Transfer rumours just never seem to go away. The transfer window is open during the summer and again for the month of January. In between windows, the football world is filled with rumours.
With the Wayne Rooney contract dispute at Old Trafford settled, his name has now been dropped from the rumours and the members of the media are once again looking for a big name to attach some rumours to.
Everytime one player has a slight problem at his club, rumours start swirling. Everytime a young player has a big match on a big stage, his name starts getting linked with the big clubs of Europe.
Sometimes there is value to these rumours, but often times it is merely a ploy by opposing clubs to get the player to know that they are interested in him. Sometimes rumors are just started so that the British media has something to write about.
If you believed everything you read in the papers, players would be switching teams every week. Whenever you read about potential transfers in the papers, you have to read it with a filter as you try to figure out whether the news has merit, or is merely a rumour.
As the January transfer window creeps closer so do the rumbling about potential transfers. Of course, there is always more news about potential January transfers then January transfers themselves, as many of the world's top players are cup-tied in Europe and therefore will finish the season with their teams.
Nevertheless there are still a bunch of moves that go down during the January transfer window. Here are 10 rumours that are floating around right now, and whether they can come true or not.
Roque Santa Cruz:
It is amazing that Santa Cruz is even still with City. After an incredible 2007/08 campaign with Blackburn Rovers that saw Santa Cruz find the net 23 times in 43 appearances in all competitions for Rovers he was believed to be a big money transfer target for the new owners at Manchester City. Santa Cruz put an end to that speculation by signing a four-year deal with Blackburn.
City would make bids that August as well as the following January, but all were denied by Blackburn. However that June, just one year after signing an extension, Santa Cruz moved to Eastlands.
It looked as if Santa Cruz would be the big name striker to play alongside Robinho at City but City didn't stop there. They also brought in Emamanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez. Suddenly Santa Cruz couldn't even buy himself a first team match and was relegated to the bench for much of the season.
It has been no secret that Santa Cruz has been unhappy with his lack of first team appearances under manager Roberto Mancini, and he has requested a transfer away from the club. Mancini has granted him that request and has said the player may leave in January.
Scottish club Celtic are believed to be interested in the striker. Whether he goes there is yet to be seen, but Santa Cruz will definitely be on his way out of Manchester City.
Shaun Wright Phillips:
Wright-Phillips was brought back to Manchester City by their new owners in an 8.5 million pound move from Chelsea under manager Mark Hughes.
However, last season when Hughes was replaced by Mancini Wright-Phillips has found himself in and out of the first team.
This season, the great form of Adam Johnson has relegated Wright-Phillips to the substitutes bench. Wright-Phillips is not happy with his lack of opportunities and seeks to be playing football for another club.
WIth many players brought in before Mancini came in, Mancini is now ready to unload the players that do not fit his mold. City are expected to offload several players this January, with Wright-Phillips being one of them.
Shay Given was the number one goalkeeper at Eastlands a year ago. This season Given has lost that job to England international Joe Hart.
Prior to the season Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini refused to speak about who would be his number one keeper, giving both Given and Hart equal chances during pre-season friendlies. When the season started, Hart was the guy and Given has not been happy.
Shay Given does not like sitting on the bench. At the start of the season he asked to go on loan for first team football. He was not granted that request and has continued to sit on the bench.
Nevertheless it is easy to say the relationship between Given and his manager is not a good one anymore. This January Mancini is expected to be ridding City of many expensive rarely used pieces.
While Arsenal may be happy with the recent play of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, it is no secret that Arsenal have always been looking for a new keeper. There are many rumours swirling that Arsenal could be making a move for Given come January.
There is also a strong chance that Arsene Wenger decides to stay out of the transfer market and stick with the goalkeepers he already has.
Scottish club Celtic are also rumoured to be interested. While it is unclear where Given will end up, he will be leaving Manchester City this January.
When one transfer dispute at Old Trafford is settled another one opens. After Manchester United signed Wayne Rooney to a five year extension, left back Patrice Evra has now expressed his desire to leave the club.
