiri. 

    "We are not thinking about letting him go," Sammer said, per Kicker (h/t Stephan Uersfeld at ESPN FC). "Xherdan is an important player for our future."

    Shaqiri brashly retorted in a tweet: "I live in present... Not in future....;-)."

    The fact the tweet is still up shows Shaqiri will not bow down to authority.

    While lethal out wide, Shaqiri can develop into a world-class deep-lying forward. 

    He only played 50 percent of Bayern's Bundesliga games last season hence the discontentment. 

     

2. Sami Khedira

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    Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

    Sami Khedira's agent Jorg Neubauer has quashed rumours of his FIFA World Cup-winning client joining Arsenal or Chelsea, per Matt Law at The Telegraph:

    We are not in talks with Arsenal. 

    I don't think a fee has been agreed, otherwise I would have been told.

    When a club have an interest I am sure they will call me and we will speak about things.

    The same goes for Chelsea.

    We are talking to Real Madrid about his contract, but nothing is close to being decided.

    Sami has just returned from the World Cup and has gone on holiday.

    There probably has been preliminary talks regarding Khedira being sold, otherwise Neubauer wouldn't have inserted a "call me maybe" line for potential suitors. 

    Khedira's compatriot and Arsenal left attacking midfielder Lukas Podolski cheekily shouting "Arsenal" suggests the Gunners are gunning for the Real Madrid central midfielder.

1. Arturo Vidal

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    Buda Mendes/Getty Images

    Juventus chief executive officer Giuseppe Marotta announced Arturo Vidal was off the transfer market amid mounting speculation of his imminent departure to Manchester United. 

    "We've never put him [Vidal] up for sale," Marotta said, per Jamie Jackson at The Guardian. "He is happy to be here."

    Marotta's comments seem to be a public-relations ploy since former Juventus manager Antonio Conte was not "happy to be here," otherwise he would not have shockingly walked out, per CNN

    What beIN Sports pundit Matteo Bonetti tweeted was spot-on: "Clear to me that Conte resigned the second he found out that some of his key pieces at Juve are being sold. He wanted an ambitious project."

    Vidal is one of the world's greatest box-to-box midfielders. 

    He scored 11 goals, accumulated five assists, recorded 130 tackles and intercepted 39 passes in Serie A last season. 

     

    @allanjianga

    Statistics via WhoScored.com

     

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