European Transfer Rumors: The Latest on Fabregas, Torres, Forlan & More
The transfer gossip is hotting up, and with teams already stepping out for their initial preseason games, expect deals to be finalized in the next week or so.
Here we give a status report on Europe's biggest names that will be on the move...or not!
It would have been the biggest transfer of the summer, and the mother of all recruiting jobs. Indeed, if Barcelona were a college football team they might be banned from bowl games for the next 10 years!
Planting a roommate with him in South Africa for six weeks of schmoozing....check!
Stating openly that Fabregas is "a Barcelona man"....check!
Physically forcing him into a Barcelona shirt in public....check!
As recently as this weekend, Carles Puyol claimed that Arsenal should "show some respect" to Barcelona as "there is only one club he wants to be at." I do not think Puyol was referring to the Gunners.
However, it appears the overtures have been met with a brick wall of resistance. Arsene Wenger has stated the case is closed and is "tired of talking about it." Wenger refused to meet with Barcelona officials to discuss the prospect.
It appears Arsenal fans can rest easy, at least, they can until the transfer window opens again.
VERDICT: Gunner give it one more year. Staying at Arsenal.
A miserable World Cup capped by injury did little to diminish Torres' reputation as one of Europe's most sought after forwards.
A potential reunion with fellow Spaniard Rafael Benitez in Milan was speculated as one possibility. Chelsea were other suitors with a 50 million pound bid said to have been tabled.
New Red's boss Roy Hodgson appears to have firmly put the blocks on either Torres or Gerrard being sold so early in his regime.
Just to further clear up speculation Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti stated that the club did "not need any more strikers." In addition to Drogba and Anelka, Ancelotti explained Chelsea did not need Torres due to the fact that "we also have Daniel Sturridge." Errrrrm, okay Carlo!
VERDICT: The armband says he is a Red. Torres will stay to lead Woy's Wed Wevolution.
Without a doubt, the most talented free agent on the market. Joe Cole was likely another victim of the fact that Chelsea "also have Daniel Sturridge."
Cole's agent stated the midfielders desire to stay in England, and how many Premier League teams would this man not be able to start for?
Tottenham and Liverpool appear to the leading contenders. With rumors of an outrageous 150,000 pounds per week offer coming from Anfield.
VERDICT: Will not walk alone. Cole will sign for Liverpool and try and lead the club's resurgence to a first Premier League title.
Since winning the 2010 World Cup Golden Ball, the Uruguay forward is one of the hottest properties in European football right now.
How times have changed since the goal shy Sally Gunnell lookalike was the laughing stock of Manchester United fans.
Early post World Cup rumors saw Forlan linked with Champions League new boys Tottenham Hotspur, Forlan responded by stating his commitment to Athletico Madrid.
However, Athletico Madrid's resolve to keep the hitman will soon be tested by a huge bid from Italian giants Juventus.
VERDICT: Diego-a-no-go, will stay with Madrid.
As if 49 goals for Ajax was not enough to draw attention, the most famous goalkeeper at the World Cup had a fine tournament that included some fantastic goals and one excellent save.
In a terrible effort of keeping his options open throughout Europe, Suarez said; "I am not going to make any secret of my admiration for the English Premier League."
Tottenham and Manchester United are reported admirers, and he would be a fantastic addition for either. Either that, or he could help solve Arsene Wenger's goalkeeping problem.
VERDICT: Tottenham, a move to London will spur Luis on to greater things.
Stekelenburg had a fantastic World Cup, producing some important saves in the Netherlands run to the World Cup final. He also may have been the only Dutch player to not be booked in every single game!
Arsene Wenger is a reported admirer and rumors of a 10 million pound move to Arsenal have surfaced. Old Trafford is another rumored destination, with the tall Dutch stopper being seen as a natural successor to Edwin Van Der Sar.
VERDICT: On the move, Ajax will struggle to hold onto the World Cup star. A move to Arsenal would be good for Stekelenburg, and good for the Gunners.
Balotelli is talented, he is also temperamental. The Inter Milan hitman has pace and the ability to produce magic. He also seems to have the ability to combust.
The pragmatic Rafael Benitez could well be tempted to use Balotelli as bait to lure a leader such as Javier Mascherano into the dressing room.
A trade for Mascherano would appear logical, Manchester clubs United and City are also on the alert with large bids at the ready.
Iner director Marco Branca gave mixed messages regarding the availability of Balotelli. Branca stated "Balotelli is price. At this time he is not on the market." Branca also stated, "When and if there are requests, we will kindly examine them. No one is bigger than the club. Even Balotelli."
VERDICT: Will go to Liverpool. The coaching skills of Roy Hodgson turned Bobby Zamora into a goal scorer, he should do wonders with this boy.
Another shining star of the summer's World Cup.Ozil was linked with big clubs throughout the continent before the tournament was over. His direct and attacking play marking him as a true European star in the making.
The loyal Ozil pledged his future to Werder Bremen in a move that surely delighted Bremen right? Wrong!
Bremen appear ready to cash in and sell high on the star midfielder. Manchester United and Real Madrid appear to be leading contenders for his signature.
VERDICT: On the move to Madrid. Jose Mourinho will help show Ozil as the Real deal.
Vidic has never fully settled in Manchester, and may seek a better climate with his next move. United spent a lot of money Chris Smalling last season, and also have Johnny Evans and Wes Brown to cover.
Jose Mourinho is targeting a defender, and the rock solid Vidic could bring some stell and grit to the Galacticos.
VERDICT: Mad for Madrid. Vidic will join the Special One at Real.
The Swedish superstar had a good first season with the Catalan giants, but that did not stop the speculation starting as soon as the season ended.
AC Milan, Chelsea and Manchester City were all reported destinations.
Ibrahimovic had this to say while on summer vacation. "I was a Barca player when I left, and I will be a Barca player when I get back. I have four years left on my contract." Right, that settles that then!
VERDICT: Staying at Barcelona.