Rooney believed that the United owners were not committed to winning and they were unwilling to bring big stars to Old Trafford. The Glazers assured Rooney that they were committed to winning and pledged to give 50 million pounds to Sir Alex Ferguson to spend on transfers.
Sir Alex Ferguson has said that he will not be looking for any transfers during the January transfer window and once again people began talking about the validity of the 50 million pound pot that the Glazers were giving to Fergie.
One of those people was Patrice Evra, who cited Rooney in saying that United were not committed to winning. Evra believes that United are not willing to spend money on big stars to try and win.
European giants Real Madrid are said to be interested in Evra, who when he is on his top form is one of the best left backs in the world. Evra has told friends that he is open to a move to Real Madrid and that he wants to finish his career there.
His contract with United runs until 2012.
This rumour is likely to stay just that, a rumour. Real Madrid will surely not be spending a large amount of money on a January transfer for Evra who is cup-tied in Europe to United. If Evra finishes the season, it will give Sir Alex Ferguson enough time to convince the left back to stay, while Real Madrid moves on to other targets.
While Shay Given may be on Arsenal's radar, Mark Schwarzer is their number one target. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had two two million pound bid for the Australian goalkeeper rejected this past summer but many believe he will make another effort in January.
Schwarzer presents a great option for the Gunners as Fulham failed to reach the Europa league this season, so Schwarzer would be eligible to play for Arsenal in the Champions League.
When Arsenal failed to bring the keeper to the Emirates over the summer, the rumours never went away as they said that they would get him in January.
Fulham have been trying to get Schwarzer to sign an extension, and manager Mark Hughes believes that he ultimately will.
Schwarzer has kept quiet about where he desires to play, but at the same time, he is still yet to sign an extension with the Cottagers.
Fulham have been urging Schwarzer to stay, and are now positive the keeper will stay. Nevertheless the extension has not been signed and Schwarzer has not said anything.
Moving to Arsenal will give Schwarzer the opportunity for Champions League football. There is no doubt Arsenal will make a move to bring the Aussie to the Emirates it is just unclear if Fulham will let him go.
There is much validity to this rumour as Arsenal will go after Schwarzer this January. The question resides not with Schwarzer but with whether Fulham will accept the bid or not. While this is not a fact, this rumour certainly isn't fiction either.
Last season Landon Donovan had an incredibly successful 10-week loan stint at Everton. The fans there still love him and were very upset to see him go back to the MLS. Towards the end of his loan the fans were begging the club to see if they could work out a deal to keep the American premaritally.
There is no doubt that Donovan still loves the Toffees and he has made that loud and clear as he publicly supports the club. Donovan also spoke of how he was more then welcome to a full-time move to Goodison Park.
Over the summer Everton were believed to make a move for the Los Angeles Galaxy winger, but manager David Moyes said that the club simply did not have the funds to make it happen.
The club has been working to bring Donovan back to Goodison Park this January for another loan spell. Besides the loan the club is still looking to find a way for Donovan to play for Everton full time.
Another January loan deal for Donovan is pretty much set in stone at this point for Everton. Everton want to keep the striker full time but if they can't raise the funds, that rumour will remain fiction.
Manchester United have been linked with French striker Karim Benzema for years now. When his former club Lyon were set to sell him many believed he would land at Old Trafford. But United stayed quiet that summer and Benzema was part of Real Madrid's big shopping spree.
Since joining Real Madrid Benzema has struggled to find his form, which led to him missing out of France's World Cup squad.
Benzema has long been rumoured to be wanting to leave Real Madrid, but Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has said that he believes Benzema will find his form at Madrid and that he has no plans to sell.
Nevertheless his name cannot stay out of the papers as the papers are reporting that Sir Alex Ferguson is still keen to bring the striker to Old Trafford. The latest reports however are that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is ready to get into a bidding war with Sir Alex, and is poised to try to lure the striker to Arsenal.
On the other side of North London, Tottenham are continuing to monitor the strikers situation in Real Madrid and whether he is interested in leaving or not. However Tottenham are afraid that should the striker choose to leave, they will be priced out by United and Arsenal.
There is very little legitimacy to this rumour as Benzema's name has been in the papers for every transfer window for the past three years. He was mainly looking like a replacement for Wayne Rooney, should the striker have chosen to leave Old Trafford. With Rooney staying it is unlikely that United will go after him.
Sir Alex Ferguson has said he will stay out of the transfer market this January, while down in London, it would be very uncharacteristic of Arsene Wenger to spend that much money on one player. Wenger spending money in January on Benzema is far from likely.
Andy Carroll's terrific form for newly promoted Newcastle this season has put him on the radar of many Premier League teams. Carroll has six goals in 11 Premier League appearances for Newcastle so far this season and is now expecting his first senior international call up for England.
When a new striker starts his Premier League career the way Carroll has, the top teams are going to take notice and come after him.
Tottenham are interested in bringing the striker to White Hart Lane as they need help up front. They made a surprise signing of Rafael Van Der Vart at the end of the summer transfer window and are looking to add to that. There are reports saying that Spurs could be interested in arranging a swap deal with Peter Crouch in exchange for Carroll.
Carlo Ancelotti of Chelsea is also interested in the big Englishman. He believes that Carroll could be the long term replacement for Didier Drogba at Chelsea.
Reports are that Chelsea are preparing a 15.5 million pound bid for the striker in January.
While he may be the long term replacement for Drogba, how much first team action would Carroll see at Stamford Bridge behind Drogba and Nicolas Anelka. Drogba is getting old, but is not old yet and isn't going anywhere for a while.
Meanwhile Spurs need help at striker now, and Carroll would be able to jump right in to the Tottenham first team.
Newcastle will try their best to hold onto their star striker as they seek to remain in the Premier League this season. However when the big teams come calling it may be hard for Carroll to resist them. While moving to Spurs may make more sense for Carroll, it may be hard for Newcastle to turn down Chelsea's money.
Leighton Baines is quickly becoming one of the top left backs in the league. His ability to push up into the attacking third of the pitch has made him a dangerous attacking weapon with his crosses into the box.
Recently he has won a 50% share of free kick duties along with midfielder Mikel Arteta at Everton.
Meanwhile in Germany, Bayern Munich are looking to strengthen their defense this January and the name of Leighton Baines has been mentioned.
Baines has recently extended his contract at Goodison Park through 2015 but the Germans believe that with enough money they can lure the left back away from Everton.
This rumour is likely to remain fiction as the odds of Baines leaving Everton are slim. Baines is happy at his current club and David Moyes does a great job of holding on to his players.
Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko is on just about every team in the world's transfer radar. While his contract runs until 2013, many clubs are still looking for the Bosnian to leave sooner rather then later.
He crept onto Manchester United's radar when he scored against them in the Champions League. He now finds himself as a primary target for the Italian club Juventus.
After a summer of trying to convince Dzeko to leave failed, it seemed like the bigger clubs would back off for a while.
Tottenham Hotspur have been very interested in Dzeko and made efforts to bring him to North London over the summer. Those efforts failed but they are believed to be ready to try again this January.
However at this point it seems that Tottenham will lose out to bigger clubs. Manchester City are reportedly very interested in Dzeko, and Roberto Mancini is said to be considering Dzeko to replace Carlos Tevez, should Tevez return home this winter.
Dzeko is a top target for many of the worlds biggest clubs right now. His days at Wolfsburg are numbered but it is still a mystery as where he will go.
Things have not been going well for Aston Villa. In the last 14 months they have lost Gareth Barry, James Milner, and their manager Martin O' Neal. Now, winger Ashley Young has cut off contract talks with the club.
There are strong rumours that Ashley Young is no longer happy at Villa and wants to leave the club. While he has cut off contract talks, his contract still runs through 2012. Young has now said that he wants to trigger a buyout clause in his contract.
Meanwhile in North London, Tottenham are preparing to swoop in for the winger. Reports suggest that Tottenham are set to launch a 20 million pound bid for the winger.
Tottenham are set to offload players such as Niko Kranjcar and David Bentley to secure the funds.
Despite Young wanting out of Villa this rumour is likely to remain a rumour. Tottenham already have Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale flying down the wings, with Rafael Van Der Vart able to fill in for them. That is the reason why Kranjcar and Bentley want to leave. Why would Young want to go somewhere where he won't get first team football?
Gareth Bale has just shown Europe what the English Premier League has already known, that he is really really good. Bale scored a second half hat-trick at the San Siro when Spurs traveled to Italy to face Champions League holders Inter in October. In the return trip to White Hart Lane, he absolutely torched Inter right back Maicon, considered by many to be the best right back in the world.
Bale is a huge reason why Tottenham made a run to finish fourth in the Premier League last season and earn a Champions League spot.
But it was only after the Inter match that Europe took notice. immediately following the match reports were coming out that Spanish giants Barcelona were very interested in the Welshman and were keen to bring him to Camp Nou.
Large sums were being thrown out as potential transfer prices for the Tottenham left winger.
In the North of England Manchester United are also reported to be interested in Bale. He has drawn many comparisons to fellow countryman and United winger Ryan Giggs and many United fans see him as a potential replacement for Giggs whenever he decides to retire.
As of right now, Bale is not going anywhere. Bale is a very gounded person, and a big homeboy. He spent his last new years playing video games with friends. When Harry Redknapp told him to take a vacation and get away, he went home to his mum for a few days.
Bale has pledged his allegiances to Tottenham, saying Spurs are on the right track. He has also said that by beating Inter, Spurs have proven they can compete with the best from Europe and that there was no reason for him to ever leave them.
Despite interest from big clubs, Bale is happy at Tottenham and is not looking to move.
It was this summers biggest transfer saga, whether Cesc Fabregas would leave Arsenal or not. Fabregas' boyhood club Barcelona are very interested in bringing the midfielder back to Camp Nou.
After playing in the World Cup with with many Barcelona players on the Spanish national team, it was widely reported that these players were trying to convince Fabregas to return to Barca. Rumours were floating around and Fabregas was not doing anything to quiet the rumours.
Fabregas was quoted as saying he would love to return to Barcelona. He was also quoted as saying he was committed to Arsenal. Neither he, nor Arsene Wenger were putting an end to the rumours.
Despite being committed to Arsenal, Fabregas also had his doubts. He has grown tired of Arsenal's policy in the transfer market, as Arsene Wenger's patience with his young players has not led to any trophies recently. Fabregas wants to win, and right now he does not believe Arsenal are doing what it takes to win.
Despite last summers failure, Barcelona are still trying to bring Fabregas back to where his career began. It is widely considered that much of his decision will hinder on whether Arsenal win trophies this season or not.
This situation is a lot like the Cristiano Ronaldo situation at Manchester United a few season ago. After winning the Champions League trophy, Real Madrid were keen to bring Ronaldo to Spain. Ronaldo expressed interest in leaving, but Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him to stay at Old Trafford.
While it wasn't reported at the time, many people agree that Fergie convinced him to stay for just one more year and promised he would sell him the following season. That is exactly what happened.
It would be hard to convince anyone that the same is not true at Arsenal and it is looking very likely that Cesc Fabregas will be on his way to Camp Nou this summer.
There are many reports claiming that Argentinian striker is homesick in England and is seeking a move back to Argentina. In a recent return home reports say that Tevez visited a psychiatrist three times about his homesickness.
It is likely that Tevez could leave City, as City are already openly talking about looking for replacements for him.
Another player is looking to leave Aston Villa is John Carew. After a disagreement with his manager Carew now wants out of Villa. He has cut off contract talks with the club and wants out.
The most recent report says that Villa are now ready to offload the striker in January after he refused to back down from his war of words with his manager.
Fulham are said to be interested.
A new report now has Sir Alex Ferguson being interested in bringing the young Barcelona striker Bojan Kirkic to Old Trafford. Kirkic fits the mold as the type of player United would go after in the transfer market as he is still young.
Fergie is looking to bring in more young talent to United as the team still needs help at striker. Meanwhile Bojan has failed to break in at Camp Nou and has found himself down in the pecking order with the emergence of Pedro, and new signing David Villa joining Lionel Messi up front.
Bojan could be expendable for Barcelona bringing his value down, but Sir Alex Ferguson has already said he will not bring in new players in January. We will see if he is telling the truth, or just trying to play games in the media